Gold Coast, Australia: Where Travelling Alone Starts


Travelling alone has always scared me. The thought of eating at a restaurant, sitting at a table designated for two people, surrounded by couples, families and friends all dining and having a great time is like my version of a living nightmare. So from booking this 2-week Australia trip to planning out sightseeing locations, I had to take into consideration of what I was and wasn’t comfortable enough to do by myself. Turns out, travelling alone really can build character, change your perspective and become an addiction. First, let me tell you about Gold Coast, the place I would fly back to in a heartbeat.

coolangatta beach


Travelling alone wasn’t the only thing that was a first for this trip. I also stayed in my first batch of airbnbs. Specifically for Gold Coast, I stayed in two different locations, Coolangatta and Miami, respectively.

me on beach

Coolangatta was a 5 minute walk away from the Coolangatta beach. Situated right by a strip of restaurants and shops, this was the perfect location for me to sneak some work in while visiting all the coffee shops I wanted and exploring the sights. Staying at my first Airbnb was quite an interesting experience, I had to ask myself a lot of hard questions like do I or do I not leave my room when my hosts are home and how risky it is to run to the washroom outside of the bedroom looking like the dead had woke in the morning.

twilight time beach

Miami was where I had the loveliest of hosts with two of the friendliest pups. It was their first time hosting as well and they never fell short of making me feel comfortable, even when their dog stealthily climbed onto my bed while I was taking a washroom break. Miami was closer to some of the more tourist locations such as the Q1 Skypoint Observation Deck, and the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre where I spent a whole day at. Overall, this airbnb journey was good to me.

Q1 observation deck night


Coffee and brunch and brunch and coffee. Need I say more? Literally any cafe I would stumble into whether or not I have done my research had the best coffees I’ve ever had and the most delicious and innovative type of brunch I could order. All the ingredients were so fresh you could taste it off the dish. Being a huge fiend for avocado and smoked salmon and salads, Gold Coast delivered 100% on each of those items. Just reminiscing my time spent at cafes, devouring my brunch and sipping on my coffee while working makes me want to live there.

coffee in point danger

cafe avocado brunch coffee


People kept telling me that there isn’t much to do in Gold Coast because it’s all beaches and nothing else so I should keep my trip there short. It was semi-true. The fact that this city is along the coastline means there is always a beach around the proverbial corner. I loved that the airbnbs I stayed at were all a 5-minute walking distance to the beach, and there were beautiful scenery locations to watch the sunsets all around. Although most locations need a bit of a hike, and the scenery may start to blur together as all the viewpoints look down at the coast, each point of view looked different and equally breathtaking.

sunset gold coast

My favourite was catching the twilight and watching the sky shift from a golden hue to a pink and purple backdrop right after seeing the sunset. Gold Coast made me appreciate the constant change in nature from day to night, especially when the dark would cloak the sky with the stars sprinkled against the pitch black nightfall.

koala in gold coast

The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary was hands down my favourite zoo as well. Admittedly I’ve never been to a zoo by myself, the thought of that was much like going to an amusement park alone. I never thought I would enjoy my own company with animals as much as I did. I hopped on and off a mini train system within the zoo that dropped me to different locations showcasing a different kind of wildlife. I, of course, went and held a koala and took a picture with it before seeing anything else. Then I hung out with free-roaming kangaroos on a hill, which can only be described as the best day ever.

kangaroo in gold coast

Of course, this isn’t the end of my Aussie journey, so stay tuned for my Sydney edition with a lot more detailed restaurants and checkpoints to visit!

Other locations shown in images:

  1. Mick Schamburg Park
  2. Point Danger
  3. Bskt Cafe
  4. Snapper Rocks

[All images are my own]

Claudia Cheung

  • Gold Coast tends to be one of those places people really love – or hate. I used to work in Burleigh Heads and lived at Mermaid Beach, Surfers Paradise, and then Main Beach. The beaches are the best and are great for running, surfing or just anything outdoors really. There’s also some good hiking around the Hinterland and beyond but you need a car as public transportation is not the best.