Have you ever had a holiday where, while the holiday was way too short, it also felt that you been able to totally relax and get away from the mundane? Well that is how I felt after spending 2 weeks of my annual leave in arguably Australia's best, and most recognisable tourist destination, Queensland's Gold Coast region.
What was even better, because I'm a of API (Australian Post-tel Institute), which provides employee benefits for Post and Telstra employees, I was able to take advantage of their discounted rates for their holiday units located right across from the beach at North Burleigh (which is only 10 kilomtres south from Surfers Paradise).
While many people scoff at the idea of a Gold Coast holiday, I have come to love this region of Australia, not just for Surfers Paradise and Cavill Avenue, but for the whole range of activites that are available in one area.
So I armed myself with both my camera's, the Sanyo S1275 and the Canon 400D to make sure I didn't miss one moment of my stay in this stunning photographic location.
Although the lure of the beach is strong, a quick trip into the hinterland can provide the budding photographer a chance to capture some of the beauty of an extinct 20 million year old Mt Warning volcano. At places such as Springbrook, Tambourine and Binna Burra, the landscape can present you with spectacular views of the Gold Coast from the eroded volcano rim. These views are coloured with the lush greenery that abounds in the tropical, rainforest environment and with so many walking tracks that criss cross the ridgelines, the views are ever changing. The original volcano was a huge monster, that was over 2 kilometres high, had a caldera of over 40 kilometres and spewed ash over a distance of more than 100 kilometres!
Also just as famous as the natural attractions are the man made ones, especially the theme parks, which included Seaworld, Dreamworld, Movieworld & Wet 'n' Wild. This time we only visited Movieworld and it was here that the versatility of the Sanyo S1275 becomes apparent with its compact size and ease of use made it easy to capture some of the images that abound in this Warner Bros. wonderland. Actually, the compact cameras are the way to go at the theme parks, I noticed that quite a few people were using DSLR's and they seemed cumbersome in the hectic, confined spaces of large mobile crowds. Just a tip, make sure you take a small plastic bag to protect your camera when riding those more aquatic type of rides.
Of course, the Gold Coast is internationally famed for its beaches and it is not hard to see why, stretching from Southport to Tweed Heads are some of Australia's best surf beaches (although Newcastle does rival it, lol!). As I mentioned earlier, we were staying right on the beach and so nearly every day it was over to the beach to soak up the sun, read a good book or go for a swim. Nearly every morning and afternoon, I was able to grab the 400D, walk around the beaches and to capture some of the beauty that just seemed to continually fill my view finder.
The best thing however, was being an API member I was able to take advantage of the excellent accomodation deal, and also, the cheaper entry into the theme parks using my API membership card. To find out more about API go to www.apiaustralia.com.au and take advantage of the membership for only $4.50 per pay and then you may be able to spend a wonderful, relaxing holiday on Australia's beautiful Gold Coast