Welcome to my Place . . . Australia’s Gold Coast

‘If only you could put the weather in a suitcase, we would be sorted back in Ireland’

Trevor Fennelly on Australia’s Gold Coast

Trevor Fennelly on Australia’s Gold Coast

 

Originally from Kilkenny, Trevor Fennelly made the move to Australia at the start of 2014 and visited Sydney and Perth before settling on the Gold Coast in southeast Queensland.

What do you like about living on the Gold Coast?
The City of Gold Coast is amazing and, in my opinion, has everything from waterfalls, tropical rainforests, golden beaches and high rises including Australia’s tallest building, the iconic Q1. The Gold Coast attracts a lot of tourists throughout the year, so there is always something going on in the local area. The Irish community is great here, a “local” Irish lady created an “Irish on the Gold Coast” Facebook page, which allows Irish people to connect and communicate with each other, and has helped a lot of the Irish community to adjust to the way of life over here.

Where is the first place you bring people to when they visit the Gold Coast?
Burleigh Heads is a great location to show people when they arrive. The view from the top of Burleigh Hill overlooking the beach with the high rises of Surfers Paradise visible in the distance makes an amazing photograph. Currumbin Valley down on the southern end of the Gold Coast is pretty special also. Plenty of rock pools and creeks to swim in, surrounded by trees and wildlife.

The top three things to do there are . . .
Head down to Currumbin or Burleigh beach and go whale and dolphin spotting. The dolphins get so close to the beach, it is a spectacular sight.

Visit Surfers Paradise, head up to the 77th floor of the Q1 tower and admire the view of Surfers Paradise while enjoying a drink or a meal.

Take a tour of the many vineyards located in the Gold Coast’s hinterland. Check out the amazing scenery and native wildlife on the way.

Where do you recommend for a great meal that gives a flavour of the Gold Coast?
With so many amazing restaurants to choose from, and because the Gold Coast is so diverse and multi-cultural, it is so hard to decide on one place. For me, Lambar Pizza in Labradors Chirn Park area is one of the best Italian restaurants in the Southern Hemisphere. Owner Jamie is always on hand in this intimate little restaurant that really captures the Italian spirit with an Australian twist.

Where is the best place to get a sense of the Gold Coast’s role in history?
Interesting question, Surfers Paradise Surf Club hosts a lot of photographs and information about Jim Cavill, businessman and developer who remodelled the Gold Coast and introduced the canal systems to allow so many people build homes and live on the water. Also, there are a lot of monuments remembering the local men and women who fought during the second World War. The local surf clubs are full of elderly locals who love to tell tales of surfing the waves in their youth and showing photographs of the area before the huge high rises came.

What should visitors save room in their suitcases for after a visit to the Gold Coast?
If only you could put the weather in a suitcase, we would be sorted back in Ireland. There are many tourist spots to buy framed art pieces from the great Aboriginal community on the coast. Surf boards, body boards and wet suits are a must also. But if your suitcase is not big enough for any of these, then boomerangs and the odd locally brewed bottle of beer will have to do.

If you’d like to share your little black book of places to visit where you live overseas, please email your answers to the five questions above to abroad@irishtimes.com, including a brief description of what you do there and a photograph of yourself. We would love to hear from you.

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