You planned a holiday in Surfers Paradise and … OMG… you didn’t realise 40 000 underage school leavers would be converging on the city . Yep… that is because It is Schoolies week. This week I took a call from a friend in Sydney asking for advice regarding her up and coming holiday in Surfers Paradise. She felt that the hotels appeared to be very costly in Surfers Paradise this weekend and she was meeting friends there. The first words I responded with were, “did you know it is schoolies?” She just about died!!!! She had no idea it was schoolies this weekend until I told her. She freaked! But I calmed her down, gave her some advice and helped organise a great, ‘schoolie free’ hotel so she could still come up and party this weekend. Here are 5 tips to help you survive Schoolies this weekend…
- The first thing I suggested is a hotel in Broadbeach. It’s 5 minutes on the tram or bus into Surfers and worst case scenario it’s a half hour walk…up the beach. That way if she absolutely must go into Surfers this weekend it will be easy to get there and because Broadbeach is not as swamped by Schoolies as Surfers Paradise, they can avoid alot of the crowds.
- Be aware of the Schoolies only zones. During Schoolies week, school leavers get issued with wristbands that identify them as Schoolies. The council and event organisers have fenced off a large portion of the beach at Surfers Paradise for Schoolies only, to keep them safe from predators…which most certainly do exist. Schoolies week is a magnet for perverted men looking to take advantage of drunk underage girls…and boys ! That aside, some of Surfers Paradise is not acessible to the rest of us. This is a great opportunity to travel out of the hub… try Main Beach or Tugan.
- Bars & clubs. This week is the first week of Schoolies in which the majority of school leavers are under 18. Queensland schoolies are a year younger than in other states who will fly up next week. This means the night clubs and bars won’t be as full as you think. I lived in Surfers for many years and all the schoolies who are too young to enter bars just congregate in groups down side streets to drink before heading into the alcohol free party zone in Surfers Paradise.
- This is another reason to explore Broadbeach. Broadbeach has plenty of bars, nightclubs, restaurants and shopping to keep you happy and entertained on your weekend away. You are not missing out on any of the fun, in fact, you will have more fun because you won’t be inundated with young drunk girls flashing there bits or young drunk boys yelling ‘MILF’ as they ogle past you…unless of course that is your kind of thing.
- Be nice. If you are staying in Surfers this weekend then yes, the schoolies are crazy and may seem to be pests to locals and paying visitors, but remember some of these teenagers are incredibly vulnerable because they think they are adults. They think this is freedom. However Schoolies get critically injured every year. They fall of balconies, get intoxicated and end up in the emergency ward. Many young girls are taken advantage of by older predators. Thank God for the Red Frog team that volunteer their time to support these young people. There are countless other volunteers who patrol the streets in Surfers Paradise to support schoolies in trouble. It is important to keep this in mind when you see someone behaving out of control… don’t turn away, keep an eye out for them or alert a volunteer. They will ride electric bikes and scooters recklassly on footpaths and roads. They will walk in front of trams. We just have to keep our eyes out for them this one week of the year.
Remember, Schoolies is only really big for a couple of weeks, so if you can not change your holiday plans, you will still love what the Gold Coast has to offer…the beaches, the hinterland and countless restaurants and shopping galore! If you need any tips or advice this schoolies week, drop me a line… If you have words of advice for unknowing tourists to our city…post them below 🙂