Will Schoolies Week Affect Our Holiday

by Elizabeth
(New Zealand)

How will Schoolies Week affect our planned holiday in Gold Coast?

We have discovered that we will be on the Gold Coast during schoolies week.

We are a couple in our 50's. We have won this trip and can't change it.

We are staying at Palazzo Versace for the first few days and then transfering to the Marrakesh Apartments.

My question is, will we be affected very much and do you have any advice for a couple of oldies in how to survive our time there.


Elizabeth, what a bittersweet prize. Actually, we survive on the Gold Coast each year through schoolies quite well! Last year, I think I only saw them driving around in stretch limos on the first Friday and Saturday night! That was our cue to stay out of Surfers Paradise!


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Okay, firstly, I don't think you will have much problem with Palazzo Versace - it is a six star, absolutely fantastic hotel and I don't think they would put up with any schoolies shananigans! And if there was any trouble, I think hotel management would sort it out pretty quickly.

Palazzo Versace is right next door to Marina Mirage, which has some fantastic and up market boutique shopping and restaurants. You may find some of the schoolies there during the day checking things out, but really I don't think there will be much trouble there either... though a few might be coming for their chocolate fix at Max Brenners ;-). My point in say this is that, you will have places to eat in both Palazzo Versace and popping next door to Marina Mirage or over the road to the Sheraton Mirage. All these places I am sure will not tolerate any difficult behaviours.

The Marrakesh Apartments are technically in Surfers Paradise, but are actually almost in Broadbeach, so quite out of the main central area of Surfers Paradise which is pretty much the schoolies zone! I have just emailed the apartments to find out if they have schoolie bookings as that will give you an idea. From the way they pitch their apartments they seem to be more upmarket than schoolies would choose.

Annie Update: Marrakesh Apartments do NOT accept bookings from schoolies - so you should be schoolie free in that accommodation!

So, how do you survive Schoolies on the Gold Coast? My suggestions are AVOID Surfers Paradise in particular Cavill Mall area and the beachfront close to the mall. They set up a schoolies zone on the beach, which is where they do the entertainment.

They pretty much keep to this area, they are usually "busy" with their new found freedom and don't venture too far! They don't drive anywhere except maybe to the theme parks during the day, but are more likely to be on public transport or shuttle buses.

During this time on the Gold Coast, I would avoid public transport or anything that is cheap! That is where you will find the schoolies! Probably give Pacific Fair shopping centre and Harbour Town a miss too. These are probably not really bad, but I would avoid them myself!

So, where to go instead? Lots of great places - further north or further south than Surfers. You could visit:

  • Sanctuary Cove in the north Gold Coast. It is an exclusive village and residential enclave built around a marina. The village centre has lot of fantastic restaurants and cafes and boutique shops which if you like Marina Mirage you will like Sanctuary Cove! There's also golf courses up there as well as at Hope Island.

  • Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary - you can cuddle a koala, feed kangaroos and see lots of interesting Australian animals here and the shows are great.

  • Various walks along the coast such as The Spit (near Versace),Burleigh Heads National Park, Currumbin, Tallebudgera Creek and Coolangatta to the south.

  • Day trips to places like Mt Tamborine, O'Reillys or Lamington National Park (but NOT Byron Bay - because they have their own schoolies!)

  • Enjoy some pampering in the Day Spa at Versace!

  • Another of my favourites is Tropical Fruit World - interesting and informative, you learn about different tropical fruits and their uses. They have an excellent testing session where you get to sample fruits in season fresh from the trees. In November you might get to test two of my real favourites... Champagne Fruit and Chocolate Pudding Fruit!

  • At night you could go to the latest show at Jupiters Check out all the live entertainment for Gold Coast.

  • Another evening option is Australian Outback Spectacular Show. Nightly shows need to be booked in advance and I would recommend getting transport to and from both these locations.

Those are a few suggestions, I am sure I can think of many more. But the rule of thumb to survive the Gold Coast during schoolies is avoid Surfers Paradise especially at night.

I hope that has helped. If you have any more questions or need any clarification leave a comment below or contact me personally via the contact page.

PS:: I hope you do have a fantastic time and I would love to hear how you go, if you wouldn't mind popping back and leaving us an update. It is always good to hear other people's experiences.

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Nov 06, 2010
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Thank you
by: Elizabeth

Thank you very much for the information. I will certainly get back to you after our holiday and let you know how it turned out. Thanks very much for the excellent advice.

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