Sunday, November 17, 2013

Exploring the Commercial Hub of Southport (Gold Coast)

1935 wasn't a kind year for Australia. A fleet of 141 perished when a cyclone struck the western coast of Broome. But it wasn't all gloom. Qantas made its first international commercial flight to Singapore. The country's Associated Press was founded. In Queensland, with the influx of business and tourism, Southport Town Hall was constructed (see above).

Designed in its Art Deco style, the hall became the "talking point" in the progressive suburb.

These days, its listed among the country's heritage sites. In fact, amid the soaring skyscrapers of the city, the Town Hall seems delectably out of place in the mercantile epicenter of Nerang Street. This was one of the sights to visit in this decidedly modern commune, fraught with an admixture of modern design and local convenience.

Yes, there's even the Daily Asian Supermarket, a traditional Asian shop selling Korean food stuff, Chinese herbs, Japanese noodles, Indian curries and products common in Asian capitals. Kopiko, anyone?

But I am getting ahead of myself. After crossing the bridge to The Spit and back, it was high time to explore the commercial hub of the CBD, far from the excited glare of tourists.

The famous shopping center everyone calls Australia Fair lives here, a mall like most, with cineplexes, grocery, garment and souvenir shops, and food stations. There was an Eye Center, Sundale Motel for the cash-strapped backpacker, and a street humorously named "One Short Street". Is there a long one?

There were places of worship too: Uniting Church and St. Peter's Anglican Centre; the town library right across the impressive Southport Central; an entertainment complex (RBS) fielding Chippendale-style male revues, among others. Like anywhere in the Gold Coast, there's always a park nearby, with its resident odd-bird roaming the green field of the Jack Cronin Rotary Park. If you're desperate for more of the greens and sunshine, just hop across the highway for the Broadwater Parkland.

The Shores is a mixed use property with shops (below) and residential units.

Bella Donna and Paris Fashion Cafe

$89 rooms in a motel at the Sundale.

A pensive spot at the Jack Cronin Rotary Park just across The Shores.

The resident odd avian at the deserted park.

Beautifully symmetrical crown makes for a great canopy.

Australia Fair Shopping Centre

There's a "short street".

Connaught Centre

Captain James Cook's "Voyage of Discovery" as he explored the eastern rim of Australia from north to south.

The central island of Nerang Street has an on-going construction of, I believe, the LRT trains.

Southport Town Hall

St. Peter's Anglican Centre (above and below)

The unimpressive Court House.

BMW's and the Southport Central looming tall at the background.


It's hard not to notice Southport Central.

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