When we planned to fly into Brisbane and hop a train to the Gold Coast we had never heard of the phenomenon aptly titled "Schoolies".
Boy, were we in for a treat. An hour or two after touching down in Brisbane we hopped off a public bus and drug our suitcases roughly three blocks (yes, uphill both ways, no snow though - sweltering heat actually) past hundreds of baby-faced kiddos.
Momentarily blinded by the abundance of high-waisted booty shorts, crop tops and Vans we checked into our hotel and asked what the HECK was going on.
You see, our silly friends down under graduate high school in November (as they enter their summer). And instead of going on "spring break" halfway through their last semester as us yanks do, they go to "Schoolies" after graduation.
Did I mention the legal drinking age is 18 down under? Cue two American 20somethin amidst a sea of fresh-faced, albeit shit-faced, Aussies. I will say, it was probably, hands down, the BEST people watching I've ever experienced in my life.
Just like American Spring Break, everyone had shirts made (singlets, in Aussie'ism). It took a lot of willpower not to get our own done. A LOT.
After being guests in friends' parents' home and then crashing at a hostel, it was nice to finally enjoy the luxuries of a hotel. Like room service, maids, and a balcony with a view.
We spent a lot of time drinking. People-watching and drinking. Getting hit on by 18 year olds. It was an experience for sure. Got tipped off by a very not-ugly security guard that open-containers were frowned upon. Proceeded to drink wine out of Sprite bottles, filled up said Sprite bottles in port-o-potties outside the liquor store, made friends, drank Bundy with our new friends on the beach til the wee horus of the morning, burying every bottle we emptied.
Hey.... while at Schoolies, do as the Schoolies do - right!?
Have no fear, we didn't waste three days down under doing nothing but boozing. We also canoodling koalas.
Highly recommend Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Awesome experience! We saw kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, koalas, a ton of birds, wombats, and more.
(big snakes down under)
We boarded a VERY crowded city bus to head back to the train station. There were a LOT of hungover kiddies on board, and we just sat giggling, glad it was them and not us!