Life in a tourist town

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 Permalink

Three months have passed since I moved into my esplanade apartment at Hervey Bay, and I have just survived my first holiday period as a local* amongst a throng of holidaymakers.

viewThe biggest fear I had about my choice of ‘home’ was that – my esplanade view and lovely modern accomodations would be counteracted by living in an apartment complex which would possibly be home to noisy holidaymakers on a regular basis.

I’m not, you see, the most (ahem) tolerant of people… so I had visions of myself screaming at drunken tenants partying at 1am or devil-possessed children frolicking about our complex pool.

But, I have to confess – it hasn’t been as bad as I expected.

Sure there were the guys in the apartment below me trying to channel Freddy Mercury before dinner one night; and there were a few badly behaved children in the pool – torturing siblings or crying hysterically about some world crisis or another. (Bloody little sooks!) And of course, the place in general has being busier than usual with overflowing caravan parks and beachside apartments.

But, on the whole… it was quite pleasant to see my new home AND hometown being enjoyed by so many visitors.

The people-watching is surprisingly interesting and has the potential to be quite exciting. Like Hotel. Or Adventure Island. Or Melrose Place. Or similar.**

poolI got a giggle out of a couple of oldies who seemed to strike up a bit of a romance friendship at the poolside. And smiled every time another guest headed off to the local pier with his fishing rod and supplies (and came home empty-handed); proud that my new hometown offered such simple pleasures.

And then there’s the opportunity to chuckle in a smug superior manner when visitors do those silly things that cause we locals to roll our eyes. “Tourists!” we groan.

And now… school’s back in and the Vacancy signs are again littering the esplanade as the holidaymakers have headed back to their own part of the world.

Although I haven’t been too disrupted by our visitors, I must confess I much prefer having the place and the town to ‘ourselves’ again.

There’ll be no more queueing for a table at the Boat Club for a while, no need to book at pub down the road and no need for patience at the overflowing playgrounds. And the supermarkets will again (mostly***) belong to we locals.

* I grew up nearby so feel I can call myself a local despite having only lived here for thee months!
** There could be a TV series in this!
*** I say mostly because I DO live in a beachside town so there are always a few overseas tourists and weekend vacationers here.

PS. Am showing my age and channeling The Dream Academy’s Life in a Northern Town in the title. In case you didn’t get the way-too-clever reference!

And your thoughts…Tourists: love em or hate em?

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT (I blog on Tuesdays)!

26 Comments
  • Kellie
    February 5, 2013

    I hate tourist – I live on the Gold Coast and this place is unbearable during most holidays and esp at christmas time. There’s no carparks, the shopping malls are humming and everyone is in holiday mode so they are sloooooow at everything – when I’m in a hurry to get somewhere.
    And I live in an apartment to – the pool is full of screaming kids. Thank goodness its back to normal…..

    • Debbish
      February 6, 2013

      Kellie, I actually lived at the Gold Coast for 6mths or so back in 1990 or so (was working for the then Brisbane Bears AFL team!) but never really liked it or felt settled. Like a tourist town on steroids!

  • Janet @ Redland City Living
    February 5, 2013

    We don’t tend to see too many tourists in this neck of the woods – only if we head into the City (Brisbane) and Gold Coast which I hardly ever do!

    • Debbish
      February 8, 2013

      Hi Janet (had to save your comment from spam, not sure why as you don’t mention shoes or handbags or viagra!!!). When I lived in Brissy and worked in the city I both loved and hated school holidays. I loved it cos the traffic was far better, but hated it cos the footpaths were packed with dawdling holiday-makers. (See what I mean about not being very tolerant?!)

      Deb

  • iSophie
    February 5, 2013

    I live in Richmond Tas, and if you have ever been here you will understand. Weekends are a nightmare! I want to go to -my- bakery whenever I want.. not queue for 30mins!!

    #teamIBOT

    • Debbish
      February 6, 2013

      Hi Sophie, thanks for visiting. I’ve never been to Richmond but guess I can kinda imagine.

      It wasn’t until this recent experience I realised that I was feeling a bit ‘smug’ about the tourists and had a bit of an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ mentality. (Though not in a really bad way!)

  • Karen
    February 5, 2013

    I lived in a tourist town in Florida for two years, the town doubled in population in the winter time with all the ‘snow birds’ trying to escape from the north! It is definitely annoying that all of a sudden there a huge lines at your favourite restaurant, or no parking at the beach, but I was a waitress then, and tourists meant BIG TIPS!! So I can’t complain!! x Karen

    • Debbish
      February 6, 2013

      True Karen and I am conscious that a lot of businesses here at Hervey Bay are reliant on tourist dollars, so it’s a good thing. It also means better services etc for the rest of us as businesses HAVE to cater for fussy tourists who bring that extra money into the community!

  • Rach
    February 5, 2013

    I have never lived in a tourist town though ironically found myself incredibly annoyed by some tourists in paris who were being abusive to a waiter who brought them raw meat after they ordered steak tartare.

    • Debbish
      February 6, 2013

      Hee hee! Yes, ignorant tourists are the worst. When I’ve travelled I’ve tried to be considerate of the ‘locals’ conscious that I’m on their turf! (They have to live there, I’m just visiting!)

  • @Kanga_Rue
    February 5, 2013

    Pickle was obviously going to show the other kids up 😉

    Now if all the visitors looked like the latest two arrivals, I’d certainly have no complaints! (Any more sightings?)

    • Debbish
      February 6, 2013

      Think they went to Fraser Island the next morning and only stayed the night.

      If I could convince the owners / managers of my complex to only rent to single heterosexual males between 35 – 50 it’d be far more fun! 😉

  • Robyn (@slightly_deep)
    February 5, 2013

    I live in a town that gets a bit crazy over Easter and I don’t love it- but I do love what it does for the local economy 🙂 I’m a little jealous of your awesome new digs though!

    • Debbish
      February 6, 2013

      Oh yes Robyn, my place is gorgeous and RIGHT on the water (which was interesting during the recent cyclone!). I’m very lucky to have such a gorgeous vista and lovely apartment.

      And I completely agree re the economic benefit tourists bring!

  • Katy Potaty
    February 6, 2013

    We’ve just moved back to Urangan (lived here for 6 months a year or so ago), and I’m LOVING being back.
    We’re staying a resort-ish complex up Elizabeth Street, but wish we could find a beautiful furnished place that didn’t cost the equivalent to an inner-city apartment!
    Are the seawall reconstructions annoying you at all?

    • Debbish
      February 6, 2013

      How exciting that you’re a local! We’ll definitely have to meet.

      I have to admit I’m enjoying the ‘place’ far more than I thought I would. I worried it would be a bit rough or feral and I’d struggle to settle in, but (other than a few hiccups – like finding a gym with dance classes) I’ve been happy!

  • Kyla @ Three Quarters Full
    February 6, 2013

    I’m on the Gold Coast and we did the whole move from a 3 bedroom house slightly further out and into a 2 bedroom apartment 500m from the sea thing. Not quite the esplanade but close enough and it hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be either. We’re not on one of the most touristy beaches (well not one that attracts drunken twenty-somethings anyhow) so that does make it easier but surf season is a pain in the backside. I like the life we have here but, yeah, like you I like it better when the tourists go.

    • Debbish
      February 8, 2013

      Yes Kyla, I have to say it’s much nicer now that the town has quietened down. I even love driving into our underground carpark and only seeing a car or two there. During Christmas ALL the parks were full!

  • EssentiallyJess
    February 6, 2013

    Not a fan of tourists. I stay out of Darwin city in the dry season. But then I don’t really go there anyway… 🙂

    • Debbish
      February 8, 2013

      Jess, I think I’ve mentioned on comments to your blog that I used to visit in Darwin when I lived in East Timor so I remember it was pretty touristy! A bit like Cairns, though not as bad as the Gold Coast!

  • Marleisa
    February 6, 2013

    Jealous!!! I hope to also one day ‘live’ in a holiday destination!!

    • Debbish
      February 8, 2013

      Hi Marleisa and I guess I really am quite lucky aren’t I?! I do remind myself of that when I look out at my lovely view! I’m enjoying it here far more than I thought I would.

      Deb

  • Mel
    February 6, 2013

    I have a sneaking suspicion that I stayed in your complex a few years ago! We had the most amazing apartment overlooking the pool that had an awesome spa & a kitchenette.
    There IS a certain smugness in being a local in a tourist area!

    • Debbish
      February 8, 2013

      Yes, I do like the smugness Mel! (I so rarely get to feel it!!!)

      How weird if you stayed here! There are 17 units in the complex (No 17 being the Penthouse – on the market for a cool $1.5M if you are interested!).

  • Neen
    February 23, 2013

    I LOVE YOUR PLACE! Gorgeous view of the pool. I can’t remember, did you buy it or just renting? It’s a keeper!

    • Debbish
      February 25, 2013

      I bought. It’s small, but I didn’t want to have a mortgage so downsized. Plus I moved to a smaller place (only about 50,000 peeps I think).

I'd love to hear your thoughts