On Friday we went to Pacific Fair the iconic shopping centre on the Goldcoast. When I arrived home after a day of photographing and trying to capture the images, structure and atmosphere of the place I opened my e-mail and found the Weekly Photo Challenge was Geometry, perfect….
The Goldcoast is one of the most visited cities in Australia. It has sun, sand, sea, shopping, theme parks, casino, canals and every activity you could dream of. The weather is a perfect sub-tropical climate and the bonus is the “green behind the gold” (in media speak). The hinterland is the beautiful Lamington National Park a cool rainforest environment with streams and waterfalls, eucalypt forest, extensive walking tracks and picnic and camping grounds.
It wasn’t always this paradise. In the 1950’s it was a swamp, with a few small fishing shacks along the beach-front. Men with vision changed all this when they dredged a system of canals and drained the swamp. The Goldcoast grew quickly, hotels, motels soon gave way to hi-rise buildings and the iconic sky-line bristled with cranes through the boom years of the 1970’s and 80’s. The Goldcoast became an emerging super star on the tourism stage
In 1977 Pacific Fair shopping centre opened with much fan-fare. It was called the jewel in the Goldcoast crown and became a tourist shopping mecca. It was huge, over 130 stores, Myers department store with 3 floors of glitz and glamour, countless, cafes and coffee bars and a cinema complex.The unique new design in shopping centres had a village atmosphere, trees, shrubs, palms and raised garden beds lined the walkways. Alleyways threaded through the shops, small boutiques and cafes led to the Arcade a large, air-conditioned, 2 floor building of more shops a food hall and Myers.
Almost every female tourist that came to the Goldcoast put shopping at Pacific Fair at the top of her to-do list.
That was then. Today, 35 years later Pacific Fair is starting to look dated and tired, like an aging super star she needs a face lift.
That is just what is going to happen. To the tune of $580 million over the next 4 years Pacific Fair will receive a complete make over. The Goldcoast will host the Commonwealth games in 2018 and the makeover is timed to capture the expected influx of tourists.
It is going to change from a village atmosphere to a resort style complex and will be the third largest shopping complex in Australia.
I decided that I would try to capture Pacific Fair as it is now before the construction gangs move in.
See the next post for a slide show of Pacific Fair…