Pacific Fair

Thursday Special : Tall…

In 1977 Pacific Fair opened it’s doors and became the iconic shopping centre on the Gold Coast.

surfers pac fair casino burleigh beach pc 047_4000x3000

Tourists travelled from around the world to experience this new style of shopping.

But in the last decade new shopping centres have opened, modern and up to date, they eclipsed Pacific Fair. In contrast it looked drab and dated. So in 2014 a multi million dollar redevelopment started. The first stage opened late in 2015.

This is the new look…

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So what has this got to do with “tall” the theme for this weeks challenge from Paula at “Lost in translation”?

Well I went for wander round the new and improved “Pac Fair” and I found these very tall, rather old-fashioned looking, ladies strangely promoting the new look stores.

Evandale Lake hi rise 001_2448x3264

The final stage of the redevelopment is due to open later this year. I imagine it will be with lots of fan-fare and I will be there, camera in hand, to see what they have spent all the money on…

Categories: Goldcoast, Pacific Fair, photos, tall, Thursday Special, travel | Tags: , , , , , | 21 Comments

Gold Coast Icons,

Change is inevitable. I look around and see it happening. So before these Icons have gone and been replaced with bigger and better (often debatable) I decided to take my camera for a ride on the light rail/ to Surfers Paradise and walk around to show you what is here at the moment.


This is Pacific Fair at Broadbeach. It opened in 1977 and at that time grew to be the major shopping centre on the Gold Coast. It was the jewel in the crown and a major tourist attraction.

“Pacific Fair opened in 1977 on what was swampland with just 96 specialty stores and two anchor tenants. Since then, Pacific Fair has undergone numerous expansions and grew to have more than 300 specialty stores and four anchor tenants.” (Wikipedia)

But gradually new shopping precincts opened. Robina muscled into the market. Brighter, bigger and all air-conditioned it made Pacific Fair look tired and out dated.

 So in January 2014, work began on a major redevelopment project to meet the predicted regional growth on the Gold Coast. Shoppers will be lured back to ‘bricks and mortar’ retailers from online shopping when the $670 million transformation of Pacific Fair is complete.

Take a look at what is coming….

Click on the following link for a fly-through of the proposed revamp.


This is the new look. What do you think? I prefer the previous frontage, as seen in the top photo. I think it has character and a certain style. This new (improved?) look to me is just a generic clone of commercial buildings, all square and chunky, no finesse…

Just a short stroll along the highway, negotiating the crossings and avoiding the trains, is Jupiter’s Casino.


Jupiter’s Casino was opened in 1986 and has had 2 major renovations in 2006 and 2012.

The seven acre complex includes eight bars, seven restaurants, conference facilities, a ballroom, theatre, health spa, gym, and a monorail which connects the property to the Oasis Shopping Centre across the road. The hotel, with 594 rooms, stands 66 metres (216 feet) and has 21 floors.

But look what is coming…

This is an artists impression of the 6 star hotel complex that is to be built.

JUPITERS Hotel & Casino is embracing the great outdoors with work on the first stage of its $345 million transformation finally under way.  It is expected to be finished before the 2018 Commonwealth Games start.

I hop back onto the G. Link and hop off again at Surfers Paradise, a 5 minute ride.


Across the road is the famous “Hard Rock Café” sign, but a sign of the times is the “for lease” sign in the window. Business has been hard for the traders in this area as the light rail took 3 years of disruption to construct and many shops simply closed the doors and walked away.


Caville Avenue is the main pedestrian shopping and tourist mall in Surfers Paradise, but look how empty and quiet it is. The beach is just at the end of this mall.


Mid-week and it is almost deserted. This is the iconic sign that must feature in millions of photos that go around the world.

The yellow life savers hut, yellow and red flags marking the safe to swim areas and the life savers on duty are icons I hope will never change.

Remember it is still winter,  the weather is glorious, but where are all the people…

Time to head back home…

This is Burleigh Beach and this is where the people are, well a few,  look at all the sun bathers…


Back home and a walk along Burleigh Beach. In the distance, across the sparkling ocean, the iconic outline of the hi-rises of Surfers Paradise line the horizon. The highest spike, in the centre of the row of buildings is Q1. Last week we visited it and from the top viewing deck could see all the way to this beach. But already there are plans in the pipe line to build another apartment block even higher than Q1.

So change is inevitable…

Well here I am, it is Monday and I am joining Jo’s Monday cyber walking group. I made it on the day, just…


Categories: Australia, beach, Burleigh, Goldcoast, Jo's Monday walks, Pacific Fair, photos, Queensland, Surfer's Paradise | Tags: , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Let’s go shopping…

A couple of months ago I introduced you to Pacific Fair shopping centre, opened in 1977 it was known as the jewel in the crown of the Goldcoast.(click here to see photos of Pacific Fair) Now it is becoming a bit old and tired looking and a new kid on the block is attracting the tourists to spend their money in air-conditioned comfort.

So let me introduce you to (drum roll please…) Robina Town Centre….

Robina shopping centre

Robina shopping centre

Robina shopping centre

Robina shopping centre

Robina shopping centre

Robina shopping centre

Robina is the new up-market shopping centre that is rapidly overtaking Pacific Fair as the place to shop .

The design is very different, where Pacific Fair is a village atmosphere, walkways, shrubs and gardens all open to the vagaries of the weather. Robina is all enclosed and air-conditioned. In an upgrade 6 years ago a major extension was added to double the number of shops. Now there are 350 retail outlets all under the one roof.Every thing you could need will be found here. They added the iconic Australian department store, David Jones, bringing competition to the already existing Myers. A large food hall and numerous other restaurants and cafes will satisfy the inner man or woman and a cinema complex is available for your entertainment.

The arrival of new exclusive, up-market and very expensive international fashion boutiques, all in one glitzy and glamorous arcade added a 5 star shopping experience. The atmosphere of Robina is relaxed, air-conditioned comfort for you to wander through two levels of temptation.

I had an early morning appointment in Robina so I took my camera and the opportunity to take pictures before the shops opened and the crowds arrived…

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The other difference is the location chosen to build the complexes. Where as Pacific Fair is in the tourist hub near holiday apartments, Casino, beach and on the main Goldcoast highway. Robina chose to locate the centre in the suburbs. In 1996 when it opened it stood alone in a great expanse of empty subdivisions, it had plenty of room to expand. Now it is a booming, desirable place to live. All the empty spaces are filled with houses or apartments. Business and commercial centres and a large modern hospital have grown here in the past 16 years. A railway runs from here direct to Brisbane, the capital of Queensland. Lakes wind along the outside and attractive, landscaped walkways provide biking and walking facilities.

Pacific Fair was built for the tourists. Robina is built for the locals, and by default the tourists have found it. So after a slow start when the pundits said  it wouldn’t take off, it now booms and has become a shopping mecca and more popular than Pacific Fair, that fading jewel in the crown.

Cinema complex

Cinema complex

Landscaped lake and walkways

Landscaped lake and walkways

Apartments on the lake

Apartments on the lake

Maybe you would prefer a lakeside home

Maybe you would prefer a lakeside home

So let the battle begin. Pacific Fair, with a budget of $55 million is now set to reclaim its status as the jewel in the crown in the next few years. Watch this space.

Which ever centre you prefer they are both worth visiting.

Categories: Australia, Goldcoast, Pacific Fair, Queensland, Robina Town Centre | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge : Geometry (2) more photos of Pacific Fair…

I completed the previous post late at night and thought I had up loaded a slide show. Some how it did not happen, the gremlins must’ve made a late night visit to my computer.

So I will try again…

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I have tried to capture the laid-back, holiday atmosphere of this shopping centre.

When they start the big make-over I do hope they do not make it too ritzy. I like the present village style.

What style of shopping centres do you enjoy the most?







Categories: Australia, geometry, Pacific Fair, photos, slide show, Weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge : Geometry

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….

Pacific Fair on the canal (photo compliments Google images)

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.

Geometric ceiling with xmas decorations

See the next post for a slide show of Pacific Fair…

Categories: Australia, geometry, Pacific Fair, travel, Weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , | 13 Comments

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