Hi, we've just had 3 weeks on the gold coast, having stayed with friends in Mermaid Waters. I have to say a few people said that the gold coast was like Blackpool, but nicer, but having lived in blackpool and now live next door to it, I can't agree that its like Blackpool. Yes there are a couple of strips with the usual 'tat' shops, but you get that in any tourist destination. It didn't put me off and we certainly intend to settle there shortly. We'll be looking at Mermaid Beach/Waters, Broadbeach areas - close to the beach/waterways, parks, shops etc.