Park the car and walk
One of the highlights for me is to visit Swell Sculpture Festival before it officially opens, usually the day before while they are setting up. I can decide which exhibits I like and want to photograph. I don’t know about you but if I can avoid the crowds I will.
Love this Exhibit, it always looks different depending on the wind directions
Dates: September 12th – 21st 2014 – 10 days and nights of viewing open 24/7
Below are a couple of photos I took the day before Swell Sculpture Festival started.
Unfortunately not everyone has that privilege, but none the less there are a few things you can do to minimise the crowds. Another issue is parking; this can be a challenge at Currumbin Beach on a beautiful day anytime of the year… however during the Swell Festival it quadruples.
The good news is if you live on the Gold Coast you have choices, unlike our poor day trippers who come in droves from Brisbane or south from the Byron region.
I’m not going to repeat information already prepared by Swell you can go to this link for up to date information.
This Google Map will give you an idea of the locations and places you may be able to park your vehicle and walk the rest of the way to Currumbin Beach. From Palm Beach Parklands walking through Tarrabora Reserve and onto the Beree Badalla Boardwalk and across Thrower Bridge, along Duringan Street to Currumbin Beach is around 12 Km. This isn’t for everyone only those who want to combine a walk and enjoying the festival.
Walk to the event
Because walking is my thing and a lot of my readers feel the same way, I’m going to suggest a couple of routes to save you some hassles, hopefully with parking your car and additionally enjoying the full experience of the location. Fortunately most will not plan to walk any distance they will prefer to park or be dropped off at the location, so this usually means there are opportunities to park your car if you are prepared to use foot power.
To start with make sure you have a Sun hat to protect your head and neck. Put plenty of sunscreen on exposed areas, shoulders, arms and legs etc.
A bottle of water is a must; there are a number of places where you can fill it up without resorting to buying a bottle of water.
Take a backpack with some snacks if you decide to go in the middle of the day the cafes can be very busy.
Best times to visit to avoid the crowds
- Sunrise is the best time to visit, and you probably will get a park close by. The downside is the program for the event is only available at official opening times 9am – 5pm.
- Some of the Cafe may have copies, I will up date if required.
- Late afternoon early evening can be a good time, usually when people are looking to eat… it gets quieter.
Later in the evening when the Twilight Tours have finished, you can enjoy the unique atmosphere of Swell at night; the exhibits under artificial lighting take on a whole new feel.
These maps below are prepared for walkers.
Map – North
It is suggested on Swell’s site to park at Palm Beach Parklands, you may get a park but this area is very busy during the weekends and in the middle of the day. Take a good look at the map you may get a park on the Gold Coast Hwy or the Public Jetty parking area by Thrower Bridge or along ….Palm Beach Currumbin High School (PBC) which is Thrower Drive. Don’t try on a Saturday morning the Farmer’s Market is open till midday at PBC.
This map is from Palm Beach Parklands and overlaps onto the next map over Thrower Bridge and Duringan Street, Currumbin
Depending on where you park your car. If you are near Palm Beach Parklands you can walk through some beautiful bushland along the Palm Beach Currumbin Estuary and onto the boardwalk that comes out at the Public Jetty Parking area by Thrower Bridge, from here cross the bridge take a left and following Currumbin Creek to the beach front where Swell starts.
This map follows the route along Duringan Street to Currumbin Beach and the Swell Sculpture Festival
The northern option I think is the best, it’s a long walk but we walkers like a challenge…
Map – South – check the Google Map
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Car Park
- Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, a National Trust of Queensland property, encourage visitors to use their car park and it’s just a short 400m stroll to Swell.
- A flat rate parking charge of $8 will be collected, valid for a full day at Currumbin with all proceeds going to support the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation – Swell Sculpture Festival’s Charity of Choice. Information from this link
- Park along Teemangum Street and adjoining streets, however there are limited options.
Getting something to eat
There are a number of options on the Swell website, however you can always head south to Tugun Village or north to Palm Beach both locations have a variety of quirky cafes to satisfy every taste.