Schoolies, the trashy coming-of-age of every Australian highschool student graduating Year 12, is undergoing a significant cultural shift according to travel operators.
The Telegraph reports that the spiritual home of the event, The Gold Coast, has taken a beating in popularity, with 25% less bookings than in previous years. So where are all the tanked-up teens going, then?
The answer, it seems, is to our island cousins in the North. Both Fiji and Bali have skyrocketed in popularity as destinations – and it’s pretty understandable why; cheap booze and rent, no Aussie cops, endless beaches and cray-cray nightlife. But parents, perhaps spurred by the recent arrest and imprisonment of a local teenager in Bali for posession of marijuana, aren’t taking any chances:
“The parents of many schoolies had been to Bali before and often wanted to return, and [a specialist travel agent] had heard of some checking in to a resort ‘down the road’ to keep an eye on their kids.”
Fun, you guys! That’s almost enough to ruin the trip – specifically designed to get away from parents- in the first place. Perhaps more worrying is how much cashola is being spent on these events – overseas travel is a big step up from the humble Sunshine Coast, regardless of price hikes. Besides, where schoolies go, ‘toolies’ will surely follow. It’s a recipe for disaster, and we’re pretty sure we’re in Indonesia’s bad books already. Expect many unfortunate headlines over December.