Gold Coast welcomes Games

Alexandra Patrikios

Sun, surf and Sally - that's how the Gold Coast welcomed the Commonwealth Games.

At the closing ceremony of the Glasgow Games, the Australian tourist hot-spot put its favourite athlete, natural wonders and surfer cred front and centre during the official flag handover ceremony.

With the grey Glasgow sky hanging over Hampden Park, the ceremony promised the next Commonwealth Games would be one of sun-kissed beaches and rising swells.

"The Gold Coast is my home and my inspiration - nothing beats it," world champion surfer Mick Fanning told the 36,000-strong crowd.

"Anything is possible, even 300 days of sunshine every year."

After greeting the crowd with an obligatory "g'day", pop princess Jessica Mauboy had the crowd of athletes dancing when she gave an encore of her upbeat Eurovision anthem, Sea of Flags.

Two days after she took home gold in the 100m hurdles on the ground, track queen Sally Pearson then helped welcome the Friendly Games to her home turf.

"Come on down to where Australia shines," she said.

"Just say Sally invited you."

The region's natural wonders were also showcased in a video montage of the Australian outback, pristine beaches and even a digital flock of rainbow lorikeets - the GC's spray-tanned meter maids evidently told to stay home.

The 21st Games would do their best to follow Glasgow's success with high quality competition while providing the added bonus of "golden beaches and blue skies", Queensland's Commonwealth Games Minister Jann Stuckey said.

Earlier in the night, Commonwealth Games Federation President Prince Imran Tunku of Malaysia had told a cheering crowd Glasgow 2014 was the "the best Games ever".

In four years, the world will find out if the Gold Coast can go one better.