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Gold Coast, QLD

The Gold Coast (see video below – 3:38), south of Brisbane, is a holiday destination of wonderful contrasts – from the sophistication of Main Beach, the glamour of Surfers Paradise, action-packed theme parks and wildlife sanctuaries to championship golf courses, fabulous shopping and rainforest wonderlands right at the back door!

Known For:

  • Long sandy beaches, surfing spots and inland canals
  • Glitzy nightlife, restaurants and cafe scene
  • Theme parks, and family-friendly holidays

Queensland’s iconic Gold Coast is a sweeping 70 kilometre stretch of coastline, that offers more than 40 patrolled beaches during peak holiday seasons that are among the best in the world. The beachfront esplanades of vibrant centres like Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Burleigh Heads, Palm Beach and Coolangatta, invite you to sit back, relax and soak up the fun and holiday atmosphere.

Surfers Paradise was once just a massive stretch of world-beating surf. Today, the surf is still there but with many additions: high-rise accommodation, giant theme parks, exotic nightlife, countless restaurants and 300 days of sunshine a year. No wonder they call it ‘the coast with the most’.

The sweeping coastline and its stunning array of beaches are a major drawcard. Palm Beach, Rainbow Bay, Mermaid Beach and Surfers Paradise are some of the alluring names given to surfing beaches, all which offer soft golden sand, rolling waves and the opportunity for a perfect suntan.

Gold Coast, Australia

The Gold Coast region of south-east Queensland beckons travelers with its unique blend of sun, surf, and sophistication. Here, the radiant sunshine illuminates a tale of transformation, where humble origins have flourished into a vibrant tapestry of contemporary delights.

A Glimpse into the Past

Nestled between the rolling waves of the Pacific Ocean and the lush hinterland, the Gold Coast’s history unfolds like the pages of a riveting novel. Originally inhabited by the Indigenous Yugambeh people for thousands of years, the region remained undiscovered by the western world until the late 18th century when Captain James Cook charted this pristine coastline.

The Gold Coast’s story took a turn in the 19th century when it became a bustling center for timber-getting and farming. With the fertile soils and the glistening Nerang River, the region’s natural wealth attracted intrepid pioneers. However, it was not until the early 20th century that the area began to truly emerge as a holiday destination.

A Metamorphosis into Modernity

Fast forward to the mid-20th century, and the Gold Coast QLD began to unveil its true potential. Surf culture became ingrained in the fabric of the region, as surfers from around the world flocked to ride the legendary breaks that adorned its shores. But it wasn’t just the waves that brought a tide of change.

Gold Coast QLD 1970s

The transformative moment came with the establishment of the Surfers Paradise Hotel in 1925, a landmark that marked the region’s foray into the hospitality industry. In the following decades, the Gold Coast embraced high-rise living, punctuating the skyline with soaring towers that offered panoramic vistas of sea and sand.

Embracing its status as a burgeoning tourist hub, the Gold Coast steadily built attractions like Sea World, Dreamworld, and Movie World, which elevated the destination to a realm of family-friendly delight. As the Gold Coast’s star ascended, so did its reputation as a glitzy playground for the well-heeled.

The Gold Coast Today

Today the Gold Coast stands as a dazzling metropolis of modernity, a place where lavish skyscrapers coexist with golden beaches. The spirit of surf and sun remains ever-present, as bronzed beachgoers bask in the warmth of the Australian sun while catching the perfect wave.

Australia's Gold Coast

Beyond the shoreline, the Gold Coast QLD offers a tapestry of experiences to satiate all palates. The cultural epicenter of HOTA (Home of the Arts) showcases cutting-edge performances and exhibitions, while the buzzing Broadbeach precinct entices visitors with its delectable culinary offerings.

The hinterland, a short drive away, unveils a different world entirely. Lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and quaint villages imbue a sense of tranquility and awe, providing a stark contrast to the coastal glitz.

Things To Do

Myriad activities await visitors: from swimming, sailing and boating to surfboard riding, windsurfing or even beach volleyball. This is the place to soak up the sun, fun and holiday atmosphere of the Gold Coast.

With its iconic coastline stretching for miles, the Gold Coast is a mecca for surfers and beach lovers alike. Grab a board or take a surf lesson from one of the many experienced instructors and ride the waves that beckon with their rhythmic allure. For a quieter retreat, find your own slice of paradise on the pristine sands, where you can bask in the sun and listen to the gentle melody of the surf.

Thrilling Theme Parks

For an adrenaline-fueled day of excitement, venture to the Gold Coast’s world-renowned theme parks. Whether you seek the aquatic wonderland of Sea World, the movie magic of Warner Bros. Movie World, the thrilling rides at Dreamworld, or the enchanting experience of Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, these parks promise unforgettable memories for visitors of all ages.

Sea World

Step into an aquatic wonderland at Sea World, where the magic of the ocean comes alive. This marine-themed park is a captivating fusion of entertainment, education, and conservation.

Sea World

From awe-inspiring dolphin and seal shows to heart-pounding roller coasters, Sea World offers a unique blend of family-friendly fun and marine discovery. Don’t miss the chance to get up close with marine creatures like polar bears, penguins, and sharks, as well as partake in exhilarating rides and water attractions.

Warner Bros. Movie World

Unleash your inner Hollywood star at Warner Bros. Movie World, where the silver screen comes to life. Step onto the sets of iconic movies and experience thrilling rides inspired by beloved characters.

warner bros. movie world gold coast

This cinematic playground caters to both film enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies, with heart-stopping roller coasters and live-action stunt shows that transport visitors into the world of their favorite blockbuster films. Enjoy meeting beloved characters like Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, and immerse yourself in a day of cinematic enchantment.

Dreamworld

Prepare for an adventure-filled day at Dreamworld, a vast theme park that promises excitement for all. From family-friendly attractions for the little ones to pulse-pounding rides for thrill-seekers, Dreamworld delivers a diverse range of experiences. The Big 9 Thrill Rides, including the iconic Tower of Terror II and the Giant Drop, are a must for adrenaline enthusiasts. For animal lovers, Dreamworld’s wildlife experiences, including Tiger Island and the Corroboree indigenous wildlife precinct, provide an opportunity to get up close with some of Australia’s native animals.

dreamworld Gold Coast

Wet’n’Wild Gold Coast QLD

Seeking respite from the sun? Look no further than Wet’n’Wild Gold Coast QLD, a water park oasis designed to beat the heat and offer an aquatic playground for all ages. This exhilarating water wonderland boasts an array of water slides, lazy rivers, and wave pools that guarantee endless splashing and laughter. Whether you prefer thrilling water coasters or a leisurely float along the river, Wet’n’Wild ensures a refreshing day of aquatic entertainment.

Australian Outback Spectacular

Experience the rugged charm and pioneering spirit of the Australian outback at the Australian Outback Spectacular. This unique dinner show takes visitors on an immersive journey through the heart of the outback, featuring impressive horsemanship, cattle mustering, and captivating stories of Australian heritage. Complete with a hearty outback feast, this show pays homage to the nation’s rich cultural heritage and celebrates the resilience of its people.

Australian Outback Spectacular

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Escape into the serenity of nature at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, a place where wildlife conservation meets up-close encounters. This sanctuary provides a unique opportunity to interact with native Australian animals in their natural habitats. Feed kangaroos, cuddle koalas, and watch colorful lorikeets flock in unison during the daily feeding sessions.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Apart from the wildlife encounters, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary also boasts tree-top walks, wildlife shows, and educational experiences that celebrate the beauty and diversity of Australia’s fauna.

Explore the Hinterland

Venture beyond the bustling coastline and delve into the lush hinterland, a verdant wonderland of national parks and picturesque landscapes. Take a hike through the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and be enchanted by ancient trees, cascading waterfalls, and abundant wildlife. The Tamborine Mountain and Springbrook National Park are among the gems worth exploring.

gold coast hinterland

Cultural Encounters

Immerse yourself in the vibrant arts and cultural scene of the Gold Coast. Pay a visit to the Home of the Arts (HOTA), a cultural precinct where you can indulge in live performances, art exhibitions, and film screenings.

Home of the arts (HOTA) Gold Coast QLD

Don’t miss the opportunity to engage with the local Indigenous culture through guided tours, art galleries, and events that celebrate the region’s rich Aboriginal heritage.

Water Sports Extravaganza

Beyond surfing, the Gold Coast offers a plethora of water sports to satiate your aquatic cravings. Try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, jet-skiing, or parasailing for a dose of adrenaline and an opportunity to admire the coastal beauty from a different perspective.

Sunset Cruises and Whale Watching

Embark on a leisurely sunset cruise along the winding waterways to witness the breathtaking display of colors as the sun bids adieu to the day. During the whale-watching season (May to November), set sail to spot humpback whales on their migratory journey, breaching and frolicking in the open sea.

Retail Therapy at its Finest

Indulge in retail therapy at the Gold Coast’s shopping meccas, where chic boutiques, international brands, and vibrant markets beckon. From the stylish precincts of Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach to the bohemian vibes of Burleigh Heads, shopping enthusiasts will find their retail haven.

The calm Southport Broadwater, with an extensive inland canal system, provides another ideal setting for water sports with a huge range of exciting pursuits from para-sailing and jet-skiing to toboggan rides and water skiing.

The Broadwater, spreading north to Moreton Bay, is one of Australia’s largest protected waterways, with huge sand and mangrove islands that are great for exploring.

Eat & Drink

The Gold Coast’s culinary landscape is as diverse as its attractions. Savor fresh seafood at one of the many waterfront eateries or explore the thriving food markets that showcase a fusion of global flavors. From high-end dining experiences to laid-back cafes and food trucks, the Gold Coast caters to every gastronomic desire.

Getting Around

A classic way to take in the magnificent rivers and canals of the Gold Coast is to climb aboard a sleek cruise vessel. You can cruise the waterways or stop off at a secluded private island for a barbecue, water sports or just to laze in the sun.

Queensland’s Gold Coast G-Link trams are a great way to get around the beach-side villages.

Gold Coast Trams

Nearest Airport: Gold Coast, QLD

Gold Coast Map

Popular Activities

  • Off Road Driving
  • Ballooning
  • Bird Watching
  • City Sightseeing
  • Cruising
  • Cycling
  • Dinner Cruising
  • Golfing
  • Kayaking
  • Lunch Cruising
  • Sailing
  • Scenic Flight
  • Shopping
  • Sightseeing
  • Wind Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Wine Tasting
  • National Park
  • Winery
  • Adventure
  • Fishing
  • Nightlife
  • Rainforest
  • Wilderness
  • Wildlife
  • Outback
  • Scuba-Diving
  • Beach
  • Surfing
  • Diving
  • Theme Park
  • Jet Boating
  • Food and Wine

About Gold Coast

  • Locality: Region
  • State: Queensland
  • Region: Gold Coast
  • Latitude: -28.00228
  • Longitude: 153.43105
  • Elevation: 11m
  • Population: 540,559
  • Area (Sq/km): 414.3
  • Timezone: Australia/Brisbane

Accommodation In Gold Coast

Discover some of the accommodation in and around Gold Coast

Explore The Outback

Australia has a vast remote interior, much of it largely untouched. By night, the outback is deathly quiet, with the only light provided by the stars and the moon - a perfect oportunity for stargazing. Explore the isolated heart of the country, meet and connect with Aboriginal people and experience one of the oldest living cultures in the world. Go ‘walk-about’ and immerse yourself with Australia’s endless outback horizons.

Outback Experiences

Luxe Accommodation

Enjoy a distinctly Australian luxury experience, such as the unforgettable reefs, islands, beaches and coast; rugged mountain ranges, rainforests and vast national parks; and the many vibrant food and wine regions. Take a once in a lifetime adventure and discover the sheer indulgence of experiencing the wonders of Australia in style and stay in total luxury.

Australia has wide variety of accommodation options to suit most budgets and travelling preferences. Choose from luxury lodges, boutique hotels, serviced apartments, motels, bed and breakfasts, caravan parks as well as youth and backpacker hostels.

Accommodation

Glasshouse Mountains

The Glasshouse Mountains in the hinterland of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast are actually the cores of 20 million year old volcanoes. The sides of the volcanoes have eroded away leaving only the hardened rock spiremountain cores we see today. Learn more about this awe-inspiring landscape.

Glasshouse Mountains