The Gold Coast, nestled in Australia’s southeastern corner, is a vibrant city known for its sun-drenched beaches and thrilling surf spots. Its coastal stretch, spanning from the pristine Coolangatta to the bustling Surfers Paradise, offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.
Beyond its sandy shores, the Gold Coast boasts a lush hinterland filled with ancient rainforests, stunning waterfalls, and picturesque mountain ranges. The Lamington National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, offers trekkers a chance to explore its rich biodiversity and breathtaking vistas.
The city’s cosmopolitan vibe is evident in its skyscraper skyline, world-class dining, and bustling nightlife. Whether you’re seeking a serene beach getaway or an action-packed vacation, the Gold Coast promises an unforgettable experience.
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Attractions & Things to do in Gold Coast
1. Surfers Paradise Beach
One of Australia’s most iconic beaches, Surfers Paradise offers golden sands and excellent surfing conditions. The skyline, dominated by high-rise buildings, provides a unique backdrop, making it a popular spot for both locals and tourists.
Travel Tip: Visit early in the morning to avoid the crowds and to catch the best waves if you’re into surfing.
2. Warner Bros. Movie World
This movie-themed park provides a day of excitement with its thrilling rides, entertaining shows, and opportunities to meet favorite characters. From roller coasters to family-friendly attractions, there’s something for everyone.
Travel Tip: Purchase tickets online in advance to avoid long queues and potentially get discounts.
3. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Experience Australian wildlife up close at this renowned sanctuary. From cuddling a koala to feeding kangaroos, it offers a unique opportunity to interact with native animals in a safe environment.
Travel Tip: Wear comfortable shoes and bring a camera; there are plenty of photo opportunities with the animals.
4. SkyPoint Observation Deck
Located atop the Q1 building, the SkyPoint Observation Deck offers panoramic views of the Gold Coast, the hinterland, and the sea. It’s a perfect spot to watch the sunset or simply enjoy the city’s skyline.
Travel Tip: Consider visiting during off-peak hours for a more relaxed experience and better photo opportunities.
5. Lamington National Park
A UNESCO World Heritage site, this park boasts ancient rainforests, stunning waterfalls, and a rich diversity of wildlife. The walking trails range from easy to challenging, catering to all fitness levels.
Travel Tip: Always check the weather before heading out and carry enough water and snacks for your hike.
6. Pacific Fair Shopping Centre
One of Australia’s largest shopping centers, Pacific Fair offers a mix of high-end brands, local boutiques, and dining options. The beautifully designed center is more than just a shopping destination; it’s an experience.
Travel Tip: Take advantage of the free shuttle service that operates between major Gold Coast locations and the shopping center.
A quieter alternative to Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach boasts beautiful beaches, a range of dining options, and a relaxed atmosphere. It’s also home to the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre and The Star Gold Coast casino.
Travel Tip: Visit the local markets held on the first and third Sunday of every month for unique finds.
8. Gold Coast Hinterland
This region offers a refreshing contrast to the coastal areas with its mountain ranges, rainforests, and charming villages. Popular spots include Springbrook National Park and Tamborine Mountain.
Travel Tip: If you’re planning to explore multiple areas, consider staying overnight in one of the hinterland’s cozy accommodations.
9. Infinity Attraction
Located in Surfers Paradise, this attraction offers a mind-bending journey through a series of unique environments filled with special effects, sounds, and illusions. It’s an immersive experience that’s both fun and intriguing.
Travel Tip: This attraction is best suited for older children and adults, as some sections might be intense for younger kids.
10. Wet’n’Wild Gold Coast
This water park is a favorite among families, offering a variety of slides, pools, and attractions suitable for all ages. From adrenaline-pumping rides to lazy rivers, there’s something for everyone.
Travel Tip: Bring sunscreen and consider renting a locker to store your belongings securely.
11. Burleigh Heads
Famous for its surfing point break, Burleigh Heads is not just for surfers. The area also offers a national park with walking trails, a vibrant dining scene, and a laid-back atmosphere.
Travel Tip: The headland area is perfect for picnics, so consider packing a lunch and enjoying the views.
Unique Activities in Gold Coast
1. Coastal City Scenic Helicopter Flight
Experience the thrill of flying over the scenic coastal city of Gold Coast in a helicopter. Get a bird’s-eye view of the stunning beaches, skyscrapers, and natural landscapes. This flight offers a unique perspective of the city and is sure to be a memorable adventure.
2. Tandem Skydiving Experience
Feel the adrenaline rush as you jump out of a plane and experience free-fall before gliding down with a parachute. Tandem skydiving offers thrill-seekers an unparalleled experience of soaring through the skies over the Gold Coast.
Day Trips from Gold Coast
1. Byron Bay
Just an hour’s drive south from the Gold Coast, Byron Bay offers pristine beaches, a laid-back atmosphere, and the iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse. Wander through its boutique shops, enjoy the local cuisine, or simply relax on its world-famous beaches.
Travel Tip: Traffic can get heavy, especially during weekends and holidays, so aim to leave early in the morning to secure a good parking spot.
2. Tamborine Mountain
A scenic 40-minute drive from the Gold Coast, Tamborine Mountain is a lush, elevated plateau with stunning rainforest walks, boutique wineries, and the Skywalk, offering panoramic views of the hinterland and coast.
Travel Tip: Wear comfortable shoes as the area is best explored on foot, and don’t forget to visit the local markets for unique crafts and fresh produce.
3. Springbrook National Park
Located just an hour’s drive from the Gold Coast, Springbrook National Park is a World Heritage-listed site, boasting spectacular waterfalls, ancient rainforests, and breathtaking views of the Gold Coast skyline from the Best of All Lookout.
Travel Tip: Check the weather before heading out as some trails can be slippery after rain, and always carry water and snacks for your hikes.
Where to stay in Gold Coast
Gold Coast, located in Australia, is a haven for travelers seeking sun, surf, and sand. With its pristine beaches, vibrant nightlife, and a plethora of attractions, the city offers a diverse range of accommodations to cater to every traveler’s needs. From luxurious resorts to budget-friendly stays, Gold Coast ensures a memorable experience for its visitors.
1. Best Reviewed Hotel
Meriton Suites Broadbeach (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)
- Description: Just a 5-minute walk from the beach, Meriton Suites Broadbeach offers luxurious accommodation. Guests can enjoy unlimited free WiFi at the property.
- Price: €112 per night
- Rating: 8.5 (Very good)
2. Most Luxurious Hotel
The Star Grand at The Star Gold Coast (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)
- Description: Situated in the heart of Broadbeach, this hotel is set amongst 7 acres of landscaped gardens and parklands. It offers a luxurious experience for its guests.
- Price: €148 per night
- Rating: 8.4 (Very good)
3. Budget Hotel
Mantra on View Hotel (★ ★ ★ ★)
- Description: Located in the heart of Surfers Paradise, this modern 4.5-star hotel is just 100 metres from the iconic Surfers Paradise Beach.
- Price: €77 per night
- Rating: 7.4 (Good)
4. Hotel for Family
Novotel Surfers Paradise (★ ★ ★ ★)
- Description: Nestled in the heart of Surfers Paradise, this hotel is surrounded by immaculate beaches and offers a family-friendly environment.
- Price: €101 per night
- Rating: 7.5 (Good)
5. Hotel for Couples
voco Gold Coast, an IHG Hotel (★ ★ ★ ★)
- Description: Located in the centre of Surfers Paradise, voco Gold Coast provides accommodation with either ocean or hinterland views, perfect for couples.
- Price: €95 per night
- Rating: 8.2 (Very good)
6. Hotel for Solo Travellers
Vibe Hotel Gold Coast (★ ★ ★ ★ )
- Description: Overlooking the Nerang River, this contemporary hotel is just a 5-minute walk from Surfers Paradise Beach, making it ideal for solo travelers.
- Price: €99 per night
- Rating: 7.4 (Good)
Did you know? Facts about Gold Coast
- The Gold Coast is located in Queensland, Australia, approximately 66 kilometers south-southeast of Brisbane, the state capital.
- With a population of over 600,000, the Gold Coast is the sixth-largest city in Australia and the nation’s largest non-capital city.
- The city’s central business district is situated in the suburb of Southport, which holds more corporate office space than any other part of the city.
- The Gold Coast is renowned for its surfing beaches like Surfers Paradise, high-rise dominated skyline, theme parks, nightlife, and rainforest hinterland.
- The region is a hub for the nation’s entertainment industry, boasting television productions and a significant film industry.
- The Gold Coast hosted the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
- Before European settlement, the area was inhabited by the Yugambeh people, and the local term for residents of the Gold Coast is “Gold Coaster.”
- The Gold Coast’s urban area stretches almost 60 kilometers along the coast, connecting with the Greater Brisbane Metropolitan Area to the north.
- The city is approximately half covered by various types of forests, including ancient rainforests, mangrove-covered islands, and coastal heathlands.
- The Gold Coast boasts 70 kilometers of coastline, offering some of Australia’s most popular surf breaks.
FAQ about Gold Coast
What is the Gold Coast known for?
The Gold Coast is famous for its sunny, subtropical climate, surfing beaches, high-rise skyline, theme parks, nightlife, and rainforest hinterland.
Where is the Gold Coast located in relation to Brisbane?
The Gold Coast is approximately 66 kilometers south-southeast of Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland.
What is the population of the Gold Coast?
As of 2021, the Gold Coast has a population of over 600,000, making it the sixth-largest city in Australia.
Which indigenous people originally inhabited the Gold Coast area?
The Yugambeh people originally occupied the area before European settlement.
Is the Gold Coast a major tourist destination?
Yes, the Gold Coast is a significant tourist destination known for its beaches, theme parks, nightlife, and rainforest hinterland.
What major event did the Gold Coast host in 2018?
The Gold Coast hosted the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
How long is the coastline of the Gold Coast?
The city boasts a coastline of 70 kilometers, with popular surf breaks and beaches.
What is the climate of the Gold Coast?
The Gold Coast experiences a humid subtropical climate with mild to warm winters and hot, humid summers.