Averaging 245 sunny days a year, a 57 kilometre strip of gorgeous beaches and a balmy subtropical climate – at least three reasons to visit the Gold Coast.
Running all the way from Coolangatta in the south to Main Beach in the north, the Gold Coast is the highly developed and densely-populated coastal strip between the sea and the Hinterland. Most travellers find themselves in one of the tourist hubs of Main Beach, Broadbeach and Surfer’s Paradise although it’s possible to skip over this for the more laidback Coolangatta, Burleigh Heads or even the Hinterland.
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Surfers Paradise and the Big Five theme parks (Dreamworld, WhiteWater World, Sea World, Warner Bros. Movie World and Wet ’n’ Wild Gold Coast) are the first and last stops for many visitors to the Gold Coast. Add the following to your Gold Coast bucket list:
- Take a Segway safari at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
- Visit SkyPoint Oberservation Deck for a 360-degree view of the coastline from 230m high in the sky
- Walk through rainforest to The Spit on the Federation Walk section of Oceanway
- Take a night-time tour of the glow worms of Tamborine National Park
- Catch an exhibition, art-house movie or comedy gig at the Gold Coast Art Centre.
From the iconic Surfers Paradise beach to the dining precincts of Main Beach and Broadbeach and out to the Hinterland, there’s a new experience waiting for you at every turn on the Gold Coast.
The strip formerly known as Elston in 1925 is now the Gold Coast’s most famous beach.
Surfers Paradise is a three kilometre strip of sand teeming with cafes, restaurants, shops and nightlife to attract the masses, including hordes of ‘schoolies’ during November. Wander down Cavill Avenue or browse the beachfront markets which operate every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights in fine weather.
Only three kilometres south of Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach has adjoining parkland and a beachfront promenade and is one of the key entertainment precincts of the Gold Coast.
There are plenty of good cafes, fancy restaurants and boutiques and the Broadbeach Art and Craft Market is held in Kurrawa Park on the first and third Sunday of the month. Pacific Fair is a massive shopping centre within walking distance.
This great Aussie icon, lying beside its twin city, Tweed Heads, should be firmly on any Gold Coast itinerary.
There are also plenty of historic Australian maritime attractions – the lighthouse at Point Danger (a nice place to watch the breaks roll in), the shark watchtower at Greenmount and the Kirra SLSC and old shelter shed.
Pumping with action, dripping with bling - busy Main Beach features iconic Gold Coast attractions like Seaworld, the super luxury Palazzo Versace and the popular alfresco dining of Tedder Avenue.
You’ll also find the beautiful Spanish Mission Main Beach bathing pavilion dating back to 1934.
A great township and iconic surf beach north of Coolangatta and south of Surfers Paradise. There are spectacular views from the headland north to Surfers and south over Tallebudgera Creek.
With impressive views in all directions, Currumbin is a busy beachside town to the north of Coolangatta with clean beaches, gentle surf and rock pools that make it very popular with families. Visit the popular Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary to see hundreds of native birds and animals in a bush setting.
Sanctuary Cove is an exclusive master-planned community right at the very northern end of the sunny Gold Coast. With a 300 plus birth Marina as the central hub, painstaking detail has gone into the architecture and design of the village centre, public amenities, boardwalk areas and surrounding landscape. The attractive Marine Village boasts specialty shopping, up-market boutiques, beauty salons, art galleries, fine restaurants, cocktail bars, alfresco dining and even a movie theatre. The ambience is relaxed but at the same time chic and sophisticated.
The stunning Gold Coast Hinterland, now a destination for romantic weekends and spa escapes, includes a number of national parks with crisscrossed in walking tracks: Lamington National Park, Burleigh Heads National Park, Springbrook National Park, Mount Barney National Park, Nerang Forest Reserve, Numinbah Forest Reserve and Pine Ridge Conservation Park. There are also some lovely quaint towns and villages, particularly around Mount Tamborine.
South Stradbroke Island
A popular day trip from the Gold Coast and favourite weekend destination of Brisbanites, Moreton Bay’s ‘Straddie’ Island is easily accessible by ferry. Beach 4WD driving, sand boarding and lying around on beautiful empty beaches eating prawns are a few of the main attractions. Both North and South Stradbroke have a significant Indigenous history.
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The Gold Coast has a subtropical climate with mild winters and warm, humid summers. There are thunderstorms and heavy showers during summer while winter is fairly dry. Winter (June to August) average temperatures hover around a mild 20°C. In summer (December to February) temperatures can climb to 35°C.
From the airport
Most travellers will arrive at the Gold Coast through Coolangatta, 22 kilometres south of Surfers Paradise, and the gateway for anyone arriving by air. From Coolangatta, on the border of Queensland and New South Wales, the Gold Coast runs all the way north to Sanctuary Cove. Grab a taxi or arrange an easy Gold Coast Airport Arrival Transfer to take you directly to your hotel.
In and around the city
It’s easy enough to get around the heart of the Gold Coast on foot. There is also the G:Link Tram service, local buses and taxis along with a rail service between the Gold Coast and Brisbane. However, to visit the theme parks and explore the Hinterland the most economical option is to hire a car on the Gold Coast.
Gold Coast car hire
Book car hire with Avis, Budget, Hertz and Thrifty. Qantas Frequent Flyer members could earn Qantas Points^ with Avis and Budget.
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* Prices include taxes, fees and carrier charges payable to Qantas (exclude any amounts payable to third parties at the airport) and are based on payment at qantas.com. Prices may fluctuate if taxes or foreign exchange rate change. Fares may not be available on all flights or days. Some flights are operated by partner or subsidiary airlines. Prices are not guaranteed until payment is made. Availability is limited. Passengers booking Premium Economy may be seated in Economy on connecting flights. Check the fare rules for more details before booking. Inclusions vary between flights. All schedules subject to change, including last minute aircraft changes.
^ You must be a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program to earn and redeem Qantas Points. Join online now. Membership and Qantas Points are subject to the terms and conditions of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program.
** Prices are per room, per night and vary depending on date of check in, length of stay and room type. Conditions apply.
~ Qantas activities are provided by Viator. Conditions apply.