On a continent famed for its beautiful beaches, great weather, nightlife and friendly locals, it's just quite possible that the Gold Coast is first among equals. Endless sands, perfect surf, stunning national parks and some of the country's best attractions make the Gold Coast the ultimate family holiday destination.
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Stretching northward from Tweed Heads to just south of Brisbane, and westward to the rainforests of Lamington National Park, the Gold Coast includes such internationally recognised areas as Surfers Paradise, Coolangatta, Burleigh Heads and Stradbroke Island. So whether it's sunshine, nightlife, nature or excitement you're after, you'll discover it on the Gold Coast.
What are the must-see attractions on the Gold Coast?
No matter what attraction you're seeking, chances are you'll find it on the Gold Coast.
Perhaps the most famous area of the Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise is more than just heaven for surfers of all abilities. Apart from the sheer natural beauty of the beach and its surrounds, there are several must-see attractions in Surfers Paradise for the first time and seasoned traveller alike.
Home to world famous theme parks such as Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World and Wet 'n' Wild, Surfers Paradise offers plenty of activities for families, couples and solo travellers. From whale spotting cruises to jet boat rides, kayaking to paddleboards and indoor skydiving to learning to surf, there's more than enough to keep the thrill seekers happy.
Alternatively, check out many of the area's hidden bars and restaurants, catch a dinner and show at Dracula's Cabaret, or simply take a stroll amongst the artisanal handicrafts and fresh produce of the Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets - held every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday night along the Foreshore between 4 and 9pm.
Head to Broadbeach for one of Queensland's best cafe scenes, hug a Koala in the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, touch the sky with the Skypoint Climb atop the iconic Q1 building or check out live performances, arts events and more at HOTA - Home of the Arts in Surfers Paradise.
Aside from the obvious attractions of the ocean and coastal strip, the Gold Coast is perhaps less well known for its exceptional national parks that offer world-class bushwalks, ancient rainforests, glowworm caves and cascading waterfalls.
Head to the humbly named 'Best of all Lookout' in Springbrook National Park for a sensational outlook that includes views across the Gold Coast hinterland and south to Byron Bay. Once done, be sure to head to nearby Lamington National Park.
Sitting atop the McPherson Range, Lamington National Park is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia Heritage Area which includes the most extensive areas of subtropical rainforest in the world. With stunning views, awe-inspiring walks and ancient Antarctic Beech forests, it's a must-see for anyone visiting the Gold Coast.
With so many things to see and do in the Gold Coast, you'll never want to leave.