Located just an hour’s drive from Brisbane – the capital of Queensland – the Gold Coast is a city which definitely lives up to its name. The glinting high rises of the city centre divide some 31 kilometres of golden coastline and many acres of lush green forest.
Main Beach and Surfers Paradise, the most central seaside resorts, offer not only world-class surf breaks but also some of Australia’s best shopping malls, nightclubs and tourist attractions. The SkyPoint Observation Deck, for instance, guarantees fantastic 360-degree views, stretching from Byron Bay to Brisbane by day, and across the shimmering Gold Coast skyline at night. On a clear day, you might even spot whales migrating along the eastern coast. This area is also popular for water sports like jet-skiing, parasailing and flyboarding.
The Gold Coast is also home to theme parks such as Sea World, Dreamworld and Wet‘n’Wild, making it the theme park capital of Australia.
Things start to quieten down as you move further down the coast. Broadbeach is a laid-back alternative for sunbathers, while surfer spots like Burleigh Heads and Coolangatta are less crowded out on the waves.
Further inland are vast areas of natural beauty waiting to be explored. Whether it’s crabbing in the mangroves of the Tweed region, hiking along Lamington National Park’s mountain ridges, or discovering secluded waterfalls in Tamborine National Park, there are plenty of things to do in these scenic surroundings.