Gold Coast Guide
Gold Coast is a captivating coastal city famous for its sun, surf and sand. Right on Australia's eastern coast, the city stretches along 57 kilometres of coastline. With pristine beaches and Gold Coast hotels to suit every budget, the city is the perfect place to kick back, relax, and have fun.
When it comes to holiday accommodation in Gold Coast, you have the freedom to choose from a great variety that suits your style and budget, preferred destination, and desired amenities. As Australia's premier holiday destination, there are hundreds of hotels on the Gold Coast available.
Gold Coast is made up of numerous beaches and precincts such as Broadbeach, Mermaid Beach, Rainbow Bay, Surfers Paradise and more where both luxurious and cheap hotels can be found. For those travelling under a tight budget, there are competitively priced accommodations further inland of the precincts. Living further inland does not mean your stay will be any less exciting! Make your way to the waterfront or escape the crowds at a quiet hinterland retreat, bring the family along for a camping adventure, or take a casual short break at a cosy beach shack.
Alternatively, for those wishing to treat themselves to a hypnotising view, there are pricier and more conveniently located Gold Coast hotels right on the water. You will find the perfect fusion of city and beach lifestyles at the Gold Coast.
There is much more to Gold Coast than surf and sand. There is an impressive frame of rolling hills and mountains situated behind the city's celebrated beaches. The Gold Coast Hinterland, known locally as “the green behind the Gold” consists of a patchwork of rural plantations, farmland, National parks and reserves allowing you to eat, play golf, and take in a variety of outdoor challenges, like rope courses - all with the backdrop of an authentic rainforest.
The Gold Coast Hinterland is home to Springbrook National Park, where you will find stunning views, majestic Antarctic beech trees, plenty of wildlife, and lots of things to do. Springbrook is known for its impressive waterfalls, many of which flow down the hinterland's rocky terrain. A visit to the famed Purlingbrook Falls is a must.
Another popular hinterland destination is Lamington National Park, located in Canungra. Enjoy the relaxed country atmosphere and old-fashioned hospitality as you explore the quaint town and browse the shops. You can have a coffee at a cafe, sample local produce and crafts at the country markets, or set out to nearby Mount Tambourine. This picturesque backdrop is the perfect place to picnic, hang-glide, bird watch, or to go for a bush walk.
The Numinbah Forest Reserve in the northern Numinbah Valley is a botanist's paradise. Here you will see much of the native flora, including dry open eucalyptus, orange flowering silky oaks, kangaroo paw, and more. The rainforest is also home to one of Australia's largest glow worm colonies situated at Cave Creek.
Recognised by many as the live music capital of Australia, there is always something to listen to at Gold Coast, regardless of your music taste. Lots of Gold Coast hotels and taverns feature live performances from local bands.
For a low-key night out, check out the canals for a Venice-esque experience. Walk along the canals, hop onto a gondola for a romantic experience or aboard a larger boat for food and wine whilst capturing the scenic city sights.
- Go hot air ballooning over the Hinterland. There is no better way to start your holiday than with a stunning sunrise balloon tour high above the Gold Coast. Upon landing, enjoy a hearty champagne breakfast at O'Reilly's Grand Homestead and Vineyard.
- Experience the Australian Outback Spectacular. This popular evening dinner show takes you back to the wild early days of the Australian Outback with music, drama and plenty of action, located just 20-minutes from Surfers Paradise. Your admission includes the show, dinner, drinks and a complimentary Stockman's hat.
- Head to Fraser Island for a 4WD eco-tour. Fraser Island eco-tours depart from Noosaville, north of the Gold Coast. You will spend the day on the World Heritage registered island, the largest sand island in the world. Explore the sandy beaches and rainforest, swim in the freshwater lakes, and observe wild dingoes in their natural environment.
- Plan a day of family fun at the Dreamworld theme park. Thrilling rides, exciting shows, IMAX films, Nickelodeon Central, and so much more await you at Dreamworld. There are plenty of rides and attractions for the little ones, too.
- Climb above it all at the SkyPoint Observation Deck. This beautifully renovated space offers incredible 360-degree views of the Gold Coast. There is a cafe, a mini-theatre and informational features and displays throughout. It really is a must-see for any Gold Coast visitor.
Main Beach: This stylish and affluent oceanfront precinct offers a wide range of things to do. It has a fantastic beach, outdoor dining, and great boutique shopping. Main Beach has a beachside snack bar, pleasant parkland to enjoy a picnic, and the Surf Life Saving Club. At night, head to Tedder Avenue for some of the area's best dining and entertainment.
Surfers Paradise: World-famous for its incredible surfing, this district features a gorgeous beach with magnificent views of the Gold Coast skyline. Millions of visitors flock to Surfers Paradise to soak up the vibrant atmosphere, where the surfers, artists, fashionistas, club-hoppers, and Gold Coast locals mingle.
Broadbeach: Perfectly situated close to restaurants, cafes, shops and pubs, this area is home to one of the world's most immaculate beaches. When you need a break from the sand and sun, you're just a short distance from some of the Gold Coast's best theme parks, golf courses and other popular attractions. There is a wide range of accommodation in Broadbeach, from luxury beachside apartments to family-friendly resorts.
Coolangatta: The north-facing beaches here - Coolangatta, Greenmount and Rainbow Bay - are popular swimming and surfing destinations. As part of the Southern Points Promenade and the Oceanway network, walkers and cyclists can enjoy the extensive trail system connecting the headlands from Rainbow Bay to Coolangatta. There are also plenty of other outdoor treasures here, including the dive sites at Cook Island and Kirra, and Point Danger where you can see dolphins, migrating whales and seabirds.
The Gold Coast event calendar is packed full of things to do all the year round.
From international sporting championships to major cultural exhibits and performances, the Gold Coast plays host to some of Australia's best events. Annual favourites include the Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival, the Magic Millions Racing Carnival, the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, the Gold Coast Airport Marathon, the Armor All Gold Coast 600, and the Quiksilver Pro Surfing Championships.
Music and the arts also have their place here, and international touring acts and popular musicians regularly visit the Gold Coast Convention Centre and the Gold Coast Arts Centre. Some of the area's best cultural events happen here, too, including the famed Surfers Paradise Festival, the Gold Coast Film Festival, Kirra Surfstock, and the Tambourine Mountain Scarecrow Festival.
Sport is very well supported on the Gold Coast, as both locals and visitors come together to cheer on their favourite teams. You'll find a game or match nearly every weekend of the year, whether it's the Gold Coast Titans rugby, Gold Coast United soccer, Gold Coast Blaze basketball, or Gold Coast Football Club Australian Rules.
No matter what time of year you visit the Gold Coast you are sure to find world-class venues, perfect weather, and a warm and friendly atmosphere welcoming you to each and every event.