Gold Coast Destination Guide
A tourist mecca since the establishment of the Surfers Paradise hotel in 1925, Gold Coast is a glitzy holiday strip in the southeast corner of Queensland. Gold Coast holiday packages are in high demand every summer owing to the city's relaxed atmosphere, the stunning Gold Coast weather and of course, the region's gloriously golden beaches. From the glittering high-rises of Surfers Paradise to the more relaxed surrounds of Broadbeach and the eclectic range of restaurants, clubs and bars between, there's plenty to see and do on Australia's 'glamour strip'.
The city's spectacular coastal setting means heading to the beach is high on the list of things to do on the Gold Coast. The best known is Main Beach at Surfers Paradise, located just across the road from bustling Cavill Avenue. Broadbeach is a quieter option some 3 kilometres further down the coast, however the sweeping beachfront can hide some pounding surf and dangerous rips. Gold Coast attractions aren't limited to its beaches, however, and the city is also renowned for its theme parks. Dream World, Wet 'n' Wild, Sea World and Warner Brothers Movie World heave with hordes of happy tourists come summer time.
While it's not regarded as one of Australia's culinary capitals, there are still plenty of places to eat out on the glitter strip. Gold Coast restaurants are mainly clustered around Tedder Avenue in Main Beach and Broadbeach, including local favourite Domani's. For some cheaper options take advantage of the many cheap Japanese and Korean restaurants tucked away in the back alleys of Surfers Paradise. After dark Gold Coast lights up as one of Australia's liveliest nightlife venues. Genuine pubs tend to be in short supply but if it's nightclubs you're after, you'll find yourself well catered for. Clubs such as Sin City, Shooters Superclub and Platinum Nightclub attract hundreds of fun-loving revellers each weekend.
Don't let the high-rise skyline deceive you; Gold Coast accommodation is about more than just luxurious hotels. Just about every style of accommodation is available, from camp sites and caravans to hostels, self-contained apartments and sprawling holiday homes. Most of the luxury hotels are located just a stone's throw from the beach, including Sea Temple Surfers Paradise, Mantra Sun City and Hilton Surfers Paradise. Jupiters Hotel and Casino is a popular place to stay in Broadbeach, although the soaring Carmel By The Sea and Freshwater Point Resort jostle for attention alongside the casino.
Gold Coast is home to one of the largest shopping centres in Australia – the sprawling Pacific Fair in Broadbeach. The centre receives some stiff competition for customers from nearby Robina Town Centre, which markets itself as one of the region's premier shopping outlets. However Gold Coast shopping is about more than just air-conditioned arcades and malls and the city also hosts several vibrant markets. The Surfers Paradise markets take place every Friday night and they're a great place to pick up a unique memento of your trip.
Gold Coast like a Local
If you're keen to get away from the beaches and the heaving Gold Coast theme parks, head inland to the lush green interior of the scenic Gold Coast Hinterland. Tamborine Mountain is a popular hinterland getaway surrounded by national parks. Take a bushwalk to the bottom of lush rainforest valleys, relax in the splendour of cascading waterfalls and admire the spectacular natural scenery all around you in this beautiful part of the world. The Natural Bridge in Springbrook National Park is a naturally-formed rock arch spanning Cave Creek. Visitors can take nightly guided tours to view its resident glow worm colony.