Gold Coast is a stretch of more than 40 patrolled beaches that provide great conditions for water sports, ranging from scuba diving, parasailing, fly-boarding to jet skiing. Surfing is the favourite, of course.
The major tourist hubs are Burleigh Heads, Broadbeach, Surfer`s Paradise and Southport (all stretching along the Gold Coast Highway).
For surfers: there are five epic break points along the coast that attracts surfers from all around the world: Snapper Rocks, Burleigh Heads, Duranbah Beach, Currumbin Alley and the Rainbow Bay. The beginners can try this cool sport at the main beach in Gold Coast with the help of an instructor (surfing school Go Ride A Wave has been teaching since 1987).
Fun rides and splashes will surely be on the daily schedule for those who decide to visit one of the famous theme parks of Gold Coast.
Wet`n`Wild, White Water World, Sea World – offer all sorts of activities, including the oceanographic park, marine animals, shows, interactive tours, water slides, stomach-flipping roller coasters and tons of different rides.
Dreamworld is a sprawling fun complex of various themed areas with a great wildlife park whereas Warner Bros Movie World features roller coasters and live stunt shows.
SHOPPING & NIGHTLIFE
With numbers of funky bars & pubs, stylish clubs, chill-out lounges and exciting calendar of special events all year round, the Surfers Paradise is the busiest precinct on the Gold Coast.
Most of the venues are situated along the Esplanade, and it is an ideal place for an evening promenade. The city centre has a lovely pedestrian zone on Cavill Avenue with many retail shops and shopping malls.
Visit the tourist information centre to get up to the Q1 Tower and see the city from a bird`s eye view. Located on the 77-78th floors of one of Australia`s tallest buildings and enjoy the 360-degree view from the Sky Point Observation Deck.
WHAT TO DO IN GOLD COAST
CURRUMBIN & COOLANGATTA
The southernmost city of Queensland shares the border with Tweed Heads – Coolangatta. The town marks the beginning of the 30 km of dazzling beaches, and it is a popular holiday spot for international tourists. Less hectic than Gold Coast and defined by stunning landscape, it is a perfect place to explore on a bicycle or foot.
The Snapper Rocks and Kirra Point offer spectacular views while Bilinga and Tugun Beaches are ideal for sunbaking, swimming and surfing. The Currumbin Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary will be particularly appreciated by families with kids (treetop walk, zoological gardens with native animals and Segway).
GOLD COAST HINTERLAND (HIGHLIGHTS)
The Burleigh Heads Reserve offers stunning coastal walks, and if you drive further inland, you will reach Gold Coast`s cooler forest hinterland with numerous national parks. The Ocean View Track is known for awesome views at the Tumgun Lookout, and it can be extended by the Rainforest Track (up to 5 km circuit) that leads through native fauna and flora – watch out for the big lizards or so-called goannas!
The Tamborine Mountains provide great facilities, purpose-built attractions, rainforest walks, mountain biking and horse riding trails. However, the highlight is the Thunderbird Park with the high-rope course, zip-lines, suspension bridges, treetop canopy walk and Tarzan swings.
The Springbrook National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site is defined by magnificent forest scenery. Sacred Aboriginal sites, glow worms caves, marvellous waterfalls and rock formations can be visited in reserve. The major attraction is Natural Bridge – a beautiful cave with glow worms that was cut by a waterfall and there are nice walks around it.
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site leads to the Lamington National Park. The western side – Green Mountains provide spectacular views, campgrounds, walking and mountain biking tracks. In O`Reilly`s Rainforest, tourists can stop by the Tree Top Walk with an observation deck. The eastern side of the Lamington National Park is home to the Binna Burra and beautiful eco-lodges, teahouses and forest walks.
BEST GOLD COAST SCENIC DRIVES
WHEN TO TRAVEL
Gold Coast enjoys pleasant weather all year round. The peak season is a summer school holiday (Dec-Feb) when prices rise, and theme parks and beaches get crowded.
HOW TO GET THERE
Fly to Gold Coast. You can fly directly or via Sydney/Brisbane.
It is recommended to hire a vehicle to move around independently.
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