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The Gold Coast Australia

The Gold Coastis an extensive coastal city (actually, a conurbation of cities, towns and suburbs) in the southeast corner of the state of Queensland in Australia, located between the state capital of Brisbane to the north and the New South Wales state border to the south. Now combined into what amounts to the 6th largest city in Australia (500,000 inhabitants), the Gold Coast has long been a high profile tourist destination for Australians and overseas travelers alike. The name of the chief constituent city of the region, Surfers Paradise, says it all...

The Gold Coast was once an informal name for the stretch of coastal towns from Surfers Paradise in the north to the state border with New South Wales in the south. With a warm climate and miles of beaches, the towns have grown rapidly, especially with migrating southern retirees. The merged towns are now suburbs of the City of Gold Coast, and the city has also stretched out to take in more areas to the north and west.

The northern end (especially Surfers Paradise to Broadbeach) is more commercialized, with plenty of action for backpackers and "schoolies" (school leavers celebrating the end of exams). The southern end still caters mainly to families holidaying from the colder southern states. Away from the coast, the western side, called the "hinterland", consists of mountain ranges covered with rainforest, much of it national park.


There are 40 km of beaches to see and almost all are patrolled by volunteer and professional lifesavers. 105.7 Radio Metro has detailed surf reports at 7am, midday and 3pm each day.

  • Surfers Paradise has a long stretch of beach, with flags and patrols ever few hundred metres along the beach. Sure to find a place for a swim.
  • Greenmount beach in Coolangatta offers the most spectacular scenery and views up the coast and across to the famous Snapper Rocks surfing break, home of the Quiksilver Pro.
  • Tallebudgeera Creek is a popular swimming lagoon with families, Burleigh Heads and Kirra are home to world-renowned waves and Surfers Paradise is home to backpackers, beach volleyball, and countless tourists.


Referred to as "the green behind the gold" (a reference to Australia's national colours - green and gold), the Gold Coast Hinterland is home to three national parks, numerous mountains, creeks, waterfalls valleys, and natural rock formations. The area is mostly covered in sub-tropical rainforest, but sections have been cleared for dairy farm land and wineries. The Hinterland is best seen by car or on a bus tour.


The Gold Coast region is big on theme parks:

  • Sea World — first opened in 1958, moving to its present site in 1971, Sea World is the oldest, but also one of the best established theme parks in Australia.
  • Dreamworld — traditional theme park with popular tiger zoo and the home of the Australian Big Brother House. Lots of rides. Great little kids area with Wiggleworld.
  • Warner Bros. Movie World— movie-themed park with theatres and Warner Bros. themed rides. More intensely themed.
  • Wet'n'Wild — water theme park with slides, wave pool, and 'dive-in movies' at night.
  • Australian Outback Spectacular - New Epic Outback Show, complete with stampeding cattle, wild horses and an Australian Dinner.
  • WhiteWater World New Water Park next to Dreamworld.


The Gold Coast is renowned for cheap souvenir and t-shirt shops; plastic koalas are one of the most popular items. There are dozens of stores catering exclusively for the tourist market and Australian opals, sheepskins, wool products, and aboriginal "artefacts". Watch out for overpricing. Local newspapers regularly run stories about "discount warehouses" being taken to court for selling souvenirs at exorbitant prices to Asian tourists on organized tours.

Pacific Fair in Broadbeach contains a large number of chain and independent stores selling pretty much every consumer item you can think of, although its labyrinthine layout can be very confusing for the first-time visitor.

The Gold Coast also caters to the big budget shopper as there are numerous designer boutiques around the city.


The back arcades of Surfers Paradise have dozens of cheap Japanese and Korean "lunchbox" style restaurants and the quality is usually excellent, not to mention the price (less than $15 for a large main meal). Tedder Avenue in Main Beach and the Broadbeach area have the largest concentration of restaurants and cafes with food ranging from gourmet seafood to pub fare. Expect to pay $20–$35 for a main meal.


Try a local surf club for a cheap beer with a great view, you'll find one or two in every beachside suburb of the Gold Coast. Currumbin Beach Surf Lifesaving Club, Nobby Beach Surf Life Saving Club and North Burleigh Surf Lifesaving Club are the picks for their location, friendly service and good value for money food and drink. Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise offer the biggest choice of bars, clubs, and cafes, and you can order almost anything you can dream up.

Further south, Coolangatta Surf Lifesaving Club, Tweed Heads & Coolangatta Surf Lifesaving Club and Rainbow Bay Surf Lifesaving Club have spectacular decks, good food and entertainment and friendly welcomes. Just sign in as a guest.

Twin Towns RSL is the largest RSL in NSW. On the border of Queensland and NSW it offers a variety of dining options, outstanding entertainment and a friendly environment all at club prices.


All List of Gold Coast Hotels


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