|Natural beauty. Non-stop
excitement. Friendly Australians. Its Australias lifestyle capital.
Australias Gold Coast is a region of contrasts offering a 70-kilometre (44-mile)
stretch of pristine golden surf beaches, backed by lush green subtropical rainforests.
Renowned as Australia' premier holiday playground, the Gold Coasts casual
resort atmosphere is enhanced by a multitude of attractions for visitors of all ages and
Splash Out on
Golden Beaches:The Gold Coast is famous for its stunning beaches and rich beach
culture. For decades Australians have flocked to this fabulous region to enjoy a fun and
relaxing holiday by the sea. With 70 kilometres (44 miles) of uninterrupted coastline,
there are beaches with appeal for body surfers, surfboard and sailboard riders, protected
calm waters for families with young children as well as deserted stretches for sun
worshippers wanting to top up their golden tan.
A staggering 35 beaches are patrolled
year-round by professional lifeguards creating a safe swimming environment for beginners
and experienced swimmers. Surf clubs are dotted along the coastlinewhere visitors can
watch lifeguards in training for major surf life saving contests and beach patrols. Host
venue for the Australian Surf Life Saving titles every March is the Kurrawa club at
Visitors are invited to visit the surf
clubs to soak up the sunshine, take in spectacular views, enjoy a hearty breakfast,
wonderful seafood or a cold beer with some locals. There are also parklands adjacent to
most clubs offering family-friendly facilities such as barbecues, picnic areas and
playground equipment. Beachfront art and craft markets operate most weekends and each
Friday evening at Surfers Paradise.
FAST FACTS: 300 days
of sunshine/Safe year-round swimming/35 patrolled beaches/70km coastline
See the Green behind the Gold
Within an easy 30-minute drive of the Gold
Coasts beaches awaits the magnificent wilderness area known as the Gold Coast
Hinterland. Well signposted roads cut steep paths to the lush subtropical rainforests
reaching 1000 metres above sea level. The air is cool and crisp and options for day and
evening tours abound.
The hinterland is the perfect place to
enjoy active pursuits like bush walking, abseiling, hang gliding, horse riding, hot-air
ballooning and 4WD safaris. More leisurely activities include bird watching and wandering
through award-winning gardens and tropical fruit plantations. During winter, toast
marshmallows in front of an open fire.
Steeped in history, the hinterland is
home to various museums and art galleries as well as fabulous restaurants, tea houses and
craft shops. New to the region are several boutique wineries which can be explored as part
of an exciting wine trail. The wineries feature cellar door tastings, historic homesteads
for a leisurely lunch, lively jazz bands on weekends and the chance to learn about fully
organic wine production techniques.
Much of the hinterland is World
Heritage-listed national park including the countrys largest preserved stand of
subtropical rainforest, Lamington National Park. A vast mountainous area, Lamington has
the highest bio-diversity of flora and fauna found anywhere in Australia.
Queenslands first national park, Witches Falls is on Tamborine Mountain while
Springbrook National Park protects rare 4000-year-old Antarctic beech trees. Springbrook
also is home to the regions highest single drop waterfall, Purlingbrook Falls. More
than 300 kilometres (186 miles) of graded walking tracks enable visitors to explore these
pristine wilderness areas.
Photography enthusiasts will enjoy the
chance to capture on film Australias magnificent wildlife, spectacular waterfalls,
rock pools and wildflowers. Experienced tour guides offer insight to this fascinating
region as part of day tours, evening visits to glow-worm colonies and star gazing
Traditional Aussie farm experiences can
also be found at popular attractions. There are demonstrations of boomerang throwing, whip
cracking, sheep shearing, cow milking and brewing up an Aussie favourite of billy tea and
largest subtropical rainforest/300km of walking tracks/29 national parks and nature
reserves/4000-year-old beech trees.
A Wealth of Water Activities:With
the Gold Coasts sparkling coastline and more
canals and waterways than Venice, the Gold Coast is renowned as Australias aquatic
playground. Visitors are offered a range of water activities including calm and deep water
fishing, water skiing, parasailing, jet skiing and sailboarding.Hiring your own watercraft
is a great way to make the most of the Southport Broadwater, Australias largest
expanse of calm water. Try a wave runner, jet ski, a two-seater mini speedboat or
houseboat. Guided tours on water include kayaking, parasailing, catamaran sailing,
leisurely cruises, fishing charters and learn to surf lessons.Scuba diving is a great way
to explore the underwater world of the Gold Coast. Discover the secrets of the historic
wreck Scottish Prince which sank off Southport 113 years ago. Explore Palm Beach reef,
Nine Mile reef off Kirra Point or Cook Island off Tweed Heads all alive with
turtles and fish!
The Excitement Never Stops:Widely
known as Australias theme park capital, the Gold Coast offers all the thrills and
spills you can pack into a day, a week or a lifetime. Visit Dreamworld, Sea World, Warner
Bros Movie World and Wet n Wild Water World for a host of thrill rides that
will leave you breathless.Close encounters with Australian birds and animals can be
enjoyed at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and the David Fleay Wildlife Park while visits to
farm resorts in the hinterland offer traditional Aussie experiences including cow milking,
whip cracking and sheep shearing.Working fruit plantatins like Tropical Fruit World give
you the chance to taste some of natures exotic delights. Be sure to visit the
bush tucker garden.Theres action and amusement at fun places like
Ripleys Believe It or Not Museum and the Infinity fun-house plus Australias
hottest extreme rides like the Banzai Bungey, Flycoaster and Bungee Rocket.A scenic flight
over the coastline can be enjoyed in a fun Tiger Moth, helicopter, seaplane, Twin Pioneer
airplane or a hot-air balloon. Visitors can also take a day tour by seaplane to the
southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef and enjoy diving, snorkelling and other reef
Back on the ground, try adventure the old
fashioned way and explore the beautiful Numinbah, Tweed and Kooralbyn Valleys on horseback
with experienced guides. The thrill of an offroad 4WD safari to visit national parks also
is available or take the ultimate escape tour on the back of a Harley-Davidson motorbike.
For a more leisurely pace, opt for
cruise boats that ply the Gold Coasts many waterways and visit South Stradbroke
Island and Sanctuary Cove. During the cooler months from May to September, whale watching
tours depart from the southern Gold Coast.
Accommodation for Everyone
Few destinations offer the incredible
choice of accommodation available along the Gold Coasts sweeping coastline and
throughout the hinterland. All represent great value for money. International hotels and
resorts provide luxury standards of accommodation as well as a range of facilities from
giant swimming lagoons and golf courses to shopping boutiques and night clubs.
Fully serviced luxury and family-style
apartments have the added bonus of modern kitchens, laundries and a choice of one, two or
three bedrooms. Sophisticated recreational facilities including swimming pools and
gymnasiums make apartments an ideal choice for visitors wanting to relax and revive.
Stunning views of mountains, gardens and beaches abound.
The Gold Coast also offers a wide
choice of modern, comfortable motels, youth and backpacker hostels, houseboats plus
tourist parks and picturesque camping grounds.
Nestled in the Gold Coast Hinterland
are charming bed and breakfast lodges, farm resorts, health and spa resorts, country pubs
and guest houses. All offer traditional Australian hospitality and many include in the
tariff activities like birdfeeding and guided bush walks.
For an island experience with a
difference ,South Stradbroke Island is home to award winning resorts that combine
adventure sports and water activities with peaceful surroundings and environmental walks.
FAST FACTS:More than
40,000 rooms/Luxury fully-serviced apartments and exclusive resorts/Backpacker hostels,
camp sites and budget hotels./Great Cuisine and Nightlife
Eating well on Australias Gold Coast comes
without an expensive price tag. Throughout the region there are wonderful al fresco
restaurants, bistros, cafes and tea houses where carefully prepared fresh produce can be
enjoyed at moderate prices.
Fresh seafood and contemporary
Australian cuisine are the Gold Coasts specialties. Creative chefs combine prawns,
crabs, lobster and fish with locally grown herbs, fruits and vegetables to produce a
variety of taste sensations. Other fabulous cuisine available includes tastes from around
the globe including Chinese, Japanese, French, Italian, Spanish, Turkish, Indian, Mexican,
Indonesian, Thai and Middle Eastern delicacies. With more than 500 restaurants, the Gold
Coast is able to showcase regional produce, offer all the worlds great food styles
and cater for special dietary needs.
When the sun goes down, combine great
dining with fun and entertainment at a wide range of venues. Whether its a canal
cruise, stage show, night club or dinner theatre, the talent and performances are among
the best in Australia. There are evening 4WD tours, the chance to spotlight native
animals, see magical glow-worms and dine under the stars amid beautiful rainforests.
Theres 24-hour casino action at Conrad Jupiters and along the coastal strip
youll find relaxing cocktail and wine bars plus live music in pubs and clubs
the excitement never stops.
FAST FACTS:More than
500 restaurants/Creative contemporary Australian cuisine/24-hour casino and
nightlife/Evening rainforest tours.
The Shopping is Sensational:For
dedicated shoppers, the Gold Coast is the place to indulge. Designer labels abound at a
variety of chic boutiques found at Main Beach, Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise.Hot
designer bargains and the latest surf wear can be picked up at factory outlets while
authentic Australian arts and crafts are on display throughout the region. Unusual gifts
and souvenirs can be found at colourful markets staged along the beachfront and in the
hinterland.Visit resort shopping villages and combine spending sprees with a relaxing
coffee or juice at cafes overlooking calm waterways, beaches or cool rainforests. In the
Gold Coast Hinterland, follow the craft and antiques trail and discover works by famous
Australian artists.Three of Australias largest shopping complexes are found on the
Gold Coast and take days to explore. Shop for opals, jewellery, resort fashions, beach
wear, leather goods and pamper yourself with locally produced cosmetic and herbal
Exciting Events and Festivals:The
Gold Coast has always been Australias premier fun spot with world-class festivals
and sporting events happening year round.
Major surfing, surf life saving,
marathon, triathlon, motor sports, horse racing, sailing regattas and tennis events are
played out against a stunning backdrop of sweeping beaches and green mountains.
The regions 40 championship golf
courses are also used for major tournaments attracting the worlds best players