Surfers Paradise, Qld. Photo credit: Tourism and Events Queensland
Surfing nirvana, world-class theme parks, treetop walks. And Guinness?
Here’s a challenge for you. Stand with your back to the Gold Coast ocean, close your eyes and throw a stick. We practically guarantee you’ll hit an Irish pub.
If partying is high on your agenda, then welcome home. Happily though, you don’t have to get too far below the surface to discover there’s a lot more to the Gold Coast than enjoying the craic.
Gold Coast’s Theme Parks
Does keeping your lunch down and your pulse rate up sound like your kind of challenge? Head for Dreamworld, Wet ‘n’ Wild Water Park, or the themed rides at Movie World, where you can also enjoy the shows and explore the film sets, props and costumes.
The award-winning Sea World is a must. Its reputation as one of the world’s best theme parks is well-earned. You’ll find dolphin and seal shows, polar bears (no doubt wondering where all the snow went), and Shark Bay where you can get close up to some impressively large and toothy specimens.
Hit the surf
Surfers Paradise didn’t get its name for nothing. But while the surf’s good, the crowds are hefty too and can make catching a wave feel like you’re pushing your way onto the District Line at rush hour.
Get away from the crowds at Coolangatta and Burleigh Heads. Both are renowned for their surf, both have good bathing beaches, and if you want to learn to surf Coolangatta has a cracking surf school.
Around Gold Coast
Get a different (and pretty darn stunning) view of the city and coast by heading up the Q1 tower, the tallest building in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere (when measured to the top of its spire). For a different but equally glorious view of the coast head for The Spit.
Mount Tamborine, Springbrook, and Lamington National Parks offer a real escape from the Gold Coast. Most people visit the Green Mountains section of Lamington because of the treetop walkway at O’Reilly’s. It’s an exhilarating experience, climbing into the rainforest canopy, but whichever park you explore you’ll find walking trails, gorges and waterfalls that are well worth the journey.
Gold Coast Nuggets
Gold Coast City is 80km (about 50 miles) from state capital Brisbane.
It’s the most popular holiday destination for Aussies and gets almost 5 million visitors per year.
Lamington and Springbrook National Parks are only an hour’s drive away. Lamington National Park is the largest preserved subtropical rainforest in Australia.
Laugh in the face of public transport and make exploring the city more exciting. Travel the waterways by jet-ski, available from local tour operators.
Average water temperature is a toasty 22°C. No wonder Aussies spend so much time in it.
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