Australia's Gold Coast (in Queensland) is a city, made up of various districts, that is incredibly popular with tourists from within Australia and all over the world. You will have to be okay with the fact that you won't find much peace in the city itself (for a bit of quiet, you might want to consider going to the Gold Coast Hinterland), there will be tourists everywhere. The Gold Coast is filled with theme parks, and is of course very popular because of the many beaches and fantastic surfing spots.
How to get there
The best and fastest way to get to the Gold Coast is by plane. You also have the option to travel there from another city by train. However, this takes quite a long time – and long train trips usually also cost a lot of money. If you intend to take the train, be aware that you'll lose a whole day (depending on where in Australia you travel from, it might even take more than a day).
How to get around
Once you arrived in the Gold Coast, you have a few options on how to get around. There are a few districts that are nice to walk around in, but of course you need to get there first.
You can either hire a rental car, take the tram, a bus, or hire a bicycle. There are also many taxis around, but of course that would be a more expensive option than public transport or hiring a bike.
Public transport is very good, and buses run all day long (there are, however, more frequent buses during the daytime hours).
Best times of the year to visit
The Gold Coast is in a part of Australia that is mild all year round. In winter, it is around 21 degrees Celsius on average, and in summer it's 26 degrees Celsius. The winter is usually quite nice, while summer months often come with storms, so winter, early spring and late autumn might be your best bet to avoid more serious storms.
A speciality of the region – theme parks and dubious ticket offers
As already mentioned: there are a lot of theme parks in the Gold Coast. And they are very popular. Once something turns out to be a people magnet, others would like to cash in on it, too. That's just the way the world works. This is why there are people who offer free entry tickets to theme parks. But wait – there's a catch. Before you get to one of those free tickets, you will have to sit through a special event (which usually involves heaps of sale pitches), and at the end, you will have to sign up for some programme, or buy something, before you can get your free ticket. Then the ticket is not so free any more, and many people end up paying more for a product/service they did not want in the first place. While the theme parks are fantastic, those scammers are not – yet they are a common sight in the Gold Coast. Please avoid them – there are enough official special offers for reduced ticket prices.
The sights and activities you shouldn't miss
Surfers Paradise Beach: This is one of the most popular beaches in the Gold Coast of Australia. The further North or South you go from the part that is packed with tourists (why they always build huge groups in the same spot along a beach is a tourist mystery that will never be solved), the more likely you'll be to find a spot that is a little more peaceful (which means, you have a few metres of space around you). This is one of the best beaches for people and surfer watching.
North Burleigh is a beach for people who like it more peaceful. But there are jellyfish, so you can't swim there. If you would simply lie at a beach though, this is your option if Surfers Paradise is just too crowded and touristy for you.
A tour to the Hinterland: To get away from the beaches and the city, you should either go on one of the many tours into the Hinterland, or organise your own tour.
Gold Coast Whale Adventures: If you would like to see the beach from a different perspective (which is from a ship), and would also like to see some whales, you should head over to Gold Coast Whale Adventures.
Warner Bros Movie World: You'll have heard the name – and if you love movie worlds and would like to become part of some Warner Bros Movie, then you shouldn't miss a visit to this theme park.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary: This is for the animals lovers. The more money you're willing to spend, the more of an experience you can have in this wildlife park. There are crocodiles, snakes, birds, and the usual koalas and kangaroos. If you're willing to pay the price, you can also take part in some close encounters.
Sea World: If you like sharks, dolphins, polar bears, and other creatures of and from around
Top bars and night clubs
Surfers Paradise has an abundance of bars and night clubs to choose from. Simply walk down the main street and you can choose from hundreds of cool cocktail bars, sports bars, classic taverns, lounge, hotel bars with chic interior. We recommend visiting a different one each night you are on the Gold Coast to really appreciate the mix and style available here.