When you think of the Gold Coast, pristine beaches and highrise buildings probably come to mind.
What may not come to mind, however, is that 30 minutes from the beach lies a magnificent mountain rainforest—boasting waterfalls, bushwalking trails and charming villages. The Gold Coast Hinterland, home to Mount Tamborine, the Numinbah Valley and World Heritage-listed Lamington National Park, is home to a lush, green wonderland behind its iconic stretches of golden sand.
Known for its sunny subtropical climate, surfing, endless sandy beaches, a rainforest hinterland, and an interesting nightlife.
Built for pleasure and remaining a place dedicated to sun, surf and the body beauty, this strip of coast is possibly Australia’s most youthful holiday destination.
With about 70 kilometres (44 miles) of beaches and four epic point breaks, it’s easy to see why the Gold Coast is a paradise for lovers of sand, sun and surf.
The Gold Coast has some of the most beautiful stretches of sand in Australia. Whether you love to swim, surf, paddleboard or simply relax, you’ll find a beach to suit.
Queensland’s beaches are the best in the world and the Gold Coast is home to some serious stunners:
Kirra Beach is the Gold Coast’s most famous surf beach with plenty of waves to challenge experienced surfers yet smaller waves breaking closer to shore for beginners. Although waves are good all year, the surf break is very popular during cyclone season as it enjoys solid east and northeast swells.
Located in the Gold Coast’s south, Currumbin, Tugun and Bilinga Beaches are popular with families for their relaxed atmosphere and great range of facilities including surf clubs, patrolled beaches, small surf and even rock pools at Currumbin.
It may officially be called “Nobby Beach”, but FYI non-locals, nobody’s actually calling it that. Because nobody wants to sound ridiculous. “Nobbys”, which only sounds slightly better, is a great little patch of sand playing front yard to the numerous bars, eat haunts, and surf vibes of its namesake suburb. Unlike other popular Gold Coast beaches such as Mermaid Beach and Broadbeach, Nobbys is edged by a headland, where great bodies get greater and many an epic BBQ has been enjoyed.
A stunning coastal holiday town, Burleigh Heads embodies traditional beach culture and features a relaxed pace, even though there are plenty of activities to enjoy. The promenade offers some of Burleigh’s best views and is lined by some of the Gold Coast’s most ancient trees, Norfolk Pines. Nearby are an amazing range of local cafes and restaurants as well as the surf lifesaving club which enjoys spectacular ocean views.
Burleigh Heads is also home to a great range of recreational activities including a gym, barefoot bowls and plenty of picturesque walks.
In fact, Burleigh Heads is full of exceptional natural attractions including a national park where you will discover rainforest, eucalypt forest, pandanus groves, tussock grassland, coastal heath, mangroves, creeks, rocky foreshore and beaches.
Visitors may glimpse humpback dolphins and whales breaching in coastal waters during winter and spring, see white-bellied sea-eagles riding the ridge updrafts, or watch birdwing butterflies feeding on rainforest nectars in mid-summer.
Sure, there are a few high-rises lining Coolangatta’s Greenmount Beach, but not enough to distract from the beauty of its shimmeringly clear waters and rocky, cobbled shoreline. Its north-facing outlook invites calmer waters, ideal for lolling around in the sand. You might not have the place to yourself, however – pods of dolphins love to muck around in these waters, too.
After a multi-million dollar renovation, The Star Gold Coast has emerged as the Gold Coast’s premiere entertainment precinct including the most luxurious accommodation, indulgent spa, a range of bars and restaurants alongside the thrills of a world-class casino. The Star Gold Coast’s signature venue is Nineteen at the Star, a rooftop restaurant and poolside chic lounge bar with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, it’s a dazzling venue for the high roller in us all.
“The Goldie” is one of the biggest party destinations in Australia. There are countless bars, clubs, and pub crawls here. Surfers Paradise has the biggest nightlife (but it’s not really fun unless you want to get really drunk), but Burleigh Heads and Coolangatta is way better and less touristy.
The Gold Coast culinary scene is one that’s served alfresco across its fine-dining restaurants, casual seafood shacks, buzzing cafes, breweries and street-eats. The last few years has seen the GC’s gastronomic offerings mature at a rapid rate, with menus to impress even the most discerning of foodies.
From the world’s tallest and fastest thrill rides, to parks where you can see native Australian wildlife, or splash around in swimming pools and water slides; you’ll find it all on the Gold Coast. Meet your favourite movie characters and super-heroes; or swim with dolphins and sharks in one of the five theme parks.
Springbrook National Park dominates the skyline west of the Gold Coast and is a perfect place for travelers looking for a taste of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. It’s a rather small size and close proximity to Brisbane (100kms) and Gold Coast (30kms), so when it comes to day trips from Gold Coast or Brisbane, Springbrook National Park offers the perfect escape for nature lovers on a tight schedule.
Uncover the history and culture of this beautiful region through the eyes of its traditional custodians.
You don’t have to visit the outback to discover Australia’s Aboriginal culture. It thrives in all major cities, on land where First Nations peoples have lived for tens of thousands of years. Listen to Dreamtime stories as you learn about their traditional ways of life and how their people have adapted to the changing landscape of their custodial lands.
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