Explore the Gold Coast

Explore the Gold Coast

Famous for its theme parks, golden beaches, great surf and wild nightlife, the Gold Coast has long been the go-to destination for those in search of fun in the sun.

Easily accessible, just south of Brisbane and with its own airport, the Queensland area has been drawing tourists in droves for decades.

But more than just a resort town, this is a modern city. Development of the area has resulted in row upon row of glittering high-rise hotels and apartments, abundant shopping, restaurants galore along with a range of other tourist attractions such as Dreamworld, Sea World, Wet n Wild and Warner Bros. Movie World.

The world-famous Surfers Paradise, once considered a booze-fuelled den of debauchery, has undergone a renaissance and now is home to a number of cool hotels and quirky bars.

The somewhat quieter Broadbeach area also has plenty to offer, with dozens of great restaurants, weekend markets and its world-class strip of sand.

To the north, is popular surf spot Main Beach which is more laidback, although it is home to one of the only two super-luxurious Palazzo Versace Hotels in the world.

There’s no doubt that the Gold Coast is a playground for glamorous night owls, but it has another quieter side too. Venture into the hinterland and you’ll discover areas of lush rainforest and mountainous regions perfect for hiking and getting back to nature.

Places to Visit on the Gold Coast

  • Surfers Paradise
  • Broadbeach
  • Main Beach
  • Lamington National Park
  • Mount Tamborine

Unique Things to See and Do on the Gold Coast

  • Get a white knuckle thrill at one of the area’s theme parks
  • Take advantage of the world class waves with a surfing lesson
  • Visit the wineries and breweries of the Hinterland
  • Hike the Tamborine National Park, the third oldest National Park in the world
  • Explore the ecological richness of the World Heritage listed Lamington National Park

Surfing the Gold Coast

Renowned as a surfing destination thanks to its 70 kilometres of sand, 35 beaches and four break points, the Gold Coast has immense lure for those keen to catch a wave.

Many international surfing competitions are held here as a result, drawing large crowds of surf fans and some big names.

But the breaks are not just for the professionals. Surfing novices can also have a go, thanks to the wide variety of surf to be found and the reassuring fact that the beaches are patrolled year round by professional lifeguards. And there is no shortage of surf schools to teach you the skills that you need to successfully get up on that board.

Head for the Spit, Main Beach, Narrowneck, Palm Beach and Mermaid Beach for almost guaranteed waves.

Or for a look at the history of surfing in the region, head for Surf World Gold Coast – a significant collection of boards and surfing memorabilia collected by the areas most passionate surfers.

Getting Around the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is served by trains, buses, taxis and ferries, with self-drive also a great option for holidaymakers. There is also a 13 km integrated tram system which includes 16 tram stations.

The Gold Coast Go Explore card is probably the easiest way for visitors to get around the area. It offers unlimited one-day TransLink Gold Coast bus and tram travel.

Best Time of Year to Travel to the Gold Coast

On average, 287 days of the year on the Gold Coast will be filled with warm, bright sunshine, so it’s difficult to pick a bad time of year to visit.

Nonetheless, summer is probably the safest bet with the months from December to February notching up average temperatures between 19 and 29 degrees Celsius. But winter is still mild enough to continue to enjoy the area’s attractions. From June to August, average temperatures sit between 9 and 21 degrees Celsius.

With a subtropical climate and an average water temperature of 22 degrees, the Gold Coast is an any time of year destination.

Did you know…?

The name the Gold Coast was first used to describe this coastal area only in the late 1940s when it was used by journalists to describe a real estate boom. But the name stuck, with it being officially adopted because it also represented the golden sand, sunshine and healthy lifestyle that the area had become known for.

Did you ALSO know…?

The Gold Coast’s Lamington National Park is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area - the largest subtropical rainforest remnant in the world.

Ready to plan your visit to Gold Coast? Check out these popular guides and trips.

Join GuideAdvisor Now.
3 great reasons!

Sign up now. It's easy!

I'm a traveler I'm a Guide