|Lazy days of sun and surf combined with vibrant nights of excitement and action - this is what makes the Gold Coast one of the most alluring vacation destinations. In fact, the Gold Coast has been Australia's favorite vacation destination for generations - it's where the Aussies play.
Waves from the broad, blue Pacific Ocean break onto golden beaches under a sub-tropical sun. It's images like these, and of course the bronzed Aussie surf lifesavers that are synonymous with the Gold Coast.
Venture inland from the Gold Coast's beaches and a totally different world unfolds - the green behind the gold. A world of tropical World Heritage listed rainforests, rock pools and waterfalls, mountain villages and other hidden treasures.
Hundreds of restaurants and dining precincts span every kind of dining experience, from elegant silver service to alfresco. Just about every national cuisine is represented, including of course modern and traditional Australian.
The Coast with the Most
The Gold Coast is one of Australia's leading holiday playgrounds. With 42km of sun-drenched beaches, World Heritage Listed rainforests, theme parks, shopping and nightlife, it's the Coast with the Most.
Head to a surf school, catch a major surf lifesaving carnival or build a sandcastle at the many beaches running along the Gold Coast. Some of the more popular beaches are Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Burleigh Heads, Currumbin and Coolangatta. It's a major family destination with protected waterways and rock pools for safe swimming, white sandy beaches for long walks and a huge choice of attractions. You can even enjoy an island adventure. South Stradbroke Island is within easy reach of the northern Gold Coast. With nine times more waterways and canals than Venice - be prepared to enjoy some on-water fun with sunset cruises, sailing, jetski rides or fishing.
Head inland for a contrasting experience. Visit pretty hinterland areas such as Tamborine Mountain or get the sense of rural lifestyle at places such as Beaudesert. The Gold Coast has some of the most diverse flora and fauna areas in Australia with World Heritage Listed rainforests near the New South Wales border. Walk amongst ancient Antarctic Beech trees, wonder at spectacular Springbrook waterfalls or head to Tamborine or Lamington National Parks. You can view delicate glow worms or see pretty marsupials pademelons.
The Gold Coast is Australia's theme park capital, with three major parks offering thrills, spills and excitement There's adrenalin sports - from bungy jumping and parasailing to abseiling. And, a number of wildlife parks giving you the chance to meet some colourful Australians such as rainbow lorikeets, kangaroos, wallabies and reptiles.
Shopping centres abound with some of Australia's largest shopping precincts. Visit Pacific Fair, Harbourtown, The Oasis, Surfers Paradise, Marina Mirage, Runaway Bay Shopping Centre on the coast or head to the hinterland to craft stores and art galleries. And there's a huge array of markets with specialist farmer's markets, beachfront and evening events.
Choose from more than 500 restaurants, fresh seafood, authentic ethnic cuisine or Queensland meat. An established tourism infrastructure means you'll find an answer to all your needs - including diners with cultural or religious dietary requirements. Dining precincts extend along the coast include Main Beach, The Spit, Chevron Island, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Burleigh Heads, and Coolangatta.
The Gold Coast is an event capital in Queensland. There's the fast pace of the annual Indy car race each October, racing carnivals, outrigging and marathon events. Go to the cinema, see a live musical or themed show, head to a nightclub or casino, the fun continues 24 hours a day.
For golfers, there's more than 40 championship golf courses in the region. Play at superb sites designed by Greg Norman, Arnold Palmer or Jack Nicklaus. Pleasant weather year-round means golf can be on your holiday schedule summer or winter.
Within an easy day's outing from coastal areas, sip locally-made wines on the Gold Coast wine trail. Many wineries offer special entertainment through the year with jazz, gourmet food or entertainment. Visit on your own or take a tour.
Spas And Rejuvenation
Australia's leading holistic retreats and some fabulous spa resorts are located on the Gold Coast. Be pampered, take a healing exercise program or relax with the soothing rhythms of nature.
The Gold Coast Airport has domestic and international connections and there are frequent connecting services by coach or rail to Brisbane's airports.