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The Gold Coast offers an intriguing mix of man-made and natural attractions, making it one of Australia’s most versatile holiday destinations. If you crave the luxury of casinos and private yachts, tick! If you seek the boho beach life surrounded by bronzed surfers, tick! If you enjoy splashing the cash in shops and markets, tick! If you’re looking for family-friendly theme parks, tick! If you’re a nature-lover with a thirst for adventure, tick! The list goes on.
The Gold Coast covers an area of 1,400 square kilometres stretching from Beenleigh, south of the Queensland capital Brisbane, to the New South Wales border at Coolangatta Beach. Several seaside towns comprise the city of Gold Coast, making it Australia’s sixth-largest and home to more than half a million inhabitants. It started life as the Aboriginal settlement of Kurrungul, or “land of the sun”, before the Europeans arrived in the mid-19th century and began to develop its commercial potential.
The tourist boom began to take off in earnest a century later, thanks to some of the best surfing beaches in Australia, notably Burleigh Beach and the appropriately named Surfers Paradise Beach. The latter, in particular, is also known for its excellent shopping and dining and vibrant nightlife, while nearby Coolangatta Beach is popular with families and swimmers because its sheltered position protects it from the bigger Pacific rollers.
There’s no shortage of entertainment choices along the Gold Coast, which is the location of most of the country’s major theme parks. The marine-inspired Sea World offers a chance to learn more about sea creatures, while Movie World provides a glimpse of the hard work behind the glamour of the movie industry. Activity parks such as Wet’n’Wild Water World and Dreamworld offer state-of-the-art rides and a chance for thrill-seekers to let their hair down.
Watersport fans have over 30 beaches to choose from along the coast, while walkers and rock climbers can head inland for challenging and picturesque routes that offer some of the best views in the area. Or take a scenic flight for an unrivalled bird’s-eye panorama of one of Australia’s jewels.
The Gold Coast is a year-round destination, but it can be very busy in peak periods, especially during “Schoolies” (high school graduate celebrations) in November, when the fun can get a bit rowdy. The summer months of December to February are hot and humid, while June to August is dry and sunny, making it perfect for a temperate winter break.
Situated by the ocean, this luxury hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from The Star Gold Coast and within 3 mi (5 km) of Surfers Paradise Beach and Cavill Avenue. Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre and Oasis Shopping Centre are also within 10 minutes.
This family-friendly Surfers Paradise hotel is located on the Strip, within a 10-minute walk of SkyPoint Observation Deck, Surfers Paradise Beach, and Cavill Avenue. Timezone and Centro Surfers Paradise are also within 10 minutes.
Situated in North Tamborine, this luxury guesthouse is within 1 mi (2 km) of Tamborine National Park Witches Falls Section, Mount Tamborine Winery, and Witches Falls Winery. Cedar Creek Estate Vineyard and Winery and Glow Worm Caves are also within 2 mi (3 km).
Situated near the beach, this luxury aparthotel is 0.2 mi (0.3 km) from Oracle Boulevard and within 3 mi (5 km) of Surfers Paradise Beach and Cavill Avenue. Oasis Shopping Centre and Broadbeach Mall are also within 10 minutes.
Mantra on View Hotel is located a block from the beachfront Esplanade, one of Surfers Paradise's entertainment hotspots. A daily shuttle connects guests to Warner Bros. Movie World, SeaWorld, and Dreamworld within a half-hour. Jupiters Casino is a 15-minute drive south.
This family-friendly Carrara hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Palm Meadows Golf Course and Metricon Stadium. Broadbeach Mall and Surfers Paradise Beach are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Located in Surfers Paradise, this beachfront apartment is in the city center and within a 10-minute walk of Infinity Attraction, Cavill Avenue, and Surfers Paradise Beach. Sea World is 2.8 mi (4.5 km) away.
Situated near the beach, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Cascade Gardens, Surfers Paradise Beach, and Cavill Avenue. SkyPoint Observation Deck and Kurrawa Beach are also within 1 mi (2 km).