For a break in the sun, head to this expansive city: the perfect combination of beaches, theme parks, nightlife, rain forests and mountains.
With its casinos, Jet Skis, yachts and luxury hotels, the Gold Coast looks like it’s straight out of a James Bond movie. Australia’s major theme parks are all here, and the quieter hinterland offers rock climbing, scenic flights and skydiving for thrill seekers. It’s easy to see why millions of visitors flock to the Gold Coast every year: There are more than 30 beaches, including Burleigh Beach, where professional surfers come to compete in February, as well as great shopping and dining.
The Gold Coast encompasses several seaside towns inhabited by over half a million people, making this Australia’s sixth-largest city. The area covers 541 square miles (1,400 square kilometers) from Beenleigh, south of the Queensland capital Brisbane, to Coolangatta Beach at the New South Wales border.
The first Australians, the Aborigines, called this beautiful land of the sun Kurrungul. Europeans settled here, growing and commercializing the area, from the mid-1800s onwards. Tourism boomed in the 1950s, and the golden opportunity to invest in real estate gave the city its name and its skyline.
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