The Gold Coast is actually a city in Queensland, only 66km from the state capital of Brisbane, which can be done on a day trip very easily, and with a population of 638,000 it is the 6th largest city in Australia. Getting in by plane requires that you land at Coolangatta Airport, which is interesting in itself because the New South Wales and Queensland borders run through the middle of the runway, meaning you will land in one state and then disembark in another at the terminal building!
Getting Around The Area
To get around Gold Coast itself, you can take the very convenient Light Rail which runs from 5.00am to midnight. Gold Coast has several districts, each with their own flavour: The Main Beach is essentially a high-rise residential area with a nice beach, while Surfers Paradise is infamous for it’s surfing and wild nightlife: Many younger people come to Gold Coast from all over Australia and New Zealand to enjoy the sun, the nightlife and surfing, especially those on vacation from university.
Things To See And Do
Broad Beach has a casino and some shopping complexes, while Burleigh Heads beaches that are very popular with families and to a lesser extent younger surfers. Just outside the city, you can explore the ‘Hinterland’, which spans from west of the Pacific Motorway and is a spectacular collection of national parks, which mainly consists of mountain ranges and rainforest, which will make a welcome change for those who have just spent a while travelling in the more arid areas of Australia!
The highlight of the Hinterland are the Tamborine Mountain, which is home to numerous local small businesses running excellent restaurants, fudge making shops and even some wineries.
Other things to do include beautiful destinations within the Hinterland include Numinbah Valley – which has abundant waterfalls, rainforest walks and cleared grazing land, and Currumbin Valley which commands panoramic views of of the rainforests and Mount Tallebudgera. Many of these areas also have wildlife sanctuaries you can visit.
So, the Gold Coast and it’s surrounding area has something for literally everyone. With family friendly beaches to be found amongst the surfing beaches, and with Theme Parks and Water Parks, children will be well entertained throughout their stay, while the legendary nightlife and surfing draws a steady mix of young party goers and beach lovers.
The best way by far to experience these natural wonders just out of Gold Coast is by car, as you can then do it all at your own pace, however there are a number of excellent tours that can be arranged ranging from bus tours to all inclusive 4×4 tours deeper into the Hinterland and usually come with camping options.
Just like the fact that Gold Coast has a little bit of everything for everyone, gold coast accommodation reflects that and is available from budget basic hostels and guest houses – which are popular with younger people – all the way to luxury hotels that offer swimming pools, room service, mini-fridges and wonderful views over the beaches via spacious balconies.
With so much to do and catering to all budgets it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Gold Coast continues to grow and grow in popularity every passing year.