The Gold Coast is a metropolitan region south of Brisbane, on the east coast of Australia. It is renowned for its long sandy beaches, surfing spots, and its elaborate system of canals and inland waterways. It is also home to some of the most popular theme parks in the country, such as Dreamworld, Sea World, and Wet’n’Wild. Inland, you can explore the mountain ridges and valleys of Lamington National Park, home to rare birds and rainforest.
Beyond the hustle and bustle of this popular vacation spot, you’ll find plenty of quiet escapes. Golden beaches stretch miles south to Coolangatta, and wildlife parks top the list of popular family attractions. Inside, nature lovers can relax amidst rolling green valleys, lush peaks and World Heritage-listed rainforests. Best of all, the sun shines on the subtropical coast of the Gold Coast more than 300 days a year.
Lifeguards patrol 365 days a year, but swimmers must remain between the red and yellow flags at all times. At night, the beach is illuminated for walks at night. Bargain hunters flock here on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights, from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., to the beachfront markets of Surfers Paradise, with more than a hundred stalls selling everything from fashion, photography and art to souvenirs and jewelry.
SkyPoint, in the contemporary Q1 Resort and Spa, is the tallest residential tower in Australia and offers vertiginous views of the entire Gold Coast. You can choose between two tourist attractions here. The SkyPoint observation deck, on level 77, offers 360-degree views of the Costa Dorada, the sea and the distant, green interior. Those looking for a little more adventure can opt for the SkyPoint Climb, in which thrill seekers climb to a 270-meter-high platform located above the city.
It’s an exciting way to appreciate the terrain. The more expensive SkyPoint Climb includes admission to the observation deck, where you can relax in the cafeteria and see the informative exhibits that will help you plan your stay. They can be climbed in the morning, during the day and at dusk. Close to the border with New South Wales is Coolangatta Beach – a much quieter alternative to Surfers Paradise’s beaches full of tourists. It’s just a 30-minute drive south of Main Beach in Surfers.
Spending a day on its soft sun-drenched sand is one of the best things to do for free on the Gold Coast. The city of Coolangatta is also home to Gold Coast Airport – so you’ll be very close to this coastal beauty if you arrive by plane. Captain James Cook named Point Danger on his 1770 expedition off Australia’s east coast to warn other sailors about treacherous coral reefs. On the last Sunday of every month shoppers can visit Justin Park markets where there are more than 150 stalls selling everything from baked goodies and fresh produce to locally made handicrafts. Don’t miss Steel Taipan – a new stomach-churning roller coaster with a 1.2 kilometer track, half a twisted tube and rotating gondolas – or fly over iconic Australian landscapes on Sky Voyager.
If you want to escape Surfers Paradise’s hustle and bustle and play Robinson Crusoe for a day then South Stradbroke Island is your ideal getaway – affectionately called South Straddie by locals – this 21 kilometer-long island is just 200 meters from The Spit on Surfers Paradise’s north end. But it seems to be a world away! Looking for a little piece of nature amidst Surfers Paradise’s glitz and glamor? You’ll find it on Federation Coastal Walk – a 3.5 kilometer popular walking trail that extends from a fig tree in Sea World’s car park to Gold Coast waterfront along The Spit – crossing 93 hectares of coastline next to jungle and beach. More than 190 species are found in this park including brightly colored parrots and elusive bow birds named for their elaborate bows they build and decorate to impress potential mates – other wild animals include red-necked pademelons and long-nosed bandicoots.
A winding hilltop road leads to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat – a guesthouse and spa where you can also enjoy meals in its cafeteria – spending nights at this romantic retreat is one of Gold Coast’s favorite activities for couples. From here nature lovers can explore park on O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk – 180 meter series of hanging bridges that cross rainforest canopy. Are you traveling with twisted teenagers or children? Plan a day at Warner Bros Movie World where kids can go head-to-head with superheroes ride roller coasters watch stunt shows dive into fantasy lands in interactive 3D attractions.
The top attractions you can visit while staying on Gold Coast are Dreamworld Wet’n’Wild Gold Coast Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary SkyPoint Observation Deck. If you are looking for places that can be visited at no cost of entry then Gold Coast will delight you as there are many! There are endless Gold Coast attractions that can impress travelers of all ages and lifestyles. Of course Gold Coast’s main attraction is its beaches – there are endless options for water sports kayaking jet skiing scuba diving whale watching trips as well as adrenaline filled activities such as skydiving or hot air ballooning. You can visit island on day trip from Gold Coast (it’s also popular day trip from Brisbane) – if you’re looking for things to do on Gold Coast on budget then spend night at one of three campsites on island.