Surfers Paradise Beach, Gold Coast – Image courtesy of mycitylife.com.au
Honeymoon guide to the Gold Coast
Discover one of Australia's leading holiday and honeymoon playgrounds – the Gold Coast is a stunning 42km-long strip of sun-drenched, squeaky clean, white-sand beach that stretches almost uninterrupted from the Spit, north of Surfers Paradise, to Rainbow Bay, south of Coolangatta.
Choose from 35 patrolled beaches that sit close to action-packed theme parks, World Heritage-listed rainforests, championship golf courses and a huge range of shopping and nightlife options to suit all budgets and lifestyles.
Blessed with a year-round sunny climate (averaging 24°C to a high of 30°C), the Gold Coast offers honeymoon couples a vast expanse of pristine beach boasting serious surf action, al fresco dining, outdoor adventure activities and a range of festivals and events.
Top beaches on the Gold Coast
From the glitz and glamour of Surfers Paradise to quiet Burleigh, there is a Gold Coast beach for every couple.
The Gold Coast’s most popular beaches, include…
Main Beach offers silky smooth sand that shelves into tumbling waves perfect for surfing, boogie boarding and swimming (if you like your sea quite rough).
Some of the best surf can be found just south of the jetty at the Broadwater sea entrance.
Behind the beach lies a park that’s perfect for a barbecue and, just a short walk away, you can enjoy streets lined with al fresco restaurants, cafés and designer boutiques.
Main beach is located on the Pacific Ocean side of a long sandbar known as the Spit, which divides the sheltered waters of the Broadwater lagoon and the ocean.
The Spit is home to Sea World, Australia’s largest marine theme park; the 5-star Palazzo Versace Hotel; and Marina Mirage, an elegant shopping and dining complex featuring exclusive boutiques, art galleries and gourmet restaurants.
Just offshore lie several dive sites including the wreck of the Scottish Prince.
One of the most popular holiday destinations in Australia, Surfers Paradise offers a vibrant cityscape complete with Miami Beach-style high-rises that overlook a stunning 3km-long beach.
Sunbathe on the gorgeous powder-white sand, cool off with a swim, ride a wave or roller blade the beachfront promenade.
Afterwards, enjoy al fresco dining in one the numerous cafés and restaurants that crowd the busy streets. Browse art galleries for works by local artists, indulge in retail therapy at Prada, Louis Vuitton and Gucci or in duty-free outlets, souvenir shops and beachfront markets.
In the evening enjoy gourmet cuisine then party the night away in any of the more than 30 bars and nightclubs.
For a spectacular 360-degree view of the coast and hinterland, head to QDeck on levels 77 and 78 of Q1, the world's tallest residential tower.
In March, watch the pros make surfing look easy at the annual Quicksilver Pro-Surfing Competition and the Surf Life Saving Championships.
Located just south of Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach offers an excellent stretch of beach with more of a village atmosphere than its exuberant neighbour.
Go surfing or swimming, relax on the white-sand beach, enjoy a picnic in scenic Kurrawa Park or head to the trendy outdoor cafés and restaurants that line Surf Parade and Broadbeach Mall.
Come evening, pop into a lively bar or play the tables at Conrad Jupiters Casino, probably the best-known attraction at Broadbeach, with its wall-to-wall table games and gaming machines operating 24/7.
Don’t miss the beachfront craft markets, held on the first and third Sunday of every month.
Sunbathe on this magnificent beachfront or check out the great surf breaks.
Mermaid Beach is famous for its 'millionaire's row' – beachfront homes built along Hedges Avenue fronting the beach.
Mermaid offers a range of al fresco dining restaurants and cafes including the local Surf Life Saving Club, with great views overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
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Discover a stunning stretch of white sand perfect for families and children, with a beachfront park and children's playground.
After a cooling swim, check out the Miami Surf Life Saving Club for a refreshing drink or tasty dinner.
Located between Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta, Burleigh Heads is world renowned for its outstanding surf conditions.
Join professional surfers from around the world and take on Burleigh’s tubular barrel waves or watch international surfing competitions such as the Quicksilver Pro Surf Tournament.
Lined with towering pines and pandanus palms, this beachside village offers a relaxed, beachside charm with a range of alfresco restaurants, cafes and bars.
Take a short walk over the headland, through Burleigh Heads National Park to Tallebudgera Creek, and enjoy superb views of the surrounding coastline.
Don’t miss the art and craft markets held here on the last Sunday of each month.
Located along the southern stretch of the Gold Coast, Kirra boasts one of the most popular and spectacular point breaks in Australia.
Relax on Kirra Beach and watch the experts ride the point’s famous big hollow tubes or hire a long board and join in the fun.
Smaller waves closer to shore on Kirra Beach make this a good spot for beginners to take surf lessons.
Located at the southern end of the Gold Coast on the border between Queensland and New South Wales, Coolangatta boasts some of the region's best surfing and most beautiful beaches.
Choose the more challenging rides at Point Danger and Kirra Point or for gentler breaks head to Greenmount Beach (photo) or Rainbow Bay, which also has a playground for children and picnic facilities.
Walk the scenic Greenmount to Rainbow Bay coastal track or choose to dine at one of the beachside alfresco bistros and cafés.
Don’t miss the beachfront handicraft market held on the second Sunday of every month.
A real surf club town, Coolangatta has a wide range of pubs and restaurants: for good food and great yarns try the renowned Port O' Call hotel.
Rainbow Bay Beach
Relax on the Gold Coast’s most southern beach, a tiny crescent of white sand sandwiched between Greenmount and Snapper Rocks.
The beach fronts Superbank – one of the world's top surf breaks. Watch the experts or take your turn to surf some great waves.
Snapper Rocks Beach
Expect a certain electricity around ‘Cooly’ come Quiksilver Pro contest time, when the best surfers in the world descend on one of the best surf beaches in Australia.
Situated on the southern-most tip of the Gold Coast, Snapper Rocks is a gnarly outcrop of old lava rock set sideways to the line of coast, and the start of almost 1.6km of right sandbar point break on probably the single most crowded surfing area in the world.
On a good day it's possible to count more than 1000 surfers in the water, yet somehow the crowd usually takes care of itself.
Read more about surfing Snapper Rocks…
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What to do and see on the Gold Coast
Head to the theme parks for some thrills, watch a cavalcade of horseback action at the Australian Outback Spectacular, explore the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary or climb Mount Warning before sunrise to get a sensational view of the coastal beaches that extend from Surfers Paradise to Byron Bay.
Hike through rugged mountain scenery past tumbling waterfalls, subtropical rainforest and rare flora and fauna in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed reserves of the Gold Coast hinterland.
Wannabe surfers can attend a surf clinic and learn the basics of form and technique.
Between June and November, experience the thrill of seeing majestic humpback whales on their annual migration past the Gold Coast beaches.
Several whale watching cruises depart from Main Beach. In March, watch athletes compete in the Quicksilver Pro-Surfing Competition and the Surf Life Saving Championships.
Thrill to the Gold Coast Indy car race in October, but steer away from Surfers Paradise in Mid-November if you don’t want to find yourself in the middle of the end-of-school-year celebrations known as Schoolies Week; thousands of high school graduates from across the country converge on Surfers for a week of hard partying.
Gold Coast Sightseeing
The Gold Coast offers a choice of attractions for adventurous couples, including the following…
Gold Coast Theme Parks
The Gold Coast is Australia's theme park capital. Check out the fastest, the longest, the highest and the most exciting thrill rides in the country – along with unique wildlife experiences and top-notch entertainment.
You'll find it all here: from Dreamworld, Sea World and Warner Bros. Movie World to WhiteWater World and Wet'n'Wild Water World…
Tip: If you plan to spend a few days on the Gold Coast and want to visit several theme parks, check out the range of great-value multi passes available.
Cycle or walk along the Oceanway, a 36km network of pathways that stretches along the beaches from the Gold Coast Seaway (The Spit) to the Point Danger Lighthouse (Coolangatta).
Take in the glorious sea views from Point Danger, Greenmount, Kirra Point, Elephant Rock, Currumbin Ridge or Burleigh Heads.
The track passes through a number of leafy beachside reserves, with a range of facilities including showers, barbecues and playgrounds.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Get up close and personal with colourful rainbow lorikeets, just one of the more than 1400 native Australian animals that live in this natural bushland and rainforest setting.
Hold a tray of food for wild rainbow lorikeets that flock here by the hundreds twice a day for feeding at 8am and 4pm.
Read more about the Currumbin Wildlife Sancturay…
Gold Coast Hinterland
Discover this cool, green region only a 30-minute drive from the golden beaches and bright neon lights of the Gold Coast. Drive along backcountry lanes through pretty canyons into quiet highland valleys with scenic lookouts.
At an altitude ranging from 500m to 1000m, savour the clean, crisp air as you explore national parks on foot or bike, spot wildlife and sample locally made wine at several boutique vineyards.
Read more about the Gold Coast hinterland…
Where to stay on the Gold Coast
The Gold Coast offers a huge range of resort accommodation to suit all honeymoon budgets, including the following 5-star hotels…
Location: 21 Elizabeth Avenue, Broadbeach
Ave nightly price: AUD396 per room
Description: Peppers Broadbeach Resort offers luxurious accommodation with guest use of an iPad, WiFi and car parking for 1 vehicle. Facilities include Zen gardens, tai chi lawns, private cinemas, a hot tub, guest lounges, a teppanyaki barbecue, a steam room and a sauna. Lap, plunge and resort pools are available. All suites boast their own private balcony. All suites boast exceptional interior design with European appliances and imported stone throughout. The resort includes a pillow menu and gourmet minibar with local and organic products. Over 100 al fresco restaurants offering cuisines from around the world are located on the doorstep. Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast Convention Centre and Pacific Fair are within walking distance. Located only 25 minutes’ drive from Gold Coast Airport, this luxury resort includes 2 towers that soar high above Broadbeach.
Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach
Location: 81 Surf Parade, Broadbeach
Ave nightly price: AUD385 per room
Description: Located just 50 metres from the beach, the Sofitel Gold Coast Hotel is situated in the heart of cosmopolitan Broadbeach. Guests enjoy 30 minutes of free WiFi in the lobby per day. Sofitel Gold Coast features 296 spacious and contemporary furnished guest rooms. All of the rooms feature private balconies with panoramic views over the ocean or the river, marble bathrooms with Roger & Gallet accessories and a range of modern amenities. The Sofitel is located opposite the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, the largest shopping centre in the Southern Hemisphere. It is just a short walk away from the Gold Coast Convention Centre and Exhibition Centre, and linked by monorail to Jupiter’s Casino.
Jupiters Hotel & Casino
Location: Broadbeach Island, Broadbeach
Ave nightly price: AUD286 per room
Description: Hotel & Casino is set amongst 7 acres of landscaped gardens and parklands. It features a wide range of restaurants and bars and a 24/hour casino. Guests at Jupiters Hotel & Casino can enjoy a swim in the outdoor pool, work out in the fitness centre, or relax with a soothing massage. All rooms feature individual climate control, cable TV and an in-room safe. Each room has a work desk with high speed broadband or wireless internet, plus movie and gaming channels on the flat-screen TV. Guests can take a short stroll to the shops and restaurants of Broadbeach. The beach is only a 10-minute walk from Jupiters Hotel.
Location: Main Beach
Ave nightly price: AUD350 per room
Description: Nestled between the beautiful Pacific Ocean and Gold Coast Broadwater, Palazzo Versace offers spectacular architecture and bespoke furnishings. Guests enjoy free WiFi access. This fashion-brand hotel has an Aurora Spa Retreat, a 24-hour fitness and wellbeing centre, a private marina, a Versace Boutique and event facilities. There are also swimming pools and a spa pool. Guests can dine at 3 award winning restaurants, Vie Bar and Restaurant serving contemporary Australian flavours, II Barocco Restaurant, serving a fresh and lavish seafood buffet and Vanitas. Palazzo Versace also boasts 2 chic bars including Le Jardin, where you can try the latest cocktail, enjoy a high tea or relax with a coffee in the beautiful lobby. All rooms and suites are decorated with Versace furnishings, luxurious fabrics and floor to ceiling windows. They also include private balconies, a cable TV, DVD player and bathrooms with spa baths. The hotel has private valet parking and offers an airport transfer shuttle on request. Versace Palazzo is less than 10 minutes’ walk from Marina Mirage and Sea World.
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Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort Gold Coast
Location: Main Beach
Ave nightly price: AUD367 per room
Description: Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort Gold Coast features a pool bar, a health spa and direct beach access. This luxurious property is a 10-minute drive from Surfers Paradise and a 15-minute drive from Jupiters Casino. All guest rooms boast views of the garden, lagoon or the ocean. Each has the signature Sweet Sleeper Bed, an iPod dock and flat-screen cable TV. The property has a lap pool and a gym. You can pamper yourself at Golden Door Spa and Health Club. Terraces Restaurant features a buffet which includes fresh local seafood, traditional favourites and desserts. Pearls Bar enjoys views of tropical gardens and Pacific Ocean, and it offers premium beers on tap, high tea and light meals. Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort Gold Coast is a 30-minute drive from Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and Gold Coast Airport. It is a 20-minute drive from Warner Bros Movie World and Wet'n'Wild Water World.
Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa
Location: Surfers Paradise
Ave nightly price: AUD362 per room
Description: Featuring a private saltwater lagoon, sandy beaches and an artificial reef with tropical fish, the 28-storey Marriott Resort & Spa is set in the heart of Surfers Paradise. Guests enjoy panoramic hinterland and river views, 5 on-site dining options, the Ruby Spa and a fitness centre. The air-conditioned rooms feature a private balcony offering views of the Gold Coast Hinterland, Surfers Paradise skyline or Pacific Ocean. All rooms include free WiFi, a flat-screen TV, a bathroom with a shower, bathrobes, luxurious toiletries and a hairdryer. Misono Japanese Steakhouse offers a unique Teppanyaki dining experience, while fresh local seafood and seasonal produce are showcased at Citrique Restaurant. Set on 2.5 acres of ponds and waterfalls, Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa boasts a private marina on the Nerang River. The property is 300 metres from the Light Rail station.The Dreamworld, Seaworld and MovieWorld theme parks are all within 30 minutes’ drive.
Hilton Surfers Paradise Hotel
Location: Surfers Paradise
Ave nightly price: AUD287 per room
Description: Rising high above Surfers Paradise Beach, this stylish hotel offers spacious rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows and stunning views. Guests can choose from 2 bars, 2 restaurants and 4 swimming pools. Each room at Hilton Surfers Paradise features a work desk with high-speed internet access and a 37-inch LCD cable TV and on-demand movie channels. Some rooms also have a private balcony. Guests can enjoy modern Australian cuisine in the all-day restaurant, while the cafe serves coffee and light snacks. The Pool Bar Pavillion offers drinks and meals by the pool. Facilities include 2 fully equipped exercise rooms, a 55 yard pool, 7 spas and a sauna. 24-hour room service is available. Surfers Paradise Hilton is conveniently located between Orchid Avenue and Surfers Paradise Boulevard, next to the nightlife of Cavill Mall. It is a 45 minute walk to Marina Mirage.
InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort
Location: Sanctuary Cove
Ave nightly price: AUD206 per room
Description: InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort is a 5-star resort, boasting an elegant and stylish design. Set in beautiful surrounds, guests enjoy access to a saltwater beach lagoon pool. The Gold Coast theme parks, including Dreamworld and Warner Bros Movieworld, are within a 15-minute drive. Mount Tamborine and the Gold Coast Hinterland are within a 30-minute drive. Boasting lush garden or water views, the spacious guest rooms feature wooden flooring, quality bed linens, a flat-screen TV, high-speed internet access and shutters opening onto a furnished balcony. Guests can choose between relaxing by the swimming pools or playing a round of golf at 1 of 2 internationally-renowned championship golf courses —The Pines and The Palms. Guests also enjoy access to The Recreational Centre which offers a fitness centre and 5 tennis courts. It is just a short walk to the The Marine Village, located on the water's edge of Coomera River and offers over 80 restaurants, cafés and boutique stores.
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Best time to visit the Gold Coast
The best time to visit the Gold Coast is anytime. The Gold Coast receives more than 300 days of sunshine each year; even winter temperatures average a high of 22°C (72°F).
The Gold Coast experiences a subtropical climate characterized by hot, humid summers and mild, dry winters.
Summer (December to February) is generally the most popular time, even though humidity is relatively high and you can expect the occasional storm.
Autumn and spring are more pleasant with less humidity and still plenty of sunshine, while winter, although cooler, is the driest time of the year.
More about Gold Coast weather …
Getting to the Gold Coast
The Gold Coast – centred on Surfers Paradise – is located in southeast Queensland, around 78km south of Brisbane.
The most convenient route to the Gold Coast is to fly into the Gold Coast Airport (also known as Coolangatta Airport), a 40 minute drive from Surfers Paradise. Alternatively, you can fly into Brisbane International Airport and then take a shuttle bus to all the major accommodations along Surfers Paradise.
More about how to get to the Gold Coast…
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Latest update: the Gold Coast, Queensland:
5 August, 2018
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