|Main Beach on the Gold Coast – Image courtesy Bruce Miller/CSIRO|
Introducing the Gold Coast, Queensland
Explore one of Australia's leading holiday playgrounds. Bright and energetic, the Gold Coast offers 42km of sun-drenched beaches, several theme parks, World Heritage-listed rainforests and a range of shopping and nightlife options.
A sunny climate means you can enjoy outdoor adventure activities, al fresco dining, sports and a range of year round festivals and events. From vibrant Surfers to quiet Burleigh, this is a destination that offers something for everyone.
What to do and see on the Gold Coast
The Gold Coast is a mecca for watersports, thrills and spills. Check out the theme parks or head to the beach for a spot of fishing, parasailing, jet-skiing, kayaking, swimming and surfing. 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. Several whale watching cruises depart from Main Beach.
Trip length from Brisbane 3 days
Total distance 204km Road conditions All sealed roads
Segment distances: Brisbane to Surfers Paradise 1hr 15mins; 78km
Surfers Paradise to Coolangatta 35mins; 24km
Coolangatta to Brisbane 1hr 30mins; 102km
Suggested overnight stops: Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta
Must-see sights along the route, include:
One of the most popular holiday destinations in Australia, Surfers Paradise offers a vibrant cityscape alongside a stunning long beach. Dive into the surf or 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 and party the night away in any of the more than 30 bars and nightclubs. For a spectacular 360° view of the coast and hinterland, head to QDeck on levels 77 and 78 of Q1, the world's tallest residential tower.
Find Surfers Paradise hotels . . .
Located just south of Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach offers more of a village atmosphere than its exuberant neighbour. Head to Broadbeach Mall and Surf Parade, lined with trendy outdoor cafés and restaurant, relax on the beach or enjoy a picnic in scenic Kurrawa Park.
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.
Lined with towering pines and pandanus palms, this beachside village is home to one of Australia's best surf beaches. 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.
Gold Coast beaches
From the glitz and glamour of Surfers Paradise to quiet Burleigh, there is a Gold Coast beach for every couple. Read more about Gold Coast beaches. . .
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 Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. . .
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 or Rainbow Bay, which also has a playground for children and picnic facilities. Several al fresco bistros and cafés are located close to the beach and, on the second Sunday of every month, a handicraft market is set up along the beachfront.
Discover a selection of the best hotels in Coolangatta – find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say at TripAdvisor.
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.
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.
Getting to the Gold Coast . . .