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Gold Coast INTRODUCTION
Already conjuring up visions of sun-soaked sandy stretches, bronzed bodies and crashing bright-blue waves, the Gold Coast is a testament to what the name itself entails.
With 57km of beautiful beaches, world-class surfing and a shimmering city set right on the coast, it’s the epitome of what you picture when you imagine an Australian holiday, but with a few more surprises tucked within its streets. Home to multiple theme parks including the Wet ‘n’ Wild water park, Dreamworld, Sea World, and Paradise Country, the Gold Coast is an ideal place for some family fun, or for those traveling with the young or young at heart.
Stepping out from the crowds or possibly exploring by bicycle, you can arrive in the Gold Coast hinterland (great for swimming beneath cascading falls) and to nearby neighbourhoods like salty-chic Broadbeach and relaxed Burleigh Heads.
Gold Coast Attractions, Sightseeing & Activities
Along with its great selection of theme Parks from Dreamworld to Sea World, the Gold Coast is packed with big attractions that appeal to all ages. Here, exhilarating rides meet exotic animals, and exciting waterslides come together with cascading falls. Harbour Town has Australia’s largest selection of outlet shops, the Wax Museum is the largest of its kind in the country, and for those looking to get out into nature, there’s plenty to do there too.
Take to the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk for a 1.5km walk above the canopy floor, or immerse yourself in the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary to feed kangaroos and cuddle with koalas. O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk is nestled high within a World Heritage-listed National Park, and the magic of Australia’s great outdoors can best be experienced at Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens.
Gold Coast Shopping & Dining
Between Harbour Town’s outlet shops and the newly-reinvented Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre, there are plenty of places to get your Gold Coast shopping fix. The Carrera markets are Australia’s biggest permanent markets, touting homewares, plants, fresh produce and crafts, and Sunday’s Art and Craft on the Coast Markets have their own sweet selection of stalls located right along the beach. Check out the Burleigh, Coolangatta and Broadbeach Art and Craft Markets, then seek out a stylish restaurant to refuel on some food.
The Gold Coast’s dining scene is equally outdoorsy, with nearly all of the best spots serving up a side of al fresco. On a lazy day, dig into some delicious fish and chips on the beach, and come nightfall, explore Burleigh Head’s perennially popular rooftop bars. Vegans will flock to stylish veg-heavy warehouses, coffee-addicts will love the area’s espresso haunts, and every other foodie will enjoy the coast’s food trucks, surf clubs and speakeasy hideaways.
Gold Coast Festivals & Sports
When it comes to sporting events, the Gold Coast’s natural environment gives it an enviable edge. With approximately 300 days of sunshine each year, it’s become a hub for training athletes and hosts local, national and international events like the Australian PGA Championship, Burleigh Pro surf competition and Pan Pacific Swimming Championships. Of course, you don’t always have to be a professional to participate, and can golf, surf or swim here yourself at pretty much any time of year.
Right after sports, festivals pack a punch on this city’s busy event calendar. Walk the red carpet each April at the Gold Coast Film Festival, or sit back to some smooth jazz at the Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival. Australia’s biggest 50’s and 60’s nostalgia festival occurs every June with Cooly Rocks On, and Groundwater Country Music Festival in July will have you stomping your boots for sure. Whether you’re into sculptures or sports, parachuting or the PGA, the Gold Coast has you covered.
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