Gold Coast

Travel Guide
Kurrawa Beach

Gold Coast Travel Guide Video

For a break in the sun, head to this expansive city: the perfect combination of beaches, theme parks, nightlife, rain forests and mountains.

With its casinos, Jet Skis, yachts and luxury hotels, the Gold Coast looks like it’s straight out of a James Bond movie. Australia’s major theme parks are all here, and the quieter hinterland offers rock climbing, scenic flights and skydiving for thrill seekers. It’s easy to see why millions of visitors flock to the Gold Coast every year: There are more than 30 beaches, including Burleigh Beach, where professional surfers come to compete in February, as well as great shopping and dining.

The Gold Coast encompasses several seaside towns inhabited by over half a million people, making this Australia’s sixth-largest city. The area covers 541 square miles (1,400 square kilometers) from Beenleigh, south of the Queensland capital Brisbane, to Coolangatta Beach at the New South Wales border.

The first Australians, the Aborigines, called this beautiful land of the sun Kurrungul. Europeans settled here, growing and commercializing the area, from the mid-1800s onwards. Tourism boomed in the 1950s, and the golden opportunity to invest in real estate gave the city its name and its skyline.

Some of Australia’s most famous beaches are on the Gold Coast. Two surfing hot spots are Burleigh Beach and Surfers Paradise Beach, an area that’s also popular for shopping and dining. Families looking for a good swimming area will enjoy the calmer waters of Coolangatta Beach.

More family fun awaits at the Gold Coast’s wide range of amusement parks. Interact with marine creatures at Sea World, slide through Wet‘n’Wild Water World, or board the superhero rides at Movie World. You can do all this and more at the biggest Australian theme park, Dreamworld.

The Gold Coast offers year-round entertainment, but you may want to avoid the rowdy “Schoolies” period (when high school graduates celebrate) in November. The weather is hot and humid from December to February (summer), and dry and sunny from June to August (winter). Rain or shine, pack your bathers to enjoy one of Australia’s most popular vacation destinations.

Where to stay in Gold Coast

Surfers Paradise which includes a city, a beach and a sunset

Surfers Paradise

Known for its stunning beaches, luxurious spas, and popular shops, there's plenty to explore in Surfers Paradise. Top attractions like Cavill Avenue and Home of the Arts are major draws. Catch the metro at Cypress Avenue Station or Florida Gardens station to see more of the city.

Surfers Paradise
Broadbeach featuring a high rise building, skyline and a beach

Broadbeach

The stunning beaches, first-class casinos, and popular shops are notable features of Broadbeach. Make a stop by The Star Gold Coast or The Oasis while you're visiting, and jump aboard the metro at Broadbeach South Light Rail Station to get around town.

Broadbeach
Coolangatta which includes a high rise building, a city and a sunset

Coolangatta

The stunning beaches and popular shops are just a few highlights of Coolangatta. Make a stop by Kirra Beach or Coolangatta Beach while you're exploring the area.

Coolangatta
Burleigh Beach showing a beach, city views and general coastal views

Burleigh Heads

A noteworthy feature of Burleigh Heads is its stunning beaches. While you're in town, be sure to stop and check out Burleigh Beach and Burleigh Head National Park.

Burleigh Heads
Main Beach which includes a skyscraper, general coastal views and a beach

Southport

Beaches, spas, and theme parks are just a few things travelers enjoy about Southport. Check out Australia Fair Shopping Centre or Broadwater Parklands while you're exploring the area.

Southport
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Palm Beach

Palm Beach is known for its pristine beaches, and you can make a stop by Mallawa Drive Sports Complex and Tallebudgera Creek Conservation Park while in the area.

Palm Beach
Novotel Surfers Paradise
Novotel Surfers Paradise
4.5 out of 5
Cnr Surfers Paradise Blvd and Hanlan St, Surfers Paradise, QLD
The price is $120 per night from May 21 to May 22
$120
$133 total
includes taxes & fees
May 21 - May 22
Stay at this 4.5-star luxury hotel in Gold Coast. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast (surcharge), and room service. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff ...
7.8/10 Good! (1,006 reviews)
"Hotel is central to everything in Surfers Paradise which made it very convenient but the hotel doesn't have its own parking and the facilities are out dated"

Reviewed on May 15, 2024

Novotel Surfers Paradise
voco Gold Coast, an IHG Hotel
voco Gold Coast, an IHG Hotel
4.5 out of 5
31 Hamilton Avenue, Surfers Paradise, QLD
The price is $101 per night from Jun 16 to Jun 17
$101
$111 total
includes taxes & fees
Jun 16 - Jun 17
Stay at this 4.5-star luxury hotel in Gold Coast. Enjoy free WiFi, 3 restaurants, and breakfast (surcharge). Our guests praise the breakfast and the pool in ...
8.6/10 Excellent! (1,000 reviews)
"Friendly reception, clean, well maintained, comfortable and well-priced against comparable quality options. Overall a very nice stay."

Reviewed on May 11, 2024

voco Gold Coast, an IHG Hotel
The Langham, Gold Coast and Jewel Residences
The Langham, Gold Coast and Jewel Residences
5 out of 5
38 Old Burleigh Road, Surfers Paradise, QLD
The price is $217 per night from May 21 to May 22
$217
$238 total
includes taxes & fees
May 21 - May 22
Stay at this 5-star luxury hotel in Gold Coast. Enjoy free WiFi, a full-service spa, and 2 restaurants. Our guests praise the breakfast and the pool in our reviews. ...
9.2/10 Wonderful! (345 reviews)
"room was clean but when i moved the table to use. there was food under the base. windows outside all need a clean other than that it was nice a person from outside the resort was walking around the pool asking guests for cigarettes staff instead of moving on gave the women smokes which i found to ..."

Reviewed on May 16, 2024

The Langham, Gold Coast and Jewel Residences
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Meriton Suites Broadbeach, Gold Coast
Meriton Suites Broadbeach, Gold Coast