Trip time! Discover the beaches, local cuisine, and seaside in romantic Gold Coast.

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.

Known for

Beaches, Family-Friendly and Dining

Explore map

Where to stay in Gold Coast

Mount Tamborine
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Mount Tamborine

Relaxing, Bird Watching, Mountains

4.5/5 (3 Ratings)

Follow the winding road from the coast to the hinterland and experience complete tranquillity on this peaceful rainforest-clad mountain plateau. 

North Tamborine
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North Tamborine

Wineries, Rain Forests, Jungles

4.5/5 (3 Ratings)

North Tamborine is noteworthy for its mountain views, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Glow Worm Caves and Cedar Creek Estate Vineyard and Winery.

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Top Hotels in Gold Coast

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Meriton Suites Broadbeach, Gold Coast
Meriton Suites Broadbeach, Gold Coast
5 out of 5
2669 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach, QLD
$76/night
Sep 8 - Sep 9
4.7/5Exceptional! (1,766 reviews)

Situated near the boardwalk, this luxury apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, The Star Gold Coast, and ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (1,766 reviews)

"Everything is a beautiful ,and they have a beautiful view."…"

Reviewed on Aug 20, 2019

Meriton Suites Broadbeach, Gold Coast
Image for Paradise Resort Gold Coast
Paradise Resort Gold Coast
3.5 out of 5
122 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise, QLD
$80/night
Aug 26 - Aug 27
4.1/5Very Good! (1,555 reviews)

This family-friendly Surfers Paradise resort is located by the ocean, within a 5-minute walk of King Tutts Putt Putt and Adrenalin Park. Slingshot and Budds ...

4.1/5Very Good! (1,555 reviews)

"Perfect for families! Kids had a ball, we will definitely be back!"…"

Reviewed on Aug 21, 2019

Paradise Resort Gold Coast
Image for Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise
Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise
4.5 out of 5
2807 Gold Coast Highway, Surfers Paradise, QLD
$78/night
Sep 8 - Sep 9
4.3/5Excellent! (2,232 reviews)

Situated near the beach, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Surfers Paradise Beach, Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, and Cavill Avenue. Pacific ...

4.3/5Excellent! (2,232 reviews)

"Thought our room was very good although I think that is need of a refresh"…"

Reviewed on Aug 16, 2019

Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise

Popular things to do in Gold Coast

Sea World
Image for Sea World

Sea World

4.5/5 (57 Ratings)

Who doesn’t dream of staying overnight in a water park where you can see Jet Ski stunts, life-sized Nickelodeon stars, plus dolphins, sea lions and polar bears?

Warner Bros. Movie World
Image for Warner Bros. Movie World

Warner Bros. Movie World

4.5/5 (59 Ratings)

Watch stunt shows, get on superhero rides, enter the Ice Age 4D Experience and take a splash in the Wild West at Australia’s theme park version of Hollywood.

Dreamworld
Image for Dreamworld

Dreamworld

4/5 (48 Ratings)

Australia’s biggest amusement park features exciting themed areas with everything from tigers and thrilling rides to vintage V8 super cars and TV characters.

Surfers Paradise Beach
Image for Surfers Paradise Beach
Photo provided by Tourism and Events Queensland

Surfers Paradise Beach

4.5/5 (163 Ratings)

This stretch of beach is known for its regular sets of rolling waves, with high-rise hotels and bustling nightlife along the sandy shore.

Cavill Avenue
Image for Cavill Avenue

Cavill Avenue

4/5 (86 Ratings)

Bustling nightlife, great shopping and a legendary surfing beach make this avenue the exciting centre of Surfer’s Paradise on the Gold Coast.

Wet'n'Wild Gold Coast
Image for Wet'n'Wild Gold Coast

Wet'n'Wild Gold Coast

4.5/5 (40 Ratings)

Get an adrenaline kick gliding through caves and tunnels or plunging down a giant water slide, or simply float and splash in a relaxing pool.

Top activities in Gold Coast

3 Day Pass: Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World & Wet'n'Wild
Image for 3 Day Pass: Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World & Wet'n'Wild

3 Day Pass: Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World & Wet'n'Wild

$74

Experience all the fun, thrills and adventures at the Gold Coast's biggest and best Theme Parks. With 95 rides, shows and attractions across three theme parks, there’s something for everyone at Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World and Wet'n'Wild Gold Coast.

Australian Outback Spectacular Dinner & Live Show
Image for Australian Outback Spectacular Dinner & Live Show

Australian Outback Spectacular Dinner & Live Show

$68

Embark on a journey to the heartland of Australia through an all new show featuring a transformative arena, mesmerising animals and immersive technology. Delve into the real-life struggles Aussie farmers face and rejoice with them as the community's courage, bravery and generosity help them overcome a stunning, yet unforgiving life on the land.

7-Day Super Pass: Movie World, Sea World & Wet'n'Wild Water World
Image for 7-Day Super Pass: Movie World, Sea World & Wet'n'Wild Water World

7-Day Super Pass: Movie World, Sea World & Wet'n'Wild Water World

$101

Make your next Gold Coast holiday full of fun and family adventures with a Super Pass. Get unlimited entry to Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World, and Wet’n’Wild Gold Coast.

Moreton Island Full-Day Snorkel, Kayak & Sand-toboggan Tour
Image for Moreton Island Full-Day Snorkel, Kayak & Sand-toboggan Tour

Moreton Island Full-Day Snorkel, Kayak & Sand-toboggan Tour

$101

Spend a day in the paradise of Moreton Island, where you can enjoy one of the most spectacular spots off the Australian coast. Relax on the golden beaches, take to the water for some incredible views on a transparent kayak or paddleboard, or ride a toboggan down the island's dunes.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Tickets
Image for Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Tickets

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Tickets

$25

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is voted #1 Gold Coast Wildlife Attraction and is nestled within 27 hectares of lush eucalyptus and rainforest. Come face-to-face with extraordinary wildlife in exciting daily shows and hands-on encounters.

Putt Putt Mermaid Beach
Image for Putt Putt Mermaid Beach

Putt Putt Mermaid Beach

$13

Play 3 Adventurous 18 Hole Mini Golf Courses on Fun Run, Jungle Trail and Waterways.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Gold Coast

Weirdest winter vacation destinations in the Southern Hemisphere
Image for Weirdest winter vacation destinations in the Southern Hemisphere

Weirdest winter vacation destinations in the Southern Hemisphere

The Southern Hemisphere offers half a world’s worth of weird places to go and wild things to do all winter long.

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