Australia may have travel restrictions in place due to COVID-19.

Find out moreOpens in new tab or window

Gold CoastAustralia

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

The stunning beaches, luxurious spas, and popular shops are notable features of Surfers Paradise. Make a stop by Cavill Avenue or Chevron Renaissance while you're visiting, and jump aboard the metro at Florida Gardens station to get around town.

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
Burleigh Heads featuring a day spa, a coastal town 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
Southport showing a sandy beach and general coastal views

Southport

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

Southport
Mermaid Beach

Mermaid Beach

Mermaid Beach is known for its stunning beaches, and with sights like Putt Putt Golf Mermaid Beach and Nobby Beach, you won't get bored spending a day wandering around this part of Gold Coast.

Mermaid Beach
Southport featuring a sandy beach, tropical scenes and swimming

Main Beach

Main Beach is beloved for its stunning beaches. Take some time to explore sights in the area like Sea World and Marina Mirage Shopping Centre.

Main Beach

Top Hotels in Gold Coast

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Hilton Surfers Paradise Hotel and Residences
Hilton Surfers Paradise Hotel and Residences
5 out of 5
6 Orchid Ave Surfers Paradise, Surfers Paradise, QLD
The price is $110 per night

This family-friendly Surfers Paradise hotel is located by the ocean, within a 5-minute walk of Cavill Avenue and Surfers Paradise Beach. SkyPoint Observation ...

3.7/5Good! (952 reviews)

"I just like the fact that the service is great, always checking in to make sure your experience is great and your having a great stay. Would definitely recommend"…"

Reviewed on Jul 18, 2020

Hilton Surfers Paradise Hotel and Residences
Meriton Suites Broadbeach, Gold Coast
Meriton Suites Broadbeach, Gold Coast
5 out of 5
2669 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach, QLD
The price is $64 per night

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

4.7/5Exceptional! (2,296 reviews)

"It exceeds our expectations in every way; It's clean, spacious and everything in the apartment seems to be new and updated, except for the dryer, which required a few cycles to do the job."…"

Reviewed on Aug 5, 2020

Meriton Suites Broadbeach, Gold Coast
Q1 Resort & Spa
Q1 Resort & Spa
4.5 out of 5
9 Hamilton Avenue, Surfers Paradise, QLD
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $151 per night

Located in the heart of Surfers Paradise, this luxury aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Surfers Paradise Beach, Cavill Avenue, and Timezone. Ripley's ...

4.3/5Excellent! (3,001 reviews)

"The view was amazing. Staff were friendly. Hotel felt clean. The hot water was down for 2 of the days which would have been nice to know before we got there but we were able to work around it."…"

Reviewed on Aug 7, 2020

Q1 Resort & Spa

Getting around Gold Coast

Rent a car for the most flexible way of exploring the Gold Coast. You can also get around by other means if you prefer. The regional bus service provides connections between beaches, theme parks, the airport and urban areas. There are also 16 tram stations throughout the area. Consider renting a van, a motorhome, a houseboat or even a yacht for a more novel way to discover the coast. Visit the Department of Transport and Main Roads website. Browse Gold Coast rental cars.

Best time to visit

Get the best out of your experience of the Gold Coast by aiming to visit between April and May. At this time of year, there will be lots of sun, the chances of rain will be fairly minimal, and temperatures will be comfortable, around 79 F (26 C) at their highest. Look for great deals at this time and you have a good chance of finding them, as local kids will be in school so fewer people will be traveling.

Popular places to visit in Gold Coast

Sea World
Image for Sea World

Sea World

4.5/5(63 reviews)

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?

Dreamworld
Image for Dreamworld

Dreamworld

4/5(53 reviews)

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

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

Warner Bros. Movie World

4.5/5(61 reviews)

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.

Cavill Avenue
Image for Cavill Avenue

Cavill Avenue

4/5(100 reviews)

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

Surfers Paradise Beach
Image for Surfers Paradise Beach

Surfers Paradise Beach

4.5/5(182 reviews)

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

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

Wet'n'Wild Gold Coast

4.5/5(42 reviews)

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 things to do 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

$96
Per adult
84% of travellers recommend
Australia Zoo Admission with Express Transfers
Image for Australia Zoo Admission with Express Transfers

Australia Zoo Admission with Express Transfers

$103
Per adult
96% of travellers recommend
Australian Outback Spectacular Dinner & Live Show
Image for Australian Outback Spectacular Dinner & Live Show

Australian Outback Spectacular Dinner & Live Show

$69
Per adult
86% of travellers recommend
7-Day Super Pass: Movie World, Sea World & Wet'n'Wild
Image for 7-Day Super Pass: Movie World, Sea World & Wet'n'Wild

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

$110
Per adult
88% of travellers recommend
Springbrook National Park & Glowworm Night Tour
Image for Springbrook National Park & Glowworm Night Tour

Springbrook National Park & Glowworm Night Tour

$69
Per adult
80% of travellers recommend
Indoor Go-Kart Racing at Game Over on the Gold Coast
Image for Indoor Go-Kart Racing at Game Over on the Gold Coast

Indoor Go-Kart Racing at Game Over on the Gold Coast

$31
Per adult

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Gold Coast

Image for Find out what to know for visiting Australia’s Gold Coast, such as how to get there, when to go, and what to pack.

Find out what to know for visiting Australia’s Gold Coast, such as how to get there, when to go, and what to pack.

Find out what to know for visiting Australia’s Gold Coast, such as how to get there, when to go, and what to pack.
Image for The Southern Hemisphere offers half a world’s worth of weird places to go and wild things to do all winter long.

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

The Southern Hemisphere offers half a world’s worth of weird places to go and wild things to do all winter long.
Image for Summer is fast-approaching, so we’re answering an important question: What should you do at the beach this year?

Summer is fast-approaching, so we’re answering an important question: What should you do at the beach this year?

Summer is fast-approaching, so we’re answering an important question: What should you do at the beach this year?

Cities near Gold Coast

Southbank Parklands showing a skyscraper, boating and a city

Brisbane

Cabarita Beach showing general coastal views and a bay or harbor

Tweed Heads

Springbrook National Park featuring mountains, a coastal town and skyline

Springbrook

Other places like Gold Coast