Introducing The Gold Coast
The neon lights of the Gold Coast have more in common with the glitz and glamour of Miami or the hedonistic pastimes of Las Vegas than they do Australia. But somehow this heady mix of high-rise apartment blocks, airport-sized shopping malls and million-dollar theme parks feels at home here. While there’s no denying that this 35km strip of golden sand is the most aggressively developed patch in Australia, it’s also one of the most popular holiday destinations and receives more than two million visitors every year. So it must be doing something right.
The shared appeal is the sand, surf and nightlife, but there’s more to the Gold Coast than just the beach. Coolangatta and Burleigh Heads have some excellent surfing breaks and there are also laid-back neighbourhoods favoured by families. Beyond the high-rises stands the Gold Coast Hinterland, a densely forested region home to two of Queensland’s best national parks: Lamington and Springbrook. And then there’s Surfers Paradise & Broadbeach, which is both the epitome of the Gold Coast and the exception to the rule. It’s brash and it’s tacky but that’s exactly what people love about it.
Best places to stay in the Gold Coast
Australia - Queensland & The Great Barrier Reef (Chapter)
From the surf-soaked Gold Coast beaches to the tropical Daintree rainforest, Queensland offers an array of distractions, including the submarine kingdom of the Great Barrier Reef, and islands - photogenic coral-fringed beauties or rugged sand isles ripe for adventure.
Australia’s alternative East Coast road trip
Australia is enormous, and there's no sharper way to realise that than embarking on a classic Australian road trip. So come with us on a journey along the east coast of this massive continent - a journey from Sydney to Cairns that dodges the tourist crowds in favour of some alternative treasures.
Queensland & the Great Barrier Reef - Gold Coast (Chapter)
This is the Gold Coast chapter from Lonely Planet’s Queensland & the Great Barrier Reef guidebook. Coverage includes: Southport & Main Beach, South Stradbroke Island, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Burleigh Heads & Currumbin, Coolangatta, Gold Coast Hinterland, Tamborine Mountain, Springbrook National Park, Lamington National Park and Mt Barney National Park.
The Gold Coast destination guides
Boutique shops and fashionable cafes line the Broadbeach) streets while open stretches of green parkland separate the fine sandy beach from the esplanade.
Best of East Coast Australia
This classic coastal run takes in thousands of kilometres of coastline. It could take a lifetime or, with just 10 days and a handful of airline tickets, you could taste a few of the east coast’s highlights from Melbourne to Cairns. 1.
Hot Air Ballooning including Champagne Breakfast from the Gold Coast or Brisbane
View a sunrise with a difference, whilst floating in a hot air balloon over the Hinterland. Breathe in the wide-open spaces and be amazed at the colorful spectacle of other balloons in the morning sky. After landing, enjoy hot air balloon pack-up games followed by a hearty breakfast with champagne at O'Reilly's Grand Homestead and Boutique Vineyard.
Dreamworld Theme Park Gold Coast Tickets
Experience fun for the whole family with one-day entry into Dreamworld. You'll enjoy more than 40 rides and attractions including the park’s famous Big 8 Thrill Rides, Wiggles World, the all new DreamWorks Experience.