Lonely Planet Writer

Australia's Gold Coast is set to get a bumper load of new attractions

A range of new attractions has opened on Australia’s Gold Coast, just in time for its hosting of the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The Gold Coast is a coastal city in Queensland, and it has become a leading tourist destination with a diverse range of offerings for visitors.

There is a recently-opened holographic entertainment centre on the Gold Coast. Image: Holoverse
There is a recently-opened holographic entertainment centre on the Gold Coast. Image: Holoverse

The city is now home to the recently-opened Holoverse, which claims to be the world’s first holographic entertainment centre. It uses the latest computer technology in 40 hologram rooms that create virtual reality worlds, in which objects made of light that look solid are projected. These include fire-breathing dragons and adorable movie characters, and all combine to give an immersive and unique experience.

 

You can “fly”over the Gold Coast, go to Africa, walk through solid walls, jump down holes with artificial gravity, eat holographic apples, and play in holographic water with fish and turtles. Its newest attraction, the Holographic Planetarium, opens on 31 March. Visitors will see the planets of the solar system float all around them, and they can “visit” the moon and feel a moon jump with artificial gravity.

 

If you fancy flying in space for real, Australia’s first astronaut training centre, Spaceflight Academy, will relaunch on the northern Gold Coast at the beginning of 2018. It will offer space camps, simulator training, space STEM education and events.

Spaceflight Academy on the Gold Coast will reopen in 2018. Image: Spaceflight Academy
Spaceflight Academy on the Gold Coast will reopen in 2018. Image: Spaceflight Academy

While it had a soft launch in recent months, the owners decided to postpone its programmes until 2018, as they recently successfully test-launched Australia’s first hybrid rocket using proprietary 3D printed fuel. Their business received an R&D grant to develop that capability, and they want to focus this year on providing small/nano satellite owners with low-cost, timely and reliable access to space.

Spaceflight Academy on the Gold Coast will reopen in 2018. Image: Spaceflight Academy
Spaceflight Academy on the Gold Coast will reopen in 2018. Image: Spaceflight Academy

Other attractions include Indonesia-inspired cooking classes in a Balinese hut deep in Currumbin Valley, and Lucy Boots Bush Tours, which leads hikes through Lamington National Park. The local Gold Coast council has also revealed plans for a dive platform attached to a proposed new cruise ship wharf.

The protected shipwreck Scottish Prince, which sunk in just 10m of water in 1887, is a popular dive site. Image: Queensland.com
The protected shipwreck Scottish Prince, which sunk in just 10m of water in 1887, is a popular dive site. Image: Queensland.com

This would be located near the protected shipwreck Scottish Prince, which sunk in just ten metres of water in 1887, and is a popular dive site.

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