Gold Coast: Holidays

Surfer's paradise


Backpacking in Gold Coast

A backpacking holiday in the Gold Coast offers scope for a fantastic adventure and is also an inexpensive way of experiencing the city’s wealth of man-made and natural beauty.
The Gold Coast has numerous cheap and efficient hostels for those on backpacking holidays on a budget and a great wealth of options for accommodation, in a wide choice of location and standards. The city centre houses the largest selection of affordable places to stay but others in places like Southport, Broadbeach, South Stradbroke and Surfer’s Paradise are also highly recommended.

The average price to expect for a reasonable dorm bed is around $20, although this will rise during the peak summer period. For cheap and more secluded beach locales choose to Coolangatta or Canungra, only a short ferry ride away, while those seeking hostels in the heart of the popular nightspots and close to creature comforts should head for Surfers or around the main beach. Excellent transport links make the city a useful starting point for backpackers in the Gold Coast to explore the beautiful surrounding hinterland of Tamborine Mountain and Springbrook Plateau, pristine beaches of Moreton and Byron Bay and stunning other wildlife hotspots that litter Queensland and the nearby Sunshine coasts.


Beach in Gold Coast

With some of the world’s most beautiful stretches of coastline, the beaches close along the Gold Coast are accessible, varied and, although slightly crowded in Summer, never packed. From secluded rocky coves of Southport to golden sandy beaches of the main beach and Broadbeach and onwards into the awe-inspiring views of Surfers Paradise, beach holidays in the Gold Coast offers something suitable for all families, couples and singles alike looking for a sun, sea, sand and everything in between.

The widely renowned Surfers Paradise is perfect for holidaymakers looking to surf, swim or just hang out and enjoy a beautiful coastline. Non-surfers should head to the nearby South Stradbroke while Coolangatta is best suited for couples whilst those seeking a more secluded beach should try Couran Cove.

Overall, the sun-soaked Gold coast boasts a string of full-scale holiday resorts that is the perfect destination for families looking for a beach holiday. Beaches are generally safe and there are ’flagged’ areas patrolled by excellent lifesavers.


Camping in Gold Coast

The Gold Coast has a wide range of great spots for a camping holiday in and around the city, with many more ideal locations in the surrounding area of Queensland. The closest camping park to the city centre is found off Gold Coast Highway in Southport, fantastic for holidaymakers looking to stick close to city comforts and still get an authentic bushland experience.

Other local options that offer caravan parking are in Burleigh Heads, which offers a great and affordable camping holiday. Away from the centre, Coolangatta and Canungra is a very shady camp ground and more secluded area. Further afield, the beautiful hinterland surrounding the Gold Coast offers a wonderful host of camping opportunities - Tamborine Mountain and Green Mountains two excellent sites to the west of the city, which are close to the natural wonders of Springbrook and Lamington National Park. So whether you wish to stay close to the city or head out into the beautiful mountainous hinterland of Queensland, the Gold Coast caters for everything a camping holiday could want, and provides an inexpensive stay close to some of Australia’s finest natural beauty.

City Breaks

City Breaks in Gold Coast

Although the Gold Coast is not a particularly large urban environment, City break holidays along the Gold Coast offer a wide range of hotels and activities, which come in a host of differing standards and styles to suit everyone. The city centre has a wealth of fine hotels around the the Main Beach; with the majority of higher end hotels found by the Mariner’s Bay and the quieter regions of Springbrook. Slightly more affordable options are located downtown, also the most family-friendly area.

Entertainment of all varieties is available throughout the year in the Gold Coast: a cavalcade of events, festivals and expos ensuring that, regardless of the time of your visit, there is plenty to keep you occupied. the Gold Coast also boasts a few decent shopping districts throughout the city centre and its myriad of weekly markets. In terms of food, the Gold Coast is brimming with great restaurants and superb cafes, making eating out one of the highlights of city breaks. The city centre, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach has an eatery for every kind of holidaymaker and is also home to many reputable pubs and bars. Otherwise, Marina Mirage and Tedder Avenue are where those with a taste for the finer things should aim to find themselves, two of the best locations for those looking to enjoy a city break in the Gold Coast without budgetary constraints.

Corporate Weekend

Corporate Weekend in Gold Coast

A short corporate break in the Gold Coast provides the perfect backdrop for a fun-filled, camaraderie and teambuilding setting. Naturally for a city surrounded by hinterland, outdoor pursuits are plentiful. From water skiing, sailing surfing along the many miles of glorious coastline to hiking and cycling through the untamed stretches of hinterland surrounding the city, there is plenty of activities to help top up staff morale.

Corporate weekends on the Gold Coast offer the space and activities that will meet any budget and the ably provides expertise for creating an first-rate teambuilding experience - with a large variety of hotels in the city centre alone able to offer excellent corporate hospitality. Overall, the Gold Coast is an great destination for a corporate weekend in the sun.


Cruises in Gold Coast

Offering a wealth of beautiful blue Pacific coastline alongside more waterways than Venice, holidaymakers looking for a cruise trip along the Gold Coast will no be left disappointed. Cruises are more regular during the summer months, primarily offering two hour harbour and canal cruises from Surfers Paradise for around $22 while longer outings to South Stradbroke Island and the many bays and islands further up the coast cost around $45. Boats depart daily from the Marina Mirage, Fisherman’s Wharf and the Spit, as well as the tiki Village Wharf at the river end of Cavill Ave. Operators charge from season to season, and do be sure to check with your accommodation about the weather and best time to grab bargains. In short, the Gold Coast is a fantastic destination for a cruise holiday of any kind.

Culture and Arts

Culture and Arts in Gold Coast

Although the Gold Coast caters more for sun-filled, family vacations, there is still a great deal to tempt holidaymakers looking for a culture and arts break on the Australian east coast. The Gold Coast is alive with arts and culture; through literature, film, theatre, music, dance and visual arts.

Boasting a good collection of museums throughout the region, The Wax Museum is perhaps the most famous on the Gold Coast. The largest museum in the entire southern hemisphere, here you can see life size statues of a variety of famous historians, scientists, explorers and other well-known people of the world. You can also check out the wide collection of different kinds of costumes or take a look at the Chamber of Horrors for a more thrilling experience.

Another museum that is worth visiting is the Sue Ellen Gallery and Antiques. This museum gives one a clear picture of Australia’s art and culture, visitors can take a look at the jewellery, antiques, decorative articles and paintings on display. One can be amazed at the 19th century Marquetry Centre Table or marvel the beautiful Native American turquoise jewellery. Alongside many guided tours that ensure you don’t miss an inch of Gold Coast art or culture: you can take a scenic walk and be serenaded by jazz overlooking wondrous vineyards in the surrounding hinterland, enjoy a skylight cinema near the city centre, be dazzled by Conrad Jupiters’ latest live show extravaganza, laugh until you cry at a comedy show in South Stradbroke or see some amazing sculptures by the main beach. The Gold Coast always has a full calendar when it comes to concerts, opera, film festivals and much more - so whenever you arrive, there is sure to be plenty awaiting holidaymakers looking for a culture and arts break on the Queensland coast.

Disabled Needs

Disabled Needs in Gold Coast

There should be no reservations for disabled people considering a holiday in and around the Gold Coast. Most, if not all, of the visitor attractions, hotels and transport on offer is wheelchair friendly with additional facilities for the hard of hearing and visually impaired. Similarly, with a few exceptions in some of the older areas, most buildings are equipped with automatic entrances, wide aisle, ramps and disabled toilets. Every effort is made to ensure that holidays for disabled people in the Gold Coast are safe and enjoyable. Wheelchair hire as well as sightseeing and shopping tours for disabled holidaymakers are numerous and easy to arrange. Despite its hilly surroundings, the Gold Coast is a safe, welcoming and helpful holiday destination for disabled people.

Family Holiday

Family Holiday in Gold Coast

With so many attractions, museums and fun activities on offer, even the big kids can get away with being children on a family holiday in the Gold Coast. For fresh air fanatics, Lamington National Park is a must: a historical treasure of the Gold Coast. The park still has remnants of the first widespread subtropical rainforests. Take a scenic walk along one of the many walking tracks that include landmarks such as Mount Marino, Checo Point, Coomera Gorge, Elebana Falls and Picnic Rock. Kiki and Birdlife Park is also highly recommended, visitors can enjoy eight acres of magnificent native bush, which is home to the nocturnal world of the Kiwi, who makes its home amongst the lush tree ferns. Take a stroll along one of the trails to view any one of the many aviaries set along peaceful flowing streams. Children and adults will enjoy a day at this park.

A family holiday to the Gold Coast would not be complete without a visit to one of the region’s many fantastic theme parks; Dreamworld has rollercoasters galore for thrill seeking families, while Warner Brothers Movie World and Sea World are also on hand for families looking for more laid back entertainment.

The Gold Coast is also a great place for a family beachside fun in the sun. Located in northern New South Wales Cabarita Beach, Kingscliff and Fingal's beach offer visitors white soft sandy beaches, many adrenaline-rush activities and is perfect for kids and adults alike. Cabarita's Greenback Taylor Fishing Competition also attracts large crowds of visitors and is a popular spot to enjoy a picnic with the family. The Gold Coast is geared for tourism, so there are many types of holiday accommodation available for a stress-free family holiday. Food is plentiful and very varied in Canberra with many restaurants, cafes and ice cream bars scattered around the city. Overall, a family break to the Gold Coast makes for a great holiday, and one that your family will never forget.

Gay and Lesbian

Gay and Lesbian in Gold Coast

Australia’s holiday capital is the perfect place for gay and lesbian holidaymakers to either rest and unwind or to get adventurous and party hard. Endless sunshine, clear blue waves and miles of golden, sandy catwalks of beautiful people fuse with a vast hinterland of hidden rock pools, secluded rainforest hideaways and glorious scenic picnic spots. Surfers Paradise and Main Beach are a mecca for designer labels and boutique shopping. Spend a morning people watching at a beachside café and the afternoon sunbathing or participating in beach volleyball.

Then as the sun sets be prepared for a serious night of clubbing and partying. The Meeting Place in Surfers Paradise is the Coast's only gay and lesbian club, however the Capitol Bar and Lounge also attracts a groovy gay, lesbian and alternative crowd. Luxurious beachside resorts and spas offer the very best in massages and therapeutic treatments, while a whole host of gay-friendly accommodation options also line the coast. If you'd rather stunning mountain views, walks and galleries, head to the cooler hinterland about 30 minutes from the Coast. Bush House, on the edge of the hinterland in Tallebudgera Valley, is a gay men's retreat while Tambaride Bed and Breakfast is a gay-run guesthouse at beautiful Mount Tamborine.

Hen Destination

Hen Destination in Gold Coast

The Gold Coast has many great activities and nightspots as well as being known as a sun-drenched party capital of Australia’s east coast, making it a fabulous destinations for hen party holidays. There are a wide assortment of bars and pubs in Southport, Surfers Paradise and along the main beach as well as fine restaurants around Marina Mirage.

In addition, smart wine bars, live music venues and clubs for all night dancing are within close range of the city centre. Guest Houses, Hotels and Apartments are all easily available in a scope of prices that will suit any budget and many are situated nearby the best night spots.

During the day, hen party holidaymakers on the Gold Coast can feast on some great seafood, try activities like sailing, cycling and sightseeing or simply relax in one of numerous picturesque parks and bushland retreats. No doubt some hen party members will want to shop at some stage and the Gold Coast has a plethora of malls, tourist markets and shopping districts around the city centre, enough to sate most style-conscious bargain hunters.

Stag Destination

Stag Destination in Gold Coast

The Gold Coast has many great activities and nightspots as well as being known as a sun-drenched party capital of Australia’s east coast, making it a fabulous destinations for stag party holidays. There are a wide assortment of bars and pubs in Surfers Paradise and Southport as well as fine restaurants throughout downtown and Mariner’s Mirage. In addition, smart wine bars, live music venues and clubs for all night dancing are within close range of the city centre. Guest Houses, Hotels and Apartments are all easily available in a scope of prices that will suit any budget and many are situated nearby the best night spots. During the day, stag party holidaymakers on the Gold Coast can feast on some great seafood, try sightseeing by bus or ferry or try energetic activities such as surfing and sailing around the many miles of beautiful coastline.

Party Holiday - Singles Life

Party Holiday - Singles Life in Gold Coast

Despite not being biggest city in Australia, a lively party atmosphere and miles of sun-drenched beaches ensure there is something to suit most holidaymakers looking for a party break on the Gold Coast. Liberal licensing laws allows hotels unlimited opening hour and there are several 24-hour bars - check the free monthly listing magazines for up-to-date lists of venues and events.

There are a wide assortment of bars and pubs in Southport, Broadbeach and South Stradbroke as well as fine restaurants along the Mariner’s Mirage and downtown.Surfers Paradise is perhaps the best place to go if you are looking to get amongst some hog wild fun, as well as do some shopping or simply laze around the pristine beaches and clear blue surf.

In addition, smart wine bars, live music venues and clubs for all-night party holidays are within close range of the city centre. Guest Houses, Hotels and Apartments are all easily available in a scope of prices that will suit any budget and many are situated nearby the best night spots. Singles and partiers alike can enjoy the Gold Coast sun-drenched parklands and awe-inspiring sights; activities such as sailing, abseiling and water-skiing more ideas if you are looking for some adventure.


Honeymoon in Gold Coast

The Gold Coast provides the ideal setting for a romantic, idyllic and unforgettable honeymoon along one of the most stunning coastlines in the world. The natural beauty of the city and surrounding hinterland; the national parks, the forest parks and wonderful bushland all add up to the perfect getaway for honeymooners. Alongside the fantastic food and drink, there are many activities for honeymoon couples around the Gold Coast; from adrenaline-rush activities like abseiling, sightseeing, sailing and cycling to visiting the picturesque parks and cultural landmarks or simply relax and enjoy some of the best settings in Australia.

For those looking to get away to more secluded environs, take a trip to the beautiful Magnetic Islands or further afield to Moreton Bay to see some awe-inspiring sights perfect for honeymooners. With many guest houses, hotels and apartments all along the Gold Coast you’re sure to find something to suit your budget and many of these places provide romantic suites for couples on honeymoon.

Couples Holiday

Couples Holiday in Gold Coast

A Gold Coast is a perfect destination for a couples holiday. Whether it is the glitz and the glamour of Surfers Paradise, Main Beach or Broadbeach, or the peace and quite of the beautiful hinterland, Queensland's Gold Coast is many things for couples to share and enjoy. Enjoy a weekend away , honeymoon or holiday on Queensland's Gold Coast and do as much or as little as you like. Areas such as Main Beach have become a favourite for locals and visitors alike, with the world-class dining and shopping, and, of course, the stunning beaches which made The Gold Coast famous in the first place. Surfers Paradise, an old favourite, still delights, while the stunning scenery of Springbrook and Tamborine, will wow visitors.

There is no doubt that a honeymoon, romantic getaway, holiday or weekend away on The Gold Coast is sure to delight all, and particularly those who love diversity. Be dazzled by some of Australia’s most stunning beaches - a sweeping 70 kilometre coastline offers some 35 patrolled beaches that are among the best in the world!

Enjoy fabulous culinary delights - the beachfront Gold Coast esplanades of vibrant centres like Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Burleigh Heads, Palm Beach and Coolangatta, invite you to sit back, relax and soak up the atmosphere while enjoying a bite to eat. Go thrill-seeking at one or all of the ‘Worlds’ – Movieworld, Seaworld and Dreamworld are approximately half an hour away from the northern end of the coast. And don’t forget to indulge in a little retail therapy - shopping on the Gold Coast is world-class. Treat the naturalist in you - some of the most scenic walking trails in South East Queensland can be found at Tamborine and Springbrook in the Hinterland. Accommodation on the Coast tends to be more resort, hotel and high-rise orientated, while the Hinterland offers intimate cottage retreats, chalets and b&bs.

Golf Activity Holiday

Golf Activity Holiday in Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is home to some of Australia's most prestigious golf courses and offers the challenge of world class resort and links courses. With the added appeal of excellent holiday activities, tours and attractions galore for the whole family, the Gold Coast is the perfect holiday choice for a great golfing holiday. Luxury accommodation, varied resorts and a perfect year-round climate makes the Gold Coast an ideal location for any golfer. For your golf getaway base, there is a choice of luxurious, self contained Gold Coast accommodation located in Broadbeach, Surfers Paradise and Burleigh Heads. All the accommodation choices have central locations with shops and restaurants nearby and short travel times to and from the golf courses.

Sailing Activity Holiday

Sailing Activity Holiday in Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is the great destination for a sailing holiday. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced sailor, there are several fine opportunities to sail in the Gold Coast. Beginners can learn to sail dinghies in the enchanting surroundings of the main beaches, Surfers Paradise or further afield in Coolangatta or North Stradbroke whilst experienced sailors can explore the Gold Coast’s fabulous man-made lake and drink in all the fantastic scenery. Organised tours also allow you to experience the thrill of real sailing and are freely available from South Stradbroke, the Marina’s Mirage and Fisherman’s Wharf near the Main Beach or along River Drive in Surfers. Sailing holidays in the Gold Coast are available all year round and the prices vary depending on the time of year and the length of time you wish to sail. So while there are not a huge amount of sailing locations in the Gold Coast, those available are close to the city centre, well serviced with many competitively-priced sailing companies and very safe.

Scuba Diving Activity Holiday

Scuba Diving Activity Holiday in Gold Coast

The clear, warm waters surrounding the bays and islands around the Gold Coast make it an ideal home for a wide range of marine life as well as a great Scuba Diving holiday for you. The best location near the Gold Coast for diving is South Stradbroke and Coolangatta. Further afield, Fraser Island and further up along the Sunshine coast and Moreton Bay near Brisbane are also highly recommended. Popular boat dives can also be everywhere around the Gold Coast, Byron Bay and Whitsundays. Plenty of businesses found around the Main Beach offer cheap hire and introductory courses, so even beginners can discover and enjoy the abundant marine life on a Scuba Diving Holiday on the Gold Coast.

Hiking Activity Holiday

Hiking Activity Holiday in Gold Coast

Gold Coast is a land rich with mountains, pristine beaches, cascading waterfalls and other natural wonders - meaning it is perfect for anyone looking to get away on a hiking holiday. Very few places in the world can match Gold Coast in its outstanding landscape, natural setting and regional splendour. Hiking on the Gold Coast is one of the common adventure sports. There are many hiking trails here especially through the deep and dark rainforest to the west of the city. Other trails run through national parks and wildlife reserves in Lamingtonm, Mt Tamborine, Canungra and Springbrook.

Generally experts accompany visitors in their hiking expeditions. Surfers Paradise is also one of the main hiking region in Gold Coast while another good idea is to explore the Burleigh Hills - a walk bordered by the lush rainforest remnant of Burleigh National Park on one side and stunning views north to Surfers Paradise and south over Tallebudgera Creek. It is advisable to keep an account of the adaptability level while going for hiking. It is also advised to use a pole, as it balances 8% of our body. Also remember to avoid carrying equipment weighing more than 20% of the hiker's weight. So whether you are an amateur perambulator or an expert hiker, there is plenty to keep you occupied on a hiking holiday on the Gold Coast.

Cycling Activity Holiday

Cycling Activity Holiday in Gold Coast

With miles of stunning coastline and the beautiful surrounding hinterland, the Gold Coast is a cycling and Mountain Biking paradise with its unspoilt terrains, breathtaking views and astounding array of beautiful parks and beaches waiting around every corner. Maps with clearly marked cycle routes are readily available around the Main Beach and will help navigate you safely round the city, or choose to head further afield to the picturesque locales of Lamington National Park and Coolangatta.

If you fancy some company, join one of the many guided cycle tours in Southport and meet fellow visitors as you explore the Gold Coast. There are plenty of bicycle hire shops to be found along River Drive, Broadbeach and throughout Surfers Paradise with a choice of mountain bikes, tandems, hybrid bikes, tag a longs and baby carriages. All in all, the Gold Coast is a safe and largely hassle-free destination when it comes to a cycling or mountain biking holiday and is ideal for the whole family.

Shopping Holiday

Shopping Holiday in Gold Coast

Shopping is one of the most popular activities on the Gold Coast. With everything from main street strips through to multi-level centres, the Gold Coast caters for every taste and budget. Take your time poking through the shopping strips at Coolangatta, Burleigh, Broadbeach, Surfers Paradise, Main Beach and Southport. And for the ultimate shop-a-holic, the city is home to some of the best shopping centres in Australia. Pacific Fair and Broadbeach is perhaps the Gold Coast's premier shopping centre - also the largest in Australia. It hosts more than 300 fashion, accessory, specialty stores and the Gold Coast's only Myer department store. Surfers Paradise is also highly recommended for anyone on a shopping holiday on the Gold Coast, The diversity of stores and the high-street atmosphere put Surfers in a league of its own when it comes to shopping. Elkhorn Avenue is lined with flagship stores for international brands including Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Bally and Prada.

When you step into the larger shopping precincts (Circle on Cavil, Centro, the DFS store on Orchid Avenue and Chevron Renaissance) you’ll further discover well-known fashion chains such as Calibre, Bettina Liano, Billabong, Saba, MNG and Quiksilver, alongside specialty stores, souvenirs and groceries. The beachside streets take on a more European high-street feel with more unique stores complemented by cafes and alfresco restaurants. While not having quite the shopping holiday lure of some of the world’s major cities, the Gold Coast is still a great place to shop in the sun.

Well-being and Spa

Well-being and Spa in Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is home to an ever-growing list of top-class spa treatment centres. There's something luxurious about wandering about in the daylight hours in a plush robe and slippers. You can head back to the Q1 and its award-winning resort and spa or try a myriad of other beauty spots located in the top hotels, such as the Golden Door Spa & Health Club at the Sheraton Mirage, Main Beach and L'Aqua Spa at the Watermark in Surfers Paradise. To really get away from it all there are several top spas in the Gold Coast Hinterland, including O'Reilly's Lost World Spa, and Couran Cove Island Resort & Day Spa on South Stradbroke Island.

Wine Tasting Holiday

Wine Tasting Holiday in Gold Coast

The many unique micro-climates of the Gold Coast make for ideal growing conditions in which a variety of grapes flourish, making its sun-drenched setting perfect for a wine tasting holiday. The Gold Coast Hinterland is one of Queensland's fastest growing wine regions and is already making a mark with state, national and international wine and tourism awards. Located in relatively close proximity to the city, Mt Nathan, Tamborine Mountain, and Canungra are have scores of wineries that are well worth visiting.

All wineries and vineyards are open for wine tasting, group tours, and a variety of dining choices, with many hosting live entertainment on weekends. Guided tours are readily available to take you on a scenic journey through the beautiful Gold Coast Hinterland including Mt Tamborine and Canungra with spectacular hillside and countryside views in between enjoying the wide range of regional wineries. Overall, the Gold Coast remarkable blend of fine vineyards makes it an good destination for any wine tasting holiday.

Winter Sun

Winter Sun in Gold Coast

The Gold Coast enjoys a temperate climate year-round and is a perfect destination for holidaymakers who fancy a spot of winter sun. Australian summer runs from December to February while their winter extends from June into August. The Gold Coast’s sun-drenched climate gives an average temperature of roughly 20°C during December, meaning plenty of winter sun so you won’t have to bring scarves and sweaters if you are looking to spend a Christmas in the Gold Coast. Also be sure to stick out the winter sun and enjoy the spectacular new year’s eve celebrations, a giant street party in the heart of the city and along several of the main beaches.

Touring - Driving holiday

Touring - Driving holiday in Gold Coast

A new addition to our top ten list for tour driving destinations, the Gold Coast certainly boasts some beautiful scenic roads in the hinterland. Admire panoramic views of the subtropical forest dropping down to the vibrant coast and the never-ending ocean. There are also lovely drives to discover along the seafront in Main Beach, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Miami Beach, Burleigh Heads, Currumbin, Kirra Beach and Coolangatta.

The Gold Coast Highway runs from Labrador to Coolangatta, not far from the waterfront, while the Pacific Highway (M1) is situated more inland. The major motorway linking Brisbane to Sydney, the Pacific Highway is a faster option if you want to travel from Southport or Surfers Paradise to Coolangatta.