The Gold Coast
With around thirty five miles of coastline, Gold Coast in the state of Queensland in Australia is a beach lover’s paradise! Not too far from the state capital Brisbane, it is also one of the most populous cities in Australia with tourists flooding in from all over the world to surf and enjoy the many recreational activities on offer in this lively and beautiful coastal city.
From a small beach town, this city has grown significantly in the past few decades becoming the sixth largest city in Australia. With tourism as the main industry, the city lacks nothing when it comes to delighting its guests. On an average, some 10 million tourists flock this city every year. Gold Coast is not just lucky to have diverse geography; it also has a perfect subtropical climate with average temperatures in the range of 17 – 25 degrees centigrade throughout the year, ideal for surfing and other daytime activities. Gold Coast is all set to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games as well and there are enough reasons why it will be an ideal host for the event.
How to reach:
If you are in Australia, reaching the Gold Coast is a piece of cake with all means of transport at your disposal. You can choose to reach by bus, trainand airplane or drive yourself to the city. The Gold Coast Airport has both domestic and international flights. International flights connect to New Zealand, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia with airlines such as Jestair, Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia. Brisbane Airport connects to other major parts of the world and is less than an hour away from the city centre of Gold Coast. There are many bus services that go through Gold Coast. You can reach Surfer’s Paradise, Southport or Coolangatta directly from these buses by boarding them at Sydney, Brisbane, Byron Bay or some other major cities. Driving to Gold Coast is going to be a lot easier from Brisbane as compared to other cities such as Sydney, Melbourne or Canberra from where it might take more than 11 hours as a minimum. Driving from Melbourne can take as much as 22 hours as it is around 1800 Kilometres away.
Where to stay:
Gold Coast has no dearth of places to stay at with options available for every budget. There are lodges, motels, camping grounds and hotels in every part of the city with stunning views and facilities. Surfer’s Paradise, which is a favourite touristspot, has a number of hotels with star ratings touching 5 and so does Broadbeach which is famous for its shopping districts, parklands and picnic areas. The Palazzo Versace Gold Coast is the only six star hotel in all of Australia, popular for its unique architecture luxurious interiors and functional design. Coolangatta has a variety of hotels to boast. From the Oaks Calypso Plaza to Mantra Beach Resort, the place is a happening tourist destination. If you wish to avoid the regular tourist crowd, you can also opt for hotels which are away from the major tourist centres.
What to seeand do at Gold Coast:
Apart from picturesque beaches and waterways, Gold Coast is also home to abundant flora and fauna. The region has a mixed geography including rainforests, marshlands, lakes and freshwater habitats making it ideal for diverse wildlife and sea creatures to dwell in. There are a number of World Heritage Sites worth visiting in and around Gold Coast such as the Great Barrier Reef, Fraser Island which is the largest sand island in the world, Border Ranges and Lamington National Park.
The natural beauty of the place is also enhanced by the thousands of manmade parks spread all over the city. There are close to two thousand parks and botanical gardens in Gold Coast which make it an ideal place for family outings.
Surfer’s Paradise stands true to its name with spectacular and consistent waves throughout all its beaches. The place is ideal to learn surfing and also hosts some of the most prestigious international surfing events that attract the best surfing talent from all over the world.
The Coolangatta Ocean Swim has everything to delight the beach lover. The atmosphere is great especially during April when it is nick named the ‘Cooly Classic’. The Great Sunshine way is the stretch from Gold Coast to Brisbane where one can experience almost everything Gold Coast has to offer. One can cross the Brisbane River, go through the hinterlands and visit the Noosa National Park on the way.
Spending the day in Gold Coast will never be difficult as the city is replete with cafes, restaurants, five star hotels, shopping districts, malls, art galleries, clubs, theatres and boutiques. There are also events planned throughout the year for showcasing the place’s diversity and sporting talent. Some of these events that are most looked forward to by locals and tourists alike are Gold Coast Indy Festival, Gold Coast Marathon, Asia Pacific Masters Games, Conrad Jupiter Horse Racing Carnival and Australian Surf Life Saving Championships.
For the night owls, Gold Coast’s nightlife is abuzz with activity as the numerous bars, nightclubs and casinos are always open to welcome guests at any hour. Surfer’s Paradise is the nightlife capital of Gold Coast especially around the Orchid and Cavill Avenues with good music, plenty of places to relax and lounge about and quality drinks to suit everyone’s taste. Some must visit places are Capitol Bar and Lounge, Melbas Restaurant and the Clock Hotel.
Another interesting aspect of Gold Coast is its association with the movie industry. It is the third largest film production centre in Australia with some of the biggest movies being filmed in the Warner Brothers Studios situated here. The Roadshow Studios situated at Oxenford is one of the largest studio lots in the world. Oxenford also has the famous Warner Brothers Movie World Theme Park for movie buffs. One of the most significant productions to take place at Gold Coast was one from the Narnia Series, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
With so much to do and so much to see, Gold Coast is definitely the golden city of Australia.