You’ve seen it on TV, you’ve heard all the rumors and everyone you know has been there… isn’t it about time you took yourself to the Gold Coast to see what all the fuss is about? The chances of leaving disappointed are very slim, if non existent. The Gold Coast represents a convergence of everything you would want out of a holiday. Kilometres of pristine beaches boast hundreds of surfing hotspots, and are also safe for swimming with lifeguard patrols up much of their length. The bright lights of Surfers Paradise are a mecca for shoppers and have a vibrant nightlife with plenty of restaurants and clubs. And if the coast becomes too much, then head into the lush green hinterland and re acquaint yourself with Australian nature!
The selling point of tourism on the Gold Coast is Surfers Paradise, where the tall skyscrapers of the CBD converge onto the white sands of the lifeguard patrolled beach. There are all types of accommodation here, from ritzy hotels to backpacker lodges, and it is a central point for visitors to the area. When the sun sets the streets come alive with revellers roaming between the nightclubs, and during the day bikini and board shorts clad sun-seekers wander between the city and the beach. The atmosphere is fun and vibrant whatever time it is, with everyone strictly in relaxed holiday mode. But for many tourists the sunsets at the beach are the true highlights of their holiday, and considering that this is a popular tourist precinct, you can expect plenty of people about during the day. Lovely in the summer, but perhaps a little less so in the winter months.
About 20 minutes south of Surfers is the beach side suburb of Burleigh Heads. The headland protruding into the ocean has superb views over the Gold Coast hinterland and the surrounding mountains. Burleigh Heads is a small town that offers some excellent restaurants and shops, and a plenty of accommodation to suit any budget. If you are a little more adventurous than surfing the palapa waves, then don’t miss a ride down the rolling hills that plummet into the waters below the headland. Adrenaline junkies are famed for chasing the waves further than Burleigh Head, so do keep your eyes open if chasing the waves is your thing.
Just a little south of Burleigh lies the beach side suburb of Broadbeach. Broadbeach boasts the best view of the area over Sydney Bay, and is a paradise for surfers, kite surfers and kayakers. From April to October, there are guided tours to popular viewing points, but the best time to visit is September to October when the suburb becomes a sea of golden sands. Many beaches lie within walking distance of each other, so you don’t have to leave the boardwalk to get a look at the surf.
The suburb is dotted with cafes and restaurants, many of which cater for a casual weekend of surfing and fishing. The beaches in these areas are the natural habitat of sea turtles, so it is best to keep an eye out for these majestic creatures during your stay at Surfers. In the Broadbeach area, you will also find plenty of pubs and restaurants, many of which stock up on the local food and wine. However, in the township’s hinterland there is a range of dining and drinking establishments. Many of these are situated along the beach, and where possible it is best to park up and explore the area.
If you are visiting the area it is best to stay in one of the spacious and well appointed hotels. If you do stay in one of these you will be ideally located for the best surfing opportunities. Across Australia there are a lot of these hotels available, and where you stay really depends on what you want from your accommodation. If you want it to be beach side and close to the beach there are many hotels in the area. If you want to be further away from the beach there are hotels in the hinterland that are well placed.
The Broadbeach hotels and hotels around the township offer first class accommodation and service, and within just a few minutes drive you have the vibrant centre of surfers. The township’s own travel concierge will be able to give you exact distances and directions on how to get to where you want to go, and true locals will be able to tell you where you are going and why.
The Gold Coast is a place to come for a while and unwind and meet new friends. The region is safe enough to visit at any time of the year, but particularly in summer. The beaches are the most popular attractions of the area, and there are excellent opportunities for adventure and quieter activities should you fancy a change from the beach. The Surfers Paradise Dreamworld also offers high-end shopping experiences and the shopping mall is the entry point to the complex.