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Gold CoastAustralia

For a break in the sun, head to this expansive city: the perfect combination of beaches, theme parks, nightlife, rain forests and mountains.

With its casinos, Jet Skis, yachts and luxury hotels, the Gold Coast looks like it’s straight out of a James Bond movie. Australia’s major theme parks are all here, and the quieter hinterland offers rock climbing, scenic flights and skydiving for thrill seekers. It’s easy to see why millions of visitors flock to the Gold Coast every year: There are more than 30 beaches, including Burleigh Beach, where professional surfers come to compete in February, as well as great shopping and dining.

The Gold Coast encompasses several seaside towns inhabited by over half a million people, making this Australia’s sixth-largest city. The area covers 1,400 square kilometers (541 square miles) from Beenleigh, south of the Queensland capital Brisbane, to Coolangatta Beach at the New South Wales border.

The first Australians, the Aborigines, called this beautiful land of the sun Kurrungul. Europeans settled here, growing and commercialising the area, from the mid-1800s onwards. Tourism boomed in the 1950s, and the golden opportunity to invest in real estate gave the city its name and its skyline.

Some of Australia’s most famous beaches are on the Gold Coast. Two surfing hot spots are Burleigh Beach and Surfers Paradise Beach, an area that’s also popular for shopping and dining. Families looking for a good swimming area will enjoy the calmer waters of Coolangatta Beach.

More family fun awaits at the Gold Coast’s wide range of amusement parks. Interact with marine creatures at Sea World, slide through Wet‘n’Wild Water World, or board the superhero rides at Movie World. You can do all this and more at the biggest Australian theme park, Dreamworld.

The Gold Coast offers year-round entertainment, but you may want to avoid the rowdy “Schoolies” period (when high school graduates celebrate) in November. The weather is hot and humid from December to February (summer), and dry and sunny from June to August (winter). Rain or shine, pack your bathers to enjoy one of Australia’s most popular holiday destinations.

Where to stay in Gold Coast

Surfers Paradise showing a sunset, a beach and a city

Surfers Paradise

The stunning beaches, luxurious spas and popular shops are notable features of Surfers Paradise. Make a stop by Cavill Avenue or Chevron Renaissance while you're visiting, and jump aboard the metro at Florida Gardens station to get around town.

Surfers Paradise
Broadbeach featuring skyline, a sandy beach and a high-rise building

Broadbeach

The stunning beaches, first-class casinos and popular shops are notable features of Broadbeach. Make a stop by The Star Gold Coast or The Oasis while you're visiting, and jump aboard the metro at Broadbeach South Light Rail Station to get around town.

Broadbeach
Coolangatta showing a high-rise building, a city and general coastal views

Coolangatta

The stunning beaches and popular shops are just a few highlights of Coolangatta. Make a stop by Coolangatta Beach or Kirra Beach while you're exploring the area.

Coolangatta
Burleigh Heads showing general coastal views, a coastal town and a day spa

Burleigh Heads

A noteworthy feature of Burleigh Heads is its stunning beaches. While you're in town, be sure to stop and check out Burleigh Beach and Burleigh Head National Park.

Burleigh Heads
Southport showing general coastal views and a beach

Southport

Beaches, spas and theme parks are some highlights of Southport. Make a stop by Broadwater Parklands or Australia Fair Shopping Centre while you're exploring.

Southport
Mermaid Beach

Mermaid Beach

Mermaid Beach is known for its stunning beaches, and with sights like Putt Putt Golf Mermaid Beach and Nobby Beach, you won't get bored spending a day wandering around this part of Gold Coast.

Mermaid Beach

Top hotels in Gold Coast

Hilton Surfers Paradise Hotel and Residences
Hilton Surfers Paradise Hotel and Residences
5 out of 5
6 Orchid Ave Surfers Paradise, Surfers Paradise, QLD
The price is AU$180 per night from 1 Nov. to 2 Nov.

This family-friendly Gold Coast hotel is located by the ocean, within a 5-minute walk of Cavill Avenue and Surfers Paradise Beach. SkyPoint Observation Deck ...

3.7/5Good! (919 reviews)

"The rooms are spacious and clean. Checking-in and out are quick and easy."…"

Reviewed on 11 Oct. 2020

Hilton Surfers Paradise Hotel and Residences
Meriton Suites Broadbeach, Gold Coast
Meriton Suites Broadbeach, Gold Coast
5 out of 5
2669 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach, QLD
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is AU$99 per night from 25 Oct. to 26 Oct.

Located in Broadbeach, this luxury aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, The Star Gold Coast and Pacific Fair ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (2,384 reviews)

"We stayed 3 nights and absolutely loved Meriton Broadbeach. The apartment was perfect, the location was fantastic, being close to Pacific Fair, The Star casino and the Beach. Would definitely recommend Meriton whether for 1 night or 1 week."…"

Reviewed on 15 Oct. 2020

Meriton Suites Broadbeach, Gold Coast
Q1 Resort & Spa
Q1 Resort & Spa
4.5 out of 5
9 Hamilton Avenue, Surfers Paradise, QLD
The price is AU$218 per night from 1 Nov. to 2 Nov.

Located in Surfers Paradise, this luxury aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Surfers Paradise Beach, Cavill Avenue and Timezone. Ripley's Believe It or ...

4.3/5Excellent! (3,040 reviews)

"Spacious, family friendly, great staff. Great amenties, location, and price"…"

Reviewed on 3 Oct. 2020

Q1 Resort & Spa
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Holiday Rentals in Gold Coast

Meriton Suites Broadbeach, Gold Coast
Meriton Suites Broadbeach, Gold Coast
5 out of 5
2669 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach, QLD
The price is AU$99 per night from 25 Oct. to 26 Oct.

Located in Broadbeach, this luxury aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, The Star Gold Coast and Pacific Fair ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (2,384 reviews)

"We stayed 3 nights and absolutely loved Meriton Broadbeach. The apartment was perfect, the location was fantastic, being close to Pacific Fair, The Star casino and the Beach. Would definitely recommend Meriton whether for 1 night or 1 week."…"

Reviewed on 15 Oct. 2020

Meriton Suites Broadbeach, Gold Coast
Q1 Resort & Spa
Q1 Resort & Spa
4.5 out of 5
9 Hamilton Avenue, Surfers Paradise, QLD
The price is AU$218 per night from 1 Nov. to 2 Nov.

Located in Surfers Paradise, this luxury aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Surfers Paradise Beach, Cavill Avenue and Timezone. Ripley's Believe It or ...

4.3/5Excellent! (3,040 reviews)

"Spacious, family friendly, great staff. Great amenties, location, and price"…"

Reviewed on 3 Oct. 2020

Q1 Resort & Spa
ULTIQA Beach Haven At Broadbeach
ULTIQA Beach Haven At Broadbeach
4 out of 5
1 Albert Avenue, Broadbeach, QLD

Offering direct access to the beach, this Broadbeach apartment building is in a shopping district and within a 10-minute walk of Kurrawa Beach and The Star Gold ...

4.4/5Excellent! (519 reviews)

"Awesome apartment - the check in was seamless, they even called me a couple of days prior to confirm my address (COVID19 requirement) and give me some further instructions. The confirmation email also made note of the renovations so that was a good heads up, though i didn't hear any construction ..."…"

Reviewed on 7 Oct. 2020

ULTIQA Beach Haven At Broadbeach
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Gold Coast

Sea World
Image for Sea World

Sea World

4.5/5(1,225 reviews)

Who doesn’t dream of staying overnight in a water park where you can see Jet Ski stunts, life-sized Nickelodeon stars, plus dolphins, sea lions and polar bears?

Dreamworld
Image for Dreamworld

Dreamworld

4/5(582 reviews)

Australia’s biggest amusement park features exciting themed areas with everything from tigers and thrilling rides to vintage V8 super-cars and TV characters.

Warner Bros. Movie World
Image for Warner Bros. Movie World

Warner Bros. Movie World

4.5/5(1,242 reviews)

Watch stunt shows, get on superhero rides, enter the Ice Age 4D Experience and take a splash in the Wild West at Australia’s theme park version of Hollywood.

Cavill Avenue
Image for Cavill Avenue

Cavill Avenue

4/5(2,815 reviews)

Bustling nightlife, great shopping and a legendary surfing beach make this avenue the exciting centre of Surfer’s Paradise on the Gold Coast.

Surfers Paradise Beach
Image for Surfers Paradise Beach

Surfers Paradise Beach

4.5/5(3,401 reviews)

This stretch of beach is known for its regular sets of rolling waves, with high-rise hotels and bustling nightlife along the sandy shore.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Image for Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

4.5/5(638 reviews)

Cuddle a koala and handfeed kangaroos at this wildlife sanctuary set in natural rainforest surrounds on Australia’s famous Gold Coast.

Top activities in Gold Coast

3 Day Pass: Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World & Wet'n'Wild
Image for 3 Day Pass: Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World & Wet'n'Wild

3 Day Pass: Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World & Wet'n'Wild

AU$139
Per adult
84% of travellers recommend
7-Day Super Pass: Movie World, Sea World & Wet'n'Wild
Image for 7-Day Super Pass: Movie World, Sea World & Wet'n'Wild

7-Day Super Pass: Movie World, Sea World & Wet'n'Wild

AU$159
Per adult
88% of travellers recommend
Australian Outback Spectacular Dinner & Live Show
Image for Australian Outback Spectacular Dinner & Live Show

Australian Outback Spectacular Dinner & Live Show

AU$100
Per adult
86% of travellers recommend
14 Day Mega Pass: Movie World, Sea World, Wet'n'Wild + More
Image for 14 Day Mega Pass: Movie World, Sea World, Wet'n'Wild + More

14 Day Mega Pass: Movie World, Sea World, Wet'n'Wild + More

AU$189
Per adult
96% of travellers recommend
Australia Zoo Admission with Express Transfers
Image for Australia Zoo Admission with Express Transfers

Australia Zoo Admission with Express Transfers

AU$89
Per adult
96% of travellers recommend
Indoor Go-Kart Racing at Game Over on the Gold Coast
Image for Indoor Go-Kart Racing at Game Over on the Gold Coast

Indoor Go-Kart Racing at Game Over on the Gold Coast

AU$45
Per adult

Cities near Gold Coast

Southbank Parklands which includes a river or creek, a high-rise building and boating

Brisbane

Cabarita Beach featuring general coastal views and a bay or harbour

Tweed Heads

Photo by Adam Keenan

Tamborine

Springbrook National Park featuring mountains, a coastal town and skyline

Springbrook

Other places like Gold Coast