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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
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
Southport which includes a sandy beach, tropical scenes and swimming

Main Beach

Main Beach is known for its stunning beaches, and with sights like Sea World and Marina Mirage Shopping Centre, you won't get bored spending a day wandering around this part of Gold Coast.

Main Beach

Top hotels in Gold Coast

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
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$169 per night

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

3.7/5Good! (942 reviews)

"I just like the fact that the service is great, always checking in to make sure your experience is great and your having a great stay. Would definitely recommend"…"

Reviewed on 18 Jul. 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
The price is AU$99 per night

Situated in the suburbs, this luxury apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, The Star Gold Coast and Pacific ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (2,299 reviews)

"Amazing view and friendly, welcoming staff! Bath was incredible and thoroughly enjoyed our stay!"…"

Reviewed on 10 Aug. 2020

Meriton Suites Broadbeach, Gold Coast
Q1 Resort & Spa
Q1 Resort & Spa
4.5 out of 5
9 Hamilton Avenue, Surfers Paradise, QLD
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is AU$213 per night

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

4.3/5Excellent! (3,002 reviews)

"Always a good stay at Q1..very nice rooms..have never had any issues when staying.."…"

Reviewed on 10 Aug. 2020

Q1 Resort & Spa

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.

Wet'n'Wild Gold Coast
Image for Wet'n'Wild Gold Coast

Wet'n'Wild Gold Coast

4.5/5(878 reviews)

Get an adrenaline kick gliding through caves and tunnels or plunging down a giant water slide, or simply float and splash in a relaxing pool.

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
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
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
Dracula's Cabaret - Dinner & Show
Image for Dracula's Cabaret - Dinner & Show

Dracula's Cabaret - Dinner & Show

AU$99
Per adult
90% 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
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$44
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

Springbrook National Park featuring mountains, a coastal town and skyline

Springbrook

Other places like Gold Coast