As holiday destination names go, The Gold Coast must be up there with the very best of them. The name alone is enough to entice anyone to its sandy shores. Australia’s iconic and celebrated destination is a feast for the surf lovers, the gastronomic guru’s and anyone who enjoys being seduced by the sun and the sea.
The Southeast Queensland coastline is where to go for the sun, surf and the body beautiful. Yes, you have the golden endless beaches, the array of water sports and adventures, but you’ll also discover there’s a natural side to the region, a food scene, arts and culture and plenty of family fun. So although the beach is calling, there’s plenty of opportunities to head away and explore.
Let’s break down this region, unpack its features and illustrate to you the best things to do here. Just pack the swimwear, you will need it.
The sand and the sea
Where else can our journey start than at the beach? It’s what this area is most famous for, after all. If surfing is your sport, then this has to be high on your hit list. The social scene in and around the Surfers Paradise area is not to be underestimated. This area also includes a bustling foreshore area of shopping, bars and clubs, and dining options, making it the complete holiday destination. And you don’t have to surf, there are cycling, roller skating activities, among others to be enjoyed.
Other areas along the Gold Coast include Broadbeach and the Southern Gold Coast. Each of these areas offers all the usual trappings, bars and cafes but also some of the best surf beaches. Take your pick from the water sports and seasonal activities like whale watching.
Beyond the golden sands
If you thought this region was just about the beach, then think again. The green flora and fauna that’s found beyond the yellow sands is just as enticing, and perhaps even more seductive. Tamborine Mountain an example. The rainforest here, for example, is one of the oldest national parks in the world. There are many walking trails and lookout spots, so a stroll will be good for the soul. Add in wineries, breweries and restaurants, sweeping coastal views and attractions like Tamborine Rainforest skywalk and Glow Worm Caves. It all makes for a great escape from the beach, right?
Further out, but still worth your consideration, is Lamington National Park. It’s an area that’s part of the wider Gondwana Rainforests of Australia’s World Heritage area. It’s a subtropical rainforest where you’ll find walking trails, beautiful waterfalls and caves.
Let’s talk about the food
So far, we’ve given you plenty of activity-based fun, time then to settle down to some sumptuous local cuisine. Much like the activities on offer here, there is plenty of choice. The selection of cafes, restaurants and street food mean that the Gold Coast food scene is in fine fettle. Wine bars and craft beer houses offer alfresco seating to ensure you finish the day, watching the sun sink below the shoreline with a refreshing drink in hand. From Palm Beach to Surfers Paradise, there are so many dining options available to you, you’ll be hard pushed to decide!
The fine weather, and fresh sea breeze also means it’s a perfect place for creatives. Street art murals bring colour, and you’ll find there are music and live performances to enhance the experience. Look out for places like Dust Temple, The Craft Parlour and 19 Karen. These places have helped to shape the arts and culture of the region, and are well worth having a gander at.
We’ve ridden the waves, walked the trails, watched the whales and eaten the food. Screamed on the rides and consumed the art. Explored the towns and sat watching the setting sun. The Gold Coast is a special place, make no mistake.