Australia's party central for surfers and all-round fun seekers
'Goldie' is home to the beach-lined tourist hub of Surfers Paradise and popular precincts such as Broadbeach, with its restaurants, shopping and casino, and Main Beach with its resorts. And let’s not forget the surf breaks at Greenmount, Currumbin and Burleigh Heads, to name just a few. The Gold Coast also ranks as Australia’s family-fun capital, boasting theme parks ranging from Sea World and WhiteWater World to Warner Bros Movie World, Dreamworld and the Australian Outback Spectacular.
Beyond the city limits is a lush hinterland – 'the green behind the gold' – known for its national parks, rock formations, waterfalls and inviting nature spots like Tamborine Mountain, Springbrook and Currumbin Valley. One of Australia's favourite holiday playgrounds, the Gold Coast lets visitors toggle between fast-paced and laid-back – all under year-round sunshine.
Discover more about Gold Coast
The ultimate surfer's guide to the Gold Coast
With endless breaks and a laidback culture, the Gold Coast includes plenty to keep water babies happy in and out of the surf - whether you're a gun board-rider or just learning to surf.
Beachside and brunch-perfect: the Gold Coast restaurants that are changing the game
Here's where to eat out in the Gold Coast, a city that is fast becoming one of Australia's top dining hotspots.
Why the Gold Coast is the perfect weekend escape with the gang
Yes, there’s sunshine and glorious beaches. But there’s also shopping, dining, spa days and cocktails! That's why this holiday hotspot is the best mini-break destination.
Local secrets: Gold Coast's hidden gems for families
For an amazing Gold Coast holiday with kids, these are the best things to do for the whole family in and around Surfers Paradise.
Discover the Gold Coast's arty side
A life drawing class is just one of the ways in which to unleash your inner artist while immersing yourself in the creative energy of the GC.
5 ways to experience the new Gold Coast
These days, a trip to the Gold Coast involves more than surfing and theme parks. Here's where to experience the region's food, culture and arts scene.
Postcard from Nobby Beach, Gold Coast
A new wave of restaurants, bars and stylish boutiques is bringing this laid-back beachside neighbourhood into the spotlight.
An insider's guide to the Gold Coast
Let local creative Nick Atkins shows you around the Goldie, revealing his favourite places to eat, drink and surf.
7 things about the Gold Coast that are totally not true
The Goldie may conjure images of skyscrapers, meter maids and sun-kissed surfers in thongs but scratch the surface - you'll find that there’s plenty of substance under all the glitz.
The best happy hours on the Gold Coast
From cosy cocktail and whisky bars to trendy breweries and speakeasys – we round up the best places to end your day, the local's way in this Queensland city.
Top 5 free things to do with kids on the Gold Coast
The Gold Coast might be known for its glitz and its glamour, but there’s a whole lot of free family fun to be had too!
Best surf beaches in the Gold Coast
Bare feet, sun-kissed skin, curling waves and boundless beach days are what the Gold Coast is all about. Here’s where to go to surf or chill.
Best things to do in the Gold Coast for families
Taking the kids on a family holiday in the Gold Coast doesn't have to mean that the adults can't have fun, too. Here's how you can please the whole family in the popular coastal city.
6 ways to feel totally glam on the Gold Coast
Whether you’re here for a special occasion, need to relax without lifting a finger or you have extra cash to splash, here are the finest ways to splurge.
5 wellness experiences to do in the Gold Coast
Queensland’s Gold Coast is home to world-class spa retreats. Here are five wellness experiences to soothe your mind, body and soul
Things to do
Life’s a beach
Peppers Broadbeach opens in new window is in the heart of Broadbeach, the Gold Coast's fine dining hotspot with over 100 alfresco restaurants offering diverse cuisines. Family-friendly Zagames Paradise Resort opens in new window is in the heart of Surfers Paradise. Parents can revel in some 'me time' as the littlies stay entertained at the kids' club. Nirvana by the Sea opens in new window, south of the Gold Coast at Kirra Beach, specialises in opulent accommodation for couples. The units are themed 'life spaces', capturing panoramic views of Queensland’s most famous beach.
The Gold Coast’s national parks are just as stunning as its beaches, with some incredible walkways. The Natural Bridge Rainforest Circuit at Springbook National Park opens in new window is a natural rock formation whose thousands of glow worms make it most spectacular at night. At Tamborine Mountain (apart from the many boutique restaurants and wineries) is the Rainforest Skywalk opens in new window – a 300m-long bridge across the rainforest canopy, allowing you to experience it at treetop level, 30m high.
Goldie is Australia’s theme park capital, home to Dreamworld opens in new window, Movie World opens in new window, Sea World opens in new window (pictured), Wet ‘n’ Wild opens in new window and Whitewater World. Save yourself time and cash and buy your passes online: 'unlimited' passes are worth the higher price. The three-park pass opens in new window entitles you to extra savings and access to Movie World, Wet ’n’ Wild and Sea World, while Dreamworld and WhiteWater World also offer combined tickets opens in new window. Avoid traffic and parking woes and catch the local bus to any of the parks.
The Gold Coast is home to over 57km of coastline with countless surf breaks. The sand is clean and golden and most beaches are patrolled by surf lifesavers. Stand Up Paddle boarding (SUP) is becoming increasing popular as a sport because it’s almost too fun to be categorised as exercise; if you’re a newbie, you can sign up for lessons. If you want to ride the waves like a top surfer, this is the most idyllic locations to get schooled; try Get Wet Surf School opens in new window (pictured). Take to the waters in an entirely different manner by learning the art of sailing – an ideal sport to learn as a group or family, on a cruise out to Stradbroke Island.
Whale of a time
Marvel at nature’s majesty as our most substantial mammals partake in their annual migration along Humpback Highway. The busy shoreline provides up to 25,000 viewing opportunities between June and November. Companies like Whale Watching Gold Coast opens in new window and Whales in Paradise opens in new window run catamaran tours along the coast to get you up close and personal with the migrating humpbacks.
Distance to Surfers Paradise 20km
Taxi A taxi will take around 30 minutes to Surfers Paradise and cost around AUD $65.
Shuttle SkyBus opens in new window provides Gold Coast airport transfers between Gold Coast Airport and over 500 hotels along the Gold Coast – from just AUD $18 one way with FREE WiFi
Bus Translink opens in new window bus route 777 runs around every 15 minutes from the airport to Broadbeach South station, where you can pick up a G:link tram to Surfers Paradise. The journey takes around an hour, and the adult fare is about AUD $6.Back to top
When to go
The Gold Coast experiences great weather all year round. The sub-tropical climate is ideal for outdoor enjoyment – there's an average of 245 days a year of fine and sunny weather. In summer (December–February), daytime temperatures are generally in the mid 20°C range. Enjoy cooler temperatures – about 16°C – in the hinterland, especially in winter. The highest rainfall occurs between January and March where hot days are often followed by tropical storms. Summer is the best time to enjoy the Gold Coast’s beautiful beaches and thrilling rides and entertainment at the theme parks. If you want to experience the humpback whale migration, go between June and October.
Ready to find some cheap flights to Gold Coast?Back to top
Bus operators TransLink opens in new window and Surfside opens in new window offer services that run along the coast as and beyond. There’s also an after-midnight service called NightLink. The G:link opens in new window light rail runs from Southport to Broadbeach. Expeditions to the hinterland require a hire car, tour or taxi.Back to top