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 541 square miles (1,400 square kilometers) 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 commercializing 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 vacation destinations.

Where to stay in Gold Coast

Surfers Paradise showing a city, a sunset and a sandy beach

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 which includes a sandy beach, a high-rise building and skyline

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 featuring general coastal views, a day spa and a coastal town

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 which includes a beach, a city and central business district

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
Surfers Paradise which includes a coastal town, a high-rise building and landscape views

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, swimming and tropical scenes

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 £93 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! (966 reviews)

"Great location, amazing breakfast, nice tidy room, great room service."…"

Reviewed on 17 Mar 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 £70 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! (2,290 reviews)

"Great hotel, great service and awesome location. Hotel was very clean and wonderful view of the Gold Coast."…"

Reviewed on 4 Jul 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 £116 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! (2,994 reviews)

"Room 7001 was awesome, had a full size pool table. 2 spa baths. Each of the 3 bedrooms had an ensuite plus the extra powder room"…"

Reviewed on 28 Jun 2020

Q1 Resort & Spa

Popular places to visit in Gold Coast

Sea World
Image for Sea World

Sea World

4.5/5(12 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

5/5(3 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(10 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(31 reviews)

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

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

Wet'n'Wild Gold Coast

4.5/5(8 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.

SkyPoint Observation Deck
Image for SkyPoint Observation Deck

SkyPoint Observation Deck

4.5/5(20 reviews)

Enjoy a drink and take in far-reaching views across the Surfers Paradise shoreline toward the Gold Coast Hinterland at this towering beachside observation deck.

Top things to do 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

£76
Per adult
84% of travellers recommend
Australia Zoo Admission with Express Transfers
Image for Australia Zoo Admission with Express Transfers

Australia Zoo Admission with Express Transfers

£75
Per adult
96% of travellers recommend
Springbrook National Park & Glowworm Night Tour
Image for Springbrook National Park & Glowworm Night Tour

Springbrook National Park & Glowworm Night Tour

£54
Per adult
80% of travellers recommend
Aboriginal Live Theatre & Dinner Experience incl Transfers
Image for Aboriginal Live Theatre & Dinner Experience incl Transfers

Aboriginal Live Theatre & Dinner Experience incl Transfers

£47
Per adult
92% of travellers recommend
Moreton Island Full-Day Snorkel, Kayak & Sand-toboggan Tour
Image for Moreton Island Full-Day Snorkel, Kayak & Sand-toboggan Tour

Moreton Island Full-Day Snorkel, Kayak & Sand-toboggan Tour

£93
Per adult
92% 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

£22
Per adult

Cities near Gold Coast

Southbank Parklands featuring a skyscraper, a river or creek and a city

Brisbane

Cabarita Beach which includes general coastal views and a bay or harbour

Tweed Heads

Springbrook National Park featuring a coastal town, skyline and mountains

Springbrook

Other places like Gold Coast