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Best places to visit in the Gold Coast

What to do in Australia’s entertainment capital, from beach suburbs to national parks.

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With its shopping opportunities in Broadbeach, nightlife in Surfers Paradise, wilderness in the Hinterland and marine activities on South Stradbroke Island, the Gold Coast doesn't disappoint.

Discover your perfect place on the Gold Coast with our list of where to go based on your interests.

Where to go on the Gold Coast

Photo Taken In Surfers Paradise, Australia

Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise is well known for its epic nightlife, shopping, golden sands and skyscrapers.

It's where travellers and youngsters go out to party and recover from their hangovers. Yet, it's still heavily family-friendly with entertainment ranging from theme parks to marine activities for all ages.


A series of aerial photos of Surfers Paradise captured in early 2019

Broadbeach

Broadbeach is Surfers Paradise's older neighbouring suburb and feels more grown-up with its luxuries and older crowd.

Fine dining, calm beachfronts, high-end malls, a casino and shows pack the area.

  • Best for: Entertainment, food and drinks, shopping.
  • How to get there: Broadbeach is a 12-minute drive or 40-minute transit ride from Surfers Paradise.
  • Top things to see and do: Be entertained at Dracula's Dinner and Cabaret, try your luck at The Star (you can also stay overnight there), spend an evening fine dining and shop at Pacific Fair where personal shopping experiences are available.
  • How long do I need? One day.
  • Recommended tour: Build your own itinerary in this relaxed suburb.

Waterfall known as Curtis Falls in Mount Tamborine National Park,Gold Coast Hinterlands,Queensland,Australia

Hinterland

The Gold Coast Hinterland lures travellers with its lush tropical greenery and towering mountains.

The region is made up of numerous national parks. Hotspots include the sweet township of Tamborine Mountain, the tropical jungles of Springbrook National Park and the hiking trails in Lamington National Park.


burleigh

Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Heads is for visitors who don't want the big city life. The rainforest and beaches are right on your doorstep and the suburb is far enough from Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach to not be affected by tourist traps.

Its waves invite pro surfers to the area yet it has spots ideal for family-friendly swimming.


Lookout at a tranquil gorge along the Main Beach Headland Reserve hike.

South Stradbroke Island

Otherwise known as South Straddie this island destination is an idyllic paradise that has been left mostly untouched. And it's only 200 metres from the Gold Coast at its closest point.

Surfers flock here for the incredible waves, nature lovers cruise to it for its bushwalking and outdoor enthusiasts make it a stop for rock climbing. Wildlife here is plenty and fishing is another popular hobby on the island.


A playful father and son sharing a bloom of candy floss while spending the day at the fun fair together.

Theme parks

The Gold Coast is famous for its entertainment and theme parks make up a big part of this.

With five amusement parks in the city, namely Sea World, Movie World, Dreamworld, Wet'n'Wild and Whitewater World, you're bound to find one that suits your wants.


koala

Currumbin

This coastal neighbourhood allows surfers the opportunity to find great waves but with fewer crowds compared to Surfers Paradise.

Currumbin Creek and the Alley are protected areas which are perfect for watersports such as paddleboarding and kayaking. If you're looking for a change of scenery from the beach, Currumbin is a natural gateway to Springbrook National Park as well.

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