Backpacking the Gold Coast

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    KILOMETRES OF STUNNING WHITE SANDY BEACHES AND SOME OF THE BEST SURFING LOCATIONS IN AUSTRALIA: Photo courtesy of Tourism Queensland
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    THEME PARK CAPITAL OF AUSTRALIA: Photo courtesy of Tourism Queensland
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    AWESOME PLACE TO PARTY HARD ANY NIGHT OF THE WEEK: Photo courtesy of Tourism Queensland
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    THE GOLD COAST HINTERLAND IS FULL OF BEAUTIFUL LUSH RAINFOREST, BREATHTAKING VIEWS AND CHARMING VILLAGES: Photo courtesy of Tourism Queensland
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Gold Coast Highlights

  • Australia's major holiday destination with over 10 million visitors each year.

  • Best known for its expanses of beautiful white sandy beaches, great surfing, party atmosphere and theme parks.

  • Head up to the stunning Gold Coast hinterland, where you find lush World Heritage Listed rainforest, charming towns and villages and plenty of places to seek out some adventure or adrenaline activities.

  • Spend a day or more at some of the major theme parks including, Sea World, Dreamworld, Movie World, Wet n Wild and White Water World.

  • Head out any night of the week to party at one of the many bars, pubs and nightclubs.

  • Between June and the end of October you can take a whale watching cruise to spot some of the 10,000 humpback whales heading between the Antarctic and the warmer oceans.

  • If you like adventure, the Gold Coast offers plenty of activities such as jet boating, skydiving, zorbing, rally car driving, becoming a movie stunt performer for the day and much more.

  • Head to one of the many major annual events which range from music, world surfing contests, V8 supercar races and, schoolies week amongst others.

About the Gold Coast

Population 500,000

This is Australia's major holiday destination with over 10 million visitors making the pilgrimage each year. This place is best known for its expanses of beautiful white sandy beaches, great surfing, party atmosphere and theme parks. This is contrasted with the stunning Gold Coast Hinterland, where you feel like you are miles away from everything. Here you will find lush World Heritage Listed rainforest, charming towns and villages, and plenty of places to seek out some adventure activities.

The Gold Coast stretches 35km from Coolangatta on the New South Wales/Queensland border to Southport in the north. Originally comprising a series of beautiful individual surf beaches and towns, rapid commercialisation since the Second World War has seen the joining of these villages to form one large city.

Although the whole region has tourist appeal, the main hub of the Gold Coast is the area that includes Surfers Paradise, Main Beach and Broadbeach. Here is where the greatest concentration of high-rise apartments, restaurants and nightlife are located.

In addition to the appeal of nature's wonders and the nightlife, the Gold Coast also has several large and easily accessible theme parks including; Sea World, Dreamworld, Movie World, Wet n Wild and White Water World. All these places provide you with a full day of thrills and entertainment.

Main areas of the Gold Coast


Surfers Paradise, Main Beach and Broadbeach

Just north of Surfers Paradise and south of Southport, Main Beach is an area with cafe lined boulevards, boutique shops and of course the beach itself.

A short stroll south is Surfers Paradise, the Gold Coast's most concentrated tourist area. This is where you find the majority of high-rise resorts and apartments, plenty of tourist attractions, great shopping and eating, 7 day a week night life and the famous Surfers Paradise Beach.

Further south is Broadbeach, which has seen a lot of high-rise development in the last 10 years. This area also has excellent shopping with the largest shopping centre on the Gold Coast - Pacific Fair, good nightlife, a casino, plenty of places to eat and also a great beach.

Located here is the world's tallest residential apartment building, Q2 standing at 80 levels. There is a visitor observation lounge on the 78th floor, which gives some spectacular panoramic views of the entire coast and hinterland.

Middle to Southern end of the Gold Coast from Mermaid Beach to Coolangatta/Tweed Heads

This area is a little less touristy. There are not as many high-rise buildings and you will find the atmosphere more laid-back. The entire length of this coast has excellent white sandy beaches, great for swimming and surfing. You will also find plenty of places to shop, eat and drink along with various tourist attractions. Gold Coast Airport is located right at the southern end, which is the main access for air travel into the region.

Northern end beyond Main Beach

This area is not very touristy and is more suburban, industrial and commercial.

Hinterland

Around 30 minutes drive from the beach you are in a completely different landscape. The hinterland is a stunning area of natural wonders and scenery including World Heritage listed rainforests. You will also find charming villages and towns with great cafes, restaurants, pubs, galleries and shops.

Orientation Map for the Gold Coast


View map of the Gold Coast in a larger map

Gold Coast Tourism Visitor Information Centre

Cavill Walk
Surfers Paradise
Gold Coast, Queensland
Phone 1300 309 440
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