Five Great Things to do on the Gold Coast
Australia’s Gold Coast plays host to over ten million tourists each year, of which more than 850 thousand are international visitors. What is the draw? Of course, the beaches are high on that list providing some of the best surf breaks in Australia or the world for that matter. There are, however, other attractions such as exploring the hinterlands, enjoying theme parks, participating in extensive shopping opportunities and finally, and maybe most importantly, experiencing some of the most heady nightlife available in Australia.
From south to north, Coolangatta is almost in New South Wales but the beaches are the equal of the famed Surfers Paradise only without the nasty view of skyscrapers. Heading north, the next beach of note is Currumbin Beach alongside Currumbin Lake where the famed creek enters the ocean providing tidal backwaters as well as a lovely spot for family bathing with its roped off areas. Here is a haven for kayakers, paddle boarders, swimmers and kite surfers; however, it is far enough down the coast that it often very quiet. Next on the trip up the coast is Burleigh Heads Beach, a fine gold coast accommodation. It is sheltered, good for surfing, and has great facilities such as barbies and a large clubhouse with changing rooms. Just before arriving at the famed Surfers Paradise, one can find Nobby Beach without the crowds found at Surfers. For the best known beach in Australia, however, the appeal of Surfers has to do with the “place to be seen”. Unfortunately, this is also the place where large skyscrapers throw shadows on the sand in the afternoon.
Inland from the Gold Coast are the hinterlands, places of contrast, where one can view rural plantations, wander through vineyards and pursue wine tasting enroute to the National Parks. Here are miles of bush walking trails, as well as country roads leading to canyons with myriad natural wonders. All of this is within 30 minutes of those treasured beaches.
For families, perhaps the ultimate attraction may be the proliferation of theme parks. Beginning with Dreamworld with its big 6 thrill rides to Sea World where children as well as their parents see dolphins, seals and polar bears, the offerings are spectacular. Also, there is Warner Brothers Movie World providing the magic of stardom for everyone, as well as the Wet n Wild Water World Park, Australia’s finest water park, which showcases a whirlpool with swirling rapids that sends guests down their own whitewater river.
Another adventure, either day or evening, is found in wandering arts and crafts markets, designer stores or the malls such as Pacific Fair, Harbour Town, Marina Mirage or Paradise Centre. For the weekend shopper, Carrara Markets provides fresh fruit, leather belts, work of the local artists, local cheeses and other handmade items. And finally, there is the night life.
Cavill Avenue provides weekend partying every night with friendly pubs, nightclubs and upscale restaurants. All along the Gold Coast are party boats hopping between Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach and down to Coolangatta. Fashionable late night clubs have touring DJs, catering to diverse musical tastes with enough saucy environs to provide vacationers places to dance without worrying about what folks at home might think. Personal taste can definitely be accommodated in how one likes to party