Heading to the Gold Coast? Wondering about which places to visit there? Read on to find out the top Gold Coast attractions and which of these places will suit you best. Plus, before you go, read some interesting facts about the Gold Coast as well as transport options for getting there.

 

 

Interesting Facts About the Gold Coast

 

  • A Gold Coast holiday is synonymous with the quintessential Aussie lifestyle of sun, surf and fun
  • About four million visitors flock to the Gold Coast each year
  • Gold Coast has 35 beaches stretching over a distance of 42 km (25 miles)
  • With 300 sunny days a year Gold Coast has some of the best weather in Australia
  • Gold Coast is home to children’s theme parks, a casino, world-famous marinas, high-rise apartments, snaking waterways, a glitzy nightlife, and lush subtropical rainforests
  • The undisputed capital of the Gold Coast is Surfers Paradise
  • Gold Coast has one of Australia’s largest migration of retirees, dreamers and sun-lovers

 

 

6 Gold Coat Attractions You Can’t Afford to Miss

Wondering what things to do on the Gold Coast? Look no further. Below are the top six Gold Coast attractions you cannot afford to miss.

 

1. Surfers Paradise Gold Coast

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Great for: Nightlife, shopping, beach lovers

Avoid if: You want a quiet, relaxing holiday

Activities: Clubbing, shopping, beach sports

Best time to visit: Spring (September to November)

Transport options: Car, bus

Accommodation options: Apartments, hotels, motels, backpackers

Budget: Moderate to expensive

Distance from Brisbane: 79 kms (49 miles)

 

The undisputed fun and party capital of the Gold Coast is Surfers Paradise which, depending on your viewpoint, is either the heart of the action or the place you’ll most want to avoid. “Surfers” to the locals, this part of the Gold Coast is a high-rise forest of apartment towers, shops, cheap eateries, taverns, nightclubs, and amusement parlours. If you want relentless entertainment and holiday at a giddy and frenetic pace, Surfers Paradise is for you.

For more information, head to Surfers Paradise Gold Coast.

 

 

2. Gold Coast Theme Parks

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Great for: Kids, people who like themed rides

Avoid if: You don’t enjoy theme parks

Activities: Theme parks

Best time to visit: Spring (September to November)

Transport options: Car, bus

Accommodation options: Apartments, hotels, motels, backpackers (at Surfers Paradise)

Budget: Moderate

Distance from Brisbane: 60 kms (37 miles)

 

The Gold Coast’s theme parks are not as large or as sophisticated as Disney World in the USA, but they’re exciting. Test your lung capacity (or better yet, the kids’) on the thrilling rides and swirling action at the five American-style theme parks just north of Surfers Paradise. There are three theme parks – Sea World, Warner Bros. Movie World and Dreamworld, and two water parks – Wet’n’Wild and WhiteWater World.

See Gold Coast Theme Parks for more information.

 

 

3. Broadbeach Gold Coast

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Great for: Shopaholics, gamblers, people who want a quiet, relaxed holiday

Avoid if: You want a party atmosphere or lots of activities

Activities: Gambling at the casino, shopping, dining

Best time to visit: Spring (September to November)

Transport options: Car, bus

Accommodation options: Apartments, hotels, motels

Budget: Moderate to expensive

Distance from Brisbane: 82 kms (51 miles)

 

Only a few kilometres south of Surfers Paradise is the chic beach town of Broadbeach. Here bling gives way to upmarket glam. Retail complexes, boutique shops and fashionable restaurants and cafes line the streets while open stretches of green parkland separate the fine sandy beach from the esplanade. This is where Gold Coast locals wine and dine, so head here if you want a taste of the stylish beach-and-sun lifestyle. Broadbeach also has the best shopping and casino in the Gold Coast. It’s also a good alternative to Surfers if you want a peaceful night’s sleep.

For more information, see Broadbeach Gold Coast.

 

 

4. Coolangatta Gold Coast

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Great for: Surfers, people who want a quiet, relaxing holiday, backpackers

Avoid if: You want a party atmosphere or lots of activities

Activities: Surfing, beach sports  

Best time to visit: Spring (September to November)

Transport options: Air, car, bus

Accommodation options: Apartments, resorts, motels, backpackers, tourist park

Budget: Cheap to moderate

Distance from Brisbane: 102 kms (63 miles)

 

Coolangatta is a laid-back seaside town which offers visitors the quietest and cheapest holiday option in the Gold Coast. Home to some of the best surf beaches along the coast, it’s also a great place for surfers to test their surfing skills. One of its greatest charms, though, is its 1980s summer-holiday feel. If you want to bypass the glam and party scene, catch a few waves and kick back on the beach, Coolangatta is your destination in the Gold Coast.

Visit our Coolangatta Gold Coast page for more information.

 

 

5. Burleigh Heads Gold Coast

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Great for: Kids, surfers, wildlife lovers, people who want a quiet, relaxing holiday

Avoid if: You want a party atmosphere or lots of activities

Activities: Surfing, hiking, wildlife

Best time to visit: Spring (September to November)

Transport options: Car, bus

Accommodation options: Apartments, tourist park

Budget: Moderate

Distance from Brisbane: 89 kms (55 miles)

 

Burleigh Heads is predominantly a chilled-out surfie town due to its great right-hand point breaks. It’s also a fantastic place to take the kids who will love the wildlife parks nearby in Currumbin. Burleigh Heads also has a small national park so people who love the outdoors can stretch their legs on some of the walking tracks which have lovely views of the coast. With its cheery cafes and beachfront restaurants overlooking a gorgeous stretch of white sand, Burleigh Heads charms everyone.

If this sounds like your kind of holiday, visit our Burleigh Heads Gold Coast page for more information.

 

 

6. Gold Coast Hinterland

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Great for: Serious hikers, bird watchers and nature lovers

Avoid if: You want a party atmosphere or lots of activities

Activities: Hiking, wildlife 

Best time to visit: Spring (September to November)

Transport options: Car

Accommodation options: Villas, chalets, cottages, guesthouses, motels, cabins, camp grounds

Budget: Moderate

Distance from Brisbane: 82 to 102 kms (51 to 63 miles)

 

Often overlooked as a great destination is the lush, subtropical rainforested Gold Coast hinterland situated less than 30km away from the beach. The cool mountain landscape is a subtropical paradise of rainforest walks, waterfalls, panoramic lookouts, amazing wildlife and cosy retreats in Lamington and Springbrook National Parks and the quaint hill-top village of Tamborine Mountain. While the hinterland is popular with hikers in spring and summer, its cosy cabins and fireplaces make it a perfect holiday destination for romantic weekenders in winter.

For more information visit our Gold Coast Hinterland page.

 

 

 

Gold Coast Transport Options

The Gold Coast can be accessed by air, train, bus or car.

 

Gold Coast Airport

The Gold Coast international airport is located at Coolangatta, 25km south of Surfers Paradise. Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia fly from Sydney (1 ½ hours) and Melbourne (2 hours), while Tiger Airways has flights from Melbourne only.

 

Gold Coast Airport Transfers

The best Gold Coast airport transfer is the Gold Coast Tourist Shuttle which meets every flight into Coolangatta Airport and operates door-to-door transfers to most Gold Coast accommodation.

 

Brisbane to Gold Coast

There are a number of options to get from Brisbane to Gold Coast – by air, train or bus, or you can simply drive your car there.

 

Brisbane to Gold Coast Train

Unfortunately, there are no train stations located near any of the main Gold Coast towns. The closest train stations are Helensvale, Nerang and Robina stations. Citytrain services run from Brisbane to Helensvale (1 hr), Nerang (1 ¼ hrs) and Robina (1 ¼ hrs) every half-hour. See Citytrain for a Gold Coast train timetable.

You can catch a bus from the train station to Surfers Paradise and beyond, and to the theme parks. See Surfside Buslines for a Gold Coast bus timetable.

 

Brisbane to Gold Coast Bus

There are several bus companies that operate regular services from Brisbane to the Gold Coast. Greyhound Australia and Premier Motor Services have frequent bus services to / from Brisbane (1 ½ hrs), Byron Bay (2 ½ hrs) and Sydney (15 hrs), while Kirklands has bus services from Brisbane and Byron Bay only.

If you’re flying into Brisbane airport, you can take Coachtrans or Aerobus from the Brisbane airport to the Gold Coast. Coachtrans operates the Airporter direct services from Brisbane airport to anywhere on the Gold Coast and also has services from Brisbane City to Surfers Paradise and to the theme parks. Aerobus has transfers from Brisbane airport to Gold Coast accommodation.

 

 

Tell us what you think. Are you heading to the Gold Coast? Which Gold Coast attraction(s) are you planning to visit? If you’ve been to the Gold Coast before, please share your experiences with us.

We love to hear from you so please leave your comments below.

 

 

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