Trip time! Discover the beaches, local cuisine and golf in romantic Gold Coast.

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 1,400 square kilometers (541 square miles) 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 commercialising 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 holiday destinations.

Known for

Beaches, Family-friendly and Dining

Explore map

Where to stay in Gold Coast

Mount Tamborine
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Mount Tamborine

Relaxing, Bird Watching, Mountains

Follow the winding road from the coast to the hinterland and experience complete tranquillity on this peaceful rainforest-clad mountain plateau. 

North Tamborine
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North Tamborine

Wineries, Rainforests, Jungles

North Tamborine is noteworthy for its mountain views, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Glow Worm Caves and Cedar Creek Estate Vineyard and Winery.

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Top hotels in Gold Coast

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Sea World Resort
Sea World Resort
4.5 out of 5
Sea World Drive Main Beach Gold Coast, Main Beach, QLD
Rs7,504/night
19 Sep-20 Sep
4.2/5Very Good! (1,870 reviews)

This family-friendly Main Beach hotel is located on the waterfront, within a 15-minute walk of Philip Park and Sea World. Marina Mirage Shopping Centre and Sand ...

4.2/5Very Good! (1,870 reviews)

"Parking not so good, should have some coverage for your car"…"

Reviewed on 8 Sep 2019

Sea World Resort
Image for Meriton Suites Broadbeach, Gold Coast
Meriton Suites Broadbeach, Gold Coast
5 out of 5
2669 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach, QLD
Rs5,271/night
25 Sep-26 Sep
4.7/5Exceptional! (1,793 reviews)

Situated near the boardwalk, this luxury apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, The Star Gold Coast and ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (1,793 reviews)

"Very spacious apartments. Had a 2 bedroom for 1 night then moved into a 1 bedroom for 4 nights. Great amenities and close to beach, cafes, Pacific Fair shopping mall."…"

Reviewed on 14 Sep 2019

Meriton Suites Broadbeach, Gold Coast
Image for Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise
Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise
4.5 out of 5
2807 Gold Coast Highway, Surfers Paradise, QLD
Rs6,566/night
19 Sep-20 Sep
4.3/5Excellent! (2,244 reviews)

Situated near the beach, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Surfers Paradise Beach, Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre and Cavill Avenue. Pacific ...

4.3/5Excellent! (2,244 reviews)

"Thought our room was very good although I think that is need of a refresh"…"

Reviewed on 16 Aug 2019

Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise

Popular things to do in Gold Coast

Sea World
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Sea World

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?

Warner Bros. Movie World
Image for Warner Bros. Movie World

Warner Bros. Movie World

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.

Dreamworld
Image for Dreamworld

Dreamworld

Australia’s biggest amusement park features exciting themed areas with everything from tigers and thrilling rides to vintage V8 super-cars and TV characters.

Surfers Paradise Beach
Image for Surfers Paradise Beach
Photo provided by Tourism and Events Queensland

Surfers Paradise Beach

This stretch of beach is known for its regular sets of rolling waves, with high-rise hotels and bustling nightlife along the sandy shore.

Cavill Avenue
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Cavill Avenue

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

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.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Gold Coast

Top 10 beach activities
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Top 10 beach activities

Summer is fast-approaching, so we’re answering an important question: What should you do at the beach this year?

Weirdest winter vacation destinations in the Southern Hemisphere
Image for Weirdest winter vacation destinations in the Southern Hemisphere

Weirdest winter vacation destinations in the Southern Hemisphere

The Southern Hemisphere offers half a world’s worth of weird places to go and wild things to do all winter long.

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