Gold Coast Travel Guide
The Gold Coast, Australia is east of Brisbane and full of sun, surf, and sand dotting the coast. It’s known for its sunny subtropical climate, surfing, beaches, and waterways, a skyline dominated by high-rise apartment buildings, a rainforest hinterland, and a wild night life. The most famous city in the area is Surfer’s Paradise, a major stop for travelers and backpackers looking to get some sun, surf, and spend time partying. It’s a fun place but my advice is to avoid Surfer’s Paradise, and head to some of the better, less crowded cities like Burleigh Heads and Coolangatta. This travel guide will help you figure out where to go, what to see, and how to save money.
Transportation costs – Cabs can range anywhere from $3-13 USD per person depending on where you are going. For example, a cab ride from the airport in a 4 passenger sedan will cost $13 USD per person. There is also a bus system that goes up and down the coast- fares vary depending on where you want to go.
Read more on the costs of traveling around Oz.
Money Saving Tips
Top Things to See and Do on the Gold Coast
Whale watching – Between June-October, humpback whales make their migratory journey from the Antarctic to warmer waters where they mate and give birth. Later in the season the whales are on their return journey, swimming with their calves beside them. If you’re lucky, you’ll see the whales breaching, slapping their tails, and waving their pectoral fins. Also spotted on cruises are bottle nose dolphins, huge loggerhead turtles, orcas, sea birds, and other marine life.
Hit the beaches – The region has more than 70 km of fantastic beaches, and Surfers Paradise is home to the “best beach in the world” according to some. Other beaches include Southport, Broadbeach, Nobby’s, and Coolongatta.
Learn to surf – It’s isn’t called “Surfer’s Paradise” for no reason. Up and down the coast, whether in Surfers or another town, you’ll find some of the best surfing in Australia. Even if you don’t know how to surf, you’ll be able to find cheap lessons up and down the coast.
Party — “The Goldie” is one of the biggest party destinations in Australia. There are countless bars, clubs, and pub crawls here. Surfer’s Paradise has the biggest night life, but Coolangatta is just as good and less touristy.
The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary – Over 65 acres in size, this compound is massive and is host to aviaries, open displays, reptiles, and more. Since there is so much to see, including wildlife presentations held throughout the day, a guided train tour is available with purchase of admission ticket.
Karting in paradise – MSI Racing is an awesome place to live out your grand prix fantasies by going go kart racing. Go with friends, and see who can pin the fastest race, or just enjoy the adrenaline rush.
The Infinity Maze – If you are looking to do something that you’ve never done before, the Infinity Maze is an intriguing place to start. This winding walk is filled with funky music, sound effects, and illusions—all you need to do is strap on some cotton gloves and socks and feel your way through.