Queensland’s glittering resort strip has something for everyone from fun-loving families to laid-back surfers, dedicated foodies and outdoor adventurers. Hit the theme parks in the Northern Gold Coast, embrace the slower pace of the Southern Gold Coast, catch a wave at Currumbin or Burleigh and escape into nature in the lush Hinterland.
Experience quintessential Australian beach culture in Surfers Paradise, the capital of the Gold Coast. Sample the nightlife – ranging from casual pubs to stylish cocktail bars and pumping clubs – or time your trip around the packed events calendar.
You can easily get to Surfers Paradise from Brisbane Airport, a one-hour drive away, or Gold Coast Airport, which lies 30 minutes south. Trains also connect all three destinations.
Get back to nature in the “green behind the gold”, the lush Gold Coast Hinterland. Discover ancient subtropical rainforest in the Lamington and Springbrook national parks, explore a huge network of walking and hiking trails, and chase secret waterfalls tumbling over dramatic cliffs.The Gold Coast Hinterland is less than an hour’s drive inland from the Gold Coast.
Each of the Gold Coast’s beaches has its own personality. Glitzy high-rises, bustling restaurants and sleek boutiques meet golden sands at Broadbeach. Burleigh Heads, famous for its reliable surf breaks and bohemian lifestyle, is a favourite with the locals. At mellow Main Beach, you can spot dolphins, hire a jet ski or have breakfast at the Surf Lifesaving Club.
More than 160km of diverse walking and hiking trails wind through the park, including the Tree Top Walk, a series of bridges in the canopy 15m above the ground. Hit the waterfall circuit to find Elabana, Chalahn and Box Log Falls, then pitch your tent at one of the well-equipped campsites in the park or a remote bush camp.
Lamington National Park is a one-hour drive from the Gold Coast.
Springbrook National Park is a small but special place, with a number of short walks running through canyons, beside streams, behind tumbling waterfalls and up to stunning lookouts. A highlight is the striking Natural Bridge, a rock formation formed by the force of a waterfall that’s illuminated by thousands of glow worms at night.
Springbrook National Park is a 45-minute drive from the Gold Coast.