Gold Coast Travel Guide

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Gold Coast Highlights

  • Pro
    airasia profile photo

    airasia says…

     Down under paradise 

  • Con
    KevinMichael profile photo

    KevinMichael says…

     Lots of cars. Traffic is at a crawl during rush hour. 

  • In a nutshell
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    Ramonq says…

     Australia's playground resort 

Gold Coast Things to Do

  • Theme Parks.

    I have been going to Seaworld on and off for the last 30 years. I decided to go there this holiday season to see how the place had changed. Sadly, going to Seaworld has become so expensive it is barely worth going. The animal enclosures are very good. Mind you I was only able to watch one show as waiting in ques takes up much of your time. The...

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  • Beaches.

    Miami is one of about 4 beaches immediately south of Surfers Paradise. It is a patrolled beach but generally not as crowded as some of the main ones due to lack of high rise developement. It's a nice beach to relax on and there's a surf life saving club cafe at the southern end

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  • Hinterland / National Parks.

    After much debate, we decided to head up to Tamborine mountain, really really enjoyed the day. A few wineries, cheese tasting and gallery walk. Really great day out....only 30 mins from Surfers Paradise.

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Gold Coast Hotels

See all 179 Hotels in Gold Coast

Gold Coast Restaurants

  • Nagahama-Raumen Hakataya

    Although it is really small shop, their food are EXCELLENT!~~ Open 7 days 11:00~21:00 (Until soup is exhausted) Fried Dumplings (Gyoza) are always my favorite food in a Japanese Restaurant. However, the fried dumplings in this restaurant are the best I have ever had!!! The dumplings are crispy on the bottom but very juicy inside!!! The Japanese...

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  • Horizons Restaurant, Sheraton.

    This was one of the very nice restaurants in the hotel. You can try some local delicacies like Moreton Bay Bugs (a shellfish) which are thicker than the meat of a lobster and have their own delightful taste. Barramundi which can either be a salt or freshwater fish and considered by many as the best-tasting fish in Australia. Mud Crabs which are...

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  • Montezumas

    There are quite a few places I enjoy eating at, such as: Montezuma's (Mexican), Frenchy's (Seafood), Captain's Table (Seafood), Bavarian Haus (German), Grumpy's Wharf (Seafood), Oscar's (A La Carte)... Each place has its own unique atmosphere, be it situated in a marina, overlooking the Pacific, German live music and dancing, tropical oasis setting...

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Gold Coast Nightlife

  • Conrad Hotel / Casino.

    Although I have put the Casino in as one of the nightlife tips, like all casinos it is open for business 24 hours/7 days a week, but it is at night when Jupiters comes to life. Jupiters Casino is the only licensed casino on the Gold Coast and is a resort casino with a host of facilities from gambling rooms to entertainment, leisure and fine...

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  • Draculas

    The Gold Coast is the place to party. Surfers Paradise is a tourist mecca with lots happening all the time. Coolangatta comes alive too. The theatre restaurants are good for a laugh as well. There's one at Broadbeach called Draculas. Food and show are included in the price and it's near the Casino as well.

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  • Shooters and other Surfer's Paradise...

    Had a great time in the Shooters Nightclub. After a few drinks tried another club but can't recall the name which was also good. Trying to get a cab at 3AM in the morning you'll have to wait in a long line to get back.I can't remenber if the pic is from shooters or the second club;) casual laid back

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Gold Coast Transportation

  • Public Transport.

    Hi, 1) Transport on the Gold Coast is not always the best. Aside from costly taxis, your main option will be buses. Of course take advantage of any courtesy buses provided by many hotels and resorts that often go to the major attractions such as the theme parks (ask on booking what's available). http://translink.com.au/ is the website for the local...

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  • Car / Motor home.

    Parking in the streets of Surfers Paradise is done on a pay-to-use basis requiring payment at a pay station after which, the ticket produced by the machine is displayed...usually on the dashboard of the vehicle. Parking costs $2.90 per hour Monday to Saturday 9am to 7pm and Sunday 9am to 5pm. Parking at all other times is free. Tickets can be...

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  • Air Ways.

    Although Brisbane Airport is not the closest airport to the Gold Coast, this is typically the airport you will end up landing at if you are coming from further than Sydney or Melbourne. Brisbane is the International Arrival Airport for Queensland, so it is important to know about it. Brisbane's Airport Code is BNE, so if you are searching for...

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Gold Coast Shopping

  • Pacific Fair / Harbour Town.

    The Pacific Fair Shopping Centre is a HUGE mall. that I'm sure it'll cater to all your needs. There are more than 300 shops that you can visit! I bought everything from sweets, grocery, and even my prepaid card. On a macro level, the shopping centre has everything from cinema to about 20 fast food joints. To top it all off, the big departmental...

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  • Everything except elephants

    It's not a single shop but 360 of them crammed into the best shopping centre by far on the Gold Coast. Can't really work out why VT haven't picked up on that yet. With two department stores and 3 major supermarkets (two of the same brand , the only place in Australia I know of with that) it's huge. On a world scale this place rates.So, pretty much...

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  • A BIT OF EVERYTHING

    Ten acres and 500 stalls of indoor and outdoor shopping is what the Carrara Market boasts!These markets are very popular, selling mainly new items, but there is some second hand.We decided to make an afternoon of the markets, so arrived a bit before lunch and had lunch at the markets. Prices were quite reasonable, food and service good at the stall...

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Gold Coast Local Customs

  • Beach Showers

    When you go to an Australian beach, you expect to leave it covered in a sticky mixture of salt, sunscreen and fine white sand. It’s one of those ‘fact of life’ things, but a trail of sand will follow everywhere you go, probably leaving large deposits in your car or, if you walk, back in your room. The thoughtful people who look after the beaches on...

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  • Tweed Heads Clubs & Pubs

    Coolangatta (In Queensland) and Tweed Heads (New South Wales) are completely alongside each other, but separated by the State border defined in 1863 – and now marked by the large concrete structure (monument?) in the main photo. The border check gate (for agricultural pests) has long disappeared and Coolangatta and Tweed Heads now are often...

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  • Australian Coin

    This is generally Australian matter.On Australian Coin, you can see her face. Of course she is ELIZABETH 2. Coins show aging of her face corresponding to the year of manufacture. So they change coin mold every year? I was surprised. May be changed by five years a time?

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Gold Coast Warnings and Dangers

  • Water safety.

    If you come to the Gold Coast then you are most likely going to enjoy one of the long, white, sandy beaches. Beaches in Australia are patrolled by volunteer Lifesavers for your safety. Some people are not aware that they are getting sunburnt, and dehydrated badly! On the Beach, they have flags, and there is usually a notice nearby telling you what...

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  • Schoolies Week.

    If you ever want to avoid the Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise, well, when Schoolie's week is on is the time to do it. At the end of November, and the 1st week of December every year, thousands of School leavers converge on the Coast for a good time, I'm afraid its not a good time for a lot of them or for you! Drunkness, Drugs,...

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  • Wildlife.

    Pelicans, they love to eat fish!, so if you are fishing and there is a Pelican nearby, you had better wind it in quick, or lose it! They have been known to chase after people for the fish. Also, heading along the Ocean side towards Main Beach, on every light post if you look up, you will see a Pelican sleeping or preening itself!

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Gold Coast Tourist Traps

  • Surfers Paradise.

    "I always thought of the Gold Coast as a place of harmony, sunshine, partying and surf but while on our recent holiday there I witnessed a lot more. Sure they have the surf, the partying and the sunshine but we saw no sign of harmony in fact I put it close to disarray. The place is dirty, tacky and dated. The streets are littered with trash,...

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  • Sea World

    Okay, we had an enjoyable day at Seaworld, but I am going to put it in the tourist trap section as it is overpriced for what it is. AUD80.00 for a day pass is what it costs for adults.There are a couple of decent rollercoaster type rides, the dolphin show was great, and the exhibits are decent, but the park is overpriced for what it is.

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  • Theme Parks

    I suspect this category is always going to be a matter of perception. The old story of “one man’s meat being another man’s poison”. So feel free to disagree. The Gold Coast, particularly at the northern end, is positively verminous with “Theme Parks’: “Wet & Wild”, “Movieworld”, Dreamworld”, “Seaworld”… the list goes on. My grandkids love them and,...

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Gold Coast What to Pack

  • Various weather clothes.

    make sure you pack a beach bag so you can keep all your things in there when you go swimming, but make sure you dont mind if it gets sandy. Summer is really good, just wear whatever you want.... as long as it doesnt involve much haha! Really light clothing, or better still stay at the beach or day in your togs :) Bring PLENTY of sunscreen, if you...

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  • Sun Protection / Repellants.

    Slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen and slap on a hat!! Have these items with you all the time and drink plenty of water. It is important to keep hydrated in this climate. If it an overcast day & you dont think that you will burn....think again!! The sun is very strong here.

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  • Slip Slop Slap

    Slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen and slap on a hat!! Have these items with you all the time and drink plenty of water. It is important to keep hydrated in this climate. If it an overcast day & you dont think that you will burn....think again!! The sun is very strong here.

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Gold Coast Off The Beaten Path

  • Hinterland / National Parks

    The Hinze Dam is located about 15kms from Nerang on the Gold Coast. Since I first wrote this tip a lot has changed at the Dam. The Hinze Dam was originally constructed in 1976, then in 1989, work began on raising the wall another 15 metres, doubling the dam's capacity and providing increased water security and flood mitigation for the Gold Coast...

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  • Islands.

    This is definitely undiscovered, but only a couple of kilometres from Surfers Paradise. A large sand island 20km long, it has empty beaches. A ferry runs from the west side of The Spit for about $7 return. A more expensive ferry to Couran Cove runs several time past the campgrounds.

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  • Bird / Animal parks.

    Australia Zoo is a beautifully laid out and well planned spacious open concept animal sanctuary. It's much more than just another zoo because their vision is for conservation and animal rescue. A great part of their mission is to protect endangered species by educating people in an entertaining way through animal shows. There are daily shows...

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Gold Coast Sports & Outdoors

  • Golfers Paradise !

    The Gold Coast has over 30 golf courses to play on, ranging from the fun and cheap par 3 courses right up to numerous internationally designed layouts which rank amongst the best in the world.Game fees range from as little as $5 for 9 holes up to $175 for 18 holes on the top courses.I personally prefer the par 3 courses, they're alot cheaper and...

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  • Go surfing

    The south coast of Queensland is a great place to go surfing. It’s close enough to the tropics to have warm water and, for most of the year, the weather is far from cold. Sure, the waves may not be as large as some areas down on Australia’s south coast, but those areas are only for owners of wetsuits! Here a pair of boardshorts will suffice. Maybe...

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  • Robina Waters

    Robina Woods Golf Course opened in January of 1990. Designed by Graham Marsh & Ross Watson, this course presents a truly unique golfing experience as it has been carved out of the original woodlands, making every hole a unique challenge for any accomplished golfer. Carved out of 65 hectares of native woodlands, with fairways lined by towering gum...

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Gold Coast Favorites

  • Beaches.

    I am not one for busy crowded beaches, I prefer ones with less people, but still with the Life Savers on patrol for my safety, OR still water ones. Some of the quiet Beaches are The Spit, Main Beach, Mermaid Beach, Nobby Beach ,Main Beach ,Tallebudgera and Bilinga. I love the water without the waves, especially at Tallebudgera Creek,...

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  • Theme Parks.

    WANT TO SAVE MONEY? Who doesn't, especially when on holidays! CHECK OUT THESE MONEY SAVERS Holiday World Pass-Unlimited entry for 21 days $99.99 Enjoy UNLIMITED ENTRY into both Dreamworld & WhiteWater World for 21 consecutive days http://goldcoast.godo.com.au/activity/DMWD114 Another Value Pass is the Warner Bros. "3 for 3 pass." This has to be...

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  • National Parks.

    The Natural Arch is a stand alone attraction and very popular. It's about a 45 minute drive from Surfers along a scenic drive that makes the trip doubly worthwhile. The short walk down to the waterfall is very scenic as far as rain forest is concerned. Some large strangler figs (pics 3&4) and a few other giants can be viewed on the main...

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Explore Deeper into Gold Coast
Markets / Shopping Centres
Things to Do
Bird / Animal Parks.
Things to Do
Surfers Paradise.
Things to Do
Boat Cruises.
Things to Do
Joy Flights.
Things to Do
Go-Kart Grand Prix.
Things to Do
Bird / Animal Parks.
Favorites
Shopping.
Favorites
Shopping.
Off The Beaten Path
HOW TO REACH AUSTRALIA ZOO
Transportation
Tapas delights
Restaurants
NEARLY FOR FREE - LORIKEET FEEDING!
Favorites
CHEAP ADMISSION
Favorites
CAPTAIN COOK LIGHTHOUSE
Things to Do
Surfers Paradise Street Parking
Transportation
AUSTRALIAN OUTBACK SPECTACULAR
Things to Do
MOVIE WORLD
Things to Do
MOVIE WORLD FOR CHILDREN
Things to Do
CHILDREN'S SHOWS AT MOVIE WORLD
Things to Do
SHOWS AT MOVIE WORLD
Things to Do
CURRUMBIN WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
Things to Do
SEA WORLD
Things to Do
QUIET & STILL WATER BEACHES ON THE GOLD COAST
Favorites
SURFERS PARADISE BEACH
Favorites
HINZE DAM
Off The Beaten Path
BEACHES
Warnings and Dangers
Public Transport- Brisbane, Gold & Sunshine Coasts
Transportation
Wet and Wild
Things to Do
unforgettable
Things to Do
Miami Beach
Things to Do
Nobby Beach
Things to Do
Joalah
Off The Beaten Path
Amazing balloning
Things to Do
WHALE WATCHING
Things to Do
GOLD COAST CANAL CRUISE
Things to Do
FUN FOR CHILDREN @ SEAWORLD
Things to Do
SEA WORLD'S POLAR BEAR SHORES
Things to Do
PENGUINS AT SEA-WORLD
Things to Do
CARRARA MARKETS
Things to Do
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary: Cheaper Tickets
Things to Do
Map of Gold Coast

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