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Gold Coast Holiday DestinationsThings to see and do

The Gold Coast is one of the most popular cities in Australia for holidays, with visitors from around Australia and the World coming to the Gold Coast for all kinds of holiday types, from short breaks for a major event to extended backpacker stays, family vacations, and weekend getaways, with visitors usually keeping their holidays confined to five major Gold Coast suburbs: Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Main Beach, The Spit and the Hinterland.

While there are plenty of other great places to stay when visiting the Gold Coast, tourists tend to flock to these areas and it's not hard to see why.

Each of these suburbs are either home to major Gold Coast events, are within walking distance to the beach, shopping centres, restaurants, scenic activities, have great nightlife activities with the majority of the Coast's attractions and things to do situated nearby. And of course, these suburbs have a large number of accommodation options to choose from.

Major Holiday Destinations

Find out more about these great Gold Coast holiday locations - browse through the pages below:

Visit Surfers Paradise

With the Pacific Ocean on one side, the deep blue Nerang River on the other, and more shops, restaurants, high rise resorts and attractions squeezed in between than probably any other peninsula on earth - Surfers Paradise is the undisputed tourist capital of Australia, and some would even argue the world. Surfers is known amongst locals to be THE place to go for a night out, with the majority of the Gold Coast's nightclubs, bars and pubs located in and around Orchid and Cavill Avenues. This is also the place to go for great dining, swimming and a variety of tourist attractions.

Visit Broadbeach

Broadbeach is home to many accommodation venues, entertainment centres, tourist attractions and shopping centres making it one of the Gold Coast's top spots for family fun in the sun. With its wide, white sand, lifeguard patrolled beach, fronted by kid-friendly sub-tropical parks, Broadbeach provides safe, cost free, family fun. Alternatively Broadbeach is home to a thriving nightlife, with major venues like Jupiters Casino, the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre and one of the Gold Coast's premier dining strips.

Visit Main Beach

Nestled between the sparkling blue waters of the Southport Broadwater and Pacific Ocean, this unique village is only minutes north of Surfers Paradise. Widely regarded as the most sought after location in Queensland, Main Beach allows you to simultaneously bask in a lifestyle of relaxed beachside living whilst being in the hub of high end shopping and dining. Visit Mariners Cove for a myriad of different tours and attractions, head south to Tedder Avenue for one of the Coast's best restaurant strips or simply laze about on the wide stretch of golden beaches.

Visit The Gold Coast Hinterland

South East QLD's best-kept secret is this picturesque mountain rainforest region. Often referred to as the green behind the gold, the Gold Coast Hinterland and Scenic Rim, the region around Tamborine Mountain and the beautiful Lamington National Park, all part of the Border Ranges. We've included a comprehensive guide to the Hinterland, with our top picks for rainforest accommodation, Lamington National Park and O'Reilly's, a Mount Tamborine visitors guide, the best scenic drives, bushwalking trails, natural attractions, wineries, hinterland tours & more!

Visit Burleigh Heads & Tallebudgera

Renowned for its surf break, Burleigh Heads is a beachfront alternative to the more touristy suburbs of the Gold Coast. Burleigh’s headland, known to locals as ‘The Point’ is a favourite spot for weekend barbecues. With great surfing off the shore, room for cricket and plenty of barbecue facilities it’s no wonder ‘The Point’ is a family favourite. Tallebudgera Creek Tourist Park sits on the waterfront of the Tallebudgera Estuary and is home to many water based activities. Pack your gear for swimming, fishing, boating, water skiing, wind surfing or canoeing.

Visit Southern Gold Coast

The southern Gold Coast area is a beautiful place for tourists and locals alike, bringing the golden beaches and the lush, green hinterland together with more of a relaxed feel compared to the northern end of the Coast. This area offers the benefits of urban facilities with great surfing on your doorstep and native bushland at your back door. Resting on the NSW border, the Southern Gold Coast encompasses the village townships of Coolangatta, Kirra, Bilinga, Tugun, Rainbow Bay and Tweed. Enjoy the laid back lifestyle that is slowly starting to attract international visitors.

Visit Northern Gold Coast

The Northern end of the Gold Coast comprises of some more affluent suburbs including Hope Island, Sanctuary Cove and Runaway Bay. The canal system that surrounds these areas makes for beautiful waterfront homes secluded from the rest of the Gold Coast and a thriving boating community centred at the Hope Island Marina. Head inland and you'll reach the Gold Coast's theme parks including Dreamworld, Movie World and Wet'n'Wild, as well as the Australian Outback Spectacular attraction located at Studio Village. 

Visit Robina

Robina’s train station, bus network and proximity to the rest of the Gold Coast places visitors and residents in good stead to take advantage of the coast’s beaches and attractions, but if shopping is your interest you do not need to venture far, Robina Town Centre has hundreds of stores to provide hours, if not days of shopping. Sporting fans won't be disappointed with the CBUS Super Stadium (formerly Skilled Park) in close proximity - catch a Titans game or have a round of golf at The Glades or Palmer Gold Coast golf courses.

Visit The Broadwater & The Spit

The Spit is a 5km long, relatively undeveloped, sandy isthmus starting at Main Beach and finishing at the seaway, where the Broadwater meets the Pacific Ocean. Just north of Main Beach, The Spit is home to some popular destinations including Fisherman's Wharf, Marina Mirage, the Southport trawler fleet, Peter's Fish Market (for the freshest fish, and best fish and chips on the Coast), Palazzo Versace and Sea World, as well as a large 3-4km open area with several dog exercise, picnic spots and places to anchor in your boat.

Visit Stradbroke Island

One of the largest sand islands in the world, Stradbroke Island is one of Australia’s national treasures and the perfect place for an island getaway. The island is popular among locals who know of the kilometres of white, sandy beaches and crystal clear waters while only a one hour drive and a ferry away from Brisbane. It’s a subtropical area with sunshine almost all year round and temperatures ranging from 20C in winter and 28C in summer. The island is split into two; North and South Stradbroke, with the north island the more developed of the two.

Visit Currumbin

Thanks to its steep hillsides and the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary this area displays more natural vegetation than most of the Gold Coast and in spite of the proximity to the CBD, Currumbin manages to remain a hideaway. The surfing site ‘Currumbin Alley’, formed on the bar of Currumbin Creek, is a spot particularly favoured by long boarders, while further up the creek the Currumbin Rock Pools are a popular swimming hole for the locals. Fishing is a common recreation on the creek with surrounding picnic areas and barbecue facilities making for great weekends.

Images courtesy Tourism & Events Queensland, Tourism Australia, Destination Gold Coast & Getty Images

Things to do and seeOn the Gold Coast in Queensland

Theme Parks

Combo passes & packages

Free things to do

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary


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