If you’re wondering where to go in Australia that’s perfect for all ages, you should seriously consider the Gold Coast.
This is the place where urban development perfectly blends with nature. Amid the skyscrapers rising close to the beach, the lively three-kilometre strand of Surfers Paradise remains clean and beautiful.
From Gold Coast airport to the city, you can get a shared airport transfer from as low as RM69. Once there, the Australian public transport service can be a bit pricey that most travellers opt to rent cars to get around.
Now let’s get on to what Gold Coast is most famous for…
Beaches, beaches, beaches!
SEE ALSO: Learn to Surf at Surfers Paradise
While the name Surfers Paradise may suggest massive swells only to be enjoyed by keen boardriders, there are several spots with gentle waves where you can work on a tan, enjoy a quick swim or even try local food at restaurants and cafes dotted along the beach.
When is the best time to swim?
If you’re not up for surfing, the best place to swim is between the red and yellow flags. To be on the safe side, only swim when lifeguards are present.
If you want to be away from the crowds, here are a few quiet beaches in the Gold Coast perfect for swimming:
1. Margaret Avenue (Broadbeach)
Tucked between Kurrawa Beach and Mermaid Beach, you can get to Broadbeach via light rail. Not only is it surrounded by a casuarina forest, the place is also filled with some cool cafes.
2. North Burleigh
Only 13 kilometres away from Surfers Paradise, this beach has plenty of parking, a coffee shop at the surf club and even a playground.
3. Mermaid Beach
Only about eight kilometres from Surfers Paradise, this beach is the top choice among local families. There’s a playground for the kids, cafes as well as restaurants like Etsu, Apres Surf, Ball Boys and Little Mermaid – all within walking distance.
4. Rainbow Bay
It takes quite a drive as it is nestled about 33 kilometres from Surfers Paradise, but Rainbow Bay is perhaps the most family-friendly swimming beach on this list. Other than cafes and restaurants, this place has grassy areas perfect for BBQs and picnics!
5. Greenmount Beach
If you’re staying near the Gold Coast Airport, Greenmount Beach is the place to be. Not only is this place family-friendly, it even has the Walkin’ On Water Surf School, which provides lessons for children!
Sun, sand and surf checked, onto the next adventure…
If you want to take sightseeing to another level, join the SkyPoint Climb that starts from the 77th floor of a residential tower called Q1.
From there, you will exit the building and hike up 298 stairs to an open-air platform 270 metres above the ground.
While you do get to see the amazing cityscape, let’s see how you enjoy the sea breeze from such a high open-air platform. Get SkyPoint Observation Deck admission ticket here.
For an entirely unique experience, admire the city skyline by taking a hot air balloon ride.
Once you’re back on the ground, get on a boat and head to deeper waters to cross something off your bucket list – WHALE WATCHING.
From June to November, the Gold Coast boasts the longest whale watching season on the country’s east coast – to the point where the waters are referred to as the Humpback Highway.
There are plenty of tour operators to choose from, but if it’s too expensive for your budget, just get a set of binoculars and try spotting the massive mammals from viewpoints like Southport Surf Club, Miami Hill, Burleigh Headland, Tumgun Lookout, Kirra Hill and Point Danger.
For avid anglers, this is the perfect time to test the waters and add more fish to your portfolio with a half-day fishing charter.
Back to nature
Enjoy a scenic drive to Mount Tamborine on a day trip for breathtaking hinterland views. Book a 4WD eco tour here.
Springbrook National Park, meanwhile, boasts one of the best natural wonders in Queensland with a waterfall that goes underground to a glow-worm cave.
While theme parks like Dreamworld, Warner Bros Movie World and Sea World are aplenty in the city, take some time to see animals at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary as well as David Fleay Wildlife Park that is also home for platypuses!
Other attractions to check out
Shopping: Carrara Markets, Burleigh Art and Craft Markets, Harbour Town Outlet Shopping Centre, Paradise Centre
Famous landmarks: Mount Tamborine, Burleigh Heads National Park, TalleBudgera Creek, Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens, Currumbin Rock Pools, Jellurgal Aboriginal Culture Centre, Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium, Gold Coast Wax Museum
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