Gold Coast has to be one of Australia’s gems located in Queensland. It’s ideally placed and is roughly an hour’s drive or 80 km from Brisbane. There’s quite a bit to do there and you could spend at least 3 nights there with ease.
If you’re travelling across Australia and have seen OR want to give a miss to the typical Melbourne and Sydney trips, Gold Coast is ideal! It’s a totally chill place with nice scenery, great people, good gastronomy and is very lively. The closest airport for Gold Coast is Brisbane which could be easily connected via both Melbourne and Sydney.
Gold Coast is a big vacation spot for the Aussies themselves and is great for you if you’re coming from a city like Delhi (for me) or say a similar buzzing city like London! This place was made famous in 2000 when Palazzo Versace, the world’s first fashion hotel, opened up next to the yacht-filled harbor and the Marina Mirage shopping center. Since then, commercial and residential development has boomed, fallen, and boomed again.
Gold Coast is blessed with a splendid tropical rainforest, with alien-like booyang trees (rumor has it that a visit here inspired James Cameron to create the lush world of Pandora in Avatar).
The good part is that you have a mix of the typical commercial things to see, shop and experience and on the other hand are the outdoors, health and wellness, and a buoyant market for local, wine, beer, and cheese.
One of the most known places in the Gold Coast has to be Surfer’s Paradise. One of my friends drew a comparison between Surfer’s and Fisherman’s Wharf in San Fran! But I disagree for the simple reason that this place has a charm of its own, much different than that of the Wharf. It’s a great place to chill and unwind with the beach, great food and drinks and of course, surfing!
And of course you have Wet ‘n’ Wild, the WB Movie World, Sea World to keep the kids AND adults entertained. They can easily take a day to enjoy all the activities they have to offer plus it’s just a different feeling while doing the rides with that view!!
Do try out the O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat if you’re into the whole family-retreat idea. You get some incredible views over Lamington National Park, and is a place I’d want to bring my future kids to. Nearby, there are the Canungra Valley Vineyards, a good after all the activity suits my pallet at least!
An alternate retreat spot could be the Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat where Hugh Jackman is part-owner and a regular visitor, IF you fancy that is. Gwinganna’s spa is the largest in the Southern hemisphere and has panoramic views of the coast and surrounding valleys.
Another interesting thing for yourself along with your kids could be the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary where you get the chance of hugging a cuddly koala bear, which is illegal in most of Australia! And you’ll also see kangaroos, lorikeets, and other native species prevalent to this part of the world.
After a hard day’s walking around, why not laze around and pamper yourself with some good food, wine and have a good night out! Gold Coast is full of those kinds of pubs, restaurants and clubs. I hope you have a great experience there and don’t forget to take many pictures!