Lonely Planet: The Gold Coast
Boasting 52km of golden beaches, 300 sunny days and millions of visitors each year, the Gold Coast serves up a steamy cocktail of sun, surf, sand and activity. This is one of the best places to learn to surf in Australia, so grab a longboard while you're here. Behind Surfers Paradise's famous beach is a shimmering strip of high-rise apartments, restaurants, bars, clubs and theme parks, where the fun can suck you into a dizzying vortex and spit you back out, happy but exhausted. The hype settles as you head south: Broadbeach is sandy and chic; Burleigh Heads has seaside charms; and Coolangatta is known for its laid-back surfer vibe. Don't miss the Gold Coast's lush subtropical hinterland – including Lamington and Springbrook National Parks – whose delights include rainforest walks, spectacular waterfalls, sweeping views and private mountain retreats.
Enjoy the environment
The Gold Coast offers a huge range of active and passive ways to enjoy our beautiful environment. From our stunning coastal strip to our bush-clad hinterland and parks, there are many options to explore and discover the natural side of our city. Altogether, the City of Gold Coast boasts some 29,000 hectares of parkland and natural areas.
Enjoying our Gold Coast beaches and waterways is something many of us take for granted, but our amazing coastline offers much more than swimming, surfing, fishing and boating. The Gold Coast has more than 1000 hectares of wetland reserves and waterways corridors, playing host to a diversity of wildlife and providing a wealth of peaceful places to discover nature.
Hinterland and bushwalking
: Explore our region's natural beauty with national park areas, beautiful flora and fauna and quaint rural townships - as close as 15 minutes drive from Surfers Paradise.
Food, wine and dining
The Gold Coast has over 500 restaurants and cafés, with an abundance of fresh local produce to inspire dynamic menus. The best local produce is also transformed into gourmet products by devoted residents.
The Gold Coast's burgeoning wine industry is full of Australian history, along with the old-world traditions of Europe and artful wine-making experience passed down through generations.
Attractions and activities
Beachfront esplanades, shopping precincts, exhilarating theme parks and relaxing restaurants - the attractions of the City of Gold Coast are diverse and colourful in nature. There is a wealth of attractions, entertainment, facilities and services for visitors and residents to enjoy.
Beaches and walks
: Holidays by the sea, endless coastal strips, 40 patrolled beaches, fantastic foreshore areas and walks
: Thrills and spills to get your heart pumping, so much to see and do at our city theme parks.
Shopping and markets
- Currumbin Sanctuary
- Dreamworld and White Water World
- Fleays Wildlife Park
- Outback Spectacular
- Paradise Country
- Warner Bros Movie World
- Wet 'n' Wild Water Park
: Endless shopping choices including resorts, unique lifestyle centres, malls, retail centres and markets.