Guide to the Gold Coast
The Gold Coast is a large sprawling semi tropical holiday and lifestyle regional centre with a local population of approx. 0.7m people and attracting more than 10m visitors annually. Most of these visitors are Australians with many coming from within a 3 hours drive as Brisbane and further north and to the south is a large market of around 3 million people.
Many of the locals have migrated predominantly from the south is search of warmer weather, a relaxed lifestyle plus a lower cost of living. The tourists as mentioned above come largely from within a reasonable driving distance however there are still many from interstate and overseas flying into this holiday destination.
Tourists are drawn to the Gold Coast by the weather, the beaches and surf along with the many purpose built wildlife and fun park attractions. Having a hire car is quite convenient to travel to all these places of interest as distances are quite considerable otherwise there is a comprehensive shuttle bus network, tram line or public bus transport that can take tourists just about anywhere.
The major centre is Surfers Paradise where there are many high rise residential towers of 40 levels plus right on the beachfront stretching kilometres providing incredible views of the Pacific Ocean. The towers have loads of facilities including swimming pools, gyms as well as restaurants. Nearby there are usually many other options including the quintessential Aussie icon, the surf club, with an absolute beachfront, so ocean views, providing a family friendly low key low cost experience.
Should the bright lights of the Gold Coast become over awing then the Gold Coast hinterland delivers the exact opposite with cooling rain forests and waterfalls only a short 30 mins drive where sign posted walks provide absolute tranquillity. If it’s a walk with some skill associated then there are a myriad of competition level golf courses all along the Gold Coast although absolute tranquillity can’t be guaranteed.
Things to do in the Gold Coast
The Gold Coast is set up for things to do as there is a constant need to keep up with the expectation of the 10m tourists visiting annually.
To start with first thing in every day before it heats up is an early morning walk along the white sandy beaches with the waves from the crystal clear waters of the Pacific Ocean lapping through your bare feet. Once that’s done then there is a leisurely breakfast at any cafes nearby with choices aplenty that could be expected anywhere in the world. Breakfast is also a good time to plan the day. Day one usually centres around beach time during the morning including swimming with a stroll around later in the morning to the retail areas for lunch then cementing a plan for dinner with an afternoon relax back at the accommodation.
By about day 3 there are itchy feet with the desire to do things that are part of the Gold Coast’s broader experience. There are many attractions from wild life to theme parks or a mixture. One that is conveniently located and provides both a theme park and wildlife experience is Seaworld. Seaworld usually has a polar bear, whales, sharks and dolphins with the later providing an orchestrated performance. The performance includes the handlers swimming with dolphins, feeding them, having them shoot out of the water into a somersault and finally a small number of patrons get an upfront and personal experience with these loveable creatures. Then onto the various adrenaline rides and when you get a little heated then go to the waterslides to cool off and gets some personal thrills. To finish off the days activities there is an acrobatic water ski performance where professionals do all sorts of feats and jumps with the obligatory clown chipping in for some laughs.
To get a real wildlife experience its best to hop to the Currumbin Bird Sanctuary where there are not only indigenous birds there are also land hugging creatures including wallabies, crocodiles, wombats and koalas. There is a bird show where hawks and eagles preform up close and personal with low flying feats just above the visitors’ heads.
If you are still looking for something else there is always the Casino to whittle away your hard earned, good luck.