The sun is particularly fierce in this part of the world and using a high-factor, brand name sun block, plus a hat and sunglasses, is a must when on the beach. Despite being a huge conurbation of towns, villages and suburbs, getting about by public transport is not a problem.
Customs and etiquette
The Gold Coast is one of the most laid-back places there is and you are unlikely going to upset anybody. The locals are friendly and welcoming to visitors and it is easy to strike up a conversation.
Australia is one of the few places where tipping is generally not expected, although those frequenting classy hotels and restaurants may feel some pressure to tip. Service charges are usually added to the bill in the flashier restaurants.
The Australian dollar (AUD) has notes from AUD5 to AUD100 and can be bought and sold anywhere in the world, as well as at the airport. Banks have better rates than hotels and can also exchange traveler's checks.
Australia is a plastic-happy nation and ATMs will accept major debit and credit cards. Although having a combination of cash and cards is advised. The Gold Coast is one of the more expensive areas in the country, on par with downtown Sydney for hotels and eating. However, it is cheaper than most places in the US and Europe.
The Gold Coast's subtropical climate has sunny days almost year round, with temperatures in the 90s (°F) in the summer (November through March), dropping to no less than 50°F in the winter (June through August). Unfortunately, it is wettest in the summer, although rainfall is usually not prolonged.