The Gold Coast is all about the beach and there are miles of sand here where swimming and surfing can be enjoyed almost year round. Surfers Paradise is the main beach and the most built up town on the Gold Coast. Consequently it also has the bulk of the attractions, including noteworthy museums and galleries, as well as the best shopping.
Those who prefer to get away from the busy mainland beaches could make a beeline for nearby North Stradbroke Island, which also comes with good diving. This popular getaway for Brisbane residents also attracts a laid-back crowd of international tourists.
The Gold Coast's beaches are the main reason the area is as popular as it is and they stretch for 35 miles between the south of Brisbane and the border at Tweed Heads. The main beaches of Surfers Paradise, Burleigh Heads, Coolangatta, and Mermaid are flagged and patrolled and come with good swimming, surfing and beach activities.
Although not the best theme park in the country, Dreamworld is a fun attraction for the family in the Gold Coast. It is just north of Surfers and comes with a bunch of white-knuckle rides, as well as Wiggleworld kids' area and a tiger zoo.
North Stradbroke Island
Served by ferry from the Gold Coast, North Stradbroke Island is one of fine beaches and fantastic scuba diving. It is a good alternative to the beaches of the mainland and is also a popular spot for whale watching and surfing. The Stradbroke Flyer and Sea Spirit ferry run here regularly.