The Gold Coast has it all; beaches, countryside, sun, malls, museums and bustle, and everyone is catered for. The beaches are of course the main attraction and they go from the tourist-surf-heavy Surfers Paradise in the heart of the action, down two more measured shores toward the south and on nearby islands.
Every type of beach activity can be enjoyed along with the bubbling surf, while bushwalking, horseback trail riding, golfing and myriad other options can also be done.
There are also some excellent museums and galleries in all centers of the coast, while superb shopping takes care of rainy days out of season. The best time of year to enjoy activities in the Gold Coast is January through July in the summer and fall.
With over 35 miles worth of fine beaches, the Gold Coast offers great scope for enjoying beach activities and swimming. Along with the decent surf is jet-skiing, water-skiing and sailing, as well as scuba diving on North Stradbroke Island. Gold Coast beaches are safe, clean and have excellent facilities.
Of course, the Gold Coast was initially built up due to its excellent surf and the place gets some big swells in season. There is mile after mile of beach breaks with perfect barrels, while point breaks can be found on Coolangatta Beach, Currumbin and Burleigh. The best surf is January through July and there are competitions throughout the year, such as Billabong Pro.
Away from the beach scene are the thrilling rides of Wet ‘n Wild. It has a huge whirlpool and water slides and also comes with a wave pool, beach, garden, and cafés for those who prefer to take things easier. Wet ‘n Wild Water World is just off the Pacific Highway on the way to Brisbane, 12 miles north of Surfers Paradise.
Away from the beaches and lights of coastal Gold Coast is the Australian bush, where there is a vast country just waiting to be explored on foot. The Tweed Shire area to the south of Surfers is particularly good for bushwalking (hiking), although all behind the coast is good walking.
The Minjungbal Aboriginal Centre in Tweed Heads, just below Coolangatta, tells all about the natives who lived in the region thousands of years before white man arrived. The museum and gallery is well done and kids will love the mangrove boardwalk and grounds.
The Gold Coast has the most buzzing nightlife outside of major cities in Australia. Surfers Paradise has the best of it, with bars, pubs and clubs galore, while Broadbeach and Coolangatta, farther south, are also lively. The more discerning traveler can also enjoy ballroom dancing, concerts and the theater.
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