With an average of 300 days of sunshine annually and temperatures ranging from 20C to 28C in summer and 11C to 21C in winter, the Gold Coast has become Australia's premier holiday destination. Attractions range from the iconic Surfers Paradise beach to the verdant Hinterland and the chic dining precincts of Main Beach and Broadbeach.
Get Your Bearings at Q1
Q1 is the perfect place to start your Gold Coast experience. The world's tallest residential tower and the only observation deck in Australia by the beach, it is instantly visible among the Gold Coast's many high rises. Although best visited by day for uninterrupted views of the endless coastline, some people like to visit during thunderstorms to watch lightning strike the Q1's impressive 97.7 metre spire.
Visit Surfer's Beach
The Gold Coast is all about beaches, and one of the most popular is Surfer's Beach. Beloved by surfers and other water babies, it offers bath-warm water and silky soft sand. This beach is the place to see and be seen at any time of year, but it's particularly busy in summer, with surfers and tourists flocking to its inviting shores. Stay until evening for spectacular sunsets. For perfect beaches with fewer bodies, Coolangatta and Burleigh Heads are two stellar examples.
Discover the Hinterland
The Hinterland is frequently overshadowed by the glitter of the Gold Coast, but life in the hills can be charming. Tempt your taste buds with winery trails, homemade cheeses, sweets, and local brews, or visit a weekend farmers' market for luscious produce and quality arts & crafts. If you're feeling energetic, you can make tracks for one of the many rainforest walks available on Tamborine Mountain. Alternatively, head down to New South Wales and the aptly named Mount Warning. (The last few metres are scaled by pulling yourself up with a chain).
Explore Springbrook National Park
Dominating the Gold Coast's western skyline, the forested Springbrook National Park covers 6,725 hectares, encompassing Springbrook plateau, Mount Cougal, Natural Bridge, and Numinbah. The drive is along steep, winding roads, but the reward is a series of increasingly spectacular views. Visit Natural Bridge by day to see a unique waterfall or after dark to discover the park's amazing glow-worms, or picnic on the cool banks of the Nerang River at Forest Park picnic area.
Dine in Style
Indulge yourself after a busy day's sightseeing with a meal at one of the growing range of exciting restaurants in the Gold Coast. Try Allure in Currumbin, which serves impeccable French fare with an Australian twist in elegant surroundings. RockSalt Modern Dining in Broadbeach is another superb restaurant, where exceptional contemporary food is served in chic yet relaxed surroundings.