COAST (City population 600,000) (100 kilometres south
The Gold Coast is a surf beach party city and is built up along the entire 30km of beach. The concentration of apartment and hotel towers and the centre of the nightlife is in Surfers Paradise. The weather is warm and there are a number of big and very popular themed amusement parks with thrilling rides guaranteed to get you wet. The beautiful rainforest in the Gold Coast hinterland offers a cooler quiet break from the surf, sun and partying on the coast.
The theme parks draw many tourists and are as good as anywhere else overseas. Entry fee includes all rides and shows. Makes a full day of fun.
Dreamworld Lots of thrilling rides, the best having having a
wild Western theme. Located on the Gold Caost Highway near Coomera, half
an hour’s drive from Surfers towards Brisbane. Open daily 10am to 5pm,
open later at peak times. Entry $34, children $29. Phone 5588 1111.
On the spit sandbar 3km north of Surfers are a number of pleasant waterside eating complexes. They are Fisherman’s Wharf, Mariners Cove and the upmarket Marina Mirage hotel, shopping and dining complex. Sea World theme park is also on the spit. The northern end of the spit is undeveloped.
Jupiters Casino and the large Pacific Fair Shopping Complex are on the Gold Coast Highway in the suburb of Broadbeach 6km south of Surfers. There are also a number of hotel towers at Broadbeach.
Currumbin Sanctuary is Australian wildlife park. The highlight is the brightly coloured lorikeets which fly to the santuary to be fed. There are a variety of Australian marsuipials there too, like kangaroos, koalas and emus. Currumbin is on the coast 21km south of Surfers. The Santuary is off the Gold Coast Highway.
Springbrook National Park Driving up the Currumbin River valley
will take you to the cooler rainforests and waterfalls in the national
park. There are a couple of walking trails and some visitors take a dip
in the natural pools in the river. There are guided tours from the Gold
Coast. Higher on the mountain plateau is Lamington National Park
also with rainforest, waterfalls and eucalypt forest views.
Youth Hostels - Surfers Paradise
Surfers Paradise Backpackers Resort 2835 Gold Coast Hwy, south of the city centre. Phone 55924677. $14, double Dorm $36. Pool, small gym, sauna, tennis court, pool room, free laundry use and free basement parking.
Cheers Backpackers has great party atmosphere. 8 Pine Ave. Phone 55316539. Dorm $12 to $14.. Pool, bar, large BBQ courtyard, video nights karaoke evenings.
Surf n Sun 3323 Gold Coast Hwy. Phone 55922363. Bed in 4 bed room is $13. Double room $36. All rooms have TV and bathroom.
Sleeping Inn Surfers 26 Whelan St. Phone 55924455. Dorm $15, double $40.
Couple O’ Days Accomodation 18 Whelan St. Phone 55924200. Dorm $14. Check room before paying.
Youth Hostels - Southport (5km north of Surfers)
Southport is a busy shopping suburb 5km north of Surfers and faces the Nerang River. There is no surf beach.
Trekkers is clean comfortable and friendly. 22 White St, 4km north of Surfers. Phone 55915616. Beds in 4 bed dorm are $15, twin rooms with own TV $32. Nightly trips to Surfers nightclubs are organised.
Youth Hostels - The Spit/Mainbeach
British Arms Hostel is YHA affiliated. In the Mariners Cove complex
on The Spit at Mainbeach, 4km north of Surfers. Phone 55711776. Dorms $14
to $18, doubles $36. Free beers on check in.
Nightclubs and Bars
Cavill Ave and Orchid Ave in Surfers Paradise have many bars and nightclubs. Try Bourbon Bar for cheap beer, Shooters saloon bar, Cocktails & Dreams nightclub and the interconnected Party nightclub.
Hoyts 6 is inside the Pacific Fair Shopping Complex at Braodbeach. The massive shopping complex is next to the Gold Coast Hwy 6km south of Surfers. Phone 55703355.
Mermaid 5 is a little further south at 2514 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach.
Jupiter Casino is on the Gold Coast Hwy at Broadbeach, 6km south of
Surfers. It also has a nightclub Fortunes which is more glamorous
than the Surfers clubs.
|Getting There and Away
Coolangatta airport is at the southern end of the Gold Coast 27km south of Surfers. There are only domestic flights. Coachtrans buses (phone 55888747) meets every flight into Coolangatta airport. Fares to Surfers are $9.
Brisbane airport is 100km to the north and you may find airfares through Brisbane are cheaper.
Surfers bus station is at the corner of Beach and Cambridge Roads. Coachtrans (phone 55888747), Greyhound Pioneer and McCafferty’s have frequent services to Brisbane ($12), Byron Bay ($18) and Sydney ($66-$79).
The Gold Coast is not properly serviced by train. The rail line to the Gold Coast from Brisbane is inland. Catch the train to Helensvale or Nerang and change to a bus. It is easier to just catch a bus all the way to Brisbane.
From December to March persistant heavy rain can flood the major rivers
around the Gold Coast blocking road transport south.
The Gold Coast is basically a long strip next to the ocean. The Gold
Coast Highway run the length and Surfside has regular buses along it 24
hours a day. Buy an single fare or a daily ticket $8, weekly $26.
|Where to Go Next
Brisbane, Queenslands capital 100km to the north.
Travel north to Cairns on the Great
Barrier Reef (2500km away)
Travel south to Sydney (1100km