With its casinos, Jet Skis, yachts and luxury hotels, the Gold Coast looks like it’s straight out of a James Bond movie. Australia’s major theme parks are all here, and the quieter hinterland offers rock climbing, scenic flights and skydiving for thrill seekers. It’s easy to see why millions of visitors flock to the Gold Coast every year: There are more than 30 beaches, including Burleigh Beach, where professional surfers come to compete in February, as well as great shopping and dining.

The Gold Coast encompasses several seaside towns inhabited by over half a million people, making this Australia’s sixth-largest city. The area covers 1,400 square kilometers (541 square miles) from Beenleigh, south of the Queensland capital Brisbane, to Coolangatta Beach at the New South Wales border.

The first Australians, the Aborigines, called this beautiful land of the sun Kurrungul. Europeans settled here, growing and commercialising the area, from the mid-1800s onwards. Tourism boomed in the 1950s, and the golden opportunity to invest in real estate gave the city its name and its skyline.

Some of Australia’s most famous beaches are on the Gold Coast. Two surfing hot spots are Burleigh Beach and Surfers Paradise Beach, an area that’s also popular for shopping and dining. Families looking for a good swimming area will enjoy the calmer waters of Coolangatta Beach.

More family fun awaits at the Gold Coast’s wide range of amusement parks. Interact with marine creatures at Sea World, slide through Wet‘n’Wild Water World, or board the superhero rides at Movie World. You can do all this and more at the biggest Australian theme park, Dreamworld.

The Gold Coast offers year-round entertainment, but you may want to avoid the rowdy “Schoolies” period (when high school graduates celebrate) in November. The weather is hot and humid from December to February (summer), and dry and sunny from June to August (winter). Rain or shine, pack your bathers to enjoy one of Australia’s most popular holiday destinations.

Known for

beach, familyFriendly and dining

Explore map

Where to stay in Gold Coast

Mount Tamborine
Mount Tamborine featuring drinks or beverages and interior views

Mount Tamborine

Known for relaxing, birdWatching, mountain

Follow the winding road from the coast to the hinterland and experience complete tranquillity on this peaceful rainforest-clad mountain plateau. 

Top hotels in Gold Coast

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Meriton Suites Broadbeach, Gold Coast
Meriton Suites Broadbeach, Gold Coast
5 out of 5
2669 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach, QLD
RM331
per night
31 Oct-1 Nov

Situated near the boardwalk, this luxury apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, The Star Gold Coast and ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (1,850 reviews)

"best in gold coast ! will go back soon . very clean and big room."…"

Reviewed on 13 Oct,2019

Meriton Suites Broadbeach, Gold Coast
voco Gold Coast (formerly Watermark Hotel & Spa) - An IHG Hotel
voco Gold Coast (formerly Watermark Hotel & Spa) - An IHG Hotel
4.5 out of 5
31 Hamilton Avenue, Surfers Paradise, QLD
RM389
per night
23 Oct-24 Oct

Located in the heart of Surfers Paradise, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of SkyPoint Observation Deck, Surfers Paradise Beach and Cavill Avenue. ...

4.2/5Very Good! (3,386 reviews)

"Have stayed here before and again enjoyed the proximity to light railway station and comfy beds."…"

Reviewed on 13 Oct,2019

voco Gold Coast (formerly Watermark Hotel & Spa) - An IHG Hotel
QT Gold Coast
QT Gold Coast
5 out of 5
Cnr Gold Coast Highway And Staghorn Ave, 7 Staghorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise, QLD
RM363
per night
11 Nov-12 Nov

Located in the heart of Surfers Paradise, this luxury hotel is steps from King Tutts Putt Putt and Slingshot. Surfers Paradise Beach and Chevron Renaissance ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (2,405 reviews)

"Great spot to stay, room and the view was awesome. It was my birthday and they made me a piece of chocolate which was very thoughtful."…"

Reviewed on 11 Oct,2019

QT Gold Coast

Popular things to do in Gold Coast

Sea World
Image for Sea World

Sea World

4.5/5(10 reviews)

Who doesn’t dream of staying overnight in a water park where you can see Jet Ski stunts, life-sized Nickelodeon stars, plus dolphins, sea lions and polar bears?

Warner Bros. Movie World
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Warner Bros. Movie World

4/5(9 reviews)

Watch stunt shows, get on superhero rides, enter the Ice Age 4D Experience and take a splash in the Wild West at Australia’s theme park version of Hollywood.

Dreamworld
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Dreamworld

5/5(3 reviews)

Australia’s biggest amusement park features exciting themed areas with everything from tigers and thrilling rides to vintage V8 super-cars and TV characters.

Surfers Paradise Beach
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Surfers Paradise Beach

4.5/5(56 reviews)

This stretch of beach is known for its regular sets of rolling waves, with high-rise hotels and bustling nightlife along the sandy shore.

Cavill Avenue
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Cavill Avenue

4/5(28 reviews)

Bustling nightlife, great shopping and a legendary surfing beach make this avenue the exciting centre of Surfer’s Paradise on the Gold Coast.

Wet'n'Wild Gold Coast
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Wet'n'Wild Gold Coast

4.5/5(7 reviews)

Get an adrenaline kick gliding through caves and tunnels or plunging down a giant water slide, or simply float and splash in a relaxing pool.

Top activities in Gold Coast

3 Day Pass: Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World & Wet'n'Wild
Image for 3 Day Pass: Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World & Wet'n'Wild

3 Day Pass: Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World & Wet'n'Wild

RM370

Experience all the fun, thrills and adventures at the Gold Coast's biggest and best Theme Parks. With 95 rides, shows and attractions across three theme parks, there’s something for everyone at Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World and Wet'n'Wild Gold Coast.

Australian Outback Spectacular Dinner & Live Show
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Australian Outback Spectacular Dinner & Live Show

RM287

Embark on a journey to the heartland of Australia through an all new show featuring a transformative arena, mesmerising animals and immersive technology. Delve into the real-life struggles Aussie farmers face and rejoice with them as the community's courage, bravery and generosity help them overcome a stunning, yet unforgiving life on the land.

7-Day Super Pass: Movie World, Sea World & Wet'n'Wild Water World
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7-Day Super Pass: Movie World, Sea World & Wet'n'Wild Water World

RM428

Make your next Gold Coast holiday full of fun and family adventures with a Super Pass. Get unlimited entry to Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World, and Wet’n’Wild Gold Coast.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Tickets
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Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Tickets

RM108

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is voted #1 Gold Coast Wildlife Attraction and is nestled within 27 hectares of lush eucalyptus and rainforest. Come face-to-face with extraordinary wildlife in exciting daily shows and hands-on encounters.

Dracula's Cabaret - Dinner & Show
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Dracula's Cabaret - Dinner & Show

RM273

Sink your teeth into an evening of sultry spooks, raucous burlesque, and horror-themed hilarity during a performance at Dracula's Cabaret. As talented undead performers entertain you with music, dance, and acrobatics, savor a decadent 3-course meal fit for Vlad the Impaler himself.

Moreton Island Full-Day Snorkel, Kayak & Sand-toboggan Tour
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Moreton Island Full-Day Snorkel, Kayak & Sand-toboggan Tour

RM424

Spend a day in the paradise of Moreton Island, where you can enjoy one of the most spectacular spots off the Australian coast. Relax on the golden beaches, take to the water for some incredible views on a transparent kayak or paddleboard, or ride a toboggan down the island's dunes.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Gold Coast

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Image for Weirdest winter vacation destinations in the Southern Hemisphere

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