A few years ago, if someone asked me my opinion about the Gold Coast, I would have said, go to the Sunshine Coast instead.
In my mind the Gold Coast was overdone – full of drunken school kids and high rise buildings. This opinion was loosely based on my Schoolies experience at Surfers Paradise 16 years ago, and my experiences living on the Sunshine Coast.
After revisiting my opinion has completely changed and I am back in love with the Gold Coast.
There is so much more to this beautiful part of Australia then just Surfers Paradise, although we even discovered a couple of great things in Surfers while we were there.
Here are some reasons why the Gold Coast is such a great travel destination…
People are excited about it
Get into a conversation with anyone from the Gold Coast and it won’t be long before they will be singing the praises of this region in Queensland.
Their enthusiasm and excitement is contagious and you’ll find yourself soon nodding in agreement.
When I arrive on the Gold Coast, I instantly feel calm, and this is the general state of most people who live here. They are relaxed and excited about life. These are the types of people I want to be around, not just on my holiday, but always.
The adventure capital of Australia
Gold Coast is the place of adventure and excitement for all ages.
All of Australia’s theme parks are situated on the Gold Coast; Movie World, Dream World, Wet and Wild, and Sea World.
And then there’s jet boating on the Broadwater, quad biking in the Hinterlands, surfing lessons on world class surfing beaches, high-ropes challenges, world’s fastest elevator, Schoolies week, boozy cruises and pub crawls. The adventure trails go on and on.
The Gold Coast is an ideal place for adventure junkies to visit.
The Gold Coast region sits on a 70km stretch of fine, sandy beach on the Pacific Ocean.
Surfers Paradise is the busiest city beach and is the place of notoriously loud and pumping night life. It really isn’t a surfers paradise, that belongs to the beaches further south of Coolangatta and Kirra. This is definitely my favourite area of the Gold Coast and the true paradise for surfers.
If you are a surfer or want to pretend to be one, then you need to spend time here and maybe even learn to surf. You never know, you just might run into Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning, or Stephanie Gilmore surfing the world famous “superbank’ surf break and near perfect barrels.
Cocktails on the viewing deck of Q1- the world’s tallest residential building, backpackers pub crawls, beer gardens, Cavil Avenue, wine bars, casinos, restaurants, theatre restaurants, cafes and local pubs – there is plenty of nightlife to be found on the Gold Coast.
Don’t be shy about it, you came here for a good time didn’t you? Just be sure to plan our your nighttime activities carefully so you don’t blow all your budget and miss out on the fun day time activities too.
Sunshine 300 days per year
Okay, so we weren’t quite feeling this one when it rained on and off the whole time we were there. But, even though the sun wasn’t shining, we still managed to have an extraordinarily good time.
The Gold Coast does boast that they receive 300 days on sunshine a year.
For any traveller with a restricted budget and time schedule, these are the sorts of travel destinations you want to be traveling to in order to make the most out of your stay and not be trapped inside your hostel due to bad weather.
But truly on the Gold Coast, when it rains, there is still so much you can do.
As much as I love having lots of adventures on my travels, I also love those days and weeks spent lazing around not doing much. The Gold Coast, more specifically Coolangatta, is a great place where you can do this.
Coolangatta has two backpackers right near the beach in the centre of town.
You can spend your days lazing around on the beach, surfing, swimming or bathing. Reading books in hammocks and enjoying sunset beers are at the top of the list for things to do here.
Coolangatta is a famous Australian surfing beach so has that naturally relaxed charm. It is the kind of place an author would go to shut out the rest of the world in order to write their number 1 best selling book. Looks like I’m ready to move their for a few months to do just that!
It was as we were walking through the rainforest’s of Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, that I turned to David, our host, and blurted out “I love the Gold Coast.”
We had just arrived there after spending the morning surfing at Coolangatta. I had gone from surfing at my beloved beach to my even more loved rainforest within a 10 minute drive.
Tall gum trees, fern trees and rainforest scrub surrounded us as we walked and listened to the calls of blue birds and other birds native to the Australian rainforest.
Kangaroos hopped about the grassy field near the small pond and I cuddled a koala. We then spent the afternoon climbing among the tree tops attempting to complete our high ropes challenge. I really felt like I was wandering around in heaven.
The wildlife Sanctuary is not the only rainforest area of the Gold Coast, there is of course the world-heritage listed rainforest national parks found in the hinterlands, only a short drive from the coast.
So now, when people ask me about the Gold Coast, my response will be “Pack you bags and go there. Now.”