Check out Point Danger, Snapper Rocks, Greenmount & Coolangatta beaches on the Southern Gold Coast.
Photo: Tourism Queensland

Where is Gold Coast?

Welcome to the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is one of Queensland's most popular holiday spots. It's known as the 'glitter strip' because it combines glamour, beaches and resort living. The Gold Coast has so many fun things to do, making it a mecca for holiday makers.

One of the best free things you'll ever do is swimming and relaxing on the many Gold Coast beaches. Why not book a surf lesson and try your hand at 'hanging five'. There's uber-cool theme parks such as Seaworld, Movie World, Dreamworld or Whitewater World and Wet'n'wild water parks. Nature-lovers can hike and picnic in the Gold Coast national parks, and shopaholics can check out the many boutiques and shopping centres. I promise you that a Gold Coast holiday has something for everyone.

Life's a beach on the Gold Coast! 

Life's a beach on the Gold Coast! The Gold Coast has some of the best beaches in the world so get the soft white sand between your toes and swim in the sparkling blue water. You have over 57 kilometers of beach to choose from, and even better, you can swim all year round because of our warm climate.

If you're looking for sheltered beaches, my all-time favourites are Greenmount, Rainbow Bay or Froggie's beach. These beaches are on the southern end of the Gold Coast.
  Couple surfing on the Gold Coast beaches
Surfing on the Gold Coast.
Photo: Jamie MacFadyen, Tourism Australia

Things to do at the beaches

Book a surf lesson during your Gold Coast holiday. Photo: Tourism Australia
  • Gold Coast beaches are the perfect place to relax, build sandcastles or swim by the waters edge. Pack your sunscreen, hat, drinking water and some snacks and get ready for some of the best free fun you'll ever have. Need some inspiration on which beach to choose, head to BroadbeachTallebudgeraNobby Beach, North Kirra or Coolangatta beach
  • See dolphin pods visiting Snapper Rocks, or whales passing by during migration season. And don't forget to bring your binoculars! One of the best whale watching spots is Point Danger (which is a 5 minute walk up the hill from Snapper Rocks). Grab a coffee from D-bar cafe across the road and watch the whales swim and play in the water.
  • Go surfing on the gorgeous Gold Coast beaches. People flock from all over the world to 'hang five' on our waves. I can highly recommend learning to surf with one of the local surf schools. Some of the most popular surf schools are found on Surfers Paradise beach, Burleigh Heads, Main beach and Greenmount. You'll be standing up by the end of your first lesson and I promise you'll have a blast.
  • Seasoned surfers can chase the waves at any beach but some of the most popular spots are Duranbah (or D’bah as the locals say), Miami, Broadbeach, North Kirra, Surfers Paradise, and North Burleigh.
The kids will love playing at the beach.
Photo: Jamie MacFadyen, Tourism Australia

Hire a stand-up-paddle-board and float around Currumbin Creek
  • Go kayaking on the Broadbeach canals or go for an early morning stand-up-paddle board. You'll paddle past all kinds of marine life including dolphins, turtles and sub-tropical fish. Other cool places to kayak including Currumbin Creek, Tallebudgera Creek and Wavebreak Island. 
  • Have a BBQ by the beach esplanade. Most Gold Coast beaches have free BBQs, picnic tables and shaded grassy areas so you can enjoy the best beachfront dining. There's also playgrounds for kids to swing, slide and play while you're making dinner.
Dine alfresco. Pack a picnic or use the free beachside BBQs. Photo: Jamie MacFadyen, Tourism Australia
  • Looking for calmer waters, head south to Currumbin Creek. Hire a stand up paddle board. Further along the foreshore, you'll find Elephant Rock. Look closely and you'll see the resemblance to its namesake. Around the corner from Currumbin beach are the Currumbin Rock Pools
  • Head off on a snorkeling and diving safari to the Cook Island Marine Reserve.
Go kayaking around the Gold Coast creeks and canals. Photo: Dimitris VetsikasPixabay
  • More free things to do include Southport Broadwater Parklands. You'll find rock pools, bouncy water pillows, playgrounds and picnic areas. Watch the kids play, swim and squeal with joy while you sip a coffee in the shade.
Need a little more inspiration. Get our ultimate guide for your Gold Coast holiday with kids.

Get back to nature on the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast hinterland is a bushwalkers paradise. Three of the most popular national parks are O-Reilly's Lamington National Park, Mount Tambourine and Springbrook National Park. Pack water, snacks and a hat and start exploring, or join an organised tour.

There are two incredible canopy walks in the Gold Coast Hinterland. They are the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk at Mount Tamborine and the O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk at Lamington National Park. Get a selfie on your skywalk. Check park alerts in case walking tracks are temporarily closed.
  O Reilly's-national-park-in-the-Gold-Coast-Hinterland
O'Reilly's in the Lamington National Park
Photo: Brisbane Marketing
Tamborine Mountains rainforest skywalk.
Photo: Jamie MacFayden, Tourism Australia

Visit Tamborine Village - the fudge shop has lots of yummy sweets
Gallery Walk in the Tamborine Mountains.
​Photo: Jamie MacFayden, Tourism Australia

  • Mount Tamborine is one of the world's oldest rainforests with lots of things to see and do. For an unforgettable experience view the Scenic Rim by hot air balloon. There are several walking circuits to choose from, with easy graded tracks at Cedar Creek Falls, Palm Grove Rainforest, Sandy Creek (Knoll section) and Macdonald Rainforest circuits. For moderate graded tracks go to Curtis Falls (Joalah section), Jenyns Falls (Palm Grove section), Witches Falls, Witches Chase and the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk.
  • Visit Tamborine Mountain Botanical Gardens with themed gardens including the rose, Japanese, and cottage gardens.
  • After dark, grab your torch and head to the Natural Bridge where a colony of luminous glow-worms have made themselves at home. During the summer months fireflies and glowing mushrooms will also enchant you.
  • Visit the World Heritage listed Springbrook National Park with its ancient trees, cascading waterfalls and spectacular lookouts. Set off on one of the many walking trails and maybe find a swimming hole along the way. Why not pack a picnic and take time to spot some wildlife. Be sure to explore the Purling Brook Falls, Goormoolahra Falls, Rainbow Falls,Canyon Lookout, Mount Cougal Cascades and Best of All Lookout.
  Girl-doing-the splits-at-Springbrook-Gold-Coast
Get the best views from Springbrook Mountains

Get your shoes on and let's explore the Gold Coast national parks.
  • Take a hike through the Burleigh Heads National Park which is a haven for migrating birds such as ospreys and sea eagles. There's a Rainforest Circuit walking track that leads to Tumgun Lookout and incredible views. Another track leads you to the “secret” Echo Beach.
  • Head to Kirra Hill Lookout for gorgeous coastal views. Kirra Hill is easy to find with its iconic iron eagle. Kirra Hill is also the perfect place to spot a skydiver or two landing at Kirra beach. To arrange your own adrenaline pumping experience, contact the team at Gold Coast Skydive, who are the only tandem skydiving company on the Gold Coast.
  • If you want nature without the hiking, you must visit Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary where you can hand feed the wild rainbow lorikeets, cuddle the koalas, and get up close to the kangaroos and wallabies. There's plenty of other native animals to see including crocodiles, dingoes, wombats, echidnas and emus.
Safety note: When bushwalking, always stay on the walking trails, tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return, take water, and check weather forecasts.
Meet the koalas at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.
Photo: Darren Jew, Tourism Australia