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Gold Coast
Queensland's Gold Coast The Gold Coast is one of Australia’s premier holiday spots. Located in the south-east corner of Queensland, it is over 70 kilometres long, stretching from ] Coolangatta in the south, to South Stradbroke Island in the north and Beaudesert in the west. Only about an hour’s drive south of the state capital Brisbane, and with a regional airport at Coolangatta, the delights of the Gold Coast are easy to access. The region's capital is Surfers Paradise, with a wide of shopping, entertainment and accommodation. Other popular spots to stay are Broadbeach and Main Beach.

The prime attractions of the Gold Coast are all natural - the sun and the surf. On average the Gold Coast receives 300 days of sunshine a year, the average temperature range in winter is 11-21 degrees Celsius, and in summer 20-28 degrees Celsius. The beaches are like a roll call of sunbaking and surfing heaven: Burleigh Heads, Kirra Point, Greenmount, Palm Beach, Currumbin, Main Beach and Surfers Paradise. There are 35 beaches lining the coast, and all are patrolled daily by professional lifeguards and volunteer lifesavers.

The natural wonders of the region are not restricted to sun and surf. The Gold Coast hinterland is a total contrast to the coast: tropical rainforests, national parks and mountain retreats, all only a short drive inland. Mount Tamborine, Springbrook and Lamington National Park are amongst the main attractions of the hinterland. Spectacular waterfalls and lookouts, and landmarks such as the Natural Bridge, draw visitors in all seasons. Australia's largest glow worm colony is found here, and there are numerous walking tracks in the region's nine national parks. The area around Mount Tambourine is a fine base for exploring the seven national parks that are close by, plus the village has art and craft galleries, cafes, and with its elevation of 560 metres there are many fine lookouts. The area also has a burgeoning wine industry, with tours and tastings available at the various vineyards.

An altogether different environment can be found at South Stradbroke Island. A 20 minute ferry or water taxi ride from Runaway Bay Marina, north of Surfers Paradise, the island has more than 20 km of unspoilt, quiet beaches, with plenty of opportunities for swimming, surfing and fishing. There are also several resorts on the island, which offer use of their facilities to daytrippers.

In addition to natural and outdoor attractions, the Gold Coast offers an abundance of sporting and leisure activities. Over 40 golf courses dot the region, ranging from humble links courses to spectacular resort courses. The region is also the theme park capital of Australia: choose from the rides and shows at Dreamworld, Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World and Wet ‘n’ Wild Water World. And if you feel like you brought too much money with you, or if you think you have the skill and bravery to top up your funds, there is always the Conrad Jupiters Casino at Broadbeach, which is open 24 hours. At Currumbin, the Wildlife Sanctuary houses over 1400 mammals, birds and reptiles, as well as displays of native plants and a bush tucker garden. Nearby, the Currumbin Rock Pools make a great place to cool down and have a family picnic. Major events include the horseracing and associated social events of the Magic Millions Summer Racing Carnival in early January, the Gold Coast Marathon in early July and the high-powered racing and partying of the Gold Coast Indy 300 motor racing in late October.

A shopping mecca awaits the shopaholic on the Gold Coast. Here you can stroll amongst beachside art and craft markets or indulge in resort shopping. The Marina Mirage at Main Beach has exclusive boutiques, designer gift shops, galleries, specialty stores, restaurants and cafes. Throughout the complex are imposing sculptures, and shoppers can walk through the three storey aviary, complete with elegant ponds, colourful Australian native birds and rainforest ambience. At Sanctuary Cove Resort, the Marine Village adjacent to the 300 berth marina has specialty stores, cafes and restaurants, in addition to the resort's luxury hotels, 2 championship golf courses, country club and residential complex. Queensland is also the home of hyperdomes and the Gold Coast has its share. Pacific Fair, just south of Surfers Paradise, covers 17 hectares and has over 270 specialty retailers, services and department stores, including Daimaru.

By choosing to visit the Gold Coast you open yourself up to a whole range of experiences, be it total relaxation or an excess of adventure and hedonism.

Where should I stay?

Travelmate has a variety of accommodation on the Gold Coast to suit every budget.

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