Fun on the Gold Coast!   

Wish you were here

Sandip Hor visits a coastal city to sample a slice of Australian life and culture

It is often said that when Australians feel moody and tired, they visit the Gold Coast to rejuvenate their bodies, spirits and souls – because the seaside setting and bubbly spirit of this city in Queensland are naturally captivating.

And it’s hard not to feel relaxed in the Gold Coast since it offers many leisure and entertainment options.

With a population of over 600,000, the Gold Coast is Australia’s sixth largest city. It is home to several suburbs, many of which are beachfront and remain popular among locals and visitors alike.

Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach are characterised by their impressive lineup of high-rise buildings that overlook the water, and rank at the top.

WHERE TO STAY The brand-new Dorsett Gold Coast, which is located in Broadbeach, presents a good choice. This hotel combines the best of stylish city vibrance with an idyllic beach side escape to make one’s stay memorable.

It’s only 30 minutes away from the airport, and close to trendy shops and restaurants. Efficient public transport enables visitors to move around freely.

WHERE TO EAT There’s no shortage of quality restaurants in the city. A local favourite is Miss Moneypenny’s Broadbeach, which offers modern Mediterranean cuisine in a stylish environment.

The best Indian cuisine is found in the Temple of Spices and Vegan Restaurant at Mermaid Beach, which offers popular North Indian food such as butter chicken and goat curry, as well as an array of vegan dishes.

WHERE TO SHOP The city is home to many shopping centres such as The Oasis, DeBra’s, and Pacific Fair, which have a great selection of stores that offer fashion and accessories, and health and beauty products.

For holidaymakers however, a fun and exciting experience is buying local products – such as handicrafts and food items – at the local outdoor markets in Broadbeach and Burleigh Heads.

WHERE TO GO There is plenty to see and do in the Gold Coast. Perhaps the best start is to get an unrivalled bird’s eye view of the entire quarter, its sandy beaches, urban tapestry, inland waterways and distant hinterland.

The SkyPoint observation deck located on levels 77 and 78 of the 323 metre high Q1 Tower in Surfers Paradise offers the perfect vantage point.

Some of the city’s major draw cards are sun, sea and sand. And there are many places where visitors can chill along the 70 kilometre sandy stretch from Coolangatta to South Stradbroke Island.

The most popular attractions are at Surfers Paradise, which is often referred to as ‘the heart of the Gold Coast’ because of its high-energy urban quarter that offers an electrifying atmosphere day and night.

Not far from Surfers Paradise are some of Australia’s best theme parks, which provide adventure and entertainment for the entire family. While Warner Bros. Movie World brings in the ‘lights, cameras and action!’ from Hollywood, Dreamworld is bursting with happiness, offering over 50 rides and attractions, to suit everyone’s taste and ability.

Visitors can encounter seals, dolphins and other marine life at Sea World – and then watch the Australian Outback Spectacular, which is an evening show that narrates tales from the nation’s rugged outback.

Wet‘n’Wild is one of Australia’s best water parks, which means splashing and speeding along some of the nation’s largest and most extreme water slides.

The adjoining hinterland adds brilliant green colour to the tapestry. Half an hour west of Surfers Paradise is the Tamborine Mountain plateau. It offers another world, which comprises a different culture with its lush green vegetation, wineries, orchards, palm groves and old-fashioned local lifestyle.

It’s also a great place for bush walks and picnics.