The Gold Coast is a Queensland city, about an hour’s drive south from Brisbane. Though Brisbane is the state’s capital, the Gold Coast stills holds its own as the sixth most populous city in Australia, and its most populous non-capital.
The region is clearly as attractive as a holiday destination as it is as a home, around ten million visitors arriving on its sunny shores each year. To accommodate the hoards, the city is dotted with high-rise apartment buildings and hotels, enormous shopping malls and tourist attractions on every corner.
Sunbaking and surfing tend to take precedence during the day; at night, the casual beachy feel gives way to an atmosphere of revelry, as locals and visitors hit the streets to party together under the neon lights. During “Schoolies Week” the city goes really wild, with young graduates from all over Australia flocking to the Gold Coast to celebrate the end of their school days.
Not just a haven for hedonistic teens, though, the Gold Coast is also very popular with families. The city’s world-renowned theme Parks might have something to do with that - Sea World, Dreamworld, Movie World and Wet ‘n’ Wild teem with the young and the young-at-heart.
Scratch beneath the surface of the glitz and bright lights, however, and you’ll find there’s plenty of sedate enjoyment to be had – like bushwalking in the Gold Coast Hinterlands, cruising on the Nerang River or leisurely 18 holes on one of the region’s 40 golf courses.
The Gold Coast may not have the cultural cachet of other Australian cities, but it doesn’t pretend to – Australia’s playground prides itself on being “famous for fun”.