Visiting the Gold Coast?
If you're not familiar with the Gold Coast and are planning a holiday here, it helps to have some insider knowledge and a few helpful resources on hand to make planning (and enjoying) your getaway a bit easier. Below we've included some handy information for tourists and visitors - if you think we've missed something please let us know!
The Gold Coast is known for its temperate sub-tropical climate, with around 300 days of sunshine per year. Our summers are warm, our winters are mild, and our storms can be wild. But if you plan ahead and book your holiday during a good time of year, then you'll likely get to experience beautiful weather throughout your stay!
Some reliable guides to Gold Coast weather can be found, including daily and weekly forecasts, and yearly averages:
Tourism & Visitor Guides
The official tourism website is called Destination Gold Coast which has some excellent information regarding things to do on the Gold Coast, where to grab great food and events not to miss.
There are plenty of unofficial guides out there too which are just as good, kept up to date and have loads of info about where to stay and what to do during your Gold Coast holiday.
Gold Coast Australia.com is a long-running visitor guide that's been around for over 15 years. It's got a comprehensive guide to just about everything Gold Coast-related, including Surfers Paradise, beach safety and the best weekend markets to check out.
Transport & Getting Around
The majority of visitors tend to book accommodation close to the coast, in suburbs such as Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Main Beach and Mermaid Beach. These suburbs all have excellent access to public transport including the Gold Coast light rail network, the G:link and buses.
Currently the light rail runs from Pacific Fair in Broadbeach, through Surfers Paradise, Southport and then ending at Helensvale. You can then connect to the rail system and get a train to Brisbane, or catch a bus to Movie World, Wet'n'Wild or Dreamworld, which are all located in the northern Gold Coast.
The Gold Coast has a strong bus network that will take you wherever you need to go, from shopping centres to theme parks and more.
If you plan on using public transport during your stay, it's best to get yourself a travel card which you can load with funds and tap on/off as you travel via bus, train, ferry or tram. These are used across South East Queensland so Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, and Ipswich as well. The 'go SeeQ' card is ideal for visitors here on short stays, and can be purchased for a set price for either 3 or 5 consecutive days. Otherwise if you're a regular visitor to the Coast, it's probably worth getting a go card that you can load up with funds whenever they run out. These cards don't expire and are quite handy to have when visiting South East Qld.
Besides public transport, you can always hire a car from a rental agency to get around which can be useful and relatively affordable. Its also a great option if you plan on travelling to the Gold Coast Hinterland as public transport is limited. The airport has all the major providers such as Budget, Avis, Hertz and more, and there are other pick up and drop off locations dotted around the coast.
Don't forget, Quack'rDuck is a fantastic and unique way to see the sights of Surfers Paradise and Main Beach by land and sea! Just meet at our headquarters and we'll have you back after your sightseeing tour.
When it comes to accommodation, there is no shortage of options on the Gold Coast. From luxury hotels and beachside resorts, to family friendly self-contained apartments, motel rooms, holiday cabins and caravan parks, there is something to suit all budgets.
Surfers Paradise, Main Beach, Broadbeach and Mermaid Beach are the most popular locations for holiday-goers and have the largest number of accommodation options to choose from. Their popularity is due to their fantastic location and proximity to our beautiful beaches, shopping, restaurants, nightlife and tourist attractions, not to mention easy access to public transport.
Though venture out further and there are some great options near Burleigh Heads and further south to Coolangatta, as well as inland towards the Hinterland at Tamborine Mountain. It all depends on the type of holiday you would like to have.
Simply book online via one of the main booking sites or go direct to the hotel's website.
The Gold Coast has some fantastic shopping destinations with major shopping centres, shopping strips, outlet shopping and boutiques dotted all along the coast. Below we've listed the major shopping centres but if you're staying along the coast, you're bound to find some eclectic stores, specialty shops and high fashion retailers nestled in between the hotels, restaurants and tour desks. The Gold Coast is also home to a huge range of markets that run in various locations throughout the year.
- Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, Broadbeach
- Robina Town Centre, Robina
- Harbour Town Premium Outlets, Biggera Waters
- Paradise Centre, Surfers Paradise
- Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre, Surfers Paradise
- Australia Fair, Southport
- Westfield, Helensvale & Coomera
- The Oasis, Broadbeach
There are two nearby airports making travel to the Gold Coast a breeze no matter where you are from. And Surfers Paradise is located in between! The Gold Coast Airport is located in Bilinga (near Coolangatta) and accepts both domestic and some international flights (primarily visitors connecting via New Zealand and some South East Asia countries). On the northern side at around an hour away is the Brisbane International Airport, one of Australia's busiest airports accepting flights from all over the country and the world.
The Brisbane Airport boasts an easy connection to Surfers Paradise via the Airtrain and G:Link, connecting at Helensvale Train Station, which can take you quite close to your accommodation in Main Beach, Surfers Paradise or Broadbeach.
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