The Gold Coast is among the the most popular tourist destinations on earth.
Read on to discover some background information about this exciting area:
There are more than eighty suburbs that make up the Gold Coast, with some of the most famous being Burleigh, Surfers Paradise, Mermaid Beach, Southport and Currumbin. Of course many place-names are Aboriginal, and it is interesting to find out what they mean. For instance, Tallebudgera is derived from ‘talle’ meaning ‘fish’ and ‘budgerie’ meaning good, obviously referring to good fish stocks there.
Captain James Cook was possibly the first European to sail along the south-east coast of Queensland, which local Aboriginal people refer to as ‘Kurrungal’, a name derived from their word for ‘endless supplies of timber’.
European people began living throughout the region from 1823, but it was in 1875 that Southport becameestablished, and the wealthier residents from Brisbane began to go there to enjoy holidays.
Tourism in the region grew after the Surfers Paradise Hotel was completed in 1925. The hotel experienced a few transformations, and eventually it became an apartment building.
The region was first called the ‘Gold Coast’ in the 1940s, when real estate speculators started to name it that, and the name became official in 1958, when local government designated the Gold Coast to be the area between Coolangatta to Southport.
The population kept on growing rapidly from 1981 when the Gold Coast airport was finished, and by 2007 it became the biggest non-capital city in Australia, as well as being the country’s sixth largest city. Although the population fluctuates on a regular basis, almost 600,000 people call the Gold Coast home.
Things to do and see in the Gold Coast
There are many exciting things to do and see while visiting the Gold Coast. The region is home to several theme parks, such as Dream World, Wet’n'Wild, Movie World and Sea World. These three are located within 30 minutes from each other, and are fairly close to Surfers Paradise.
At Sea World the whole family can enjoy seeing dolphins, sharks and much more, in addition to having the opportunity to swim, relax, slide and have a go on water-based rides, whereas Movie World, also known as Warner Brothers is the perfect place for movie-lovers with families. There are many movie-themed rides, plus performers who dress up as movie characters such as Scooby Doo, Batman, and many others, and who will invite you to have their photo taken with you.
Wet’n'Wild is a water themed park located next to Warner Bros., and is open all year round. With seventeen water slides and 4 pools, you can have peace-of-mind that this is a great place for the whole family to visit.
The Gold Coast is known for its beautiful beaches, so no holiday would be complete without walking along one of the many beaches. One of the best beaches for swimming is Burleigh. With calm water conditions on most days, there is also great surfing at Burleigh Heads at the south of the beach.
Burleigh Heads itself is a lush, beautiful native bushland, offering two walking tracks, one a short distance and the other taking in the whole headland, with views that are stunning, stretching from Surfers Paradise to the north, all the way to Tweed Heads in the south.
People who enjoy hiking and walking can also go to Tamborine Mountain, which has beautiful scenery and a wide range of wildlife.
There aretwelve tracks which are not difficult to do, so people who enjoy easy bushwalking will love it here. There are wildlife sanctuaries, plus numerous other walking tracks:
Springbrook is located in the Gold Coast hinterland, where you can see native wildlife and ancient Antarctic beech trees. Purlingbrook Falls and other beautiful waterfalls can be found within Springbrook. You can also enjoy swimming in the Waringa Pool or go at night and visit the cave and see glow-worms.
For a truly amazing experience you can visit the Q1 building in Surfers Paradise. It’s the tallest building in Australia and the fifth tallest residential tower in the world. With more than 77 levels, you will have distant views of the beach, and be able to see from Brisbane to Byron Bay as well as far out in the Gold Coast Hinterland.
Jupiter’s Casino is situated just south of Surfers Paradise, with more than 1,000 slot machines and over 70 table games for guests to play. Guests can also spend a few nights there in lovely hotel rooms equipped with amenities such as flat screen TVs.
Couples and singles alike will love the nightlife that the Gold Coast offers.
With many nightclubs in Surfers Paradise, there are also many other bars, clubs, theatres and restaurants located throughout the region.