Gold Coast travel guide

From the surf breaks at Main Beach all the way down to legendary Coolangatta, the Gold Coast has been seducing travellers for generations. While the beaches remain some of the finest in the world, the restaurant, bar, cafe and craft beer scene has become a drawcard in its own right. Australia’s capital of fun is also the gateway to a pristine hinterland and thrilling theme parks, with a year-round climate that is hard to beat. If you’re planning a holiday here, explore our Gold Coast travel guide and find out how to make the most of your time along Queensland’s southern coastal strip. We’ve collected the best tips from our travel experts, and have all sorts of suggestions for things to do, the best time to travel, where to stay, getting around and more. We even have a guide to the Gold Coast Airport at Coolangatta.

Where to stay

"Choosing where to stay on the Gold Coast can be a challenge. There are just so many wonderful resorts, hotels, and other options to consider. The trick to making the right decision is knowing what the neighbourhoods are like.   For instance, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach have high rises and a bustling night scene. Meanwhile, Burleigh and Coolangatta are more laidback with a streak of cool. Finally, Currumbin and Palm Beach are the best areas to stay for nature lovers."

Things to do

As Queensland's top holiday destination, you’ll find there are many things to do on the Gold Coast. You'll need to stay for at least a weekend or a week to properly savour the experience. Swim and surf at different beaches, enjoy the nightlife, and feel the rush at a theme park. You can even enjoy a few sporting events if you time your holiday right!

Getting Around

With a variety of Gold Coast transport options available, it’s easy to get to your destination. For longer stays, make sure you get a go card as this electronic ticket can be used for buses, trams, and trains that service South East Queensland. You can buy one from convenience stores and transport stations.  Many hotels can call you a cab or you can hire one yourself with apps or by calling their numbers. If you prefer getting around the Gold Coast and exercising at the same time, you can walk or bike along urban streets or on nature trails.

Where to eat

Trying to answer ""where to eat on the Gold Coast"" can be a fun exercise. There’s plenty of fresh seafood and other ingredients around for the local chefs to work with. There are seaside eateries, fine-dining restaurants, cosy cafes, and market stalls serving whatever you crave.  You can eat vegetarian dishes, sip healthy fruit shakes, get generous pub food, or indulge in rich desserts. Wherever you go, you'll always find something delicious on the Gold Coast.


Apart from swimming, surfing and sightseeing, there’s another activity that you should definitely do on the Gold Coast: shopping. There’s something for everyone in this region, so leave some space in your suitcase for all your new goodies.  Wind your way through al fresco markets, large shopping centres in Broadbeach, Southport, Biggera Waters and Robina, and retail precincts situated just off the beach. Want to know what to look for and where to go? Here’s your Gold Coast shopping guide.

Best time to travel

There’s rarely much to complain about when it comes to the weather on the Gold Coast. Located in South East Queensland, the region enjoys sunshine for at least 300 days of the year. This means you can go to the Gold Coast any time.


With several kilometres of coastline to choose from, there will definitely be a Gold Coast beach to suit your mood. If you want to soak up some atmosphere as well as the sun’s rays, go to Surfers Paradise, Main Beach, or Broadbeach. If you want a more relaxing swim, try Palm Beach or Burleigh Heads. If you’re after some invigorating waves, try Currumbin or Coolangatta. Wherever you choose to go, you can always enjoy the fine white sand and beautiful blue waters of all Gold Coast beaches.