Gold Coast Australia is located about twenty miles south of Brisbane (capital and largest city in Queensland) and is the state’s second largest city. The sunny subtropical weather and beaches on the Gold Coast are famous, making this one of the most visited regions in the country. In addition to the beautiful beaches, which are excellent for surfing, the city boasts an extensive waterway and canal system, a lively nightlife, beautiful and accessible rainforest, and many other attractions.
The naming of Gold Coast Australia has nothing to do with the mining of gold. There is indeed gold in Australia (it is the country’s second largest export earner), and there were nineteenth-century Gold Rushes similar to those in California and other areas of the western United States. But gold is found primarily in New South Wales around the Melbourne region and in Western Australia around Perth.
Originally settled as a timber and cattle region, it was tourism and surfing on the magnificent Gold Coast Australia beaches that led to the naming of the city. In 1925, legendary local Jim Cavil built the Surfers Paradise Hotel on Main Beach Australia and the rest is history. While the original Surfers Paradise Hotel is long gone, today you will find that the greatest concentration of Gold Coast hotels and beach resorts are found along this beach and the area is still known as Surfers Paradise. It was the boom in tourism that led to the renaming of the town in 1958.
While Main Beach Australia is the most well known, there are several other beautiful beaches on the Gold Coast that offer surfing and scuba diving, great restaurants and chic boutiques, and miles and miles of sand and sun. The city boasts about 50 stunning miles of beaches. Broadbeach is known for its shopping; Budds Beach is a favorite for families with children; Runaway Beach is a favorite for sailing; and Surfers Paradise is the center for fun, with great restaurants, theme parks, and plenty of special events.
Main Beach Australia is actually its own unique neighborhood, and the most “elite” of the tourist areas. This is where the most deluxe luxury hotels are located, including the incredibly sumptuous Palazzo Versace. There are theme parks here as well, most notably Sea World that is similar to the one in San Diego, California.
At the far northern tip of Gold Coast Australia are North and South Stradbroke Islands, coastal islands largely consisting of a large conservation park. South Stradbroke boasts hundreds of wild wallabies, and both islands have lovely beaches and secluded coves protected by rocky outcroppings. Tiring of the beaches on the Gold Coast is not easy, but if you ever want a different experience, there are numerous tours available into the rainforest of the hinterland national parks to the west. Many of these include cultural exchange with the Aboriginal peoples who have called this place home for millennia. Transportation for these is often by four-wheel drive vehicle, and most tours include a qualified bush guide naturalist.