Tips for visiting the Gold Coast:
- The City of Gold Coast includes a lot of suburbs and towns. Amongst them, I visited/drove through Main Beach, Broadbeach, Mermaid Beach, Miami, Palm Beach, Currumbin, Surfers Paradise, Coolangatta, Tweed Heads, Burleigh Heads. Feels like you could spend a day at every spot discovering local restaurants and hanging out by the wide, beautiful, empty beaches.
- Rent a car and drive up and down the coast. I’m not sure how good the public transport is around there but it’s easy to get around with a car.
- Coffee spots (& both looked like they had a great food menu!): barefoot baristas and BSKT café (nobby’s Beach). I also wanted to try: Mr Bengel, Avvia, and The Collective.
- I stayed at the Marriott vacation club in Surfers paradise and I strongly recommend it (if you are traveling with points or trying to stay in an American-style hotel). I got a great studio type apartment with a small kitchen and a great balcony. The rental also included with free access to the washer&dryer, to the pools and a fantastic buffet breakfast (included with platinum status).
- Check out the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary if you want to see kangaroos, koalas, and many more animals! It’s definitely touristy but it’s worth it if you want to see and possibly touch a lot of wildlife. It’s also very kid and family-friendly. Check out the Surf world museum next door to learn about the history, see some cool pictures and boards. Walk down to Elephant rock for a wonderful 360 view of the area. There is also the Swell sculpture festival I would like to go to on another trip.
- On my last day in Surfers Paradise, I walked around downtown, checked out a few stores and restaurants but I can’t say I felt like spending more time around there. I did find a cute little coffee truck called Rise Rasta Coffee parked just outside downtown and it was totally worth the stop!
- Drive to Point Danger and explore the area. Check out Snapper Rock (formation of a cute rock pool and beach), walk around the memorial and then down to Duranbah beach to surf and/or watch the very talented surfers. Fun fact: You will also be crossing the Queensland/New South Wales border and there is 1-hour difference between both sides!
- From Duranbah beach, put your running shoes on at sunset and run along Coolangatta beach. It was absolutely breathtaking.
- Still on the list of places to explore next time: explore Lamington National Park & Binna Burra region, hike O’Reilly’s treetop walk, Rainforest Way drives, drink a beer at Clancy’s Irish Pub and stay at the Songbirds retreat at Mount Tamborine, appreciate the ocean views from the Skypoint Observation deck and check out Chevron Island.
Impressions of the Gold Coast:
I would definitely come back here and spend more time in the area. Every little town along the Gold Coast Highway is cute and the beaches are simply stunning. If you’re looking to explore small beach towns, eat local and chill every day, you’ll be happy here.
I enjoyed my time at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. I would have hoped to see Koalas and Kangaroos running around (or sleeping koalas) in nature, but due to time constraints, this was the closest I would get to them. I’m not a big fan of zoos, in fact, I haven’t been to one in years but this place was better (or so it seemed). I got to walk around the sanctuary, hang out with kangaroos and even pet them, observe koalas, crocodiles, birds, reptiles and many more species!
The hotel I stayed at was very cozy and I enjoyed the balcony and the beautiful ocean views. It was very quiet, clean, the gym was nice and so was the pools, the breakfast spread impressive: I would stay there again!