Since my best friend lives here I’ve been to the Gold Coast many times.
As the theme park capital of Australia, Surfers Paradise can make it hard to escape the ultra touristy vibe.
That being said since my friend lives a little further north on a residential island (I know right?!) where this isn’t an issue and now when I visit we usually just hang out here, chilling by the pool or doing some water sports as I’ve seen the main sites now.
Always a blast..except for that one time we got stuck in low tide on a jetski!
If it’s your first time to this area of the country though, here are a few ways to get started with your trip.
Each trip I take here Queensland constantly delivers on its stunning landscapes.
One time we just got in the car and drove to the New South Wales border for fun. The amount of sugar cane fields that stretch as far as the eye can see in this region is so cool!
We stopped into Springbrook National Park on the way where you can view glow worms in caves besides waterfalls – absolutely amazing to see at night time.
Most recently we took a trip to Mount Tamborine where you can find little shops and towns and a stop into the Fortitude Brewery makes for a great lunch opportunity before hiking to a nearby waterfall.
Burleigh Heads National Park and Currumbin are both near Surfers and offer some fabulous scenery also.
Where the best night life is, this place really comes to life after dark -there is no shortage of clubs and bars to check out.
In terms of dining a couple places I really enjoyed here was the Misono Japanese Steakhouse at the Marriott Hotel which has awesome theatrical teppanyaki.
The QT Hotel has an amazing breakfast spread and even if you’re not a guest as we weren’t, you can pay the 30 AUD to eat here. While it’s not the cheapest brekkie around the variety is great and the food absolutely delicious!
During the day the beaches alongside this area of the coast are quite nice and it’s great to pick a spot and set up for a few hours.
You may even spot some meter maids (famous in Surfers Paradise, these girls walk around in bikinis and kindly add money to parking meters about to expire) too!
Having previously lived in the USA I’ve seen my fair share of theme parks and therefore only visited Movie World on a trip with my friends here.
Dreamworld and Wet N Wild are the other major parks and it’s best value to combine a ticket to all three if you’re keen to see more than one.
The Crocodile Hunter’s legacy, while it’s not exactly close to the Gold Coast it is still doable in a day trip from Brisbane – we simply took the train there and back.
Steve Irwin’s zoo is undoubtably a fantastic place to see many Australian animals up close.
If you haven’t done anything like this before in the country it is definitely worth the visit!