DRIVES AND ROAD TRIPS

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Stay and play - Gold Coast, QLD

Image credit: Tourism and Events QLD

Australia’s golden city enjoys a cruisy coastal lifestyle, electrifying nightlife, and a sunny, subtropical climate perfect for hitting the surf. Yep, you’re going to want to experience the Gold Coast in waves!

Sun, sea, sand, and sweet views like so. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Where is it?

The Gold Coast is 65km south of Brisbane and immediately north of the NSW border. Melbourne to Gold Coast flight time is 2hr, and its 1hr 20m from Sydney.

Why go?

We don’t mean to sound cliché, but sun, sea, and sand are GC’s key selling points!

But there’s more to discover in the coastal city than just sun-drenched beaches, as Goldie also happens to have lush hinterlands and exhilarating (and seemingly endless) theme parks to enjoy.

If you love the water, you'll adore GC! Location: Tallebudgera Creek. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

The essentials – things to do in Gold Coast, QLD

Dreamworld

Rides, slides, entertainment, and wildlife experiences make Dreamworld one of Australia’s largest and most thrilling theme parks. Need we say anymore?!

Wet’n’Wild

It’s Australia’s largest waterpark with thrill slides and rides, giant wave pools, and river rapids. They even have poolside cabanas you can rent if you prefer to relax and watch the adventures from the sideline.

Burleigh Head National Park

Soak up nature at this wild, natural headland in the heart of GC. Meander through rainforests and along rocky foreshores. You may even be lucky enough to spot whales in spring. For reals!

Burleigh Head National Park looking a beauty! Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Skypoint Observation Deck

Enjoy on-top-of-the-world, 360-degree views of glistening GC when you stand perched 230m high at this epic viewing deck. It’s the Gold Coast’s highest attraction!

Surf World

Forget art because it’s all about surfboards at this museum. It displays surfboards from the 1930s onwards and allows visitors to delight in the design and technology that’s key to (one) of Australia’s favourite pastimes.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Wander animal enclosures, cuddle cute koalas, and feed adorable kangaroos, and that’s only some of the animal encounters on offer at Currumbin.

Meeting the locals at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Credit: Tourism and Events QLD.

Gold Coast beaches

When in GC, you need to prioritise spending quality time by the beach! GC has many options for sun seekers, but some hot spots are Currumbin Beach, Kirra Beach, and of course iconic Surfers Paradise Beach.

Did you even go to GC if you didn’t hit the surf? A surfing lesson is a perfect way to dip your toe (or board) as a beginner with a local surf school.

Rockpools Water Playground

The tiny tots will enjoy a splish-splash at the rockpools waterpark with water jets and statues of fun animals to climb and explore.

Warner Bros. Movie World

Meet your favourite superheroes and enjoy adrenaline-fuelled rides at this all-encompassing theme park. From looney tunes splash zones to kids’ fun precincts, there’s a ride for everyone.

Movie World Madness. Credit Tourism and Events QLD

Must visit attractions near Gold Coast, QLD

Springbrook National Park

Home to a dense forest and a variety of interesting birdlife, this national park is a must-visit. It also happens to be the location of an ancient volcano formed some 23 million years ago. One of its most unique attractions is a distinctive rock formation (and undeniably grammable) called Natural Bridge; you only have to peek at some photos to see why. For a totally different experience, visit after dark to see the glow-worms in action.

Distance: 40km south of Gold Coast and 50km south of BIG4 Gold Coast Holiday Park.


Tamborine Mountain

This is without a doubt one of Queensland’s hidden treasures, and the good news is that it’s only a 30min drive from the Gold Coast. With scenic walks, cascading waterfalls, and vistas for days, you’ll need more than a few hours to take in the lush green surrounds.

Distance: 40km west of GC and 25km west of BIG4 Gold Coast Holiday Park.

Lush surrounds at Tamborine Mountain. Credit: Tourism and Events QLD.

Lamington National Park

Located only an hour’s drive west, this expansive area covers everything you require from a satisfying day trip: lush rainforests, waterfalls, vineyards, antique stores, and much more. Walk or hike through magnificent Lamington before heading to O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards for picnic lunch (and vino, of course), then treat yourself to some country shopping.

Distance: 45km from Gold Coast and 55km from BIG4 Gold Coast.

Lamington National Park is a dream! Credit: Tourism and Events QLD.

Day trips from Gold Coast, QLD

Byron Bay

The Gold Coast is in a prime location for visiting some of the finest places in Aus; it's only 90min from Byron Bay, for example. You can cram lots into a day trip here: a stroll along the headland walk to Wategos Bay or a visit to The Farm, which, as the name suggests, is a working farm where you can learn how local food is grown as well as meet adorable animals.

Distance: 95km south of Gold Coast or 105km south of BIG4 Gold Coast.


Brisbane

Discover the city charm that Brisbane has to offer on a day trip from the Gold Coast. Visit Brisbane’s main attractions like Kangaroo Point, the Botanical Gardens, and South Bank to name a few, or simply just roam and get lost in the city centre.

Distance: 80km north of Gold Coast and 60km north of BIG4 Gold Coast.

Byron looking like a babe!

Random fact

The GC has the largest concentration of themed attractions in the southern hemisphere. Yep, nothing but fun and games on a visit here!

Accommodation in Gold Coast, QLD

Searching for a pleasant place to rest your head and enjoy exceptional facilities for all the fam’? Boy, oh boy, do we have you covered…

BIG4 Gold Coast Holiday Park

Park type: Premier

This amazing park is close to all the Gold Coast theme parks with family and pooch-friendly accommodation located across the road from Movie World, Wet'n'Wild, Outback Spectacular, and Topgolf. BIG4 Gold Coast is only a 2min drive from Dream World and WhiteWater World and 45min south of Brisbane.

Oh, wow! The monster water park at BIG4 Gold Coast.

Need more convincing? Well, there’s also a monster water park, an outdoor pool area, shaded cabanas on oversized day beds for the ultimate in relaxation, and none other than pool service from the onsite café. Okay, we’ll stop bragging now!

Tell me more

Mum and Dad can relax, too.

Isn’t it time you galivanted to GC? We sure think so!

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