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A long weekend at the Gold Coast

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]The Gold Coast is one of Australia’s most famous holiday destinations stretching along 70 kilometres of coastline and it is home to beautiful beaches and vast rainforests with breathtaking scenery. That’s why it was also the top of my list of places to go to during my stay in Australia. So a friend and I decided to take the chance of the long weekend and fly over from Sydney to the Gold Coast for 3 days. Here are some tips for visiting the Gold Coast:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_custom_heading]Preparation[/vc_custom_heading][vc_column_text]Domestic flights in Australia are not as expensive as you imagine them to be. Especially if you are flexible with your time and search for the best prices a few weeks beforehand, you will surely get an offer that is within your budget. Alternatively, renting a car to the Gold Coast is also possible as there are some car rental services available around the area.

For accommodation, my friend and I were looking for rooms or apartments on AirBnb and found a quite cheap room in an apartment that was absolutely stunning. Apart from that, there are many hotels or luxury apartments that all are expensive, so finding a hostel rather than that will save you a lot of money.

Essentials to bring to the Gold Coast include swimwear, towels, flip-flops/thongs, sunglasses and lots of sunscreen. As you can tell, most of that is for the beach. If you want to explore the Gold Coast’s hinterland, comfortable shoes and light jackets are recommended.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_custom_heading]Arriving at the Gold Coast[/vc_custom_heading][vc_column_text]The Gold Coast’s International Airport is located in Coolangatta which is, like many airports, a little further (about a 30-45 mins drive) away from the main centre Surfers Paradise. Personally, I would recommend taking an Uber, which will cost you around $40-50 or – the much cheaper option – the public transport. Be aware though that taking the bus or trams from the airport to Surfers may take you more than 1.5 hours.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_custom_heading]Transportation[/vc_custom_heading][vc_column_text]Once you have checked in to your accommodation, you can start exploring! For a weekend trip with loads of activities and places you want to go, buying a Go explore card is definitely the way to go. You pay $10 a day for unlimited bus, train and tram transport and you won’t have to worry about getting lost in one of the more rural areas and having to pay a higher amount.

For longer stays, you can just get a regular Go card which you can top up with any amount and use it for individual travels.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_custom_heading]What to do at the Gold Coast[/vc_custom_heading][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

  • Beaches

The Gold Coast is all about beaches. Some more or less crowded. On its 70km long coastline you can surf, relax, enjoy a day with friends or simply take a dip into the sea. As you can guess, lots of beaches fit in 70km of coastline.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image media=”32562″ media_width_percent=”100″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image media=”32568″ media_width_percent=”100″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Some beaches are more crowded than others, and some of them might be better for surfing rather than relaxing and vice versa. Here is a guide to which beach fits which needs best:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image media=”32579″ media_width_percent=”100″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image media=”32580″ media_width_percent=”100″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

  • Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise is the most famous Suburb in the Gold Coast. Apart from its beach, it is home to most of the attractions that make tourists come to the area. One of these is the famous Q1 tower with its observation deck on the 77th floor. A lift will take you up there in less than a minute and you will be able to see the city from above and dine at the same time. A day pass to the Q1 costs you $25 and allows you to go up as many times as you wish. You also have the opportunity to climb the top of the Q1 if you fancy a more thrilling experience.

If you have been on Pinterest, you might also associate Surfers Paradise with its famous sign that many people use to decorate their Instagram pages.

What is also big in Surfers Paradise is the night life. There are many clubs around that are also used by graduates from all over Australia to celebrate their graduation (so it might be better to go sometime else).[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image media=”32565″ media_width_percent=”100″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image media=”32564″ media_width_percent=”100″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

  • Main Beach

In comparison to Surfers, Main Beach is much mellower. What you will see around the area the most are luxury apartments and resorts close by the sea, but there are also a few nice Italian restaurants and cafes worth checking out. In the centre of Main Beach you can find Sea World, a theme park with marine animals & polar bears, plus shows, rides & interactive tours.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

  • Broadbeach/Pacific Fair

In Broadbeach, you can find what was Queensland’s largest shopping centre until a few years ago: the Pacific Fair. The shopping centre has over 400 shops including national and global brands. There is even a free shopping shuttle service operating daily between Main Beach and Burleigh Heads.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

  • Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Heads is a suburb made for everyone. It unites beach, national park, cafes and shopping as everything is within 500 meters of each other.  The park right next to the beach is also a perfect and popular spot for picnics with family and friends and offers you a spectacular view of Surfers Paradise’s skyline.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_single_image media=”32563″ media_width_percent=”100″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

  • National Parks / Hinterland

Not only beaches are beautiful at the Gold Coast, but also the many national parks that surround the area of the Gold Coast. There are many tours through the national parks you can book and go to, even some with exclusive guided night tours into caves that allow you to spot glow worms.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image media=”32569″ media_width_percent=”100″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image media=”32571″ media_width_percent=”100″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

  • Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Located right next to the airport, the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is an easy place to reach. The Sanctuary consists of an animal hospital and offers Segway safaris through the park, animal encounters, adoptions and photos and bird shows.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_single_image media=”32570″ media_width_percent=”100″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]If you really enjoy Theme parks, the Gold Coast will literally be a paradise for you. There are 5 of them and they all promise lots of fun!

You can also try to spot some of these cute mascot Koalas for the 2018 Commonwealth Games during your stay:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image media=”32572″ media_width_percent=”100″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image media=”32574″ media_width_percent=”100″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image media=”32573″ media_width_percent=”100″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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