Going For Gold! Holidaying on Australia’s Gold Coast

The Gold Coast, situated in south east Queensland, is one of Australia’s leading holiday playgrounds. With 70 kilometres of sun-drenched beaches, World Heritage listed rainforests, theme parks, shopping and nightlife – it is a world class, stylish holiday destination. In fact, the Gold Coast has been identified as one of the most desirable places in the world to live based on political, social, health, personal safety, economic and environmental factors.

The Gold Coast is located in the sub-tropical region of the Southern Hemisphere and enjoys warmth and sunshine the whole year round. Australian seasons are the opposite of those in the Northern Hemisphere – the average summer temperature is 25 degrees Celsius and in winter, it is around 15 degrees Celsius. You can expect over 300 days of sunshine each year, with the wet season being December to March, when the northwest monsoons move south from Asia bringing heavy rain.

Your flight will most probably land at Brisbane International Airport – which is a 45 minute drive north from the heart of the Gold Coast. Alternatively, if your Australian holiday began in say Sydney or Melbourne, you can opt to fly into the Gold Coast Airport at Coolangatta which is approximately 35 minutes south of Surfers Paradise, considered by any as the epicentre of the Gold Coast. Both airports have tourist information booths and car rental firms represented in their terminals.

All foreigners – except New Zealanders – require visas for all visits to Australia. The citizens of some countries can obtain an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), which is a tourist or business visa valid for up to three month stays. These ETAs are available online and through travel agents at the time of booking your flight to Australia. If you apply for your ETA through your agent, the fee for applying directly is usually waived.

Accommodation: With every kind of accommodation from exclusive 5-star hotels to farm stays and from sunny beachside cabins to sun dappled bed and breakfast properties, you’ll be spoilt for choice. A visit to http://www.gold-coast.net and a click on ‘accommodation’ will show you a variety of hotel choices, including location and cost, that you can browse and compare. Most visitors place themselves in the hub of Surfer’s Paradise, however if you prefer a quieter, less bustling location you could consider an apartment overlooking the waterways at Runaway Bay or a hinterland retreat in Mount Tamborine where rainbow lorikeets will greet you each morning.

Driving : Australia drives on the ‘left’. Overseas visitors who are used to driving on the ‘right’ should exercise caution until they become accustomed to this – roundabouts can be especially tricky. Your travel agent will be able to advise whether your current driving licence is valid in Australia. Please check this several weeks before departure so you have time to apply for an International Driving Licence if required. Australia has a well-maintained system of roads and highways where speeding, driving under the influence, driving while operating a mobile phone and not wearing a seatbelt are not tolerated. If needed, most car hire companies will provide you with children’s car seats and these too are required by law.

Sightseeing and activities: When you have settled into your Gold Coast accommodation, you will want to plan what to see and do. If you are travelling with children, theme parks are going to be high on your agenda. The Gold Coast boats four major theme parks; Dreamworld, Movie World, Sea World and Wet and Wild. Our family’s favourite is Dreamworld because it has something for all ages (including a water park) and is home to the Australian version of the popular reality TV show Big Brother.

There are also a couple of wildlife parks on the Coast that run excellent educational talks at regular intervals throughout the day and are a great outing. At David Fleays Wildlife Park and the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, you can get close to snakes and raptors, cuddle a koala and feed kangaroos. At both parks there are cafes, picnic and play areas where families can rest and play in the shade.

When visiting the Gold Coast you will also want to head to the beach, where you can catch a surf lifesaving carnival, join a surfing class or simply swim and build sandcastles. Some of the more popular beaches are Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Burleigh Heads and Currumbin. There is also a very family friendly, sheltered beach at Paradise Point which includes a beachfront park, BBQs, picnic tables, plenty of shade, play areas and some great take-away outlets just a stone’s throw away.

Unfortunately, one of the most common causes of tourist deaths in Australia is found on its glorious beaches. Each year quite a number of tourists (and sometimes locals too) drown on its shores. Australian beaches – particularly the long strips common on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts – have extremely strong rips and pulls that most people are unable to detect or handle. Never swim on beaches that are not patrolled by life-guards. Look for the yellow and red surf life saving flags and swim between them to stay safe and in view of the local life-guard.

With nine times more waterways and canals than Venice – be prepared to enjoy many types of on-water fun on the Coast with sunset cruises, sailing, Jet Ski rides and fishing charters.

For a contrasting experience head inland and visit pretty hinterland areas such as Tamborine Mountain or experience the rural lifestyle at country towns such as Beaudesert. The Gold Coast has some of the most diverse flora and fauna regions in Australia with World Heritage Listed rainforests to be found near the border with New South Wales where you can walk amongst ancient Antarctic Beech trees, see the spectacular Springbrook waterfalls or head to the coolness of the Lamington National Park.

For golfers, there are more than 40 championship golf courses in the region. Three hundred days of sunshine per year, means golf can be on your holiday schedule regardless of the season and you can play at superb sites designed by Greg Norman, Arnold Palmer or Jack Nicklaus.

For golf widows, and widowers, shopping centres abound on the Gold Coast with some of Australia’s largest shopping precincts. Visit Pacific Fair, Marina Mirage, Harbour Town or Runaway Bay Shopping Centre on the coast or head to the hinterland to browse craft stores, farmers markets and art galleries.

Dining: At the end of a hard day’s shopping or sightseeing, choose from more than 500 restaurants and indulge in fresh seafood or authentic ethnic cuisine from Italian to Japanese and from Thai to Chinese.

Within an easy day’s outing from coastal areas, you can enjoy locally made wines on the Gold Coast wine trail, which begins in the suburb of Oxenford and meanders its way west towards Mount Tamborine. Many wineries offer gourmet food, cheeses, feature live jazz bands, and other types of live entertainment such as poetry readings and classical quartets.

Entertainment wise the Gold Coast is thrilling. There are events such as the annual Indy Car Race in October, horse racing, carnivals, out rigging and marathon events. Alternatively, you can go to the cinema, see a live musical or themed show, head to a nightclub or visit Jupiter’s Casino. Families can head for Surfers Paradise where free movies are screened regularly on a giant screen placed on the beach. People bring their own chairs and towels and when the sun goes down, the double bill of family friendly movies begins.

Over-exposure to the sun at Australian latitudes is responsible for many cases of sunburn, sunstroke and heat exhaustion every year. In the long term, premature aging and skin cancer are also a risk. Even in cooler southern areas, proximity to the hole in the ozone layer means that the risk of sunburn is much higher than in the northern hemisphere. Fair-skinned people are especially at risk and it is advisable to use a sunscreen with a SPF of 30+. Sunny Australia has one simple message for the traveller “Slip, slop, slap!” Slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen and slap on a hat!

Australia as a whole enchants its visitors. From the friendly attitude of its people, to the breathtaking blue of its skies, it is a place unlike any other, with animals and scenery you will find nowhere else on earth and an unmatched diversity of people, flavours, aromas and sights.

This vast island-continent has a relatively small, urbanised population of just 20 million people. By contrast, the UK is home to some 60 million people and is 30 times smaller than Australia. The Australians are also a culturally diverse nation where multiculturalism is not merely tolerated, but embraced. Approximately 5.6 million people have immigrated to Australia since WWII – which is a huge percentage of the population – in fact, over one quarter of today’s population was born overseas.

People from all walks of life come to he Gold Coast to work, live, play and study – the lifestyle is relaxed, the people are friendly and if you are anything like us, you will return from your Gold Coast holiday and apply for Australian migration! We have lived her for the past six years and now call it home…

Dominique has been writing for over a decade and contributes to media worldwide.

Her articles have appeared online and in publications as diverse as Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald, Dubai’s Connector Magazine and the UK’s Cat World Monthly.

Gold Coast Theme Parks – Information, Tickets & Passes

The Gold Coast in Queensland is Australia’s home to theme parks and family entertainment venues. These Gold Coast Theme Parks all adopt their own concepts and provide days of entertainment popular and safe surrounds. Below you will find a brief description of each of the five major theme parks on the Gold Coast.

Movie World

Warner Brothers Movie World gives everyone the opportunity to be a star and experience the magic and excitement of being in the Movies. There are daring rides such as the Superman Escape rollercoaster where those that dare travel 100km per hour in just two seconds! And when you thought Warner Bros. Movie World them park on the Gold Coast couldn’t offer you any more action – out of the darkness comes an unprecedented thrill ride experience ‘Batwing Spaceshot’ – Get ready for a rapid 4G vertical launch followed by a drop into a breathtaking negative descent – beyond freefall!

Don’t forget all the fun of Looney Tunes Village, and be sure to take adventure to the next dimension with DreamWorks® Shrek 4D Adventure”! – the attraction that puts you in the action with hair-raising, eye-popping, and butt-busting effects so real all your senses will be on ogre-time. Warner Bros. Movie World is an exciting adventure just waiting for you! Address: Pacific Highway, Oxenford (Exit is clearly signed).

Location: 20 minutes north of Surfers Paradise, 45 Minutes south of Brisbane.

Opening Hours: 10am – 5.00pm all year round. Closed Christmas Day, 25 December. Restricted trading hours apply on ANZAC Day, Australia’s National Day of Remembrance on 25 April, with the park opening at 1:30pm.

Sea World

Sea World is undoubtedly one of the long term favourite Gold Coast theme parks and leads you on a journey to discover amazing marine life including dolphins, seals, sharks and polar bears. Enjoy a visit to the Sea World’s Shark Bay, the world’s largest man-made lagoon system, where you come face-to-face with the most feared species of sharks in the world! Visit Polar Bear Shores, watch the 1960’s themed ‘Waterski Wipeout’ show, visit Cartoon Network Cartoon Beach, enjoy the rides and attractions at Sesame Street Beach, where you can watch Bert & Ernie’s live stage show, featuring a full cast of characters singing and dancing up a storm. It’s all happening at Sea World theme Park on the Queensland Gold Coast and a must visit for all the family.

Location: Seaworld Drive, Main Beach. 3 kilometres north of Surfers Paradise

Opening Hours: 10am – 5.00pm all year round. Closed Christmas Day, 25 December. Restricted trading hours apply on ANZAC Day, Australia’s National Day of Remembrance on 25 April, with the park opening at 1:30pm.

Wet’n’Wild Water World

Australia’s premier water theme park is Wet’n’Wild Water World on the Queensland Gold Coast. Enjoy the fun of be spun out by Whirlpool that sends guests whirling amidst swirling rapids. Dare to experience the world’s first wet roller coaster as you plunge 30 metres through wild water sprays while spinning on a giant surfboard! Then, take on Australia’s biggest water attraction – Mammoth Falls. Then lay back at Giant Wave Pool or relax at Calypso Beach. Children (under 10 years of age) can also enjoy your visit to Wet’n’Wild World with a paddle or swim in Buccaneer Bay – a playground full of fun and fantasy. The park is patrolled by fully qualified lifeguards and all slides and pools are heated during the cooler months. Dive-in Movies are screened every Saturday night from November to January and every night during December to January school holidays.

Location: Pacific Highway, Oxenford (Exit is clearly signed). 20 minutes north of Surfers Paradise, 45 Minutes south of Brisbane.

Opening Hours: The park opens at 10.00am every day, closing times vary throughout the year – as follows:

27 December – 25 January: 9.00pm

26 January – 30 April: 5.00pm*

01 May – 31 August: 4.00pm

01 September – 26 December: 5.00pm*

Closed Christmas Day, 25 December. Restricted trading hours apply on ANZAC Day, Australia’s National Day of Remembrance on 25 April, with the park opening at 1:30pm.

Whitewater World

WhiteWater World is another popular Gold Coast Theme Park and is operated by Dream world. More than just another water park, White Water World is the most advanced water ride park on earth. They offer a number of family friendly attractions through to the more extreme and daring waterslides for the brave.

WhiteWater World offers four of the “world’s best” water slides plus family fun and entertainment at the Nickelodeon’s Pipeline Plunge and the aptly name toddler playground, Wiggle Bay. White Water World is all about the Australian surf, sand and sea, and of course a BIG FUN factor!

Location: Adjacent to Dream world on the Pacific Highway, Oxenford. 25 minutes north of Surfers Paradise and 40 minutes south of Brisbane.

Opening Hours: 10.00am to 5.00pm daily (10.30am-4.30pm in Winter), every day of the year, except Christmas Day and Anzac morning (25 April). Extended trading hours during peak holiday seasons.

Dreamworld

Dreamworld on the Queensland Gold Coast is home to 13 different themed entertainment worlds and even after 25years of operating remains Australia’s favourite theme park. The Gold Coasts Dreamworld them park is located at Coomera adjacent the Pacific Motorway (M1) that links Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Drive time from the Brisbane CBD is approximately 45 minutes and it’s a drive of approximately 20 minutes from the central Gold Coast.

Dreamworld covers a total 30 hectares full of rides, shows and attractions. The 13 different themed worlds at Dreamworld include wild Tiger Island where magnificent tigers interact with dedicated tiger handlers. There’s also an entertaining Riverboat Cruise, Gold Rush Country, koala and kangaroo sanctuary, water slides and rides like Wipeout, Thunderbolt and the Tower of Terror – the world’s tallest and fastest thrill ride with speeds of up to 160 km per hour. Book your tickets to Dreamworld below and avoid the queues when you arrive.

Gold Coast Car Rental

Known earlier as Coolangatta Airport, Gold slideAirport lies in the southern end of the greater area. The airport has expanded its operation from domestic flights to an International Terminal. In 2007 the terminal has redeveloped which an extension of the runway after Virgin Blue and Jetstar (Qantas Airlines low cost carrier) started their operation here.

New international airlines Tiger Airways and Air Asia X will also operate from Gold slide airport making its entry and exit points. Freedom Air and Virgin Pacific have been operating from here. As Gold slide airport attracted more international airlines with “budget carriers” it now boasts of more foreign visitors.

Inevitably as Gold Coast airport is seeing more traffic and tourists throughout the year demands for hotels, resorts holiday apartments and car rent companies have also increased.

Given the tourists traffic in Gold slide it is always advisable for you to do an advance booking. There are car hire companies in Gold slide who also operates online booking system to help you with all the information about your car hire its price.

Car Rent

The best known car rental companies are located opposite the check-in counters at Gold slide Airport. You can either book with your preferred company before hand or choose at the Terminal for the best deal.

But if you have fixed a meeting with an off airport car rental operator then proceeds to the Meeting Place, located opposite the Transport and Information Desk.

Some of the car rent companies are listed below for your convenience:

Airport Rent A Car Coolangatta

An efficient car rent company around Australia, established in 1989 the company boast of large repeat customer base. Its rental cars on the Gold Coast are for local metro, southern Queensland and northern New South Wales state country use.

It offers it customers’ free delivery and drop off at the Gold Coast airport without charging additional airport fees. What is amazing about this car hire company is that international travelers are met by its representative on their arrivals with a welcome sign and customer name on it. Domestic travelers are met at the baggage pick up point.

Avis Car Hire

Avis car hire promises to be as enticing as the Coolangatta itself and help you in unlocking the jewel of eastern Australia with their car hire. Book car early as Holden Astra convertibles sell out quickly in Gold Coast. Other options include the eco-friendly Toyota Prius Hybrid or sporty Ford Falcon. Going surfing or fishing in Gold Coast? Consider a 4WD rental such as the 5 door Nissan Patrol.

East Coast Car Rentals Gold slide Airport

Its branch is few minutes from the Airport. This company can assist you with car hire needs. With offices throughout South East Queensland and many years of experience it is capable to assist you for long term, short term or even one way rentals.

Europcar Australia Gold slide Airport (Car Rent)

A leading car rent brands in Australia it operates a large fleet of quality vehicles in over 200 locations including Gold slide Airport. It offers its clients a wide choice of vehicles including passenger and luxury vehicles, commercial, 4WD and minibuses.

Other car rent companies you can check in Gold Coast Airport are:

Budget Rent a Car Australia Gold slide Airport (Car Rent) (b)Hertz Australia Gold Coast Airport (Car Rental) (c) Thrifty Gold Coast Airport (Car Rental)

For more information on car rental gold coast airport, check out the info available online; these will help you learn to find the airport car hire gold coast!

Are Holiday Rentals the Perfect Gold Coast Holiday Accommodation?

Finding the right Gold Coast holiday accommodation will ensure that you have a holiday to remember. Planning a trip to Australia’s stunning Coast? Who wouldn’t be tempted by a destination that offers the world’s most beautiful beaches, best surfing conditions, brilliant night life as well as plenty of family-friendly fun? Australia’s Gold Coast is not just a favourite of locals, but of travelers world wide. As it is such a popular choice of holiday destination there are plenty of options when it comes to your Gold Coast accommodation. From basic caravan parks and camping to lush and extravagant six star resorts, there is something for everyone on the Coast. If you are looking for an option that offers all the luxuries while still sticking to a budget, then consider a stay in a holiday rental. A holiday rental can offer you the best of both worlds; the privacy and security of a private home in a brilliant location close to all the attractions.

Why the Gold Coast?
There are plenty of reasons to get in quick and book your accommodation. Whether you like to work on your tan or hit the surf, the beaches are second to none. Surfers will find favourites at Surfer’s Paradise just as the name suggests, along with Snapper Rocks and Kirra, while families and sun bakers will find calmer waters at Broadbeach, Rainbow Bay, Coolangatta and Burleigh Heads.Time your visit to and experience the once in a lifetime opportunity of whale watching on the Gold Coast. Between June and October 10,000 Humpback Whales make their way along the Gold Coast. There are many charters and excursions that will put you in a prime position to see these beautiful beasts in the flesh. For beautiful walks and views to die for, head out into the lush hinterland. You’ll find sprawling national parks, vineyards and gorgeous townships which offer some excellent specialty shops. The Rainforest Skywalk is a particular favourite for families. Of course, it would be a crime not to mention the theme parks that are one of the Gold Coast’s main drawing cards. Dreamworld, Movieworld, Seaworld and Wet’n’Wild are the four most popular theme parks.

About Gold Coast Holiday Rentals
Many travelers have never considered a holiday rental as an accommodation option. Holiday rentals are privately owned holiday homes. The owners may live in the home themselves for some weeks or months during the year, or in some cases not at all. A holiday rental is a great way to experience a little piece of luxury while you are away form home. Homes range from cute cottages for couples, to rustic hinterland retreats, to luxurious waterside homes fit for a king. Holiday rentals come fully furnished with everything you need for your stay. You’ll have loads more room to move than if you stayed in traditional holiday accommodation. You’ll also have all the facilities you are used to in your own home. You don’t need to worry about tramping through a busy hotel foyer in your bathers, or the people in the next room waking you up at 4.00am in the morning when they come home from their night of partying. Holiday rentals offer the perfect balance of luxury, location and privacy.

Budget Gold Coast Accommodation
If you are looking for cheap holiday accommodation then you can’t look past a holiday rental. Staying in a home instead of a hotel you will have all the usual conveniences. You can cook your own meals in the kitchen and do your own washing if you’re looking to save some money. You still get to stay in a brilliant spot and enjoy all the luxuries you might in a hotel. In fact, holiday rentals often come with many extras you may not find in a hotel such as a private pool and spa, outdoor entertaining area as well as all the extra space you’ll get. If you are traveling with friends or a few family members, putting in together to rent a holiday home is a great way of enjoying great budget Gold Coast accommodation at a fraction of the usual cost.

Gold Coast Family Accommodation
Holiday rentals are an ideal choice for those looking for Gold Coast family accommodation. A holiday home offers far more space than a traditional hotel room, often for less or similar money. You don’t have to worry about kids running around and bothering other guests and making too much noise. Being able to cook for yourself and do your own laundry can save you a bundle when there are a few of you. Holiday homes with a secure backyard and outdoor entertaining area are a godsend when you have younger children, some holiday rentals even have their own pool and spa. It’s no wonder that holiday homes are the most popular choice for Gold Coast holiday accommodation.

Gold Coast Holiday Homes, whilst a fresh innovative brand, is a family owned Gold Coast ancillary company that has been in the operation of managing holiday accommodation gold coast for over 8 years. We have a developed a great reputation for delivering an efficient and hospitable service to both property owners and guests.