The Gold Coast is Australia's premier holiday destination. For over 70 kilometres its golden sands stretch along the continent's Northeast coast. Easily accessible from Brisbane and a short flight from Sydney, it is an area of breathtaking beauty. There are various resorts along the coast, centred on the aptly named Broadbeach and anchored by Coolangatta to the south and Surfers Paradise to the north. The series of towns in between are almost identical settlements, all fronted by broad pristine beaches and backed by the green fringes of the forest that creeps closer to the coast here than anywhere.

It is an idyllic place; drenched in sunshine all year round it is used to welcoming all manner of people to its charms. For those that want to laze on the beaches there are few better places on earth, while for surfers this really is paradise. For the more active, the hills of the Great Dividing Range, the waters of Stradbroke Islands and Moreton Bay teeming with life and the sheep stations, vineyards and mining communities of Queensland demand exploration.

Back on the coast there can be few places better suited for holidaymakers. Over the years the Gold Coast has built up a formidable range of entertainment options. Towards the northern end of the strip a cluster of theme parks keep younger visitors thrilled with a selection of rides and attractions. More adult attractions such as golf, horseracing, theatres and a stellar range of high quality restaurants will keep older visitors equally busy.

The Gold Coast really comes into its own after dark however. The bars and nightclubs of each resort are always packed with enthusiastic revellers of all ages. Surfers Paradise is a veritable maze of clubs that party until dawn night after night. Further down the coast Jupiters Casino offers a variety of entertainment, from reviews to cocktails to dances, and of course plenty of games of chance. But even amidst all this you can opt out of this nightlife and head for an al fresco restaurant or bar when the sun begins to drop beyond the horizon, and enjoy the cool of the evening only disturbed by the sound of the Pacific rollers on the shore.

Variety is really the spice of life along here, with the only common denominator the perfect weather. For all ages the Gold Coast always provides the perfect holiday destination.

But people mainly come here to get away from it all and a few miles out of the city you can certainly escape the city as completely as you could wish. The Rainforest village of Kuranda is only a short train or cablecar ride away from the city, while a jaunt by boat out onto the azure waters of the Coral Sea will bring you to the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world's most famous natural phenomena.

The Trinity Inlet makes a 90km incision into the interior, with mangrove lined rivers extending further inland. Anglers are common visitors to these fish-rich waters, with the native barramundi the most popular catch. And, of course, the same fish features on the local restaurant menus, an increasingly good selection of seafood and fusion restaurants, blending fresh local ingredients with East Asian flavours.

Gold Coast City Art Gallery
Q Deck
Paradise Country
Hinterland Vineyards
South Stradbroke Island
Lamington and Springbrook National Parks
Moreton Bay Whale Watching
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Warner Bros. Movieworld
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