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Gold Coast Travel Tips

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The Gold Coast - set on Australia’s east coast in the vast state of Queensland - is a laid-back, sun-specked city. It boasts swathes of powdery beachfront, perfect for lazy days of catching rays, or swimming in the warm aquamarine ocean. The city is has theme parks for the kids, and a buzzing nightlife of fine-dining restaurants and lively bars for the adults. The Gold Coast is also crowned by a deep, lush rainforest where you'll find shimmering waterfalls and rare wildlife.

 

Best Time to Travel

 

The city’s subtropical climate means that it very rarely experiences cold weather, but the summer months - from November to February - can get very hot and humid, and suffer from extensive rain and thunderstorms. If you’re heat-conscious, it’s best to travel in the winter months, from April to September. Throughout this period you can expect to see plenty of events, such as the 50s and 60s nostalgia festival in June, and the Gold Coast Marathon in July, which sees over 25,000 turning out to race.

 

Not to Miss

 

The Gold Coast boasts a range of theme parks - from the Warner Bros Movie Park outside the city centre to Dreamworld, the city’s roller-coaster haven. For educational days out, head to Sea World, or the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, nestled in the rainforest. Culture-fiends should check out the expansive Arts Centre Gold Coast for shows and galleries, whereas shoppers should splurge at the Surfers Paradise beachfront markets, or the upscale Robina Town Centre Mall.

 

Getting around

 

Gold Coast Airport is based 17 miles from the city’s central area, and serves flights to and from top Australian cities like Melbourne and Sydney, and international destinations like Tokyo and Auckland. There’s a shuttle from the airport to the Gold Coast. Brisbane Airport, though further away, serves many more international flights, and you can rent a car onsite and drive south to the Gold Coast. Once there, sleek trams will whizz you around the city, as will the extensive bus system.

 

Cuisine

 

While the Gold Coast has a proud multicultural cuisine scene, its strongest passion is for seafood. Expect to find plenty of beachfron restaurants, fresh fish markets, and bar menus full of fried shrimp and succulent mud crabs - a local speciality. There’s also an Asian influence, with sushi bars and canteen-style Korean eateries being very popular. Fans of European fine-dining will find many up-market restaurants with Italian and French menus

 

Customs and etiquette

 

Swimming in the pure ocean waters is one of the great pleasures of visiting the Gold Coast, but when you take a dip, always remember to swim between the flags - these are the safest areas of the water, and patrolled by life guards. When in restaurants, remember that tipping isn’t technically expected - but it’s certainly appreciated, particularly if dining as a large group. Tipping above 10% shows you received particularly good service.

Fast Facts

 

Population: 537850

Spoken languages: English

Electrical: Australia runs on 220-240V, 50hz current

Phone Calling Code: +61 7000

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