G’day from the Gold Coast! Get ready to encounter the quintessential Australian setting of endless sand and sea, mixed with sensational fun.
Just an hour down the Pacific Highway from Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland, the Gold Coast region is equally sunny, but even more laid-back. A touch of beachside glamour and an unruffled, casual flavour, combine to make a special holiday for visitors to this golden oasis.
When you pick up your hire car from the Gold Coast Airport at Coolangatta, you’ll be just a half-hour drive from all the action downtown. Surfers Paradise, the main hub of the region, lives up to its name: you’re going to find rolling waves and friendly smiles here, plus all the trappings and ease of a coastal paradise. Enjoy the trimmings of beachside boutiques; a range of al fresco eateries, breweries and entertainments; night markets; a shimmering shore of skyscrapers; a secluded arts precinct (HOTA, the Home of the Arts); along with snorkelling, diving and water adventures galore.
The Gold Coast is also known as the ‘theme park capital of Australia’. Get lost in other worlds at Dreamworld, Movie World, Whitewater World and Sea World – ideal for family holidays and a thrill for all ages. Golfer’s paradise is another given label. Play a round or two and be watched by curious kangaroos while you savour the dazzling ocean views.
If you’d prefer to take your journey slow, stick around Coolangatta and explore the area around this sleepy and peaceful nook. The Gold Coast Airport is just a step over the border to New South Wales. Slip down to neighbouring Tweed Heads (known as Coolangatta’s twin town) and unwind with its easy-going pace and delightful waters; or head into the Queensland hinterland to discover lush escapes, or outback expanses ready for you to experience.
Arriving at the Gold Coast Airport allows you to skip the glittering lights of the coast and head straight for a wilderness wonderland within the Scenic Rim. Lamington National Park has an abundance of breathtaking mountain vistas and ancient World Heritage-listed rainforests. Or travel further inland and arrive at the rugged territory of Boonah and Rathdowney with towering Mt Barney. Your hire car will ensure your trip to the Gold Coast meets all your expectations for relaxation and unique experiences.
Flawless waters, great breaks and lively towns for you to discover in your hire car
The star attraction of the Gold Coast are its beaches. There’s a 70-kilometre sweep of crystal-clear waters with stunning foreshores along the pristine Pacific coastline. All give a spectacular welcome to swimmers, sun-bathers, paddle-boarders, surfers and general idlers.
Float in the beautiful waters of Rainbow Bay, both sheltered and secluded. Avid surfers would be wise to flock to Snapper Rocks – an exhilarating constructed surf break called the Superbank comes recommended; or the world-class waves at Currumbin Beach; while grommets can book a private lesson at Burleigh Heads. Stunning Kirra Beach is both relaxed and flawless. And set a bit inland, try Tallebudgera Creek – a popular spot for camping, fishing, picnicking and kayaking.
After a hard day’s work at the beach, there are many great options to satiate your appetite. The Gold Coast’s various seaside towns and neighbourhoods offer top coffee spots, cheap eats and sophisticated cuisine for foodies. Come to Broadbeach and Burleigh Heads to score some seriously chic cuisine. Try the veggie cafés and artisan bakeries at Mermaid Beach. Grab an espresso at Currumbin Creek with its gritty and artistic vibe. Take in the sunset view from a rooftop bar in Surfers. Or simply walk off the beach for a brew. But if you’re craving for good shopping, we recommend the impressive complex at Pacific Fair, which boasts everything from European fashion to shops to buy your Speedos; or cut the price tag at the designer outlets at Harbour Town.
Head for the heights and enjoy the highlights of the Gold Coast in your hire car
If you’d like to hit the heights at the Gold Coast, try skydiving from 12,000 feet with a guaranteed soft landing on the beach. Take a Skypoint Climb at the iconic Q1, Australia’s tallest building, at Surfers Paradise; or if you’re less daring, just take in the astonishing view from the observation deck, or the SkyPoint bistro and bar.
For a more natural elevation, Tamborine Mountain is a major destination and a place of tranquil beauty. Just under an hour from either the Gold Coast Airport or Surfers Paradise in the Lamington National Park, this stellar sample of the Gold Coast’s subtropical hinterland is a great place to play and stay. The region also offers glamping at Christmas Creek, forest retreats and multi-day guided walks – or do it yourself and hike the trails your own way. We promise that the peaks, valleys, verdant canopies and waterfalls of this serene slice of nature will be a memorable part of your trip.