Guide to the Gold Coast

A wonderland of sun, sand, and sea, the Gold Coast is truly the tropical wonderland of Australia. Being a top destination for travellers visiting, the city offers endless days of beach fun, rainforest adventures, and city highlights.

Guide to the Gold CoastCredit: Tourism Australia

History of Gold Coast

  • The History of the Area

    Before the city ever came to be, the entire Gold Coast region was covered in ancient trees and unique wildlife. Unspoilt beaches, rolling mountains, river valleys, and both salt and freshwater wetlands coated the area, with the Indigenous community named the Yugambeh people co-existing with the environment. It is said they remained in the land for more than 23,000 years before any European settlement came to the shores, with over 3600 Aboriginal people found across the region.

  • The Birth of the Name

    The name ‘Gold Coast’ was first used in the 1940s by the Brisbane journalists. The journalists used this phrase to market the region post-war, as a large portion was for sale. The local council saw the promotion and liked the name so much, they decided to rename the council name to South Coast Town Council to Gold Coast Town Council on the 23rd of October in 1958. The year following, on the 16th of May in 1959, the Queensland State Government officially renamed the city to the Gold Coast.

City Highlights

  • Surfers Paradise

    Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast

    It is one of the top tourist spots in the Gold Coast, home to a glorious strip of beach and a range of chic restaurants, bars, and accommodation. Due to its large tourist ratio, it has countless tourist attractions within, offering activities for both families and young backpackers.

  • Burleigh Heads

    Burleigh Heads

    Dubbed a surfie enclave, the Burleigh Heads guarantees sweet and relaxing vibes with plenty of stunning scenery. The town’s retro vibe has some of the best restaurants and bars in the entire city, hidden behind the pine-backed beach spots.

  • Gold Coast Beach

    What better way to spend a day on the Gold Coast than at their legendary beach? Known as the Maim Beach, the shore stretches out along the city’s borders, giving visitors plenty of space when parking their towels and belongings, with even the busiest times guaranteeing you a wide space between your tanning neighbours. Sunbake in the soft sands, plunge into the crashing waves, or kick a ball around the shallow waters!

Natural Wonders

  • Springbrook National Park

    Springbrook National Park, QLD

    Springbrook is a magical oasis bursting with wildlife, covering 6,197-hectares of bright greenery, blossoming flowers, and countless waterfalls. The rainforest lies within the ancient Gondwana Rainforest, listed as a world heritage area and the largest subtropical rainforest in the entire world. The region is said to have remanets of rainforests that dwelled in the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana. A living snapshot of history, Springbrook is crawling with ancient plants and primitive animals. Visit some of the most iconic attractions hidden within, including spectacular waterfalls, rock formations, and breathtaking lookout points.

  • Glow Worms

    Glow Worms, QLD

    Undoubtedly one of the biggest draws to Springbrook Natural Park is the Glow Worms. Known as some of the most famous worms in the world, which glow in the darkness. However, these incredible creatures are in fact, not worms, but the larvae of a primitive fly of the fungus gnat but were named worms due to their similar shape. The natural light the creatures produce is due to a chemical reaction within their body, used to attract their prey in the dark caves. Head to the Glow Worm’s caves after sunset, and see them scatter the ceilings and walls, creating what seems like a starry night.

  • Natural Arch

    Natural Bridge

    A truly unforgettable sight, the Natural Arch is one of the area’s most fascinating attractions within the region. It is a natural rock formation, forming after the volcanic eruption of Mt Warning 23 million years ago. The volcanic eruption caused large layers of volcanic rock to flow down the Niminbah Valley, finally dropping over a large ledge to form a waterfall. Over time, these layers of volcanic rock were slowly cut away by erosion, with the pouring waterfall, wind, and thunderstorms forming a rock arch shape within a basalt cave.

  • Purling Brook Falls

    Purling Brook Falls

    Located just off Springbrook road is the spectacular Purling Brook Falls, which cascades down 109 metres into the lush greenery of the rainforest. Immersed yourself in the spectacular World Heritage-listed rainforest as you enjoy the waterfall’s lookout, a 300-metre walking track, and the Warringa Pool. See the waterfall from a number of angles, from the very top to see the water thunders over the edge, to the base where you can see the spectacular pool base.

Mount Tamborine

Escape the bustling city centre and disconnect from your phones as you head up Mount Tamborine, one of the best natural regions of the Gold Coast Hinterland. The number one activity to do here is the walks, with walking trails weaving through and up the mountain range, starting from short walks easy for any kind of traveller, to long day hikes only for the true professionals. Along the way, visitors can be meet with extraordinary sights, such as ancient formations, cascading waterfalls, and some of the best lookouts in the entire region. There are even if you enjoy a little luxury hidden within, with a resort, brewery, and restaurant scattered on top of the mountain.

  • Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk

    Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk

    Visit this eco-friendly tourist attraction to see the beautiful rainforest canopy. This magical 30 acres of the region is built with a number of sky rail walking paths 300 metres off the ground, giving you a bird’s eye view of the region as you enjoy the 1.5 kilometres of the path.

  • Curtis Falls

    Curtis Falls, QLD

    Curtis Falls looks like a real-life natural paradise, home to aquamarine waters, ancient ferns, and unique wildlife. Curtis Falls lets you come face to face with the wildlife, with the marine animals at the waterfalls, and the nearby Curtis Falls walking track home to a range of plants and animals amidst the wet eucalypt.