Discover the charism of the coast Enjoy the unparalleled energy of the Costa Dorada, where beautiful sandy beaches, ancient rainforests, exciting theme parks and a lively gastronomic and cultural scene come alive at this entertainment park. Important information about our customer service center's reduced hours and COVID-19 coverage. The city of Gold Coast, Australia, is a tourist attraction known for its famous beaches and a surfer's paradise. There are also many other attractions in the area, from a thriving culinary scene to theme parks.
Despite this, it's hard to argue with the fact that the city of Gold Coast is one of the most beautiful and livable cities in Australia. In any case, it's worth taking a day trip to the subtropical interior to enjoy the many charms of the area. Entertainment options usually sell out on the Sunshine Coast at 9 p.m., even on weekends, and it's common to find stretches of relatively large suburbs quite early on Saturday nights, where even restaurants are closed. The train system operates only on a line from north to south and its stations are far from the interior of the main tourist centers, which means that connection times are long, since you have to take a mix of bus, train and bus to get from the coastal suburbs to places along the train route.
Gold Coast follows this trend, as there are few iconic spots that serve as icons or are immediately recognisable, unless you're willing to count the beach itself. To be a destination where relaxing and taking things easy is one of the main objectives, Sunshine Coast still offers an impressive variety of things to do across the spectrum, from natural to artificial. The above-mentioned beaches allow lounging in the sun, swimming or enjoying a waterfront meal almost all along the coast, and surfers will be in their element here, as places like Burleigh Heads, Kirra, Duranbah and more offer first-class getaways on the right day. Perhaps the two things most similar to Gold Coast in the monuments category are the Q1 building, in the heart of Surfer's Paradise, and the Surfers Paradise sign that marks the entrance to its main tourist beach.
The only thing Gold Coast lacks in terms of nature is one of the main highlights: there are no spectacular Great Barrier Reef, Uluru or Jim Jim waterfalls here; however, the overall package is solid and surprisingly well preserved given its popularity. Add to this other unique offerings, such as Ginger Factory (the name makes it sound more boring than it is: lots of goodies, some attractions and other child-oriented entertainment), the Top Shots amusement park (multiple small-scale activities) and the Big Kart Track for karting, and Sunshine Coast does quite well in the department of child-focused paid attractions. Traffic, in general, is much less frustrating when navigating the Sunshine Coast, and the tendency to use more roundabouts instead of traffic lights tends to a much more natural flow, without the continuous stop-and-start nature of driving on the Gold Coast. However, look at what lies beneath the surface and there are a substantial number of underlying differences that separate each destination from the other, and each coast has its own advantages and disadvantages.
A melting pot of picturesque beaches, pristine national parks, countless dining options and plenty of adventures for kids, it's no wonder that Gold Coast remains one of Australia's most popular vacation destinations. Although it is usually a destination visited from Hervey Bay as a starting point, the largest sand island in the world is located a driving distance (about 300 km) from the Sunshine Coast and opens up a whole new world of exploration opportunities with its variety of impressive freshwater lakes, huge sand dunes and many other natural features. However, within the public transport category, the Sunshine Coast is also doing quite well, especially compared to the uncomfortable Gold Coast situation, and once again, the low population is once again playing in favor of the region. While it can't compete with cities like Sydney or Melbourne in terms of supply and access, and some of the main highway suburbs lean towards tourist trap stores, only the most discerning shoppers would be disappointed with Gold Coast shopping.