Before you fly to this coastal city in Australia, you need to acquaint yourself with the top things to know about visiting the Gold Coast. Located at the southeast corner of Queensland, between Brisbane and New South Wales, is one of the most high-profile travel destinations in the continent.
Here are some of the top things to know about visiting the Gold Coast:
Don’t let the buildings fool you. Surfer’s Paradise, the city’s tourism hub, may look like your typical “tourist trap”, but don’t let the high-rise buildings trick you. These high-rises are actually residential buildings. Most of the facilities are not for tourists, but for the locals.
Drive around. The best way to reach some of the top tourist destinations in the Gold Coast is by driving. Car rentals are available in the main business districts of the suburbs, between the Gold Coast Highway and Surfers Paradise Boulevard. Watch out for peak hours, where traffic jams are common, but not as bad as Brisbane. The morning peak hours are between 7 to 8:30 AM, while afternoons peak at 3:30 to 5 PM. It is best to avoid Bundall Road, Southport-Nerang Road, the Gold Coast Highway in Surfer’s Paradise, and Pacific Motorway between Nerang and Palm Beach.
The beaches are safe. One of the top things to know about visiting the Gold Coast is that their beaches are totally safe and clean, with volunteer patrols and lifeguards always on duty. But an ounce of prevention is still always worth a pound of cure. So it’s best to follow safety rules when swimming in one of over 30 beaches in the Gold Coast.
For starters, always swim between the flags as these areas are often patrolled by lifeguards.
There’s more to the Gold Coast than beaches. While beaches are the main highlight of the Gold Coast, there are nature parks and reserves available in the Gold Coast as well. Often referred to as the “green behind the gold”, the Hinterland is home to three national parks, with varied landscapes and rich flora and fauna.
Be wary of street vendors. Some street vendors commonly found along Cavil Mall in Surfer’s Paradise will promise you free tickets to amusement parks or theme parks in exchange for three to four hours of watching timeshare presentations and dealing with hard-selling salesmen, pressuring you to sign up.
If you want discounts on theme park tickets, visit legitimate vendors instead, or go to tourist information booths run by the official Gold Coast tourism authority.
There you have it! If you have any other tips for people traveling to the Gold Coast, please share them below in the comments.