Australia is an enormous country and a land of great contrasts, so for the discerning tourist the big decision is – which part of Oz do you visit? That’s easy - the iconic Gold Coast is the destination of choice for many Australians. This is a beautiful part of the country, which offers so many different attractions for everyone.
Where to visit
For example, take a look at the Hinterland; Tamborine Mountain is just 30 minutes from the beach and Surfers’ Paradise but you’ll feel like you’re on a different planet! You can drive up into the mountains through ancient rainforest which brings you to Lamington and Springbrook National Parks. These world heritage sites have to be seen to be experienced but the whole Tamborine Mountain area is a haven for those who love old world culture like antique toy stores, farmers’ markets and wineries. So take plenty of dollars and a big bag to carry all your purchases!
Attractions for family road trips
For active families with kids there are theme parks galore, such as the military style Adventure Parc, which has obstacles, ladder climbs, bridges. There’s Currumbin Beach for surfers and Currumbin Wildlife Park where you can see Australia’s native animals in their natural environment. This wildlife sanctuary offers the chance to explore the educational and animal hospital facilities and get a better understanding of wild animals. There’s Dreamworld, a theme park for adrenaline junkies with its Big Seven Thrill Rides and V8 Supercars Redline and if that’s not enough you can visit Tiger Island. Or visit the Holden Performance Driving Centre and go round the track in a V8 Supercar.
For the sailors amongst you, take the chance to cruise the canals and waterways, of which the Gold Coast has more than Venice and Amsterdam combined. You can hire an environmentally friendly electric boat which doesn’t need a boat license to drive. Take your motion-sickness pills, just in case! If it’s nightlife you’re after there are hundreds of restaurants, bars and cafés open late into the night offering an incredibly diverse array of things to experience, from horses to Dracula, from casinos to river cruises to just having a beer in a seafront bar.
What to take
So you get the idea; there’s a lot to do on the Gold Coast. The question now is what do you take with you? For a start, the climate here is fairly temperate, ranging from a mild 15-25°C in Spring to a warm 20-28°C in Summer. You can take swimwear all year round; the water temperature rarely goes below 20°C. Don’t forget a sunhat and sunscreen even for cloudy days. Casual clothing is normal for most activities and areas although some of the local golf clubs and restaurants may have a smart dress code. If you’re going up into the Hinterland area the weather may be a little cooler so you’ll need warmer clothing for this. And while flip-flops are fine for the beach comfortable walking shoes will come in handy for walking in the National Parks and wildlife areas.
Don't forget the essentials when it comes to travel
Don’t forget your travel insurance and, if you take your car, have with you the number of a good mobile mechanic. Even modern cars can break down unexpectedly and the last thing you need when you’re on a Gold Coast road trip is having to get your car to the nearest garage which could be many miles away.