Somewhere in east Australia, if you spot a coastline so radiantly blue with glinting sands that makes you gasp by its beauty, you’ve most probably reached Gold Coast in Queensland. Its only a drive away (about 50 miles) from Brisbane the state capital. Blessed with nature’s finest, it is both affordable and exquisitely beautiful to trot around.
The weather at Gold Coast goes up to 30 degree celsius on an average scale in the summer, so carrying tubes of sun block isn’t absolutely necessary unless need be. But the cold reaches the shores just as moderately. Expect a 16-17 degree celsius climate around winters. And remember the golden rule before embarking on any journey to the land down under: Seasons in Australia fall in the reverse pattern. So for a sunny Gold Coast experience, head out to the great big oz in the December-February season to surf those waves.
Things to do:
Speaking of surfing, its one of the biggest sports seen in the beaches tapering the Gold Coast. There is a beach for all those itching to get their surf boards out, and its called the “Surfers Paradise Beach”. The beautiful Pacific’s waves in this part of the country is ideal for surfers. First timers and those excited to learn can also enroll into the 2 surf schools set up right at the beach itself. Everybody from children to adults thoroughly love this 3 kilometer long beach as it is both easily accessible and offers a place specially for the sporty, active bunch who hit the beach. Beach volleyball is also a loval favorite. The Australia Beach Volleyball series and the Queensland Beach volleyball series are held right here at this beach There are casual social games are open to public and on Wednesdays and Saturdays as well.
Beachfront Markets in the “Surfers Paradise Beach” which runs on good weather days are also a must go to place in the Gold Coast. Treasure hunters, bargain spotters and after-dinner strollers find this idllylic for those who find travel and shopping go in the same breath. Almost 100 market stalls are set up for buying everything from accessories, clothes to home wares and curios art pieces. Also found here are live entertainers who perform on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays giving the place a very breezy, home-like vibe.
The Mermaid Beach is another beautiful spot to venture out to. This beach is more quiet and laid back providing a space to lounge back and enjoy the blessings of summer. Some of the most jaw dropping beachfront properties owned by the big guns line the perimeter of this beach making it something of an upscale locale. DreamWorld the largest amusement park in the southern hemisphere, home to the BIG 8 thrill rides that sets your adrenaline on fire is located here. The world famous tower of terror that drops one from a height of 38 floors is just beyond the gates of this Dreamworks establishment.
Gold coast is home to the ‘Ripley’s Odditorium’ and the famous Wax Museum. Both these places tickle the brain and have some wacky things to offer in display. The Shambala Gardens and Crystal Castle, which is located 40 minutes away from Gold Coast airport is one place that is guaranteed to make you stop and stare. Shrouded by bamboo trees on either side, the site has a ‘Kalachakra‘ wheel you can turn and a spiritually uplifting atmosphere in every step. Take a walk among the gardens leading to the rain forest and experience first hand how its scenic and therapeutic call reaches out to everyone.
Once your spirit is up, head out to satisfy your stomach. Your gastronomical cravings is fulfilled at some of the famous Wineries found here.The Cedar Creek estate in particular offers a world class wine and dine experience with a charming overlay of rain forests. It has a restaurant built overlooking the Wild duck lake which offers plenty of places to stroll by and photograph. You can spot many a platypus roaming the area. The ‘Prime Minister’s Path’ which was recently set up and is gathering increasing number of tourists each year is a trail leading to many magnificent glow worm caves.
The film city of Australia:
Thanks to its stunning post-card quality setting, Gold Coast is the first choice for many film makers. In fact, 75% of all Australian movies and dozens of TV shows are shot here. Popular Hollywood films like Scooby Doo, House of Wax and the epic Narnia Chronicles were shot here as well. The Warner Brothers Movie World Theme Park, just outside of Gold Coast at Oxenford is bursting with rides and attractions bringing you ‘Hollywood on the Gold Coast’.
It feels like stepping into a movie set only with tons of cafes and shopping outlets. The sheer array of restaurants found here is impressive. Whether its a smokey BBQ you hunger for from Wild West Roadhouse, a super hot dog straight from the stands or a scrumptious ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s; rest assured its all here! Shopping includes a must visit to Warner brothers boutique, the DC comics store and movie memorabilia shop. Children and adults are both thrilled especially by the Charlie and the chocolate factory store that offers every kind of candy imaginable.