The Gold Coast

Australia is one my favorite vacation destinations. Not only are there a lot of fun things to do in Sydney and Melbourne, there’s also a great place to visit a little further north on Australia’s “Gold Coast”. If you like sun, surf and sand, unpolluted air and a laid-back lifestyle, then you’ll love the Gold Coast!

Located in the state of Queensland, on Australia’s east coast, the “Gold Coast” boasts an average of 245 days of sun and great weather each year. Hey California, meet the other “Sunshine State!”

One reason the Gold Coast is so great is it’s location. Here, you can be on the beach one minute, and then up in the rain forest in less than an hour. If you’d like to hit the road with a bit of adventure, then consider hopping on the back of a Harley Davidson with “Eagle American Motorcycle Tours”. After protecting yourself in a helmet and leather, you’ll take a tandem ride right into the Queensland Rainforest. Yes, born to be wild!This place is a “surfer’s paradise.” In fact the main city here is named just that. In Surfer’s Paradise, the sand stretches for as far as the eye can see. The water is warm, the beer cold and the people more than friendly. The waves are big and folks spend a lot of time here just hanging loose and working on their tans. If you like water, but don’t like falling face first off a surfboard, don’t worry. There are plenty of other water activities: you can make waves on speed boat, captain a jet-ski, catch a lift while parasailing or drive a bus right into the ocean with Adventure Duck. This amphibious vehicle takes you for a sightseeing trip around the city and then drives right into the water for a different point of view.

The Queensland Rainforest is home to wallabies, wombats, kangaroos and koalas, as well as an incredible variety of birds. Could you imagine being up in the treetops getting a really close look at them? Well, as a matter of fact, “canopy walks” are a popular attraction in the rainforest. Rope bridges and walkways hang high in the branches so you can get a close-up look at the wildlife here. For the more adventurous, try the “Flying Fox”. This is a zip line strung between trees that you fly across clipped to a pulley and hanging by a thread….or so it seems! In a matter of time you’ll be zipping from tree line to tree line.

But if your idea of nature is viewing it with two feet on the ground, then its back to the beach for a visit to the world famous Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Home to the world’s largest collection of Australian native animals, the Carrumbin Sanctuary is an oasis for over 1400 mammals, birds and reptiles. Here you can see native animals face to face in their natural surroundings. It’s also one of the only places you can actually hold a Koala and feed a kangaroo!

So…if you’re headed to Australia and want to take in something new, then consider the Gold Coast for a great family vacation !

Travel Tips

-You will need your passport to travel to Australia.

-The distance from Sydney to the Gold Coast is comparable to the distance from Atlanta to New York.

-The ozone layer is thinner in Australia and the sun will burn you much faster than in the U.S., so apply sunscreen often.

-The seasons are reversed in Australia, with “winter” in July but temperatures are warm year round on the Gold Coast.

-The hot and humid months to avoid are December and January.

-The Gold Coast is less than a two hour flight from Sydney.