An alphabet of adventure on Australia’s Gold Coast
The Gold Coast is the place to be in the upcoming months, with many choosing the region’s soothing winter sunshine to counter the cooler climates and drizzly skies of a UK “summer”.
Put the wellies away and experience Australia’s Gold Coast, promising an abundance of rest and relaxation, top class wining and dining, hinterland escapes, active pursuits and an ever evolving events calendar. With an average winter temperature of 27 degrees and great deals available, it’s the perfect excuse to skip the questionable British summer and join the Aussies Down Under.
Here is an A-Z list of activities to ensure visitors get the most out of Australia’s playground, the Gold Coast:
A – Venture to Australian Outback Spectacular’s dinner and show to enjoy a journey celebrating local history. Culture is in abundance at the Arts Centre Gold Coast, while Aquaduck Safaris provide a novel way to tour the streets and waterways of the Gold Coast.
B – Despite being a little cooler than usual, the beach is still a great place to relax and unwind. On the Broadwater there’s an endless range of water activities available. Broadbeach is all about events focusing on food and music, while the great outdoors can be explored from above on a ballooning adventure. If an exploration on land is preferred, try Bunyip Bike Tours or Bombora Tours Coolangatta.
C – Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is a must for animal lovers, with furry friends of all shapes and sizes plus the Extreme Green Challenge ropes course and Segway Tours. Take to the Gold Coast’s water with Catch a Crab, providing a fully interactive boating experience, while cruises of all types provide memorable experiences.
D – Dining is a major part of any Gold Coast experience. Day spas provide a welcome indulgence or be entertained at the new Dracula’s stage show or Haunted House. No visit would be complete without spending time at Dreamworld.
E – Entertainment and events; there’s an abundance of both to suit all tastes. Catch a fish at Ecopark Fishing World or explore the hinterland with Eco Safaris Queensland. Other world-class events include Broadbeach Jazz Festival (17-19 August).
F – Family fun comes in all shapes and sizes at the Gold Coast. Select from an amazing array of fishing charters or get back to nature on a 4WD adventure. Feeling hungry? Let the professionals do the hard work before popping by the local Fisherman’s Co-op on the Spit.
G – For something unique, visit the glow worm caves of Springbrook National Park. Gwinganna Health Retreat offers relaxation and rejuvenation of mind and body, or swing a club at a championship size golf course. Getaway Sailing Cruises also provide an awesome way to see the waterways, or for adrenaline junkies try a high-speed 900 horse power adventure aboard Gold Coast Eco Extreme.
H – Enjoy 5-star luxury at the all new Hilton Surfers Paradise or slip into top gear at HoldenPerformance Driving Centre. Explore the region in style on a Heli Tour, catch up with friends at Hard Rock Café or get a retail fix at Harbour Town Shopping Centre.
I – Try an interactive laser and light show at Infinity in Surfers Paradise or share a special occasion aboard Imagine Cruises.
J – Discover the impressive waterways of the Gold Coast with Jet Ski Safaris or try Jet Boating; the equivalent of a rollercoaster or rally car on water. Beach or bush, JPT Tours offers adventure and guidance, while day and night there’s entertainment aplenty at Jupiters Hotel & Casino.
K – Four-wheeled fun for all ages is guaranteed at Kingston Park Raceway or travel to the southern reaches of the Gold Coast and enjoy the beachside setting of Kirra Surf Apartments and discover how to live like a surfer.
L – Dine within exquisite surrounds at Lauxes Restaurant and Bar in Broadbeach. Lone Pine is the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary, or choose a Great Barrier Reef day tour or overnight stay with Lady Elliott Island Eco Resort. For golfers, swing a club within the pleasant surrounds of Lakelands Golf Club.
M – Fashionable fun times are part of the package at Marina Mirage; nab a bargain or an indulgent meal along Tedder Avenue, Main Beach. Enjoy the ultimate seclusion at the Mouses House chalets before taking in a first class steak meal at Moo Moo The Wine Bar and Grill.
N – Visit sporting superstars at Northcliffe and North Burleigh Surf Lifesaving Clubs. Beach options are aplenty; Narrowneck beach offers a more secluded swimming spot while Nobby’s beach has a very impressive retail and dining precinct.
O – An O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat winter experience includes a choice of nature conscious retreats, stargazing, photography and bush inspired weekends. Retail and dining are staples of the all new Oracle in Broadbeach, while Oskars on Burleigh maintains a place among the more favoured Gold Coast restaurants.
P – The Gold Coast is the Australasian birthplace of Putt Putt Golf. Another landmark is the fashion inspired Palazzo Versace hotel. Secure a retail fix at Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, or grace the fairways of past champions at Palm Meadows Golf Club.
Q – The Q1 Resort and Spa offers luxury and relaxation; while at QT Gold Coast don’t miss the signature Stingray bar and Bazaar restaurant. Quack ‘R’ Duck is a fun and alternative mode of transport in and out of the water.
R – Robina Town Centre provides a shopping bonanza and afterwards why not relax with a Ripple Massage. For high class luxury, step into a Porsche or Lamborghini at Rent A Dream Car before completing the day with dinner at Room81, the Sofitel Hotel.
S – Fulfil a sense of adventure and love of food on the Gold Coast’s Seafood Discovery Trail, or meet local marine life at Sea World. Strike Bowling in Surfers Paradise is a favourite of the locals and visitors alike, or for an amazing view of the Golf Coast climb a worthwhile 77 stories among the funky surrounds of Skypoint.
T – Theme parks are an all-time winner or test personal limits at Tiger Moth Joy Flights. Tamborine Mountain is home to the Rainforest Skywalk, its own internationally acclaimed distillery, plus a well regarded cooking school.
U – The Gold Coast is considered Australia’s premier inshore dive site, with year round access and a fish diversity unequalled by any other city in Australia.
V – V8 Supercars Australia is based here on the Gold Coast and while visitors have to wait until October for the Armor All Gold Coast 600 event, fans can get behind the wheel at the V8 Superschool year round.
W – Choose a Gold Coast winery to offer some winter warmth or enjoy the local tastes and flavours at Witches Chase Cheese at Tamborine. Many theme parks also provide hours of family fun including Wet ‘n’ Wild, WhiteWater World and Warner Village Theme Park. The waters of the Gold Coast are nicknamed ‘Humpback Highway’ for a reason, so join the giants of the sea during a winter whale watching expedition.
X – Rest assured when it comes to the X factor, no matter what is defined as fun, the Gold Coast has it covered this winter.
Y – Take the Yatala turn off from the M1 and find the Gold Coast home of Dick Johnson Racing, a purpose built facility which includes race museum and retail store. Tours of the current V8 Supercar workshop can be arranged.
Z – ZZZZZZZZZZ After doing so much or so little, it can be good just to sit back, relax and watch the world go by; of course there’s no better place to do so than on the Gold Coast.
Experience the A to Z of the Gold Coast with these packages:
Premier Holidays (premierholidays.co.uk) is offering three nights at Medina Executive in Brisbane and seven nights at Australia Noosa Lakes, Sunshine Coast from £1,989 per person. This includes return flights to Brisbane and a Currumbin Wildlife experience pass. Based on room only accommodation throughout and valid for travel from 11 August to 27 September 2012.
Austravel (austravel.com), the leading Australasia specialist has a seven night package from £1,295 per person with a saving of £145 per couple. The price includes return international flights with Korean Air, five nights accommodation at the four star Vibe hotel on Surfers Paradise and two nights’ accommodation at four star O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat and Mountain Villas. Three days car hire is included and travel is for September departures.
For more information log onto: visitgoldcoast.com.