Just 41 miles south of Brisbane, the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, is the continent’s largest non-capital city and one of its fastest-growing regions. As a popular year-round destination, the town boasts average daily subtropical temperatures of 75°F, about 36 patrolled beaches, 277 miles of tidal rivers and canals. After explorer John Oxley sailed to Mermaid Beach in 1823, it didn’t take long for the Gold Coast to earn a reputation as a secluded destination for the wealthy. With theme parks, surfing hotspots, an active nightlife, and rainforest, the Gold Coast is the perfect place to extend your summer when autumn arrives. Simply charter a flight to the Gold Coast Airport.
Planning Your Gold Coast Trip
Founded by the fashion house icon, Palazzo Versace on Main Beach drips sophistication and glamour. The exclusive waterfront hotel greets you with a regal chandeliered foyer accompanied by a 206-foot lagoon pool. The accommodations at the hotel are outfitted with bespoke Versace fabrics, Versace-designed furnishings featuring Italian craftsmanship, and artwork from Milan. It’s also home to three award-winning restaurants. For more expansive living spaces and privacy than the suites offer, book an indulgent condominium apartment with a plunge pool.
Ruffles Lodge & Spa
A countryside retreat, the Ruffles Lodge & Spa offers sweeping views of the Gold Coast from private villas, an executive lodge suite, and three tree houses. Architectural masterpieces, the self-contained tree houses are romantic hideaways with soaking tubs, wood-burning fireplaces, and plunge pools on private decks, as well as. If traveling with family or friends, the Owner’s Villa offers more room to roam and in-villa dining experiences.
Perthers Rainforest Retreat
A couples-only resort on 12 acres of private land, Perthers Rainforest Retreat features 10 lofty tree houses with wood floors, fireplaces, large picture windows and balconies that overlook the landscape. Wander the trails and keep an eye out for koalas and wallabies. Then roam through the library before enjoying a massage under the trees.
Misono Japanese Steakhouse
Located within the Surfers Paradise Marriott Hotel, Misono Japanese Steakhouse is the country’s largest teppanyaki restaurant. The popular, vibrant restaurant places as much attention to your experience as it does the ingredients in your meal. Menu items include a variety of seafood, tofu, hibachi vegetables, fillet steak and teriyaki chicken. Pair your choices with a sake blend or signature cocktail before participating in the restaurant’s sing-along at the end of the night.
Omeros Bros Seafood Restaurant
Perched on the Marina Mirage boardwalk, the award-winning Omeros Bros Seafood Restaurant mixes fine dining in a laidback setting. On the menu, you’ll find a range of dishes – from classic surf-and-turf to tempting pasta and meat dishes – that pair well with the premium beverage packages and mouthwatering dessert menu.
One of the Gold Coast’s biggest draws is its family-friendly theme parks, including Dreamworld with high-tech thrill rides, WhiteWater World, the Australian Outback Spectacular dinner and show, Paradise Country farm, Wet ‘n’ Wild, and the Warner Bros. Movie World.
Before the Gold Coast became a hot tourist attraction, Surfers Paradise was a three-mile stretch of amazing waves. Today, it’s a pulsating beach town with fine dining, a great nightlife, emerging artists and excellent shopping.
The Gold Coast’s verdant hinterland offers a dramatic contrast to the manmade structures along the coastline. The area offers amazing nature preserves, magnificent waterfalls, mountain views, rock pools, national parks and a variety of wildlife. Gaze up at ancient trees. Buy your favorite vintages at boutique wineries. Check out the unique Scenic Rim, an ancient geological region that runs parallel to the coast.