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What To See At Australia’s Gold Coast Beaches

I was lucky enough to visit the Gold Coast beaches two times during my semester abroad Down Under. The Gold Coast, which got its name because of its golden sand, is situated south of Brisbane in Queensland and consists mostly of beaches and high-rises. It’s common to visit the Gold Coast for a day from Brisbane via the train or to study abroad there for a semester!

I first visited Coolangatta and Currumbin on the Gold Coast in April at the beginning of my spring break before flying to Phuket, Thailand. I visited Surfers Paradise later on in my semester when I returned to the Gold Coast beaches in May.

Disclaimer: This blog post was written in July 2019 and was updated in December 2021 for relevancy.

Coolangatta, Queensland

Coolangatta is at the very end of the Gold Coast and is the closest suburb to New South Wales. The Gold Coast airport is located here. It took me about two hours to get here via train from Brisbane, and unfortunately it was raining when I arrived. I spent the morning shopping and met up with my friend Eric for lunch. The sun came out in the afternoon so we walked to Snapper Rocks to see some surfing and did a short coastal walk to a spot where we were able to stand on the border of Queensland and New South Wales. Coolangatta has a really nice beach that I enjoyed during sunset!

Surfers at Coolangatta Beach on the Gold Coast, Australia
Spot the surfers enjoying Coolangatta beach!
Standing on the border of New South Wales and Queensland, Australia
Standing on the border of QLD & NSW

Currumbin, Queensland

I spent a few hours in Currumbin the same day I was in Coolangatta to visit the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Fun Fact: Queensland is one of the only states in Australia where you can hold a koala and is known as the “Koala Cuddling Capital!” Since neither Eric or I had done this yet, we checked out the sanctuary. Holding a koala is an Aussie must! They are so small, soft, and cling onto you in the cutest way – even if its just for a few seconds for a photo! Koalas only eat eucalyptus and sleep for 18 hours a day – what a life!

Holding a koala at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary in Gold Coast beaches
Holding a koala at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Feeding kangaroos at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary in Gold Coast
Feeding kangaroos at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Surfers Paradise, Queensland

I visited Surfers Paradise in May during a big Queensland weekend trip. Our itinerary included visits to the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Brisbane, a quick stop in Nimbin, and Byron Bay! We stopped in Surfers Paradise on our way from Brisbane down to Nimbin and Byron Bay.

Surfers Paradise is an oceanside resort area in southeast Queensland known for its high-rise condos and beaches. There is a lot of nightlife here and fun activities for families, including a Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Surfers also has the Q1 Tower which is the tallest building in Australia. There is an observation deck on top and if you’re feeling brave, you can do the SkyPoint Climb!

We only spent a few hours in Surfers Paradise. We got a yummy brunch, checked out some shops, and walked the beach. Surfers is very built up and commercialized – I’ve definitely seen prettier beaches in Australia, but it’s still a very iconic spot to visit!

Surfers Paradise beach, Gold Coast, Australia
The famous arches
Surfers Paradise beach and high-rises in Gold Coast
Surfers Paradise beach and high-rises

Be sure to subscribe to stay up to date on all my posts, and be on the lookout for Brisbane and Byron Bay guides coming up next!

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Gold Coast beaches

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