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Travel Guide: Gold Coast itineraries

12th Oct 2011 2:35am | By Editor

The Gold Coast is a great base to explore.

In 2-3 days

Day one

It's all about the beach when you first arrive on the Gold Coast. Head to Surfers Paradise, Main Beach or Broadbeach to catch all the action. Make sure you bathe between the red and yellow flags where lifeguards are on duty.

Day two

Explore the southern end of the Gold Coast. Currumbin, Tallebudgera and Burleigh beaches are great options for a swim, surf or sunbake. If conditions are rough in the ocean, have a protected swim at Currumbin or Tallebudgera creeks.

These beaches have lovely green parks adjoining the foreshore — perfect for a lunchtime sausage sizzle on the public barbecues.

After dark, sample some of the Gold Coast's legendary nightlife by heading into Surfers Paradise for some bar and nightclub hopping.

Day three

If you've had enough surf and sun for the time being, spend a day exploring the Gold Coast's lush hinterland with a drive up to Mount Tamborine or a hike at O'Reilly's.

Stop off on the drive back for a pint and a pub lunch or a spot of devonshire tea.

If you're not hungover and want another raging night on the town, try the southern end of the Gold Coast, which is also lively after dark. Coolangatta is the hub. It's more relaxed than Surfers Paradise but still boasts loads of pubs and bars for a few frothy ales.

In a week

Days 1-3

Hit the beaches and the hinterland as mentioned in the 2-3 day itinerary.

Days 4-7

Spend an extra day or two really getting to know the Gold Coast. Take a surfing lesson at Burleigh Heads or try kite surfing at The Spit.

Sit down to a leisurely lunch at Fisherman's Wharf on the Broadwater, watch the breakers roll in from a cafe on the Currumbin beachfront or take a jet ski safari to South Stradbroke Island.

If you're a thrill seeker, head to one of the Gold Coast's theme parks for plenty of adrenaline-charged rollercoasters and other white-knuckle rides.

For those who want to explore further afield, take the train or drive an hour north to Brisbane, Queendland's capital city. Or just south, over the border into New South Wales, for a day at relaxed beach-side Byron Bay. It's also a great place to take a surfing lesson.