As the home of the iconic Surfers Paradise, and with lush hinterland, world-renowned beaches and, of course, that all-important sunshine, the Gold Coast can’t be excluded from any summer itinerary.
Besides the well-known attractions in the region, which all deserve your attention, there are a number of hidden gems that should also be top of mind when you visit the Gold Coast. One of our favourites is the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens, which boasts enough walking tracks and visual interest to keep you happily walking all day long. Specialty gardens reflect local plants, and there is even a butterfly garden that helps the native butterfly populations to thrive.
Try the Mangroves to Mountains walk and see more than 12,000 plants. Engage all of your senses on the sensory trail and finish with a picnic lunch in the gorgeous surrounds. Another secret stop on the Gold Coast is The Spit, just north of Main Beach. A beacon for luxury lovers seeking top-quality hotels, The Spit also offers some outstanding natural beauty. Head out to the 500-metre-long jetty with or without your fishing rod, and you’ll come away windswept, salt-encrusted and entirely revitalised by the awesome power of the ocean. Photographers should also grab the opportunity presented by the great view of the coast.
If you’re feeling intrepid, you can also dive at The Spit. Creatures dwelling under the surface of the water include eagle rays, turtles, guitarfish, cownose rays and big-eye trevally, which can be seen here in numbers so large, you’ll hardly believe your eyes. Feathered friends in the region include the bush stone-curlew, the welcome swallow, the yellow-faced honeyeater, the pied oystercatcher and eagles, and if you tread quietly, you can spot eastern striped skinks baking in the sun.