For travelers from Australia and beyond, the Gold Coast always holds an attraction for its sun-kissed shores and shimmering sea coastline. As you move back from the golden sands to the beautiful waterfront skyline, there is always the promise of a break that will be magical whatever you choose to do. Additionally, with its rich roll-call of marine life, the Gold Coast is more than just a haven for the surfer and the sunbather. It’s a place where you can get out into the water and enjoy a selection of aquatic activities, from whale-watching to sea fishing. Below, we’ll lay out an ideal travel itinerary for any weekend visitor to this splendid part of Australia.
Sunrise: Beachside bliss
As the dawn awakes you, it is time to get ready for some time on the beach. It’s worth taking in the sunrise first, though, as splashes of pink and orange streak the sky. With the gentle lapping of the waves providing your soundtrack, get yourself ready to head out into the tranquil Gold Coast morning. Looking out over the beach, you can enjoy breakfast at any one of the superb cafes that dot the waterfront, with The Salt Mill and Elk Espresso being two of the more popular haunts for the morning crowd. If you’re up for some sunbathing at this point, the beach is right there.
Mid-morning: Time for fishing
After a leisurely start to the day, it’s time for a bit of activity and a journey out to see some of the marine wonders of the Gold Coast. This is a region with an abundant underwater ecosystem, so if you’re intrigued by the ocean deep, it’s a place and a pursuit you won’t forget in a hurry. By the coastline itself, there are vibrant coral reefs thronged with eye-catching fish of every colour of the rainbow, while further out there are larger creatures.
If you’re up for a spot of fishing, heading further out will offer you the chance to cast your line and wait for a bite. While you’re out there, there’s a better than even chance that you’ll see some of the awe-inspiring humpback whales, or maybe a few dolphins. Booking yourself a spot on one of the reef fishing charters on Gold Coast Australia guarantees you are in for some jaw-dropping experiences.
Late morning: A hike in a national park
Once you’re back on dry land, it’s time to experience what’s inland in this area, and a short drive away lies Lamington National Park. This is a certified UNESCO World Heritage site, and is a chance to cast an eye over some of the region’s spectacular biodiversity. Lamington is greener than anything you’ll have seen in prior parts of the trip and is filled with hiking trails.
Making your way along the Tree Top Walkway offers you the chance to see the rainforest from an angle you’ll rarely get, while choosing the Gwongoorool Track sees you arrive at the base of a cascading waterfall, with a brilliantly cooling pool to paddle in. All the while, you can look out onto a panoramic view of the Gold Coast and watch birds flit from tree to tree.
Afternoon: Relaxation, or maybe a drive?
After a morning in which you will have expended no shortage of energy, the afternoon offers opportunities to chill out a little, especially for those who enjoy a spa treatment or two. Endota and Q1 are two of the more popular spas on the coast, and allow you to let the tensions seep away against a background of serene sounds. Skilled therapists will banish any aches and knots that may be in place after a busy morning.
If you’re up for a drive, and have the energy, then the Gold Coast Oceanway is impossible to beat when it comes to views. Stop off with a cool drink and maybe a quick snack at points such as Burleigh Headland and Miami Lookout, and once again you’ll feel the stresses ease in real time.
Evening: Seafood dining
As night falls and the sky fills with warm, golden light, it’s time for a meal before returning to your accommodation. As you’re on the coastline, the best restaurants are seafood joints such as Omeros Bros and The Fish House, where the catch of the day is served up – grilled barramundi is a speciality in the area, while those who don’t enjoy fish can plump for succulent prawns, while vegetarian and vegan voyagers can try Greenhouse Canteen, whose plant-based offerings are exceptional.
After all of this, you can turn in and reflect on a day well spent, or head to a club to dance away what’s left of your energy. For something a little more relaxed, the coastline is dotted with cafe bars serving up cocktails and relaxed ambience.