12 March 2012

Gold Coast's beaches

The Gold Coast is a long strip of coastal suburbs, from the quiet surf village of Tweed Heads/Coolangatta to the sophisticated Sanctuary Cove. We’ve put together a guide to help you choose the best suburb for your ideal coastal holiday. 

Sanctuary Cove on Hope Island is a millionaire’s playground, boasting a championship golf course, gourmet goodies and exclusive boutique resorts. It is home to the luxurious Marine Village shopping district and monthly twilight markets. Just a short drive away is Movie World, Dream World and Wet’n’Wild.

Main Beach
Main Beach is set on the most northerly surf beach on the Gold Coast. Home to Sheraton Mirage Resort and Spa (the only beachside resort on the coast) and the opulent and iconic Palazzo Versace the area has a large selection of designer stores, gourmet cafes and restaurants both at the resorts and inside the Marina Mirage shopping complex. 
Sheraton Mirage, Palazzo Versace & Marina Mirage Complex
Yachts fringe the marina and walkers take to the beach as the sun rises. When the sun hits high in the sky Sea World opens and the crowds pour in to enjoy dolphin shows, playful Sea Lions and the polar bears playing in their pool. 

Surfers Paradise beach
Surfers Paradise is the commercial heart of the Gold Coast. It’s where the buildings are tall, clubs are loud and the shops are touristy. The beach here is outstanding, with golden sand and crisp waves. Morning is the best time to hit the sand, before the afternoon sun creates shadows out of the ubiquitous high rises. On the beach you can learn to surf, people watch or walk the kilometres of white sand. 

Surfers Paradise shopping
Redevelopment has seen Surfers Paradise go upmarket with the new Sea Temple Surfers Paradise and Circle on Cavill shopping precinct. The shops are open late and the clubs even later. Orchid Avenue, off the Cavill Mall, is the heart of the nightclub district, where you can enjoy a cool drink, sip a cocktail at a chic lounge bar or dance through the night. Surfers Paradise is also set up for indoor fun from ice skating, Infinity Attraction, Ripleys Believe it or Not, Wax Museum and SkyPoint observation deck.

Broadbeach is a sophisticated strip with a variety of restaurants, classy bars and trendy nightclubs. There is a range of 4.5 and 5 star resorts including Peppers Broadbeach (who offer iPads available for hire) and the 5 star Jupiters Hotel and Casino Gold Coast. The beach is pristine and perfect for for activities during the day then at night the casino come alive with live stage shows, casino tables and bars. For shopping, choose from Surf Parade’s boutiques, Oasis Shopping Centre (home to the monorail) and Pacific Fair shopping centre. On the third Sunday of each month Broadbeach Art and Craft markets offers unique gifts, funky souvenirs and delicious local treats.

From Mermaid Beach to Burleigh Heads there is a range of quiet apartment hotels for families and couples. Burleigh Head’s patrolled beaches are lined with parklands and the nearby national park offers scenic walking trails along the coastline. 

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Currumbin Creek lends itself to gentle surf, rock pools and water activities including kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. Don’t miss Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary for an opportunity to cuddle a koala, feed Lorikeet and get close to marsupials and reptiles. The zoo also has a Wildlife Hospital and adventure park – both of which are open to visitors.

Greenmount headland walk

Kirra, Coolangatta, Rainbow Bay and Tweed Heads are known for their great surf, thanks to sand pumping from the Tweed River. Around every corner is a surf shop offering the best Australian surf brand clothing, surfboards and body boards. It is also home to Twin Towns, a large members club well known for its live stage shows and pokies. The Tweed River is a great base for coastal fun including fishing, river cruising and crabbing.  

Salt Village
Over the border is the resort village of Kingscliff, where the pace of life slows down to match the soft ocean breeze. Browse the boutiques, take a relaxing afternoon walk along the beach or spoil yourself with a spa treatment. Salt Village combines a village ambience with the convenience of quality bars and restaurants.