Hanging out on the beach all day or grabbing a surfboard and hitting the waves – this is the epitome of the Australian dream. One of the places where you can do all this and more is the Gold Coast. Need further explanation as to why you should visit? You greedy thing, you. Here’s our 11 reasons to get on a plane/in a campervan and get yourself to the east coast of Australia!

Beaches that are out of this world


Image: Gold Coast
If beaches are your thing, the Gold Coast has got you covered. The coastline stretches for 57 kilometres (35 miles) and you can pick from 20 different beaches; what better excuse to take a 20-day holiday than visiting a new Aussie beach every day? Surfers Paradise is probably the most well-known of them all, and is highly distinctive as the skyline is practically on the beach. Then a little further South of Surfers you will find yourself on Mermaid Beach, unfortunately it’s not named after the abundance of mermaids nearby (we were sad too), but it is known for its laid-back appeal, which can be great if you’ve been going crazy in Surfers Paradise for the last few days. You can also take a trip down ‘Millionaire’s Row’, look at the fancy mansions and maybe have a little cry about how much you want one. South of Surfers you’ve got Burleigh Heads, which is famous for its surfing spots (or just for ogling the surfers!), and if you move even further south you’ll find yourself in Coolangatta, another top spot for surfing and a great place to visit if you love the old-school charm of a seaside town.

Learn to surf


Image: Gold Coast
If you didn’t know already – and live under a rock – Australia is famously known for its surfing. So if you’re hoping to pick up the skill on your trip over to the Gold Coast, then you’ve chosen the right place to visit as there are tons of surf schools to choose from in the area. Move over Mick Fanning, there’s a new pro in town.

Some proper good coffee


Image: Gold Coast
Now we know Melbourne is the most famous in Australia for coffee, but it doesn’t mean that the rest of Australia doesn’t know what it’s doing when it comes to that beautiful cup of liquid gold. We’ve had a look at beanhunter.com because we know addicts people, get pretty serious when it comes to their coffee, and have stolen their list when it comes to the top 4 places for coffee in 2016. Check out First Fruits Coffee in Ashmore, Parlour Coffee in Burleigh Heads, and Percy’s Corner or Raw Espresso in Southport.

Australia’s longest zip line tour


Image: Gold Coast
If you’ve got 3 hours to spare and you love a good thrill, then look no further than The Canyon Flyer. It’s not only Australia’s longest zip line tour, but it’s also the highest (you can get up to 60m high) and the fastest (you reach speeds of 70km’s per hour!). Our hearts are racing just looking at it!

Instameets


Image: Gold Coast
Do you love uploading your Instagram with artsy pictures of sunsets, beaches, and anywhere else you happen to go? Have you ever heard of an Instameet? It’s basically where famous Instagrammers will host meet-ups with other Instagrammers – and anyone’s invited! You’ll all meet up somewhere on the GC, go and take a photo of something amazing, learn some tips and tricks to get that perfect Insta photo, and then go for a drink or something after. It’s the event you never knew you needed … til now. Top tip: follow @igersgoldcoast or @visitgoldcoast who are known to host Instameets regularly.

Horse-riding through the Hinterland


Image: Thunderbird Park
See the Australian rainforest in a slightly different, and incredibly awesome way, by trekking through the lush forest on horseback. Just you, the sound of hooves, the cool rainforest and the stunning views of the valley once you reach the top. And the best news? You don’t need to have horse-riding experience to do it!

Ride a jet ski to an island adventure


Change up traditional island hopping by riding a jet ski and feeling the freedom and exhilaration as you explore the wild blue ocean and the hidden paradise islands. See dolphins, turtles, wallabies and wild pigs before stopping off at a tropical resort on South Stradbroke. Perfect on a sunny day – which is pretty much all the time on the GC.

Markets upon markets

Image: Gold Coast

From arts and crafts to food, and farmers markets to car boot sales, you’ve got loads of markets to choose from on the Gold Coast. Hosted in the Hinterland, along the beaches and in the suburbs, you’re sure to pass at least one as you’re wandering around. We’ve been kind to you, as we always are, and hand-picked a few for you to check out: TVM (The Village Markets) known as a ‘creative hub’ for emerging entrepreneurs, such as Peony Swimwear and F+H Jewellery, this boutique market trades on the first and third Sunday of every month at Burleigh Heads, Broadbeach Markets on the first and third Sunday of every month for interesting arts and crafts, Marketta Street Food – Tapas Club in Miami every Wednesday evening for some food lovin’, or Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets – one of the biggest on the Gold Coast – every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Theme parks

#minniestakeaustralia2016 #movieworldgoldcoast @tiaan.minnie

A post shared by Nikita Minnie (@nikits_minnie) on


Not only does the Gold Coast have long stretches of surfer beaches and a huge Hinterland behind it, it’s also home to some pretty amazing theme/water parks. Warner Bros Movie World is exactly what it says on the tin: a theme park with movie-themed rides and a real life Diagon Alley – yep, you heard us. Or if you’re more of a fan of water parks there’s also Wet ‘n’ Wild – time to unleash your inner child!

Springbrook National Park

#springbrooknationalpark #schönertag @nek.no1knows

A post shared by Sam (@smy_blchr) on


This breath-taking site is located in the Hinterland, just 45 minutes from the beaches. Take a walk through the wilderness to find waterfalls, lookouts, wildlife and so much more… parts of the park are even UNESCO World Heritage sites. It’s close enough to go on a day trip to the park, but we recommend renting a cottage, cabin or just pitch up a tent under the stars to get a real taste of living out in the jungle.

Nightlife


If you’re partial to an epic night out then look no further than Surfers Paradise. It’s got bars, clubs, nightclubs and pubs, so you’re guaranteed to find something that’s right up your street. Crazy for a cocktail? Check out The Avenue: it’s got quirky cocktails, food fit for foodies and live entertainment (stand-up comedy, acoustic music and gigs). If you’re looking for a nightclub with décor that is so OTT you’ve got to love it, head on over to SinCity Nightclub, a place you might even be able to spot some international artists. Alternatively, if a pub is more your style, then there’s Irish pubs Fiddler’s Green and Waxy’s. If we know one thing, it’s that there’s no experience quite like an Irish pub experience.

Hopefully this list has inspired you to get out there and start living your Australian dream on the Gold Coast. Go on, we dare you.