Hey guys! So December marks one year since I first arrived in Australia, and even though I'm excited to spend Christmas in the States for the first time in 5 YEARS, I have to admit that I've been daydreaming of the days filled with salty hair, sandy toes, and Australia's sunny skies... Below are 5 of my favorite beaches from the Gold Coast - all are accessible via the city's "Light Rail" or public bus system with a preloaded transportation "Go Card."
1. Surfers Paradise
Best Beach: to Meet New People
Okay, if you're in Gold Coast at all (or nearby Brisbane, for that matter), there's no way you can miss Surfers Paradise. This is definitely the international hub with travelers and expats galore. I recommend starting out your trip here if you are traveling on your own, because it is so easy to meet people - Aussies are outgoing and friendly, and you can quickly find other foreigners to travel with.
The beach itself is bordered by an iconic high-rise skyline, featuring the towering Q1 Building. Here you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city atop the SkyPoint observation deck.
And of course, Surfers Paradise wouldn't have its name without the SURFERS! There are actually beaches better suited for true surfers on the Gold Coast (featured below), but this is a great place to start out in the sport by taking your first lesson! "Go Ride a Wave" offers several different lesson packages for you to choose from, and they guarantee you standing up on the board and riding a wave by the end of your first class! You can reserve your spot online (here) or in person at their beachfront kiosk. They provide the board and rashguard top. My class had about 10 students and 2 really energetic and helpful instructors.
Surfers also hosts Cavill Avenue, which runs through the heart of the area. On Cavill you can find good sushi (yummy hand rolls for $1), beachy clothing stores, and popular dance clubs that are packed full every evening (even weekdays).
2. Burleigh Heads
Best Beach: to Be Active
Burleigh Heads is one of the more popular surfing spots in the city. I witnessed my first surf competition here, complete with rowdy spectators and amusing announcers that used all of the local Aussie lingo.
Burleigh Hill is nearby, where you can hike the Ocean View Track out to Echo Beach or the Rainforest Circuit to Tumgun Lookout.
Best Beach: for Shopping
Broadbeach is a good place to hit up if you want to split the day between shopping and beach-bummin'. Start out swimming and sun-tanning in the morning before it gets too hot, and then grab some fish-and-chips and my favorite lager from Fiji, "Vonu," for lunch.
Nearby is the large Pacific Fair shopping center, where you can spend the afternoon perusing the variety of stores available. Split your time shopping inside to cool off and shopping outside to enjoy Australia's sunny and clear skies.
4. Main Beach
Best Beach: to Relax
This is the place to come if you feel like treating yourself to a day of relaxation. This beach is tranquil and you can easily fall asleep on the sand listening to the soft rolling waves.
If you're feeling extra luxurious, you can stay at the original Versace Hotel, or head over to the Marina Mirage Shopping center to spoil yourself.
5. Southport Broadwater Parklands
Best Beach: to Bring Your Family
Although the other beaches in Gold Coast may be more beautiful, Broadwater Parklands is definitely the most kid-friendly of them all. There is a water park for children of all ages, a playground, and grassy areas great for enjoying a picnic lunch. The beach itself has calm water, perfect for splashing around with your family.
Which beach would you choose to spend a day at? Share in the comments below!
See more from Australia here
I believe in God's grace through Jesus. I love to learn, in a variety of contexts - reading God's Word, interacting with people from diverse backgrounds around the world, and as a student of Linguistics and Foreign Languages at Western Washington University. Pages of My Passport is dedicated to sharing this journey of learning through written and visual content.