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Gold Coast is a city in Queensland, world-renowned for its beaches and booming culinary scene. It is located 66 kilometres south of the state capital Brisbane and is in the local government area of the City of Gold Coast.
It is the 6th largest city in Australia with a total land area of 972 km2 and a population of 679,127 according to the 2018 population statistics.
Explorer Lieutenant James Cook discovered the region on 16 May 1770; however, the area remained uninhabited until 1823 when explorer John Oxley landed at Mermaid Beach. In the mid-19th century, it was the land’s supply of red cedar that attracted people to establish settlements.
Land surveys began around that time. Southport, a suburb in the Gold Coast, began to be known as a secluded holiday destination for the wealthy population of Brisbane. The establishment of Surfer Paradise Hotel in the late 1920s pushed further the growth of the region.
The town was initially called as South Coast, being that the city was south of Brisbane, but the over-inflated prices of real estate and other goods in the area led to the nickname “Gold Coast”. The city’s current name was officially adopted on 23 October 1958. Also during this decade, tourism began to boom in the town of Gold Coast and eventually, the area was proclaimed a city on 16 May 1959.
From a small coastal holiday destination, Gold Coast grew to become the country’s 6th largest city. Today, the City of Gold Coast is made of suburbs, localities, towns and rural districts. Its major tourist attractions are its beaches with the city consisting of 70 kilometres of coastline.
Several surf breaks in Australia that are located in Gold Coast include South Stradbroke Island, The Spit, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach and Mermaid Beach. These sites draw almost 10 million visitors annually with the Gold Coast Airport opening the region to international tourists.
There are plenty of accommodations across the city ranging from hostels, self-contained apartments and five-star resorts. Besides its beaches, Gold Coast has a plethora of theme parks like Dreamworld, Sea World, Wet’n’Wild Water World and Warner Brothers.
The commercial centre of Gold coast are the suburbs of Southport, which contains the city’s CBD, and Surfers Paradise.
Two major universities have campuses in Gold Coast. These are Bond University at Robina and Griffith University at Southport. A smaller campus of Southern Cross University is found in Bilinga, while The Gold Coast Institue of Technical and Further Education has five campuses across the city. There are over 100 primary schools in the Gold Coast, and there are several libraries too.
Most residents in the City of Gold Coast rely on their private vehicles to get around; however, the city has extensive public transport from buses as well as heavy and light rail.
Surfers Paradise Beach
While there are plenty of tourist destinations in the City of Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise Beach is the top destination in the region. This beach has a three-kilometre stretch of soft white sand with skyscrapers rising behind it. There are shallow swimming areas for children, while surfers can enjoy gentle swells.
Several cafes and restaurants are nearby the beaches, while bargain hunters could check out the Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets (held every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights) where all sorts of items are sold.
Located in Q1 Resort and Spa, Australia’s tallest residential tower, SkyPoint offers scenic views of the whole of Gold Coast. At SkyPoint Observation Deck on level 77, visitors could see a 360-degree panorama of the city, while a more exciting way to view Gold Coast is via SkyPoint Climb.