Live and Learn on the Gold Coast, Australia
The Gold Coast is known for its beautiful beaches, surfing, the incredible Lamington National Park, and relaxed vibe. Fun, adventure, the beauty of nature and new experiences can be found around each corner. From some of the world’s best theme parks, beaches, x-treme sports and boutique Hinterland escapes, there is something for everyone.
The Gold Coast is a metropolitan region with a bustling urban core and less-populated outer and Hinterland areas. The Gold Coast is a short drive south of Brisbane City. It’s famous for its long sandy beaches, great surfing spots, inland waterways and theme parks; Dreamworld, Sea World, Movie World and Wet’n’Wild. The Gold Coast is also home to the beautiful Lamington National Park with an abundance of mountain ridges and valleys, waterfalls, rare birds, and rainforest. A dream location for those who love to hike. The Gold Coast is known for its year-round sunshine and warm weather the average annual temperatures are a minimum of 11°C and a maximum of 28°C. It can be humid, but this is usually offset by the cool sea breezes
The Gold Coast is situated 80kms (49 miles) south of Brisbane, and 93.5kms (58 miles) from Byron Bay. The Gold Coast has a population of 699,226 spread over 414.3kms. It stretches along 57kms of coastline. The northern end is where the theme parks are located all within a 1km radius. The Gold Coast Broadwater is a great expanse of easily accessible calm water between the Gold Coast mainland and South Stradbroke Island. Plenty of space for recreational waterports, sailing, fishing, swimming, kite surfing and beach picnics. The centre of the Gold Coast is Surfers Paradise, Main Beach, Broadbeach and Burleigh heads. All known for their nightlife, restaurants, cafes, bars, cool vibe, famous beaches and shopping. There is also the famous Burleigh Heads National Park, where locals and visitors go to whale watch, watch the surfing and take in the scenery. Currumbin, Kirra and Coolangatta are in the South. Here you’ll find cute coastal communities, and secluded coves, with an iconic beach culture. From Currumbin you can head to Currumbin Valley into the World-heritage Lamington National Park, with waterfalls, hikes and the ancient Gondwana rainforests. The west has wine, gourmet food, antiques, charming hinterland villages, bed and breakfasts a real country lifestyle.
Things to do on the Gold Coast
Heritage Listed Forests
Getting to the Gold Coast
You can fly into Gold Coast Airport from most major Australian airports and some International airports. Airlines servicing Gold Coast airport include Air Asia, Tiger Airways, Jetstar, Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue, AirNorth and Air New Zealand. The airport is located in Cooloongatta, the Southern end of the Gold Coast, Gold Coast Airport transfers are available. You can fly into Brisbane Airport (BNE). The airport is located approx 80 mins by car and 90 mins by train from the Gold Coast.
To catch a train to the Gold Coast you will have to depart from Roma Street Station, in Brisbane city. This is the only train service to the Gold Coast. For example, if you are coming from Sydney you could catch the train to Roma Street Station and from there transfer trains to the Gold Coast. The only train that runs direct to the Gold Coast is from Brisbane. You could also choose to travel by train from interstate and then by bus to the Gold Coast, from the last available train stop. Translink and Countrylink have timetables and journey planners available on their website. The closest station to Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach is Nerang Station.
Driving times from the three closest major cities Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane to the Gold Coast are: Melbourne (1840 km, 21 hours), Sydney (850 kms, 10 hours), Brisbane (80 kms, 1 hour 20 mins). There are several bus services that come to the Gold Coast from Cairns, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. You can check any of the major bus lines like Greyhound, Murrays, Premier.
Splash out and arrive by cruise ship! The closest port is Brisbane just 1 hour by car.
Gold Coast Weather
The Gold Coast is known for its year-round sunshine and warm weather the average annual temperatures are a minimum of 11°C and a maximum of 28°C. It can be humid, but this is usually offset by the cool sea breezes.
Gold Coast Culture
It’s very much about beach lifestyle on the Gold Coast. It’s long been a pilgrimage for surfers after the perfect wave. Kelly Slater named it his most favourite point break in the world. The Gold Coast Council ensures the arts are reasonably funded and retaining the local talent for the growing movie industry. The Gold Coast is actually a city that is alive with creativity, with and abundance of performances, exhibitions and festivals. Like most of Queensland people on Gold Coast are cheerful, positive and vibrant, and always willing to help.
Essential Services – Gold Coast
Australia’s local currency is the Australian Dollar. Money exchange facilities are located throughout the city and at the airport. Banks are open Mondays to Friday between 9.30am and 4.00pm. Most of them have automatic teller machines (ATMs) which can also be found at shopping centres throughout the city and region.
Postage and Freight Services
Australia Post the national postal service, are located in most of the major suburbs of the Gold Coast. It offers helpful information on postage costs, freight times and customs / export requirements. Freight services are available to send packages to any worldwide destination by express, sea or air at very competitive prices.
Open Monday to Friday between 9.00am to 5.00pm.
All major international credit cards including Visa, MasterCard, Amex and Diners Club can be used in Australia and travelers’ cheques are accepted at hotels, banks and stores. Tipping is not obligatory in Australia and there are normally no service charges at hotels and restaurants (except for public holidays). You can of course tip if you want to, usually to waiters or taxi drivers.
For a serious emergency in Australia the number to call is 000 for Ambulance, Fire and Police. This number is free from private and public telephones
Gold Coast University Hospital is centrally located in Southport. Your Student Support Officer is available for you to contact, if you require, physical or mental health care. They will help you to find the right service for you. You will already have the compulsory Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) which gives you access to medical services at a reduced cost.
If you have an urgent medical situation and require immediate attention, you should call Triple Zero (000) for emergency services.
Australia’s Country Code is 61 and Queensland’s area code is 07. To place an overseas call you need to dial 0011 and then the country code, area code and number. Phone cards for cheap international calls are available in most newsagencies and internet cafes. The cost for international calls with these cards starts from 0.03 cents per minute. We have free wireless internet at the college, most of our accommodation options also have the internet available. You will also find free wi-fi options in various cafes, shopping centres and internet cafes centrally located in high traffic areas like Surfers Paradise.
Getting around Gold Coast
Getting around The Gold Coast is easy. There is a great public transport system of buses, trams, and trains. The boardwalks along the esplanades of Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach and Burleigh are perfect for biking and walking along the coastline.
Bus, Tram, Train
Use a go card electronic ticket to travel on all bus, train, tram and ferry services in South East Queensland. It entitles you to travel savings and discounts. Transferring between modes involves touching on and off at the beginning and end of each trip with your go card. Timetables for these services are available through the Translink website.
Taxi and Uber
Taxis and Uber are available 24 hours a day to take you on short journeys. There is a taxi rank located centrally in each hub of The Gold Coast. You can order a taxi by calling 131 008 or booking online through Gold Coast Cabs. You can access Uber through the Uber app.
Car Rentals are another option if you have a driving license and want the independence of self- drive in, out, and around the Gold Coast.
You can hire bikes, scooters, electric scooters etc. There are several hire companies on the Gold Coast. This is great for those students who like to make their own way around the Gold Coast on the bike pathways and boardwalks.