The Gold Coast is one of the traditional holiday capitals of Australia. Once a laidback town with a reputation for golden beaches and pumping nightlife, it has diversified into a cosmopolitan city with a wide range of attractions able to satisfy the demands of teenagers, young adults, families and even older travellers.
During the last financial year, 3.5 million international and domestic visitors came to the Gold Coast, overwhelmingly for leisure purposes, although business travel to the city is rising rapidly. With the enormous Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre and a new world-class light rail transit system now operational, the city is considered an exciting conferencing destination. The addition of world-class dining precincts, the growing reputation of the city’s theme parks and the diversification of its attractions has also enhanced its reputation as a family destination.
Don’t skip the Gold Coast because some of its experiences draw large crowds! Here, we look at five must-visit alternatives to the traditional Gold Coast attractions where you won’t be competing with crowds.
Echo Beach, near the Burleigh Headland
Many of the Gold Coast’s beaches are heaven for surfers but some of them aren’t so suitable for young swimmers. Situated where the Burleigh Headland and Tallebudgera Creek meet, Echo Beach is the perfect spot for kids to have a protected salt water swim without fearing the swell. There is still the opportunity to surf locally and the creek is the perfect place for stand-up paddle boarding, canoeing or kayaking.
Children will love the rock pools and climbing the native trees growing by the shore. Adults wanting a good view of the ocean or a way to get the blood pumping can try a 1.2 kilometre walk to the Burleigh Headland. And if you’ve brought your best friend on the family holiday, the beach starting from the Palm Beach parklands to the spit is a dog-friendly beach, meaning you can let your furry friend off its leash.
Stay: The closest Elite Holiday Home is Point Break, just 1.4km away. It is a five-bedroom home with multiple outdoor areas, one with ocean views, a galley-style kitchen and a private pool.
Glow worm caves
Located on Mount Tamborine, the glow worm caves are sure to fascinate children and adults alike during a 30-minute tour. Expert staff explain the life cycle and behaviour of the creatures and friendly guides show you through the caves, where you can see thousands of glow worms native to the mountain. It is also the only opportunity in Queensland to see glow worms during the day! Tours are available for a very affordable $14 for adults and $6 for children. Afterwards, there’s a nearby exhibition of native frogs in Frog Hollow which is worth a look.
While you’re on Mount Tamborine, there’s plenty more to do. The glow worm caves themselves are alongside Cedar Creek Estate Vineyard & Winery, which is the perfect place to relax and taste the largest range of wines in the Hinterland. Then hit the Tamborine village to shop at the boutiques or try some of the home-made sweets, hike one of the variety of bushwalks or, if you feel up to it, give a high ropes course or zipline a go.
Stay: House in the Sky is the closest Elite Holiday Home to Tamborine Mountain, 38 minutes away. The seven-bedroom home includes multiple living areas with extraordinary views of the Gold Coast, an outdoor fire pit and an outdoor pizza oven. Inside, the home features a high, raked timber ceiling, floating timber floor and a large stone fireplace.
The Gold Coast’s answer to the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb, SkyPoint is Australia’s highest external building walk on the top of the Q1, right on the Surfers Paradise Beach. The loop of stairs around the top of the building takes climbers 270 metres up and gives them unobstructed views of the ocean and the Gold Coast hinterland. The journey takes 90 minutes and can be done in the day or night.
Once you’re done, ease the adrenaline with a visit to the SkyPoint Observation Deck, Australia’s only beachside observation deck, a few storeys down. From 230 metres up, you can drink in sensational 360 degree views of the Gold Coast from behind the safety of glass and select from an incredible food and drink menu.
The outside climb might be more suitable for adults than children, so it presents the perfect opportunity to arrange a babysitter through My Holiday Concierge and organise a date afternoon or night!
Stay: Main River Magic is a 1.5km walk from Q1’s SkyPoint. It is a seven-bedroom home with five bathrooms, water views, multiple living areas, a theatre room and an entertainment room with a wet bar and pool table.
Gold Coast Broadwater
AquaSplash is the only inflatable water park on the Gold Coast and it offers kids 300 metres worth of water obstacles to splash and slide over. The aqua park is easily accessible in the Gold Coast Broadwater precinct, a sheltered section close to where the Nerang River reaches the ocean. The park is safe and is open almost every day between September 2018 and Easter 2019. Best yet, the tickets are a very affordable $10 to $20.
The Gold Coast Broadwater is a large water park itself, offering a range of heart-racing activities including organised jet boating, jet ski trips, parasailing, hoverboarding, snorkelling and scuba diving.
Stay: Eutopia is just 2.1km away from the Broadwater. This 10-bedroom Elite Holiday Home offers an incredible gourmet kitchen, cinema room, entertainment room, pool with river views, an outdoor heated spa and an outdoor kitchen.
The Gold Coast might not be the most renowned whale watching spot in the country, but it more than measures up to the famous locations. Humpbacks frolic just minutes away by boat. The most successful Gold Coast operators boast a 99 to 100 per cent success rate, and it is easy to find one promising a full refund or a return trip out on the ocean if no whales are sighted. The legendary white humpback Migaloo has been spotted heading north during the winter months multiple times.
Stay: La Luna is a short drive from the departure points of some of the city’s leading whale watching operators. The six-bedroom home offers a swimming pool and sandy beachfront area, an outdoor kitchen and barbecue area and multiple living areas, including an entertainment room.
Elite Holiday Homes and My Holiday Concierge
Elite Holiday Homes are modern holiday homes ideally designed for families. All feature generous bedrooms and spacious living areas – generally combining indoor and outdoor living – and often include swimming pools, gourmet kitchens, entertainment rooms and cinema rooms. Each home comes with a Wi-Fi and Foxtel package.
My Holiday Concierge, available to guests of Elite Holiday Homes, is a service that can make a stay in an Elite Holiday Home a truly relaxing experience. My Holiday Concierge gives guests access to catering, transfers, car hire, equipment hire, housekeeping and nanny services, tours, packages and more.
To peruse the portfolio of Elite Holiday Homes, click here, and to check the availability of the homes, click here. For more information on either Elite Holiday Homes or My Holiday Concierge, you can contact us today on +61 7 5592 3881 or firstname.lastname@example.org.