The Gold Coast is a Backpackers Paradise: nightlife, theme parks and mother nature
The Gold Coast stretches 55km from the southern border towns of Coolangatta / Tweed Heads sitting on the New South Wales/Queensland border, to Oxenford at the northern end of the coast, it is made up of many suburbs, but the main tourist area for backpackers is Surfers Paradise. The area has a population of around 500,000 but it increases to 1 million in summer due to Australian and overseas tourists.
Coolangatta airport is the main entry point for visitors and is 30 minutes by car to Surfers Paradise, a taxi will cost you around $50, if your in a hurry, and dont want to catch a bus.
The Gold Coast is more than a beach area, there is also the hinterland which has many interesting towns, and rain forest national parks. The area also has three large theme parks, Sea World is located on the Spit near Surfers Paradise and Dreamworld and Movieworld are about 30 min west of surfers Paradise. Movie World is a theme park and a fully equipped movie studio where box office films are produced. Down the road from Movie World is Dreamworld, it is a theme park with many different amusement areas.
The tourist areas have a multicultural vibe, there are hundreds of restaurants, cafes and bars, which are open late into the night. Surfers Paradise and broadbeach offer backpackers mix of local and international food, fun, music and accommodation.
The area is well known for surfing, there are 70km of beaches and four point breaks, and getting a wave is just a stone throw away. When the wind is right and the swell is from the east the beach breaks come alive. These conditions happen about once a week, with one to two foot swells throughout the year, the swells only hit a few times a year, usually when cyclones are up north.
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