Shortly before the world shut down in 2020, travel company Hoppa carried out a survey on bucket list destinations, asking participants which countries they most wanted to visit. Australia trumped all other nations, with 26 percent placing it on their lists. Little did Hoppa or anyone else know what was to come in 2020 and 2021. But now we have had a taste of being confined to our homes, most of us are revisiting those lists with a renewed sense of purpose and determination.
The thing about Australia is there is so much of it. Some visitors make the mistake of trying to cover too much, and never fully appreciating anything. Now Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Tasmania all have their charms. But if you want to spend a week or two in one place and soak up everything that’s great about Australia without the hassle, cost and upheaval of internal flights, you should give Gold Coast some serious consideration. Here’s why.
Sun, Sea and Surf are a Way of Life
Australia’s climate is generally hot and sunny in most parts. But Gold Coast is arguably the best of all. It enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year and does not get the heavy rain experienced further south or the extreme summer heat you will find to the north.
It is called Gold Coast for a reason, and you can enjoy those archetypal Australian beaches all year round. There is literally mile after mile of coastline to choose from, and the different beaches are focused on different activities. For example, Nobbie’s Beach is ideal if you are traveling with youngsters who want to play in the sand or splash around in the water. Broadbeach is dedicated to surfing, and beginners are welcome. More experienced surfers head for Burleigh Bay.
The Most Spectacular Casino in Australia
What do Australians do after a day surfing? According to the popular stereotype, they head over to the casino for a game of poker or to try their luck on the slots, of course. The Star Casino used to be called Jupiter’s and is still referred to as such locally. It opened in 1985 and was, at the time, Australia’s biggest casino.
It is still a breathtaking sight, and as well as having well over a thousand pokies and almost 100 table games, it is Australia’s biggest poker venue. Dozens of World Poker Tour tournaments are played here every year, with buy-ins as high as $20,000 and as low as one dollar. If your poker is a little rusty there are literally scores of online poker sites aimed at Aussie players. Casino Aus can give you the low-down and help you find a good one. Check out https://www.casinoaus.net/online-poker/ to see which ones have the best deals.
Stunning Natural History
Long before the surfboards and poker tables arrived, Gold Coast was a stunningly beautiful environment inhabited by unique flora and fauna, plus a few indigenous tribes who lived in harmony with nature.
Venture away from the bright lights of downtown and you will soon be transported into that long ago but not entirely lost world. Gold Coast has national parks on three sides and the ocean on the fourth. For example, Nerang National Park is only a 20-minute drive from Surfers Paradise, but it is a different world. It’s ideal to explore on foot or by horseback, and with a bit of luck, you will see koalas, flying foxes and of course kangaroos, which seem to be hanging around everywhere as soon as you step off the beaten track.
Thrills and Adventure at Dreamworld?
For thrills of a different kind, Gold Coast just happens to have Australia’s biggest and best theme park just a 20-minute drive to the north. Australians are famously fearless, and Dreamworld has seven extreme thrill rides that will satisfy the hardcore thrill seekers.