Top 10 reasons' you can't stay away from the Gold Coast

If you need a holiday that puts fun first, Queensland’s Gold Coast has all the qualifications for the job - gorgeous surf beaches, thrilling theme parks, reliably sunny weather and all types of accommodation.

Our flight frequency makes planning a trip to the Gold Coast super-easy. There are several non-stop flights to the Gold Coast from Auckland every day. We also offer non-stop flights to the Gold Coast from Christchurch.

Since the 1960s, this part of Australia has been devoting itself to the pursuit of play. With its gorgeous tropical climate and huge range of attractions, it's easy to see why so many Kiwis just can't stay away from this handy part of the world.

1. Surf yourself silly

The Gold Coast is one of the world's best surfing locations and there are breaks for every skill level, including plenty of waves for body surfers and boogie boarding. Along the 57km Gold Coast surf trail, check out the dependable Surfers Paradise beach break, the world-class waves at Currumbin Alley and these three spots that are said to have the best waves of their type in the world:

  • Burleigh Point, a right-hand point break
  • Kirra, a right-hand sand break
  • Snapper Rocks Point and its 2km Superbank, which has exceptionally long and hollow waves that host the annual Quicksilver Pro Surfing competition

2. Dine alfresco every night

The best side of the Gold Coast is outside. On patios, decks, pavements and balconies, your evening meal comes with a big helping of sea-scented air and sun-warmed scenery. Make the most of the coast's excellent cafés and restaurants, like The Collective in Palm Beach, a five-kitchen market-style venue with a huge opening ceiling. And we have to mention the GC's rooftop bar revolution, with everything from relaxing Sunday beats on the Italian rooftop of Justin Lane to cocktails and meze eats in style at Bar Hellenika.

3. Go hiking in the hinterland

Inland from the Gold Coast is a hinterland that's just oozing with unspoilt world heritage sites, fantastic hikes, charming mountain villages and sweeping coastal views. Lamington National Park has trail networks that lead through rainforest to caves, waterfalls, creeks and picture-perfect picnic areas. Instagram heaven! It's hard not to look past O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat when considering the perfect Hinterland retreat to lay your head and you can even order ahead a daily packed lunch to fuel your adventure.

4. Wrap your hands around a Balter

A bunch of pro surfers, including Mick Fanning, have caught the craft brewing wave that's sweeping across Australia. Their brand is Balter and it's based in the suburb of Currumbin. The best time to visit is on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, when the brewery's HQ is open for tastings. Food trucks and live music are often part of the fun.

5. Experience the SkyPoint Climb

If you really want to hit your step count for the day, as well as your max heart rate, climb the external stairs to the top of the imposing Q1 Resort Building, one of Queensland's most iconic landmarks. Starting from the SkyPoint Observation Deck on level 77, the 90-minute climb experience takes you to the crow's nest 270m above sea level, for breath-taking 360° views.

6. Shop at the Sunday market

On the first and third Sundays of every month The Village Markets, aka TVM, sets up at Burleigh Heads State School. With more than 100 boutique market stalls, it's known for showcasing local foodies, creatives, small businesses and promising start-ups. But it's so much more than a shopping experience. You'll also discover live music, great food, good vibes, lots of socialising and, chances are, the next big thing to come from the Gold Coast.

7. Brush up your boarding and biking skills

One of the best places to go for paddle-boarding is Currumbin Alley, especially at daybreak. Follow your stand-up session with a surfing lesson at Greenmount Beach, which offers pleasingly long rides for newbie surfers. Then get on your bike for a leisurely four-kilometre ride from Miami to Burleigh Heads.

8. Meet the perfect seaside cocktail

Burleigh Pavilion is right on the beach and tucked next to Burleigh Heads with glorious views along the coast to the north. Occupying the top floor of an historic beach pavilion, it's the perfect place to relax with a drink and watch the waves before lunch or dinner. Choose the casual Pavilion Bar area with food from The Terrace kitchen, or book a table at The Tropic for cocktails and a tantalising menu driven by fresh local produce. On the floor below Burleigh Pav you'll find Rick Shores. This award-winning Pan-Asian restaurant has huge bi-fold doors opening to the sand and a tiered floor, so everyone can enjoy the view.

9. Enjoy eggs in Miami

We have it on good authority that the best breakfast on the Gold Coast is at Paddock Bakery in Miami. You can watch the chefs at work and rejoice in the fact that everything's made on site with super-fresh ingredients. Order the dippy eggs and ask for extra avocado.

10. Head for Tumgun Lookout

Start your Gold Coast day than with an early morning walk in Burleigh Head National Park. The trails were recently upgraded, so you can spend less time looking at your feet and more time enjoying the views. Your goal is the Tumgun Lookout for an eye-widening panorama of the ocean and coast.

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