I flew up to Gold Coast last Wednesday to meet up with one of my oldest friends from Michigan. Jessica just finished her postdoc in Melbourne and is moving back to the US tomorrow, so this was our last trip together in Australia.
Most people head to the GC either for the beaches or the theme parks. We did spend some time on the beach, but we actually spent most of the time playing with cute Australian animals at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.
Of the various districts in the Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise is probably the most well-known and popular. I definitely heard a lot of foreign languages (mostly French!) spoken there. The tallest building in Australia, Q1, is also in Surfers Paradise. You can go up to the Skypoint observation deck (though it’s rather expensive) or even climb around outside.
We also rented a car for the day and drove down to Byron Bay in New South Wales, where the most easterly point of the Australian mainland is.
Gold Coast is a great tourist destination since the airport is quite small (and resembles a food court more than an airport) and public transportation to and from the airport is incredibly easy to figure out. Bus 702 serves the airport every half hour and heads up the Gold Coast Highway. If you buy a go card from the shuttle desk in the airport (for $5) and add money to it, you will save a lot.
The rest of my travel photos are in the Gold Coast album at the Gallery.