Golden holiday moments – the Gold Coast, uncovered

If you think it’s time to visit – or revisit – the iconic ‘coast with the most’, then prepare to be inspired!

Famed for its bright lights, breathtaking beaches and theme parks, the Gold Coast is undoubtedly one of Australia’s most popular hotspots. The destination has certainly come a long way since it first surfed the beach culture wave to fame back in the 1950s, evolving into the diverse, high-end, holiday haven it is today.

Whether you prefer scenic hinterland drives, epic beach breaks and paddle boarding, or taking in an action-packed calendar of cultural and sporting events (not least of all the 2018 Commonwealth Games), there is no better time than now to rediscover the Gold Coast .

Welcome to Paradise

Surfers Paradise comfortably maintains its position as the good-times hub of the Gold Coast, The new foreshore is bustling throughout the day with walkers, cyclists and skateboarders taking advantage of this beachfront boulevard vista overlooking the surf and sand. Like the Surfers Paradise of yesteryear, beachside shopping, dining, bars and clubs continually offer the complete holiday experience all in one compact destination package.

Fairway to heaven

The Gold Coast is not only a ‘Surfers Paradise’, but a golfers’ paradise too, boasting more than 40 of Australia’s finest golf courses.  Nestled between Lakelands and Palm Meadows golf courses, Accor Vacation Club’s newest address, Mercure Gold Coast Resort, is the perfect resort for a golf holiday, partnering with five golf courses all within a ten-minute drive from the resort. Play at one course, or enjoy five different locations. Guests can take advantage of Mercure resort’s booking service to arrange tee times at their preferred course. If you are after some professional advice to up your game, check out The Golf School at Palm Meadows Driving Range.

Sky is the limit

Arguably the best way to take in the magnificent Gold Coast is from above. A twilight experience on Australia’s highest external building climb, Skypoint, is a must-do, lasting 90 minutes from the beginning to the end and featuring an awe-inspiring, open-air adventure atop one of Queensland’s most recognised land marks – the iconic Q1 Building. The Skypoint Observation Deck is available for those who wish to watch their friends and family climb, without donning the harness themselves! Rising 270m into the air, SkyPoint Climb is Australia’s highest external building climb and provides unparalleled 360′ views of the Gold Coast and beyond. For a less pulse racing, but equally stunning, view of the coast from above, a hot air balloon ride is also unforgettable. Balloon Aloft Gold Coast has been showcasing the Gold Coast and its spectacular scenery for over 20 years. Departing from the Mercure Gold Coast Resort, you will have the chance to float like a cloud as you witness the sunrise climbing over the stunning panorama, from high-rises and shimmering waterways to the Hinterland.

Surfing the menu

The increasing sophistication of the region has brought a serve of top-notch restaurants and cafes for visitors to try. Broadbeach, Mermaid Beach, and Surfers Paradise all offer an exceptional choice of eateries, from prizewinning pizza places and gelato bars to fine dining options, such as ocean facing The Fish House ay Burleigh Beach. In a league of its own, The Fish House Is credited with introducing a style of dining that put the Gold Coast on the food map nationally and sparked the beginning of the dining revolution. Palm Beach is the latest emerging dining precinct of the Gold Coast. The once sleepy suburb is now the new destination for discriminating diners. For those who want to taste test the GC themselves, there are a number of locally led food and wine tours available.

This little tourist went to market

The Gold Coast offers a fascinating and diverse array of markets to satisfy every need, from art and craft to fashion, seasonable fresh produce, gifts and knick knacks. A trip to any one of the Gold Coast’s markets can mean a shopping bag full of edible souvenirs, gourmet products and other delights. For early risers, the Gold Coast’s bustling markets serve up delicious paddock-to-plate inspired breakfasts from 6.00am at Palm Beach, Bundall and Helensvale. For those staying in Surfers Paradise, The Esplanade Surfers Paradise offers market stalls between 4pm and 9pm every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday night.

Hinterland fling

Springbrook and Mt Tamborine are just two highlights of the local hinterland and rainforest region that form the beating green heart of the Gold Coast. Ideal for day trips (a 45 minute drive from the tourist strip), the hinterland offers numerous walking trails, or for those who prefer to cruise, breathtaking scenic drives. You’ll see views waterfalls that tumble down into the depths of the canyon, cool rock creeks that flow into swimming holes and some of the oldest trees in Australia. For a change of pace, there are several local wineries to stop by including Tamborine’s Witches Falls cellar door, a brewery and even a mountainside distillery Add to this award-winning restaurants, art galleries, sweeping coastal views and that delicious mix of old and new-world charm for a perfect day out.

Modern Family 

Ready to release your inner child? The Gold Coast is home to a literal world of theme parks – think Movie World, Dream World, Sea World, and even White Water World. And let’s not forget that family favourite, Wet & Wild for the summer season, and Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (where a Koala cuddle is almost obligatory). With so many aqua attractions splashed around the Gold Coast, it can be hard to find a beach that best suits children. Tallebudgera Creek offers a sandy bottomed lagoon, crystal waters and plenty of shade for afternoon lazing. For kids a little older and eager to learn, Currumbin Alley Surf School is perfect for a family-friendly surf session on some of the best beginner waves on the GC. When heading out with the kids seems too hard, keep in mind that Accor Vacation Club’s Turtle Beach Resort on Mermaid Beach offers a holiday kids’ club for 4-12 year olds.

 

Handy holiday tip…It’s easy to forget just how widespread the Gold Coast actually is, so planning ahead is important, especially when driving between the beaches and hinterland, from Coolangatta airport in the South, or to the theme parks in the North.

 

Accor Vacation Club Apartments to explore:

 

 

The information in this article is not personal financial advice and has been prepared without taking into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person.  Before making a decision to purchase or upgrade a membership in the Accor Vacation Club, you should consider the PDS dated 1 January 2017, issued by A.P.V.C. Ltd AFSL 245515 and available at www.accorvacationclub.com.au or by contacting A.P.V.C. Ltd on 1800 70 81 90. All hotel and cruise bookings are subject to availability.