Things to do and see

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THEME PARKS AND WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES

Giant rollercoasters and exciting shows can be found at the Gold Coast's theme parks; Warner Bros, Movie World, Sea World, Wet'n'Wild and Dreamworld. Yearly passes and multi-park passes can make visiting these parks cheap and easy, too.

True animal lovers could also choose to visit Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary for an up-close look at Australia's unique wildlife. You might find yourself covered in Rainbow Lorikeets, patting a Kangaroo, or being hugged by a friendly Koala.

Be sure to leave a full day free for each of these fun-filled attractions, wear plenty of sunblock, and pack your fully charged camera!

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NATURE

Although the Gold Coast is famous for its beaches, there are many other places to enjoy nature beyond the waves and sand.

Mountains on the Gold Coast offer great walking tracks, with waterfalls and fresh-water swimming holes found in Currumbin Valley. Springbrook National Park is another wonderful place to explore, with many birds and animals as well as beautiful views of the southern Gold Coast.

Other bio-diverse areas can be found on the Northern Gold Coast's islands of North and South Stradbroke, which you can catch a ferry to access and enjoy a sunny day, a BBQ with friends, and maybe even spot some local wildlife like wallabies and lizards.

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SHOPPING

The Gold Coast offers many great shopping opportunities for all types of shoppers and budgets.

Robina Town Centre and Pacific Fair are two of the Gold Coast's biggest shopping centres, offering great places to eat and shop, as well as modern movie cinemas and entertainment options.

Harbour Town is another great shopping complex as most of its shops are outlets making it ideal for students that love shopping but are concerned about their budget.

Beyond the big centres, you will find many streets on the Gold Coast offering small boutique shops. Surf Parade in Broadbeach, James Street in Burleigh, and Thomas Drive on Chevron Island are just a few you may enjoy.

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BEACHES AND OCEAN

With perfect coastlines and a mild climate year round, the Gold Coast is an ideal place to enjoy the beach and ocean life. Grabbing an umbrella, lying on the beach and taking swims is only the beginning.

You may find yourself snorkeling in Currumbin Creek, hiring a jet ski and riding around the Broadwater, taking a stand up paddle boarding lesson, or testing out your surfing skills.

Those who want to enjoy the ocean without getting wet could even take a boat ride for whale or dolphin watching. True water enthusiasts could sign up to one of the Gold Coast’s many Surf Life Saving Clubs. The list of ways to enjoy the ocean and the beach on the Gold Coast is endless.

EATING OUT

Even if you find yourself on a strict student budget, the Gold Coast will offer a buffet of wonderful food options to enjoy. Particularly in the neighborhoods along the coastline, you will find a budding cafe scene with great food and coffee and a friendly laid-back atmosphere.

Markets are also a great source of good food options, with Miami Marketta, Helensvale’s NightQuarter, and Bundall Farmer’s Markets showcasing some of the best.

If you want to spoil yourself, many fancy restaurants can be found on the Gold Coast, too. Marina Mirage and Broadbeach are two great places to experience fine dining, with much of the Gold Coast’s fresh seafood dished up in glorious gourmet meals.

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Events

A large number of festivals, cultural events, shows, attractions and sports tournaments occur year round on the Gold Coast. The Gold Coast Film Festival, the Quiksilver Pro surfing competition, free outdoor movie screenings, art exhibitions at 19 Karen Gallery, or comedy shows at the Gold Coast Arts Centre are just some of the events and festivities you may wish to attend whilst on the Gold Coast.

For more information about events on the Gold Coast, click here

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NEIGHBORHOOD IN FOCUS

Surfers Paradise might be the Gold Coast’s city hub, but Burleigh Heads is its heart. A welcoming community feeling is found here, right next to the beach and headland that have some of the best views in the region. It’s impossible not to be relaxed here, with people walking the streets casually, eating ice-creams and enjoying the collection of shops around busy James Street.

Despite feeling like a relaxed beach town during the day, Burleigh Heads doesn’t go to sleep early at night. Bars and restaurants offer great food and entertainment, and the outdoor areas often stay awake with bongo drumming sessions and fire twirlers.

On the weekends, Burleigh Heads is filled with energy. Take a coastal bush walk to Currumbin Creek, enjoy the weekend markets that take place here, or simply ride a bicycle around the streets enjoying another day in paradise.