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52 kilometres of beaches. That’s what awaits you on Australia’s iconic Gold Coast, a seaside playground dedicated entirely to sun, sand and surf. And not just any beaches – these are the beaches you imagine when you think of the country; endless white sand, crashing waves and beautiful bodies backed by shimmering high-rise buildings.
Affectionately known as the “Goldie” among locals, the holiday destination has held somewhat of a reputation for being tacky – but no longer. With all eyes about to be firmly on the host city of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Australia’s sixth-largest city has undergone quite a transformation, from a new light rail system to the burgeoning dining scene, making it ideal for a beach meets city break.
Before you go, there’s a few things to know. First and foremost, don’t be fooled into staying within Surfer’s Paradise, the glittering main hub of the coastal region. Venture out of the tourist strip and you’ll be rewarded with empty beaches, green hinterlands and brunch spots worth travelling for. Secondly, even with the light rail, you’ll want to hire a car – the best of the Gold Coast can’t be reached via public transport. And finally, do not be one of the very red British visitors who serve as a cautionary tale for sun safety. SPF50+ sunscreen at all times.
Sleek Gold Coast newcomer The Island boasts an enviable position in the heart of Surfer’s Paradise, though with a cracking Italian restaurant, glittering rooftop bar and poolside al-fresco patio on site, you might not actually want to leave.
- +61 7 5538 8000
- Go to Website
Nostalgic surfer chic meets colourful pop art at this sky-high hotel, and if you’re lucky enough to get ocean views, miles of white sandy beaches will tempt you down from your balcony before breakfast every morning. A sense of fun permeates the hotel, from the fresh lemonade with stripy paper straws welcoming guests in the lobby to the quirky cockatoo lamps you’ll find on your bedside table.
- +61 7 5584 1200
- Go to Website
It might be a little out of the way, but the designer digs at this boutique hotel are worth the extra drive. A once peeling surf motel turned stylish hideaway, Halcyon House is everything we want in a holiday beach house, from their trademark blue-patterned wallpaper to the striped daybeds by the heated pool, not to mention a rave-worthy restaurant.
- +61 2 6676 1444
- Go to Website
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