Weather/ when to go:Seasons in Australia are completely different to those in the Northern hemisphere. Summer runs from December to February, for example, while winter is June to August. Christmas is a summer event for Australians and that's beach season, too! Bear this in mind when deciding when to visit the Gold Coast.
Summer is hot and humid, and evenings can be warm and sticky. It's generally a bit hotter in inland areas in the summer whereas there is a sea breeze to cool things down by the coast. Humidity generally reduces by evening but summer is the notable exception to this. When the humidity doesn't drop, expect a summer storm to be on its way. The temperature drops a bit in autumn (March to May) and the evenings are less muggy. Spring (September to November) is similar to autumn. Winter (June to August) is warmer than you might think but expect to need a jacket in the evenings and on windier days.
Do & see:Don't miss these things to do and see on the Gold Coast!
Warner Bros Movie WorldMovies and theme park attractions combine perfectly here. Dare to take a ride on the Green Lantern rollercoaster? There's also the Batwing Spaceshot and the Superman Escape to get the blood pumping.
Address: Pacific Hwy Oxenford
Springbrook National ParkSituated on top of a high plateau, the area was once part of a large volcano. The resulting landscape includes gorges, forests and waterfalls -- perfect for walks and picnics. Right at the edge, you'll find Springbrook village with ample opportunities to take in the breathtaking views over the edge of the plateau.
Thunderbird ParkPerfect for getting away from it all, Thunderbird Park offers wildlife and geology in spades. Adventure activities are high on the agenda. Adventure Parc is popular for families and corporate team building activities while children will love fossicking for thundereggs. Thunderbird Park's close proximity to several national parks makes it ideal for immersing yourself in Australian nature.
Address: Corner Cedar Creek Falls Road, Tamborine Mountain
Currumbin Wildlife SanctuaryGet up close and personal with Australian animals at this wildlife sanctuary. From holding cuddly koalas to seeing crocodiles at close quarters, there's no better way to see countless examples of native Australian creatures in their natural habitat. It's owned by the National Trust of Queensland and operates on a not-for-profit basis so all proceeds are invested back into the environment.
Address: 28 Tomewin St
Wet 'n' WildGet out of the heat at this fun water park. The Extreme H20 zone boasts Kamikaze (an 11m fall at at a 70 degree angle that's unique in the southern hemisphere), Tornado (ride right into the eye of a "storm"), Blackhole (get catapulted into pitch black darkness and Mach 5 (the longest and fastest of the water slides). Other rides include Aqua Loop (featuring four transparent slides), Surfrider (drop 30m while spinning on a giant surfboard), River Rapids (travel down Whitewater Mountain on the open-air or speedier closed slides) and ZipLine (get a bird's eye view of the water park from your vantage point as you "fly" across from Whitewater Mountain to the Wave Pool).
Address: Pacific Hwy Oxenford
Koorana Crocodile FarmVisiting between March and May? You'll get the chance to see crocodile hatching. There are thousands of crocodiles on this farm, some of which are specially trained so that visitors can get up close to them. There is also an on-site restaurant which serves dishes containing crocodile meat. Don't fancy trying it? Don't worry -- they also serve other things!
Address: 65 Savages Road, Coowonga
Rockhampton Art GalleryHere you'll find a good display of Australian art with exhibitions featuring some of the gallery's famed collections. There are also activities all year round and most Sundays include entertainment activities such as chamber music concerts, talks and workshops.
Address: 62 Victoria Parade