Having spent a decade living on the Gold Coast, I have a lot of favourite places. The best by far are the world class beaches sweeping the length of the coast. Imagine driving the beach strip in your own home on wheels, and once you have found a stretch you love, the freedom to set up for as long as you please. The Gold Coast has so much to offer, and a campervan is the ideal way to travel and see the sights.
There are a plenty of caravan parks to choose from, many located close to beautiful beaches and tourist attractions. One of my favourites is Treasure Island Holiday Park, located at Biggera Waters in close proximity to South Stradbroke Island. The waterways here are brimming with action and beauty. Dolphins are often seen frolicking at dawn, with humpback whale sightings common from June through to September.
Closer to Southport there are a myriad of child friendly parks and pools just waiting to be explored. Every water sport is available here, and you can either sit back and relax, hire a yacht or perhaps some parasailing. On a windy day its fun sitting on the edge of the water watching the skills of the wind surfers.
Another central location is the Main Beach Tourist Park, located just two minutes from the glitzy Surfers Paradise. Tedder Avenue is buzzing close by, with trendy cafes on every corner making it the ideal place to meet with new friends or just spend time together. Joggers are everywhere, and the beaches are lined with walking enthusiasts from dusk to dawn. This is a great location as a base to explore the rest of the coastline, including the gorgeous Cascade Gardens just further down the road.
Pacific Fair is located in Broadbeach, one of the main shopping centres on the coast. This has become a mega shopping complex over the years, and combined with the Oasis Shopping Centre on the beachfront, everything you need is here. Drive inland and you will experience the Gold Coast Hinterland at its best, and with Binna Burra rewarding you with spectacular mountainous views, its the perfect day trip.
One of my favourite locations on the coast is Currumbin Beach and Currumbin Alley. Perfect for the family with a choice of still waters or surfing beach, it's a good idea to pack a picnic lunch, sunscreen and bring your camera to capture the beauty here. You won't want to leave in a hurry. There are a number of walks for the more energetic, especially to Currumbin Rock which juts out of the beach waiting to be explored. The views from here are magnificent, sweeping north and south of the coast.
You can't say you've experienced the coast until you've visited the Theme Park strip at Oxenford. With so many to choose from you can buy a pass and visit them all, or take your pick. Dreamworld offers something for everyone, with rides galore, amazing wildlife experiences at Tiger Island and cuddly animal farm, a water park and plenty of attractions. Wet and Wild is just down the road, and a perfect choice for those long summer days. We recently piled the kids in the car for a day here enjoying the rides, wave pool and Buccaneer Bay for the kids. It's a great place for any age, including us big kids at heart!
Movie World is as huge as you could expect, with surprises at every corner. The Superman Escape is the best rollercoaster, reaching 100km in 2 seconds! Try the Batwing Spaceshot for some vertical thrills, or if you need some time to breathe head to Kids WB with all their favourite Looney Tunes Characters. You feel like you have walked right into the scene of a movie as you wander around the streets from one attraction to another. The Batman Adventure ride is another favourite that will keep you on the edge of your seats.
Right next door is a must see for every Australian and visitor alike, the famous Australian Outback Spectacular. We recently experienced the show and left feeling proud to be living in our amazing country. The visual experience is indescribable with so much jampacked into a few hours. Make sure you get there early as there is a lot to see and do before the show.
Seaworld combines attractions with marine education and development. Located at the end of Main Beach on Seaworld Drive this is a unique aquatic experience hard to beat anywhere else. Children will be fascinated by the sharks, diversity of fish, dolphins, seals, polar bears and penguins. The list goes on. My personal favourite is the Viking's Revenge Flume Ride. I was enjoying this ride thirty years ago, and still scream my heart out as we sail over the edge into the waters below.
Any time is a great time to enjoy the glistening Gold Coast and many attractions on offer. Be prepared to relax, soak in the sun and enjoy your home away from home as you experience the beauty of this city in paradise.
Jenny Brewer is a travel agent whose passion is writing. After spending her leisure time writing childrens stories, she now enjoys writing about travel destinations. For more of her articles visit Campervans Australia