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Gold Coast Information

Famous for its sun, surf and sand, Gold Coast City stretches along 57 kilometres of coastline. The Gold Coast is the sixth largest city in Australia and one of the fastest growing regions in our country. Covering an area of 1400 sq km, the city’s boundaries extend from just south of Beenleigh to Coolangatta, taking in South Stradbroke Island and part of Moreton Bay and extending west to the hinterland of Mount Tamborine and the Lamington and Darlington Ranges.

 History

Local aborigines referred to the Queensland south coast as “Kurrungul”, a name derived from their word for endless supplies of timber, and the region was said to be a meeting place where tribes would come together (essentially on summer holidays) to fish and camp near the many creeks and estuaries between the Tweed River and Moreton Bay.

Captain Cook travelled past the Coast in 1770 and named Point Danger and Mount Warning but it wasn’t until government surveyors charted the region in 1840 that the area was really brought to the attention of the European settlers. These settlers weren’t really interested in the surf beaches, but were keen to chop down as much wood as their bullock teams could drag up to Brisbane for use in the Moreton Bay shipping industry.

 The permanent population of the region increased slowly until 1925 when a new coastal road was built between Brisbane and Southport. That same year, Jim Cavill built the Surfers Paradise hotel 2km south of Southport in an area between the Nerang River and the beach known as Elston, and the real tourism boom began.

As automobile technology became more and more reliable in the 1930s, the number of holiday makers travelling down the coast road from Brisbane increased. By 1935 most of the coastal strip between Southport and the New South Wales border had been developed with housing estates and hotels.

Elston residents successfully lobbied to change the name of their town to Surfers Paradise in 1933. The (now famous) Surfers Paradise hotel burnt down in 1936 and was quickly replaced with another much grander structure which had art deco styling and even included a zoo out the back, complete with kangaroos and other wildlife.

By the 1960s the Gold Coast’s infrastructure had grown considerably and the local building industry was able to support the development of high rise holiday apartments and hotels (the first of which, Kinkabool, was completed in 1959). Surfers Paradise had firmly established itself as the leading destination and the introduction of bikini clad ‘Meter Maids’ in 1965 to feed parking meters by the beach to prevent holiday makers from getting parking fines was a particularly popular innovation and is still around to this day.

Our Gold Coast and Koala day tour will take you to all the main beaches of the Gold Coast.

 Population

The Gold Coast’s current population of 591,000 (2011) is expected to continue to grow by 13,000 to 16,000 people per year, so that by 2026 Gold Coast City will be home to over 730,000 residents. (2011 – Queensland 4.5 million / Brisbane 1.2m)

 Climate

Gold Coast City’s climate is sub tropical with 287 days of sunshine annually.

  • Av Summer Temperatures: 19 to 29 degrees Celsius (66 to 83 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Av Winter Temperatures: 9 to 21 degrees Celsius (48 to 69 degrees Fahrenheit)

 Transport

The region is served by Gold Coast International Airport, with frequent domestic services from Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Hobart, and International services from New Zealand and Asia. Brisbane’s International Airport also provides links with the USA and Europe. A rail link and Pacific Motorway connects Brisbane to the Gold Coast. An electric train service operates between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

 Environment

While the Gold Coast is one of the fastest growing regions in Australia, it remains one of the most bio-diverse, with bushland, marine and freshwater habitats which are home to more than 1300 animal and 1750 plant species.

 Tallest structure

The spire of Q1, the world’s tallest residential tower, is 322.5 metres above street level with an observation deck on the 78th floor.

 Other Facts

  • 70 kilometres of beaches with an average water temperature of 22 degrees
  • 260km of navigable waterways (nine times more than Venice)
  • Regional Botanic Gardens and 2245 parks covering 20,000 hectares

Apart from charter group tours, Queensland Day Tour does not operate a regular scheduled day tour to the Gold Coast from Brisbane.