Driving through the Gold Coast in Australia: hitting up the best beaches and coastal cities!

If you’re itching to discover the beautiful island of Oz, we’ve come up with a must-do road trip while you’re down under. This unbelievable itinerary takes you along the east coast, across major cities and breathtaking beaches. You’ll be surprised at the varying experiences each stop has to offer. From sensational city views to bohemian surf town sunsets - there’s something out there for everyone. An ideal trip to take as a family or with a loved one, all year round! So buckle up on this journey from the capital of Queensland, Brisbane, through the Gold Coast and down to Byron Bay, a major coastal town in New South Wales.

Coastal beaches in Australia.

- © Judah Grubb / Shutterstock

Quick word about Brisbane

The ideal time to visit Brisbane is from April to August to avoid extreme heat. Indeed, this coast of the island welcomes 300 days of sunshine per year, so best to go there when temperatures are relatively pleasing.

An aerial view of Brisbane, Australia.

- © Mel Campbell Creative / Shutterstock

While Brisbane city in of itself is not on the coast, it is located along the Brisbane River, which opens onto the ocean just east to the city. It offers memorable island experiences off its coast, such as Moreton Island. Not only is this island  the perfect place to experience exceptional scuba diving in blue lagoon-type waters, swim with wild dolphins, and run down endless dunes, its clear waters also conceal a fascinating shipwreck of 15 navy boats easily accessible right off the beach. You can discover this wonder by boat, kayak or paddle! A truly one of a kind experience. 

Shipwreck by Moreton island, greater Brisbane, Australia.

- © Darren Tierney / Shutterstock

Our favourite hotel in Brisbane

Brisbane Skytower by CLLIX Brisbane
booking.com

Brisbane Skytower by CLLIX

A lovely hotel located in the heart of Brisbane, Australia.
From
£179 /night
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The Gold Coast

Just about an hour south of Brisbane lies the blue lagoon paradise of endless beaches: the Gold Coast. Also known as the tourist capital of Queensland, this city is named the Gold Coast due to its idealistic location, attracting mass tourism.

An aerial view of Gold Coast, Queensland.

- © zstock / Shutterstock

1. Coastal beaches and villages

Surfers riding waves at Coolangatta beach, Queensland.

- © Still Horizon Studio / Shutterstock

With a total of 12 beaches, it’s safe to say that you’ll have your pick at the Gold Coast, but the most popular remain Palm Beach, Main Beach, Kirra, and Mermaid Beach. When it comes to picking a surfing village to test out your board, you should opt for the Currumbin, Burleigh Heads (check out the Burleigh Brewing Co.), Broadbeach, Coolangatta, and, last but not least, Surfers Paradise (where beaches extend for more than 10 km). 

Currumbin beach, Queensland, Australia.

- © Darren Tierney / Shutterstock

There are also plenty of events to partake in during your travels along the Gold Coast, such as the Bleach Festival Blues on Broadbeach (which is free), or make another stop in  Currumbin Beach to witness the spectacular work of artists at the Swell Sculpture Festival, transforming the beach into a blank canvas! 

Bleach Festival, Gold Coast, Australia.

- © Alex Cimbal / Shutterstock

2. Heading Hinterland

In need of a quick escapade in nature? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Ditch the coast and head inland Queensland until you reach Lamington and Springbrook National Parks, where you can enjoy peaceful walks or hikes around the Green Mountains, Mount Tamborine or yet again Springbrook to witness mesmerising waterfalls! Well worth the detour.

Mount Tamborine waterfall, Hunterland, Queensland.

- © bmphotographer / Shutterstock

Our favourite hotel on the Gold Coast

Albatross North Apartments Gold Coast
booking.com

Albatross North Apartments

A lovely hotel located in Gold Coast, Australia.
From
£323 /night
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Topping things off with Byron Bay

Last but not least, we have New South Wales’ popular coastal town: Byron Bay. Expect more sandy beaches, quality surf conditions, incredible scuba diving experiences, and - if you’re lucky - you may even spot a humpback whale! Iconic stops to be made here include the Captain Cook Lookout, the Cape Byron Lighthouse, and the Byron Bay Conservation Park. Now there’s the real Aussie experience! 

Byron Bay at sunset, New South Wales, Australia.

- © Camila Se / Shutterstock

Our favourite hotel at Byron Bay

Bayhaven Lodge Byron Bay
booking.com

Bayhaven Lodge

A lovely guest house located in Byron Bay, Australia.
From
£97 /night
Book
by Lena COLIN
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