Gold Coast Car Hire
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On the southeastern coast of Australia lies the Gold Coast, the country's largest non-capital city and home to some of its most iconic beaches. Founded in 1949, the Gold Coast stretches between Oxenford in the north to Coolangatta in the south, and from the stunningly blue Coral Sea in the east to the borders of Lamington National Park in the west. Popularly dubbed the 'theme park capital' of Australia, it promises – and delivers – tons of sand, saltwater, and bright lights!
The Gold Coast is a brilliant place to explore by car, with endless road trip opportunities. Cheap car hire in the Gold Coast is only a few clicks away with Enjoy Travel. Hiring a compact car in Gold Coast such as a Toyota Yaris or similar starts from just $178 AUD per day. With your own transport, you have the freedom to explore the many beach towns along the coast. Rent a car in the Gold Coast with Enjoy Travel to discover this beautiful part of Australia.
Guide to the Gold Coast
Not only is the Gold Coast a host to plenty of beach activities, but it also boasts a vibrant nightlife, busy shopping complexes, and breathtaking cityscapes. On the other hand, for those that enjoy quietness and solitude, its verdant rainforests offer a much-needed respite from the summer heat. Whether you're a surfboarding enthusiast, party animal, or nature-hippie, the Gold Coast makes for a fabulous tourist destination!
Most of the Gold Coast's attractions are in the town of Surfers Paradise, which draws tourists with its three-kilometer-long strip of sand. If you're an early riser, try and catch the sunrise at the town's Main Beach! Be there by about 6am, and you'll be just in time to bathe in the golden sunlight. The combination of early morning rays and fresh air might just make you want to go jogging, or capture a magical moment with family. The most scenic part of the beach is the Spit, a thin strip of land that juts out into the ocean. Once just a sandbank, the Spit is now the berth of hundreds of trawlers and private yachts.
Things to do in the Gold Coast
Visit Infinity theme park
Head over to Infinity, a theme park that will dazzle you with its sound and light illusions. Promising to "explode your senses," this funhouse offers a unique experience where you explore fantastical holograms and projections that simulate interdimensional travel! Brace yourself for a multi-sensory experience because, besides special light effects, there are also thrilling sound fields and titillating aromas. If you think you’re ready for the time of your life, enter Infinity's Time Tunnel, which has been called a "chemical free trip into other dimensions of your imagination that explodes your senses," After you exit, take a few moments to recalibrate to your present dimension.
Have fun on the beach
By afternoon, head over to one of the city's beaches for some surfing, swimming, and beach games. You can head back to Main Beach or explore one of many other smaller and less crowded ones: Coolangatta Beach, Burleigh Heights Beach, Currumbin Beach, or Kirra Beach. If seaside activities aren't on your to-do list the day, head out to Point Danger, where you can visit the Centaur Memorial. The memorial celebrates the Australian hospital ship Centaur, sunk by a Japanese submarine during World War II. Nearby, you can visit other war memorials as well.
Discover Gold Coast’s nature
Nature lovers could then consider heading out to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Australia's wildlife is famous for being...well, especially wild, but you can safely interact with kangaroos, koalas, and emus here. Visitors are allowed to touch and even feed some of the animals. If you enjoy watching birds, expect to feed a lot of friendly rainbow lorikeets, too!
Alternately, you can pick up a hiking trail on Tamborine Mountain and immerse yourself in the breathtaking rainforests, cliffs, and waterfalls. There are several scenic paths to choose from as you ascend! Make sure to plot a stop at the famous Glow-Worm Caves, where glittering glow worms dot the walls in the hundreds. Although this is a man-made addition to the mountain's natural beauty, the caves act as a sanctuary and long-term breeding program for glow worms by providing them with optimal conditions to thrive.
Have fun in the city
If you'd rather stay in the city center, we'd suggest you jump straight into a theme park! The Gold Coast has a lot of them, so you may find yourself struggling to choose which one to go to. The best-rated parks include Warner Bros Movie World, Seaworld, Dreamworld, and Wet'n'Wild Gold Coast. Some of these put on light and animal circus shows as well. After you tire yourself out, visit the Gold Coast Museum for a change of pace while exploring the rich history of the first settlers and, before them, the Aboriginal peoples who ritually gathered in the area.
After the sun goes down, treat yourself to the city's incredible shopping malls. The most famous one is Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, containing over 400 stalls, but you can also check out Cavill Mall as well if a vintage shopping hub with picturesque views of the neighboring beaches tickles your fancy more. As you walk along Cavill Avenue, framed by pines and palm trees, allow yourself to experience the street culture of the Gold Coast, from its small but mighty eateries to its brightly lit entertainment complexes. Come dinner time, prepare yourself for a gastronomical love affair because the Gold Coast culinary scene does not disappoint.
Where to eat in Gold Coast?
Food in the Gold Coast really needs to be more talked about. Drawn from a multitude of cultures – including Italian, Spanish, French and Vietnamese – dishes are not only often lip-smacking but simply beautiful to look at. Whether you prefer to eat in dainty little restaurants, sequestered away from all the noise, or large rooftops with the smell of the sea in the air, you have a lot of dining options. As you get set to munch on fish and chips, sip cocktails or chow on vegan delicacies, try and remember some of these restaurant names, and you won't be disappointed. And the best part? It's much cheaper than – and as good as – what you'd find in Sydney or Melbourne.
This name is so famous around the Gold Coast that you might assume it was a major corporate chain. In reality, it's a lot more private and exotic than that. First conceptualized when chef Jake Cooley went on a biking trip around Vietnam, this restaurant boasts top-tier Vietnamese-Australian fusion cuisine, so head here when you're itching for some Asian flavors with a twist! You may want to start with the ocean trout sashimi, wok-tossed squid, and ong choy. If you're feeling adventurous, ask for the famous 'Feed Me' menu and prepare yourself for a surprise.
Social Eating House
What makes Social Eating House special is its informal community dining concept. Much as its name suggests, it encourages guests to eat together (and talk about how much fun you had surfing that afternoon!). The servers are extremely friendly, and the seating is perfect for large groups. The shared, tapas-style dishes on their menu include kingfish, prawns, buffalo curd, handmade catavelli pasta, barbecued octupi and other (mostly seafood-based) delicacies. It's no surprise that Matthew Jefferson, the owner and executive chef, was the recipient of the People's Choice 'Chef of the Year' award three years in a row.
Neon lights. Chandeliers. Colorful bottles. Soft yellow lights. Yamagen recreates the authentic Tokyo dining experience, complete with sushi, smoked kushiyaki, and sashimi. The vibe here is every bit as dreamy and theatrical as you'd imagine. Be sure to savor a glass of sake along with your fish, rice cakes, and noodles! There are quite a few Japanese restaurants in the city, but this new generation Japanese joint is worth a second - and third - glance.
Tasca' is Italian for 'pocket.' But don't be fooled by how small it looks from the outside, because Tasca Coolangatta gives you a sophisticated space to taste all the exotic wines you could possibly want! We suggest pairing them with the squid pasta, tuna carpaccio or pumpkin gnocchi. This is the place to go for a relaxing dinner with family or a loved one and reminisce over the events of the day.
Transport in Gold Coast
Airports in Gold Coast
The nearest airport is the Gold City Airport, also known as the Coolangatta Airport (OOL).. Situated around 25 km south of Surfers Paradise, (and 90 km south of the center of Brisbane) it’s directly connected to most major cities in Australia, as well as some destinations in Asia and New Zealand. Some of its carriers include Qantas, Air New Zealand, and Virgin Australia. You’ll find daily flights to cities such as Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.
The airport is well connected, with trains, trams and buses connecting the airport to stops along the Gold Coast. When visiting the Gold Coast, you can buy the ‘Gold Coast go explore‘ pass from the Airport and it’s easy to use. The pass is only $10 a day for unlimited TransLink Gold Coast bus and tram travel.
Alternatively, if you prefer road travel, several bus services are connected to Surfers Paradise, Coolangatta, and Southport. There is also an airport train connection to Varsity Lakes Train Station, where you can then travel between Brisbane Airport and the CBD, Sunshine Coast, and the Gold Coast.
Driving in the Gold Coast
You’ll find all of Australia’s best known car rental companies available to book with Enjoy Travel for cheap car hire in the Gold Coast. Located just south of Brisbane, Queensland’s capital city, there’s endless beaches, theme parks and natural scenery to discover. You can drive along the Gold Coast Highway, which passes through Surfers Paradise, Southport and Broadbeach, or take a trip to Burleigh Heads for views of the Gold Coast skyline.
Take note when driving in the Gold Coast that it’s a popular destination for cyclists, and a 50km speed limit will apply in most residential areas. Be on the lookout for pedestrians and light rail vehicles in busy areas of Surfers Paradise!