The Gold Coast is a thriving metropolis stretching for many kilometres along the southeast coast of Queensland. Not only is there around 57 kilometres of coast included under the Gold Coast label, but there are long stretches of lovely canals lined with beautiful homes - some of the most sought-after in Queensland. The construction of these man-made canals first started in the 1950s and it is so popular that they are still being constructed.
Both Captain cook and Matthew Flinders sailed past this area now known as the Gold Coast on their travels. It was not until the explorer John Oxley landed at a little cove in 1823 - calling it after his ship, The Mermaid - that settlement commenced. Initially woodcutters were the main settlers there as the region had many magnificent stands of red cedar. The base established to deal with this industry was Nerang, with Southport later becoming a suburb for the wealthy to reside in.
Once the Surfers Paradise Hotel was established in 1925, the region was committed to tourism and it has gone ahead on leaps and bounds ever since. The name “Gold Coast” was coined during this time of rapid growth, but no one can tell who was responsible for it. These days the region is still thriving and there are many exciting things to do and places to see.
Some of the tourist attractions include several theme parks such as Sea World, with sea life showcased in aquariums, Dream World, White Water World, Wet ‘n Wild, and Movie World. With so much coastline and beautiful beaches, other water-based activities are also prevalent. You can take your pick from windsurfing, kite-surfing, diving, canoeing or just plain surfing. Rips and huge surf are common dangers and those new to the area should take care to play in protected areas.
Some of the events popular on the gold Coast include the Magic Millions horseracing carnival, The Wintersun Festival at Coolangatta with its hot rods and street entertainment, the Gold Coast Marathon, and the Gold Coast Indy 300 car race.
For the nature-lover there are several wildlife parks to enjoy including Currumbin Sanctuary and Fleay’s Wildlife Park; The Australian Outback Spectacular and Paradise County. Lamington national park is a world heritage listed site right on the southern edge of the Gold Coast containing ancient remnants of the Mount Warning volcano.
In Lamington National park the visitor can see the amazing 5,000-year-old buttressed roots of beech trees as well as one of the largest hoop pine forest remaining. Some of the other plants there are sub-alpine relics from the last ice age. The place is also home to the beautiful black and gold regent bowerbird, Albert’s lyrebird, the eastern bristlebird and other rare birds.
There are both short and long, marked walkways throughout the Park for those visitors who desire to see nature at its best. But camping overnight is not allowed and park rangers must be notified of activities for the visitors’ protection.