Gold Coast is a coastal city located in the South East of the state of Queensland, Australia. The city is 94 km south of the state capital Brisbane. With a population of approximately 600,000 in 2011, it is the second most populous city in the state, the sixth most populous city in the country, and also the most populous non-capital city in Australia. The Gold Coast region grew significantly after the establishment of the Surfers Paradise hotel in the late 1920s and the area boomed in the 1980s as a leading tourist destination, with its sunny subtropical climate, surfing beaches, canal and waterway systems, its high-rise dominated skyline, theme parks, nightlife, and rainforest hinterland, making tourism one of its most significant industries.
The city consists of 57 km (35 mi) of coastline, with some of the most popular surf breaks in Australia and the world including, South Stradbroke Island, The Spit, Main Beach, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Mermaid Beach, Nobby Beach, Miami, Burleigh Beach, Burleigh Heads, Tallebudgera Beach, Palm Beach, Currumbin Beach, Snapper Rocks and Froggies Beach. Duranbah Beach is one of the world's best-known surfing beaches and is often thought of as being part of Gold Coast City, but is actually just across the New South Wales state border in Tweed Shire. Its official name is Flagstaff Beach - Duranbah is a small town located about 12 km (7.5 mi) southwest of the beach, but the name Duranbah Beach has become its accepted identity.
Each June, Coolangatta hosts the Wintersun Festival renamed as Cooly Rocks On for 2011, a two-week 1950s and 1960s nostalgia festival with free entertainment and attractions, including hot rods, restored cars and revival bands playing music of the era. Late November to early December sees thousands of school leavers across the country descend on the Gold Coast for Schoolies, a two week period of celebration and parties throughout Surfers Paradise.
Accommodation in Gold Coast's university residences
The Gold Coast's education infrastructure includes three major university campuses, the Southern Cross University Beachside Campus, Bond University at Robina and Griffith University. Some of the universities' residences offer casual visitor accommodation during the vacation periods. It should be understood that these residences and colleges are designed primarily for students and not children or adults expecting a high level of luxury. However, with this in mind, they do meet a level of comfort that we expect most visitors to be happy with, and we will welcome any feedback where this is not the case.
Getting to Gold Coast
Transport modes in the Gold Coast include cars, taxis, buses, ferries, rail and monorail, but the car is still the dominant mode of transport. The Pacific Motorway (M1) is the main motorway in the area, beginning at the Logan Motorway (M6) in Brisbane. Queensland Rail operates rail services from Brisbane to the Gold Coast along the Gold Coast railway line. Gold Coast Airport is located at Coolangatta, approximately 22 km (14 mi) south of Surfers Paradise. Services are provided to interstate capitals and major cities, as well as major New Zealand cities, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Japan. Brisbane Airport is less than one hour from the centre of Gold Coast, and direct trains operate.