I am very excited to share this edition of the “Travel Like A Local” series because it’s all about Gold Coast in Australia, where I will soon be travelling to! In this Gold Coast local’s travel guide Lucy of A Travellers Footsteps shares her insider tips on the best things to do, best places to eat, off the beaten track locations and much more! Read on to find out how to explore Gold Coast, in Australia, like a local.
Hi Lucy tell us a bit about yourself! What city do you feel like a local in?
Hi Greta, pleasure to meet you. I was born and raised in the countryside of Australia. Being from such a small place gave me a desire to want to travel and see more of the world. I have travelled to 12 countries and in between my trips call Australia’s Gold Coast home.
How long did you live there for?
I have lived on the Gold Coast for around 7 years.
What are your favourite places to eat?
I must admit, I love all kinds of food: Mexican, Thai and Italian are just a few of my favorite cuisines. My all-time favorite restaurant on the Gold Coast is Govindas, a vegetarian restaurant in Burleigh Heads. At Govindas you spend between $11-$15 dollars on a take away meal and can select from a number of options including fresh salads, vegetable lasagna and curries, potato bake and kofta balls.
Do you have a favourite place to study or work?
During my degree I would always take my notes to the beach to study, this was the dream. If only I could work from the beach everyday.
What about when you want to relax? Do you have a favourite relaxing spot?
When I need to relax I go for a walk on the beach. The Gold Coast is located along 72kms of perfect beaches.
Is there a typical activity locals do in their free time?
One of my favourite things about living on the Gold Coast is the fact that the best things to do are free: Beach days, waterfall adventures, hiking trails and swimming holes. All Gold Coast beaches are stunning, but these are the best. Some of my other favourite places to visit include Lip Falls, Purlingbrook Falls, Best of all Lookout, Tallebudgera Creek and Burleigh Heads National Park.
What is your favourite activity or thing to do in Gold Coast?
Hang out on the beautiful beaches or find a new hiking trail or waterfall in the hinterland. I love searching for new, secret spots.
Do you have a favourite photo spot?
There are a number of lookouts on the Gold Coast that offer amazing photo opportunities. My favourite would be North Burleigh headland.
When is the best time to visit Gold Coast?
The Gold Coast is great to visit during any season. My favourite month on the Gold Coast is October as the weather is not to hot and not to cold.
What’s one “touristy” thing in Gold Coast everyone should actually do?
Visit the Q1 in Surfers Paradise, the Gold Coast’s tallest building. The views are unbeatable.
What’s one “off the beaten track” place people don’t normally know about but should know about?
Lip Falls is a waterfall that I would consider to be a secret spot. Not many people know about it, but that will change quickly. There are some other secret spots, but they will remain that 😉
Any tips or tricks on how to navigate Gold Coast?
If you plan on taking public transport around the Gold Coast, get a Go Card. It makes each trip cheaper. To make the most of your time on the Gold Coast I recommend hiring a car so you can get out of the tourist areas and into the hinterland and southern beaches.
Any tips on how to visit Gold Coast like a local so that travellers reading this can blend in?
If you are wearing thongs (flip flops), board shorts or a bikini, you will fit right in. The Gold Coast has a very laid back, coastal vibe.
What is the best area in Gold Coast to stay in? Any specific hotels you can recommend?
Most tourists love to stay in Surfers Paradise, but I recommend getting out of the hussle and bustle and staying on the Southern end of the Gold Coast, anywhere from Burleigh South.
What do you love most about Gold Coast?
I love the natural treasures surrounding Gold Coast City. After travelling far and wide I am proud to say that the Gold Coast has some of the most pristine natural environments in the world and is a place I am proud to call home.
Anything else you want to share about Gold Coast?
Make sure you get out of Surfers Paradise. The Gold Coast has so much more to offer, so many tourists miss out.
Have you been to Gold Coast before? How did you find it? Let us know in the comments below! I’m stoked to be headed to Australia and Gold Coast soon, and will be looking forward to implementing Lucy’s advice!
Edit: I have now been to Australia, if you’re looking for more travel advice for the East Coast of Australia make sure to check out my Cairns to Brisbane itinerary, and my posts about the Great Barrier Reef and Cairns. If you’re ready to go beyond Queensland in your travel planning make sure to check out my guides about Uluru, Sydney and the Great Ocean Road too.