Gold Coast shines in lead up to 2018 Commonwealth Games

Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018

Our drive around the Gold Coast took us through Southport, where the colour of the blue sky was almost outdone by the bright cobalt porsche stopped beside us in traffic.

This coastal city is known for many things. For some it was a holiday destination often visited while growing up in the 60s, when the first metre maids would wander down the hot summer streets in their golden bikinis, popping loose change into the parking metres as they teetered by in high heels.

For others, it’s a party paradise, a car enthusiast’s dream or a favoured family hotspot where you can watch the grandkids tire themselves out by jumping in and out of the ocean, running from the waves that race them to shore.

Read more: 8 of the most beautiful beaches in Queensland

Now, the Gold Coast is on the world’s stage. Not simply a weekend holiday destination for Brisbane locals, or a summer vacation spot for those looking for a break from cool breezes interstate, the Gold Coast is where sport and technology meet, where gourmet meals can be enjoyed in casual comfort and where the bushland’s, man-made canals and native wildlife make just as much of a mark on the landscape as the kilometres of coastline.

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The host of the 2018 Commonwealth Games is evolving and shining as a family, sporting and gourmet hub of Queensland. If you are thinking of visiting the Gold Coast and want to learn more about the Commonwealth Games host city, then here are some of the great things to see and do while you’re there.

1. Currumbin Sanctuary

Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018

Made up of more than 400 volunteers and 200 employed staff, the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is the primary wildlife attraction on the Gold Coast and has been opening its doors to families, wildlife-enthusiasts and locals for 70 years. Established in 1947 by beekeeper Alex Griffiths, the sanctuary began as a lorikeet and bird sanctuary. Now you can cuddle a koala, feed Boss Hog the 5-metre crocodile or visit the wildlife hospital where native animals are brought back to good health.

2. KDV Sports Centre

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Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018

If you’d like to perfect your golf swing, play a round of tennis or stretch your body with yoga and pilates, then the privately-owned KDV Sport Centre is worth the visit. There are 40 undercover driving range bays, a gym with a sauna and ice baths, an 18-hole mini golf course, an outdoor pool and 20 tennis courts including clay, hardcourt and padel courts. This is the place to work up a sweat, or escape the heat in the cool air conditioning.

3. Holoverse

Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018

The world’s first holographic entertainment centre has arrived in Australia and it’s right on the Gold Coast. If the weather gets a bit wet and windy during your holiday and you need to entertain the grandkids, the Holoverse will keep them going for hours. Made up of 40 hologram rooms, people (of all ages!) can choose from one of a series of experiences including an interactive games or a fly over the Gold Coast landscape. Step into a room, pop on your special 3D glass and you’ll feel like your stepping into a new world as projectors shoot images onto the walls surrounding you. 

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4. Sea World Helicopters

If you really want to get an idea of the beauty of the Gold Coast then jump on one of the Sea World Helicopters for a spin around the city. Not only will you be able to spot some of the new venues hosting the Commonwealth Games 2018 events, but you’ll also get a bird’s eye view of the signature coastline, the surfers along Snapper Rocks, Currumbin Valley and more than 400km of man-made canals. 

5. The Kitchens, Robina

Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018

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If you like nothing more than enjoying a plate of deliciously fresh seafood, then Robina’s new dining precinct, The Kitchens, is a must-visit destination. The $160 million development offers some of the best fare on this side of the border. If you love your seafood with a contemporary twist, then the Fish Lab by William Wu will make your taste buds happy. Only Australian fish is on the menu and you can watch as the chefs shuck, slice and prepare your meals right in front of you. Quirky dishes like fish parmigiana are on the menu, as well as old classics like fish and chips and sashimi.

What do you love about the Gold Coast? Are you thinking of going to the Commonwealth Games? Let us know all about what you’ve discovered on the Gold Coast in the comments section below.

The writer was invited as a guest of Tourism Events Queensland and Tourism Gold Coast, but all opinions are her own.

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