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Open Jaw

Go Native. Go Gold Coast.

At the neighbourhood Surf Club, everyone’s a local

Bonza day cobber! Want to experience the authentic Aussie lifestyle? Get yourself to the Gold Coast 'n' live like a real local. Ice some beers in the esky, nosh up a barbie on the beach, make new mates at the Surf & Lifesaving Club. You'll be an honorary Aussie in no time. If you can’t have fun here you must have a few kangaroos loose in the top paddock. Strewth!

Surfers Paradise night markets

For those of you not fluent in ‘strine’ – the English language as spoken by Australians – we’ll switch back to the (boring) Canadian dialect, but hopefully with the point made that hanging out with Aussies is a ton of beaut, er, fun.

And since authentic experiences are what your clients are looking for, Australia should be on everyone’s bucket list. Because, as Michael Thurston, Marketing Manager, Western Hemisphere for Gold Coast Tourism, says, there’s no place easier to mix with the locals, and there’s a special place in local hearts for Commonwealth cousins from Canada.

“Canadians and Australians have a lot of similarities. We both have a laid-back nature that is polite and welcoming. We love to enjoy nature. And we love to have fun. In Gold Coast, so many of our events and attractions feature a blend of locals, domestic tourists and international visitors. Everyone just gets together and has a great time.”

“As the Gold Coast has evolved, the opportunities to ‘live like a local’ have become abundant.

As a city that grew out of a string of surf villages on 57km of sandy coastline, it’s no surprise that Thurston calls the beach “the epicentre of local life.” And not just for water sports, swimming and sunbathing.

Currumbin beachside cafe

“Our beaches offer stunning dining opportunities at everything from world-class restaurants to the free BBQ facilities offered at just about every beach. And our Surf Life Saving clubs are located right on the beach in the best locations in the country. As well as being a home base for lifeguards – and Gold Coast has the most lifeguards in Australia so you can swim in safety – these clubs are open to the public and offer affordable food and drink. It’s a very naturalized experience,” Thurston says.

Surf Life Saving clubs are just one place where visitors meet locals. Thurston says there are plenty of other intersection points.

“As the Gold Coast has evolved, the opportunities to ‘live like a local’ have become abundant. Guests can visit one of our craft breweries that open their doors to visitors with food trucks, live music and, of course, amazing craft beer. Likewise, there is a diverse variety of local markets featuring fresh produce, evening beachfront and vintage fashion markets throughout the city. These experiences are heavily frequented by locals, giving visitors an ideal opportunity to mix.”

There’s no limit to the outdoor opportunities on the temperate Gold Coast.

With Gold Coast’s temperate climate, both locals and visitors tend to spend a lot of time outdoors. And Thurston says there’s no limit to the opportunities.

On the water, Gold Coast offers a range of surfing and stand-up paddle boarding schools, whale-watching, jet-boating and other high-octane tours, eco-adventures and more. And with more than 100,000 hectares of the World Heritage Listed Gondwana Rainforest at its doorstep, there is an abundance of walking trails and stunning scenery on offer.

Plus, the surrounding area known as the Gold Coast hinterland provides visitors with plenty of stunning scenery, food and wine trails, quaint and quirky villages, and native wildlife.

No trip to Australia would be complete without getting up close and personal with some of the continent’s unique wildlife. At Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, visitors can cuddle a koala, feed a friendly kangaroo, experience the wild lorikeet feeding, free-flight bird show and Australiana sheep shearing. There’s a cultural element too, as Aboriginal presenters perform didgeridoo and dance shows.

Thurston says Gold Coast Tourism’s recently revamped website is the perfect starting point for discovering what our destination has to offer. The Local Love section of the site has over a hundred pieces of editorial on a diverse and fun range of topics and articles.

There’s also a content portal agents can access, featuring thousands of images, a wide range of video assets, brand assets and editorial copy. Once registered, travel advisors can download and use high resolution versions of each media type.

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