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How to be a Gold Coast tourist when you live locally

By Andrew Bell

It's not unusual when you've lived somewhere for a while to have ignored all the attractions tourists flock to. There's always time to go another day, but why keep waiting. Whether you already have a Gold Coast property, or you're thinking of investing in the area's real estate some time soon, here are some tourist activities worth checking out.

1. Learn to surf

Living on 70 kilometres of coastline leaves you with little in the way of excuses for never having taken the plunge and learnt to surf. The Gold Coast is known for it's fantastic surf, and the warm waters make it even more enticing. After all, it's been described as a 'surfer's paradise' since 1917.

Before you run into the sea though, take some time to get some tips from pro surfers at one of the many surf schools. They'll teach you what to look out for to stay safe in the water and get you standing up in no time. 

2. Whale watching

While tours take place from May to November, your best chance of a sighting is between June and October. Humpbacks are the most common sightings and they're often the ones keeping whale watchers entertained.

Early in the season they are on their way north to warmer waters for breeding, before turning round and heading back to Antarctica for the summer. In the later months you may be lucky enough to see calves with their mothers. Orcas are also occasionally spotted but are much rarer than humpbacks.

3. Theme Parks

You're really spoilt for choice in the Gold Coast. Especially handy if you have kids to entertain over the school holidays or weekends, these parks can keep you busy for days. Choose from quite the selection including Seaworld, Wet 'n' Wild, Warner Bros and Dreamworld depending on whether you're interested in rollercoasters, movie characters or getting wet.

Some of the parks are linked which means you get two for the price of one entry, and a number of them are clustered around the M1 motorway making it super easy to visit.

4. SkyPoint Observation Deck

Sitting at 230 metres high, the observation desk at the top of Q1 building allows 360 degree views out to sea and over inland scenery. It's Australia's only beach front observation deck and the building is one of the tallest residential blocks in the world.

Visiting options range from a straight-forward admission ticket to taking advantage of the sky high dining menu. Food is served from breakfast to dinner, and you can even get annual membership so you can visit whenever you fancy. 

If you're about to start your Gold Coast real estate search, get in touch with Ray White Surfers Paradise to deal with local experts.

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