Love it or hate it, the Gold Coast is one of Australia's icons. Bronzed lifeguards, bikini-clad meter maids, tanned tourists draped with gold jewelry, high-rise apartment towers that cast long shadows over parts of the beach . . . but the glitz, the glitter, and the overdevelopment pale as soon as you hit the sand. The white shoreline stretches uninterrupted for 70km (43 miles), making up for the long strips of neon-lit motels and souvenir shops.

The Gold Coast's theme parks are not as large or as sophisticated as Disney World, but they're exciting. There are also 40 golf courses, dinner cruises, and loads of adrenaline-fueled outdoor activities, too.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.