The Gold Coast: 3 Places That Make Me Feel Right at Home

After spending one month in Gold Coast, Australia it is apparent to me that I never, ever want to leave. Not only is the weather great, but the people are too. Since I haven’t traveled too far from the Gold Coast yet, there are already three places that feel like home: Byron Bay, Burleigh Heads, and North Stradbroke Island. 

1: Byron Bay

Byron Bay was our first stop after landing at Brisbane Airport. From the moment we stepped into town, it was lively. On most corners and even in alleyways you can find live music ranging from the oldies to hip original songs. Byron seems to never sleep. There are always people out and about whether they are shopping, eating, or picnicking on the beachside. There is a wide variety of activities to choose from. You can surf, go for hikes, or even have a silent disco night on the beach. 

Cape Byron Lighthouse, the easternmost point of Australia.


The lookout from Cape Byron Lighthouse.


2: Burleigh Heads

Another favorite is Burleigh. Not only is there a great beach to surf and relax, and there is also a National Park with spectacular lookouts. When walking around, you can find an abundant amount of restaurants, cafes, and small boutiques. No matter what occasion, Burleigh can keep you occupied. In my opinion, it is the best place to watch surfing and grab fish and chips.

Burleigh Heads surf-watching with the skyline of Surfers Paradise in the background.



Burleigh Heads National Park wildlife.


Surfers are everywhere at Burleigh Beach.

3: North Stradbroke Island

If you’re looking for a place to see dolphins, sea turtles, and stingrays, North Stradbroke Island is the perfect place to go. On our lookout walk, we saw the bluest water, the prettiest waves, and so much wildlife. When climbing to the top of the rocks it is easy to spot dolphins swimming by and small sea turtles floating their way through the water. You can always spot kangaroos laying on the side of the walking path. Straddie Island is a little hard to get to but once you are there it is a great island to find hidden gems.

A great place to view wildlife in Stradbroke.


Kangaroos relaxing in Stradbroke Island.

Abigail Meyer is a student at University of South Carolina and an ISA Photo Blogger. She is studying abroad with ISA in Gold Coast, Australia.

Author: International Studies Abroad (ISA)

Since 1987, International Studies Abroad (ISA) has provided college students in the United States and Canada the opportunity to explore the world. ISA offers a wide variety of study abroad programs at accredited schools and universities in 73 program locations throughout the world.

4 thoughts

  1. I always imagined Australia as steppes and deserts with wild animals. And it turned out to be so bright and spectacular. Want to go there someday.

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