Friday, 30 September 2011 7:48 AM
It's not hard to see why so many people are tempted by an Australia gap year as the country boasts pristine beaches, breathtaking natural sights and bustling cities. And for one of the best ways to experience its Gold Coast, why not opt for a bus trip that will allow you to take in the top attractions?
The Gold Coast is located in the heart of Queensland. Like its name suggests, it is a stretch of land on the east coast of Australia, where you'll be able to benefit from countless bays, gorgeous waters and beautiful scenery.
It is also the name of a vibrant and hectic metropolis that is well worth a visit if you're looking for somewhere a little different from Sydney or Melbourne during your travels.
If you are planning to venture around the region, you might want to start in the city of the Gold Coast. Here, you can spend your afternoons reclining on the white sand beaches soaking up the sunshine. When the temperature drops, it's time to get dressed up and hit the town, as there is plenty to do in the evening here.
Whether you simply want to dine at a restaurant, drink a few pints at a pub or dance the night away, you'll find what you're looking for in the Gold Coast. Head to Surfers Paradise for parties aboard boats or nightclubs serving exotic cocktails.
And the next day, you can shield yourself from the warm sun by visiting the many shops, markets and malls you'll be able to find among its high-rise buildings and luxurious hotel complexes.
Of course, this isn't just what the region is about and when you want to experience more of Australia's natural habitat, you won't have to travel far to do so!
Grab a seat on a hop on, hop off bus and you'll have the flexibility to stop at the locations you want, giving you freedom to decide the itinerary of your trip at the last minute.
You may, for example, have more places to visit on the Gold Coast hinterland than you initially realised. Venturing further inland, you'll come to this vast area where you're surrounded by mountain peaks, forest-laden valleys and waterfalls, and you might find yourself wanting to discover more about this region.
The McPherson Range is awash with flora and fauna, allowing you to truly escape the crowds of the city and leave your worries behind. It stretches just 60 km from New South Wales and in this expanse, you'll be able to picnic beside mountain pools, hike through subtropical rainforests and visit vineyards.
Other places to see in this region include Tamborine National Park, where you can see the Cameron Falls, Cedar Creek Falls and Witches Falls.
You might also wish to visit Springbok National Park, as this will present you with the unique opportunity to see Australia's largest collection of glow worms. In addition to this, you can also witness the sight of the Natural Arch, a waterfall that breaks through a cave roof.
There are so many places to explore in the Gold Coast hinterland that you might find yourself spending a longer time - and hopping on and off a lot more bus journeys - than you originally thought you would.
And should you discover that the country's unique natural environment interests you, volunteer work in Australia could give you the chance to help protect the habitats. You even assist with its indigenous creatures that you can't find at home, such as by helping at a koala or kangaroo sanctuary.
Whether you take part in voluntary work abroad or you simply want to discover the Gold Coast on holiday, you could find that exploring the region thoroughly could make your trip that bit more memorable.