Written by Scarlett Murray,
Last Modified: 16th March 2023

The Gold Coast has long been recognised in Australia as a thriving location. Many Australians just love to holiday there. For its heavenly beaches, theme parks and warm hospitality. Now, the Gold Coast has been recognised as one of the most welcoming cities in the world. Find out why we think this fun-loving, kid-friendly city is so deserving of this title.

Two boys doing a handstand on the Gold Coast

This fabulous city is super welcoming to kids too!

In the spirit of an optimistic year of travel ahead, Booking.com have revealed the Most Welcoming Cities on Earth for 2023. The data has been collected using more than 240 million verified reviews from Booking.com travellers. In first place on the list is Polignano a Mare, Italy. Other cities include the UK’s very own York as well as Ushuaia, Argentina and Mexico City, Mexico. And, of course, Australia’s fabulous Gold Coast.

Although the list is composed with holidays in mind, owning a home overseas can be quite like having access to a holiday that doesn’t have an end date in sight. Plus, if you are planning on moving to the Gold Coast, it’s a great way to lure friends over for visits, “you’ve got to come see me, I live in one of the most welcoming cities in the world.”

Where is the Gold Coast?

The Gold Coast is a coastal city in the state of Queensland, south of Brisbane. It is the sixth largest city in Australia and one of Australians’ absolute favourite places to holiday. Even if you choose to settle down elsewhere in Australia, you may find yourself drawn here for some fun downtime. Before Covid hit, the Gold Coast saw a record number of tourists, with 1.1 million overseas visitors and 4.2 million domestic ones in 2019. Perhaps 2023 will see a rebounding of those figures.

So, what makes the Gold Coast such a friendly city?

The theme park capital of Australia

According to Booking.com, 61% of travellers like holidays that make them feel like kids again, which the Gold Coast is perfect for. From mega theme parks to the most thrilling water parks, the Gold Coast knows just how to tickle you until you laugh and scream like a kid.

Moreover, if you are planning to make the move to Australia with children, describing these theme parks is certainly one way to get them on board. Goodbye cold wet weekends at Butlins, hello sunny joy at Dreamworld…


Fill your weekends and holidays in Australia with trips to Dreamworld!

The largest theme park in Australia, it’s hard to define Dreamworld simply, as it is like multiple attractions in one. From teacup rides for toddlers to The Claw, the most powerful pendulum on the planet – there is something for the littlest members of the family to the greatest adrenaline junkies. Impressively, on the same site, you can visit WhiteWater. It offers a range of water-based fun from Wiggle Bay to the BRO, a fast-paced headfirst slide, a maze of exciting twists. Additionally, Dreamworld hosts events, such as Street Food Festival in April.

Warner Bros. Movie World

humans dressed as cartoon characters

Say hey to Bugs Bunny!

Australia’s number one theme park, Warner Bros World has a fantastic combination of thrill rides (Batwing Spaceshot and Superman Escape both at max thrill level); shows and experiences (Scooby Doo in 4D); and exclusive experiences (watch how they do stunt driving in Hollywood).

Other theme parks include Wet’n’Wild and Sea World. All these theme parks have cemented the Gold Coast as one of the most kid-friendly (or inner kid) spots in the world.

Welcoming beaches

surfer's beach

Head on down to Surfer’s Paradise Beach.

With a name like Gold Coast, you must have some tremendous beaches. One of the most famous is the aptly named Surfer’s Paradise Beach, which offers a two kilometres of golden sands and rolling surf. Located in the centre of the action, Surfers Paradise Beach offers fantastic al fresco dining, night-markets and beachside accommodation. And if you want to learn how to surf, there is possibly no better place on Earth. For kayaking, fishing and camping, you will want to head to Tallebudgera Creek. There are many beaches with inviting waves and sun-kissed people – join them! (Just don’t skip on the suncream).

Lovely National Parks


There’s so much awe-inspiring nature to explore.

There’s nothing like a chat on a hike to make friends. Luckily, the Gold Coast has heaps of opportunity for stretching your legs while taking in some stunning natural sights. One of the highlights is Lamington National Park, part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, the most extensive subtropical rainforest in the world. There, you can enjoy more than 160 kilometres of walking trails, observe the incredible Coomera Valley waterfalls, visit vineyards, and have barbeque picnics – this list is nowhere near exhaustive, there’s so much to do in Lamington National Park. Moreover, other places to explore include the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens.

What else makes the Gold Coast so friendly?

As a favoured spot among Australian holidaymakers, the Gold Coast is geared towards making sure you that you have the best time. Aside from astonishing nature and theme parks, the Gold Coast is full of artisan coffee shops, must-try restaurants, cheap eateries, rooftop bars, breweries and distilleries.  Furthermore, they have thirty-five golf courses, many of them featuring bopping kangaroos. Plus, shopping is expansive in the Gold Coast. From the Burleigh Art and Craft Market to the Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre, you can find everything from products by local artists to big brands.

Welcome to Australia’s Gold Coast!

The most welcoming city in the world? It’s in Italy, naturally


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