This article looks at some of Australia’s great coastal holiday destinations and experiences, namely the Gold Coast, the Great Ocean Road tour and Byron Bay

When one imagines a holiday along Australia’s coast, they think of relaxing on the beach and swimming in the ocean. Our coastal regions, however, offer more than just sand and water! They often have a number of historical sites, majestic landscapes and a variety of fun filled attractions to explore.

Explored below are some of the different things you can do in the coastal destinations of Byron Bay, the Gold Coast and the Great Ocean Road tour, which journeys along Australia’s south east coast.

Touring Byron Bay

Byron Bay is approximately 772 km north of Sydney and is renowned for its excellence beaches and surfing conditions. Yet, there’s more to see and do in the Byron Bay region than merely surf and get a tan. Some of the attractions in and around Byron Bay include:

* Amaze ‘n’ Place: This attraction is located in Alstonville in the Byron Bay Hinterland and consists of a 46 metre square maze and a coffee shop with a number of other mind-boggling puzzles.

* Cape Byron Headland: This Reserve is the most easterly point of the Australian coast and contains the Byron Bay lighthouse. A number of magnificent walking tracks along this headland provide dolphin, turtle and humpback whale sightings.

* Opal and Gem Museum: This Museum, located a short distance outside Byron Bay, offers the largest opal display in Australia. It also has range of other precious gems and minerals displays, such as diamonds.

* Macadamia Castle and Animal Park: This Park, located 10 minutes south of Byron bay, offers train rides, a mini golf course and a playground. There is also an aviary and an animal park, providing hands on experiences with native animals.

There are a number of great holiday accommodation types in Byron Bay. However, as it’s a popular destination for school leavers each year, it’s advised you book your accommodation well in advance.

Amusements on the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast, located in Queensland, has been described as Australia’s holiday playground. It has garnered this reputation by all the amusement parks and tourist attractions that have been established over the past 60 years.

The Gold Coast has a range of different attractions, besides relaxing along beautiful beaches, such as cultural experiences, food and alcohol tours and the many theme parks! The variety of Gold Coast attractions include:

* Numerous Amusement Parks: There is a range of adrenaline pumping theme parks available. These theme parks include Dreamworld (including Tiger Island and WhiteWater World), Movie World, Sea World, and Wet ‘n’ Wild.

* Surf World: This surfing and beach culture museum contains hundreds of surfboards, spanning across a range of eras (from as early as 1915). This cultural museum also contains photographs, surf movie posters and other memorabilia.

* XXXX Ale House Brewery:  The XXXX Brewery provides tours, offering a rich tasting experience and a chance to learn the history and heritage behind this iconic beer.

If you are looking at spending time on the Gold Coast, there are a number of luxury Gold Coast apartments for families to relax and unwind in!

Road Tripping Along the Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road tours through a number of the coastal towns along the south east coast and begins and ends at the towns of Torquay and Warrnambool. This road tour offers beautiful views of rainforests and unique coastal rock formations. Some of the interesting attractions that can be visited via the Great Ocean include:

* Visiting Unique Coastal Rock Formations: There are a number of scenic views of sandstone and limestone rock formations. The most popular rock formations are the Twelve Apostles, Lord Ard Gorge, the Grotta and London Arch.

* Great Otway and Port Campbell National Parks: Both these National Parks offer chances to see a variety of native plant and animal life. Great Otway provides walks through an ancient rainforest, while Port Campbell offers walks across the heathlands and overlooks the coast and a number of the aforementioned rock formations.

*  Victoria’s Maritime History:  There are a number of maritime museums, such as in Port Campbell and Portland. There are also a number of shipwreck tours to explore the porting history of Victoria’s south east coast.

If you are looking for a stop off on your Great Ocean Road tour, you should consider finding accommodation in Port Campbell. This coastal town is a major tourist hub and is close to many of the coastal attractions.