Gold Coast is a coastal city in southeastern Queensland on the east coast of Australia. It is the second most populous city in the state, the sixth most populous city in the country, and the most populous non-capital city and cross-state metropolitan area in Australia. The city's northernmost point at Ormeau is located 42 kilometres south-east of the Brisbane CBD (central business district), and the metropolitan area extends south along the coast to Tweed Heads in New South Wales. The Gold Coast metropolitan area converges with that of Greater Brisbane, forming part of an urban conurbation of over 3 million people.
The first settlement in what is now South East Queensland was as a penal colony at Redcliffe. The Gold Coast region remained largely uninhabited by Europeans until 1823 when explorer John Oxley landed at Mermaid Beach. The hinterland's red cedar supply attracted people to the area in the mid-19th century. Later in 1875, Southport was surveyed and established and grew a reputation as a secluded holiday destination for wealthy Brisbane residents.
The Gold Coast region grew significantly after the establishment of the Surfers Paradise hotel in the late 1920s. The area boomed in the 1980s as a leading tourist destination and in 1994, the City of Gold Coast local government area was expanded to encompass the majority of Gold Coast's metropolitan area, becoming the second most populous local government area in Australia after the City of Brisbane. Gold Coast is today a major tourist destination with its sunny subtropical climate, surfing beaches, canal and waterway systems, its high-rise dominated skyline, theme parks, nightlife, and rainforest hinterland, making tourism one of its most significant industries. Gold Coast will host the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The city consists of 70 kilometres (43 mi) of coastline with some of the most popular surf breaks in Australia and the World including, South Stradbroke Island, The Spit, Main Beach, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Mermaid Beach, Nobby Beach, Miami, Burleigh Beach, Burleigh Heads, Tallebudgera Beach, Palm Beach, Currumbin Beach, Tugun, Bilinga, Kirra, Coolangatta, Greenmount, Rainbow Bay, Snapper Rocks and Froggies Beach. Duranbah Beach is one of the world's best known surfing beaches and is often thought of as being part of Gold Coast City, but is actually just across the New South Wales state border in Tweed Shire.
There are also beaches along many of Gold Coast's 860 km (530 mi) of navigable tidal waterways. Popular inland beaches include Southport, Budds Beach, Marine Stadium, Currumbin Alley, Tallebudgera Estuary, Jacobs Well, Jabiru Island, Paradise Point, Harley Park Labrador, Santa Barbara, Boykambil and Evandale Lake.