The minimum legal 'drinking' age is 18. When going to bars and nightclubs, you should carry identification to prove you are at least 18 years old. You may not be let in otherwise. No one may buy liquor from a bar or liquor store (bottle shop) unless they are at least 18 years. Buying liquor for a 'minor' is illegal.
Rental cars are freely available on the Gold Coast from Budget, Avis, Hertz, Thrifty, Europcar and several smaller operators. Vehicles are generally no more than twelve months old, with automatic transmission and air-conditioning. Renters have to be 21 or older and hold a current driver's licence. TravelOnline can certainly help you with your rental car requirements, visit our Campervans and Car Rental websites for details.
The subtropical Gold Coast has bright, sunny days (300 of them a year!). It's quite warm in summer and mild in winter and there is really no 'bad' time to visit. Seasons in Australia are the reverse of North America and Europe. Summer is December to February (20-30°C), Autumn is March to May (15-25°C), Winter is June to August (11 -22°C), and Spring is September to November (15-25°C).
The Australian dollar is divided into 100 cents. One and two cent coins are no longer in circulation, but many items in shops and supermarkets are priced in odd amounts, such as $1.97 or $9.99. The law provides that the TOTAL bill is rounded up or down to the nearest 5 cents. So $19.97 becomes $19.95, $19.98 becomes $20.00. Coin denominations are 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c $1 and $2. Notes are $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100, are colour coded and made from a plastic compound that will survive a wash or a swim.
Australians drive on the left, which can be disconcerting for visitors used to driving on the right side of the road. Roads are generally good and major routes well signposted. Speed limits and distances are expressed in kilometres and vary substantially from 50 kph in residential and heavy traffic areas to 110 kph on freeways. Drink driving is a serious offence and heavily policed. The legal limit is 0.05%.
Australian health care professionals are highly trained and medical services are among the best in the world. Visitors from the UK, New Zealand and Finland are entitled to free or heavily subsidised medical and hospital care under reciprocal national health care agreements with the taxpayer funded Medicare organisation. All other visitors should take out travel insurance when visiting Australia. Several Australian-based travel insurers have special cover for visitors which are very much less expensive than travel cover sold in the US, for instance. Some hotels may offer a doctor on-call service.
Queensland Rail provides numerous daily services between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
The Gold Coast is home to a dazzling array of places to eat. From relaxed beach cafes to elegant restaurants, there's something to tease every taste and every budget. You can pick up a restaurant guide from your accommodation or local information centres on arrival, or ask the locals where they like to eat!
No service charge applies in Australia. Tipping is not mandatory but tip in restaurants and hotel bars is optional for exceptional service.