The Gold Coast is a coastal city in the Australian state of Queensland, approximately 66 kilometres (41 mi) south-southeast of the centre of state capital Brisbane and immediately north of the border with New South Wales. The demonym for the Gold Coast is Gold Coaster. With an estimated population of 679,127, at June 2019 (including 79,001 in the adjacent Tweed Valley of New South Wales), the Gold Coast is the sixth-largest city in Australia, making it the largest non-capital city, and Queensland’s second-largest city.
Gold Coast is a major tourist destination with a sunny, subtropical climate and has become widely known for its world-class surfing beaches, high-rise dominated skyline, theme parks, nightlife, and rainforest hinterland. The city is part of the nation’s entertainment industry with television productions and a major film industry. The city hosted the 2018 Commonwealth Games which ran from 4 to 15 April 2018.
Lieutenant James Cook discovered the region when he sailed along the coast on 16 May 1770 in HMS Endeavour. Captain Matthew Flinders, an explorer charting the continent north from the colony of New South Wales, sailed past in 1802. Escaped convicts from the Moreton Bay penal settlement hid in the region. The region remained largely uninhabited until 1823 when explorer John Oxley landed at Mermaid Beach, which was named after seeing a cutter named Mermaid. The hinterland’s red cedar supply attracted people to the area in the mid-19th century.
The area boomed in the 1980s as a leading tourist destination. In 1994, the City of Gold Coast local government area was expanded to include the Shire of Albert, becoming the second most populous local government area in Australia after the City of Brisbane. In 2007, the Gold Coast overtook the population of Newcastle, New South Wales, to become the sixth largest city in Australia and the largest non-capital city. The Gold Coast hosted the 2018 Commonwealth Games.