The Gold Coast's classiest hotels gallery

Soul: The Gold Coast overdoses on strata-managed towers that mix up residential apartments and hotel rooms, but Soul pulls the concept off best. The usual bonuses of apartment stays - plenty of space, full kitchens, washers and driers are all present and correct, but the utopian dream look is pulled off with full gleam. The apartments available to visitors seem like aspirational lifestyle showrooms - all white leather chairs and sliding doors to humungous ocean view balconies.

Accentuating the just arrived in heaven feel is the remarkable third floor, which is essentially a private landscaped park, full of fountains, pools and barbecue areas. One bedroom apartments cost from $349.

It might be known for excess and skyscrapers, but the Gold Coast can do classy, too.

Gold Coast's sexy makeover

Top 20 island escapes

Cold at the top

SNOW COVERED: On top of Mount Wellington

It may be summer but it's snowing on Mount Wellington when a group of cyclists begin their hair-raising descent.

Get your motor running

Accelerating down a sand dune at 50kmh is a wind-blown thrill.

By the second descent I couldn't wait and gunned it, and now there was no stopping me.

World's best small bar scene

SMALL BAR: A barman pours beer at a bar, in Shibuya, Tokyo.

Melbourne is known for its great small bars. But it can't compete with this city.

Face to face with Chopper

SLIGHT PANIC: Chopper the crocodile has a toothy smirk.

A terrifying encounter with a 5.5-metre crocodile might leave your heart racing.

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cities

World's best small bar scene

SMALL BAR: A barman pours beer at a bar, in Shibuya, Tokyo.

Melbourne is known for its great small bars. But it can't compete with this city.

Siege won't deter visitors to Sydney

Tourists have shown that terrorism, large-scale or small, doesn’t succeed in terms of deterring people from visiting.

Watch: Summer in Sydney video

Why is there a giant condom in Sydney?

outback

A 4WD adventure

Prado at a river crossing.

Creepy encounters make for an unforgettable outback adventure in Western Australia.

Steam train history is alive gallery

In this corner of rural Australia, the sights, sounds and smells of the industrial revolution remain alive.

BEAUTY SPOT: Wilpena Pound, a natural amptheatre of mountains, is located in Southern Australia.

Outback glamping

Wildlife and creature comforts go hand in hand at this South Australian safari camp.

nature

Get your motor running

Accelerating down a sand dune at 50kmh is a wind-blown thrill.

By the second descent I couldn't wait and gunned it, and now there was no stopping me.

Hunting for pics and crocs gallery

Access to the Arnhem Land reserve for non-Aborigines is by invitation only. I got lucky.

SLIGHT PANIC: Chopper the crocodile has a toothy smirk.

Face to face with Chopper

A terrifying encounter with a 5.5-metre crocodile might leave your heart racing.

coasts

The Gold Coast's classiest hotels gallery

QT: The QT's relentlessly perky and design-heavy take on the traditional Surfers Paradise tower resort is a high energy blizzard of colour in a sea of fun-free safe blandness. A tongue-in-cheek vintage seaside theme pervades the whole property, whether it's the wholesomely retro bikini babes on the lift mirrors, jumpsuit receptionist uniforms or garish mesh bags with thongs inside on the bathroom hooks. Anyone who doesn't love the cockatoo-shaped bedside lamps has a heart of stone, while the Stingray bar has become one of the hottest cocktail spots in town. Doubles cost from $219.

It might be known for excess and skyscrapers, but the Gold Coast can do classy, too.

A cure for Harley envy

Taking a tour on rural NSW's rocket-straight stretches on a Road King.

Maria Island, Tasmania.

Top 20 island escapes gallery

Looking for an island escape? Australia has plenty of options to suit every style and budget.