Welcome to the tail end of a remarkable Kiwi summer. There have been balmy days at the beach, lengthy barbecues and - most surprisingly - a wonderfully competitive cricket test series. In years to come, we'll recall these lovely months fondly.

There's a danger that comes with experiencing such a great summer: You get hooked on it. Maybe it's the intoxicating effect of all that vitamin D.

So this week, Herald Travel turns our gaze to the Gold Coast - that famed sun-dappled shoreline over on the West Island where the summer lingers a little longer.

It has long been a staple of the Kiwi holiday planner. And no wonder. Queensland's coastal jewel is close, it's affordable and - aside from a little confusion about "six" and "sex" - we speak the language. That's why more than 170,000 New Zealanders a year have been getting a taste of the sunshine on the old Gold Coast.


But we've gone beyond the beaches. For this special issue, Herald Travel writers got a taste of the Gold Coast's particular charms for families, couples and adrenalin-seekers. It's a mission that took our writers from the magnificent coastline, to the stylish restaurants, through the adventure parks and into a spiralling, diving biplane in the clear blue skies above the Gold Coast.

On a romantic break with his partner, Hamish Fletcher found himself with such a packed itinerary that he didn't have time to dip so much as a toe in the sand.

Our writers found a destination full of surprises and activities. This place is one Australian classic that remains a Kiwi favourite.