School of Journalism > Prospective Students > Travel Programs > International > Reporting Australia > Brisbane & the Gold Coast
  • Krisopher Wilson, Ph.D.
  • Reporting on our Changing Environment: Queensland, Australia

Brisbane & the Gold Coast

Brisbane, the subtropical capital of Queensland, is one of the oldest cities in Australia. Founded upon the ancient homelands of the Indigenous Turrbal and Jagera peoples and named after the Brisbane River on which it is located, Australia’s fastest growing city has a population of more than 2.3 million people today. Brisbane is a popular tourist destination, renowned for its modern architecture and lush green spaces. About an hour south of this bustling city sits the Gold Coast, a resort town that is home to the famed Surfers Paradise suburb.

Explore the rest of the site to learn more about these rapidly developing urban environments.

The Gold Coast, located just south of Brisbane, is known as “the tourist capital of Australia.” The coastal city, which is home to approximately 500,000 locals and is one of the fastest growing cities in Australia, offers 70 kilometers of beaches, several top-rated theme parks and Surfers Paradise. Domestic daytrip visitation increased by 11 percent and international visitation increased by 6 percent in 2015, according to the Gold Coast Tourism Industry Report.

China and New Zealand are the top two contributing countries to international travel in the Gold Coast, according to the report. With a high business confidence and stability in the Chinese market, the Gold Coast is continuing to flourish and will be hosting the 2018 Commonwealth Games, an international sporting event for athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations.

Robert Nash, a professor specializing in tourism and hospitality management in the Faculty of Business at Bond University, talked with Reporting Australia about his views on both the benefits and costs of the tourism industry throughout the Gold Coast compared to other parts of the world.

The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, situated in the Brisbane suburbs, has been in operation for almost 90 years. This makes it the first and largest koala sanctuary in the world. They pride themselves on being labeled a "sanctuary", which means they only take animals from the wild when they are no longer able to survive on their own. They have made it their mission to educate urban dwellers and tourists about the local wildlife of Australia through live interactions with the animals. They encourage each person to take an active role in helping save the animals and educate them about the importance of preserving the animals' natural environments. 

Austin, Texas and Brisbane have many similarities, but also have characteristics that make them unique. Click through the Prezi above to explore some of the similarities and differences we discovered after leaving one city and spending some time in another!