THINGS TO DO
Watch some of the best athletes on earth
When Glasgow, Scotland, hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2014, spectators went crazy for it. More than 1.2 million tickets were sold, and more than 100 sporting records were set as the crowds cheered the athletes on to new heights. The many ways you can be part of the action on the Gold Coast include watching the athletics at Carrara Stadium, the swimming at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, a marathon or triathlon at Southport Broadwater Parklands, or the road cycling from one of the viewing areas in the lush Gold Coast hinterland area of Currumbin Valley. Events also take place elsewhere in Queensland, including shooting in Brisbane and basketball in the tropical cities of Townsville and Cairns.
Join the party at the live sites
You don't actually have to be at the sporting events to enjoy them in a great atmosphere. An estimated 65,000 people celebrated in the Glasgow Green Live Zone at the last Commonwealth Games, and there are plans for similar live sites (with similar atmospheres) at the 2018 Games. Nerang Street Mall, a popular precinct with lots of shops and restaurants, ending in waterside parklands, has already been flagged as an important live site, and will act as a transport hub between sport venues. It's in Southport, next to the Gold Coast's main centre, Surfers Paradise. Expect giant screens, entertainment and live events to keep the fun happening.
Get cultural in the new arts precinct
To inject some extra creativity and cultural experiences into the Gold Coast during the Commonwealth Games, a full arts program is planned for the AUD$37 million Evandale Gold Coast Cultural Precinct (currently under construction). This 17 hectare (42 acre) complex will consist of striking architecture, a garden-style amphitheatre and the outdoor Artscape, a setting for markets, festivals and performances, all within walking distance of the town of Surfers Paradise, the Gold Coast's main hub.
Beach volleyball is always a favourite event at the Commonwealth Games. At the Gold Coast, with its miles of stunning beaches, the atmosphere should be electric. Competition will take place in the seaside village of Coolangatta, about a half hour drive south from Surfers Paradise. Shuttles will depart regularly from Surfers Paradise too.
HOW TO GET THERE
You can fly in to Gold Coast International Airport from international or domestic ports. The Gold Coast cruise terminals will receive a full complement of cruise ships during the Games, and bus and train services operate to and from the Gold Coast region. The Gold Coast is about a one hour drive north of Brisbane.