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Any place with the word ‘gold’ in the title is bound to be good – and Queensland’s Gold Coast does not disappoint.

When you think of the Gold Coast, no doubt endless beaches, sunshine and surf all come to mind. But it’s not just a sight for sore eyes. There are so many hidden haunts to explore and experience - plus, it’s a chance to connect with and meet fellow backpackers. So, here’s our cheat sheet on where to find like minds and good times.

Hit the sand at Surfers Paradise Beach

The beaches in Queensland are jaw-dropping, so it's no surprise that if you're drawn to them, other backpackers will be too. Get yourself down to the three-kilometre stretch of sand that is Surfers Paradise Beach with a frisbee, volleyball, football or cricket set and you'll be making mates in no time.

Head to Fisho’s for a feed

Fisherman's Wharf Tavern is a Gold Coast institution. Lovingly referred to as 'Fisho's', this place absolutely pops off on a Sunday afternoon. It's a great place to grab a cold one, listen to good jams and to meet fellow travellers. They also have ripper $7.99 meal deals on Monday and Tuesday nights, which is sure to be a draw card for other money-savvy backpackers.

Get wet, go surfing

Meet new mates in the line up. If you're thinking of trying out a surf school lesson there's bound to be at least a few other mad-keen backpackers in there too. At the very least, you'll learn how to surf and get to meet a few Aussie locals who are trying to embrace their ocean-loving roots.

Get yourself to some Aquarius Backpackers’ events

The team at Aquarius Backpackers host a range of events throughout the week, including a Wii Game Night where you can flex your Mario Kart skills. There's also an organised trip to Bounce, the indoor trampoline park, as well as trivia and movie and pizza nights. Anyone for Monopoly?

Chow down at Food Truck Friday

Take yourself down to the Broadwater Parklands to stuff your face full of really good food. Here, you’ll find food trucks parked for your browsing pleasure. On top of the delicious, affordable eats, you’ll find live entertainment right on the waterfront. Clearly, this could be the ideal place to bond over a taco or five with other beach-loving travellers.

Window shop at Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets

Each Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights, the Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets pop up with a huge stretch of 120-odd market stalls. The Foreshore at Surfers plays the perfect host to these lively markets, bursting with musicians and locals selling great eats, jewellery, accessories, artworks, photographs, clothing and more. You're bound to meet other curious travellers looking for souvenirs or just to immerse themselves in Gold Coast life, so be sure to wander down.

And then head over to the beer garden

The Surfers Paradise Tavern is home to one of the most famous beer gardens on the coast, with a huge outdoor balcony to soak in the satly beach breeze as the sun goes down. FYI: the night of nights is Backpackers Night on Tuesdays. Throw some shapes.

And when the sun sets, jump on the Backpackers Big Night Out Tour

The Backpackers Big Night Out Tour is an awesome chance to mingle and have a really fun night out on a budget. The next morning, though, might prove a little tricky for you so be sure to drink plenty of water! The tour takes you to four of the Gold Coast's hottest clubs and gives you free access to every venue, one free drink at each and $5.50 basics all night. The tour runs each Wednesday and Saturday night and there are prizes, a party bus and the chance to meet a few hundred other backpackers from all over the world.

Relax, unwind and chill out