The Gold Coast is a large urban area with a population of 550,000 administered by the Gold Coast City Council (headquartered at Evandale in Surfers Paradise) and the Tweed Shire in NSW. It is a key part of Greater Brisbane, a conurbation of over 3 million people. The Gold Coast shares its infrastructure, facilities, services and labour market with Brisbane to the north. Workers commonly commute between the two by rail and road.
The Gold Coast that visitors are more familiar with stretches along the coastal suburbs from Paradise Point to Tweed Heads (about 35km). Surfers Paradise, towards the northern end, is the hub of the leisure activity.
The Gold Coast has a mild, sub-tropical climate, with consistent temperatures year-round, with an average high of 29 degrees C in January and 21 degrees in July. The winter months tend to have little rainfall, while the summer has frequent storms originating from the west.