For many, the intensity of the Gold Coast is anathema to what they consider a relaxing beach holiday. The good news is there’s a softer, quieter side to this stretch of coast, and it lies to the south. The beaches of Coolangatta and Burleigh Heads – and even Kingscliff, just over the border in NSW – are more sedate and still boast the laidback surfing culture, iconic lifesaver’s huts and shady pandanus trees under which to while away an afternoon. Kids will love the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, and there’s some gorgeous hinterland to explore. See queenslandholidays.com.au for more information.