The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Escape - - WELCOME - JANA FRAW­LEY, NA­TIONAL TRAVEL ED­I­TOR

Idon’t think any of us needs con­vinc­ing that Aus­tralia is an in­cred­i­ble place for a hol­i­day, but if you want re­in­force­ment you need only look back on the past week and ahead to the next with two stand­out des­ti­na­tions mak­ing news on the world stage.

The first star is Perth, which last Satur­day be­come the first city in our coun­try to have a non-stop flight to Lon­don. The state of Western Aus­tralia will ben­e­fit from the halo ef­fect of this his­toric new Qan­tas route as trav­ellers from the UK and also the east coast of Oz take ad­van­tage of the stopover to get a quokka selfie and visit stand­out places such as Broome, Nin­ga­loo Reef and Mar­garet River.

This Wed­nes­day and un­til Sun­day, April 15, is the Gold Coast’s turn in the lime­light. The Com­mon­wealth Games will not just be a chance to watch elite ath­letes around some of our coun­try’s most fa­mous beaches, it will also shine the spot­light on Queens­land as a whole.

To cel­e­brate the start of the Games, we’ve sent some of our top writ­ers and pho­tog­ra­phers to the Sun­shine State to ex­pe­ri­ence favourites such the Great Bar­rier Reef, Whit­sun­days and the Out­back, as well as ex­plore places that de­serve con­sid­er­a­tion for our next ad­ven­tures.

We asked Olympic triath­lete and Gold Coast lo­cal Court­ney Atkin­son to show us the best of his home town. If you’re lucky enough to be at­tend­ing some of the Games’ events, or you’re head­ing to Burleigh Heads, Broad­beach or Surfers Par­adise in com­ing months, you’ll know where to go for a great cof­fee or a cold beer, an out­door ad­ven­ture, and other se­cret spots. Good luck to all our ath­letes go­ing for gold.

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