Golden beaches, sunny days and beautiful people, the Gold Coast has been the destination of choice as long as I can remember!
The beach, the surf, the weather, the lifestyle, the locals, the vibe. The Gold Coast is laid-back and easy-going but the most important thing you can do is – take time to relax!
The most popular attraction of the Gold Coast is its golden surf beaches but it doesn’t stop there! As one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations, the Gold Coast offers something for everyone.
Fabulous shopping, exciting theme parks for the thrill-seekers, award-winning restaurants and quality entertainment options as well as many natural attractions.
The great thing about the Gold Coast is that it offers a range of free and low cost activities. Be sure to check out the ‘Events Calendar‘ to make sure you don’t miss anything!
Let me give you the ‘heads up’ of how to make the most of your visit to the Gold Coast.
- Take an early morning walk along the golden beaches
- Swim and surf the Gold Coast beaches
- Shop at the best boutiques and markets
Fun things to do on the Gold Coast
Enjoy the Coast
Swim the Gold Coast beaches: There’s over 57 kilometres of beautiful golden beaches. Choose one – any one! Main Beach, Surfers Paradise, Mermaid Beach, Miami Beach, Burleigh Heads and I could keep going! Stay safe when out in the sun – Don’t forget to slip, slop, slap!
Go surfing: Catch a wave at the surf beaches of Burleigh Heads or Main Beach or swim in the sheltered coves at Coolangatta or Currumbin Beaches. Visit Queensland’s only surfing museum, Surf World for Australia’s largest collection of surfboards, great photography and surfing memorabilia and artworks on show.
Take surfing lessons: Have you ever wanted to learn how to surf? Hire a body board and try body surfing in the shallows or book surf lessons with Get Wet Surf School at ‘the Spit’, Surfers Paradise.
Beachfront markets: Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets are the place to go Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights. With more than 120 market stalls and live entertainers these markets are great to pick up a handmade memento to take home.
Offering 360 degree views from the coast to the hinterland, SkyPoint Observation Deck points out all the available attractions. The observation deck transforms into a chic, high altitude lounge bar to meet up with friends on the weekends.
Go Shopping: With over 400 stores, Pacific Fair offers superb shopping choices. Harbour Town is Australia’s largest Outlet Shopping Centre with over 240 stores, alfresco dining and entertainment options. Great options for a holiday shopping spree!
Follow the locals for the Best Places to eat: Specialty coffee shops to boutique breweries and a choice of sophisticated restaurants to rival the best dining in Sydney and Melbourne. Check out the Gold Coast Restaurant Guide for some of the best recommendations.
Burleigh Brewing Company: For a world-class local beer you must visit Burleigh Brewing and Tap House. To enjoy a freshly poured, cold brew and a night to remember, check their opening hours!
Take a Walk
There’s no better way to enjoy the fresh sea air and the sun peeking over the horizon than an early early morning walk with the locals. It’s the Gold Coast ritual to walk along the beaches so get those walking shoes on, grab your camera and enjoy your morning stroll.
Walk along the Southport Spit: Located just north of Main Beach, The Spit, extends into the seaway and is a popular location for fishing, boating and relaxing away from the crowds. Federation Walk is a 3.5 km walking track through the natural bushland alongside the beach.
with walkers and cyclists. Look out for birds, dolphins, fish and whales along this award-winning oceanway!
Oceanview Walk: Scenic Oceanview Walk is 2.6 km return through Burleigh Headland National Park and the place to go for gorgeous views. Don’t be surprised if you spot whales between April to September.
Get your Adrenaline Rush
Go snorkeling and diving: Explore the coral reefs off Wave Break Island by booking an underwater Scuba Diving tour. Wave Break Island lies just off Main Beach Surfers Paradise and offers fantastic snorkeling and diving.
Theme Parks: One of the draw cards to the Gold Coast is its world-class theme parks. Buy individual entry passes or if you plan to visit a few – buy a Mega Pass.
- Head to Wet ‘n’ Wild to experience its extreme waterslides such as Kamikaze and the Tornado.
- Warner Bros Movie World has plenty of family-friendly attractions and the chance to meet Marilyn Monroe and Batman.
- Dreamworld caters to adventure seekers with the Big 9 Thrill Rides, including The Giant Drop, Tower of Terror and Buzz Saw.
- Sea World is an oceanarium and theme park located on the ‘Spit’. A great place to see unique Australian ocean life.
Take a Jet Boat Ride: Not your standard sightseeing cruise and definitely a more adventurous way of exploring the Gold Coast waters while indulging in the ultimate adrenaline fix. Jet Boat Gold Coast runs these jet boat rides taking in the city skyline and nearby islands and marinas while performing some extreme water-based stunts.
Do the SkyPoint Climb: SkyPoint Climb is a must-do Gold Coast adventure. An open-air climbing adventure on one of Queensland’s most recognised land marks – the iconic Q1 Resort Building. Rising 270m into the air, SkyPoint Climb is Australia’s highest external building climb and provides unparalleled 360′ views of the Gold Coast and beyond.
Fancy a Game of Golf? Choose a resort course such as Palmer Gold Coast, carved out of native woodlands, or visit the RACV Royal Pines Resort, home to the Australian PGA Championships, or visit Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove, to access to The Palms and The Pines courses.
David Fleay’s Wildlife Park: David Fleay Wildlife Park is home to many Australian native animals, birds and plants. Visitors to the park enjoy birds, including eagles, brolgas, jabiru, owls and cassowaries, as well as crocodiles, kangaroos, koalas, tree kangaroos, snakes, lizards, gliders and butterflies. Well worth the visit!
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary: Feed a kangaroo, get up close to a crocodile or cuddle a koala at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Voted one of the Gold Coast’s most popular tourist destinations, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is dedicated to conserving our nation’s Indigenous, natural and historic heritage and culture. It’s a ‘must visit’ adventure for the entire family.
Go Whale Watching: One of Australia’s best whale watching destinations during May to early November. See humpback whales, as they travel up the east coast of Australia searching for warmer waters.
Explore the Hinterlands
Explore the beautiful Gold Coast hinterland, with its unspoiled national park and charming mountain villages.
Tamborine Mountain: Located only 30kms from the Gold Coast, Tamborine Mountain is a quaint village with spectacular views, native wildlife, ancient rainforest and clean mountain air. A great place for local arts and crafts, award-winning wineries and top-class restaurants.
Lamington National Park: Rugged mountain scenery, waterfalls, caves, rainforest, wildflower heaths, tall open forests, creeks, varied wildlife and some of the best bushwalking trails in Queensland are in Lamington National Park.
O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walkway: Visit O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat and walk through the rainforest canopy 15 metres above ground. O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walkway is free of charge. Its a great opportunity to take the cycling trail through the wineries and boutique breweries of Mount Tamborine.
Take an Eco Safari: Book a 4WD Eco Hinterland Day Tour to tour World Heritage listed rainforests. Walk through these lush, sub-tropical rainforests to the stunning lookouts over the gorgeous valleys and Gold Coast. Walk under waterfalls and swim in a rock pool in Springbrook National Park. Drive deeper into the ancient forests through the enchanting Numinbah Valley to the famous Natural Bridge – an amazing rock and waterfall formation.
Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk: Perfect for avid bushwalkers, this three-day Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk passes an ancient volcano and meanders through World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforest.
HOW TO GET THERE
International flights fly directly into Brisbane airport and catch a shuttle bus to the Gold Coast. From within Australia, direct flights arrive at Gold Coast Airport in Coolangatta.
There’s nothing like choice!
Explore a different beach every single day and then head into the subtropical hinterland for rainforest walks and waterfalls.
The Gold Coast is the perfect location for the perfect holiday. Swim, surf or catch a tan on one of these magnificent beaches. This definitely is the place to visit! Have you ever wanted to learn how to surf? Want to laze away your days on the beach or perhaps you are looking for an action packed adventure?
Have we missed anything? What are you looking for in your next holiday? Add your favourite Gold Coast ‘things to do’ to the comments below.