Your quick go-to list of things to do on the Gold Coast.
Your quick go-to list of things to do on the Gold Coast.
Obviously we’re aware there are a fair few more than five good things to do on the Gold Coast but in the interest of time saving, we’ve compiled the ones we think are unmissable.
If you’re looking for kid-specific activities, here’s something we prepared earlier, if you’re a fan of drinking on rooftop bars go here and if restaurants with excellent wine lists tickle your fancy, we’ve got that covered here.
Happy doing things.
That’s a thing we made up but nevertheless a good idea on the Gold Coast. From Main Beach to Coolangatta, there are MANY beautiful beaches to pull up a spot of sand or watch the world famous surfers do their thing. Plenty of spots for an Insta-snap or two and we highly recommend packing a picnic.
Oh and if biking is your thing, here’s a beachside bike crawl you’re gonna love.
Eat all the things
The Gold Coast has quickly become a foodie mecca over the last couple of years with five-star restaurants popping up all over the place. From casual, family-friendly spots to fine-dining beauties complete with ocean views, there’s something for everyone to sink their teeth into.
Sip tasty tipples
Not only eateries though, the Gold Coast is home to many a good time bar serving some of the most creative cocktails you’ve ever come across. We’ve got whisky bars, alleyway bars, fancy bars, Australiana bars. Any kind of bar you could possibly need.
Love a bit of a singalong with your drinking? We’ve got a few good karaoke bars to bust out a tune in too. Find them here.
Head to the hinterland
Beautiful beaches are one thing, majestic mountains are another thing entirely and GUESS WHAT? We’ve got those too. Just a short drive away, Tamborine Mountain, Springbrook National Park and Lamington National park are the perfect spots to get some peace and quiet, take a stunning hike in nature or just enjoy a drive through the trees.
Play at a theme park
The Gold Coast is famous for good times. Including all of the above but also the theme parks that draw many visitors from across the world. We’ve got Dreamworld for animal experiences, Movieworld for movie related rides, Seaworld for ocean-related creature interactions and Wet & Wild for all your water slide needs. It’s quite the selection and one that will keep you busy for quite a few days.
Keen for more animal related activities? Here’s a few to choose from.
Once you’re done with all that, get back to us. There’s plenty more fun things to do where they came from.
Words by Kirra Smith
Sunset has to be the best time of the day (some people we know say sunrise, but we wouldn’t know, ahem) — so sunset it is.
Especially here on the Gold Coast, where the pastel colours of the sky are both incredible and almost always ever-changing as the sun begins to dip.
Perhaps you’ve had a big week at the office, have friends from out of town visiting or maybe it’s just been a while since you last appreciated a decent sunset. With winter fast approaching we thought it was more than appropriate for us to highlight the best places for you to enjoy those autumnal hues.
Kick back at a rooftop bar
This one shouldn’t need an explanation… but wait for it. As a city it took us a little while to catch up with our southern neighbours and have rooftop bars, strange, because we have the best weather in the country hands down, right? These days there are thankfully many on the Gold Coast, so, we say make up for lost time and decide on your favourite, pick the best vantage spot, and kick back with a beverage while the sun slips behind the horizon. Go on, you deserve it after all the waiting.
Overlook the Gold Coast at Mt Tamborine
The Gold Coast hinterland is obviously the perfect spot for a bit of sunset spying. With 180-degree views of the ocean and eye-catching cityscape in the foreground, you’ll be in awe of just how beautiful our skyline is. There are lots of vantage spots, but we suggest The Polish Place because not only do they offer the very best views, but they also have a toasty fireplace and comforting, authentic Polish food. Why not make a weekend of it and stay a night or two mixing waterfall fuelled adventures with some sunset action?
Take a picnic at Fingal Beach
Ok, so not technically on the Gold Coast. In our opinions, Fingal is almost always forgotten about, making it completely to your advantage. Grab someone important in your life, pack some goodies and pull up a blanket on some of the most neglected and pristine sand within driving distance of home. Pop open your wine (because you most definitely brought wine) — now, with a completely unhindered view watch our Southern sky do its thing. And relax.
Sip frosty beers at a surf club
How lucky are we to have surf clubs? SO lucky. Affordable beers and eats, super chilled vibes and, of course, always found by the ocean for absolute bulk sunset-watching opportunities. Grab one of those affordable beers (in jug form, obviously) and pull up a table facing the sea. It’s the most laidback Gold Coast-esque way to enjoy yourself a sunset.
Take a dip anywhere
Yep, so it makes sense that any one of our numerous beautiful beaches, creeks or canals are also the perfect spot to watch the sun go down. Plus, at the moment, the water is an absolute treat so you may as well get yourself submerged while watching the sun disappear. We encourage you to bob around in the waves while the sun sets and marvel at how the sky changes colour. This is living your very best life.
Prep your schedules friends, because another sunset is on its way.
Words by Alex Mitcheson
The Gold Coast is renowned for sunny weather, but it is also home to some pretty impressive thunder storms and humidity! To avoid any bad weather frustrations here’s a list of 13 things to do on the Gold Coast when it’s raining.
This one is a no-brainer, Timezone has been on the Gold Coast since… forever and is the perfect activity for when you can’t be at the beach. The recently refurbished Timezone Surfers Paradise boasts a brand bumper car track on a 200 sqm track, an open plan prize shop filled with enticing toys, lollies and collectibles, a laser tag arena to get your adrenaline pumping, an onsite café. Oh and don’t forget Zone Bowling right next door!
Where: Paradise Centre, 2 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Southport Indoor Pistol Club is a good time if you’re keen to experience real firearms and ammo without needing licenses or previous experience. They offer rifles, pistols, shotguns to tactical weapons, from small to very large, the hardest thing you have to do is pick one! Click here for their latest discounted offer.
Where: Southport Indoor Pistol Club, 1/76 Ferry Road, Southport
Infinity Attraction in Surfers Paradise is a crowd pleaser, a super fun activity to do with your friends! Infinity’s maze is both challenging and mind blowing. It’s an extraordinary series of 20 multi- sensory environments filled with unique special effects, emotive atmospheric sound fields, sensuous aromas, ultra-groovy music and spectacular illusions that appear to go all the way to infinity! Get 15% off entry with our coupon code (“infoinsidegc”) here.
Where: Shop 31, Chevron Renaissance, Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise
Go see a Cabaret show
Dracula’s and Australian Outback Spectacular are both nights of total entertainment! Drac’s combines burlesque, contemporary music, comedy and dining, all in the one incredible venue! But be aware, Drac’s is MA15+ show, so leave the kids at home and get ready to be entertained! 10% off the Dracula’s show here. The Australian Outback Spectacular is an Australiana dinner and show package featuring many Australian animals, songs and of course bush tucker.
Where: Dracula’s, Hooker Blvd, Broadbeach and Australian Outback Spectacular, Pacific Motorway, Oxenford
The Star Gold Coast
The Star Gold Coast is an adult’s playground and the perfect entertainment destination for those bad weather days. You can have a feast at one of the award-winning restaurants, watch a show or concert at the theatre or just see and be seen with your friends.
Where: Broadbeach Island, Broadbeach
Every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 5pm onwards you can be part of Miami Marketta’s food stall craze. Mouthwatering food stalls, shopping and live music all in one spot and all undercover. It’s the perfect rainy-day date-night spot.
Where: 23 Hillcret Parade, Miami
The Gold Coast has come a long way in terms of epic eateries. New favourite food spots are opening up weekly. Go ahead, choose a restaurant or two and eat the day away!
Ripley’s Believe it or not!
Believe it or not, but Ripley’s is a great indoor attraction for you, your family and yes, even your friends. It’s a museum full of odd, unique and incredible artefacts, art, photographs and stories of the 200+ countries Mr Ripley has visited over the years. They’ve just added several new attractions, read about them here. Click here for an exclusive offer.
Where: Cavill Mall, Surfers Paradise
The Wax Museum
The Wax Museum is one of the longest-standing attractions on the Gold Coast. Head in for a guided tour and discover some of the more gruesome torture methods that were used in ancient times. Or prepare to be starstruck, get up close and personal with some of Hollywood’s biggest names or grab a photo with royalty. For 10% off entry, click here.
Where: 56 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Rain = the perfect excuse to go shopping undercover. The Gold Coast is a haven for indoor shopping centres, so if you’re in Broadbeach hit up Pacific Fair Shopping Centre or The Oasis Shopping Centre, if you’re in Surfers Paradise, the Paradise Centre or Australia Fair Shopping Centre in Southport. Maybe catch a movie while you’re there!
Get a group of friends together, ditch the mobile phones for an hour and go have some fun! Choose from Escape Hunt in Southport or Padlock’d Surfers Paradise, note that you will have to use your brain. 60 minutes to use the clues provided to solve the puzzles and escape! Click here for discounts.
Where: Southport and Surfers Paradise
Slideways Go Karting Centre in Nerang is Go Karting is just 10 minutes from Surfers Paradise is a uniquely designed track and surface to allow karts to drift and get Slideways! Their go kart track is indoors and not affected by the weather – open rain hail or shine! They have 20 European state of the art Sodi karts, powered by de-governed, 9hp, four stroke Honda kart engines, which means it will take some skill to achieve a good lap. Get 20% off a 20 minute session here.
Where: 10 Spencer Road, Nerang
Head to a day spa
Sometimes a little self-love is needed, particularly when it’s raining and you want to be all cosied up inside. A day at the spa sounds like heaven to us, check out our list of faves here.
Words by Kirra Smith.
There have been about 53 public holidays of late, meaning more time for activities and more money going out of your wallet. Meanwhile, the sun is shining (most of the time) and it’s almost summer, so there are still plenty of good times to be had.
Thankfully we have the answer, FREE THINGS TO DO on the Gold Coast. They do say the best things in life are free!
Bike crawl to Burleigh
There are many sweet spots to cruise along on the Gold Coast. Start at Kurrawa Park in Broadbeach and head south to the hill at Burleigh Heads. You’ll mostly be on the Esplanades but there are bike lanes on the roads for max safety. Wear your helmet.
Sunset at Burleigh Hill
Everybody’s favourite picnic spot. Roll out a blanket and kick up your heels for one of the best sunset views on the Gold Coast. People watching is at an all-time high here too if that’s your thing. Take some sport-related things to throw/kick and join in with the rest of the revelers.
Cruise through the markets
The Coast is home to lots of epic markets including beachside ones at Surfers Paradise, Coolangatta and Broadbeach, the ever-popular Village Markets at Burleigh Heads State School every second Sunday and the HOTA markets every Sunday. So many goodies.
Stroll through the national park
We are lucky enough to boast some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world (if we do say so ourselves). Take a stroll over Burleigh Hill through the national park and around to Tallebudgera Creek and then return on the Oceanview path. Make sure to keep an eye out for breaching whales.
Paddle in Tallebudgera Creek
The water in Talle Creek is all of the absolutely stunning shades of blue and green and it’s truly a sight to behold. Swim out into the middle, float around on your back and think about how lucky you are to experience it.
Check out The Spit
Main Beach is home to a spot called The Spit which is home to a dog beach and a sweet pier-style situation so you can both make lots of hairy new friends and take some sweet snaps to remember it all.
Feed the birds
Okay, so this one is almost free but well worth the gold coin donation. Head to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and feed the hundreds of lorikeets who gather there twice a day (8am and 4pm). They’re beautiful and loud and it’s an amazing experience.
Splash at Currumbin Rock Pools
Just a short drive from Currumbin are the Currumbin Rock Pools, complete with a jumping rock and little waterfalls to splash around in. It can get busy but it’s a relaxing spot to spend an afternoon.
Take a hike
Actually. There are TONS of hikes you can take around the Gold Coast from short little easy ones (yes please) to more challenging, mountainous ones and all with absolutely stunning views and lots of natural goodness to soak up.
Swim in a waterfall
Also just a short drive from Currumbin are Cougal Cascades, a collection of beautiful waterfalls you can swim under and take pretty pics of. You can also laze about in the rock pools and slide down the rocks themselves. It’s a delight. There are plenty more around too.
Slide into a playground
The Gold Coast is home to many epic playgrounds for kids. Most of them have tables and BBQ facilities, so pack an esky and make a day of it. The perennially popular Pirate Park in Palm Beach has just had an upgrade and it’s now bigger than ever. Other unmissable parks include Bim’bimba Park, Pimpama, named the 2020 Best New Park in Queensland and the new Broadwater Parklands North with a 5 storey slide!
Find the frog
Down south a little further, there’s a stunning walk around the ocean from Coolangatta to Snapper Rocks. Go in search of the big green frog on your way, he’s overlooking a secluded little beach called Froggies (for obvious reasons).
Gaze at local art
The Gold Coast is home to several art galleries showcasing our talented local artists plus, of course, some from further afield. Find 19 Karen in Mermaid Beach, Dust Temple in Currumbin and the impressive contemporary HOTA Gallery in Bundall. Grab your Nikes, a LIME bike, skateboard, scooter, or your choice of wheels and hit the trail of the Gold Coast’s best street art with Art Roll. Their easy-to-navigate maps will have you rolling to the best street art by suburb.
Frolic on the beach
We’re lucky enough to be home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. From Surfers Paradise to Snapper Rocks, the options are endless and each one more beautiful than the last. Don’t forget water and sunscreen of course, that Gold Coast sun is unrelenting.
Make your way up the mountain
Mt Tamborine is only a 40 minute drive from the Coast and the views from up there are next-level. Not only that, there are more beautiful walks than you can poke a stick at, waterfalls and the main street is a sight to behold in itself. Plenty of shops to scope out if you’ve got some spare change too.
Enjoy, friends, those should keep you going for awhile.
Words by Kirra Smith