Things to do in Gold Coast

Things to do in  Gold Coast

Where Aussie fantasies come to life

Whether you’re seeking sun, surf, or big thrills, Queensland’s hedonist playground knows how to deliver. Beaches with names like Surfer’s Paradise, Miami Beach, and Palm Beach have all the essentials for a seaside vacation, from surf breaks and sensational sunsets to every water sport imaginable. But beyond the theme parks and party scene, some of the best things to do on the Gold Coast lie away from the beach. Take a whale-watching cruise, hike in the Hinterlands’ national parks, and explore rainforest trails, waterfalls, and glow-worm caves.

Top 15 attractions in Gold Coast

Tamborine National Park

Located in the Gold Coast Hinterlands, Tamborine National Park is known for its natural beauty, rich biodiversity, and breathtaking views over the Gold Coast and the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Scenic Rim to the west. Queensland’s first national park, Tamborine is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.More

Glow Worm Caves Tamborine Mountain

Located on the grounds of the Cedar Creek Estate Winery on Mt. Tamborine, the Glow Worm Caves Tamborine Mountain are one of the best spots on the Gold Coast to view glowworms. See thousands of these creatures during the daytime in a darkened, controlled environment designed to mimic their natural habitat.More

Sea World Gold Coast

One of Australia’s biggest marine parks, Sea World Gold Coast is home to dolphins, rays, sharks, polar bears, and seals. The family attraction has thrilling rides, educational exhibits, and daily live shows, and it’s also involved in marine life rescue and rehabilitation efforts along the Gold Coast.More

Springbrook National Park

Part of the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Gondwana Rainforests, the startling landscapes of Springbrook National Park are among the many highlights of Queensland’s Gold Coast Hinterlands. Carved out by an ancient volcano, the rugged plateau is now a natural wonderland of forested gorges, jagged cliffs, and cascading waterfalls.More


Infinity is an immersive multimedia experience that engages all of the senses. Experience its surreal atmosphere as you walk through maze-like environments of special effects and illusions. Sound fields, lights, music, and visual trickery challenge the mind and may ignite your imagination when navigating this Surfers Paradise funhouse.More

Gallery Walk

For many travelers to the Gold Coast hinterland, a trip to the interior means hiking, birding, or searching for thundering falls. In the case of Tamborine Mountain, however, a small town on an elevated plateau of about 1,700 feet, visitors travel from all over the Gold Coast for the chance to shop at the Gallery Walk. On this festive, shop-lined, action-packed strip, visitors will find over 70 stores full of crafts, clothing and art, as well as restaurants, wine shops, cheese shops, chocolate shops, coffee shops, and houses for tea. Peruse the boutiques for everything from crystals to original, Aboriginal art, or pick up imports like Nepalese scarves or fine, German made clocks. Given the number of visitors about town, it’s also common to find talented musicians performing out on the street, and if you’re completely smitten with the entire experience and one day isn’t enough, a number of charming bed and breakfasts are just a short walk away.More

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Set minutes from the Gold Coast beaches, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the best places in Queensland to see native Australian animals. Founded in 1947, the sanctuary encompasses 27 hectares (66 acres) of rain forest; its resident fauna includes kangaroos, koalas, wombats, Tasmanian devils, and rainbow lorikeets.More

Dracula's Cabaret Gold Coast

Arguably Queensland’s most popular dinner shower, Dracula’s Cabaret on the bustling Gold Coast is an evening of sexy, scary, and spectacular burlesque theater and comedy. The adventure begins the moment you enter the soaring, Gothic style castle, where gargoyles peer down from six stories up and fruit bats circle overhead. Ride the ghost train into the theater and prepare for a scare at each turn, before perusing a menu of ghoulish cocktails and settling in for the show. The entertaining wait staff, or “Draculettes,” keep the humor flowing throughout dinner, and set the stage for a wild evening of scary and sexual comedy. Aside from the vaudeville cabaret and intricate, detailed costumes, the visual effects are out of this world and are accompanied by live, fast-paced music that will have you on the edge of your seat. Add in death-defying aerial performers and mind-bending optical illusions, and Dracula’s Cabaret is an unforgettable evening of fun on Queensland’s Gold Coast.More

Best Of All Lookout

Located high on a plateau in Springbrook National Park, part of the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Gondwana Rainforests, the Best of All Lookout certainly lives up to its name. It offers expansive and spectacular views of the Gold Coast Hinterland, the Gold Coast coastline, and the Pacific Ocean.More

Marina Mirage

Indulge in some retail therapy and fine dining with a view at Marina Mirage, a luxury waterfront shopping and dining destination on the Gold Coast. Located on the Southport Spit, Marina Mirage features over 70 designer boutiques and award-winning waterfront restaurants, and also offers a marina and helicopter services.More

Tamborine Mountain Distillery

Tamborine Mountain Distillery is an award-winning distillery that produces boutique liqueurs and spirits. They use local ingredients and native flora to give their drinks a unique taste, and implement traditional Russian and Ukrainian processes. Visitors come to taste the distillery’s products in the mock-Tudor tasting room.More

South Stradbroke Island

Outdoor enthusiasts head to South Stradbroke Island to get in touch with nature and escape the crowds. With limited commercial development, 44 miles (72 kilometers) of walking trails, 14 miles (22 kilometers) of secluded beaches, a 4,400-acre (1,800-hectare) conservation park, and plentiful wildlife, “South Straddie” is a popular day trip and overnight destination.More


Just south of Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, or Broadie as it’s known to locals, offers all the appeal of its more famous neighbor—a great stretch of beach, surf-worthy waves, and extensive dining, shopping, and entertainment options—but in a more manageable size and with fewer crowds.More

Warner Bros. Movie World

From movie-themed thrill rides and 4D movie experiences to spectacular stunt shows and star-studded parades featuring everyone from Shrek to Scooby-Doo, Warner Bros. Movie World is one of Australia’s coolest theme parks. The site lives up to its promise of bringing Hollywood to the Gold Coast.More

SkyPoint Observation Deck

Located in the Q1 building in Surfers Paradise, Skypoint Observation Deck is Australia’s only beachside observation deck. Take in expansive views of the Gold Coast coastline, the Gold Coast Hinterlands, and the Pacific Ocean from Australia’s tallest building. For added excitement, try the external Skypoint Climb at the top of the building.More

Top activities in Gold Coast

Wave Break Island Scuba Diving on the Gold Coast
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2.5 hr Jet Ski Safaris tour - Ultimate Adventure + island stop
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Gold Coast Tandem Skydive

Gold Coast Tandem Skydive

JetBlast Jet Boat Ride

JetBlast Jet Boat Ride

Wave Break Island Snorkel Tour on the Gold Coast
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30 min Jet Ski Safari
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30 min Jet Ski Safari

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All about Gold Coast

When to visit

Clocking up more than 300 days of sunshine each year, the Gold Coast is an excellent beach destination year-round. Avoid the peak summer months of December through February if you don’t like crowds, as well as “Schoolies week” at the end of November when students hijack the local nightlife scene. Instead, time your visit for spring or fall when the weather is ideal for water sports, Hinterland hikes, and coastal sightseeing, or come between June and October for the whale watching season.

Getting around

The Gold Coast’s towns are well-connected by public transport, with regular G:link trams running between Main Beach, Surfers Paradise, and Broadbeach. Trains also connect to Brisbane Airport, but to reach the Southern Gold Coast or the Hinterland, you’ll need to take a bus. Download the TransLink app to plan your trip, or make the most of the fresh air and walk or bike along the 22-mile (36-kilometer) Gold Coast Oceanway promenade instead.

Traveler tips

The Gold Coast doesn’t only have ocean beaches—join locals along Currumbin Creek to fish, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard, then cool off at the Cougal Cascades swimming hole.


People Also Ask

What is the Gold Coast famous for?

The Gold Coast is famous for its long, developed beaches, top surfing spots at Surfers Paradise, shopping centers, nightlife, restaurants, and amusement parks. Popular parks include Dreamworld, Sea World, and Wet’n’Wild. Inland from the coast are the Tamborine and Lamington national parks, with popular hiking trails, viewpoints, waterfalls, and wildlife.

How many days do you need on the Gold Coast?

Spend a minimum of three days on the Gold Coast to enjoy the beaches, amusement parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and shopping and dining. With five to seven days, you can get out into the neighboring national parks for hiking, bird-watching, and wildlife spotting.

What is there to do on the Gold Coast aside from theme parks?

While the Gold Coast is famous for its amusement parks, there’s more to do. Swim or surf at the beaches, drink and dine at some of Queensland’s finest bars and restaurants, meet wildlife at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, or get active and hike in the nearby Tamborine or Lamington national parks.

What can you do for free on the Gold Coast?

It doesn’t cost anything to experience the Gold Coast's beautiful beaches and natural areas. Try swimming and lounging on the beach, checking out the flora at the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens, soaking in the Currumbin Rock Pools, and hiking in one or more national parks, including Lamington or Springbrook.

Where should I go for a day trip on the Gold Coast?

With just one day to spend on the Gold Coast, head for a beach. Main Beach, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, and Burleigh Heads are all good options. Surfers will want to check out aptly named Surfers Paradise, while hikers will enjoy the trails at Burleigh Head National Park.

Is the Gold Coast worth visiting?

Yes. The Gold Coast is worth visiting whatever your interests and preferences. Family travelers enjoy the amusement parks and wildlife attractions, lovers of the outdoors take advantage of the many surrounding national parks, and other independent travelers revel in the nightlife, shopping, dining, and multitude of beaches.

Frequently Asked Questions
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