"Sandy beaches, theme parks, and lush hinterland!"
A city seemingly built entirely from a tourism perspective, Gold Coast is one of Australia's most popular destinations, with a plethora of fun activities and experiences under the sun (pun intended). Home to some of the country's best beaches, surfing and water sports are highly popular here, with several themed parks also adding to the fun for adrenaline enthusiasts. For those who shy away from adventure sports, the shopping centres, fine dining restaurants, and art galleries are some of the best experiences in the city.
From its long spread of beaches to the crazy famous theme and amusement parks, and not to forget the near pristine rainforests, Gold Coast is a truly spectacular getaway city. Experience the vibrant treetop walkways through the forests, explore the elaborate aquariums, or have a fun surf lesson because you'll find yourself doing a variety of things all day. And not just that, for the adrenaline junkie, there are many challenging activities in the forests and bushlands of the Gold Coast hinterland!
Located south of Brisbane, Gold Coast for long served as a vacation spot for people looking to get out of the big city. Over time, it has grown spectacularly and expensively (hence the name). It is a vast city with endless sources for a great time! However, it has retained its holiday spirit and has a wide range of attractions and activities that keep people coming.
Things To Do In Gold Coast
1. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
A unique and interactive experience with the Australian wildlife. Located in Gold Coast, the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is a haven for wildlife buffs and nature lovers. The park is a non-profit organization that has been nurturing wildlife for more than 70 years, while educating and entertaining visitors around the globe. Unlike most wildlife sanctuaries, Currumbin lets you have an interactive experience with its animals which you probably haven't had before! You can cuddle up with adorable koalas, or even feed kangaroos (yes, you can feed an animal!). The sanctuary is always buzzing with energy with live performances and shows, and even includes a tree-top challenge course for those who aren't happy with just walking around! There is also a wildlife hospital where you can see the vets work away to ensure good health of the animals, and all this while the kids can have a blast at the Wild Island play area!
2. Coolangatta Beach
Witness Gold Coast’s sandy allure at Coolangatta Beach, which ranks among the most popular and adventurous beaches in the city. From surfing the perfectly-shaped ocean waves to diving among fish and dolphins, Coolangatta Beach is a hub of family entertainment and adventures. Embark on skydiving sessions, spot migratory humpback whales, swim around with your loved ones, and watch sunsets at Coolangatta Beach.
Part of the Gold Coast's impressive collection of theme parks, Dreamworld is yet another memorable experience for the family! Whether you want to get up close and personal with tigers, cuddle up with koalas, or meet you favourite Dreamworld characters, the park has it all! You'll find yourself surrounded with a buzzing atmosphere and loads of fun rides and activities. Be it an adventure with our favourites from 'Madagascar' or one with the Dragon Warrior Po, or even a fairytale game with Shrek, the fun never ends!
4. Warner Bros Movie World
A brilliant, vast, and absolutely fascinating theme park, Movie World will take you into an experience of Warner Bros like never before. With tons of stalls, games, live performances, and big rides, you're sure to have a ball of a time over here. Among the many attractions at the park, the most famous is the Justice League 3D, where you join forces with the famous superheroes in a bid to save the world! Not just that, there are rides specific to superheroes too like the Arkham Asylum and the Superman Escape. The brand new Rio 4D is another fabulous attraction, and at the Junior Driving School, children of all ages can learn how to drive. And finally, absorb the best of Hollywood in the Star Parade on Main Street. Get ready for an action packed day at WB Movie World!
5. Sea World
Australia's Sea World is a true paradise for kids! Home to a variety of species of marine life like dolphins, polar bears, turtles, penguins and many more, there is more to the aquarium than just that! With exhibitions such as Half Shell, where you meet the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or the wonderfully interactive Dora the Explorer show, and there's even the exhillerating Jet Stunt Extreme show! In short, a foolproof plan for a fun day out!
6. Tree Top Walkway
As the name suggests, the walkway, which is almost 200 metres in length, sits at a height of 15 metres above the ground and gives you a chance to view the rainforest canopies from angles you wouldn't have seen before. The flowering trees and plants, the lush orchids, and the various birds and animals make this a pure and calming experience. There are even observation decks, one of which is 30 metres high, to give you vistas of the forest to capture in your mind and cameras! The best part? It's all free.
The world's first hologram entertainment centre, Holoverse is a an absolutely fantastic outing for the family. Made from state of the art technology, the entire arcade will make you feel like you're in a movie yourself! Explore ancient civilizations, discover things you've never seen, or have a battle with enemies using swords and guns! Interact with your environment as if it's all real and turn into dragons and battle your friends high up in the sky! Holoverse is truly a place which pushes limits. To avoid the long lines, book your tickets online beforehand.
8. Treetop Challenge
One of Gold Coast's more 'hands-on' attractions, the Treetop Challenge is a massive area of unadulterated bushland where you take on more than a 100 pulsating and thrilling challenges! Spread over 6 courses, covering an area of 10 acres, you will find yourself hanging and swinging from trees, tackling risky looking bridges, and jumping on some really long flying foxes! All the equipment is provided at the venue, and is super safe with a number of qualified supervisors looking after you as you take on the countless adventures!
9. Tamborine Mountain
Tamborine Mountain is the perfect escape from the heat of the Gold Coast and this picturesque mountain destination is popularly known as the "Green behind the Gold". This enchanting mountain village is located on a mountain plateau and it is surrounded by evergreen rainforests and cascading waterfalls. Tamborine Mountain is a great place to explore nature, indulge in some locally made wine, beer or gin while you enjoy the mesmerizing sunsets.
10. Burleigh Heads
Witness a world of rainforests, beaches, eucalyptus forests, rocky foreshore, pandanus groves, creeks, tussock grasslands, mangroves, and coastal heath at the iconic Burleigh Head National Park of Gold Coast. Situated in the Burleigh Head area amidst Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta Beach, the national park offers stunning nature trails where visitors can climb hills or go around headlands to explore Gold Coast’s unique flora and fauna.
11. Springbrook National Park
Springbrook National Park is a spectacular verdant alternative to the typical gold and blue scenery of the Gold Coast. The park is famous for its beautiful scenery, cascading waterfalls, meandering creeks running between trees and hundreds of rare and unique varieties of flora and fauna. The park is just a 40 minutes drive from the main hub of Gold Coast.
12. Natural Bridge
In the western part of the Springbrook National Park, Natural Bridge is a heavenly cave-like rock formation created by the waterfall over the basalt cave. This attraction offers an excellent opportunity for tourists to encounter green catbirds, paradise riflebirds, wompoo fruit-doves, and other endangered species of koalas, tusked frogs, sooty owls, and cascade tree frogs
13. Infinity Attraction Gold Coast
The future is at INFINITY Attraction, one of Gold Coast’s premier tourist and nightlife destinations. Located in Surfers Paradise, this family-friendly entertainment attraction offers a maze of futuristic wonders created with high-quality light and sound effects that promise to transport you and your loved ones to a never-seen-before dimension. Explore 20 multi-sensual rooms in this 30-minute journey of excitement and fun.
14. Point Danger Gold Coast
Explore one of Gold Coast’s most iconic landmarks at Point Danger, named so as a warning to sailors about the dangerous coastline around it. Watch the waves as they collide and crash at the shore and witness the bewitching Point Danger Lighthouse, Captain Cook Memorial, and the war memorial commemorating soldiers of WWII. Various corals, dolphins and surfers also abound in Point Danger’s waters.
15. ArtVo Gold Coast
Explore an art gallery that makes the classic experience a fun family outing at ArtVo Gold Coast. An interactive ‘trick-art’ gallery, ArtVo’s artworks are life-size murals depicting larger-than-life scenarios that range from fighting dragons to meeting King Kong and flying on magic carpets. Click fun photographs with the artworks to create moments to cherish.
16. Draculas Cabaret Gold Coast
The wild nightlife of the Gold Coast comes to life at one of the city’s most renowned attractions, Dracula’s Cabaret. Hop on the spooky Ghost Train and enter a world of vampires, where supernatural creatures sing, dance, and make you laugh with their comic antics. From burlesque to aerial performances and gory chills, Dracula’s is a uniquely spooky yet entertaining tourist attraction.
17. Wax Museum Gold Coast
A unique take on iconic wax museums awaits you at Wax Museum Gold Coast, which blends classic wax figurines with history. Renowned as the Southern Hemisphere’s largest wax museum with a collection of over 110 life-size figurines, the Museum has four exhibits. Apart from the wax statues, one can explore a historical torture chamber and replicas of British crown jewels at the Wax Museum.
18. Australian Outback Spectacular Gold Coast
Australian Outback Spectacular is a wonderful show and dinner place that touches the heart of tourists with breathtaking productions about the rugged Outback since its inception in the year 2006. The attraction showcases stories that leave a great impression on the hearts of the audience and instill a sense of courage and patriotism. It uses innovative technologies, events, and moving musical scores and performances to bring the stories to life.
Experience the magic of the suburban Gold Coast as you explore Broad Beach. A hub of shopping and entertainment, Broad Beach is home to iconic restaurants, local markets, music festivals, lounges, bars, gaming centres and kid adventures. Broad Beach attracts millions of visitors throughout the day with its shopping and family-friendly activities and offers the best of Gold Coast nightlife as well.
20. Skypoint Observation Deck
Touch the skies and challenge gravity at SkyPoint Gold Coast, one of the city’s prominent adventure attractions. Situated at the highest point of one of Gold Coast’s tallest skyscrapers, SkyPoint Climb and Observation Deck stands 230 metres above ground and offers 360-degree views of the entire city. Embark on the daring external building climb to the top in one of Gold Coast’s most sought-after adventures.
21. Lamington National Park
Lamington National Park is a park which is part of the larger Gondwana Rainforests of Australia which, in turn, is the largest expanse of subtropical Rainforests in the world. There are more than 500 waterfalls in the park and the place is famous for its ancient trees, variety of birds, walking trails, mountain views, rare and unique wildlife and its mesmerizing natural environment.
22. Cavill Avenue Gold Coast
Named after the hotelier Jim Cavill, Cavill Avenue is a street and a pedestrian mall in Surfers Paradise. Lining with bars, shops, nightclubs, and fast food outlets, this street is a hub for shopping and entertainment with music memorabilia. In this attraction, you will find numerous surf art and regular live music performances from buskers and pub bands that line the street at night.
23. David Fleay Wildlife Park
Embark on a unique wildlife affair at David Fleay Wildlife Park, renowned as one of Gold Coast’s hidden crown jewels. Meet a wide range of wild species of snakes, flying foxes, koalas, wallabies, and the rare shy bridled nailtail wallaby in their natural habitats. Witness ‘benevolent captivity’ and conservation efforts at this small wildlife park.
24. iFly Gold Coast
Challenge yourself to a skydiving experience that is conducted indoors at iFly Gold Coast, renowned as one of the most popular tourist experiences in the city. Designed to cater to visitors aged 3 to 103, the air tunnel of iFly mimics the exhilarating free fall of skydiving without the actual jump from the plane. Watch and fly with friends and family at iFly Gold Coast.
25. Hota Gold Coast
Gold Coast’s most iconic hub of live entertainment, art and culture awaits you at the Home of the Arts. Renowned as HOTA, the performing arts centre located in Gold Coast’s Surfers Paradise is one of the city’s most prominent family-friendly attractions. From participating in performing arts events and exploring exhibitions to shopping souvenirs and local products and dining at high-end restaurants, HOTA incorporates the best of Gold Coast attractions.
26. Gold Coast Motor Museum
History and technology come together at Gold Coast Motor Museum, which houses a stunning collection of vintage cars, bikes, and motor memorabilia of the twentieth century. From Lamborghini to BMW, witness 75 vehicles that narrate their own special stories as they stand as exhibits at the museum. Part of the personal collection of the Amor brothers, the Museum blends sentimentality with vintage motors.
27. Pacific Fair Shopping Centre Gold Coast
Pacific Fair Shopping Center is one of the largest shopping destinations in the Gold Coast. It houses over 400 of the best international and local fashion brands, luxury brands from across the globe and super speciality stores. There are over 65 dining options spread across four food courts. Play Street is the latest addition to the Center which caters to children featuring slides, climbing walls and more.
28. Miami Marketta
Miami Marketta is a unique and enthralling night market that puts together a spectacular selection of the best ethnic food stalls from all over the Gold Coast as well as an amazing variety of international cuisines. The venue also hosts several live music programs and events representing local and international performers.
29. Glow Worm Caves
An enchanting natural wonder awaits at Glow Worm Gold Coast, where tourists can witness caves illuminated by the twinkling lights of glow worms. Head on a guided tour of the iconic man-made caves that replicate the natural habitat of these unique creatures, and feel the sensation of stars on earth. The one-hour tour ends with a fun shopping spree at the local souvenir shop.
30. Tallebudgera Creek
Tallebudgera Creek is one of the best locations for a family trip, which is a wonderful place to enjoy swimming or fishing. The Creek is known for offering amazing water activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, etc. You can also have a picnic at the beach situated alongside or go to the local Surf Club which has a beautiful Cafe where you can enjoy a mouthwatering meal.
31. Purling Brook Falls
Purling Brook Falls is a waterfall in the Springbrook National Park known for its unique structure and natural value. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, whose name has been derived from the gurgling sound of the water that rushes down the pool. On your visit to the attraction, visitors can indulge in hiking and trekking activities and explore the other places around the tourist interest.
32. Ripley’s Believe It or Not Gold Coast
Enter the mind-boggling world of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! during your exploration of Gold Coast’s Surfers Paradise. One of the most renowned family-friendly and nightlife destinations of the Gold Coast, Ripley’s is home to more than 300 exhibits inspired by the world of science and illusions that promise to trick your senses. From classic brain twisters to new additions, Ripley’s has something for all ages.
What are the top sightseeing places in Gold coast?
The top sightseeing places in Gold coast are Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Beaches in Gold Coast, Dreamworld, Warner Bros Movie World, Sea World, Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk.
Must Know Before You Visit Gold Coast
1. Tourists can get a rechargeable Go Card to travel via buses of TransLink to get around Gold Coast. AUD 10 gives unlimited travel per day.
2. Farther tourist spots can be reached by travelling on the light rail transport along the Gold Coast highway. Go Cards can also be used for the same.
3. The city experiences over 300 days of sunshine annually. It is recommended to carry sunscreen lotions, hats and protective headwear as it can get really hot aside from the winter season, especially during the summer.
4. Gold Coast is a surfer's haven and is popular for swimming as well, among other activities. Tourists are recommended to watch out for days of yellow flags that warn of dangerous swimming conditions. Red flags are indicative of beaches being closed.
Nightlife in Gold Coast
Nightlife on Gold Coast is just like it is with the big Australian cities - energetic and wild.
Surfers Paradise is the hottest precinct in Gold Coast for that perfect night out, with a young and electric crowd and some of the Gold Coast's best nightclubs such as Shooters, Sin City, The Avenue, Underground, and The Bedroom.
Broadbeach too has a couple of great clubs and lounges such as Love Nightlife and Platinum Nightclub. But if you're confused and just want to head out for a night of club-hopping, Surfers Paradise is definitely the place to go.
Always remember to carry your Photo ID, and the LDA in Australia is 18.
Shopping in Gold Coast
Shopping is a crazy affair in the Gold Coast. With a fantastic collection of markets and products, you'll find yourself shopping for hours on end. The Carrara Markets, to start with, are Australia's biggest permanent markets. You'll find great discounts on nearly anything you can buy - from fresh produce to arts and crafts, and to pots and plants! The Chevron Rennaisance Shopping Centre has been renovated too now and is home to a variety of brands, boutiques, and bars! Pacific Fair Shopping Centre is a relatively new but truly luxurious location to shop. It has all the major global brands and places to dine. Along with these markets, the Gold Coast also has a number of Arts and Crafts markets such as Burleigh, Broadbeach, and Coolangata Arts and Crafts markets for when you're looking for that perfect souvenir.
Exchanging Money in Gold Coast
Currency exchange options are aplenty in Gold Coast.
Services are provided by Crown Currency Exchange, Travel Money Oz, Travelex, and American Express Currency Exchange, among many others.
The local bank ATMs can also be used.
Traveller's Tips for Gold Coast
1. Tipping for good service is a common practice in the city, and the amount of the tip, or even tipping at all, is totally at your discretion.
2. Tap water is safe to drink in the city. Be sure to carry your own water bottle which can also be filled at public drinking taps.
3. Do not carry valuables when heading to the beach.
4. In case of any emergency dial 000 immediately.
How can I commute within Gold coast?
The city is very well connected by an efficient public transport system. Be it by bus, trams, cars or taxis, you will never be inconvenienced. That being said, trams are perhaps the best connected form of transport in the city. They run from 0500 to 00:00 during the weekdays and well into the mornings during Friday and Saturday. Buses mostly run along the main roads but are 24x7, while cars are also a good option since traffic isnt't very bad. For a fresher and healthier mode option, however, grab a bike and cycle down the Gold Coast Oceanway and enjoy a wonderful and breezy ride down the 36km path!
What is the best time to visit Gold Coast?
Gold Coast sees bright sunshine for nearly 300 days every year; however, the best time to visit the Gold Coast is between May and October. The warm weather is ideal for beach activities and boat tours. End of January and most of February is the time when humidity is high, and the region sees a lot of rainfall. Also, in the peak winter months of June to August, while the days are sunny, temperatures drop to as low as 11-12 degrees. Owing to its subtropical location, the climate in this region never gets too hot or too cold and the days are mostly dry and sunny. The period from June to August is an ideal time for whale watching. The months from November to April form the low season for tourism in The Gold Coast. You can expect to find the cheapest deals on accommodation and flights, but there will not be any boat tours or parties going on during these months. However, there is a surge in tourism during Christmas and New Year. Travellers are advised to make their bookings in advance to avoid any last minute rush. That being said, the Gold Coast is a year-round destination known for a wide array of outdoor activities like golfing, hot air ballooning, fishing, nature walks etc.