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Top 10 Best Things to Do on the Gold Coast

There's no denying that Australia's Gold Coast is a treasure trove of experiences. From stunning beaches to thrill rides, and nature adventure, you won't run out of fun things to do in the Goldie.

Now, let’s dive into the top 10 things to do on the Gold Coast that promise an unforgettable trip.

Table of Contents

1. Visit Iconic Beaches and Surf Spots

Dip your toes into the fine sands and crystal-clear waters of the Gold Coast’s iconic best beaches. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a newbie, the surf spots here offer a memorable adventure. Definitely at the top of our list of the best things to do on the Gold Coast.

Surfers Paradise: A Beach-Lover’s Dream

First off, you can’t talk about the Gold Coast without mentioning its glorious beaches. At the heart of Surfers Paradise, you’ll find a magical fusion of sun, sand, and surf. Picture this: you’re catching a wave as the sun begins to set, painting the sky with vibrant hues. Sounds perfect? It is.

Broadbeach: The Jewel of the Gold Coast

If you fancy a quieter beach day, one of the best places to check is Broadbeach. Affectionately known as ‘Broadie’ by locals, Broadbeach truly is a gem nestled on the Gold Coast. This alluring enclave is the ideal destination if you’re seeking a tranquil retreat away from the bustling activity of the city.

Broadie’s biggest draw is undoubtedly its gorgeous coastline. Framed by azure waters and soft, golden sands, it’s an enticing scene that exudes a soothing ambiance. You can soak up the sun as you lounge on the beach, or take a leisurely swim in the temperate ocean. The calm surf is also fantastic for beginners looking to try their hand at surfing.

2. Spend a Day at a Gold Coast Theme Park

Offering an array of world-class theme parks, Gold Coast is the ultimate family-friendly destination. From adrenaline-fueled roller coasters to entertaining shows, you’ll experience a thrilling day out, akin to the excitement of having a plunge pool party at home.

Thrills and Chills at Warner Bros. Movie World

Get a taste of Hollywood down under! From the Superman Escape to the Green Lantern Coaster, adrenaline junkies will be in their element. Imagine being catapulted from zero to 100km/h in just 2 seconds flat on the Superman Escape ride. Sounds exciting, right? But, that’s not all! Brace yourself for the world’s steepest inverted drop as you ride the Green Lantern Coaster. The suspense is real as you hang at the edge of your seat, heart pounding, waiting for that electrifying plunge. Definitely one of the top gold coast tourist attractions!

Dreamworld: A Family Paradise

Dreamworld caters to all ages with its exciting rides, wildlife encounters, and unique attractions. Perfect for a family day out!

For those who love an adrenaline rush, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better place than this. If you fancy a bit of ‘action’, get ready to dodge the scary villains and help the Justice League save the world on an interactive ride. When you’re in need of a breather, enjoy one of the entertaining street performances or join a character parade for a dose of that quintessential Hollywood glamour.

3. Explore the Gold Coast’s Cultural Scene

If you’re longing for a unique blend of arts, history, and cutting-edge cultural events, then exploring the GC’s cultural scene is an absolute must for your bucket list. Here, we’ve got it all: world-class art galleries, historical museums, dynamic theatre productions, and a burgeoning street art movement that’s capturing the world’s attention.

Art Galleries and Museums

Visit the Gold Coast City Gallery, where local and international artists showcase their incredible work, offering a glimpse into the creative heartbeat of the region. Additionally, The Arts Centre Gold Coast hosts a vast range of exhibitions, art classes, and workshops to showcase the beauty of the Gold Coast. You won’t want to miss out on the Gold Coast War Museum either, a historical hub that offers a poignant insight into the region’s past.

Street Art and Graffiti Scene

Explore the alleyways and lanes of the Gold Coast to discover a vibrant and evocative street art scene. Be captivated by the colourful murals that bring buildings to life, each telling a story that’s as unique as the artist who created it. The Gold Coast Street Art Tours are a fantastic way to immerse yourself in this creative underworld.

Theatre and Live Performances

GCLT – Gold Coast Little Theatre

Nothing quite beats the thrill of live performances, and the Gold Coast is a thriving hub for theatre and performance arts. Check out the Gold Coast Little Theatre for captivating plays and musicals, or the Arts Centre Gold Coast for an eclectic mix of live music, comedy shows, and contemporary dance performances.

Intriguing, inspiring, and endlessly vibrant, the Gold Coast’s cultural scene is a feast for the senses. So come and immerse yourself in our rich cultural tapestry, and let the creative spirit of the Gold Coast leave you inspired and invigorated.

4. Chase Waterfalls in Springbrook National Park

If you’re a nature enthusiast, Springbrook National Park is your nirvana. From breathtaking waterfalls like the Purling Brook Falls to glow worm caves, it’s a spectacle of natural wonder.

Discover the lush greenery and cascading waterfalls that Australia has to offer. It’s like having a plunge pool crafted by nature itself! Experience the thrill of adventure, followed by the tranquillity of your own plunge pool back at home.

Purling Brook Falls: The Crown Jewel of Springbrook

The mesmerising Purling Brook Falls is a spectacle to behold. This 109-meter waterfall majestically cascades over a cliff into a lush rainforest valley. The walking trail that loops around the falls provides awe-inspiring views at every turn. Make sure you have your camera ready to capture this stunning spectacle.

Twin Falls: An Intimate Encounter with Nature

For a more immersive experience, Twin Falls is your perfect pick. This unique waterfall allows visitors to venture behind the water curtain and take in the refreshing spray. Here, you’ll experience the true power and beauty of nature up close.

Natural Bridge: Where Water and Stone Meet

Finally, don’t miss out on the iconic Natural Bridge, a remarkable rock formation carved by the force of the waterfall that rushes through it. It’s a testament to nature’s raw power and creativity and offers the perfect backdrop for a memorable photograph.

Springbrook National Park is a veritable playground for waterfall chasers, each corner unveiling a new sight to marvel at. Whether you’re an adventure junkie or a peaceful wanderer, the cascading waterfalls of Springbrook National Park promise a refreshing retreat. So, come along and let’s chase these waterfalls together!

Address: Old School Rd, Springbrook QLD 4213

5. Join a Jet Ski Safari to South Stradbroke Island

There’s nothing quite like the rush of racing across azure waters on a jet ski, the sun on your face, and the wind in your hair. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time rider, the jet ski safaris to South Stradbroke Island are an adventure you won’t forget. Take a tour of South Stradbroke Island and enjoy the views along the coast. Let’s dive into the incredible options on offer.

30-Minute Jet Ski Circuit

Perfect for those dipping their toes into the world of jet skiing, the 30-Minute Jet Ski Circuit offers a taste of the thrill without breaking the bank. Designed for first-timers, this budget-friendly experience gives you a taste of the excitement jet skiing offers. On a roughly 1-kilometer circuit, you’ll learn the ropes, test your skills, and get your adrenaline pumping.

1-Hour Jet Ski Safari

If you’re craving a bit more adventure, the 1-Hour Jet Ski Safari is your ticket to paradise. This mid-range adventure takes you along the beautiful sub-tropical shores of South Stradbroke Island. You’ll zoom past stunning beaches, islands, sandbars, and mangroves, offering a unique way to experience the Gold Coast’s breathtaking natural beauty.

2.5-Hour Ultimate Jet Ski Safari

For the ultimate thrill-seekers, the 2.5-Hour Ultimate Jet Ski Safari is the experience you’ve been dreaming of. Voted as the best activity on the Gold Coast, this adventure takes you on a high-speed journey through winding mangroves and flood plains up to North Stradbroke Island. A pit stop at a beachfront island pub adds a slice of leisure to the mix, making this the perfect blend of exhilaration and relaxation.

No matter which safari you choose, a jet ski adventure to South Stradbroke Island is a top-rated Gold Coast attraction that’s sure to add a splash of excitement to your trip. So why wait? Strap on a life vest and join us for the ride of your life!

Address: 17/ 60-70 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach Qld 4217

6. Explore the Gold Coast Hinterland with a trip to Tamborine Mountain

Explore Tamborine Mountain’s pristine rainforests, quaint cafes, and charming boutiques. It’s the perfect escape from the hustle of city life. From cascading waterfalls to the picturesque Eagle Heights Mountain Village, there’s a wealth of scenic beauty to discover. Tamborine Mountain is the ideal destination for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation amidst nature’s beauty.

Experience the Magic of Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk

Tamborine Mountain’s Rainforest Skywalk is a must-experience for any nature lover. This eco-adventure offers you a bird’s eye view of the rainforest canopy, where you’ll meander along a steel-structured walkway amidst the vibrant flora and fauna. It’s a serene yet thrilling experience, akin to stepping into a verdant wonderland.

Nocturnal Glow Worm Tours: A Glimpse into the Enchanting Nightlife

When night falls, Tamborine Mountain transforms into an illuminated wonderland thanks to its resident glow worms. Embark on a nocturnal glow worm tour and marvel at the bioluminescent spectacle that lights up the caves. It’s an enchanting and truly unique experience, reminding you of the fascinating biodiversity nestled within the Gold Coast Hinterland. 

7. Explore Infinity Attraction

Step into a world of endless wonder at the INFINITY Attraction on the Gold Coast. It’s not your everyday tourist spot, but a 30-minute, mind-boggling journey into a maze-like, interactive universe that stretches your senses to the limits. Picture this – 20 unique, multi-sensory environments packed with special effects, mood-setting soundscapes, enticing aromas, and groovy music. Sounds fascinating, right?

One highlight that you simply can’t miss is the Time Tunnel. It’s a thrilling trip into your imagination, a surreal experience that guests describe as a “chemical-free journey into other dimensions”. It’s more than just an attraction – it’s a unique interactive play experience. No wonder it’s consistently rated as the number one thing to do on the Gold Coast.

Open from 10am to 10pm every day, INFINITY is waiting to ignite your imagination and offer an unforgettable holiday experience. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s dive into the ultimate sensory adventure!

Address: G31 Chevron Renaissance Centre, 3240 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217

8. Wine and Dine at Gold Coast’s Wineries and Breweries

Relish the local flavors at the Gold Coast’s wineries and breweries. From the Mount Tamborine Vineyard & Winery to the Balter Brewers, your taste buds are in for a treat!

As a wine lover, your tour of the Gold Coast isn’t complete without a visit to its famous wineries and breweries. Known for producing a range of stunning wines, these vineyards also offer breathtaking scenery and remarkable experiences that will make your trip truly unforgettable.

Cedar Creek Estate Vineyard

Cedar Creek Estate Tour, Wine Tasting, Lunch - Admission - Dreamtours.com.au

Start your wine exploration at Cedar Creek Estate Vineyard. This charming winery is set in picturesque grounds that capture the essence of the Gold Coast. Its wide selection of wines, featuring everything from robust reds to refreshing whites, will make you feel as if you’ve stepped into a wine lover’s paradise.

Opening Times: Everyday 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Address: 104 – 144 Hartley Road, North Tamborine

Tamborine Mountain Distillery

Tamborine Mountain Distillery wins five gold medal at international  competition | The Courier Mail

Next, journey up to Tamborine Mountain Distillery. Nestled in the heart of lush sub-tropical rainforest, this distillery is renowned for its handmade liqueurs, schnapps, and vodkas. The tasting room, brimming with old-world charm, offers you the chance to sample a vast range of these spirits.

Opening Times: Everyday 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Address: 87-91 Beacon Road, North Tamborine

O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards

O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards is another must-visit. With award-winning wines, historical charm, and a picnic-perfect landscape, it offers the quintessential vineyard experience. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to feed and walk alpacas through the vineyard grounds – it’s an experience like no other.

Opening Times: Everyday 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday)

Address: 852 Lamington National Park Rd, Canungra QLD 4275

Sirromet Winery

Sirromet Winery in Mount Cotton, Brisbane - Queensland | Best Venues of  Australia

Sirromet Winery, Queensland’s largest producer of premium traditional method sparkling wine, is next on the list. With a fully operating winery, a world-class restaurant, and a breathtaking view of Moreton Bay, this winery is a testament to the Gold Coast’s vibrant wine culture.

Opening Times: Weekdays 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM; Weekends 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Address: 850 Mount Cotton Road, Mount Cotton

Witches Falls Winery

Finally, make a stop at Witches Falls Winery, where wine is the star. Specialising in distinct wine ranges, this winery lets you delve deeper into the intricacies of winemaking. Enjoy your favourite bottle amidst their stunning garden setting.

Opening Times: Weekdays 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM; Weekends 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Address: 79 Main Western Road, Mount Tamborine

How to get to these wineries

Getting to these wineries is a breeze. You can either opt for a self-drive, hire a car, or take advantage of the various shuttle services available. No matter which option you choose, remember that the journey is as important as the destination. So, sit back, relax, and get ready to immerse yourself in the spectacular world of Gold Coast wineries.

9. Join a Whale Watching Tour

Gold Coast Whale Watching Cruise - Klook Australia

Lastly, no trip to the Gold Coast is complete without a whale-watching tour. Feel the thrill as you come face-to-face with these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

Embark on an awe-inspiring whale-watching tour. It’s an incredible encounter that will make your plunge pool experience at home even more enjoyable, knowing you’ve shared waters with these magnificent creatures.

10. Have a Night Out on the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast isn’t just a paradise by day, but also a vibrant and pulsating scene when the sun sets. With a diverse range of night-time activities to indulge in, you’ll find plenty of ways to make the most of your Gold Coast evenings.

Experience the Glitz at The Star Gold Coast

Gold Coast Casino

For a splash of glamour and a chance to try your luck, head over to The Star Gold Coast. This grand casino offers more than just a traditional gambling experience. With top-notch dining options, spectacular live shows, and a vibrant bar scene, it’s a hive of entertainment that will keep you entertained until the early hours.

Hit the Clubs in Surfers Paradise

We asked and you voted: Here are the top 10 nightclubs on the Gold Coast |  Gold Coast Bulletin

Ready to dance the night away? Surfers Paradise is the hub of the Gold Coast’s nightlife. With its eclectic mix of nightclubs, from rooftop bars offering panoramic views to beachfront venues pumping out the latest hits, you’ll find something to suit your party vibe. And with most clubs open until dawn, you can dance until you drop.

If you’re on the lookout for more nightlife ideas on the Gold Coast, make sure to check out the 10 Best Gold Coast Nightlife Activities: Discovering the Magic After Dark.

What’s Next?

From pristine beaches to lush national parks, the Gold Coast is brimming with unforgettable experiences. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or a nature lover, the Top 10 Things to do on the Gold Coast offers something for everyone.

Once you’ve ticked off these, why not unwind in your very own plunge pool from Plunge Pools Gold Coast? It’s the perfect way to cool down after a day packed with adventure.

And if you’re still on the lookout for a perfect budget-friendly stay in this sun-drenched paradise, don’t forget to revisit our article on the Best Budget Hotels on the Gold Coast. We’ve handpicked some of the best deals, ensuring comfort doesn’t compromise your pocket.

FAQs

What are the top beaches on the Gold Coast?

The Gold Coast is renowned for its stunning coastlines, each beach offering its unique allure. Surfers Paradise Beach is one of the most famous, loved by surfers and sunbathers alike. Broadbeach is a quieter alternative, with golden sands and clear waters, while Burleigh Heads Beach offers a combination of surf and parklands.

Which theme park is the best on the Gold Coast?

Choosing the best theme park on the Gold Coast is highly dependent on personal preference. For adrenaline-pumping rides, Warner Bros. Movie World and Dreamworld are ideal. Sea World offers fascinating marine animal interactions and shows, while Wet’n’Wild Water World is perfect for water-based fun.

Where can I experience the cultural scene on the Gold Coast?

For cultural enthusiasts, HOTA (Home of the Arts) in Surfers Paradise offers galleries, cinemas, and performance spaces. Meanwhile, Miami Marketta provides a hub for local music, art, and food culture. Broadbeach is also host to a number of annual music festivals, attracting local and international talent.

What natural attractions should I visit on the Gold Coast?

The Gold Coast Hinterland is a must-visit for nature lovers, home to the Springbrook National Park and Lamington National Park where you can encounter breathtaking waterfalls, walking trails, and wildlife. South Stradbroke Island is another gem, ideal for camping and wildlife spotting.

What unique experiences does the Gold Coast offer?

There’s an abundance of unique experiences to enjoy on the Gold Coast. You can explore the waterways with a Jet Ski Safari, dine at wineries and breweries in the Hinterland, join a whale watching tour, or get a bird’s eye view of the coast from a hot air balloon. The vibrant nightlife scene also provides an experience like no other, with world-class entertainment and venues.

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