With 300 sunny days a year, the Gold Coast is one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations. And not only because of the climate and beautiful beaches. Whether you’re a nature lover or city dweller, a national park or amusement park enthusiast, a sports or relaxation seeker, the Gold Coast offers an incredible range of activities. Here are our top 10 Gold Coast attractions.
#1 Stunning beaches
The Gold Coast is known for its natural and unique beaches, which are easily accessible from the city. They stretch for nearly 50 km from the south end of the Rainbow Bay to South Stradbroke Island in the north. Since most of them are patrolled, you can swim and do various water sports, such as surfing, windsurfing or kitesurfing.
Wherever you are on the Gold Coast, you’ll meet surfers of all ages at any time of the day if the surf is on.
If you want to learn to surf or improve your skills, there are around 20 surf schools on the coast. The most popular spots are The Spit and Narrowneck on Main Beach, but also Mermaid Beach and Palm Beach, Burleigh Heads and finally Kirra and Snapper Rock in Coolangatta.
#3 Water sports in Broadwater
For those who prefer calmer waters, Broadwater is ideal. This estuary, separated from the ocean by a thin strip of land, offers perfect conditions for activities such as stand-up paddling, canoeing, kayaking and snorkelling.
#4 Hiking in national parks
If the hustle and bustle of the city tires you or you just want to see a bit of green instead of blue, a trip to the Gold Coast hinterland is just what you need.
In less than an hour’s drive west of the coast, you’re in the rainforest of Mount Tambourine, Lamington Park, or Springbrook National Park. Explore various trails of the national parks and discover beautiful waterfalls and lookouts.
The Gold Coast is a golfer’s paradise, counting more golf courses per square kilometre than anywhere else in the world. Whether you’re looking for a world-class golf course or a simple practice ground, you’ll find just that. A dozen golf courses are open to the public and nine are listed in the top 100 of Australia.
Top Golf is a new entertainment concept derived from golf. Invented in England, it has grown rapidly in recent years, especially in Anglo-Saxon countries. Australia’s first top golf was opened on the Gold Coast in 2018!
In a specific area, up to 6 people take turns to send a golf ball into a hole. So it’s similar to bowling.
#6 Theme parks
The Gold Coast is home to Australia’s largest amusement parks. If you like rides, thrills and shows, you’ve come to the right place. To have a fun time on waterslides, head to Wet’n’Wild ($ 79) or WhiteWater World ($ 65). Movie fans visit Warner Bros. Movie World ($ 79). At Dreamworld ($ 65) there are animals as well as classic attractions.
By the way, look for special deals that give you cheaper admission to the parks.
#7 Kangaroos in Coombabah
Who did not dream of seeing a kangaroo or koala in their natural habitat before coming to Australia? It’s easy on the Gold Coast; all you have to do is go for a walk in the Coombabah Lakeland’s Conservation Area. If you’re in a hurry, just stop at Shelter Road at the entrance to the Koala Trail and wait. At dusk you will certainly see kangaroos there.
If that’s too much effort, visit the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can see all of Australia’s native animals at once.
#8 Local breweries
The Gold Coast is paradise for beer enthusiasts, as this place is not short of local breweries. Visit the Balter Brewery in Currumbin, enjoy live music at Burleigh Brewing Co., or try out the local Black Hops and finish the week at Miami’s newest Lost Palms Brewery.
#9 Q1 Tower
The Q1 Tower (Queensland Number One) at Surfers Paradise is an iconic skyscraper on the East coast. It is also the highest resort in Australia. If you don’t want to book a room, you can still enjoy the 230m high SkyPoint Observation Deck and the stunning 360 degree view of the Gold Coast. Access is not free though. Therefore, ask for an entrance ticket that you can use at any time of the day or night and even visit the on-site bar and restaurant.
For those who are a tad more adventurous, it is also possible to climb up to 270 meters onto the tower. This is the highest outdoor ascent in Australia and obviously offers an unparalleled view of the Gold Coast and beyond.
#10 Bars and restaurants
The Gold Coast has restaurants and bars as far as the eye can see. If you enjoy the hustle and bustle of tourist areas, Surfers Paradise offers day and night entertainment. Stroll the streets and discover the nightclubs on Orchid Avenue.
If you prefer quiet restaurants to lively bars, you will definitely find them further south. Whether on Oracle Boulevard in Broadbeach, the Gold Coast Highway on Mermaid Beach or on the lively Nobby Beach, which is popular with locals. Burleigh Heads, Palm Beach and Coolangatta are also great places for going out and eating in.
Also visit Miami Marketta, a place with street food stalls from around the world. You also get local beers and cocktails. Every weekend there are concerts of local bands that create a fun and relaxed atmosphere in an alternative environment.
Article: Fiona Berrocal