What to Do in Gold Coast? The Best Activities Guide

November 30, 2022
gold coast property market predictions 2023

Key takeaways:

  • Gold Coast beaches are renowned. Check out Coolangatta Beach, Snapper Rocks, Main Beach and Surfers Paradise.
  • On a rainy day in Gold Coast, visit The Wax Museum, go shopping at Pacific Fair, or check out VR spots.
  • Free activities on Gold Coast are hiking, biking, swimming and seeing cultural performances at HOTA.

Want to find out what to do in Gold Coast? Where to we start! The Gold Coast is pumped with tons of awesome activities to fulfil every desire.

For thrill seekers, you can head to Skypoint Observation Deck, Movie World or Wet n’ Wild. Looking for natural wonders? How about meeting birds at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary or soak up the sun on a beach.

And perhaps this is why the city continues to attract people locally and from abroad. It’s dynamic and thriving, but also laid back and liveable—so much so that there’s even a lot real estate investing in the Gold Coast going on which leaves a lot of people searching for rentals in Gold Coast to find their next home.

But let’s not let property steal the show this week and focus on the fun you’re getting into. Regardless of what you’re searching for, our list of Gold Coast attractions will keep you entertained for weeks on end.

Gold Coast attractions

Here are a few generally appealing activities you can do, whether you’re in a big group of friends, with family or on a romantic getaway.

Get immersed in nature

You can’t go to Gold Coast and not take advantage of the amazing nature. After all, it’s one the reasons why Gold Coast is a premier holiday destination in Australia. There’s something for everyone.

Springbrook National Park is a beautiful protected park in Gold Coast’s hinterland. You can hike along the beautiful, lush trails, spot birds in their natural environment and see the Natural Arch waterfall which comes through a basalt cave.

what to do in gold coast
Image credit: Qld Parks and Forests

Lamington National Park is another protected park which is considered part of the ancient Gondwana Rainforests. It’s about a 45 kilometre car ride from Gold Coast and really worth it to see if you can find the 500 waterfalls it contains!

what to do in gold coast
Image credit: Qld Parks and Forests

The Currumbin Rock Pools are swimming holes just 15 minutes away from Currumbin Beach. It’s a popular local spot because you can climb on the rocks and jump into the pools from a height.

Scuba diving is also a popular activity and often at Rainbow Beach. You can also do stand up paddleboard, get surf lessons and see dolphins and wales.

What to do in Gold Coast when raining

Although the Gold Coast boasts around 300 days of sunshine a year, you may find yourself free on a rainy day. But we’ve got you ‘covered’ with tons of cool spots.

Wax Museum Gold Coast

what to do in gold coast
Image credit: Australia Gold Coast

Visit the largest wax museum in the Gold Coast displaying over 100 life-size wax wax figures. There are exhibits like Famous People, featuring Captain Jack Sparrow and Price William and Kate Middleton. But also see the replicas of the British crown jewels including crowns, swords and sceptres.

Go shopping

what to do in gold coast
Image credit: Wikipedia

Need to find shelter and entertainment at the same time? Head over to Pacific Fair mall which has over 400 brands. If you’re on a budget, check out Harbour Town in Biggera Waters which is Australia’s largest outlet shopping centre.

Virtual reality experiences

Places like Escape Hunt Experience at Southport,  Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditorium or Cavill Avenue are all popular on sunny and rainy days! From virtual reality games to exploring ancient artefacts, they will take you on an indoor adventure of your own.

What to do in Gold Coast at night

The Gold Coast nightlife is vibrant and abundant in fun, energising activities.

Surfers Paradise beachfront markets

With over a hundred stalls, the markets are a good opportunity for some retail therapy. From clothes to arts and crafts and jewellery, there’s a lot to be seen.

Happening every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night from 4pm, you can also dig into local cuisine and be entertained by live music and street performers.

Miami Marketta

what to do in gold coast
Image credit: Miami Marketta

Miami Marketta is another night market started by a couple of Gold Coast locals. With the energy of a buzzing cosmopolitan city like Bangkok or New York, this market channels inspiration from around the world.

With a variety of ethnic food stalls, you can sample grub from a variety of cultures and wash it all down with cocktails and beer.

Springbrook National Park

We’re mentioning this one again because there’s a unique nighttime activity that awaits you here. The park actually has glow worm caves at night! The later you go, the more glow worms you’ll see. It’s an amazing natural right. Just make sure you turn off your phone lights or torches before you near the Natural Bridge in the park.

What to do in Gold Coast with family

When it comes to activities for the young ones, theme parks are often the way to go, and Gold Coast is brimming with them.

Sea World

what to do in gold coast
Image credit: Sea World

If the kids are fans of sea creatures, take them to Sea World for a day trip. Whether it’s an hour at the mammal park or the aquarium seeing live animals or rides on one of thrilling rollercoasters, the fun won’t stop.

Warner Bros Movie World

With over 15 rides at Warner Bros Movie World, there’s something in this theme park for the whole family. And what’s better, these rides are inspired by some of our favourite movies. Don’t miss out on the DC Rivals HyperCoaster, which is the tallest, longest and fastest HyperCoaster in the Southern Hemisphere.

Aqua Park

Image credit: Bel Air on Broad Beach

Get the whole family out on the water when you head to Aqua Park, featuring some of the highest water inflatables in Australia. Slip, side and hop your way across the obstacles while you challenge your balance.

Wet’n’Wild Gold Coast

One of the best theme parks in Gold Coast, this one is perfect for a warm, sunny day. There are thrill slides, slide for the little ones and cabanas when you want to take a break and get some food.

Free things to do in Gold Coast

Outdoor activities are some of the best options for free activities in Gold Coast.

Gold Coast beaches

what to do in gold coast

Of course, we can’t talk about fun, free activities in Gold Coast without mentioning its pristine beaches. From Coolangatta Beach to Snapper Rocks, Main Beach and Surfers Paradise. A whole week can be spent visiting different ones to get your fill.

South Stradbroke Island

what to do in gold coast
Image credit: Destination Gold Coast

Want to get away from the crowds, this local island, also called “South Straddie” is an amazing 1800-hectare conservation park. Although it isn’t a long island, there are tons of things to do on South Stradbroke.

Surfers will love surfing at one of the best beach breaks in the Gold Coast. Bikers will enjoy cruising along the coast, or you can camp, kayak or canoe.

Bike rides

Grab a bike and follow the nature trails in the Gondwana Ancient Rainforest.

HOTA – Home of the Arts

HOTA is the Home of the Arts, where Gold Coast art and culture meet. They put on art shows featuring renowned artists such as Basquiat, Haring and Warhol (not always free) but also movies, workshops and cultural performances. Check out their site to see what’s on and free!

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