Are you thinking about checking out the Gold Coast in Australia? Here are all the things that you'll have to see and do before you leave.
Thirteen million people choose the Gold Coast as a destination every year. It’s easy to see why it’s so popular. With beaches and surfing, nightlife and shopping at your fingertips, the Gold Coast in Australia has lots to offer.
The problem for most is actually deciding what to do. Whether you’re staying for just a few days or you’ll have a week or more to explore, narrowing your options is a trick. We’ve picked the absolute must-sees to help you decide on your itinerary.
Visit Springbrook and Tamborine Mountain
If you want to get away from it all, a visit to Tamborine Mountain is one of the best things to do in the Gold Coast. It's easy to get back to nature in this extraordinary rainforest.
You can book a tour and visit a natural glow worm cave, or you can hike through the forest to reach Curtis Falls. Another attraction is the Tamborine Forest Skywalk. It's a one and a half kilometer hike through the surrounding forest, up to the Skywalk itself.
The area around Tamborine Mountain is part of Australia’s World Heritage protected rainforest. As such, it’s home to lush wet eucalyptus and gum trees.
The Gold Coast is home to several national parks, including Springbrook and Lamington. Each offers a unique outdoor experience. Whether you love bushwalking or camping, there's something in the Gold Coast for you.
Surfing on the Gold Coast in Australia
Surfing is one of the most popular activities in Gold Coast, and it’s easy to see why. The coast of Queensland has plenty of beaches. Many of them provide great opportunities for hanging ten.
Kirra Beach was once a top surfing destination. Today, sand deposits have made it less favorable for surfers. It's still a beautiful beach to visit.
Coolangatta and Greenmount Beach offer great surfing just outside of New South Wales. The world-class break at Duranbah offers up guaranteed swells for surf enthusiasts.
Snapper Rocks, the Gold Coast’s most popular surf beach, is also near at hand. The man-made surf break allows you to ride all the way to Coolangatta.
Of course, there’s also the aptly named Surfer’s Paradise. Here, you can enjoy the break during the day, and then enjoy the nightlife once the sun sets.
Pick a Theme Park to Visit
The Gold Coast of Australia is also home to quite a few theme parks. That makes it an ideal destination for families and adventurers alike.
Sea World offers a chance to explore the ocean. By contrast, Wet’n’Wild and Dream World deliver thrills by the minute.
Another theme park is Warner Bros. Movie World, which is perfect for movie buffs. Whether you love Bugs Bunny and company or are more of a Batman fan, this is an experience not to miss.
A stone’s throw from Surfer’s Paradise, you’ll find Broadbeach. This quiet suburb offers not just one, but two shopping centers. The Pacific Fair Shopping Center and the Oasis Shopping Center have all your favorite shops.
For those who prefer more time outside in the sunshine, there's a gorgeous boulevard and lovely beaches to stroll. It’s great for a romantic dinner or for some quality family time.
Visit Surfer’s Paradise for Nightlife
If you’re looking for a spot to plan a night out, Surfer’s Paradise is the safest bet. By day, it’s a popular surfing destination, attracting surfers and beach-goers of all stripes.
At night, it transforms into a trendy, rowdy strip featuring restaurants, bars, and more. If you’re looking for Australia’s answer to Las Vegas, you’ve just found it.
It’s a great spot for a girls’ night out or a hen party. If you’re thinking about the Gold Coast for a party, these destinations offer up plenty of inspiration.
Escape to Island Paradise
Another great idea for your getaway is to head out to one of the surrounding islands. South Stradbroke Island, or South Straddie as the locals call it, is a popular day-trip. On the island, you’ll find McLaren’s Landing, a Balinese-style resort.
The island features a conservation park. That means you can get up close and personal with some of the local wildlife as well. Bushwalking is a popular activity.
The island's shoreline offers more golden opportunities for swimming and surfing.
Wave Break Island is another option available to you. This island is just a short paddle from the Gold Coast itself. Kayak out to the island on a tour, and spot sea life like dolphins and turtles along the way.
Diving, Snorkeling, and Whale-Watching
If Gold Coast’s rainforests don’t deliver quite enough nature for you, you can check out the marine life. You have no shortage of options for exciting ways to interact with ocean life.
Snorkeling and diving experiences are plentiful. You’ll find reefs in Kirra Beach and Palm Beach. They're not the Great Barrier Reef, but they still offer a chance to see tropical fish and other spectacular sea creatures.
If you don’t mind venturing a little farther afield, a whale-watching tour can be a great choice. Whales head north in the fall and south in the spring, so check the dates. You may be able to spot some of these majestic creatures on their annual migration.
Soak up the Sun
For something more relaxed, you can pick almost any beach along nearly 60 kilometers and soak up some sun. Kicking back and relaxing is better along this beautiful stretch of coast.
It’s a great way to wind down after a busy day or close out your vacation.
The Gold Coast Is a Golden Ticket to Fun
As you can see, there’s no shortage of things to do on the Gold Coast in Australia. Whether you pick one or all of these activities, you’ll have a blast.
Of course, the Gold Coast isn’t the only party of Oz just waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re daydreaming or booking your next holiday, be sure to check in for the latest travel advice.