20 Amazing Things To Do on the Gold Coast of Australia

One of Australia’s finest travel destinations, there’s no shortage of amazing things to do on the Gold Coast. The 70 kilometers of golden sand are home to vibrant Australian culture, entertaining nightlife, and outstanding natural beauty. It’s also well-known for boasting a warm climate and consistent sunny days year-round. In fact, the sun shines on the Gold Coast more than 300 days a year.

Lovingly referred to as Australia’s version of Miami Beach, there’s no shortage of fun things to do on the Gold Coast. Between the theme parks, shopping centres, surfing, and other thrilling outdoor activities, the Gold Coast has every type of visitor’s vibe.

Whether you’re interested in riding the swells of Surfers Paradise, zip-lining through the rainforests of Mount Tamborine, or taking your family to Warner Brothers Movie World, there is something for everyone to enjoy near the Gold Coast of Australia.

As you plan your visit, sift through these family activities, romantic escapes, and off-the-beaten-path excursions. Before you know it, you’ll have your whole trip planned for your upcoming Australian adventure!

The top attractions on the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is known for its beaches, Australian wildlife, and heart-racing activities. If you’re looking for exciting and authentic things to do on the Gold Coast, then look no further.

1. Australian Outback Spectacular

Immerse yourself in the Australian Outback Spectacular

At the top of our list is one of Australia’s most iconic activities – the great outback experience! This dinner and show feature a group of entertaining characters, immersive technology, and a beautiful story set in the Australian bushland. Plus, you’ll enjoy a delicious three-course meal with ingredients from local farms. The Outback Spectacular is a top attraction for families visiting the Gold Coast.

2. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Go hoppin’ wild with kangaroos at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

For an authentic Australian wildlife experience, you must plan a trip to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to kangaroos, wallabies, and other loveable animals. As you walk through the lush rainforest and eucalyptus trees, you’ll get to see live animal shows and the chance to pet a kangaroo! Voted Gold Coast’s number one wildlife attraction, this epic experience is a top one to book.

3. SkyPoint Observation Deck

The SkyPoint Observation deck towers over the Gold Coast
The SkyPoint Observation deck towers over the Gold Coast

Experience a whole new perspective of Australia’s Gold Coast from 77 floors above. The SkyPoint Observation Deck is Australia’s only beachside observation deck with 360° views of the Gold Coast. Sit back, relax at the bistro with a delicious drink, and spot far-off majestic whales at this top attraction on the Gold Coast. This is a great choice for an evening out with good friends, so be sure you stay for the beautiful sunset!

Looking for natural attractions on the Gold Coast?

You can’t visit Australia without exploring its extraordinary wildlife, rainforests, and beaches. These natural attractions are perfect for nature lovers or those wishing to escape the city and the crowds.

4. Brisbane River Cruise to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

a koala carrying her baby on her back
Koalas scale the treetops at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Embark on a relaxing river cruise and escape from Brisbane to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Spend three hours perusing the sanctuary and see exotic wildlife like wombats, Tasmanian devils, kangaroos, snakes, and koalas, of course! If you’re lucky, you might get to cuddle a koala at this amazing natural attraction on the Gold Coast.

5. TreeTop Challenge – Adrenaline Park Mt. Tamborine

Brisbane’s story bridge at twilight colorful evening after sunset Queensland

Familiarize yourself with Australia’s bushland and rainforests as you traverse Adrenaline Park’s 120 treetop activities. Coerce your family and friends to walk over shaky wooden bridges and slide through tunnels. You’ll get over your fear of heights in no time at this thrilling natural attraction on the Gold Coast.

6. The Authentic Aussie Farm Experience

There's no better farm experience than at the Authentic Aussie Farm
There’s no better farm experience than at the Authentic Aussie Farm

In between the Gold Coast’s sandy beaches and parklands, this idyllic farm is home to the best local wildlife. See, touch, and learn about dingos, kangaroos, koalas, cockatoos, and of course, the famous Shaun the Sheep! This scenic natural outing is also a great family activity on the Gold Coast.

7. Two-Hour Surfing Lesson in Lennox Head

Learn how to take on the waves that Australia’s Gold Coast is oh-so-famous for

This beginner-friendly surfing lesson is a great opportunity to surf and coast some Aussie waves. A group of professionals will cover the basics in this small group lesson for a more hands-on experience. Ideal for a solo excursion or with your partner–in no time at all, you’ll be hanging ten!

Fun things to do on the Gold Coast

Are you an adrenaline junkie? The Gold Coast has plenty of heart-pounding activities for travelers looking to get out of their comfort zone.

8. Skydive Byron Bay

Visitors do skydiving with guidance from a professional on the Gold Coast
A once-in-a-lifetime experience for those who seek thrills!

Grab the opportunity to freefall over Australia’s most stunning landscapes. As you soak in the Gold Coast and the Australian hinterland, you’ll fall from 15,000 feet in the hands of a skydiving professional. Hold on tight as you travel at speeds of over 200 km/hr!

9. Story Bridge Climb

Brisbane's story bridge at twilight colorful evening after sunset Queensland
Brisbane’s story bridge at twilight colorful evening after sunset Queensland

The Story Bridge climb is one of the most adventurous and fun things to do on the Gold Coast. Get ready for an adrenaline rush as you climb over the busiest part of Brisbane’s commute and enjoy scenic views of the city. With Day, Twilight, and Night climbs available, this experience is the best way to see Brisbane and its surrounding natural beauty. During this thrilling climb, you’ll learn about the history of the Story Bridge and the suspended walkway. This is a great activity to do with your close friends.

10. Canyon Flyer Guided Zipline Tour

The Canyon Flyer Zipline Tour is a bucket-list experience

This jungle tour allows thrill-seekers to soar over the ancient rainforests of Mount Tamborine. With seven Ziplines in total, beginners and novices can easily enjoy this guided ride as they zoom across the canopy. However, remember to put on a brave face since you may reach speeds of up to 70 kph!

11. iFLY Gold Coast

The closest you'll ever get to flying at iFLY Gold Coast!
The closest you’ll ever get to flying at iFLY Gold Coast!

The iFLY activity offers you a skydiving experience without the dangers or fear of the open sky. The instructors will help fly your body and lift you effortlessly throughout the air. The go-to activity for adrenaline junkies, get ready to fly like a bird and channel your inner Superman.

Looking for family and kid activities on the Gold Coast?

The Gold Coast is a perfect choice for your next family vacation. Between the exciting theme parks and numerous outdoor activities, there’s no shortage of family-friendly attractions on the Gold Coast.

12. Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World & Wet’n’Wild Gold Coast: Three-Day Pass

a kid posing with a staff of the theme park in a Wonder Woman custom
Fun for all the family awaits.

This playful family activity provides access to three iconic Australian theme parks on a three-day pass. Enjoy unlimited rides, shows, and attractions, and keep boredom at bay! Whether you’d like to meet your favorite movie characters, hop on a water slide, or pet some dolphins, this pass is sure to please everyone in your family.

13. Spirits of the Red Sand Evening Theatre Show + Dinner

authentic Aboriginal historical tale played by direct descendants of Australian Aboriginal tribes
Seeking ancient spiritual storytelling? This one’s for you.

Get transported to a 19th-century Australian village and explore over 60,000 years of Aboriginal culture. Through unique storytelling, this dinner and a show place you within an authentic Aboriginal historical tale played by direct descendants of Australian Aboriginal tribes. After you walk through interactive scenes, you’ll also enjoy a hearty, authentic chargrilled feast! This family-friendly activity just may be the highlight of your trip.

14. Infinity Attraction Gold Coast

Infinity attraction on the Gold Coast
An immersive experience at Infinity Attraction awaits.

Spark your curiosity inside this dazzling funhouse and futuristic maze. This immersive activity is filled with special effects, wondrous illusions, and dizzying music. Spend time exploring the 20 multi-sensual environments and feel like you’ve stepped into another dimension. Test your whole family’s sense of gravity at the Infinity Attraction on the Gold Coast.

Luxurious things to do on the Gold Coast

Do you chase an epic vacay story? Is sitting on the beach not really your vibe? Don’t worry; there’s always something unique, relaxing, and cool to do on the Gold Coast.

15. Aquaduck Safaris Gold Coast

Cruise by water on the Aquaduck Safari

The Aquaduck Safari is one of the most iconic and coolest things to do on the Gold Coast. Enjoy a 1.5-hour sunset tour while you sip on bubbly and hear scandalous stories of the wealth that shaped the Gold Coast. You won’t get these gems and hilarious anecdotes anywhere else! The safari finishes at the Lime Mexican restaurant for delicious street-style Mexican food and live music.

16. Gold Coast Ballooning with Vineyard Breakfast & Return Transfers

Gold Coast Ballooning through the skies.
Looking for dreamy views and life-long memories to remember? Take a ride on a Gold Coast Hot air ballon!

You and your partner will get lifted into the sky on a hot air balloon in the early morning hours before enjoying a delicious breakfast at O’Reilly’s Grand Homestead & Vineyard. Enjoy a personal transfer from your accommodation and a 40-60 minute flight with photos included! Afterward, you’ll head to the vineyard for more stunning views and a glass of champagne. It’s the perfect way to start your day on the Gold Coast.

17. Gold Coast Jet Ski Safari, Tropical Island Stopover + Parasail Combo: 2.5 Hours

Jet skis through mangroves on Australias Gold Coast
Jet ski through mangroves!

This Gold Coast activity is for the adventurous at heart. This multi-combo activity parasails you 300 feet above Broadwater for incredible views of the Australian coastline. You’ll also enjoy a thrilling 2.5-hour jet ski safari with a stop at North Straddle Island for some wildlife and refreshments. This crazy, heart-stopping afternoon on the Gold Coast will be one you’ll never forget.

Looking for the best things to do for couples on the Gold Coast?

The Gold Coast has a few standout attractions that cannot be missed. For some once-in-a-lifetime memories, check out this list of the best things to do for couples on the Gold Coast.

18. Whale Watching Cruise Gold Coast

During this cruise, you and your partner will spot the Gold Coast’s most famous residents in their natural habitat, the humpback whale. Get close to all types of wild marine life, including playful dolphins, sea turtles, and sharks!  Led by marine experts, this wildlife cruise will have you and your partner mesmerized for days.

19. Kayak with the Dolphins: Half-Day Guided Tour

Cruise Cape Byron by canoe
Cruise Cape Byron by canoe

Float along Cape Byron in a two-person kayak, and get ready to play with some Gold Coast dolphins. Led by an expert guide, this is your best chance to get close to Australia’s famous marine wildlife. You may even spot some humpback whales and sea turtles! In addition to the tour, some yummy Aussie snacks will be served.

20. Sunset Rainforest River Cruise

A romantic sunset cruise on the Gold Coast
No romantic holiday is complete without a sunset cruise

This two-hour sunset cruise is an ideal romantic activity on the Gold Coast. Watch the sunset while enjoying a complimentary drink and fresh tapas from local farms. Sit back and relax as you and your partner take in the scenery and point out the gorgeous eagles, kingfishers, and other Aussie wildlife to one another.

When is the best time of year to visit the Gold Coast?

If you’re deciding when to visit the Gold Coast, you’re in luck: the answer is year-round. The weather is continuously beautiful and sunny due to its sub-tropical climate.

April to June is considered the absolute best time of year to visit the Gold Coast. You’re not suffering through the summer heat, and the prices are lower since schools are not on holiday. Temperatures will average around 23°C or 73°F.

Despite the high heat, the summer is still a popular time to visit because of the holiday season. So, expect prices to be higher and hotels to book out early on. Keep in mind you can expect humidity and frequent storms during the summer season.

The temperatures get a bit cooler in autumn and winter, but not so cold that you can’t lay out on the beach. Just remember to pack a light jacket.

How to travel around the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is designed for visitors and out-of-towners, so its accessible transportation system can take you exactly where you need to go.

The TransLink is the Gold Coast’s transportation system, complete with a bus, train, and tram network. If you plan on staying in Queensland for more than a few days, it’s worth investing in a “Go Card,” an electronic ticket for the buses, trams, and trains. Remember to download the Translink app on your phone or check out the Ride the G website for timetables.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA, JULY 31, 2019: The TransLink train carries passengers from Brisbane BNE airport international terminal station to the Gold Coast, Queensland

If you prefer a taxi or car rental, plenty of options are available throughout the city. Some accommodation options may be able to help you secure a taxi as needed.

Additionally, the Gold Coast has numerous well-lit bike lanes and shared paths, so if you prefer to rent a bike or explore by walking, then you’ll have no issue.

Also, if you land at Brisbane Airport, you can catch the Airtrain, which travels between Brisbane and the Gold Coast every 15 minutes, making airport travel headache-free.

Amazing places to visit near the Gold Coast

There are plenty of beautifully scenic areas beyond the Gold Coast that deserve mention. Too many to even count! If you love the great outdoors and picturesque settings, then here are just a few incredible places to visit near the Gold Coast.

Tamborine Mountain 

This mountain is part of Queensland’s Scenic Rim region, a World Heritage Site. You won’t believe your eyes once you walk through the stunning rainforests– it’s pure paradise! Make sure you stop at Curtis Falls to enjoy a rushing water show.

Glass House Mountains

Glass House Mountains National park in Australia with dramatic sky.
Glass House Mountains National park in Australia with dramatic sky.

In the hinterland of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Glass House Mountains’ 11 peaks are a beautiful, natural playground. Perfect for a little escape from the city, any nature-lover will enjoy the walking tracks, waterholes, and numerous viewpoints of the peaks. If you have the time, this is one of the most amazing places to visit near the Gold Coast.

Point Danger Lookout

This lookout is home to one of the best panoramic views of the Gold Coast. Plus, it’s ripe with maritime history, so history buffs will enjoy walking the “Centaur Remembrance Walk” to learn about those lost at sea. Be sure to keep an eye out for whales and dolphins!

Coolangatta Beach

This beach is on the New South Wales state border and better suited to those looking for some peace. It’s very close to the Gold Coast airport, so it’s quite accessible on your last day in paradise. Plus, with its soft sands and picturesque boardwalk, it’s one of the best free things to do on the Gold Coast.

Coolangatta beach looking towards Kirra on the Gold Coast in Australia
Coolangatta beach looking towards Kirra on the Gold Coast in Australia

As you plan your trip to the epic Gold Coast, be sure to choose a handful of activities that make your trip a once-in-a-lifetime type of vacation. Between the exotic wildlife, out-of-this-world views, and adventurous activities, you won’t run out of amazing things to do on the Gold Coast.

Looking to plan the ultimate Gold Coast vacation? Then check out this complete list of thrilling Gold Coast attractions! Traveling with kids in tow? Take a read of our post on the top 25 things to do with kids in Melbourne.

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