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Top 10 Things to Do on the Gold Coast

Theme parks, beaches, surfing and rainforests are to be found in the Top 10 List of things to do on the Gold Coast.

Whether it's a family holiday, beach break or sophisticated resort, the Gold Coast has it covered. Find a hip bar and restaurant scene, great shopping, and cafés among the villages along the coast. Enjoy golf courses, thrill-seek your way around world-class theme parks or simply hit the iconic beaches and surf in year-round sunshine. 

Gold Coast, QLD


Watch the sun rise above sandy beaches and the sparkling Pacific Ocean – you’ll be spoiled for choice with the 57 kilometres of coastline this city boasts. Walk along the sand with the locals, or head to Surfers Paradise for seaside fun and easy access to drinks and ice cream. Catch amazing waves at The Spit or Mermaid Beach. 

Gold Coast, QLD © Tourism and Events Queensland

Theme Parks  

Find water parks, extreme rollercoasters and favourite movie characters at the Gold Coast theme parks. Experience the Justice League 3D ride and meet cartoon characters on Main Street at Warner Bros. Movie World. Splash down at Wet’n’Wild, frolic with dolphins at Sea World or head to Dreamworld and experience its Big Eight thrill rides. 

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Gold Coast, QLD © Tourism and Events Queensland

Great Hinterland Walk  

Turn away from the beach and explore the magic of the Great Hinterland Walk. Pass through World Heritage rainforests Lamington and Springbrook, where you access an ancient volcano and spectacular waterfall amidst incredible beauty and native wildlife. Get up close with a crocodile or cuddle koalas at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. 

Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, QLD © Tourism and Events Queensland

Gold Coast Villages  

Explore the Gold Coast’s distinct neighbourhoods, each with their own vibe. Hire a bike and ride Old Burleigh Road, from buzzy Surfers Paradise to chic Broadbeach with its array of cafés, such as vegetarian delight Cardamom Pod. Stay in upmarket Southport or Main Beach, while Nobby Beach and Burleigh Heads are hip and chilled-out surfie neighbourhoods. 

Spa Q at QT, Gold Coast, QLD © Tourism and Events Queensland

Hip Hotels and Resorts  

Indulge yourself at fabulous five-star hotels like the Palazzo Versace, the high-rise Hilton in the heart of the action, the Sofitel at Broadbeach, or funky QT at Surfers Paradise. For luxe resort stays by the best pools, try the Sheraton Mirage or Marriott Resort and Spa. 

Tree Top Walk, Gold Coast, QLD © Tourism and Events Queensland

Tree Top Walkway  

See nature from a different angle as you stroll through the rainforest...15 metres above the ground! The Tree Top Walkway, which spans nine suspension bridges, puts you right in the midst of the canopy, where you’ll be surrounded by birds, flowers and – once you reach the 30m-high Observation Deck – the sky. The Walkway is free, and requires some climbing. 

Jet-ski, Southport, Gold Coast, QLD © Tourism and Events Queensland

Water Sports  

Ride jet skis on an exhilarating coastal tour. Get your adrenalin rush on a jet boat. Learn to paddleboard or surf at one of the many great schools along the coast. See turtles, stingrays and seahorses as you dive, or for beginners, learn via the Discover Scuba Diving experience. 

Salt Grill, Gold Coast, QLD © Tourism and Events Queensland

Gold Coast Dining  

Pull up a water view table at Bumbles on Budds Beach. Hit Black Coffee Lyrics in Surfers Paradise for sublime coffee and a cool night scene. Try the lamb at fantastic Hellenika at Nobby Beach, or hit the high-end food at celebrity chef Luke Mangan’s Salt Grill. 

Harbour Town Shopping Centre, Gold Coast, QLD © Tourism and Events Queensland

Boutiques and Markets 

Find vintage threads and an eclectic bohemian vibe at the Village Markets on Sundays at Burleigh Heads. Or head to Carrara Markets, where 500 stalls and lots of free entertainment will keep you entertained all weekend. Hit up Harbour Town outlet mall for some serious bargains and get a fashion fix at Pacific Fair Shopping Centre.