Your guide to the best cafés, beaches, theme park rides, rainforests and entertainment in Gold Coast. Choosing the best things to do in Gold Coast is no easy task. Known as the city on the beach with truly epic theme parks, the Gold Coast is the go-to destination for non-stop action just an hour’s drive from Brisbane, Queensland.
From beachside cafés to thrilling amusement park rides and a World Heritage-listed wonder, here’s a list of activities that offers the gold standard in fun for the whole family.
Visit Theme Parks for Thrills and Spills
Ride the tallest and fastest hypercoaster in the southern hemisphere at Movie World, just a 25-minute drive from Surfers Paradise. The newly opened DC Rivals HyperCoaster travels at speeds of up to 115 kilometres per hour — around the top speed of the cheetah, the fastest land animal on the planet
Or visit Sea World, an easy five-minute drive from Surfers Paradise. Here you can wade into a shallow water encounter with dolphins or experience a thrilling shark feeding session.
Explore the Green Behind the Gold
Explore rainforests and national parks in the Gold Coast hinterland via a four-wheel-drive tour, with customisable itineraries.
Make the World Heritage-listed Lamington National Park your first stop. Take on O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk, a free activity that will see you suspended among tree canopies some 15 metres above ground, amongst the birds and animals that inhabit the treetops.
Later, visit Tamborine National Park — the third-oldest national park in the world and filming location of Marvel movie Thor: Ragnarok. Explore glow-worm caves; attempt the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk, a 45-minute experience that suspends you among lush canopies and above creeks; and visit wineries, a brewery and a distillery up on Tamborine Mountain, which offers uninterrupted coastal views.
Shop and Eat Like a Local
What’s a holiday without good food and retail therapy?
Tuck into an Instagram-worthy açai bowl or a delicious raw peanut butter and jelly smoothie bowl at The Cardamom Pod, a cosy café in Southport, just a 10-minute drive from Surfers Paradise. Or, visit Dune Café at Palm Beach on the Surfers Paradise strip, voted one of the top three places for breakfast on the Gold Coast by locals. You’ll find yourself spoilt for choice with a range of hearty and healthy dishes — think free-range eggs with organic sourdough and avocado mousse with quinoa-and-potato hash.
Once you’ve fuelled up, drop by Pacific Fair — the Gold Coast’s main shopping and dining destination — and shop to your heart’s content at over 400 stores, ranging from global luxury labels to local retailers. The shopping centre can be accessed via a free shuttle service that stops at Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach and Mermaid Beach.
Enjoy 360-degree City Views
Take your experience of the Gold Coast to new heights by participating in the SkyPoint Climb, which will see you ascend 270 metres into the air within 90 minutes. Drink in unobstructed views of Gold Coast’s pristine beaches, city skyline and lush hinterland when you summit.
Rest assured that the climb is secured by an inner handrail and safety equipment, including a harness and static fall arrest line, so you can focus on what matters — the breathtaking view before you.
Latest posts by Aussie Specialist (see all)
- Affordable Adventures in Adelaide, Hobart and Launceston - March 12, 2018
- SilkAir’s First Direct Flights from Singapore to Broome - March 5, 2018
- The 4 Things to Do in Gold Coast this Year - February 23, 2018