Best places to visit in the Gold Coast

What to do in Australia’s entertainment capital, from beach suburbs to national parks.

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

With its shopping opportunities in Broadbeach, nightlife in Surfers Paradise, wilderness in the Hinterland and marine activities on South Stradbroke Island, the Gold Coast doesn't disappoint.

Discover your perfect place on the Gold Coast with our list of where to go based on your interests.

Where to go on the Gold Coast

Photo Taken In Surfers Paradise, Australia

Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise is well known for its epic nightlife, shopping, golden sands and skyscrapers.

It's where travellers and youngsters go out to party and recover from their hangovers. Yet, it's still heavily family-friendly with entertainment ranging from theme parks to marine activities for all ages.


A series of aerial photos of Surfers Paradise captured in early 2019

Broadbeach

Broadbeach is Surfers Paradise's older neighbouring suburb and feels more grown-up with its luxuries and older crowd.

Fine dining, calm beachfronts, high-end malls, a casino and shows pack the area.

  • Best for: Entertainment, food and drinks, shopping.
  • How to get there: Broadbeach is a 12-minute drive or 40-minute transit ride from Surfers Paradise.
  • Top things to see and do: Be entertained at Dracula's Dinner and Cabaret, try your luck at The Star (you can also stay overnight there), spend an evening fine dining and shop at Pacific Fair where personal shopping experiences are available.
  • How long do I need? One day.
  • Recommended tour: Build your own itinerary in this relaxed suburb.

Waterfall known as Curtis Falls in Mount Tamborine National Park,Gold Coast Hinterlands,Queensland,Australia

Hinterland

The Gold Coast Hinterland lures travellers with its lush tropical greenery and towering mountains.

The region is made up of numerous national parks. Hotspots include the sweet township of Tamborine Mountain, the tropical jungles of Springbrook National Park and the hiking trails in Lamington National Park.


burleigh

Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Heads is for visitors who don't want the big city life. The rainforest and beaches are right on your doorstep and the suburb is far enough from Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach to not be affected by tourist traps.

Its waves invite pro surfers to the area yet it has spots ideal for family-friendly swimming.


Lookout at a tranquil gorge along the Main Beach Headland Reserve hike.

South Stradbroke Island

Otherwise known as South Straddie this island destination is an idyllic paradise that has been left mostly untouched. And it's only 200 metres from the Gold Coast at its closest point.

Surfers flock here for the incredible waves, nature lovers cruise to it for its bushwalking and outdoor enthusiasts make it a stop for rock climbing. Wildlife here is plenty and fishing is another popular hobby on the island.


A playful father and son sharing a bloom of candy floss while spending the day at the fun fair together.

Theme parks

The Gold Coast is famous for its entertainment and theme parks make up a big part of this.

With five amusement parks in the city, namely Sea World, Movie World, Dreamworld, Wet'n'Wild and Whitewater World, you're bound to find one that suits your wants.


koala

Currumbin

This coastal neighbourhood allows surfers the opportunity to find great waves but with fewer crowds compared to Surfers Paradise.

Currumbin Creek and the Alley are protected areas which are perfect for watersports such as paddleboarding and kayaking. If you're looking for a change of scenery from the beach, Currumbin is a natural gateway to Springbrook National Park as well.

Latest Gold Coast travel deals

Deal

Domestic flights from $54 each way

Expires 27 Sep 2021
Available on flights until January 2022 to Gold Coast, Perth, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Melbourne with Rex Airlines.
Deal

Up to 50% off domestic flights

Expires 30 Nov 2021
Available on flights from October - November 2021. Destinations include Hamilton Island, Cairns, Adelaide, Sunshine Coast, Sydney, Gold Coast and more. T&Cs apply.
Code exclusive

Up to 30% off Australia hotels + an extra 10% off with code

Expires 30 Sep 2021
Available on stays until 31 December 2022 when you use the code. Destinations include Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast, Perth, Sydney and more. T&Cs apply.
Code exclusive

Get 12% off Australia tours and experiences

Expires 31 Dec 2021
Available on select travel dates on activities such as sightseeing tours, whale watching cruises, jet boat rides, hot air balloon flights, wine tours and more. Destinations include Sydney, Cairns, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Darwin and more. T&Cs apply.
Code exclusive

Get $24 off car hires with code

Expires 30 Sep 2021
Available on rentals until 31 October 2021 when you spend a minimum of $240. Destinations include Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Gold Coast and more. T&Cs apply.
Code exclusive

Get $10 off activities with code

Available on experiences across Australia including Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Hobart, Sunshine Coast and more. Minimum spend of $300 required. Activities include hot air balloon flights, hop-on hop-off bus tours, whale watching cruises, skydives, high teas, quad biking experiences and more. T&Cs apply.
Code exclusive

Get $5 off activities with code

Available on experiences across Australia including Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Hobart and more. Minimum spend of $250 required. Activities include hot air balloon flights, hop-on hop-off bus tours, whale watching cruises, skydives, high teas, quad biking experiences and more. T&Cs apply.
Code exclusive

$15 off all Australian activities with code

Available on select travel dates when you spend a minimum of $100. Activities include hot air balloon flights, tandem skydives and attraction passes. Destinations include Sydney, Gold Coast, Cairns, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart and more. Exclusive for new members. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 40% off things to do in Australia

Verified Today
Available on select travel dates on select activities including hot air balloon flights, skydives, sightseeing cruises, whale watching cruises and dining experiences. Destinations include Sydney, Cairns, Perth, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Brisbane and more.
Deal

Gold Coast car hires from $33

Verified 2 days ago
Available on select rental dates in 2021 with Avis, Budget, Sixt, Europcar and more. Destinations include Brisbane, Toowoomba, Lamington National Park and more.
Code

Third day free on rentals

Verified 2 days ago Expires 30 Sep 2021
Available on rentals until 31 October 2021 across Australia, including Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Cairns, Gold Coast and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 40% off family getaways

Verified 2 days ago Expires 30 Sep 2021
Available on select stay dates until December 2021 to destinations including Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Cairns, Gold Coast and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Extra 2% off Q1 Resort and Spa Gold Coast stays

Verified 2 days ago
Available on select travel dates. T&Cs and block out dates apply.
Deal

Queensland getaways from $169

Verified 4 days ago Expires 11 Oct 2021
Available on select travel dates until July 2022. Destinations include Port Douglas, Cairns, Palm Cove, Gold Coast, Fraser Island, Hamilton Island, Whitsundays and more. Sample rate is for a 3-night stay at Trinity Beach.
Deal

Up to 42% off activities for kids

Available on select dates, including school holidays, for activities like sandboarding, whale watching, jet boat rides, swimming, go karting, sightseeing tours, attraction passes and more. Destinations include Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Canberra and more.
Code

Up to 23% off flying experiences plus an extra $5 off with code

Available on select dates when you spend a minimum of $250. Activities include hot air ballooning, skydiving, helicopter scenic flights. Destinations include Whitsundays, Gold Coast, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Hunter Valley, Sydney and more. T&Cs apply.
Code

Up to 48% off things to do in Gold Coast + Extra $5 off with code

Available on select dates when you spend a minimum of $250. Activities include indoor skydiving, sightseeing cruises, hot air ballooning, getaways, jet boat rides, spa treatments and more. T&Cs apply.
Code

Activities for kids from $17 + an extra $5 off with code

Available on select dates when you spend a minimum of $250. Activities include day tour cruises, zoo experiences, hop-on hop-off bus tours, attraction passes, zoo and animal interactions and more. Destinations include Gold Coast, Cairns, Melbourne, Adelaide and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 44% off Gold Coast stays

Expires 31 Dec 2021
Plus get free cancellations on select stays until March 2022.
Deal

Up to 50% off: Qantas flights from $70 each way

Expires 30 Nov 2021
Available on flights from October - November 2021 to destinations including Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Hobart, Adelaide, Hamilton Island, Cairns, Darwin, Broome and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-Launceston.
Code

Up to 15% off Australia campervan hires

Expires 31 Oct 2021
Available on rentals until 20 December 2021. Destinations include Brisbane, Cairns, Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 53% off Australia getaways

Expires 30 Sep 2021
Available on stays until October 2021. Destinations include Gold Coast, Brisbane, Melbourne, Cairns, Adelaide, Townsville, Tasmania, Sydney, Broome and more.
Deal

Australia flights from $59 each way

Expires 2 Nov 2021
Available on flights from October 2021 - June 2022. Destinations include Adelaide, Melbourne, Launceston, Canberra, Gold Coast, Darwin, Cairns, Perth and more. Sample fare is Ballina-Sydney. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 48% off holiday packages

Expires 31 Dec 2021
Available on select dates until December 2022. Destinations include Adelaide, Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Sydney, Cairns, Canberra, Hunter Valley and more.
Code

Up to 10% off Australia experiences with code

Available on activities including hot air balloon flights, helicopter scenic flights and luxury car hire. Must purchase 2 or more vouchers. Destinations include Gold Coast, Whitsundays, Cairns, Melbourne and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 40% off last-minute domestic escapes

Available on stays within the next 14 days. Destinations include Sydney, Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Canberra and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 15% off Australia hotels

Expires 30 Sep 2021
Available on stays from 1 April - 30 September 2021 on select hotels. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Cairns and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 35% off domestic stays + free cancellations

Available on select travel dates to Broome, Mackay, Launceston, Darwin, Perth, Cairns, Sydney, Gold Coast and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 15% off local activities

Available on select travel dates on activities including day tours, skydiving, hot air balloon flights, transfers, quad biking, attraction passes and cruise. Destinations include in Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Cairns, Canberra, Brisbane, Hobart and more. T&Cs apply.
Code

Up to 10% off car rentals in Australia

Expires 31 Dec 2021
Available until 31 December 2021 when you spend a minimum of $50. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Adelaide, Cairns, Hobart and more. Prepayment is required. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 10% off base rate

Expires 11 Dec 2021
Available on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday pick up dates until 11 December 2021. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Auckland and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 20% off Australia and New Zealand rentals

Expires 11 Dec 2021
Available on 2+ days rentals until 11 December 2021 when you book 21 days in advance. Destinations include Canberra, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Auckland and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 69% off things to do in Australia

Available on select travel dates across Brisbane, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast and more. Activities include day tours, zoo and animal interactions, tandem skydives, hot air balloon flights, jet boat rides and more.
Deal

Australia beach holidays from $82/night

Available on select stay dates in Adelaide, Sydney, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Melbourne and more. Sample stay is in Millicent, South Australia. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 30% off Gold Coast activities

Verified Today Expires 31 Dec 2021
Available on select travel dates on activities including hot air balloon flights, skydives, whale watching cruises, jet boat rides and more.
Deal

Brisbane car hires from $32

Verified 2 days ago
Available on select rental dates in 2021 with Avis, Budget, Sixt, Europcar and more. Destinations from Brisbane include Gold Coast, Moreton Island, Sunshine Coast and more.
Deal

Extra 2% off Q1 Resort and Spa Gold Coast stays

Verified 2 days ago
Available on select stay dates. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Australia stays from $28 per night

Verified 2 days ago
Available on select stay dates until December 2021 in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Darwin, Canberra and more. Sample rate is for a stay at Gilligan's Backpackers Hotel & Resort in Cairns.
Code

Up to 10% off Gold Coast dining experiences

Verified 3 days ago Expires 31 Oct 2021
Available on select dates until December 2021 when you purchase 2 or more vouchers. Includes high teas, lunch tours, picnics, lunch and dinner cruises and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 10% off 2-night Australia stays

Verified 3 days ago Expires 5 Oct 2021
Available on select stay dates on destinations including Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Melbourne, Adelaide, Darwin, Gold Coast and more.

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Go to site