Fun and sunny things to do on the Gold Coast

From beaches to theme parks, these are the best attractions that the Gold Coast has to offer.

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You can find a variety of attractions on the Gold Coast, including theme and amusement parks, beach attractions and sports, safaris, bushwalks and coastal vistas.

Attraction cards such as iVenture can provide you with access to some of these attractions at affordable prices.

Here are our top picks for things to do when you’re on the Gold Coast.


Top things to do on the Gold Coast

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Image: Dreamworld

1. Theme parks

There are five major theme parks on the Gold Coast worth a visit. Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World and Wet’n’Wild are all part of the same company so it’s possible to purchase a combo pass to access all three. The same goes for Dreamworld and WhiteWater World.

  • Pocket-friendly option: At the best of times, deals websites like Groupon, Scoopon, Klook and RedBalloon offer discounted passes.
  • The ultimate experience: Three-park (Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World and Wet'n'Wild) passes through Klook Australia and Expedia. Alternatively if you are a member of Bupa, you might be eligible for 15% off passes.

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2. Beaches

The Gold Coast is home to over 30 beaches. Popular beaches well worth basking on include Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach and Main Beach.

Surfers Paradise, fondly referred to as "Surfers" is a hub of activity and the Gold Coast’s most renowned beach. Surfers boasts exceptionally white sand and enviable surf conditions.

Broadbeach is smaller but no less picturesque. Broadbeach will welcome you with its wealth of entertainment, which includes buskers, music festivals and cultural events. Visit between June and November to witness the whale migration off its pristine beach.

Lastly, Main Beach is a more affluent and less-frequented beach than Surfers and is located at the mouth of the Nerang River.

  • Pocket-friendly option: Hire a car and drive from beach to beach.
  • The ultimate experience: Gold Coat City Sights Tour which includes scenic cruise of Broadwater and visit to Burleigh Heads.

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3. Cruise down the canals, rivers and broadwaters

Although renowned for its bountiful beaches, the Gold Coast is rife with canals, rivers and broadwaters that you can traverse by cruise.

Morning, afternoon and evening cruises are available for various group sizes.


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4. See the Gold Coast from above

Gain some perspective and look down on the beauty of golden sand as it meets the crystal blue ocean. It will be an unforgettable experience.

Your options include skydiving over the beach, hot air balloon riding over the Gold Coast and Hinterland and a scenic helicopter ride over the city's highlights.

For something a little closer to land you can capture the Gold Coast by parasail.

Parasailing Gold Coast review

This activity was super fun and lets you sail down the Gold Coast's Coral Sea capturing views of Moonarewa Beach, Wave Break Island, Sea World and more from at least 50 metres up. It's great for families and for anyone who's afraid of heights as it eases you up so you won't even notice that you're sky high. That is, until you are.

You get the chance to be dropped into the water (a very refreshing must on a hot day) and a decent amount of time in the air (around 8–10 minutes) to wonder at your surroundings which is a mix of water, beach and bush. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

Two guys getting strapped in to go parsailing.

Stephanie went parasailing on the Gold Coast on 22 February 2020 as a guest of Klook.


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5. Snorkel or dive the Gold Coast

When there's so much brilliantly bright coral beneath your feet and marine life teeming around your curious eyes, you shouldn't pass up the chance for an up-close-and-personal experience with your natural surroundings.

  • Pocket-friendly option: Snorkelling is fantastic for families.
  • The ultimate experience: Adventurous sorts have the chance to scuba dive their way through deeper waters, exploring reefs and shipwreck sites.

The Star Grand hotel.

6. The Star Grand at the Gold Coast

The Star Grand at the Gold Coast is the Gold Coast’s only casino, offering punters the chance to roll the dice or shake hands with lady luck.

The Star Grand is connected to the Convention and Exhibition Centre by a skywalk and features a hotel, award-winning restaurants, bars and stage entertainment.

The Star Grand overlooks Broadbeach and is open 24 hours.

Broadbeach Island, Broadbeach, Gold Coast


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7. Live entertainment

From ticketed events to street buskers, entertainment abounds on the Gold Coast. In particular, the Arts Centre (135 Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise) offers culture and entertainment under one roof and is a hop and a skip from Surfers Paradise Beach.

It’s a space for art exhibitions, dance performances, concerts, musicals and children’s workshops. A cinema is included in the centre and shows current and feature movies.

  • Pocket-friendly option: Gather around the beach esplanade for live and local performances.
  • The ultimate experience: Keep an eye on Ticketmaster for the latest events.

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Image: RACV Royal Pines Resort

8. Golf

The Gold Coast offers a handful of golf courses.

The most conveniently located clubs within the Gold Coast area include RACV Royal Pines Resort, Emerald Lakes Golf Club, Palm Meadows Golf Course, Southport Golf Club, Lakelands Golf Course, Surfers Paradise Golf Course, Palmer Colonial, Sanctuary Cove Golf and Country Club and Mercure Gold Coast Resort.


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Image: RACV Royal Pines Resort

9. Catch a game

Thinking of attending a game while in town? An AFL or NRL game will set you right. The official AFL team of the Gold Coast is the Gold Coast Suns. AFL season runs from March to August. See here for fixture details.

The official NRL team of the Gold Coast is the Gold Coast Titans. Similarly, NRL season runs from March to September.


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10. Discover the hinterland

Connect with nature and discover the lush hinterland that lies a stone's throw from the beaches of the Gold Coast.

Whether you choose Springbrook National Park, Lamington National Park or Tamborine Mountain, you'll discover mother nature's finest creations.

Day tours can take you deep into the forest where magical glow-worm caves will enchant, native wildlife will delight and treetop canopy walks will excite.

All you have to do is choose which park to explore.


tamborine

11. Visit Mt Tamborine

Step away from the hustle and bustle of the Gold Coast and go wine tasting in Mt Tamborine. With its fair share of bush walks, rich history and culinary experiences, you'll definitely want to set aside some time to explore the outdoors in Mt Tamborine.


What's going on around the Gold Coast?

These festivals and events are worth making a special trip to the Gold Coast to catch:

  • Grass is Greener Festival. This boutique music festival welcomes artists the world over to play moments from the surf in Broadwater Parklands. It's held in October annually. Artists have included Amy Shark, Peking Duk, The Veronicas and TYGA.
  • Gold Coast Film Festival. Held late March/early April, the Gold Coast Film Festival is a 10-day celebration of international and local films and filmmakers. Part of the festival includes mini-festival/competition SIPFEST (Shorts in Paradise Festival). It features 10-minute Australian shorts from emerging filmmakers and is played on the sands of Paradise Beach.
  • Gold Coast Marathon. Officially called the Gold Coast Airport Marathon, this event offers a variety of running courses to suit different ages and abilities. Held the first weekend of July, it attracts 27,000 participants and is one of the flattest and fastest courses in the world.
  • Bleach* Festival. Held annually during March, Bleach* is a signature multi-arts festival for the area. It is filled with contemporary and artistic programming and is held at various iconic natural landscapes.
  • GLOW. After the sun has set, the Gold Coast will be illuminated by light for its annual GLOW Festival. Expect light-based interactive installations, live music, glow-in-the-dark yoga and stargazing. It's held during April.

Top family-friendly experiences on the Gold Coast

Wave Break Island Snorkel Tour on the Gold Coast

Wave Break Island Snorkel Tour on the Gold Coast from Viator

Organised by Viator

Highlights:
  • Spot hundreds of fish and other marine life in the calm waters of Wave Break Island.
  • Includes transport, all necessary equipment and the chance to feed fish.
  • Tour is approximately four hours.
From AUD

$59.00

View details
Learn to Surf at Coolangatta on the Gold Coast

Learn to Surf at Coolangatta on the Gold Coast from Viator

Go Ride a Wave

Highlights:
  • Learn how to surf at one of Australia’s favourite surfing schools.
  • Lesson is approximately two hours long and is ideal for kids, families and first-timers.
  • All necessary equipment will be provided including board and a rashie.
From AUD

$69.00 (adult) or $59 (child)

View details
Croc Express and Australia Zoo

Croc Express and Australia Zoo from finder.com.au

Croc Express

Highlights:
  • Pick-up and drop-off from your hotel included.
  • Spend six hours at the famous Australia Zoo.
  • Entrance to Australia Zoo included in your tour price.
From AUD

$90.00

View details
Old Surfers Paradise Ghost Tour + Optional Dinner

Old Surfers Paradise Ghost Tour + Optional Dinner from finder.com.au

Lantern Ghost Tours

Highlights:
  • 120-minute walking tour
  • Moderate level of paranormal activity
  • Family deals available
From AUD

$29.00 (adult) or $17.00 (child)

View details
Southport Cemetery Paranormal Activity Ghost Tour

Southport Cemetery Paranormal Activity Ghost Tour from finder.com.au

Lantern Ghost Tours

Highlights:
  • 120-minute walking tour
  • High level of paranormal activity
  • Children must be 12+ for this experience
From AUD

$44.00 (adult) or $24.00 (child)

View details
All Stars Flyboard Experience

All Stars Flyboard Experience from finder.com.au

HydroFly – the flyboard experience

Highlights:
  • Share a 30-minute flyboard experience with three mates.
  • Choose between a hoverboard or flyboard.
  • Safety equipment, personal instruction and group GoPro video are included.
From AUD

$396.00 for a group of 4

View details
Air Drop Free Fall

Air Drop Free Fall from finder.com.au

Air Factory Trampoline Park

Highlights:
  • Feel the thrill of freefalling from 10 metres in an outdoor setting.
  • This experience is available for ages five and up. Participants must be a minimum of 20 kilograms and a maximum of 110 kilograms.
  • Available on Saturdays from 11am–3pm only, subject to weather conditions.
From AUD

$11.00 per jump

View details
Family Drive Pack

Family Drive Pack from finder.com.au

Off Road Rush Queensland

Highlights:
  • Two adults will drive six laps in a V8 race buggy.
  • Up to three kids can experience three hot laps with an experienced driver.
  • Hot lap session involves jumps, races and slides in a V8 race buggy at up to 140 kilometres per hour.
From AUD

$455.00 for a family of 5

View details
O'Reilly’s Mountain Green Mountains tour from Gold Coast

O'Reilly’s Mountain Green Mountains tour from Gold Coast from finder.com.au

Grayline

Highlights:
  • Enjoy an eight-hour coach tour in English or Japanese.
  • On this tour you’ll visit Mount Tamborine in the hinterland, wind your way to the Goat’s Track, pass the Kokoda army barracks, visit O’Reilly’s on top of the mountain and more.
  • Price is per person with discounts available for children 14 years and under. Children two and under travel free.
From AUD

$110.00pp

View details
Hinterland and Gold Coast

Hinterland and Gold Coast from finder.com.au

Grayline

Highlights:
  • Enjoy a six-hour cruise and coach tour of the Gold Coast and Hinterland region.
  • On this tour you’ll cruise down the Nerang River, visit Springbrook National Park, take a guided rainforest walk, view natural bridge and look for glow-worms.
  • Price is per person with discounts available for children 14 years and under. Children two and under travel free.
From AUD

$115.00pp

View details
Moreton Bay Marine Park Dolphin Cruise Including Lunch

Moreton Bay Marine Park Dolphin Cruise Including Lunch from finder.com.au

Highlights:

  • Enjoy a six-hour day tour from the Gold Coast or Brisbane to Moreton Bay Marine Park.
  • Look for bottlenose dolphins, loggerhead turtles, dugongs and humpback wales plus you’ll have the option to snorkel at Tangalooma Wrecks and Flinders Reef.
  • Price is per person.
From AUD

$109.00 (adult) or $69 (child)

View details

Top Gold Coast travel deals

Deal

Up to 32% off Gold Coast jet boat ride

Verified Today Expires 10 Feb 2022
Available from 28 January – 22 September 2022 for a 55-minute experrience.
Deal

Domestic flights from $41 each way

Verified Today Expires 27 Feb 2022
Available on Australia flights until 15 June 2022. Sample fare is Adelaide-Melbourne with Jetstar. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin, Cairns, Perth and more.
Deal

Happy Hour sale: Flights from $45 each way

Verified Today Expires 27 Jan 2022
Available on select travel dates from 31 January – 30 March 2022. Destinations include Brisbane, Canberra, Hamilton Island, Perth, Darwin, Hobart and more. Sample fare is Ballina-Sydney. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Flights within Australia from $49 each way

Verified Yesterday Expires 28 Jan 2022
Available on select travel dates from April – September 2022. Destinations include Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Darwin, Cairns and more. Sample fare is Ballina-Sydney. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 25% off Australia Day escapes

Verified 2 days ago Expires 31 Jan 2022
Available on stays from 26 January – 30 August 2022. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Flights with Jetstar from $29 each way

Verified 2 days ago Expires 28 Jan 2022
Available for travel from April - November 2022 to destinations including Sydney, Perth, Cairns, Uluru, Brisbane and more. Sample fare is Adelaide-Melbourne.
Deal

Up to 10% off 3-day rentals

Verified 2 days ago Expires 28 Feb 2022
Available on rentals until 28 February 2022 across Australia and New Zealand. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Extra 10% off stays for members

Sign up Expedia Rewards to become a member and get exclusive discounts on hotel stays. Destinations include Sydney, Cairns, Canberra, Sunshine Coast, Hobart and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 17% off Gold Coast whale watching cruise experience

Expires 9 Feb 2022
Available on select dates until 27 October 2022 for a 2.5-hour cruise.
Deal

Up to 48% off Gold Coast experiences

Available on select travel dates in 2022. Includes hot air balloon flights, sightseeing cruises, tours, skydives, attraction passes and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 47% off Australia holiday packages

Verified Today Expires 28 Feb 2022
Available on select travel dates in 2022 when you book your hotel and flights together. Destinations include Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Canberra, Brisbane and more.
Deal

Up to 30% off Australia family getaways

Verified Today Expires 31 Jan 2022
Available on select dates in 2022 and on select properties across Sunshine Coast, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Australia stays from $29/night

Available on select stay dates in 2022 across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra and more. Sample accommodation is in Worsley. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 25% off getaways for members

Expires 2 Feb 2022
Available on stays until 31 August 2022 on destinations including Singapore, Honolulu, New York, Los Angeles, Gold Coast and more. Membership is free. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Australia escapes from $95 per night

Expires 28 Feb 2022
Available on stays until December 2022. Destinations include Sydney, Canberra, Gold Coast and more. Sample stay is at Mercure Melbourne Therry Street.
Deal

Up to 35% off Australia getaways

Expires 31 Jan 2022
Available on stays until February 2022, including Christmas and New Year's Eve. Destinations include Gold Coast, Brisbane, Melbourne, Cairns, Adelaide, Townsville, Tasmania, Sydney, Broome and more.
Deal

Up to 20% off Gold Coast getaways

Expires 31 Jan 2022
Available on stays until 2022 on select properties. Destinations include Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach and more.
Deal

Up to 25% off Australia holiday packages

Verified 3 days ago
Available on select dates until December 2022 when you book your hotel and flights together. Destinations include Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast and more.
Deal

Up to 50% off: Australia flights from $32 with Jetstar

Expires 28 Feb 2022
Available on flights from 1 December 2021 – 28 February 2022. Destinations include Sydney, Newcastle, Gold Coast, Hobart and more. Sample fare is Adelaide–Melbourne.
Deal

Up to 50% off Qantas flights

Verified Today Expires 28 Feb 2022
Available on flights until 28 February 2022 to destinations including Sydney, Canberra, Merimbula, Melbourne and more.
Deal

Up to 15% off Australia adventures

Verified Today Expires 28 Feb 2022
Available on select travel dates until 2022. Destinations include Melbourne, Perth, Rottnest Island, Cairns, Darwin, Sydney, Byron Bay, Uluru, Canberra, Jindabyne, Great Ocean Road and more.
Code exclusive

Get $5 off activities with code

Available when you spend a minimum of $250 on activities such as hot air balloon flights, rally driving, skydives, high teas and more. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Hobart and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Australia-wide flights from $59 each way

Expires 15 Feb 2022
Available from November 2021 – September 2022 to destinations including Cairns, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Darwin and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Ballina and Sydney-Coffs Harbour. T&Cs apply.
Code

Extra 5% off Australia prepaid rentals

Expires 31 Jan 2022
Available on rentals until 31 March 2022. Destinations include Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart and more. T&Cs apply.
Code exclusive

Get $10 off activities with code

Available on select dates on destinations including Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Hobart and more. Minimum spend of $300 required. Activities include hot air balloon flights, skydives, high teas and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 15% off Gold Coast 2-day attraction pass

Expires 31 Jan 2022
Available on select dates to Dreamworld and WhiteWater World.
Deal

Gold Coast flights from $85 each way

Expires 15 Feb 2022
Available on flights from January – June 2022 departing from Melbourne and more. Sample fare departs from Sydney.
Deal

Up to 42% off sightseeing cruises

Available on select travel dates until 2022, including Christmas and New Year. Activities include whale watching, dolphin watching, lunch cruises, sunset cruises in Sydney, Cairns, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Perth, Melbourne and more.
Deal

Up to 15% off luxury stays in Australia

Verified Today Expires 31 Mar 2022
Available on select stays in 2022. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin, Hobart and more. T&Cs apply.
Code exclusive

Get 5% off Australia-wide experiences with code

Expires 31 Jul 2022
Available on activities including V8 racing, hot air balloon rides, kayak tours, skydives and more. Destinations include Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Hobart and more. Minimum spend of $300 required. T&Cs apply.
Code exclusive

Get 10% off Australia activities and experiences

Verified Today Expires 31 Jul 2022
Available on select dates including Christmas and New Year's Eve and activities such as V8 racing, tandem skydives, scenic helicopter flights and jet boat rides. Destinations include Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne, Brisbane and more. Minimum spend of $350 required. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 50% off Rex Airlines flights

Expires 28 Feb 2022
Available on flights until 28 February 2022 to Gold Coast, Adelaide, Kangaroo Island and more.
Code exclusive

$15 off all Australian activities with code

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

Get 5% off Australia activities

Available on activities including skydives, jet ski rides, whale watching cruises, day tours, rally driving, scenic helicopter flights and more. Minimum spend of $300 required. Destinations include Cairns, Sydney, Adelaide and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 50% off Event cinema general entry tickets

Expires 9 Feb 2022
Available until 28 March 2022. Destinations include Sydney, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Perth and more. T&Cs apply.
Code

Get $10 off sitewide with code

Available on activities such as hot air balloon flights, skydives, quad biking experiences, high teas, getaways and more. Minimum spend of $300. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Adelaide and more. T&Cs apply.
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Up to 73% off things to do in Australia

Available on purchase including getaways, dining experiences, attraction passes, sightseeing cruise, cinema tickets, day tours and more. Destinations include Sydney, Perth, Canberra, Brisbane and more.
Deal

Australia getaways from $134 per night

Expires 28 Feb 2022
Available on stays until December 2022. Destinations includes Sydney, Sunshine Coast, Canberra, Melbourne and more. Sample stay is at Novotel Darwin Airport Hotel.
Deal

Up to 42% off activities for kids

Available on select dates for activities like whale watching, go karting, sightseeing tours, attraction passes and more. Destinations include Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Canberra and more.
Deal

Australia land adventures from $10

Available on select dates and activities like quad biking, bridge climbing, canyoning, abseiling and more. Destinations include Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney and more. Sample rate is for a sandboarding experience.

Popular Gold Coast deals coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
11 Jan 2022 Get $5 off activities with code FD2****
13 Jan 2022 Extra 5% off Australia prepaid rentals PR0****
20 Jan 2022 Get $10 off activities with code FD3****
5 Jan 2022 Get 5% off Australia-wide experiences with code FD3****
27 Jan 2022 Get 10% off Australia activities and experiences FD3****

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2 Responses

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    KennyMay 12, 2017

    I’m looking to take teenage son and my 2 nephews to the cold coast. Looking for cheap flights and accommodation if you can help me please.

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