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 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

KlookKlook

Up to $10 off Dreamworld entry ticket in Gold Coast

Available until 20 December 2021 for a 1-day pass.

Last verified

Deal ends

Gift It NowGift It Now

Gold Coast: Get $10 off Dreamworld and WhiteWater World tickets

Voucher is valid up to 12 months. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

CudoCudo

Up to 51% off Gold Coast hot air ballooning experience

Available until 17 August 2021 for a 30 or 60-minute flight.

Last verified

Deal ends

EuropcarEuropcar

Up to 20% off Australia and New Zealand rentals

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.

Last verified

Deal ends

CudoCudo

Up to 54% off Gold Coast whale watching catamaran cruise

Available until 17 October 2021 for a 2.5-hour cruise with morning tea.

Last verified

Deal ends

SkyscannerSkyscanner

Queensland flights from $44 each way

Available on Jetstar flights from July 2021 - March 2022. Destinations include Cairns, Brisbane, Hamilton Island, Townsville, Sunshine Coast and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Gold Coast.

Last verified

Deal ends

Luxury EscapesLuxury Escapes

Up to 46% off Gold Coast family getaway for 4

Available on stays from 26 July 2021 - 30 June 2022 at Vue Broadbeach. Includes a bottle of wine and a box of hand-made gourmet chocolates.

Last verified

Deal ends

KayakKayak

Australia flights from $54 return

Available on flights from June - September 2021 to Gold Coast, Cairns, Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth, Alice Springs, Uluru and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Melbourne with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Virgin AustraliaVirgin Australia

Australia-wide flights from $79 each way

Available on flights from 13 July 2021 - 31 March 2022 to Melbourne, Launceston, Gold Coast, Canberra, Darwin, Townsville, Sunshine Coast, Newcastle, Hobart, Adelaide and more. Sample fare is Ballina-Sydney. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Virgin AustraliaVirgin Australia

Up to 50% off: Flights from $70 each way

Available on flights from June - September 2021. Sample fare is Melbourne-Adelaide. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

GrouponGroupon

Up to 55% off Vibe Hotel Gold Coast getaways

Available on select dates until 23 December 2021. Includes breakfast, welcome drinks, late check out and 15% discount on dining.

Last verified

Deal ends

Experience OzExperience Oz

$10 off Dreamworld Gold Coast tickets

Available until December 2021 for a single day admission.

Last verified

Deal ends

ClassbentoClassbento

Gold Coast activities from $29

Available on select dates. Activities include flaming cheese wheel experiences, candle making, wine tasting tours, cooking classes and more. Sample rate is for a painting class.

Last verified

Deal ends

CudoCudo

Up to 51% off Gold Coast hot air ballooning experience

Available until 9 August 2021 for a 30 to 60-minute experience.

Last verified

Deal ends

Experience OzExperience Oz

Up to $35 off Gold Coast theme park pass

Available on select dates in 2021 to a 3-day entry to Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World and Wet'n'Wild over 5 consecutive days from first visit. Plus get free hop on hop off Gold Coast Ferry pass.

Last verified

Deal ends

RedBalloonRedBalloon

$10 off Sea World Gold Coast getaway with park accecss for 4

Available on select stay dates when you use the code. Package includes accommodation and unlimited entry to Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World, Wet'n'Wild and Paradise Country during the stay. Minimum spend of $300 required. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

RedBalloonRedBalloon

Get $10 off Gold Coast Movie World star tour with lunch

Available on select travel dates when you spend a minimum of $300. Includes full day access to Warner Bros. Movie World, behind the scenes visits and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

RedBalloonRedBalloon

Get $10 off Gold Coast unlimited theme park and attraction passes

Available until May 2022 for a 14-day unlimited pass to Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World, Wet 'n' Wild and Paradise Country. Minimum spend of $300 required. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

MarriottMarriott

Double Marriott Bonvoy bonus points on stays

Plus get free breakfast on stays until 31 December 2021. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Perth, Fiji and more.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

AdrenalineAdrenaline

Up to 50% off Australia experiences

Available on select travel dates for activities including skydiving, hot air balloon flights, quad biking, scuba diving, whale watching, bridge climbing, high tea and more. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Melbourne and more.

Last verified

Oaks Hotels & ResortsOaks Hotels & Resorts

Up to 20% off Gold Coast getaways

Available on 7+ nights stays at Oaks Gold Coast Hotel.

Last verified

Deal ends

Oaks Hotels & ResortsOaks Hotels & Resorts

Up to 15% off 3+ night getaways

Available on select stay dates in 2021 across Australia, including Gold Coast and Brisbane.

Last verified

Deal ends

AdrenalineAdrenaline

Gold Coast: Up to 23% off hot air balloon flight w/ breakfast

Available from June - December 2021 for a 1-hour flight.

Last verified

Deal ends

AdrenalineAdrenaline

Up to 20% off Gold Coast hot air balloon ride

Available from June - December 2021 for a 30-minute flight.

Last verified

Deal ends

AdrenalineAdrenaline

Up to 23% off Gold Coast dolphin interaction

Available until 5 July 2021 at Sea World for a 20-minute in-water dolphin adventure.

Last verified

Deal ends

AdrenalineAdrenaline

Up to 30% off Australian Outback Spectacular, dinner and show

Available on select dates from June - July 2021 and November 2021 in Gold Coast. Includes 3-course dinner, drinks and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

JUCYJUCY

Up to 15% off Australia campervan hires

Available on rentals from May - December 2021. Destinations include Brisbane, Cairns, Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Priceline.comPriceline.com

Up to 66% off Gold Coast stays

Available on select stay dates until December 2021. Sample stay is at Mercure Gold Coast Resort.

Last verified

Deal ends

Priceline.comPriceline.com

Up to 60% off Australia getaways

Available on select stay dates with Express Deals. Destinations include Sydney, Adelaide, Byron Bay, Thredbo Village, Sunshine Coast, Jindabyne, Perth, the Gold Coast and more.

Last verified

KKdayKKday

Up to 30% off things to do in Gold Coast

Available on select travel dates in 2021 on activities including tours, cruises, attraction passes, transfers, hot air balloon flights, skydives and much more.

Last verified

Deal ends

KKdayKKday

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.

Last verified

ScooponScoopon

Up to 70% on local deals

Shop for dining experiences, attractions and more for up to 70% off. Destiantiosn include Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth, Adelaide and more.

Last verified

ViatorViator

Things to do in Gold Coast from $15

Available on select travel dates and activities including hot air balloon flights, skydives, wine tours, jet boat rides, whale watching cruises, attraction passes, surf lessons and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Everything AustraliaEverything Australia

Up to 30% off Gold Coast activities

Available on select travel dates on activities including hot air balloon flights, skydives, whale watching cruises, jet boat rides and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

HotelsCombinedHotelsCombined

Extra 2% off Q1 Resort and Spa Gold Coast stays

Available on select stay dates. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

AvisAvis

Sixth day free + free upgrade on car hires

Available on 6+ day rentals from 15 July - 15 September 2021. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Cairns, Perth, Adelaide and Hobart. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

SkyscannerSkyscanner

Jetstar sale: Australia-wide flights from $32 each way

Available on flights from April - September 2021 to Launceston, Gold Coast, Hobart, Adelaide, Whitsundays, Townsville, Hamilton Island, Darwin, Uluru and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-Adelaide. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

KayakKayak

Up to 50% off domestic flights with Qantas

Available on flights from April - September 2021. Destinations include Sydney, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Launceston, Hobart, Cairns, Darwin, Broome, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

RedBalloonRedBalloon

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 two or more vouchers. Destinations include Gold Coast, Whitsundays, Cairns, Melbourne and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Skyscanner Car HireSkyscanner Car Hire

Gold Coast car hires from $14

Valid for travel on select dates in 2021 with Avis, Budget, Sixt, Europcar and more. Destinations from Gold Coast include Brisbane, Toowoomba, Lamington National Park and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Popular Gold Coast deals coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
16 Jun 2021 $10 off Sea World Gold Coast getaway with park accecss for 4 FD3****
16 Jun 2021 Get $10 off Gold Coast Movie World star tour with lunch FD3****
16 Jun 2021 Get $10 off Gold Coast unlimited theme park and attraction passes FD3****
4 Jun 2021 Double Marriott Bonvoy bonus points on stays B18****
1 Jun 2021 Up to 15% off Australia campervan hires HOL****

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    KennethMay 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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