If you’re looking for sun, surf and sand in Australia, there’s no shortage of it! Practically every coast in the country has amazing beaches and attractions to see. There’s no denying, however, that the most iconic of beach destinations in the country is its shimmering Gold Coast. Known for being the place where high rise apartments meet the gorgeous beach, Gold Coast is characterized by youthful charm, stunning sunrises and spectacular sunsets, relaxing water temperatures, countless adrenaline pumping surf breaks, and reliably sunny days. A true testament to Aussie surfer culture, the Gold Coast is bound to impress and amaze with countless activities and attractions to try out.
© Lennard Smith/stock.adobe.com
Say hello to Australia’s largest theme park, Dreamworld! An epic destination for kids and kids at heart, Dreamworld gives you access to Australia’s best rides, animal experiences, water slides, simulators and more all in one place. The youngest visitors to the park will love themed experiences in the ABC Kids World, Dreamworld Corroboree, Dreamworks Experience and Troll Village. Meanwhile, older children are bound to enjoy up close and personal encounters with all kinds of exotic animals as they come face-to-face with rare wildlife such as tigers, wombats, koala’s and kangaroos. Are water parks more your thing? Dreamworld’s got you covered with it’s Whitewater World and Flowrider. Don’t forget to drop by equally popular destination like the Lego Store and the Redline Simulators.
Dreamworld Parkway, Coomera, Queensland 4209, Australia, Phone: 617-55-88-11-11
© Gold Coast Girl/stock.adobe.com
Get your wet suits on your boards waxed, mates, because you’re in for an epic surf break at Snapper Rocks. Located towards the north end of Point Danger at the Gold Coast’s Rainbow Bay, Snapper Rocks is small rocky outcrop that offers some of the most consistent breaks in Queensland. Not only does this iconic point break spot play host to world-class surfing competitions like the World Surf League’s Quicksilver and Roxy Pros, it’s also a great place to learn from the best of the best. Surfers hitting up Snapper Rocks can look forward to legendary quality waves, multiple barrel sections and some of the longest and hollowest waves in the world.
Coolangatta, Gold Coast Area, Queensland, Australia, Phone: 617-55-82-82-11
3.Springbrook National Park
If you’ve come to Gold Coast eager to experience the best that its lush forests have to offer, then the Springbrook National Park ought to have a spot on your itinerary. Situated in the hinterlands, just a 45-minute drive from the beaches, Springbrook was formed roughly 23 million years ago after the eruption of an ancient volcano. Today, explorers can hike up that very volcano, trek past glorious waterfalls, and peer into the depths of color canyons. Beneath Springbrook’s canopy, an exotic and unexpected world awaits to be discovered. Rare birds are waiting to be spotted, while even rarer plants lie all around. Keep your eyes peeled for glow-in-the-dark mushrooms, strangler figs, and epiphytes, or stand in awe as massive vines tangle themselves around olden trees, and boulders as large as homes.
Old School Road, Springbrook, Queensland 4213, Australia
4.SkyPoint Observation Deck
© Rafael Ben-Ari/stock.adobe.com
Swing by the only beach-side observation deck in Australia at SkyPoint. Located on the 77th level of the world’s tallest residential structure, the Q1 Building, SkyPoint is perfect for daredevils who aren’t afraid of heights. The SkyPoint Climb is, without a doubt, the most epic activity at this location, as it allows guests to climb atop the building for a 90-minute open-air adventure. Fearless climbers will rise 270 meters into the air through this external building climb, which also happens to be the highest one of its kind in the country. If the thought of being that high in the open air makes you a bit queasy, opt to settle in at the bistro and bar for a great meal while you enjoy breathtaking 360-degree views of the Gold Coast.
3003 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise, Queensland 4217, Australia, Phone: 617-55-82-27-00
© Rafael Ben-Ari/stock.adobe.com
Slide into a world of fun at Wet’n’Wild, Australia’s largest and most popular water park. Guests at this beloved water park can splash, swim and slide their way into an epic day with exclusive experiences and unbeatable attractions. It’s a no-brainer that the most popular attraction at Wet’n’Wild are their slides and thrill rides of which there are six. For maximum thrill level, head to the Tornado Water Slide, the Surfrider or the Constrictor Raft Ride. Brave souls can also try the AquaLoop body water slide, the Black Hole, which is a tube water slide, and the Kamikaze, a tube water slide that will have you screaming till you get to the bottom.
Pacific Motorway, Oxenford, Gold Coast, Queensland 4210, Australia, Phone: 13-33-86
An easy 30-kilometer drive from the Gold Coast is Tambourine Mountain, a popular destination for nature enthusiasts from all over Australia and the globe. Known for its unique beauty, the mountain features breathtaking vistas, crisp and clean mountain air, and an unbelievably abundant wildlife. There’s more to discover than just nature, however, as Tamborine Mountain is also home to award-winning wineries, local arts and crafts, and a booming cottage industry. Stay at a romantic couple’s cottage to celebrate special occasions or take a trip on the wild side with your family and friends. Whatever your cup of tea is, Tamborine Mountain is bound to have you covered.
Great Dividing Range, Queensland, Australia, Phone: 04-88-82-62-67
The Metricon Stadium, also known as the Carrara Stadium, is a sports landmark and attraction on Queensland’s gorgeous Gold Coast. It is the eighth-largest Australian Football League ground in the country with a capacity of 25,000 people and is frequented by footy fans regularly. Beyond sporting events, the Metricon Stadium is also host to world-class performances and musical concerts, so visitors can be sure that there’s always something fun on the way to the stadium’s gates. As the home ground of the Gold Coast Suns, sports enthusiasts are more than welcome to drop by for a stadium tour and get an inside look to what goes on behind the scenes of every game.
Gate 6, Nerang-Broadbeach Road, Carrara, Queensland 4211, Australia, Phone: 617-56-44-62-00
8.Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
© Roberto Vivancos/stock.adobe.com
Ready for a close encounter with the wild kind? Jump right into incredible animal experiences or hunt the mysterious Gruffalo at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Get up close and personal with an incredible variety of animal residents at the sanctuary where animals like lorikeets, koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, crocodiles, dingos, tassie devils and more rest and play. There’s also a ton of action to catch at one of the sanctuary’s awesome shows. Meet incredible birds native to Australia at the Wild Skies Free Flight Bird Show for example or experience the Australian outback at the Australiana show. Guests are also welcome to meet Currumbin Wildlife’s snappiest residents at the Crocodile Behaviors Show or celebrate Australia’s rich local heritage at the Aboriginal Dance Show.
28 Tomewin Street, Currumbin, Queensland 4223, Australia, Phone: 617-55-34-12-66
Smackdab between the north’s Surfer Paradise and the south’s Coolangatta, Burleigh Heads is a distinctly Gold Coast destination and is the ideal place to head to if you’re looking for a way to simply pause and enjoy the now. Landlubbers and beach bums alike will have something to enjoy at Burleigh Heads. The beach is popular with both surfers and swimmers alike, while the Burleigh Heads National Park is a treat to avid hikers thanks to a number of unique walking trails within the park. Looking for something great to eat or drink? Drop by the Burleigh Brewing Company, Grandad Jack’s Craft Distillery, the Fish House or the Paddock Bakery to name a few.
10.Seaduction Restaurant and Bar
© Gregory Lee/stock.adobe.com
Own and run by a global tribe of individuals, progressives and visionaries, the Seaduction Restaurant and Bar creates extraordinary experiences out of ordinary days. Committed to sophistication, mastery of their craft and innovation in the culinary sphere, the Seaduction Restaurant and Bar puts their best into every dish and every drink that leaves the kitchen or bar. Seaduction’s delicate cuisine is the brainchild of chef Steve Szabo, who specializes in contemporary Australian food and doesn’t skimp on premium Aussie ingredients. Tuck into expertly crafted dishes like the Atlantic Salmon Confit with Cucumber Caviar, Apple Aioli and Truffle Salsa, or give the Wagyu Beef served with your choice of mustards a try.
Peppers Soul Surfers Paradise, 8 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise, Queensland 4217, Australia, Phone: 617-56-35-57-28
© Africa Studio/stock.adobe.com
Established by Meyjitte Boughenout, a Michelin-starred chef touted for having introduced haute dining to the Gold Coast, Absynthe takes fresh Australian ingredients and cooks them with signature French techniques to create an exceptional dining experience. True to its name, the restaurant’s interiors feature bright green lighting accents freckled throughout an intimate, quiet and dark atmosphere. Warm bread is served throughout the night along with velvety French butter and vinaigrette. Don’t eat too much of it through, as the to-die-for mains deserve your tongue’s utmost attention. Try dishes like the East Tasmania, a dish of pan-fried scallops, parmesan, potato gnocchi and chunky beetroot or the Black Truffles, which is a black truffle risotto with braised mini cep mushroom, cheddar foam and organic garlic.
Q1, Corner Surfer’s Paradise Boulevard and Hamilton Avenue, Surfers Paradise, Queensland 4217, Australia, Phone: 617-55-04-64-66
12.Elston Restaurant and Wine Bar
© Elston Restaurant and Wine Bar
Tuck into a filling dining experience with the Elston Restaurant and Wine Bar’s delectable, holistic and rustic menu. Arguably one of the most relaxing and scenic spots to wind and dine in Surfers Paradise, Elston offers breakfast, lunch and dinner services to their patrons alongside easygoing and friendly service. Some star items on the menu include their 32-hour braised pork cheeks, duck breasts served with crispy skin, confit beetroot, goat cheese and more, as well their pan-seared sweet potato dumplings with snow peas, kale, baby spinach and shaved pecorino cheese. Make sure to have a look at their impeccable selection of local tap beers, as well as their exquisite wine list.
Peppers Soul, 8 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise, Queensland 4217, Australia, Phone: 617-56-31-59-35
Feast on incredible, mouthwatering meals and choose from a mosaic of dishes at Bazaar. Reminiscent of traditional marketplaces, Bazaar ensures your dining pleasure through vibrant salads, tantalizing slow roasted meats, exceptional seafood, and even an entertaining Asian wok and dumpling station. Dessert is no different either as Bazaar offers up what is arguably the most extensive spread of sweet treats on the entire coast. Bazaar is run by Executive Chef Greg Benney, who is responsible for making sure that this local favorite restaurant operates like clockwork and that the ingredients being used are treated with utmost care.
7 Staghorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise, Queensland 4217, Australia, Phone: 617-55-84-12-38
14.Helm Bar and Bistro
© Helm Bar and Bistro
There’s no denying that Helm Bar and Bistro is one of the top casual dining establishments in the Gold Coast. Despite being a relatively player to Surfers Paradise’s culinary scene, it’s been making huge waves amongst foodies in the area. Helm Bar and Bistro’s menu is refreshing and characterized by playful and casual experimentation. Not only that, but seafood lovers are bound to enjoy feasting on specialties like the Ocean Lover’s Plate, which features fresh chilled prawns, herb crusted ocean trout, provencale mussels and oysters among other items. Another best seller on the menu? The Peking Duck Pizza. Topped with Pecking Duck, oyster mushrooms, hoisin sauce, chili oil and green shallots, a slice of this pie will send food lovers over the moon.
30-34 Ferry Avenue, Surfers Paradise, Queensland 4217, Australia, Phone: 617-55-38-96-77
15.Costa D’Oro Pizzeria
© Costa D’Oro Pizzeria
Nestled in the heart of Surfers Paradises entertainment hub is Costa D’Oro Pizzeria, one of the best places to grab an epic slice of pizza on the Gold Coast. Reliable and pocket friendly, Costa D’Oro has been creating fresh homemade pasta and crispy pizzas daily since 1987. Sample classic Italian favorites like their marinara pasta or steak pastas or, if you’re hankering for a filling meal, grab a whole pizza just for yourself. Another top draw to Costa D’Oro is their ambience. Rustic and elegant, Costa’s interior and al fresco areas are relaxing and conducive to a great conversation with friends and family.
27 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise, Queensland 42217, Australia, Phone: 617-55-38-52-03
16.Clifford’s Grill and Lounge
© Clifford’s Grill and Lounge
Looking for a modern spin on the traditional grill house? Look no further than Clifford’s Grill and Lounge nestled in the heart of the Watermark Hotel and Spa. The restaurant is infused with a strong history and heritage of the Gold Coast area and invites guests to sit down and get to know that heritage over a great meal. The grill’s tempting menu is jampacked with rustic plates of meat and seafood that are designed to have you digging right into the meal with a down-and-dirty flair. Just a few of the mouthwatering options to sink your teeth into include the Panko-Breaded Sicilian Arancini, the Urban Milly Hill Lamb Cutlets, and the Triple Coral Trout Sliders.
31 Hamilton Avenue, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland 4217, Australia, Phone: 617-55-88-83-33
In the heart of the Hilton in Surfers Paradise is your gateway to a gastronomic experience unlike any other – the Salt Grill. Headed by celebrity chef Luke Mangan, patrons can look forward to dining on dishes that carry his signature culinary flair and definitive Modern Australian cuisine. The 157-seating capacity dining room features dramatic windows and a behind-the-scenes look at everything that goes on in the Salt Grill’s action-packed kitchen. Tuck into powerhouse dishes like the Jamon Serrano Crumbed Bone Marrow, and the Twice Cooked Blue Eye Travella in Pancetta. Of course, if you’re not quite sure what you want to get, you can also opt for the five to seven-course degustation menus that promise a truly memorable culinary experience.
6 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise, Queensland 4217, Australia, Phone: 617-56-80-80-00
Elsewhere is far from your usual Surfers Paradise night club. A hot spot and iconic destination for night owls, the bar draws inspiration from retro styles and edgy street styles when it comes to their interior design. Meanwhile, there are two great spaces for guests to hang out. The inside room has a quirky nightclub atmosphere and is a hub for alternative electronic music. Meanwhile, the outdoor area is relaxing and posh, and makes a great location to get to know more people. Parties aren’t the only thing that Elsewhere Bar has to offer, however. Visitors are also welcome to immerse themselves in live music performances, art exhibitions and more. They don’t call Elsewhere a sanctuary for the cultured for nothing, after all.
1/23 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise, Queensland 4217, Australia, Phone: 617-55-92-68-80
Situated at a great little perch with an awesome view of Orchid Avenue is the Fix Cocktail Bar. A local favorite, the bar is somewhat of a secret shared between people in the know and is an ultra-sophisticated joint to grab a cocktail and a quick bite to eat. Fix Bar offers visitors the chance to travel back into the 1920s prohibition era through its authentic and vintage-style interiors. For example, guests can sink right into a plush armchair while enjoying their choice of beverage or have a seat next to huge circular windows while chatting away with friends or getting to know new people.
6 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise, Queensland 4217, Australia, Phone: 617-56-80-80-00
It’s easy and enjoyable to make Stingray a Saturday night habit. Offering all of the luxuries that a top bar and club ought to, Stingray is a refreshing way to close the week with your squad. Bottle service, cocktail specials, great DJs and over 50 kinds of in-house tequilas are just a few of the things that patrons love about this night club. Not to mention the Baja California-inspired sharing plates that are so good, you and your crew won’t be able to get enough of them. Stop by early to make sure you get a great table or lounge and settle yourself in for an amazing evening of bespoke cocktails, frosty beer and incredible wine.
7 Staghorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise, Queensland 4217, Australia, Phone: 617-55-84-12-00
21.One50 Public House
© One50 Public House
Blessed with an absolutely gorgeous waterfront location, One50 Public House is your gateway to delicious signature cocktails, award-winning wines, and a ton of craft beers. The perfect destination for an evening wind down or weekend kickstart, One50 also boasts of fresh and flavorful food seared, braised or stir-fried to perfection with high-quality produce. Seasonal menus at One50 include authentically prepared pizzas, juicy and meaty burgers prepared in fresh and innovative ways, as well as sharing plates great for friends who just want a little bite to go with their choice of drink. Guests are also welcome to try their luck at One50’s newly renovated gaming lounge.
150 Bundall Road, Bundall, Queensland 4217, Australia, Phone: 617-55-04-66-88
22.Surfers Paradise Beer Garden
© Surfers Paradise Beer Garden
Stop by the leading live music venue in all of Gold Coast at the Surfers Paradise Beer Garden. Home to incredible live music for over 90 years, the garden regularly welcomes locals and visitors alike into their humble abode for some wicked fun and entertainment. Bow Wow, Hopsin, and Nick Skitz are just a few of the international performers that have graced the stage at the Surfers Paradise Beer Garden, and with a renovation wrapping up, there’s no doubt that even more big-name performers are going to stop by. Beyond the music and the beer, guests can also hang out by the pool tables for a friendly game, and tuck into huge, meaty burgers at the in-house burger joint.
Corner Cavill and Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise, Queensland 4217, Australia, Phone: 617-55-70-13-22
23.The Avenue Restaurant and Saloon
What do Agent 77, stand-up comics, Cory Hargreaves, and DJ Kile Brazel have in common? They’ve all performed at The Avenue Restaurant and Saloon, one of Gold Coast’s most visited entertainment establishments. At The Avenue, visitors are welcome to eat, drink and party the night away with spectacular bar offerings, an inspired restaurant, and some of the best acts and DJs that Australia has to offer. No matter what night of the week you drop by, there’s bound to be something for you, but something regulars look forward to are the daily specials the Avenue Restaurant offers. Drop by for Barra Mondays, grab a steak for the Wednesday Special, or grab $5 tapas all day, every day.
Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise, Queensland 4217, Australia, Phone: 617-55-92-16-78
24.The Clock Hotel
© The Clock Hotel
Nestled in the heart of Surfers Paradise is the Clock Hotel, an iconic and famed watering hole for locals and visitors alike. Featuring three bars and three levels of entertainment madness, the Clock Hotel has pubs, bistros, gaming spots and event centers all in one location for a full-on Gold Coast experience. Watch the sun set at the beer garden or have a delicious lunch with friends at the restaurant. Feeling lucky? Place your bets while watching your favorite game on the TV. Better yet, spend most of your night there, dancing and partying with your mates with some of Australia’s best DJs spinning your favorite tracks throughout the evening.
3282 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise, Queensland 4217, Australia, Phone: 617-55-38-32-11
25.Glow Worm Caves
© Tamborine Mountain Glow Worm Caves
The Glow Worm Caves in Tamborine Mountain are the result of many years of innovations and ground-breaking conservation efforts in Australia. With passion and commitment, travelers can now experience gorgeous caves filled with thousands of glow worms first hand and marvel at the beauty that nature beholds. At the caves, visitors can also learn about the life cycle and behavior of glow worms, as well as the effort it takes to preserve and maintain a healthy colony. The Glow Worm Caves are home to a colony of native Mount Tamborine Glow Worms and may be visited all year round. Want to know the best part? Every visitor helps to ensure the survival of the special for many generations to come.
Corner Long and Hartley Road, 104-144 Hartley Road, North Tamborine, Queensland 4272, Australia, Phone: 617-55-45-16-66
25 Best Things to Do in Australia’s Gold Coast
- Dreamworld, Photo: Lennard Smith/stock.adobe.com
- Snapper Rocks, Photo: Gold Coast Girl/stock.adobe.com
- Springbrook National Park, Photo: robdimagery/stock.adobe.com
- SkyPoint Observation Deck, Photo: Rafael Ben-Ari/stock.adobe.com
- Wet’n’Wild, Photo: Rafael Ben-Ari/stock.adobe.com
- Tamborine Mountain, Photo: Kate/stock.adobe.com
- Metricon Stadium, Photo: Zstock/stock.adobe.com
- Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Photo: Roberto Vivancos/stock.adobe.com
- Burleigh Heads, Photo: Darren/stock.adobe.com
- Seaduction Restaurant and Bar, Photo: Gregory Lee/stock.adobe.com
- Absynthe, Photo: Africa Studio/stock.adobe.com
- Elston Restaurant and Wine Bar, Photo: Elston Restaurant and Wine Bar
- Bazaar, Photo: Bazaar
- Helm Bar and Bistro, Photo: Helm Bar and Bistro
- Costa D’Oro Pizzeria, Photo: Costa D’Oro Pizzeria
- Clifford’s Grill and Lounge, Photo: Clifford’s Grill and Lounge
- Salt Grill, Photo: thomaslusth/stock.adobe.com
- Elsewhere Bar, Photo: venerala/stock.adobe.com
- Fix Bar, Photo: fesenko/stock.adobe.com
- Stingray, Photo: jordieasy/stock.adobe.com
- One50 Public House, Photo: One50 Public House
- Surfers Paradise Beer Garden, Photo: Surfers Paradise Beer Garden
- The Avenue Restaurant and Saloon, Photo: fotosr52/stock.adobe.com
- The Clock Hotel, Photo: The Clock Hotel
- Glow Worm Caves, Photo: Tamborine Mountain Glow Worm Caves
- Cover Photo: Darren/stock.adobe.com