30 Fun Things to Do on the Gold Coast | 2024 (with Photos)

Lara Mega

Lara Mega - Head of Content

Published: July 3, 2023

Hey there! I'm Lara, an avid traveler and adventure enthusiast who has explored the Gold Coast from top to bottom. Through my firsthand experiences and captivating photos, I've compiled a list of 30 exciting things to do on the Gold Coast in 2024. Get ready to make unforgettable memories and have a blast during your visit!

Fun Things to Do on the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is one of Australia's most popular holiday destinations and for good reason. It lies just an hour's drive south of Brisbane, along Queensland's coastline. With New South Wales to the south, this location is a surfer's paradise.

Miles of stunning beaches, hiking trails, vibrant nightlife, and an array of outdoor activities, make the Gold Coast the perfect destination for travelers seeking adventure and relaxation.

From whale-watching tours and hot-air balloon rides to visits to wildlife sanctuaries, when it comes to fun things to do, Gold Coast will not disappoint you.

So, let's explore 30 of the most exciting activities to try during your next visit to the Gold Coast.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Surf at Surfers Paradise.

Top Choice Hotel

Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Gold Coast

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Little Truffle Dining Room & Bar

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife


Best Time to Visit

Sunny beaches, vibrant nightlife - visit Gold Coast!

Average Temperature

Warm coastal climate with mild winters and hot summers.

Transportation Options

Buses, trams, trains, taxis, bikes, ferries, rental cars

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

When it comes to the Gold Coast, Australia, my top recommendation for spending time in the city would be to indulge in the stunning beach lifestyle. With its pristine golden shores and crystal-clear waters, there is nothing quite like relaxing on the coast while soaking up the sun and listening to the sound of the waves.

Additionally, I highly suggest exploring the vibrant nightlife scene that the Gold Coast has to offer. From trendy bars and clubs to live music venues and entertainment precincts, there is something for everyone to enjoy after the sun sets. Whether you're looking to dance the night away or simply unwind with a cocktail in hand, the lively atmosphere of the city will surely leave you with unforgettable memories.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Passport
  2. Travel itinerary and accommodation information
  3. Adequate clothing for varying weather conditions
  4. Swimsuit and beachwear
  5. Comfortable footwear for walking and exploring
  6. Sunscreen and a hat
  7. Travel adaptors for electronic devices
  8. Necessary medications and prescriptions
  9. Money and credit cards
  10. Travel insurance documentation

What Not to Miss

  1. Surfers Paradise Beach: Famous for its golden sand and great waves, Surfers Paradise Beach is a must-visit spot for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts.
  2. Springbrook National Park: Explore breathtaking waterfalls and lush rainforests in this stunning national park located just outside the city.
  3. Warner Bros. Movie World: Experience thrilling rides and meet your favorite movie characters at this popular theme park.
  4. Tamborine Mountain: Take a scenic drive to Tamborine Mountain and discover its beautiful rainforest walks, stunning views, and boutique wineries.
  5. SkyPoint Observation Deck: Enjoy panoramic views of the city and coastline from the tallest building in Gold Coast.
  6. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary: Get up close and personal with koalas, kangaroos, and other native Australian animals in this renowned wildlife sanctuary.
  7. Burleigh Heads National Park: Hike along scenic coastal trails, relax on pristine beaches, and spot local wildlife in this picturesque national park.
  8. The Gold Coast Hinterland: Embark on an adventure through the lush mountains and charming villages of the Gold Coast Hinterland.
  9. Dreamworld: Have a fun-filled day at this iconic theme park, with a range of rides, shows, and attractions for all ages.
  10. Pacific Fair Shopping Centre: Shop till you drop at one of the largest shopping centers in Australia, offering a wide range of boutiques, department stores, and entertainment options.

What to Avoid

  1. High-rise hotels: Avoid staying in high-rise hotels if you prefer a more personalized and authentic travel experience. Look for smaller boutique accommodations or beachfront cottages instead.

  2. Tourist-heavy areas: Avoid spending too much time in tourist-heavy areas like Surfers Paradise. Venture out to less crowded and more charming neighborhoods like Burleigh Heads or Coolangatta for a more local vibe.

  3. Overpriced tourist attractions: Avoid paying high prices for popular tourist attractions like theme parks. Consider exploring the natural beauty of Gold Coast's beaches, national parks, and hiking trails, which are often free or more affordable.

  4. Peak holiday seasons: Avoid traveling to Gold Coast during peak holiday seasons like school holidays or major events, as the city can get overcrowded and accommodations may be more expensive.

  5. Rushing through experiences: Avoid trying to fit too many activities into a short amount of time. Slow down and take the time to truly enjoy the laid-back atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and stunning sunsets that the Gold Coast has to offer.

1. Visit Surfers Paradise Beach

Surfers Paradise Beach

Surfers Paradise Beach is widely considered to be one of the best beaches in Australia. As the name suggests, Surfers Paradise Beach is a bonafide Surfer's paradise.

With its pristine white sand and crystal clear water, it's no wonder why Surfers Paradise Beach attracts millions of visitors every year. The beach boasts a vibrant atmosphere, with a bustling boardwalk filled with shops, restaurants, and entertainment.

Surfers Paradise Beach is the perfect place to catch some waves, relax in the sun, or take a stroll along the shore. Whether you're an avid surfer or just looking for a picturesque place to spend the day, Surfers Paradise Beach is a top destination on the Gold Coast.

2. Go on a Whale-Watching Tour

 Whale-Watching Tour

Going on a whale-watching tour is a must-do activity for nature lovers visiting the Gold Coast. From May to November, the coastline becomes a migration route for humpback whales, and taking a tour to see these majestic creatures up close is an unforgettable experience.

Whale-watching tours usually take around three hours and offer a unique opportunity to witness the whales' behavior in their natural habitat. Visitors can observe the whales breaching and tail slapping, and even hear them sing through hydrophones.

3. Take a Walk Along the Gold Coast Oceanway

Gold Coast Oceanway

The Gold Coast Oceanway is a stunning walkway that spans over 36 kilometers along the coastline. This scenic path offers breathtaking views of the ocean, as well as the opportunity to discover some of the Gold Coast's hidden gems, including secluded coves, rocky headlands, and charming coastal towns.

The path is also a great way to experience the local wildlife, with dolphins and sea turtles often spotted along the way. Whether you're a keen hiker or just looking for a stroll, the Gold Coast Oceanway is an ideal way to soak up the sun, fresh air, and beauty of the Gold Coast.

4. Explore the Gold Coast Hinterland

Gold Coast Hinterland

The Gold Coast Hinterland is a lush and picturesque region that sits just inland from the coast. This stunning area is a hidden gem and home to a variety of national parks, rainforests, waterfalls, and charming rural towns, each with its unique character and charm.

Visitors can explore the region by taking a scenic drive, hiking, or even taking a hot air balloon ride over the stunning landscape. With its natural beauty and tranquil atmosphere, the Gold Coast Hinterland is a must for anyone seeking a peaceful escape from the city.

5. Take a Sunset Cruise on the Gold Coast Waterways

Sunset Cruise on the Gold Coast Waterways

Going on a sunset cruise on the Gold Coast waterways takes you through the calm waters of the Broadwater or the winding canals of the Gold Coast.

As the sun begins to set over the water, you'll be treated to a spectacular display of color and light.

With a range of options available, including private charters and dinner sunset cruises, you can choose an experience that suits your preferences and budget.

Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or just looking for a peaceful evening out, a cruise at sunset with a glass of sparkling wine is an unforgettable experience.

6. Go on a Jet Ski Tour

Jet Ski Tour

Going on a jet ski tour of the coastline is a thrilling experience that is not to be missed. With its stunning beaches and clear blue waters, the Gold Coast is perfect for a jet ski adventure.

The tour usually lasts for around an hour and takes visitors on an adrenaline-pumping ride along the coastline, with stops at various landmarks and hidden coves along the way.

Jet ski tours are suitable for all skill levels, and no previous experience is necessary.

They are a fun and unique way to explore the Gold Coast's stunning scenery while enjoying the rush of the waves beneath you.

7. Go on a Deep-Sea Fishing Trip

Deep-Sea Fishing Trip

Going on a deep-sea fishing trip on the Gold Coast offers visitors the chance to catch some of the ocean's most sought-after game fish.

The warm waters are home to a variety of fish species, including marlin, tuna, and mahi-mahi, among others. Fishing charters last for several hours and are led by experienced guides who know the best spots for catching fish.

The trips are suitable for all levels of experience, and beginners can receive expert advice on techniques and equipment. A deep-sea fishing trip on the Gold Coast is not just about the thrill of the catch; it's also an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

8. Go for a Round of Golf

Round of Golf

The Gold Coast is a haven for golf enthusiasts, offering some of the best golf courses in Australia. With over 30 world-class courses to choose from, visitors can enjoy a round of golf surrounded by stunning natural beauty.

The Gold Coast offers a range of courses to suit all levels of players, from beginner to professional. Many of the courses also have top-quality facilities, including pro shops, clubhouses, and restaurants.

9. Visit Dreamworld, Sea World, and Movie World Theme Parks

Whitewater World

The Gold Coast is home to some of Australia's most popular theme parks, including Dreamworld, the biggest theme park in Australia**, Sea World, Whitewater World,** and Wet'n'Wild with the famous Lazy River.

Visitors can also ride roller coasters and immerse themselves in the Warner Bros Movie World theme park**.** Superhero fans flock to Warner Bros Movie World all year round.

Gold Coast theme parks are suitable for all ages, with rides and attractions catering to everyone from young children to adults.

With so many thrilling experiences on offer at Dreamworld, Movie World, and Sea World, a visit to the Gold Coast's theme parks is truly an unforgettable adventure.

10. Visit the Glow Worm Caves

Glow Worm Caves

The Glow Worm Caves on the Gold Coast should be on the itinerary for any nature lover or adventure seeker visiting the area.

These caves are home to thousands of tiny bioluminescent glow worms creating a stunning display of twinkling lights that light up the underground caverns.

Visitors can take a guided tour through the caves, learning about the fascinating geology of the area and the biology of the glow worms.

The experience is truly magical and unlike anything else on the Gold Coast.

11. Visit the Tamborine Mountain Distillery

Tamborine Mountain Distillery

The Tamborine Mountain Distillery is a family-owned distillery nestled in the lush rainforest of Tamborine Mountain. It is known for producing some of the finest liqueurs, schnapps, and spirits in the region.

Visitors can take a guided tour, learn about the traditional methods and techniques used and sample some of the unique and delicious flavors, such as lemon myrtle liqueur, wattle toffee schnapps, and ginger beer.

12. Go on a Hot Air Balloon Ride

Hot Air Balloon Ride

Going on a hot air balloon ride on the Gold Coast or the Sunshine Coast ****is an incredible way to experience the natural wonder of the region.

As you rise high above the ground, you'll get a bird's-eye view of the Pacific Ocean coastline, the hinterland, and the lush forests that make up this part of Australia.

The experience is truly exhilarating, as you float gently through the sky, enjoying the peaceful serenity of the early morning. With a range of ride options available, you can choose a flight that suits your preferences and budget.

13. Play Robinson Crusoe for a Day on South Stradbroke Island

South Stradbroke Island

South Stradbroke Island is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. It's less developed than its larger neighbor, North Stradbroke Island, but you'll still find plenty of activities to enjoy.

Visitors can enjoy surfing, jet skiing, and kayaking, or simply relax on the beautiful beaches and soak up the sun.

If you want to escape the Gold Coast buzz for a while, South Stradbroke Island is the ideal getaway. The island is easily accessible by ferry or water taxi, making it a convenient and enjoyable day trip destination.

At South Stradbroke, take a jet-ski safari to discover dolphins, turtles, wallabies, and (if you're lucky) whales.

14. Try Stand-Up Paddleboarding

Stand-Up Paddleboarding

Going on a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) adventure on the Gold Coast is a unique way for thrill seekers to experience the beauty of the region's waterways.

With a range of paddleboard rental options available, you can explore the calm waters of the Broadwater or venture out into the surf at one of the many white-sand beaches along the coast.

Paddleboarding is also a fantastic way to spot marine life, as you'll be able to see schools of fish, sea turtles, and even dolphins up close.

Whether you're a seasoned paddler or a first-timer, a paddleboard adventure is one of the best Gold Coast activities.

15. Visit the Australian Outback Spectacular

Australian Outback Spectacular

The Australian Outback Spectacular on the Gold Coast is an exciting show that celebrates the history and culture of the Australian Outback.

The show features a range of talented performers, including stockmen, horse riders, and musicians, who bring to life the stories and traditions of the Australian bush.

Visitors can enjoy a delicious meal while watching impressive displays of horsemanship, cattle mustering, and live music. The experience is both entertaining and educational, offering a glimpse into the life and culture of the outback.

16. Explore the Surfers Paradise Night Markets

Surfers Paradise Night Markets

The Surfers Paradise Night Markets are held every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday evening, and offer a range of unique and handmade products, including jewelry, clothing, art, and souvenirs. Visitors can also enjoy a range of delicious street food options from local vendors.

The atmosphere is lively and fun, with live music and entertainment adding to the festive vibe.

Whether you're looking for a unique souvenir or just want to enjoy a night out with friends, the Surfers Paradise Night Markets are a great way to experience the creative culture of the Gold Coast.

 17. See the Natural Bridge at Springbrook National Park

Natural Bridge at Springbrook National Park

The Natural Bridge at Springbrook National Park is a unique rock formation that has been formed by thousands of years of erosion and is surrounded by lush rainforests and waterfalls.

Visitors can take a stroll along the walking trails, which wind through the park and offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

At night, Springbrook National Park comes alive with the glow of thousands of glowworms, creating a magical and enchanting atmosphere.

Whether you're an avid hiker, a nature lover, or just looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, the Natural Bridge at Springbrook National Park is among the top Gold Coast attractions.

18. Visit the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary offers visitors the opportunity to get up close and personal with Australia's native wildlife. It is home to koalas, kangaroos, lorikeets, crocodiles, and snakes, among many others. Visitors can take part in activities, such as feeding kangaroos, cuddling a koala, and watching live animal shows.

The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is smaller than Australia Zoo, but with a less commercial and more cultural atmosphere, and more focus on Australian animals specifically.

The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is also actively involved in conservation efforts, with a focus on protecting endangered species and educating visitors about the importance of wildlife conservation.

19. Visit the Robina Town Centre

Robina Town Centre

Robina Town Centre is one of the most popular shopping and dining destinations on the Gold Coast. With over 400 stores and a range of restaurants, cafes, and bars, it's the perfect place for a day out with family and friends.

Whether you're looking for the latest fashion trends, homewares, or gifts for your loved ones, you're sure to find them here.

Additionally, with so many dining options available, you'll be spoilt for choice. From casual dining to fine dining, there's something to suit everyone's taste buds.

20. Visit the Sanctuary Cove Marina

Sanctuary Cove Marina

Sanctuary Cove Marina is a premier destination located on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. It is renowned for its luxurious facilities, world-class services, and beautiful waterfront views.

The marina offers an array of activities, including sailing, fishing, and water sports, making it the perfect destination for those seeking adventure on the water.

Visitors can also enjoy shopping, dining, and entertainment at the nearby Sanctuary Cove Village, which features a range of high-end boutiques, restaurants, and cafes.

With its stunning natural beauty, state-of-the-art amenities, and convenient location, Sanctuary Cove Marina is an ideal destination for anyone looking for a romantic evening or a luxurious getaway.

21. See the Captain Cook Memorial and Lighthouse at Point Danger

Lighthouse at Point Danger

The Captain Cook Memorial and Lighthouse, located on the Gold Coast, commemorates the landing of Captain James Cook on the east coast of Australia in 1770 and was created from cast iron recovered from Cook's ship, the HMS Endeavour.

The lighthouse at Point Danger, standing at 16 meters tall, provides breathtaking views of the Gold Coast and its surroundings.

Point Danger is also a great spot for whale watching during the migration season, as whales can often be seen frolicking in the waters below.

This makes the pine-topped headland the perfect place to snap some photos and enjoy a picnic.

22. Visit the Kirra Hill Lookout

Kirra Hill Lookout

Kirra Hill Lookout is a picturesque spot located on the Gold Coast, offering panoramic views of the coastline and hinterland. The lookout is situated on top of a hill and provides a vantage point to take in the beauty of the surrounding area.

Visitors can enjoy a stroll through the parkland, relax in the shade of the trees, or have a picnic while taking in the breathtaking views.

The lookout is particularly popular during sunrise and sunset, when the sky is painted with vivid colors, creating a mesmerizing view.

23. Take a Trip to Paradise Country

Paradise Country

Paradise Country is spread over 100 acres of stunning countryside and is home to a wide variety of Australian wildlife, including kangaroos, koalas, and dingoes.

Visitors can get up close and personal with the animals through a variety of interactive experiences, such as feeding the kangaroos and cuddling a koala.

The park also features live shows that showcase the skills of Australian farmers and stockmen, with demonstrations of sheep shearing, whip-cracking, and working sheepdogs.

Visitors to Paradise Country can also go horse riding, try boomerang throwing, and gold panning.

24. Visit the Gold Coast Marina for boating and fishing

Gold Coast Marina

The Gold Coast Marina is a hub for water sports and boating enthusiasts, with berths for over 230 boats and yachts. Visitors can stroll along the boardwalk and take in the beautiful scenery or dine at one of the many restaurants and cafes.

Additionally, the marina is a popular spot for fishing and water sports, such as jet skiing and parasailing. For those interested in exploring the surrounding area, the marina offers boat tours to nearby islands and the surrounding waterways.

25. The SkyPoint Observation Deck

The SkyPoint Observation Deck

The SkyPoint Observation Deck, located on the 77th floor of the Q1 building, offers 360-degree views of the coastline, Hinterland, and the city skyline.

Visitors can enjoy the views while sipping on a cocktail at the SkyPoint Bar or enjoying a delicious meal at the café.

For thrill-seekers, the SkyPoint Climb offers a heart-pumping adventure, allowing visitors to climb to the top of the Q1 building and enjoy the views from an even higher vantage point.

A trip to the top of the SkyPoint Observation Deck is one of the best things to do on the Gold Coast.

26. Explore the Rainforest at Tamborine National Park

Tamborine National Park

Tamborine National Park is a stunning natural wonder offering a range of walking tracks and access to waterfalls, scenic lookouts, and lush vegetation.

The rainforest canopy reverberates with the sound of wildlife, including colorful birds, wallabies, and possums.

The area is also known for its delicious local produce and fine wineries with lots of art galleries, cafes, and shops to be found along the Gallery Walk.

Tamborine National Park offers a unique opportunity to experience the natural wonders of the rainforest and is a must-destination for anyone visiting the Gold Coast.

27. Take a Day Trip to Lamington National Park

Lamington National Park

Lamington National Park is home to over 500 waterfalls, lush rainforests, and an abundance of wildlife, including the elusive Albert's lyrebird and the Lamington blue crayfish.

Lamington National Park features a range of walking tracks, including the famous Border Track. Vacation rentals are also available to continue the wildlife magic overnight.

You can also explore the park's many lookout points, including O'Reilly's Tree Top Walk, where you can walk amongst the treetops and enjoy panoramic views of the forest.

Hot tip: Coolangatta is a beautiful coastal town, located close to Lamington National Park, right on the border with New South Wales.

Coolangatta Beach is perfect for those looking for a relaxing getaway. Coolangatta is also the site of the Gold Coast airport.

28. Explore Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum

Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum

Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum features a vast collection of bizarre exhibits from around the world, including shrunken heads, rare artifacts, and oddities of nature.

Visitors can explore the "Odditorium," with interactive exhibits and illusions, or the "Impossible Lase Race," where you can test your agility in a laser-filled maze.

The museum also features live performances and shows, including magic and comedy acts. If you are looking for a unique experience, Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum should be on your Gold Coast list of attractions.

29. Explore the Burleigh Heads National Park

Burleigh Heads National Park

The Burleigh Heads National Park on the Gold Coast is a natural wonder that should be on the itinerary for anyone visiting the region. It is home to a range of unique flora and fauna and offers breathtaking views of the coastline.

Visitors can explore the walking trails, which wind through the park and offer stunning views of the ocean and the surrounding landscape. You can also take a dip in the refreshing waters of Tallebudgera Creek or enjoy a picnic in one of the many scenic spots throughout the national park.

30. Shop Till You Drop at the Gold Coast's Premier Shopping Destinations

Pacific Fair Shopping Centre

If you're a shopaholic, Pacific Fair Shopping Centre and the Oasis Shopping Centre will have you absolutely delighted.

Pacific Fair Shopping Centre is one of the largest shopping centers in Australia, boasting over 400 stores and a range of high-end fashion and luxury brands.

The Oasis Shopping Centre features a range of boutique stores and specialty shops, as well as a variety of dining options, cafes, and bars.

Both centers offer Wi-Fi, free parking, and customer service desks, making them great destinations for a day of shopping and leisure.

FAQs relating to Fun Things to Do on the Gold Coast

Now let's look at some frequently asked questions relating to fun things to do on the Gold Coast.

What do Gold Coast people do for fun?

People on the Gold Coast are spoilt for choice when it comes to having fun. The Gold Coast offers a wide range of experiences, such as sunbathing on one of its golden beaches, going on a boat cruise, surfing in the Pacific Ocean, hiking, shopping in designer shops, dining in gourmet restaurants, thrilling rides in one of the theme parks, and exploring the nature and wildlife.

What should I not miss on the Gold Coast?

The Gold Coast offers plenty to see and do but what you should not miss is a day at Surfer's Paradise, a scuba diving trip to a glow worm cave, a visit to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, or the theme parks with their amazing roller coasters**.**

What can you do on the Gold Coast?

The Gold Coast, Australia, offers a wide range of activities for visitors. You can visit the beautiful Gold Coast beaches (Main Beach, Surfer's Paradise, Kurrawa Beach, Coolangatta Beach, Palm Beach, and Kirra Beach, just to name a few), or amazing Gold Coast Theme Parks and water parks (such as Movie World Warner Bros and WhiteWater World).

How can I spend 3 days on the Gold Coast?

Start by taking a stroll along Surfer's Paradise Beach. Then spend the day at the amazing Sea World theme park. Head to Burleigh Heads for dinner at one of the beachside restaurants.

Visit Springbrook National Park to see waterfalls, rainforests, and wildlife. Also, be sure to visit the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Lamington National Park, ****Hollindale Park, and Phillip Park near the Gold Coast Seaway.

Summing up: Fun Things to Do on the Gold Coast

With over 70 kilometers of glistening coastline, the largest concentration of theme parks in the southern hemisphere, and a thriving arts and culture scene, the Gold Coast, Australia, has plenty to offer.

From stunning beaches and national parks to world-class amusement parks and shopping centers, the Gold Coast is a must-visit destination that will leave you with unforgettable memories.

We have listed the top things to do on the Gold Coast, Australia, but there is so much more to discover.

So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip and experience all the amazing attractions Gold Coast has to offer.