We have a soft spot for the Gold Coast. There really is something about it.
If we are to live in Australia, then the southern part of the Gold Coast is one of our top pics. I instantly feel good there and it is a place where I don’t find myself wishing to be anywhere else.
We have been fortunate enough to visit this wonderful part of our country multiple times. And today’s Sunday Spotlight series is a collaboration of travel tips and stories shared by other bloggers and traveler’s on things to do on the Gold Coast.
Why Visit The Gold Coast?
There is so much more to this beautiful part of Australia then just Surfers Paradise, although we even discovered a couple of great things in Surfers. Here are some reasons why the Gold Coast is such a great travel destination.
As a New Yorker, I knew nothing about the Gold Coast except that it had an enticing name. Turns out, it’s the No. 1 vacation destination for gorgeous, gregarious Aussies. And now I can see why.
The Gold Coast’s real allure lies in its pristine tropical rainforest, where bright crimson rosella birds fly and alien-like booyang trees grow.
What to Do on the Gold Coast?
It turns out the Gold Coast still has plenty to offer the repeat visitor. So whether you think you’ve experienced all the GC has to offer or you’ve never been, here’s why this Queensland destination should be on your summer travel radar.
Besides the gorgeous beaches, Gold Coast has a lot to offer. From taking a day trip to the beautiful Hinterland, chasing after whales and dolphins on a cruise, to going up in a hot air balloon – there is plenty to do on the Goldy.
If you are planning a trip there soon, read on to find out some recommendations – things to see, do, and eat – when you are at Gold Coast.
Don’t just stop for a few days in the Gold Coasts capital, get out and explore!
There’s more to Surfer’s Paradise than beautiful Meter Maids, beaches and bars, you just need to go looking for it. There’s no need to look far though, all these brilliant things to do are under an hour away from the centre of Surfer’s Paradise, so get out from the bars and off the beach and go and have an adventure.
There is only one problem withtravel in Australia and that it is expensive in comparison to many other travel destinations. After spending some time recently on the Gold Coast we have discovered 9 ways you can visit this adventure land on the cheap.
Other useful posts:
Ideas For Families on the Gold Coast
After having visited the Gold Coast as a child many times, and now as a parent taking my own kids, you don’t have to look too far for activities, adrenalin, and adventure.
Short Getaway to Gold Coast Australia with 20-month old toddler
Gold Coast is really a great place to visit with kids, with all the theme parks and you can find playgrounds everywhere, from the beaches to the fast food restaurants. I would love to go back to the Gold Coast again when the kids are older.
For adventure travel on the Gold Coast
You don’t have to take a three week course to get a taste of Hollywood. Dave and I signed up to be a stunt star for a day. Colin and his team offer half day, full day, advanced courses and even kids stunt training. There’s something to suit everyone’s needs.
The Gold Coast can boast 57 kilometres of pristine coastline that’s home to some of the world’s most famous surf breaks – like the Superbank that stretches from Snapper Heads to Greenmount and the infamous Burleigh Point – arguably the world’s best right-hand point break.
What a fantastic way to spend the morning out on these terrific ATV (All Terrain Vehicles) in some of the most spectacular surroundings you will find anywhere in the world with the mountains, bush and wildlife.
If you get the chance to ride on a hot air balloon, anywhere, do it. It’s a thrilling experience that you will never forget.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
With hundreds of native Australian animals on display in natural bushland and rainforest settings, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary provides a rare opportunity to see and experience amazing native wildlife.
- CURRUMBIN WILDLIFE SANCTUARY via Dream Love Travel
- Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary via Adventures with Dan
- Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary via Creative Traveling
- A Day at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on the Gold Coast, Australia
Surfers Paradise is one of the main ‘hubs’ of the Gold Coast region. It has beautiful beaches and is ideally located if you want to visit a variety of tourist attractions:
With its famously perfect waves, it’s no wonder this laid-back city has become a popular destination, and not just for surfing. A surprisingly built-up place, Surfers Paradise has plenty of cafes, shops and (so we hear) nightlife.
Kat Williams shares her experience learning to surf at Surfers Paradise. Brilliant photography!
- We do recommend that you avoid this area during the ‘schoolies’ period. This is when students in their final year descend upon certain towns to celebrate the end of their exams. It can get a bit loud and extremely busy during this time.
- Plan a rough itinerary before you book accomodation. Some areas, such as near the QT, are closer to Seaworld and Movieworld.
Gold Coast Hinterland
The Gold Coast hinterland is an area of South East Queensland, Australia that comprises the Tweed Range, Nimmel Range, Tamborine Mountain, Numinbah Valley, eastern parts of the McPherson Range and western parts of suburban Gold Coast – via Wikipedia
Many people visit the Gold Coast for the beaches or theme parks but this is where the Gold Coast really gets to shine. The hinterland area is a photographer and nature lovers delight. There are beautiful lookouts, waterfalls and so many native animals to discover.
Reconnecting With Nature: Springbrook National Park
Springbrook National Park is one of Earth’s great gifts. With rich biodiversity and a unique collection of flora and fauna in Australia, the park boasts pristine forests that refresh and invigorate visitors. This post gives you tips on driving there, as well as the authors favourite spots.
What if I were to tell you that you could see the beautiful Gold Coast Hinterland laid out right to the Pacific Ocean and as faraway as Byron Bay just by taking a short scenic drive off the M1 along a winding road, a short 300 metres walk to a viewing platform to the Best Of All Lookout, without either climbing or hiking?
Surfer’s Paradise — a name everyone associates with Queensland — is only 45 minutes to the east, yet it couldn’t be more different. Where Surfers is brash and in your face, Tamborine is quietly understated. Where Surfers is all about the glitz & glamour, Tamborine has a much more country feel.
- Springbrook National Park – Natural Bridge
- Cedar Creek – Mt Tamborine
- Gold Coast – Springbrook – Purling Brook Falls
- Springbrook National Park – the lure of Nature or Reality TV?
- Many tours take you to regions of the hinterland. This can be useful for visiting a lot of places in a short timeframe, but it means that you spend a very short time at each place. We recommend driving, if you can, and savouring the places you fall in love with.
- There are buses that can take you around Tambourine Mountain. Choose this if you want to stay for a couple of days.
- This area is also home to great birdwatching and bushwalking opportunities.
Where to Eat?
- 5 Gold Coast restaurants you can’t miss
- 5 more Gold Coast restaurants you can’t miss
- THE BEST COFFEE SHOP ON THE GOLD COAST: COMMUNE CAFÉ
- WHERE TO EAT IN GOLD COAST
- Coffee on the Gold Coast
Where to Stay?
As someone who has stayed at hundreds of backpackers hostels around the world, we can definitely say that Komune rates highly on our list of hostels that give you a stay you will be talking about for years to come.
“Pacific Place Apartments” Bilinga Beach Gold Coast Queensland
One of the most important decisions for any traveller is to find decent accommodation at an affordable price. Pacific Place apartments provide value for money especially if there is a few of you planning on staying together.
Kirra Point is where the surfing action is. Apparently, it is the home of one of the fastest barrels you could ever hope to surf. Something akin to the perfect wave. Be warned if the swell is over 1.5 metres you will be battling the crowds for a taste of surfing nirvana.
Kirra Beach is a perfect location for families, being a much quieter, less touristy and so more peaceful place along the Gold Coast beach strip.
It’s got location, it’s got views, and it’s got comfort, space and me not wanting to leave the apartment door.
The Hilton Hotel Residences in Surfers Paradise was the highlight of our recent Surfers Paradise stay on the Gold Coast.
Wow – Staying at places like the Marriott Surfers Paradise can be really dangerous, as I don’t ever want to leave the room.
I have never stayed at a Marriott Resort and Spa before. And there are not many places I have stayed around the world where I feel as though every day is steeped in luxury.
You can also stay at the Sea World Resort if you want to be close to the theme parks. Sea World Resort if you want to be close to the theme parks.
Parents weekend getaway – Mount Tambourine Review
As a parents weekend getaway Mount Tamborine is superb with a fantastic range of relaxing and romantic bed & breakfasts, great restaurants, parks, shops, wineries and loads more.
I cannot speak highly enough of the place we stayed. Camelot Luxurious Cottages and Bed and Breakfast was superb.
When I first read about Lillydale Farmstay, it sounded like the perfect choice and I could already imagine the look of euphoria on my girl. To have the chance to feed baby farm animals, milk cows, collect eggs, go lake fishing, roast marshmallows, dance around a bonfire, ride a donkey, enjoy stunning views of nature, well, it already sounded like a dream come true.
What does a fabulous family holiday ‘look’ like for your family? The various members of our little family would vote for swimming, good food, beach time, warm weather and sleep as essentials for a successful holiday. We recently stayed at the Mantra Crown Towers Resort Apartments in Surfers Paradise and I am happy to report that our holiday ticked all five of those boxes.
- Gold Coast, Here We Come : Outrigger Surfers Paradise Hotel review
- QT Gold Coast Hotel, Surfer’s Paradise
More Resources for the Gold Coast
Check out these helpful travel guides:
- Lonely Planet Queensland & the Great Barrier Reef (Regional Travel Guide)
- Queensland & Gt Barrier Reef (Regional Guides)
- For transport to and from the airport and various locations try Con-x-ion shuttles. We use them all the time to go to Brisbane airport and they’re great. Book your tickets here
Now it’s your turn
Leave a comment below.
What are your favourite things to do on the Gold Coast?