Things to do on the Gold Coast

Main Beach, Surfers Paradise

Make the Gold Coast your next holiday. Walk the white sandy beaches and dive into the waves of the warm Pacific Ocean. Have some fun at the theme parks – Sea World, Warner Bros. Movieworld, Dreamworld and Wet'n'Wild Water World – or enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the Carrara markets and perhaps grab a bargain or two. Indulge in world class shopping, fine restaurants and a vibrant nightlife.

Sip cool drinks on the SkyPoint Observation deck or float away over the Gold Coast landscape in a hot air balloon. Get back to nature and walk through world heritage listed rainforest, cuddle koalas and feed kangaroos at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

Where is it and how do you get there?

Gold Coast on map of NSWLocated in the south east corner of Queensland, the Gold Coast consists of 70 kilometres of coastline with 42 kilometres of beaches. It is about 60 kilometres from Brisbane and 850 kilometres from Sydney.

The Brisbane XPT and Casino XPT run daily from Sydney to Casino with connecting coaches to the Gold Coast.

To check times, use the booking form on the left.

Getting around

The Gold Coast is serviced by regular trains, buses and ferries and there are several taxi and car hire companies. Bus tours are also available to all major regional destinations.

Major events

  • January - Magic Millions Racing Carnival includes the two million dollar BMW Magic Millions Two Year Old Classic, the one million dollar Gold Coast Magic Millions Three Year Old Guineas and the RM Williams Magic Millions Cup, plus live bands, food and drink.
  • April - Gold Coast Film Festival offers 10 days of entertainment with international and Australian pre release films.
  • May - Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival combines the best of the blues with the finest of Gold Coast cuisine.
  • June - Surfers Paradise Festival celebrates Gold Coast creativity over four weekends with street markets, short film screenings, exhibitions and live music.
  • September - Gold Coast Multicultural Festival features international food, music, dance, arts, craft and multicultural information.
  • October - Armor All Gold Coast 600 showcases V8 Supercars racing on the streets of Surfers Paradise by day, and then rock concerts given by legendary performers at night.

For more information and exact dates, check out the Queensland Holidays website.

What to do and see

Swimming with dolphins at Sea WorldThe whole family will find Sea World an experience to remember. Witness, up-close magnificent creatures at play including sharks, polar bears, trained dolphins, penguins, seals and a range of Australian Fish. As well as the live shows, the kids will love Castaway Bay offering climbing and water battles as well as the various thrilling rides.

Continue the fun at Dreamworld, the largest theme park in Australia and a wildlife viewing park. Choose from heart pumping ‘thrill’ rides, ‘family’ rides or the very gentle ‘kids’ rides and enjoy themed mini-worlds such as Wiggles World, Tiger Island and Gold Rush Country.

Dare to ride the Extreme H20 water rides at the Wet’n’Wild Water World or scale down the experience to The Twister, Mammoth Falls, Terror Canyon II and numerous other exhilarating rides. Then for the ultimate adrenalin rush, visit the Whitewater World water theme park and try out the Rocket Slide, Temple of Huey and The Rip amongst other spine-tingling rides.

Scream with laughter and fear at Draculas Haunted House, a five level building offering an amazing interactive journey through creepy comedy satire, museum oddities and optical illusions including a giant crocodile and white pointer shark.

For a hilarious, interactive experience that you’ll never forget, visit Infinity and journey into around 20 multi-sensual environments filled with unique special effects, atmospheric sound fields, groovy music and illusions.

For a complete change of pace, visit Movie World, a Warner Brothers movie theme park bursting with fun and entertainment. Stroll the streets of Movie World and meet popular characters including Shrek, Batman, Austin Powers, Bugs Bunny and all the Looney Tunes gang. Experience thrilling movie themed rides with names like Batwing Spaceshot and Superman rollercoaster and watch a Movie World show.

Enjoy the Australian Outback Spectacular live show where the story of Phar Lap is retold with a cast of larger than life characters, magnificent animals, a scrumptious dinner and a moving musical score.

Get up close and personal with Australian native animals at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Visitors can cuddle a koala, feed the kangaroos and watch the free-flight bird show as well as Aboriginal and Islander performances. There is also an outdoor adventure playground, interactive science activity zone and wildlife hospital.

Take a tour to experience the world heritage listed rainforests of Springbrook National Park and the natural beauty of the Gold Coast hinterland. Revive in the cool temperatures of a magical world of tropical rainforests and mountain villages and follow well marked walking tracks to natural swimming holes.

A visit to the Gold Coast is not complete without a visit to the SkyPoint Observation Desk with unrivalled 360 degree views. Enjoy a delicious meal as you watch the waves rolling in and at night, enjoy drinks and platters while listening to live entertainment.

More information