10 Best Things to See and Do on the Gold Coast (Australia)

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The Gold Coast is a treasure of Queensland, housing a diverse range of suburbs and attractions that every type of traveller can enjoy. Either immerse yourself in the city’s buzzing atmosphere by venturing into the energetic heart of Surfer’s Paradise or simply admire the slower side of the coast with a visit to Burleigh Heads. Not to mention, travellers on the hunt for a natural playground have plenty to choose from, with Tamborine Natural Park, Burleigh Heads National Park, and Springbrook all located nearby.

Heading on a trip to the Gold Coast? Here’s a list of the 10 best things to see and do when visiting.

1. SkyPoint Observation Deck

For travellers eager to take a step back from the Gold Coast’s buzz and admire the city from above, SkyPoint is an ideal solution. The observation deck is 230 metres high, located within the unmissable and iconic Q1 skyscraper. Visitors can look over the city, beach, and hinterlands, enjoy a delicious meal, or head out for a night climb.

Skyline views in the Gold Coast

2. Broadbeach

Broadbeach holds an impressive range of activities perfect when exploring the Gold Coast. If you’re eager to head for the water, Kurrawa Beach is a popular hub. Otherwise, travellers hoping to enjoy some night-life can either venture over to the Star Casino, wander through the labyrinth of restaurants in the suburb’s heart, or catch a show at Dracula’s. For those eager to do some shopping, the enormous Pacific Fair Shopping Centre is in walking distance, situated right next to the Star Casino.

Broadbeach on the Gold Coast

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3. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

One of the best places to admire some of Australia’s native animals would have to be the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. This was initially built in 1947. Today, the facility holds a large number of creatures, big and small, including kangaroos, emus, koalas, snakes, wallabies, saltwater crocodiles, cassowaries, dingoes, wombats, and so much more. Cafes are also located in the sanctuary allowing you to take a break and refuel.

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4. Burleigh Heads

Though Burleigh Heads is a much quieter area of the Gold Coast, the suburb is also home to wildlife and national parks. The David Fleay Wildlife Park is perfect for those eager to catch a glimpse of various Aussie animals such as wallabies, crocodiles, and plenty more. While here you can walk among the dense bushland of the Burleigh Heads National Park, with towering outlooks over the water and surrounding landscapes.

Burleigh Heads beach on the Gold Coast of Queensland

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5. Springbrook National Park

Springbrook National Park is also a popular natural attraction of the Gold Coast and located about 1 hour from the city. The park stretches across more than 6,000 hectares and is home to dense forests, colourful wildlife, and towering waterfalls. One of the most alluring elements of the park is the Natural Bridge walk, where hikers can weave past a flowing river, venture into a cave beneath, and admire a waterfall flowing in from above. The hike even has glow-worm tours, making the region all the more magical.

Purling Brook Falls, Springbrook

6. Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise is the energetic heart of the Gold Coast and is home to an endless stream of entertainment. Cavill Avenue is a popular spot among tourists, with an abundance of restaurants, shops, and the iconic Surfers Paradise sign – don’t forget to snap a picture underneath it. Otherwise, exciting museums and attractions are only a few minutes away, including the colourful Infinity Attraction and Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.

Beachfront markets can be regularly found in front of Surfers Paradise beach, with local goods, delicious food, and live music. There’s always something new to see and do in Surfers Paradise, so be sure to keep an eye out.

Surfers in Australia

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7. Southport Broadwater Parklands

Eager to take a step back and slow down? The Southport Broadwater Parklands are perfect for just that. Grab a few friends, pick a shady spot, and enjoy a picnic, with BBQ facilities also on offer. Kids will be sure to enjoy the rock pools and playground.

Southport and Broadwater Parklands

8. Snapper Rocks

Snapper Rocks is located beyond Burleigh Heads, on the border of Queensland and New South Wales. Stretching from snapper rocks through to Kirra is a man-made super-bank, delivering consistent and favourable surfing conditions. The annual World Surf League’s Quiksilver and Roxy Pros are also hosted in this area.

Coolangatta beach and Snapper Rocks

9. Tamborine National Park

Yet another park located only a stone’s throw from the Gold Coast is Tamborine National Park, home to a variety of tranquil environments awaiting to be explored. Travellers can admire the view from the rainforest skywalk, or venture up further to overlook the ocean, cityscape, or the scenic rim.

Curtis Falls in Mount Tamborine National Park

10. Gold Coast Theme Parks

When it comes to theme parks, the Gold Coast has no shortage. If you’re hoping to see wildlife, SeaWorld in Main Beach is a perfect choice – home to a variety of friendly marine creatures.

Eager to escape the heat? WhiteWater World or Wet’n’Wild water parks house plenty of slides and pools to help cool off. Otherwise, Dreamworld and Warner Bros Movie World are just as exciting, with rollercoasters and thrilling drops.

Tours and activities for the Gold Coast


From bustling streets and towering skyscrapers to quieter towns and nature parks, all travellers can find something entertaining to see and do on Australia’s Gold Coast. Head out on a natural adventure to Springbrook or Mt Tamborine and immerse yourself in a tranquil, rainforest backdrop. Otherwise, take the time to explore the diverse suburbs that surround the buzzing heart that is Surfer’s Paradise. No matter the type of experience you’re looking for, whether it’s relaxation, adventure, thrill, or anything in-between, the Gold Coast can deliver.

Heading to south-east Queensland? Be sure to check out our list of the best things to see and do in Brisbane – after all, it’s only 1 hour away from the Gold Coast.


Written by

Nicholas Hastie

Nicholas Hastie is a travel and health writer located in Brisbane, Australia. He is passionate about documenting his journeys through writing and photography. Nicholas enjoys sharing his travel stories online and encouraging others to travel and create unforgettable memories. [Read full bio]

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