Top Things to do on the Gold Coast, Queensland

I have visited Australia twice, and both times I have been staying right outside the Gold Coast, thanks to my best friend and her extremely welcoming family. Not once have I been bored while visiting, even when we’ve spent days on end just lounging by the pool. There is something so relaxing about the Australia sun, but don’t think for one second that this is a quiet city! The Gold Coast, Queensland is a haven for people looking to stay busy while on holiday, and it’s packed with activities for those who wish to seek them out.

Disclaimer: If you wish to spend an entire trip lying by the pool and reading, you can do that too. Completely understandable.

I’ve put together a list of some of the most fun things I’ve done on the Gold Coast, and I hope you it gets you excited to visit!

Guide to Gold Coast, Queensland

Top things to do on the Gold Coast

Theme Parks

The Gold Coast is known for its theme park option. I’d call it the Orlando of Australia, and there are even rumours of a new Disney park hitting the Australian city soon! You’ve got plenty of parks to choose from, such as Wet ‘n’ Wild, MovieWorld, DreamWorld and SeaWorld, so you know you won’t run out of adrenaline.

Top tip: Scan Groupon before visiting for good deals! We ended up getting a seasonal pass with access to SeaWorld, MovieWorld and Wet ‘n’ Wild.

The beaches & Surfing

Ah, another obvious one. There are plenty of beautiful beaches along the coast of the Gold Coast (hah), and the most famous is Surfer’s Paradise. Many locals will tell you it’s too crowded and a little overrated, but I’m sure you’ll still want to get a photo taken of the well-known sign on the boardwalk. In Surfers you’ll find loads of places for surf lessons and surf board hire, which is also a must when visiting the Australian coastline. We actually got a great deal on surfing lessons with the Cheyne Horan School of Surf – they even practice a ‘guaranteed to stand’ policy, which made it a lot more challenging, but oh so fun!

Cruise to Peel Island

There are lots of islands of the coast of Southern Queensland, and plenty of options if you want to get your sea legs on. We spent a day lying on deck on our way to Peel Island (named the Whitsunday Island of Southern Queensland), and couldn’t have had a better time. Even the sunburn was worth it. You can read all about our experience here!

Trampoline park

This is a great time, and a proper workout too! At Air Factory Trampoline Park there are loads of fun activities to choose from, and I promise you won’t get bored. They have great deals if you book online, and we took advantage of booking a second hour at an extremely affordable price. We just didn’t consider just how exhausted we would be before our first hour had ended.. Don’t worry, though, there’s free WiFi and a café where you can take a break, and lots of different areas to play around in when you’re ready.

Mount Tamborine – SkyWalk

If you’re ready to get closer to nature, this is where you need to go. Not only are there loads of cute shops, galleries and café’s on the road up to Mount Tamborine, but the SkyWalk there is such a great experience! We all headed up there during the Christmas break, and absolutely loved it. If you want to learn more, I’ve written a whole post about it here.

Visit the Currumbin Rock Pool

On my first visit to the Gold Coast, Sunshine took me to the Currumbin Rock Pools, and we had such a great time! The tiny bodies of water (tiny tiny lakes, I guess ‘pool’ is the correct word) are all-natural, and have been created throughout the years from the cascading water running through the rainforest area. They are such a beautiful place to unwind, especially if you are getting tired of the beach. It’s fresh water, and a lot colder than the ocean – but definitely worth a soak! You’ll find the rock pools an approximate 45 minute drive from Surfer’s Paradise, and you’ll get to enjoy the scenery of inland Australia on your way.

Visit A Zoo

You can’t go to Australia and not visit a zoo. THE zoo to visit; Australia Zoo is only a 2,5 hour drive away, past Brisbane, and well worth a visit. They have daily shows, and lots of photo opportunities with the different animals. The park was the brainchild of the late Steve Irwin, and his influence was very obvious. The crocodile show was dedicated to the Crocodile Hunter himself, and I will admit I did shed a tear when they showed a video homage to him.

If you can’t be bothered to take the drive up to Brisbane, or just want to try something different, I strongly recommend the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Many of the animals there roam freely, and you will be able to feed the kangaroos and pet the emus at the same time. Their birds of prey show is absolutely insane, and one of my favourite animal experiences of all time.


Gold Coast is an incredibly vibrant city, with lots of activities to suit all your needs and wishes. I hope you’ve found some great tips on what to do on your next visit!

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  • I’ve always wanted to visit Australia!! A girl I follow on IG was just recently in Gold Coast and her photos look stunning just like yours!!! Lucky lady. I’ll keep this as a reference!!

    • It was so high on my bucket list before I visited as well! It’s just like the photos! Ooh, who is it? I know Kat Gaskin (Salty Pineapple) was just there, I love her feed! 🙂

  • It’s my dream to visit Australia one day! I would definitely hit up the theme parks there, I love all theme parks and the “Orlando of Australia” sounds pretty good to me!

    • I think Australia is such a ‘must visit’ for many – and it’s totally understandable! You would love it, Becky! And I’m so curious to see if the Disneyland rumours are true!

  • What wonderful things to do!!!!!! I want to visit Australia so badly!!!! <3

  • daniela_vaughan

    I would LOVE to go to Australia and have officially added it to my future adventures list! Love!

  • Jerome Madson

    I went to Queensland a few years ago armed with only my lonely planet ( and a sense of adventure. I have to wonder why the Great Barrier Reef wasn’t mentioned? There are some great ecotourism options out there with minimal impact.

    • I didn’t mention the Great Barrier Reef because it is not near Gold Coast, which is in South Queensland. I’m glad you enjoyed your visit to the state, I’m assuming you travelled around the North?

      • Jerome Madson

        Oh, sorry, I think I missed that you were in the south. Cheers!

        • No worries, Jerome! I hope to visit the Reef one day! 🙂

  • Sandy Papas

    Great list – glad you enjoyed it

  • Oh my gosh don’t visit the zoo, or the theme parks with animals (so cruel) 🙁
    But apart from that I love this list! I live here and have never heard of Peel Island so that is definitely going on my bucket list <3

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