The Gold Coast can overwhelm you with choice, some of it, a little underwhelming. Here are some suggestions to help you sort the worthwhile from the worthless.
The Gold Coast has much more to offer than Surfers Paradise and a multitude of theme parks. Home to awesome markets, delicious restaurants, themed bars and a heap of wildlife and rainforest tours. Check out our list for 10 things to do on a visit to the Gold Coast.
1. Graze through the Many Eateries
Sharing is caring at Social Eating House & Bar in the new Oracle precinct of Broadbeach. Co-owners Amy & Matt Jefferson (People’s Choice Chef of the Year for three consecutive years) are all about that warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from tapas-style dining, serving up delights such as spiced soft shell crab.
As pizzas go, it’s all about the right balance between crust and toppings. That’s where the mouth-watering menu at Justin Lane at Burleigh Head comes into the picture. Gluten-friendly options and hundreds of amazing reviews means this local jaunt is a restaurant champion.
2. Drink by Theme
Welcome aboard, The Cambus Wallace, Nobby Beach! With a rustic naval theme, and based on the story of a ship containing ‘precious cargo’ (scotch, beer and explosives) wrecking in a cyclone off Stradbroke Island, this nifty dig serves up some decent drinks and nibbles, sure to be a blast.
The Fish House, Burleigh Heads, is a dining experience now accessible seven days that’s bolstered by a strong sommelier team, accompanied by a multiple award-winning wine list and backed by a breezy ocean setting. Ponder whether to tuck into Scotch fillet or swordfish, whilst sipping at the very best southern European vino.
3. Spoil Yourself at the Spa
On the off-chance that a downpour falls on the sunny coast, you’ve got to have an activity lined up. Stepping on up in the luxury stakes, the Gold Coast boasts a generous number of top spas. From an aloe vera body wrap dubbed the ‘Skin Rescue’ at SpaQ, to the ‘Mala Mayi’ – an Aboriginal inspired Mapi mud treatment at Q1 Spa. Every good summer getaway deserves a break from the beating sun. Other top picks include O’Reilly’s Lost World Spa, The Golden Door Spa & Health Club, and the new Aurora Spa Retreat at Palazzo Versace.
4. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Queensland is known for their wildlife sanctuaries and their animal preservation groups, so a visit to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary should be on the books. These folks have been treating and caring for sick, injured and orphaned local indigenous animals for over 70 years.
Wander through the grounds and you’ll see mammals, birdlife, amphibians and some exotic animals. Then, hop into the Kangaroo paddock for feeding, line up to cuddle a koala and of course, feed a lorikeet.
5. Visit the Markets for some Retail Therapy
The Village Markets, Burleigh Heads & Paradise Point: Fond of the old switcheroo, the markets rotate back and forth, calling Burleigh Heads State School home each first and third Sunday, and the emerald parklands of Paradise Point on every fourth. Open 8:30 AM to 1 PM, the markets were founded for emerging local designers and artists as a showcase to success.
The markets hold a line-up of boutique and vintage fashions and goods, live local music and a heap of eateries. The crowd favourite is the twice-a-month pre-loved sales racks, including vintage and designer items.
6. Beach Hop along the Coast
What’s more of a classic Queensland day than beach hopping the absolute best sandy coves? The Gold Coast is swimming in perfect beaches, with crystal clear waters and white sand everywhere, it won’t get any better than this. Starting at Nobby Beach and working your way down the coast don’t forget to bring your inflatables. Next, you’re stopping over at Burleigh Beach, with incredibly warm waters and vintage markets to stroll through it you’re drying off.
A little further down is Rainbow Bay, located on the south-end of Coolangatta. One of the nicer beaches on the list, swim between rock formations and then stop into the Rainbow Bay SLSC for a cold beer on tap. Lastly, finish the day off at Snappers Rock, a prime surfing location in the Gold Coast. These waves have created one of the longest and best waves in the world to date.
7. Conquer the SkyPoint Climb
If you’re looking for a challenge, then look no further than the SkyPoint Climb in Surfers Paradise. Known as the highest external climb in Australia (beating out the harbour bridge, sorry Sydney), this beast is 270 metres tall and gives climbers 360-degree uninterrupted views of the city skyline, far off rainforests and epic beaches.
8. Sit on the Shores to Whale Watch
From May to November every year, that is the best time to watch the humpback whales in the Queensland oceans. There are several locations within the gold coast where you can get a glance at these majestic creatures. Over at Burleigh Hill, Point Danger and Miami Lookout are the prime coastal spots for viewing. Spirit Whale Watching guarantees their patrons a whale sighting, and if they weren’t lucky enough, they get a free return trip.
9. Go Go-Karting
Just for something a little out of the box, why not spend an afternoon letting your inner kid run wild at any of the Go-Karting centres in the Gold Coast. There are so many to choose from, head to Game Over Gold Coast, Xtreme Karting or Slideways Go Karting World to spark your excitement.
10. Visit Lamington National Park
Just under an hour’s drive away from the centre of the Gold Coast lies Lamington National Park. Delve deep into the lush green hinterlands with ancient trees and gushing waterfalls. If you’re lucky and very, very quiet, you’ll spot a pademelon. The red-necked pademelon usually only comes out at dusk or dawn, so make sure you’re heading down the tracks at those times for a cute little viewing. Take on the famous O’Reilly’s Stinson Walk, where Bernard O’Reilly in 1937 searched through the rainforest to find the wreckage of the Stinson airliner.