15 things you can only do on the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is one of Australia’s most iconic holiday hot spots. From the recently re-opening theme parks to famous attractions like Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Infinity, and Dracula’s Cabaret the list of well known things to do on the Gold Coast is endless.

For those who have experienced the fantastic attractions and now want something a little different, we have rounded up a list of 15 unique things you can only do on the Gold Coast. Read on to find out what our Discover Queensland Gold Coast locals have rustled up for you! 
  1. Overwater Boardwalk Adventure
Explore the overwater boardwalk at Beree Badalla Reserve at high tide! Take a picnic lunch and stop at one of the shaded huts. This is also the perfect place to throw in a line or take a dip in the crystal clear waters.
Beree Badalla Reserve | Image by 2 Aussie TravellersBeree Badalla Reserve | Image by 2 Aussie Travellers
  1. Hire a Pontoon & Float to Paradise
Hire a boat or BBQ pontoon (yes, this exists!) and cruise the calm glistening Broadwater. Stop for a picnic on Wavebreak Island or to increase your chances of seeing wild dolphins frolicking, head to South Stradbroke Island for a picnic lunch or drop by Tipplers Restaurant.
  1. Stand Up Paddle Boarding in a Secret Location (+ hair salon recommendation)
Take advantage of the beautiful and calm waters of Budds Beach with a stand up paddle boarding session. You can also take a guided tour of the area or a lesson. Enjoy a picnic in this quieter spot or head to our dining recommendation – Bumbles Café.

If you’re in the market for some post-activity pampering, Edwards and Co. above the café is an absolutely fabulous salon for cuts and colours.
Budds Beach, Surfers ParadiseBudds Beach, Surfers Paradise
  1. Take a Coastal Walk, then snap a photo in two states at once
The breathtaking coastal walk from Coolangatta to Point Danger is approximately 2 kilometres one way (you can head further north past Coolangatta if you wish to extend your adventure). The last leg of your journey towards Snapper Rocks takes you up a hill, rewarding you with an incredible panorama over one of Australia’s most famous surf beaches. It’s also the border between Queensland and New South Wales, so you can snap a photo with one foot in each state!
Point Danger | Image by @aeltea via instagramPoint Danger | Image by @aeltea via instagram
  1. Watch the Hang Gliders Launch & Sunset
Head to Mount Tamborine for a picnic from one of the incredible nearby cafes or restaurants (Fortitude Brewing Co is one of our top picks) and enjoy your culinary delights while watching the hang gliders take flight!

It’s a unique experience watching someone throw themselves off a cliff to come soaring back up again over head.
  1. The Perfect Coffee with the Perfect View
This one is a hot spot for locals but is generally an unknown wonder for visitors! Burleigh Heads offers a myriad of quaint coffee shops, one of our favourites is the Nook, grab your treats and then hit the Burleigh Headlands to Tallebudgera Creek walk. There are a few pathways to choose from, take the coastal route to Tallebudgera, enjoy your coffee and a dip, then wander back the rainforest path.

If time permits you can finish this activity off with a dinner of fish and chips from the Fish Mongers Restaurant and enjoy a picnic on Burleigh hill watching the sunset on over the surfers on the beach below.  
  1. A Unique Hike off the Beaten Path
The Cream Track is a unique, off the beaten path, hike that has two paths. The first is approximately 30 minute walk to a beautiful waterfall and swimming hole. The second is a 5.3km hike for experienced hikers that takes you along the Springbrook plateau rewarding you with sprawling views of the hinterland and coastline. With fewer visitors this track is largely undisturbed and has an abundance of wildlife.
  1. You don’t need to go to South America to meet this animal
Canungra Valley Vineyards have some fluffy new friends! Drop by for a wine tasting, picnic by the river and to feed an alpaca! The best part? This heart-warming activity is only $3. Very budget friendly. You can also opt to walk an alpaca on their very own lead through the vineyard!
Mountview Alpaca Farm at Canungra Valley Vineyards
  1. Drop by St Bernards for some St Bernards
Perched on the edge of Tamborine Mountain, St Bernards Hotel has over a century of history, an excellent pub menu and two famous publicans to greet you – Molly and Syrah the resident St Bernards.
St Bernards Hotel | Image by @stbernardshotel via instagramSt Bernards Hotel | Image by @stbernardshotel via instagram
  1. Visit the Boat Shed
This spot on the edge Currumbin Creek offers crystal clear waters perfect for swimming, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. You can hire your non-motorised watercraft from the Boat Shed on a daily or hourly rate.

This spot is more popular among locals than Budds Beach, but is worth it for the incredible experience. Once you’re done with your beach activities, head up to the restaurant for a drink and afternoon meal – we highly recommend the calamari.
  1. Pastries worth the calories
The Paddock bakery in Miami is the Gold Coast’s most awarded café for breakfast and lunch. Originally an old Queenslander home relocated from Redcliffe in Brisbane’s north, the residence has been given a new life. The owners have a passion for coffee, donuts and waking up every day to do something they love – delicious food!
Paddock BakeryPaddock Bakery
  1. Must Try Tacos
Hail Mary in Burleigh Heads boasts two specialties – tacos and margaritas – and both deliver the taste sensation promised. Vegetarians and vegans will love the jackfruit tacos, while we recommend the fish tacos for our carnivorous (and pescatarian) friends.
  1. Coffee with the Locals
Café Sofi on the Gold Coast’s northside offers a great latte overlooking luscious green rolling hills peppered with kangaroos and their joeys. Once you’re done with your lunch, it’s a beautiful spot to enjoy a stroll. For a longer pathway past swan filled ponds and even larger fields of skippy and his friends, there is a walkway you can access from Tea Tree Boulevard, or Tiger Drive in Arundel. It’s approximately a 5km return circuit perfect for walking or a bike ride.
  1. Bam Bam your way to a good morning
Bam Bam Bakehouse in Mermaid Beach was inspired by the market opportunity and consequent success of Paddock Bakery. The bakehouse in now an award-winning café and has diversified into other breakfast options including the best eggs bene on the Gold Coast (big call, we know). They know their way around a croissant too. Aside from their famous baked goods, Gold Coast local, Margo Robbie had her hens do here.
The Best Eggs Bene | Image by @bambam_bakehouse via instagramThe Best Eggs Bene | Image by @bambam_bakehouse via instagram
  1. Visit Wild Peacocks on the Waterfront
Macintosh Island is a neighbour of the famous Surfers Paradise. The lesser known spot on the Gold Coast is covered in delightful parkland that resembles a fairy garden and holds secrets that only locals are privy to.

You can access the park from a walkway just south of the Sundale Bridge or across the walking bridge from Main Beach Parade. You will find a huge playground with manmade waterways meandering to a large lake, calm sandy bays and wild peacocks and other birdlife wandering about the park.  

It's hard to believe all these incredible experiences are waiting for you on the Gold Coast, isn't it? Talk to our team today on 1300 788 553 about your Gold Coast accommodation to see them in person! 
Macintosh Island | Photo by @gisl10 via instagramMacintosh Island | Photo by @gisl10 via instagram

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