Top 30 Things to do on the Gold Coast: The New, The Classics & The Unknown

Find Your Treasure | Gold Coast Markets | Top 30 Things To Do on the Gold Coast | Discover Queensland SUPing in Paradise | The Boatshed at Currumbin Creek | Top 30 Things To Do on the Gold Coast | Discover Queensland The Coastal Walk to Ruin All Others - Burleigh Headland Coastal Walk | Top 30 Things To Do on the Gold Coast | Discover Queensland Walk On Water | Beree Badalla Overwater Boardwalk | Top 30 Things To Do on the Gold Coast | Discover Queensland Grapes & Alpacas - Canungra Valley Vineyard and Alpaca Farm | Top 30 Things To Do on the Gold Coast | Discover Queensland Australia’s Tallest Building Beckons 
Q1’s SkyPoint Climb | Top 30 Things To Do on the Gold Coast | Discover Queensland Go Back to School Gold Coast Style | Learn to Surf | Top 30 Things To Do on the Gold Coast | Discover Queensland
The Gold Coast is Australia’s playground. Endless beaches, vibrant nightlife, a burgeoning foodie scene, Australia’s renowned theme parks and an array of world-class accommodation all come together to create one of the country’s most popular holiday destinations.
 


You can live the luxe life in Broadbeach with 5-star dining, extravagant shopping, and pristine beaches at your doorstep. Adventure into the depths of the Gold Coast hinterland to explore the lush rainforest or Australian bush, swim under waterfalls and dine under the stars.  Or explore the trendy southern nooks such as Burleigh or Coolangatta to experience beachside living with chic cafes, local boutiques, natural rockpools and incredible headland walks.
 
The Gold Coast is a magical and incredibly diverse holiday destination, which helps form its allure. You can keep coming back and each time have a different experience.
 
Of course, like any renowned destination there are the classic experiences that are famous for good reason, and then there are those seemingly secret places enjoyed by locals and well-informed visitors that make your holiday truly special and memorable.
 
You are about to join that group of the well-informed.
 
Read on to discover the top things to do on the Gold Coast from the classic Gold Coast attractions to the hidden wonders or jump ahead to your favourite!
  1. Enjoy a Mount Tamborine Sunset at Robert Sowter Park Lookout
  2. Surfing Lessons in Paradise
  3. Explore Pacific Fair Shopping Centre
  4. Hit the Ian Dipple Lagoon, grab your Charis Seafood & Let the kids play!
  5. Sunrise at Burleigh Hill
  6. $3 Tai Chi Class at Burleigh
  7. Point Danger Lookout, on the QLD and NSW Border
  8. Walk, Bike, Scoot or Skate the Gold Coast Oceanway
  9. Visit the GC Wake Boarding Park
  10. Take a Jet Ski Tour
  11. Jump on a Jet Boat
  12. Indulge with a Gold Coast Winery Visit
  13. Barefoot Bowls Burleigh
  14. Thunderbird Park Treetop Challenge
  15. Burleigh Head National Park – Coastal Walk
  16. TimeZone Gold Coast
  17. Game Over
  18. Take On the SkyPoint Climb at Q1
  19. Sea World
  20. Miami Marketta
  21. Gold Coast Markets
  22. Glow Worm Caves at Natural Bridge Springbrook
  23. Visit Lockwood Bar, Burleigh’s very own Secret Watering Hole
  24. Outdoor Cinema by Burleigh Brewing and Gold Coast Film Festival
  25. Cougal Cascades, Currumbin
  26. Beree Badalla Overwater Gold Coast Boardwalk
  27. Macintosh Island Park, Surfers Paradise
  28. Visit the Lookout at Elephant Rock Currumbin
  29. Gold Coast Stand Up Paddle Boarding at Boatshed Currumbin
  30. Hire a BBQ Boat
 

1. Watch an Enchanting Sunset

Enjoy a Mount Tamborine Sunset at Robert Sowter Park Lookout

Alternative – Rotary Lookout.
 
Retreat from the beach-bustle and head to the Gold Coast’s Hinterland and prepare yourself (preferably with a picnic) for one of the most enchanting sunsets you’ve ever seen.
 
The Robert Sowter Park Lookout is one of South-East Queensland’s best kept secrets, you can start or finish your day with breathtaking views here. However, the star of the show is the Mount Tamborine Sunset.
 
From your mountain lookout position you can watch as the sun descends and drops behind the mountains of the Great Dividing Range while various shades of magenta and orange dance across the sky.
 
Post-sunset dinner options are plentiful on the mountain with St Bernard’s and Fortitude Brewing Co. being two of our top choices.
 
Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider Tips:
  • Pack a picnic blanket and some nibbles or drinks (Don’t forget a blanket and jacket in the cooler months).
  • Head up early and enjoy Witches Falls or Curtis Falls walking tracks for a short hike and waterfall view.
  • If hiking isn’t on your itinerary – enjoy the wine tastings at Masons Winery or Witches Falls Winery.

2. Go Back to School, Gold Coast Style

Surfing Lessons in Paradise

Surfing is a staple activity among the locals, given its popularity – they must be onto something! Take advantage of the 57 kilometres of beautiful coastline and myriad surf schools available on the Gold Coast and learn to surf!
If you are familiar with the sport, you can easily hire a board and venture forth – Snapper Rocks, Duranbah Beach, Burleigh Heads and Palm Beach are top spots.
 
Of course, if this is your first time to hang ten, Currumbin Alley is the ideal place to learn. The gentle breaks and smaller rolling waves are an excellent introduction – forgiving and consistent – this is the perfect place to pick up this favourite beach pastime.
 
Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider’s Tips:
  • Get 10% Off Go Ride a Wave Surf School bookings with your MyDQ Card.
  • For a truly special experience book a private family surf session with Get Wet Surf School – they have a stand up or money back guarantee plus you’ll enjoy 10% off with your MyDQ Card.
Go Back to School Gold Coast Style | Learn to Surf | Top 30 Things To Do on the Gold Coast | Discover Queensland

3. Your Dose of Retail Therapy

Explore Pacific Fair Shopping Centre

After a $670 million redevelopment Pacific Fair Shopping Centre has expanded from its beginnings as a fairy tale castle on an island to the shopping mecca of the Gold Coast. The Gold Coast shopping centre gained 50,000 sqm and 120 new retailers taking it to 155,000 sqm – Australia’s fourth largest shopping centre.
 
Nestled in the heart of Broadbeach, the ideally located Pacific Fair offers everything from luxury brands and extravagant dining to family fun and more! Explore high-end boutiques including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada and Tiffany and Co. or explore the latest fashion from global mega brands such as H&M, Sephora, UNIQLO, and Zara. Be entertained at Event Cinema or take your experience to the next level with a 4DX movie featuring moving seats and special effects. Let the kids take a build-a-bear workshop or visit the store before visiting kids club or simply take advantage of the child minding services to enjoy some child-free shopping time! Then stay up late and dine out at one of the many restaurants. Teppanyaki, Mexican, Pizza, Yum Cha, Vietnamese, Indian, Modern Australian and more are waiting to be devoured.
 
Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider’s Tips:
  • Feed the whole family at Jamie Oliver’s Pizzeria with a 1-metre-long customisable pizza!
  • Pacific Fair offers a FREE shopping shuttle service.
  • Enjoy a dessert cocktail (or mocktail) at Cowch.
  • Let the kids go wild at Play St on the high climb course and toddler room.

4. The Best Fish N Chips + Beach Combo

Hit the Ian Dipple Lagoon, grab your Charis Seafood & Let the kids play!

The Ian Dipple Lagoon is located in Labrador on the northern side of the Gold Coast and is the perfect place for a swim, lunch and play! The spot is popular among both families and those who prefer calm and protected waters. The lagoon is part of the Broadwater but separated by a sand bank making it a safe environment for a refreshing swim. Behind the lagoon is a large playground and grassy area that kids absolutely love, along with one of the best fish and chips restaurants on the Gold Coast. Charis Seafood is open daily from 7am to 7pm offering some of Gold Coast’s most delicious freshly caught and cooked seafood.
 
Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider DQ Tips:
  • Enjoy fish and chips by the water and get up close and personal with the local pelicans.
  • Take a set of wheels and, bike, skate, scoot or simply walk along the waterfront path. It starts further north and takes you south into the Broadwater Parklands in Southport!

5. Bask in the Golden Hour

Sunrise at Burleigh Hill

There is something enchanting about sunrises, so why not supercharge yours on holiday with a perch at the Gold Coast’s best sunrise spot, Burleigh Hill? Bring a towel or blanket and cuddle up with your loved ones on the hill overlooking the entire Gold Coast skyline as the sun peeks out to wash away the final moments of the golden hour. This is the perfect time to spot dolphins, turtles and from May to November you are almost guaranteed to see whales! Afterwards be sure to reward your early rise with a fresh brew from one of the many amazing Burleigh cafes.
 
Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider DQ Tips:
  • Check out Seadog, Nook or Easy Tiger for the best coffee in Burleigh.
  • Burleigh Hill parking can get a little crowded so try for an easy spot on The Esplanade and enjoy a short stroll along the beach or enjoy a stay at one of the amazing Burleigh accommodation options.

6. Slow Down Before You Speed Up

$3 Tai Chi Class at Burleigh

Kick start the ‘relaxation’ part of your holiday with a $3 Gold Coast Tai Chi class to practise the restorative and healing martial art against the idyllic Burleigh Heads backdrop.
 
A qualified instructor takes classes weekly in Justin’s Park to guide you through improving your circulation, breathing and stretching techniques while you enjoy your picturesque surroundings!
 
Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider Tips
  • Make your day by packing swimmers and towel to enjoy a fresh ocean swim after the class.
  • Stay in Burleigh for a bite to eat after class – try Crew Café, The Paddock, Tarte or Borough Barista!
  • Take a walk around Burleigh Headland through the National Park to Tallebudgera Creek.
  • If Tai Chi is not your thing, Gold Coast City Council offers a host of free or low-cost fitness classes through their Active & Healthy program (available at various locations throughout the Gold Coast)

7. Where Two Worlds Meet

Point Danger Lookout, on the QLD and NSW Border

Point Danger Lookout is perched on the cliff top where Queensland meets New South Wales and not only marks the state borders but boasts breathtaking panoramic views of the beaches and coastline. Below the lookout there are two amazing surf beaches, on the Queensland side you will find the famous Snapper Rocks with the equally as beautiful Flagstaff Beach on the other. This lookout is a must visit when on the Gold Coast!
 
Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider DQ’s Tips:
  • Enjoy the Centaur Remembrance Walk around the headland and learn about Australian history with the family.
  • Café Dbar is located right at the headland and offers some of the best café cuisine in the area – sit up top to enjoy view of the skyline and head downstairs to the local art gallery for a browse afterwards.
  • Keep an eye out for the rather large, green amphibian at Froggies Beach.

8. Follow the Ocean

Walk, Bike, Scoot or Skate the Gold Coast Oceanway 

The Gold Coast ocean pathway stretches itself from the border of Queensland and New South Wales all the way to The Spit beach promising post-card worthy views of the famous beach the entire journey! This 36km track will allow you to explore all incredible beaches, cafes, parks and more. Whether you bike, skate, scoot or even walk a section of it, it’s the perfect day activity to explore and wear out the kids!
 
Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider’s tips
  • Travelling from interstate or can’t fit your bikes in the car? Hire them from your hotel or one of the many hire stores.
  • Stop at Macintosh Island opposite Main Beach on your walk. As well as a playground with intertwining river, there are incredible wild peacocks roaming around. 

9. Get Wet & Go Wild – Somewhere Different

Visit the GC Wake Boarding Park

Hit the water at the GC Wake Boarding Park for a day of adrenalin inducing activity! It may sound like an adventure for the kids or only those who are incredibly active or coordinated but the wake park caters to all skill levels and ages.
 
Your experienced instructors will guide you through the techniques and tips to get you kneeling or standing on your first go around the line-fed course. When you do eventually come off your board, there is a floating walkway back to the launch pad (so you don’t have to swim back to shore!).
 
The GC Wake Park not only has your gear hire and lessons covered but there is also an excellent café with barista made coffee and meals!
 
Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider’s Tips:
  • If you still have energy level after wake boarding, check out the Aqua Park – it is a playground on the water perfect for all ages.
 
 

10. Explore the Waterways and Islands

Take a Jet Ski Tour

Experience the Coast from the water on a Gold Coast Jet Ski tour! Jump on your own vessel and let your experienced tour guide take you on a short 30-minute experience or indulge in a safari ride out to Stradbroke Island including a break for a beach swim and lunch before heading back via the meandering waterways.
 
Have your own license and itinerary? Hire a jet ski and set off on your own adventure – there are hundreds of waterways to explore as well as a myriad of marine wildlife to encounter including dolphins, turtles, eagles, rays, dugongs and more. You can also combine jet ski tours with parasailing and jet boat rides.
 
Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider Tips:
  • Check out the tour options and choose your adventure ahead of time – you can enjoy a casual canal putter or a faster stint around the islands as well as an adventure past the bar!
 
 

11. Get a Shot of Adrenalin with your Scenery

Jump on a Jet Boat

Get a shot of adrenalin with your beautiful Broadwater views on a thrilling high-speed jet boat. These exhilarating rides can get up to 88km per hour and encounter much of the Gold Coast marine life including dugongs, dolphins and turtles. Perfect for the whole family, Gold Coast Jet Boating offers the best combination of excitement and thrills with scenery and sightseeing. You will fly over water as shallow as 10cm as well as experience 360-degree spins, high speed drifting and plenty of other exciting manoeuvres. You’ll be in one of the most advanced boats in Australia which not only means amazing speed, manoeuvrability and performance, but also comfort and safety. 
 
Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider’s Tips:
  • Talk to the team at Discover Queensland about Paradise Jet Boating exclusive discounts!

12. Alpacas & Grapes

Indulge with a Gold Coast Winery Visit

Margaret River and Barossa Valley are not the only places in Australia that can grow a decent grape. The Gold Coast Hinterland is home to some of Queensland’s best vineyards and wineries.
 
There’s something absolutely euphoric about enjoying good company and quality wines on tap, surrounded by nothing but rolling hills and mountains.

Canungra Valley Vineyard

The award-winning Canungra Valley Vineyard is nestled on the way to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat and has won multiple tourism awards and offers an indulgent selection of wines you can taste and take home. They also create picnic baskets you can take out and enjoy on the sprawling property by the river, vineyard or at one of the many tables. They have recently introduced alpacas to the vineyard that you can meet, feed and take for a walk!  
Grapes & Alpacas - Canungra Valley Vineyard and Alpaca Farm | Top 30 Things To Do on the Gold Coast | Discover Queensland

Masons Winery

A smaller, but enchanting winery and vineyard that offers tastings and an amazing restaurant. Our Discover Queensland hot tip is to stay for a meal and try the Fraser Isle spanner crab and prawn linguini paired with a Sauvignon Blanc. The outdoor area backs onto the vineyard so the kids can explore the rows of growth while you enjoy the flavours of the region.

Witches Falls Winery

This picturesque winery is perched atop Mount Tamborine offering a selection of decadent wines crafted by combining traditional and new techniques to create a unique flavour palette. The founders Kim and Jon Heslop relocated from the Hunter Valley and brought with them a wealth of knowledge on wine making allowing them to create one of Queensland’s largest wine producers!
 
Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider’s Tips:
  • If you’d prefer to indulge in the tastings without the concern of driving, you can book a winery tour complete with a return shuttle bus.
 

13. Time to Take Those Shoes Off

Barefoot Bowls Burleigh

A true local Gold Coast experience, Barefoot Bowls Burleigh is the perfect Sunday afternoon (or any afternoon really – who keeps track on holidays?) activity for the whole family. The venue is located just footsteps from the beach, has a bistro and bar available perfect for a relaxing afternoon. You can enjoy a bowl, late lunch or early dinner before heading over for an afternoon swim or to watch the sunset from Burleigh Hill – bliss!
 
Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider’s Tips:
  • The last Sunday of every month enjoy their Bowls, Beats & Brews accompanied by a DJ out on the green and an outdoor bar for cocktails!
  • If you’re with the family be sure to head over to Justin’s Park and let the kids explore the playground.

14. Traverse the Tamborine Tree Tops

Thunderbird Park Treetop Challenge

Take to the sky from the Gold Coast Hinterland’s Thunderbird Park. This magnificent rainforest playground is hidden away on Tamborine Mountain offering a series of activities from a thunderegg crystal mine, adventure mini golf, bird feeding, rock pools, laser skirmish and much more.
 
The highlight of the park is the incredible high ropes course. The Thunderbird Park TreeTop Challenge is Australia’s largest and highest zipline and high ropes course and comprises three main challenges, the Canyon Flyer Zipline, the high ropes course, and the kid’s course.
 
If you love to pair nature with adventure, this activity is for you. You will be rewarded with endless views of the rainforest as well as some serious bragging rights!
 
Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider’s Tips:
  • There is a shuttle bus from Surfers Paradise that operates for pre-made bookings.
  • If you have time, Cedar Creek Falls is nearby so pack your swimmers and walking shoes to hit the trail for a refreshing dip!
 

15. The Coastal Walk to Ruin All Others

Burleigh Head National Park – Coastal Walk

One of the most well-known and picturesque coastal walks on the Gold Coast can be found in Burleigh Head National Park. This rocky outcrop is frequently photographed as it boasts views stretching all the way up to Main Beach on one side and Coolangatta Beach on the other. The 2.3 kilometre coastal walk is a grade 3, perfect for the whole family as it’s the perfect length for little legs and there is plenty to see along the way!
 
Add an educational aspect, by visiting the Aboriginal Cultural Centre and taking a guided tour to learn about traditional life for the native Kombumerri people pre-contact, bush tucker, fishing, hunting, important ecological practices and dreamtime stories. A bonus is the centre offers parking – which is in high demand in this area!
 
Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider’s Tips:
  • Be sure to keep an eye on the treetops as you are likely to see some local koalas!
  • Don’t forget to pack swimmers as the walk passes by Tallebudgera Creek and we can guarantee after any amount of walking, the beach will be tantalising!
The Coastal Walk to Ruin All Others - Burleigh Headland Coastal Walk | Top 30 Things To Do on the Gold Coast | Discover Queensland

16. Good Old-Fashion Arcade Fun (With a Modern Twist)

TimeZone Gold Coast

TimeZone Surfers Paradise is the ultimate hub for all thing’s games and play! Having undergone a recent facelift and expansion, this Gold Coast attraction is even more impressive. Located on Cavill Avenue in the heart of Surfers Paradise, TimeZone is filled with globally sourced games, an arcade, bowling alley, bumper cars, glow golf, laser tag, table tennis and escape rooms – it truly has something for everyone in the family.  Be sure to put aside a few hours for your visit as you’ll never want to leave.
 
Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider’s Tips:
  • This gaming location isn’t just for the kids! You can book a session for your girls’ trip or do date night here too!
  • If you’re staying in Surfers Paradise – walk on over, but if you are staying slightly further away be sure to jump on the G:Link Tram – you’ll be dropped right to the door!

17. Let your Competitive Side loose

Game Over  

Adventure enthusiasts beware – Game Over can be an addictive venue for those who love adrenalin. The custom-built indoor go kart track takes you around hair pin bends, up an incline and finishes with a drag race to the finish line. To keep everyone competitive, safe and happy there are specific races and karts for younger kids as well as adult races with super powered karts (keep your eyes on the yellow ones!).
 
As well as the amazing go karts, there is an incredible variety of 16 rock climbing walls to choose from. You can practise your ascent on the easier walls before challenging yourself to an advanced climb. There is also themed putt putt golf, action-packed Laser Tag, and even a Meathook Zip Coaster that carries you around the entire indoor centre suspended by the ‘Meathook’!
 
Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider’s Tips:
  • Talk to the team at Discover Queensland for exclusive discounts on your Game Over experience.

18. Australia’s Tallest Building Beckons

Take On the SkyPoint Climb at Q1

Switch up your view of Queensland’s most iconic building and gaze out at the Gold Coast from the peak of Q1 on the SkyPoint climb.
This must-do activity is Australia’s tallest external building climb offering one heck of an adrenalin rush! Once connected to the handrail you will climb to a height of 270 metres above sea level to reach the eagle’s nest and spire. Your experienced climb leader will offer frequent breaks to admire the views and provide commentary and even give you the opportunity to lean along the edge at the very top for a real thrill!

Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider’s Tips:
  • After an exhilarating experience, grab a drink or meal at the SkyPoint Observation Deck – don’t worry it’s indoors this time.
Australia’s Tallest Building Beckons 
Q1’s SkyPoint Climb | Top 30 Things To Do on the Gold Coast | Discover Queensland

19. Australia’s Only Theme Park Resort

Sea World

Sea World Resort is where holiday dreams come true! You can meet marine wildlife, reach 70 km per hour on an adrenalin inducing roller coaster, and watch a live show with your favourite characters before meeting them!
 
Get lost in Castaway Bay, the adventure playground in the sky with its own battle boats. Then head to Nickelodeon Land to catch a show and jump on a ride, before taking on the Jet Rescue Coaster or Storm Coaster. The new Atlantis promises three new rides, the Vortex, Trident and Leviathan for you to conquer.
 
Not only does Sea World have a variety of rides and roller coasters, where else can you pat a ray, learn about marine conservation, watch a mind-blowing overwater stunt show, meet your favourite Nickelodeon characters and then walk back to your room and get changed for the nightly laser light show at the resort waterpark?
 
Did we mention it is nestled on the one of the Gold Coast’s most beautiful and rustic beaches, and next door to Marina Mirage shopping centre?
 
Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider’s Tips:
  • Download the Village Roadshows Theme Park app to plan your day and avoid missing out on any shows and presentations.  Don’t have a lot of time? You can now purchase a Fast-Track pass.
  • Don’t feel like grabbing lunch at the park? You’ve got two amazing seafood choices; you can head to Fisho’s next door to Marina Mirage on the waterfront or grab some takeaway from Pete’s and find a spot on the beach.
 
 

20. Visit a Foodie’s Paradise

Miami Marketta

Mirroring and mixing the street food styles of New York, Thailand and Barcelona, your local foodie market is right here on the Gold Coast hidden behind Miami beach.
 
Miami Marketta is filled with global cuisine outlets promising mouth-watering Turkish, Italian, Greek, American, Brazilian, Thai and much more – including a Gin Parlour! The Marketta is open three nights a week, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday with free live music acts each night.
 
Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider’s Tips:
  • Check out the event page for Miami Marketta – they often host ticketed events including international touring acts, paint and sip nights, drag queen bingo and more!
 
 

21. Find Your Treasure

Gold Coast Markets

The Gold Coast markets bring together fresh produce, car boot sales, local clothing and art brands all in one place! These markets are available at several locations around the coast with easy parking and a humbling community feeling.
Find Your Treasure | Gold Coast Markets | Top 30 Things To Do on the Gold Coast | Discover Queensland Gold Coast Markets

 

HOTA Markets - Bundall’s Farmers Markets 

Open every Sunday from 6am these markets promise gourmet foods, produce and an excellent location on the Evandale Lake, so you can enjoy a stroll after a delicious breakfast and let the kids enjoy the playground.
 

Burleigh Markets - The Village Markets

The award-winning boutique markets specialise in supporting local brands from fashion and food to health, beauty and more. You’ll find these unique markets on the first and third Sunday of each month from 8.30am until 1pm at Burleigh Heads State School.
 

Surfers Paradise Markets

Located on the picturesque waterfront, the beachfront twilight markets transform the famous Surfers Paradise esplanade into a hub of activity each Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 4pm to 9pm. You’ll find local artists, amazing food including desserts, fashion, accessories and more. It’s no wonder these markets were voted the Best of Queensland Experiences by Tourism & Events Queensland!
 
 
Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider’s Tips:
  • Head to the markets early on to pick up the best clothes and produce before the crowds hit, then enjoy a bite to eat and relax in the atmosphere when you’re done.
  • Make sure to check when the markets are open as they vary depending on the day of the week and timing of the month!
 

22. Glow In the Dark

Glow Worm Caves at Natural Bridge Springbrook

When you think ‘Gold Coast Hinterland’ you think ‘Natural Bridge Springbrook’. It is one of the most famous waterfalls in Queensland due to its beautiful rainforest pathway and unique situation inside a cave.
 
One of the Gold Coast’s best kept secrets is that you can visit at night and witness a unique phenomenon – glow worms! Although technically, these incredible and tiny creatures are not worms, they are the larval stage of the small rainforest fly Arachnocampa flava.
 
The 1 kilometre cave circuit is a well-maintained path but is not lit at all. So be sure to follow the glow worm cave rules for your safety and the larvae’s!
 

Glow Worm Cave Rules:

  • When wanting to capture memories don’t use the flash or shine lights inside the cave or at the glow worms. The exposure harms the glow worms and interrupts their feeding. (Longer exposure is appropriate for capturing the glow worms at night).
  • Ensure there is one torch for every two people.
  • Keep noise to a minimum and do not smoke – it can kill the glow worms.
  • If you are using insect repellent, do so before entering the park – it can kill the glow worms.
 
 

23. Can you Keep a Secret?

Visit Lockwood Bar, Burleigh’s very own Secret Watering Hole

Hidden away at the back of Burleigh’s Justin’s Lane is an intimate speakeasy bar only identifiable by a red door. Lockwood Bar serves up unique cocktails in an old-school personalised environment and is open from 5pm or 7pm till ‘late’ Monday to Saturday. Even when you know what to look for – this one can be tricky to find! Once you’ve located the red door, you’ll need to text a number to be let into the secret bar – very underground.
 
Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider’s Tips:
  • Make a night out of your mysterious adventure and head to other local Burleigh establishments such as Night Jar and Iku.
  • Enjoy the ultimate underground experience on Thursdays with their ‘Soup & Stir-down’ serving Negroni, Martinis, Manhattans and other themed drinks (is this referring to Lockwood? If so I would put this above the first point in tips)
 

24. Craft Beer & Movies Under the Stars

Outdoor Cinema by Burleigh Brewing and Gold Coast Film Festival

One of the Gold Coast’s favourite local breweries Burleigh Brewing Co. has teamed up with the Gold Coast Film Festival to bring you movies and on tap beer under the stars. If movies and beer are two of your favourite things, then be sure to align your Gold Coast holiday with brewery created event so you can enjoy the best of 90’s classic films under the stars.  

Not a fan of beer? There’s wine, cider and non-alcoholic beverages as well.
 
Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider’s Tips:
  • The brewery is most famous for their Burleigh Bighead, the zero carb and low-calorie Bighead beer as well as their tropical pale ale Twisted Palm so be sure to try the signatures!
  • Arrive early to snag the best seats in the house and enjoy a pre-movie beverage.
  • Enjoy the free event with your beverage of choice and some popcorn on the side without the kids as it’s an 18+ event – perfect date night opportunity!
 
 

25. Uncover Hidden Waterfalls

Cougal Cascades, Currumbin

Along the coastline and concealed in the hinterlands, the Gold Coast is home to some of Queensland’s best kept secret waterfalls and walkways. Among some of the best, Cougal Cascades located in Currumbin Valley is a rainforest adventure filled with lush greenery and wildlife, perfect for a day trip away from the city.
 
This hidden gem is right next door to the famous Currumbin Rock Pools. Head further down the same road, and you’ll eventually hit the parking spot for Cougal Cascades. Although it is growing in popularity for being downright gorgeous, it is often much quieter than the rockpools.
 
Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider’s Tips:
  • Make sure to pack swimmers, towel and some snacks and head to this beautiful location mid-week during the early afternoon for a private getaway.
 

26. Walk On Water

Beree Badalla Overwater Gold Coast Boardwalk

Have you ever wished you could walk on water? The Beree Badalla overwater boardwalk will make your dreams come true. This Gold Coast boardwalk guides you across Currumbin Creek’s crystal-clear waters and offers several places to stop for a picnic, or simply launch in for a swim.
Parking is off Thrower Drive and you can continue your walk either side of the walk south into Salk Oval Parklands to the small sandy beach and skate park or north towards Tarrabora Reserve, also home to its own beach.

Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider’s Tip:
  • Visit at high tide when the water is at its highest for the best swimming and photography conditions.
  • Take some fish and chips and enjoy a picnic over the water!
  • Keep an eye out, you just may see a stingray making a splash.
 
Walk On Water | Beree Badalla Overwater Boardwalk | Top 30 Things To Do on the Gold Coast | Discover Queensland

27. Playgrounds and Wild Peacocks

Macintosh Island Park, Surfers Paradise

Just across the road from Main Beach is an unassuming island you can access via a footbridge. Crossing the bridge is similar to stepping into Narnia. You cross from the classic Gold Coast surf beach into an enchanting forest covered parkland that has several sandy lagoon beaches lining the shoreline as well as a man-made creek that runs through the middle of the island and around the expansive playground – welcome to Macintosh Island Park. The island is most popular for the variety of bird species that call it home. Among them you will find pelicans, seagulls, and peacocks! Given the size of the island is relatively small – spotting them is quite easy!

Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider’s Tip
  • Have your camera at the ready to catch one of the beautiful male birds and their incredible feathers.
 

28. Climb an Ancient Volcanic Rock Formation

Visit the Lookout at Elephant Rock Currumbin

Nestled on the southern shores is an enormous boulder that reaches several stories into the sky that appears to hold and support the neighbouring Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Life Saving Club! The incredible natural rock is the result of volcanic activity four million years prior. Now Elephant Rock has a steep staircase that leads to a platform at the top for visitors to appreciate the coastal views.
Be sure to stop for a drink or bite to eat at the RSL club, to continue enjoying the views.

Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider’s Tip:
  • Double your viewing pleasure with a second vista at Currumbin Hill Lookout located opposite Currumbin Alley. Look for a staircase – that will lead you to a platform offering amazing views!
 

29. SUPing in Paradise

Gold Coast Stand Up Paddle Boarding at Boatshed Currumbin

Currumbin Creek is nothing short of a natural wonder, and it’s beautiful to appreciate from the shore, but even more magical from a stand up paddle board. Couldn’t fit one in your luggage? No worries, the Boatshed Currumbin located on the bank of the river off Thrower Drive hires them out – no boat transport needed! You can hire your SUP for a full day, half day or just an hour or two to experience the waterway to its fullest. They also offer kayaks for one or two people if you prefer your floatation devices to be more boat-like.

Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider’s Tip:
  • As well as kayak and SUP hire, the Boatshed is a licensed restaurant so you can celebrate your SUP coordination (or lack of – we won’t judge!) with a cold drink and meal.
 
SUPing in Paradise | The Boatshed at Currumbin Creek | Top 30 Things To Do on the Gold Coast | Discover Queensland

30. BBQs, Boats and Beaches

Hire a BBQ Boat

Are BBQs, beaches and boats some of your favourite things? Combine them with the unique Broadwater experience of a BBQ Boat with Gold Coast pontoon hire!

Spend a day on the Broadwater in style with a pontoon boat for up to 12 people. This is no regular boat hire, the large 4 metre by 6 – 7.4 metre base for additional stability allows you to enjoy a self-drive experience with no license! It also features a stainless BBQ, fully enclosed toilet, and swimming, fishing or snorkelling platform.

Take out your loved ones for an unforgettable day on the water – sail across to Wave Break island for a swim, snorkel and BBQ lunch or simply sit back and relax!

Discover Queensland Gold Coast Holiday Insider’s Tip:
  • Both Woolworths and Coles have click and collect orders, so be sure to have your BBQ supplies ready to go!

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