The Gold Coast is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Australia.

From the beaches to the rainforest and everything in between, there is no shortage of things to do on the Gold Coast. 

Not only is it a family friendly destination, it also caters to the young crowds that want to get away for the weekend to party.

There is more to the Gold Coast than just the famous Surfers Paradise strip and beach.

Listed below are 15 things to do on the Gold Coast from a local.

Local Tip: Try to avoid the local school holidays and in particular schoolies week in November as the Gold Coast swarms with tourists and school leavers.

15 Things to do on the Gold Coast:

1-The Miami Marketta and the NightQuarter

The Miami Marketta and the NightQuarter (Helensvale) on a Friday or Saturday evening where you can find street food from around the world and have a local brew while live music is playing.

Seating is limited at the Marketta and can get very busy so get there around 5-6pm if you want to get a decent seat. Make sure you go inside as there are some amazing desert stalls.

2-Sport and Fitness

If you are a health and fitness junkie then the you will love the Gold Coast.

Join in on one of the many free or cheap ($2-3) yoga and exercise classes held at the beachfront.

For a list of what is going on the City of Gold Coast has an up to date calendar.

3-Drive or Guided Tour

Drive or take a guided tour to see the glow worms at Natural Arch in Springbrook, but don’t forget to see Purlingbrook Falls in Springbrook National Park which has a 348 foot drop and The Best of All Lookout.

Purlingbrook Falls, Springbrook National Park
Purlingbrook Falls, Springbrook National Park


Hire a paddleboard and go Stand Up Paddleboarding at Tallebudgera Creek or Currumbin Alley.

If you are lucky you may even spot some dolphins!

5-Burleigh Hill

Pack a picnic and head to Burleigh Hill on a Sunday Afternoon.

Be sure to bring a picnic blanket, some snacks and drinks and take in the sunset over the Gold Coast.

6-Burleigh Heads National Park

Walk through Burleigh Heads National Park.

When you can make it to the top you will be rewarded with an amazing view of both north and south Gold Coast.

If it is whale season (between late May and early November) you can spot the whales off of the headland.

The locals get up early to exercise, I mean early.

Most are out and about by 5am and you will be surprised by how busy it is with locals exercising before they start their work day.

Talk about motivation!

Tumgun Lookout at Burleigh Heads National Park
Tumgun Lookout at Burleigh Heads National Park

7- Park Pass for Movieworld

Purchase a 3 day theme park pass for Movieworld, Wet n Wild, and Sea World it is much cheaper then purchasing separate tickets and don’t forget Dreamworld and Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

You may be lucky and there may be a Hollywood blockbuster being filmed at Movieworld.

Be sure to check out what is being filmed and what stars are in town!

Local note you can feed the hundreds of lorikeets for free at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary at 8am and 4pm daily.

8-Currumbin Valley

If you are looking to cool off from the summer heat then head into Currumbin Valley to the Rock Pools and Mt Cougal National Park.


9- Mt Tambourine

Drive up the mountain to Mt Tambourine and go wine tasting, take in the breathtaking views with handgliders, walk the nature trails or go zip lining through the rainforest.

Depending on the season, farmers will leave freshly picked fruit for sale with an honesty box for payment outside of their properties.

Curtis Falls, Mt Tambourine
Curtis Falls, Mt Tambourine

10- Go Swimming

Where do locals go swimming?

With over 35km of beaches, there must be some favourite local spots.

My favourites include Miami, Tallebudgera Creek, The Alley, Kirra and Rainbow Beach.

All family friendly, but please remember to swim between the red and yellow flags where there are lifeguards on duty, the surf can be unpredictable and with many rips.

If you get in trouble stick your hand up and a lifeguard will come.

11- BBQ down at The Beachfront

Have a BBQ down at the beachfront.

There are many barbeques along the beach so find your preferred view and cook up a storm.

Be sure to bring your own utensils for the hotplates.

The local council do a fantastic job of keeping the beachfront clean so please be sure to dispose of your trash in one of the many bins provided.


Have a game of Golf.

With over 30 golf courses on the Gold Coast, there is no shortage of quality top rated public access courses.

If you have time to hit the links, my personal favourites are The Glades, Lakelands, Brookwater, Hope Island, and for a members course with great views of Mt Warning I recommend Murwillumbah.

Brookwater Golf Course
Brookwater Golf Course

13- Surf Club

Head to one of the many surf club for afternoon drinks and dinner and watch the sun go down.

The surf clubs have a great atmosphere and the best location being on the beachfront.

Top picks are Kirra, Greenmount, Currumbin, Palm Beach, Nobby’s Beach, and Kurrawah.

READ : Step Out Of Your Confort Zone

14- Morton Island

Take a day trip to Morton Island and go snorkelling around the Tangalooma Shipwreck, toboggan down massive sand dunes, and relax on the beach.

If you are lucky you will be able to see turtles, dolphins, and plenty of different species of fish.


There is no shortage of shopping on the Gold Coast.

The newly redesigned Pacific Fair across from The Star Casino, Surfers Paradise Cavill Avenue, Robina Town Centre, and Harbour Town Factory Outlets.

There is a wide variety of shops from cheap stores like K-Mart (not the same as in the USA, it is much better and cheaper) to Louis Vuitton and other luxury stores.

Accommodation on the Gold Coast

Whether you stay in Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Burleigh Heads, or Coolangatta.

There is definitely no shortage of accommodation to choose from with over 400 hotels and resorts.

Book your hotel or vacation rental or check out some of the best hotels on the Gold Coast with amazing views! 

Soul Surfers Paradise, Hilton Surfers Paradise, QT Surfers Paradise, Meriton Broadbeach, and Mantra Coolangatta.

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