Things to do in Gold Coast

Spectacularly long beaches, hot surfing spots, big theme parks — the perfect recipe for a fun trip in the sun.

Our most recommended things to do in Gold Coast

Gold Coast: Movie World, Sea World, & Wet’n’Wild 3-Day Pass

1. Gold Coast: Movie World, Sea World, & Wet’n’Wild 3-Day Pass

Save time and money with this convenient 3-day admission pass to 3 of the Gold Coast's most popular theme parks. Zoom around on roller coasters at Movie World, admire marine life at Sea World, and prepare to be thrilled on a variety of extreme rides at Wet'n'Wild.  Located only a few minutes from central Surfers Paradise, Sea World features amazing aquatic animals, fun rides, and family-friendly shows. Enter the frozen tundra of the Penguin Encounter, see predators up close in Shark Bay, and meet tranquil critters in the dolphin nursery. At Movie World, experience the glamour of Hollywood as you hang out with your favorite superheroes and stars. Enjoy the Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster, Harry Potter-themed sets, a Lethal Weapon ride, the Batwing Spaceshot, and the steepest inverted drop in the Southern Hemisphere on the Green Lantern Coaster. For families, enjoy music from the Looney Tunes crew among other entertainment. Wet'n'Wild hosts some of the most extreme and fun-packed rides on the continent. You may even recognize some of them from scenes filmed in The Inbetweeners 2 movie.   

Gold Coast: Australian Outback Spectacular Dinner & Show

2. Gold Coast: Australian Outback Spectacular Dinner & Show

Get entry tickets to the Australian Outback Spectacular show in Oxenford featuring the gripping tale of 2 struggling Aussie farmers, and rejoice with them as the community's courage help them overcome an unforgiving life on the land. Delve into Including a 3-course dinner with drinks. Embark on a journey to the heartland of Australia through an all-new show featuring a transformative arena. Plus, enjoy a delicious three-course meal whilst you enjoy the show. Start the night with a rustic woodfire roasted Vegetable and Goat Feta Tart served with wild rocket, homemade pineapple, and seeded mustard chutney. Then, indulge in a juicy eye fillet steak or a tender chicken breast with a full-bodied jus with a side of roast pumpkin, green beans, and a delicious potato parcel. To finish off, enjoy a delicate Dark Chocolate Flan with Chocolate Ganache, salted caramel sauce, and a dusting of chocolate dirt.

Moreton Island: Dolphin and Tangalooma Wrecks Day Cruise

3. Moreton Island: Dolphin and Tangalooma Wrecks Day Cruise

Discover Moreton Bay Marine Park and learn about marine life from an onboard marine naturalist on this cruise. Go on a guided snorkeling tour of the Tangalooma wrecks and keep an eye our for the dolphins, dugongs and sea turtles that call this glamour area home. Choose from a tour where you meet the boat at the Rivergate Marina or with pickup from the Gold Coast or Brisbane. Throw your swimwear into a bag and set sail to uncover miles of unspoiled white sand beaches. Departing daily from Brisbane, cruise in luxury to Moreton Bay Marine Park aboard the modern, air-conditioned catamaran Spirit of Migaloo II. Here enjoy the freedom to do as much or as little as you please with all activities included and no local fees. Dive in and snorkel the fifteen shipwrecks that have been deliberately sunk just off the coastline with an abundance of spectacular coral formations and colorful marine life that needs to be seen to be believed. No experience is required and all equipment and water safety items are provided. Afterwards, join our naturalist guides in a fish-feeding session with the 200 species that frequent the area. Satisfy your appetite with a gourmet tropical buffet featuring ocean king prawns, and quench your thirst with a glass of local wine, craft beer or frozen cocktail. Take the time to relax, enjoy free island time on the pristine white-sand beach. Kayak on sheltered crystal-clear waters, join a game with complimentary beach sporting equipment, or simply kick back and soak in the serenity. Watch out for some of Queensland’s best marine wildlife in this area that is home to one of the largest populations of bottlenose dolphins in Australia. Feel the joy of seeing them jump and play in turquoise waters. Search for six of the world’s seven species of sea turtles and herds of shy and gentle dugongs in one of the world’s remaining strongholds for this species. Get help from the onboard marine naturalists that have been working with these incredible animals for over a decade and have the experience to give you the closest wildlife encounters possible.

From Brisbane or Gold Coast: Moreton Island Full-Day Trip

4. From Brisbane or Gold Coast: Moreton Island Full-Day Trip

Enjoy a day on Moreton Island on this full-day trip from Brisbane or the Gold Coast. Relax on the cruise on the way, enjoy a delicious lunch, then take part in fun outdoor activities like kayaking and sand tobogganing. Be picked up from a centrally-located meeting point in Brisbane or the Gold Coast. Sit back and relax on the air-conditioned drive to the boat's departure point. Board a spacious boat with an outdoor area and a covered seating area. Enjoy ocean views as you cruise across Moreton Bay. Discover a vibrant underwater world as you follow your guide on a snorkeling tour around shipwrecks. Have the chance to spot turtles, fish, and rays. Stop to savor a sandwich lunch on the beach before taking a guided tour in a glass-bottom kayak. View the underwater wonders of the Tangalooma Wrecks as you paddle over crystal-clear water. Explore the area on the island that is known as "The Desert." Ride in a rugged 4X4, and experience the exhilaration of sand tobogganing at speeds of over 40 miles per hour. Admire the Gheebulum Coonungai National Park that covers most of Moreton Island.

Gold Coast: 2-Hour Surfers Paradise Cruise with Buffet Lunch

5. Gold Coast: 2-Hour Surfers Paradise Cruise with Buffet Lunch

Join this exclusive two-hour Gold Coast lunch cruise departing from a convenient point in the heart of the city and enjoy a delicious buffet lunch with fresh local trawler prawns. The cruise route takes you through the extensive Surfers Paradise canal system and then out onto the Southport Broadwater to soak up some beautiful views of the coast's skyline. Sit back and enjoy your buffet lunch, sip on a drink from the fully-licensed bar onboard, and bask in the sunshine on the spacious deck while enjoying informative commentary on surrounding landmarks, including the opulent homes of the city’s rich and famous. You'll sail past a range of iconic regional locations such as Sea World Theme Park, Marina Mirage Shopping Centre, the glamorous Palazzo Versace Hotel and many more on a sightseeing experience that will satisfy your hunger and your curiosity alike.

Gold Coast: Wave Break Island Kayaking & Snorkeling tour

6. Gold Coast: Wave Break Island Kayaking & Snorkeling tour

Depart from Gold Coast on a fun-filled guided kayaking tour to Wave Break Island where you can snorkel, enjoy a snack, and relax while admiring amazing city views away from the crowds. After passing the iconic Broadwater, your friendly tour guides will brief you on kayaking techniques. Cruise through spectacular waters, where you might have the chance to spot dolphins and stingrays. Paddle through beautiful sandbanks, offering a unique Gold Coast City view in the background, and arrive at the Northern side of Wave Break Island, where you will park your kayaks next to a scenic spot. Take a short bushwalk to Wave Break Island’s Eastern side to snorkel and explore the underwater beauty of this fantastic island.  Swim amongst the friendly rocky reef locals, diamond fish, and black bream, and discover many other species, from sea cucumbers, trumpet fish, and sergeant fish. You can even find Dory if you are lucky. Here, natural and man-made beauty are combined to create a picture-perfect background; the beautiful Gold Coast waterways with the city’s collection of skyscrapers on the horizon. As you get out of the water, a snack will be waiting for you. Savor it whilst admiring the amazing views, and get ready to return to the starting point.

Gold Coast: Jet Boat Ride and Scenic Helicopter Tour

7. Gold Coast: Jet Boat Ride and Scenic Helicopter Tour

Make the most of your time on the Gold Coast and embark on an adrenaline-packed adventure. Start the trip with a 55-minute jet boat ride and feel the rush of adrenaline buzz through your body as you make a splash out on the water. Next, head to the Gold Coast’s Marina Mirage heliport where yet more thrill-seeking awaits! Hop in the helicopter and set off into the skies for a sightseeing cruise across the Gold Coast. From your unique birds-eye perspective, soak up panoramic views of the city and the coastline, as well as Royal Pines, the Star Casino, Q1, and Broad Beach. Then, navigate north along the foreshores of Surfers Paradise, Main Beach, SeaWorld, and South Stradbroke Island before returning to the heliport.

Gold Coast: Movie World, Sea World & Wet'n'Wild 7-Day Pass

8. Gold Coast: Movie World, Sea World & Wet'n'Wild 7-Day Pass

Experience the fun of 4 amazing theme parks on the Gold Coast with an unlimited entry pass to Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World, Wet'n'Wild and Paradise Country valid for 7 consecutive days. Become lost in a world of fantasy and fun, meet your favorite Super Heroes and Super-Villains, and experience the exhilaration of world-class adventure rides and attractions at Warner Bros. Movie World. Take on the tallest, longest, and fastest HyperCoaster in the Southern Hemisphere or experience the action-packed stunt show, Hollywood Stunt Driver 2! The kids will love the colourful Kids' WB! Fun Zone with a variety of Looney Tunes attractions. Go below the surface and discover a whole new world of fun and adventure at Sea World. Get up close and personal with dolphins, penguins, polar bears and more. Brave the thrilling and immersive New Atlantis precinct featuring three new rides. Sea World is also home to many shows and presentations, including Seal Guardians, and the Affinity Dolphin Presentation. Don’t forget to explore Nickelodeon Land, the exciting and interactive kids’ area that features Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dora the Explorer and Boots, SpongeBob SquarePants, and his Bikini Bottom friends. Dive into a splashtacular family day out at Wet’n’Wild, where summer is endless and so is the fun. Wet’n’Wild has gone to epic proportions with the tallest water park slide tower in Australia now open and boasting three heart-racing slides plus a massive tropical splash zone. Enjoy a world-class line-up of pools and slides for the young and young at heart. Plus, you can’t go past Paradise Country, the Gold Coast's hidden gem. Visit the baby animal nursery, cuddle a koala, feed the kangaroos, and see Aussie traditions like sheep herding and damper making in amazing live shows. Plus, meerkats have now joined the Paradise Country animal family with guests getting an up-close appreciation for the cheeky critters.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Ticket & Koala Photo

9. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Ticket & Koala Photo

Have your photo taken cuddling a koala and meet Australia’s unique native wildlife with this combo ticket. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is centrally located on the Gold Coast and just a 30-minute drive from Surfers Paradise. You can cuddle a koala and have your photo taken any time of the day. The Koala Photo Area is open from 9:00 am to 11:30 am, and 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm. Wander the 27-hectare sanctuary, home to over 1,400 Australian native wildlife. Hand-feed kangaroos, come face-to-face with Australia’s largest saltwater crocodile and see the free-flight bird show and Aboriginal performances. Learn about the Sanctuary and its animals at any of the interactive shows, or ask one of the helpful volunteers positioned around the park. Discover the outdoor playground, ride on the sanctuary’s miniature train, or enjoy a picnic. Visit the onsite Wildlife Hospital and see the vets in action. Join in the feeding of the colorful wild lorikeets at 8.00 am or 4.00 pm for a gold coin donation. Enjoy the spectacle of dozens of rainbow-colored birds landing on your head and arms! 

Surfers Paradise: Surf Lesson on the Gold Coast

10. Surfers Paradise: Surf Lesson on the Gold Coast

Meet your instructor and get set up with the proper rash shirt or wetsuit and board and head to the beach. Begin your 2-hour lesson with a safety briefing and basic instruction. Once everyone has caught their first few waves in waist-deep water, you’ll return to the sand for more detailed instruction on stand-up procedures. The remainder of the lesson will be spent in the water with instructors helping everyone stand up. Most participants have low expectations and don’t think they’ll be able to stand up during their first lesson. When you and the rest of the group are successful, there’s excitement all around!

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What people are saying about Gold Coast

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 2,555 reviews

This was a family run cruise and worth every cent. The captain was entertaining, informative and encouraged the kids (and wannabe kids again) to have a steer of the boat. They have snacks on board that are complimentary and also drinks for purchase at very reasonable prices.

Great Captain, great crew ( of one ) the best of the canals of the Gold Coast in a fun& informative way. An hour & half of relaxation, information and pretty good jokes ! The margaritas excellent!

Nice relaxing afternoon on the river, the staff were friendly and informative. I think the sunset cruise would be fantastic to do. Great value for money.

Friendly and experienced Dive Guides. Great location and fun drive. I recommend 10/10

An amazing and enjoyable evening. Nice food. Was very entertaining.