The Gold Coast, located in the Australian state of Queensland, is a must-see destination for any luxury traveler. Whether you’re on a solo adventure, exploring with friends, or on a family vacation, there is something here for everyone. It’s home to some of Australia’s most well-loved and well-known attractions, including theme-parks, beaches and wildlife sanctuaries.
If you’re planning your visit to the Gold Coast, you may find it beneficial to hire a vehicle. As the Gold Coast is vast, nearby National Parks and attractions are easiest to access by car or motorhome hire. A motorhome is also a great way to enjoy Australia in general, which is a perfect place for a road trip.
With a choice of amazing attractions and things to do, we hope this list of 9 top Gold Coast attractions, helps you organize a fun and memorable holiday in tropical Queensland.
The Gold Coast is renowned for its nightlife, with the variety of clubs, pubs and bars attracting fun seekers from all over. Each year when high school graduates finish their secondary schooling, these school leavers descend on the region, which is referred to as “Schoolies”. However, at all times of the year, the Gold Coast is buzzing with nighttime fun and excitement.
Pub crawls and party buses are available as tours, for those that want safety in numbers, or for a quieter evening, choose from one of the many cafés or world-class restaurants.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary has been in operation for decades, and houses an abundance of native animals. Perhaps the highlight on this one-of-a-kind sanctuary however, is the animals that are not housed in it! Twice each day, in the morning and late afternoon, local lorikeet parrots flock to the park to be fed by visitors. These spectacularly bright feathered friends are not caged here, but live in the nearby areas. The sanctuary provide the feeding trays and appropriate food, and visitors hold the platters above their head and don’t wait long before being inundated! The lorikeets are not at all shy, and you will undoubtedly leave with a photo albums worth of happy snaps!
The Surfers Paradise strip of the Gold Coast, is a vibrant and buzzing stretch that is the tourism heart of the region. It’s home to the most famous beach, a plethora of restaurants, bars and nightclubs, and unique attractions like the wax museum and Ripleys Believe it or Not Museum of Curiosities.
The strip here also offers visitors plenty of other things to do, including shopping at one of the many centers, walking or cycling through nearby parks, and visiting nearby beaches.
Lamington National Park
This impressive National Park is easily accessible for those that hired a vehicle or a campervan for their visit. Featuring ancient Gondwanan rainforests, waterfalls, hiking trails and wildlife, this is an unmissable natural attraction.
If you are nearby in the evening, you should also take a self-guided, or book a tour, to see the natural bridge. This cave contains a colony of glow worms, that light up like the night sky, and are worth the short walk to get here.
Southport Broadwater Parklands
If you’re looking for a nice walk, this parkland is one of the best on the Gold Coast! Perfect for picnics, the expanse of green grass is the opportune place to lay a rug and get comfy.
Families will love the Rockpools, which feature a pirate ship for young children to play, and interactive learning equipment. For bigger kids, they will love the Washington Waters Play area, opposite the Australia Fair shopping plaza. Here they can enjoy the flying fix, tandem pedal rides via monorail, and the huge inflatable bouncing cushion.
This region just north of Surfers Paradise, is the perfect beach for families. Providing a calm, sheltered swimming spot, with a nearby RSL to pick up some lunch.
The attached playground is also popular with kids, and the bathroom amenities make it ideal to shower off after a swim. If you are interested in paddle boarding, lessons are available from the beach here too, and a campground is located across the road, for those that love it so much they want to spend more than just a day!
David Fleay Wildlife Park
The David Fleay Wildlife Park is one of the largest wildlife parks in Australia, and located in the vicinity of Tallebudgera. It is home to a menagerie of animal species, many of which are either threatened or endangered.
The park was founded in the 1950s, and it’s been a popular destination ever since.
There is a daily flight show, which features large birds of prey, and a nocturnal house, where you can spy rare and unusual creatures like the platypus.
With its wide range of attractions, it’s no surprise that golf is another popular pastime for locals and visitors alike. If you’re looking for an unforgettable golfing experience, you will not be disappointed. With 27-holes available, and home to the Australia PGA Championship seven years running between 2012-2019, the RACV Royal Pines Resort Golf Course is a popular option. But there are many others, including Emerald Lakes, Links Hope Island, Southport and Sanctuary Cove.
For those that don’t take their golfing too seriously, you will find mini-golf in Surfers Paradise or Mermaid Beach. Topgolf is another perfect option for family fun, and features a high-tech entertainment venue, complete with driving range, games and lounge bar.
These permanent weekend markets are open each Saturday and Sunday, and also host special one-off events every now and then too – such as plant popup sales, book festivals and psychic fairs.
The fixed stalls who operate at Carrara Markets every week, include a huge variety of clothes, shoes, art, toys, souvenirs, food vendors and more. There is a reptile show, face painting and a family fun lane as well, plus a walk in butterfly house and mini-golf.
Even if you don’t leave with any shopping, you are certain to enjoy a meal, ranging from an all-day-long breakfast menu, to gelato, burgers, fresh fruit and produce, and even dog treats!