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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.   

Moreton Island: Dolphin and Tangalooma Wrecks Day Cruise

2. 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.

Gold Coast: Australian Outback Spectacular Dinner & Show

3. Gold Coast: Australian Outback Spectacular Dinner & Show

Discover the stories of the Outback with this entry ticket to the Australian Outback Spectacular show. Follow the tale of 2 struggling Aussie farmers, marvel at the skills of acrobats, and enjoy a 3-course meal. Head into the venue and sit down to enjoy a gripping tale. As you watch, rejoice with the farmers as the community's courage help them overcome an unforgiving life on the land. See their story performed by talented acrobats and animal stars. As you journey through the heartland of Australia, enjoy a delicious three-course meal with drinks.

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: Wave Break Island Kayaking & Snorkeling tour

5. 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: Sightseeing Cruise with Buffet Lunch

6. Gold Coast: Sightseeing Cruise with Buffet Lunch

Discover the Gold Coast in luxury and embark on a sightseeing cruise while enjoying a delicious buffet lunch. Gaze at panoramic views on the upper deck, and watch the city skyline pass you by. Taste delicious king prawns, roast chicken, or fresh-baked ham, then enjoy a tasty cocktail. Step aboard the luxurious vessel, Spirit of Elston, and enjoy one of the best sightseeing and dining experiences on the Gold Coast. Take in views that showcase some of the city's most famous landmarks, such as the glittering waters of the Gold Coast Broadwater, Sea World, and the glamorous Palazzo Versace. Satisfy your appetite with an irresistible buffet lunch, including locally sourced king prawns, succulent roast chicken, freshly baked ham off the bone and delicious salads. Pair lunch with wine, craft beer, or treat yourself to a tasty cocktail. Head upstairs to the open-air top deck and soak in the sunshine with a drink in hand, while listening to entertaining commentary from our expert crew about the iconic Gold Coast.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Ticket

7. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Ticket

Delight in a close encounter with Australia’s unique native wildlife at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, centrally located on the Gold Coast and just a 30-minute drive from Surfers Paradise. Explore the 27-hectare sanctuary, home to over 1,400 Australian native wildlife. Meet koalas, echidnas, wombats, Tasmanian devils, kangaroos, emus, and dingoes. 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 13 interactive keeper shows daily 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!  Lost Valley Take in the beauty of this 5-hectare rainforest as you wind your way along elevated boardwalks, whilst discovering exotic wildlife. Uncover the secrets of the ancient supercontinent Gondwana and explore a forgotten world.

Gold Coast: Natural Bridge & Springbrook Waterfalls Tour

8. Gold Coast: Natural Bridge & Springbrook Waterfalls Tour

The Goondawanna Rainforests have so much to offer and are only a short drive from the Gold Coast beaches. This small group tour offers a truly personalized experience and door- to-door service from your central Gold Coast hotel.  Visit the stunning Natural Arch waterfall with a fully-guided walk from an expert local guide.  Learn about the unique flora and fauna of the rainforest as you make your way.  From inside the cave see the water cascading through the roof of the basalt cave formed over millions of years.  Continuing the tour, "Best of All Lookout" offers a view of northern New South Wales and Mount Warning.  The walk to this magnificent lookout takes you through one of the few remaining pockets of the ancient Antarctic Beech forest. Then head off to the nearby viewing platform to see the enchanting Purling Brook Falls.  During the journey, tour commentary on the area and wildlife is provided along with the great scenery of the Numinbah Valley. Take in the views of Twin Falls and Rainbow Falls from Canyon Lookout on the way home.  On the return journey to the Gold Coast, sightings of kangaroos and pretty-faced wallabies are common, as they emerge from their bush retreats to feed on the lush grass in the cooler part of the day.

Gold Coast: Jet Boat Ride and Scenic Helicopter Tour

9. 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: 55-Minute Extreme Jet Boat Ride

10. Gold Coast: 55-Minute Extreme Jet Boat Ride

If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, excitement and incredible view then look no further than this exhilarating jet boat ride departing from the heart of Surfers Paradise. The 55-minute ride is great value for money and offers a novel way to check out the stunning Gold Coast from the beautiful local waterways. Don't just go to the same old tourist attractions, enjoy an exhilarating and unique experience instead. The luxurious 5-star jet boats are equipped with padded seats to ensure you are as comfortable as possible during your trip. Sit back and enjoy the thrill of Jet Boat Extreme's 650-horsepower twin jet-power turbo engines, which will take you to up to 80 kilometers per hour on the water.  All this with low-level engine noise and well-known safety features of diesel turbo engines. The experienced, hand-selected jet boat drivers ensure both fun and safety on this extreme playground.

Available activities

  • Gold Coast water adventures
  • Aussie marine life & snorkeling
  • Rainforest tours & more
  • Aussie theme parks
  • Pacific surfing
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What people are saying about Gold Coast

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 2,555 reviews

Really easy going staff and enjoyable experience. Would definitely recommend! The kayaking isn’t too tiring and the walk is easy, the sandy trail is also quite picturesque. The snorkelling was very fun, however the water can be murky depending on the weather, (if overcast). Even though we had some overcast weather we still saw quite a few fish. All of the guides were great too! 5/5 stars ☺️☺️

Daniel our guide was fantastic. Very knowledgeable and passionate about his job. Pointing out bush good and interest info on the area we toured. Nice stop at the winery and alpaca farm at the end. Really enjoyable. Thank you.

Absolutely loved this boat cruise complementary with buffet lunch!! Great views and atmosphere whole family enjoyed it! Well worth it

Enjoined the amphibious trip from land to water and back to land. Excellent staff

So worthy! Enjoyable and fun tour with a guide. Also luckily, I saw dolphins!!!