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Best time to visit the Gold Coast Queensland Australia
Experience Oz Presents

The Best Time to Visit the

gold coast

by Experience Oz staff

South-East Queensland's sunny holiday hotspot has long been a favourite getaway destination for people not only all over Australia but internationally. This, in large part, is due to its consistent and enjoyable weather, beaches, and family-friendly attractions.

Stretching along an expansive length of coastline there are ample opportunities to enjoy marine and waterfront activities all over the Gold Coast. Add to this an inland area that brimming with greenery and an enjoyable nightlife scene, and there's little wonder such a versatile destination as the Gold Coast is a hit for all ages.

One of the city's major draw cards is its beautiful sunshine. With an average of 300 sunny days per year, the Gold Coast is unlike many other major destinations in the country who often see spikes of hot and cold, wet and dry seasons throughout the year. The Gold Coast's consistent weather patterns are one of the reasons it constantly draws crowds every month of the year.

The Best time to visit the Gold Coast Queensland Australia

But even out of this larger window, there are certain periods on the Gold Coast that are more desirable than others. So when, exactly, is the best time of year to visit the Gold Coast?

When combining a number of factors such as temperature, events, school holidays, pricing and more, it's our recommendation that the April to May period is the best time of year to visit the Gold Coast. But why? Let's take a more detailed look.

A brief summary of this article

  • End of April – May period best time to visit the Gold Coast due to comfortable weather, lower rainfall and lack of school holidays
  • Average temperatures during this period: Maximum 24.6°C (76.2°F) – Minimum 16.8°C (62.2 °F)
  • Avoid: mid-November to first week December due to annual Schoolies Week; also avoid in October due to Gold Coast 600 race, unless you're a motorsport fan
  • Events during this season: Blues on Broadbeach music festival, International Marine Expo, Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show
  • Top experiences and things to do: Visit a theme park, take a sightseeing cruise, visit Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, spend time on the Gold Coast beaches, lookout from SkyPoint, enjoy the nightclubs, go jet boating, visit Jupiter's Casino
  • Recommended day trip destinations: Gold Coast Hinterland, South Stradbroke Island, Byron Bay

Why the Gold Coast in April/May?

While it will be tempting for many to view the Gold Coast as a summer destination due to the potential for aquatic and beach activities, the hottest periods can get uncomfortably warm. With one of the highest UV ratings in the world, the potential for burning coupled with crowding from fellow holiday makers over the Christmas and New Year break, scores a few negative points in its favour.

Likewise, as one of Australia's go-to family destinations, the city becomes a haven for parents and children during school holiday breaks. This then leads to overcrowding at many of the top attractions and beaches, resulting in longer wait times, noisier surroundings, and increased accommodation prices.

While it might be tempting to view the Spring and Summer bridge as an ideal time to visit the Gold Coast (October to November), these months also have their downsides. October's preparations for the annual Gold Coast 600 V8 racing festival takes several weeks' preparation and can cause congestion on the roads, and the race itself draws thousands of people both domestically and internationally.

The Best time to visit the Gold Coast Queensland Australia

Image: Get Wet Surf School

Hotel prices during the Gold Coast 600 period are some of the highest of the year and can put a serious dent in your wallet if you're unaware of the race beforehand.

November and December see even more crowds drawn to the beaches and attractions, but are some of the most convenient times for families. However, the annual Schoolies Week celebrations aren't an attraction you particularly want young kids around.

Schoolies Week sees graduating year 12 students from around Queensland hold up in their hotel rooms and apartments drinking before moving down to the beach to continue celebrations. If you are looking to visit during this time, we advise staying outside of Surfers Paradise and only coming in to experience the attractions during the day.

Suggested Post: Top 10 Things to do on the Gold Coast

With the winter months bringing a slight temperature drop it makes the period following the Easter holidays one of the best times to visit this beautiful destination.

Organising your holiday around the middle to end of April through to May will allow you to enjoy some great weather. The weather is usually mild but sunny (temperatures average a minimum of 16.8 degrees C and 24.6 degrees C maximum) with low rainfall and hotel prices being at some of their lowest of the year.

The Best time to visit the Gold Coast Queensland Australia

This time of year provides the perfect balance of maximising savings, avoiding crowds and enjoying as many of the most popular activities. Additionally, there are several events taking place around the region that will allow you to enjoy the outdoors for little to no money.

The annual Blues on Broadbeach music festival brings a sense of liveliness to one of the Gold Coast's most trendy suburbs, which is located just a 5-10 minute drive south of the more famous hub of Surfers Paradise. Renowned for its high-quality dining, eating and nightlife, Broadbeach provides an additional dose of entertainment with renowned jazz artists putting on an entirely free concert in the streets and parkland. Spread out over a four day period, it's a great way to enjoy the outdoors.

Nautical enthusiasts will also be in their element during May on the Gold Coast as both the International Marine Expo and Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show are on. Featuring vessels of all sizes from tinnies to super-yachts, these events showcase all aspects of the seafaring world. The expos are supported by various sideshows and entertainment, with the Sanctuary Cove show in particular worth a visit due to its luxurious location.

The Gold Coast's more traditional attractions also shine brightly during the April and May period, again largely due to reduced numbers of visitors. The iconic theme parks are some of the regino's main selling points as a family holiday spot and aren't as crowded during this time. Regardless of if you are wanting to maximise your ride time or get the best seats for a show, it's an ideal time to go. Special theme park deals are often advertised this time of year, be sure to keep an our out on our theme park catalogue page for the latest passes.

The Best time to visit the Gold Coast Queensland Australia Theme Parks

Movie World

Should you prefer a dose of nature instead of thrill rides, both the Gold Coast Hinterland and South Stradbroke Island loom as promising day trip destinations. The Hinterland is an often-overlooked part of the Gold Coast that doesn't get enough credit with all the focus on beachfront activity. All it takes is roughly a 40-minute drive from Surfers Paradise to find yourself immersed in an area completely opposite from the glitter strip.

The Hinterland provides opportunities for the likes of rainforest walks, picnics overlooking magnificent panoramas, winery visits and glow worm caves. The mild weather during April and May removes the majority of the humidity the area sometimes experiences to make the experience entirely pleasant.

South Stradbroke Island is easy to access, the off-shore destination just a short distance from the mainland of the Gold Coast's northern end. Providing all the benefits of an island environment without major significant commercial development, South Stradbroke is a favourite camping destination of locals.

The island is easily accessed with day cruise, designated water taxis or even hire your own boat. The island is a pleasantly natural destination blanketed in conservation park and is popular for keen hikers and beach-lovers alike.

However you choose to spend your time on the Gold Coast, it's a destination that offers one of the most comprehensive arrays of things to see and do. When you align your visit with our recommended ideal time to visit, you'll no doubt come away with a positive and enjoyable impression that makes for a great all-round holiday.

How long should I stay on the Gold Coast?

Your time spent visiting the Gold Coast will largely depend on who you are travelling with. While a good all-around rule is a week, those with kids in tow may want to extend the experience to cover all the theme parks (you need to allow a full day for each) in addition to all the regular sightseeing and shopping on offer.

Suggested Post: Top Free Things to do with Kids on the Gold Coast

Similarly, adults who are planning to do more than just see the focal point of Surfers Paradise can extend stays further, particularly if you're willing to hire a car and travel inland or along the coast.

The Best time to visit the Gold Coast Queensland Australia Burleigh Heads Beach

Burleigh Beach

There are several shopping centres to browse, wineries and beaches to explore, and trips to take to the likes of the Hinterland, Stradbroke Island and even the popular northern NSW town of Byron Bay located just down the coast, each of which can take up a full day in and of themselves.

Suggested Post: Recommended Gold Coast Itineraries

Add to all of this the potential for a day trip to Brisbane and all its associated things to see and do, and it's possible to find enough entertainment on the Gold Coast to fill out a robust 10 day schedule, particularly if you're looking to spend one or two of those days simply soaking up the sunshine.

If you're looking for a range of all the best things to do in and around the Gold Coast throughout all periods of the year, be sure to visit our main Gold Coast region section to view and book all the top experiences online.

Browse Gold Coast Experiences