Your new Gold Coast bucket list

Nestled between sparkling seas and rainforest hinterland, the Gold Coast is the kind of place where you feel like you’re on holidays all year round. This laidback yet buzzing coastal city is a popular destination for couples, families, young people and the elderly alike, because it offers such an enjoyable mix of ways to get active and ways to recharge. It’s no wonder the locals seem like they’ve nailed the work-life balance so perfectly!

Whether you’d like to immerse yourself in evergreen nature, squeal your heart out on a rollercoaster, treat yourself to a lavish stage show or simply watch the beauty of the world slip by, the Gold Coast has something extraordinary to excite everyone’s taste. We’ve rounded up what we consider some of the most lust-worthy experiences to add to your bucket list.

Watch a spectacular sunrise from a hot air balloon

An early-morning hot-air balloon ride is enough to make even the most determined alarm-button snoozer leap out of bed. Clamber into a basket and rise up into the stillness of dawn before watching a magnificent sunrise over the sea. Soar over impressive skylines, pristine beaches, cow-flecked paddocks, mazes of canals and tree-covered hills for up to an hour, witnessing the gobsmacking beauty of the Gold Coast from the sky.

Escape to the rainforest

Ancient subtropical rainforest coats much of the Gold Coast hinterland. Take a break from the buzz of the beaches and escape up to national parks like Springbrook and Lamington to hike through mountains and valleys, catch a glimpse of a sugar glider and even bathe in a waterfall. At night, glow worms light up the cave at Natural Arch – be sure to bring a torch, but switch it off once you’re inside!

Indugle in an evening of night time entertainment

All year round, the Gold Coast plays host to a dizzying number of world-class shows, best enjoyed after dark with a cocktail (or mocktail) in hand. Slide on in to the avant-garde Spiegelclub for a glitzy cabaret performance, revel in the tantalising variety of comedy and burlesque presented at Draculas, or toss your stockman’s hat on to watch the incredible stunt performances of the Australian Outback Spectacular from the safety of an arena.

Park up at the beach

Long, sandy beaches line the whole Gold Coast, each one with its own unique natural setting. At Nobby Beach, after catching some rays amongst the rocky shade, wander up to the shore and find a stretch of funky shops and cafes. The pristine Tallebudgera Creek river mouth opens up next to a gorgeous headland with a walk definitely worth chucking your runners on for. It’s also the site of the Jellurgal Aboriginal Culture Centre, where you can learn about the region’s rich Indigenous culture history. If you’re a surfer, your new favourite beaches are likely to include Currumbin Alley, Snapper Rocks and Burleigh Head. And for those who are interested in learning how to surf, the safety of the well-patrolled Surfer’s Paradise is the ideal spot for a lesson.

Get to know the marine life

The Gold Coast is renowned for its abundance of diverse marine habitats and there are a wealth of options available when it comes to exploring them. From aboard a luxurious ocean vessel, greet a majestic humpback whale as she migrates past the shore; indulge in a mouth-watering fresh seafood lunch as you cruise the canals in a catamaran; traverse land and sea from the comfort of an Aquaduck as it transforms from a bus into a boat; head to Wavebreak Island to learn to dive or jump over to Moreton Island and snorkel around a ship wreck. Moreton Island is the third-largest sand island in the world, and is often surrounded by schools of friendly, playful dolphins.

Test your bravery at the Theme Park

If you’re an adrenaline junkie – or perhaps the parent of one – then you can’t go past at least of one the Gold Coast’s sprawling theme parks. Though they all boast a thrilling array of rides, some wild enough to turn even the strongest of stomachs, each one also offers something more unique. Movie World is the home of showbiz; Wet ‘n’ Wild has a bunch of subtropical zones to relax in; Sea World is a premier marine animal park and oceanarium, and Dreamworld – okay maybe Dreamworld is just jam-packed full of spine-tingling rides.

Start planning your visit to the Gold Coast here, with our range of curated experiences certain to make your holiday extraordinary. The Gold Coast is calling your name with experiences to suit every traveller whether its a quick weekend break or an extended stay.

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We acknowledge and pay respect to the Traditional Custodians of Country and their connections and continuous care for the skies, lands and waterways throughout Australia.