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Top 10 Things to do on a Rainy Day on the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is a city that has built its reputation as a tourism destination almost entirely based on its famously consistent weather that provides an estimated average of around 300 days worth of sunshine per year. Because of this, on those occasions when the weather turns sour, people are often left with cancelled plans and asking what to do on the Gold Coast on a rainy day.

To lend a hand, we've put together a list of some of the best things to do on the Gold Coast on rainy days in order to get the most out of your holiday or day out - weather be damned!

10. Infinity Attraction

Location: Chevron Renaissance Centre, Surfers Paradise Infinity Attraction

Infinity has been a long standing, highly popular and completely unique indoor Gold Coast attraction that offers a mind-blowing journey into a maze-like world of wonder - a combination of optical illusions, dazzling visual effects and technology combine to make for a distinctly memorable experience.

This is an attraction that is made up of an amazing series of around twenty multi-sensual environments filled with unique special effects, atmospheric sound fields, cool music and more. It's a great place to visit for both kids and adults that will give you an escape from the rainy weather outside and leave you feeling as though you are in another universe!

Infinity sits within the Chevron Renaissance complex across the road from main Surfers Paradise, which is a popular area for both retail shopping and some quality restaurants - as a result it's a great combination to mix a trip to Infinity with lunch for a wholesome couple of hours worth of entertainment.

Suitable for all ages and located right in the heart of Surfers Paradise, Infinity is easily accessible and great fun - although those with younger children may want to consider their level of tolerance for these kinds of effects as the visual illusions may prove scary for the extremely young. Simply put, go to Infinity and challenge your senses!

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9. Gold Coast Arts Centre and Art Gallery

Location: 135 Bundall Rd, Bundall Gold Coast Arts Centre and Art Gallery

As a relatively small city when compared with its global reputation, the Gold Coast is rather lacking in pure cultural experiences such as museums, exhibitions and art galleries, all of which typically make for great things to do on rainy days. Your best bet on the Gold Coast, if you're after a dose of culture, is the Gold Coast Arts Centre and the small yet modern Art Gallery.

Located on Bundall Road in Southport along the banks of the Nerang River, the Gold Coast Arts Centre is an easily identifiable building with a unique design. It plays host to a comfortable theatre offering a selection of arthouse and indie films, which can make for a refreshing break from the standard explosion-filled Hollywood blockbusters playing at mainstream cinemas. The cinema itself features full Dolby Digital surround sound, so it isn't like a small-scale theatre. Free parking makes it that little bit more appealing, too.

The Arts Centre has a quality cafe to enjoy a meal, and there's even the option to take a wine or coffee into the cinema. In addition to the theatre, the Gold Coast Arts Centre also offers a pair of little art galleries that may be small on size but are big on enthusiasm, and feature around 20 different exhibitions focusing on a variety of artistic themes and types throughout the year.

The curators who work there are enthusiastic and helpful, which can help make up for the lack of size although in truth you are most likely only really going to be able to spend a maximum of half an hour viewing what the galleries have on offer. But hey, entry is free (with donations appreciated), and if you combine the gallery with a trip to its theatre, the Gold Coast Arts Centre is a very viable rainy day activity.

8. Escape Hunt

Location: 162 Scarborough St, Southport Escape Hunt

Aspiring detectives can try their hand at being Sherlock Holmes for the day solving murder mysteries and kidnappings at the relatively new and popular Escape Hunt Experience in Southport. Participants are given 1 hour to try to save the life of an heiress, solve a murder, or decipher cryptic codes and messages relating to a crime - and each requires a mixture of logic and teamwork to achieve.

There are three different adventures to choose which all range in difficulty; simply choose from one experience, or extend the fun by combining all three as you and your friends or family are locked in a room to solve the crime. Clues are provided to help you solve the crime in the time period provided, and result in a real sense of achievement upon unlocking the mystery.

Each adventure lasts around 90 minutes, which provides a solid chunk of entertainment for the price, and is all totally indoors in rooms with atmospheric decor that's befitting of the Victorian era of England from which much of the theme is based.

This is a fun activity to get your brain going and requires teamwork and thinking outside the box, and one that all ages with an appreciation for logic can enjoy. Escape Hunt is open 7 days a week from 10am-10pm.

Come face to face with a pride of lions, see playful monkeys and cheetahs having fun in their homes, and discover the zoo's family of hippos at the Kubu River Hippos experience. All of the enclosures are reflective of the principle of keeping the animals roaming free rather than caged in specific exhibits and this is what gives the zoo a more comfortable advantage when compared to other zoos around the country.

If you're in Melbourne and have even a passing interest in animals and wildlife, then Werribee Open Range Zoo is a definite must-do while in the area.

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7. Holoverse Holographic Experience

Location: 59 Nerang St, Southport Holoverse Holographic Experience

Holoverse is the world’s first hologram centre to open to visitors and one of the newest attractions to open on the Gold Coast. Using hologram technology players can interact with artificial worlds to solve a problem, play a game or immerse yourself in a virtual world.

Each player is given their own room to move around freely and interact with the game to accrue points. The experience is like being inside a video game and is suitable for all ages from 6 years and above. There are two games or you can check out their themed sessions such as ‘Fly over the Gold Coast’ and ‘Holographic Planetarium’.

It's amazing how much the mind can process some of the digital scenes on offer to give the impression of, for example, walking out on a ledge of a skyscraper above a bustling city below. It's not just passive observation, however, as the "backpack" you're given to wear also includes a special "wand" device that allows you to simulate things like chopping through rock walls with a mining pick, harvesting fruit, and many other interesting scenarios.

Holoverse is a little out of the way of the main "tourist" strip of Surfers Paradise being located in Southport, however it's both just a short drive away and easily accessible via public transport (just around the corner from Australia Fair shopping centre and an easy walk from the nearby tram station).

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6. iFLY Indoor Skydiving

Location: Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise iFly Indoor Skydiving

Another popular and modern indoor attraction on the Gold Coast, iFLY serves to fulfil all the dreams of flying for those who may never want to actually try skydiving from thousands of feet in the air. Located just a short walk from the centre of Surfers Paradise, iFLY utilises a truly powerful force of air to defy gravity and push participants up into the air - all within the safety of a glass wind tunnel.

Participants undergo a safety briefing and some basic instruction, then don a purpose-designed aerodynamic jumpsuit and helmet before entering the tunnel proper and feeling the awesome sensation of being suspended in mid-air. Once acquainted with the initial balance, you'll soon get a sense of how to master the different free-fall methods that allow you to progress through the different levels of skill and experience.

It's both fun and a sensation like no other, and in many ways serves as a great introduction for skydiving, as well as being a thoroughly enjoyable experience in its own right. Those looking to take part in an iFLY session have a number of different packages to choose from, ranging from shorter and cheaper intro packages to extended and advanced multi-session bundles that represent better overall value for those planning repeat visits.

A true tip of the cap must also be given to the highly skilled and helpful staff who are both friendly, highly skilled and helpful in allaying any nerves or fears for first-time participants. For those who are curious but not sure about committing to a session, visiting the iFLY complex serves as an entertaining way to pass some time on a rainy day in Surfers Paradise, as you'll be able to watch other participants defy gravity!

Audio commentary is also provided along the way for tourists that helps to point out key buildings and history while travelling from one destination to the next. The City Circle Tram is a great, efficient way to get around the city, at the best possible price, free!

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5. Gold Coast War Museum

Location: 2 John Rogers Rd, Mudgeeraba Gold Coast War Museum

This relatively unknown attraction at Mudgeeraba is, in fact, one of the Gold Coast's few - and best - historical exhibits, having been in existence for decades to grow into one of Australia's largest collections of military memorabilia.

While the Gold Coast War Museum is small - the rest of the facility is used for paintball - there's an extensive amount of war artefacts here that covers a number of different wars from both sides' perspectives. Conflicts ranging all the way from the Boa War through to Iraq are covered here, and there's plenty of information to absorb described via diagrams, notes and other collections on various conflicts throughout world history.

Items on display encompass weapons such as rifles, guns, bayonets, uniforms, and even torpedoes from armies that include Australia as well as Germany, Japanese, and even the Vietcong. Visitors can even sit in a military helicopter!

A must-visit for military buffs or those with any interest in history, the Gold Coast War Museum comes with a very reasonable entry price of $10 for adults and $5 for children, and is entirely indoors for a dose of the historic on a rainy day.

4. Superbee Honeyworld

Location: 35 Tomewin St, Currumbin Superbee Honeyworld

Those looking to indulge their sweet tooth on rainy days can head to Superbee Honeyworld. This is an easily accessible attraction just off the Gold Coast Highway that sits across the road from the popular Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and covers all aspects of honey production.

Visitors to Honeyworld can take the chance to sample a wide array of different types of honey (over 20 in total), with some unusual and rare types such as Eucalyptus and even Ginger that are all of the exceptionally high quality. Detailed explanations of the honey process from collection to consumption are given with a degree of passion and insight that makes the experience enjoyable.

Superbee Honeyworld also has a viewing room in which to peer and see active beehives inside, as well as a live demonstration on honey collection that's made all the more worthwhile thanks to the helpful and friendly attendants who work at the attraction.

Educational and entertaining - as well as a great spot to grab a couple of unique souvenirs - this is a great spot for visitors from overseas, while also popular for those with children.

3. Timezone Surfers Paradise

Location: Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise Timezone Surfers Paradise

Long one of the Gold Coast's top attractions for kids (and kids at heart), the Timezone arcade in the heart of Surfers Paradise has continually grown and modernised over the years. The complex has also streamlined their pricing and points systems to make for a flexible and fun way to while away as many hours as you like.

There's a staggering number and variety of games, challenges and even rides here to the point that it's almost a mini-theme-park, and is surprisingly large in size. With a visit here, you'll be able to take part in the likes of shooting galleries, dodgem cars, skill testers, mini golf, and a nearly endless number of video and arcade games of all types. There are even photo booths to snap some fun shots!

Given the extensive range of things to do, Timezone also comes very reasonably priced. There are a number of flexible passes and package options that provide unlimited time-based options, pay-per-play style, and other customisable choices where you truly only pay for what you need.

As an added bonus for parents, there are plenty of opportunities for shopping in the surrounding area, so it's possible to enjoy a dose of retail therapy while the kids are having a blast at Timezone. It's open until midnight every day, too, meaning it's never too late to get some quality indoor entertainment during rainy days and nights.

2. Dracula's Cabaret Restaurant

Location: 1 Hooker Blvd, Broadbeach Dracula's Cabaret Restaurant

This long-running slice of humorous adult entertainment is one of the best night's out on the Gold Coast regardless of weather, but on those evenings where wandering the streets aren't viable because of rain it becomes even more so. Dracula's provides a multi-hour evening of live, stage-based entertainment that comes with a surprisingly high-quality meal to boot.

A cabaret restaurant themed around a song, dance, acrobatics, burlesque, and stand up comedy show, Dracula's always a highly entertaining tongue-in-cheek night out that's ideal for those who don't take themselves too seriously. The talented cast do a great job of carrying the show, and their ability to be eternally enthusiastic when performing the same musical numbers and gags night in and night out is admirable. As an added note, the show's two main comedians are truly witty.

An evening at Dracula's involves enough variety to keep things fresh as the show is split into numerous skits and musical numbers to avoid stagnation. The production also changes on a regular basis so that multiple visits over the years always brings something fresh and new.

Dracula's is in an easily accessible location at Broadbeach just off the Gold Coast Highway (across the road from shopping centre Pacific Fair), and offers both regular and VIP packages that come with bonuses such as closer to stage seating, canapes, a free drink and gift bag. For some crude, simple and enjoyable fun, Dracula's is an adult's best friend on the Gold Coast.

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1. The Star Casino

Location: 1 Casino Dr, Broadbeach The Star Casino

One of the Gold Coast's ultimate hubs for adult indoor entertainment, The Star Hotel and Casino offers plenty of variety for things to keep you occupied indoors. Many of these are in addition to the obvious ability to have a punt at its extensive arrange of tables, machines, and other gambling activities.

The Star contains a number of high-quality restaurants for starters, that cover a range of cuisines including high quality Italian, Chinese and Japanese as well as a buffet, pub-style and a la carte offerings for all ages to enjoy. The restaurants also cover different budgetary levels as well, so those both looking to splash out and keep things reasonable are catered for here.

The Star is also host to regular live performances, both within its multi-million dollar theatre that has seen the likes of stage shows, musicals, concerts, and more, as well as in its Prince Albert Bar and general function areas. There's always something going on here, and given it's open at all hours makes for an easy to recommend go-to spot during poor weather.

As a multi-purpose entertainment venue, The Star ticks all the boxes, and for those looking to have a flutter combined with a decent meal it's another solid night time option during rainy evenings.

PLEASE NOTE: The Star Casino's theatre is not currently running theatre shows; check back in the future for updates on entertainment options as the situation progresses.