The Gold Coast has long been Australia’s premier holiday destination for people of all persuasions – with one of the widest ranges of things to do of any region for visitors both local and international, the Gold Coast is a holiday playground full of activities, attractions, tours and more – both the man-made and the natural.
Mention the Gold Coast to any Australian family and what almost certain will come to mind will be the dazzling array of Gold Coast beaches, nightclubs, theme parks, and more that mean there is truly something for everyone. With such a bevy of options for things to do while on the Gold Coast, it can be incredibly hard if visiting for a short period to decide on a set itinerary that gives you the best combination of both enjoyment and bang for your buck.
Thus Experience Oz has put together some recommended Gold Coast itineraries of holidays for people looking to stay for lengths of 2, 3, 4 and 5 days. We hope that these suggestions will assist the first-time visitor in formulating an efficient and highly enjoyable Gold Coast sightseeing plan that assures no essential sight is left unseen, and that your time on the Gold Coast is maximised to its fullest!
Visit the Theme Parks
Visit a Gold Coast Theme Park: The theme parks on the Gold Coast are renowned throughout Australia as highly entertaining destinations, and they draw millions of visitors each and every year, and there are a variety of parks that each place an emphasis on a different form of entertainment.
Choose from single park entries to parks such as Dreamworld, Sea World, MovieWorld, Wet n Wild and Whitewater World, or save money and get multiple visits by buying any one of the many great value theme park passes available, each of which provide different benefits to the pass holder. Whether you choose to visit one, two or all of the Gold Coast’s theme parks, you’ll end up having plenty to do that will more than fill your days.
Explore the hinterland
Scenic Day Tour of the Gold Coast Hinterland: The Gold Coast’s hinterland offers an impressive array of rolling hills, lush mountains and spectacular views all located within easy reach of Surfers Paradise and other main accommodation areas. Providing a refreshing, natural break from the glitz and glamour of the Gold Coast’s centre, the hinterland is one of the region’s best-kept secrets, and a tour will take you to some of the most verdant, lush and visually striking displays of waterfalls, rainforests and amazing lookout points in South-East Queensland.
Travel the Gold Coast Waterways and Australian Outback Spectacular Show
Gold Coast Waterways Cruise + Australian Outback Spectacular: The Gold Coast is also famous for its waterways – both its extensive canal system and clean, glittering ocean are a major drawcard, so it makes sense that a cruise along these waters would be a scenic way to explore the city’s surrounding areas. A river / canal cruise from the heart of Surfers Paradise will let you view the many highlights in the area, the beautiful broadwater, the waterfront mansions and many more features all while relaxing in style and comfort.
After you’ve seen the sights aboard your cruise, we recommend attending one of the most popular evenings of entertainment on the Gold Coast – the Australian Outback Spectacular! This must-see Gold Coast dinner show features an amazing cast of characters, magnificent animals (with an emphasis on iconic Australian stock horses), stunning special effects and a delicious three-course dinner. Tickets to the Outback Spectacular must be purchased for a specific day and session times frequently sell out quickly, so be sure to get in early with your booking so you can attend the day you want.
Day trip to Byron Bay
Byron Bay Tour from the Gold Coast: Only a short journey from the Gold Coast is Byron Bay; known as the alternative lifestyle capital of Australia, Byron is a charming town situated amongst some of the most scenic landscape in northern New South Wales, with its famous lighthouse being perhaps its most well-known icon. On a tour to Byron Bay from the Gold Coast you will pass through rainforests, coastal and hinterland towns as you head south to this wonderful destination that is situated beside Australia’s easternmost cape.
Start the morning with Hot Air Ballooning followed by a trip up the Q1
SkyPoint Climb + Observation Deck / Hot Air Ballooning: The Q1 towers over Surfers Paradise as the world’s tallest residential building, and its Skypoint Observation Deck is the best place on the Gold Coast from which to gain spectacular views of the scenery that stretches from Brisbane in the north to Byron Bay in the south. You needn’t just stand on the observation deck however; the new Skypoint Climb experience allows you to go OUTSIDE the glass and experience an open-air adventure atop the building 270 metres above sea level.
Harnessed to a purpose-built safety rail system, you’ll be escorted up the walkway and enjoy unparalleled views, expert commentary and more. Likewise, to get even higher and experience the Gold Coast’s rich tapestry of contrasting landscapes, a Hot Air Ballooning adventure is not to be missed. Float on the gentle breeze and drift over this amazing panorama for a highly memorable experience to cap off your fifth day!
In addition, if you are looking for further ideas on activities, attractions and other things to do on the Gold Coast, don’t hesitate to check out our main Gold Coast region section for an extended catalogue of things to do!