Famous for its surfer’s paradise, the Gold Coast is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Australia, and it’s for more than just surfing. The city has so many indigenous animals and plants worth seeing (not just Kangaroos). It also has a lively culture with film, music, movies and everything else you could imagine. There is a big list of things to do in Gold Coast. Scroll through to know it all.
There are plenty of extreme sports for those of us who like the thrill of it, and there are other safer, yet fun activities for the rest of us as well. We are talking about amusement parks, cruises, camping, surfing, exploring, trekking, biking, and everything else you could imagine.
No trip to Australia is complete without visiting this city. And if you’re wondering whether the city is called Gold Coast because it has an abundance of gold reserves or mines, well could you be more wrong? The city was named ‘Gold Coast’ because of the extremely high real estate prices. Although the locals found that name derogatory at the time, they realised it mixed well with newcomers and tourists, so they decided to stick with that name. Today, looking at the city’s beautiful sandy beaches, one might think that the place deserves the name.
Quick Facts About Gold Coast
Currency: Australian Dollar (1$=52 INR)
Religion: Catholic and Anglican
Location: in the state of Queensland
Languages: Most people speak English
Best time to Visit: Mar-May and Dec-Feb
Things To Do in Gold Coast For Thrill Lovers
Wet n Wild
This is Australia’s largest water theme park! Every water ride you could imagine, they have! Don’t miss out the Kamikaze ride while you’re there. They also have wheelchairs and strollers for hire so the whole family is taken care of. You’ll also find an excellent spread of refreshments there.
Timings: Mon-Sun 10am-5pm (except national holidays like Christmas)
Price: INR 4,000 for the day
Food: Try out the Twister DIY Soft Serve where you can get a bucketful of ice cream for yourself with custom toppings!
Shopping: go to the Surf Shop to get great souvenirs
Warner Bros Movie World
Also known as Australia’s number 1 theme park, Movie World has rides, parades, entertainment shows, stunt driving, exhibition and much more! Children (and adults) of all ages are welcome here, but a few rides require a minimum height of 155cm due to safety reasons. Some of the new exhibits include Wonder Woman, and Aquaman. You can buy food at the park as outside food is not allowed.
Timings: Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (except national holidays like Christmas)
Price: INR 5,000 for adults, free for kids under 3
Food: Try the Gotham City café, they make some of the juiciest burgers
Shopping: While there are many stores to buy souvenirs from, try out Original Graffix where you can get caps with customised graffiti.
Added Attraction: Visit Charlie & the Chocolate Factory to bring home some delightful sweets
It is a marine park where you can interact with dolphins, seals, penguin and even sharks! They offer a variety of options, including being a trainer for a day, snorkelling with corals, feeding penguins, etc. Additionally, they have entertainment shows, adventure rides and games. It’s a mix between a zoo, conservation, adventure park and safari. And there’s also a monorail going through the place. There are activities that are catered to every age group, and different levels of accessibility. Oh, and there’s great food too.
Timings: Every day 10 am-5 pm except Christmas
Price: INR 4000
Food: Try out the seafood basket at the Lakeside Café!
Shopping: you can buy a souvenir from one of the many stores there OR win one for yourself from the carnival games! There are a few select games where everyone goes home with a prize!
If you want to try all three of these parks, you can get a 3-day pass where you can visit each of them once for just INR 6,700!
Gold Coast Skydive
Do you want to fall from 12000 feet at the speed of 200km/hr with a view of a beautiful beach under you? Then this is for you! Gold Coast Skydive is the only place you can do tandem skydiving with Kirra beach as your landing. There is no extensive training required if you choose to do tandem skydiving as you’ll be strapped to an expert. They also offer free pickup from your location to the airport from where your journey begins.
Price: They have different packages starting from INR 17000
Shopping: You can get souvenirs starting at $7 (360 INR)
Photography: Not allowed due to safety. But you can buy photo/ video packages.
Catch the Waves
Going to the Gold Coast is not complete until you hop on a surfboard and try catching the perfect waves of this coastal city. If you’ve never picked up a surfboard before, fret not! Many instructors specialize in training beginners, try out.
- Get Wet Surf School
- Learn to Surf
- 1st Wave Surf School
Classes cost around INR 2,000 for beginners for the duration of 2 hours. This will be enough for you to be able to catch a few light waves.
Things To Do In Gold Coast For Adventure Lovers
Hot Air Balloon
Ever wondered what the sunrise looks like over the Gold Coast? Balloon Aloft lets you find out by taking you a couple of kilometres up in the air in a hot air balloon. One basket can hold up to 24 people so that you can bring the family along. The trip starts at 5 am so you don’t miss the sunrise and it ends with a luxurious breakfast at around 6 am. There is an expert commentary included as well, in English.
Timing: 1-hour journey starting at 5 am
Price: INR 12,000 per adult
Food: Breakfast with Champagne at the Mercure Resort
Through Water and Air
This fantastic combo by Paradise Jet Boating starts with a 55 min long jet boat ride around the waterways of the city and ends with a 5-minute helicopter ride with a panoramic view of the town! The jet boat even takes you into a restricted Marine Park.
Timings: 2-hour trip with timings from 9 am to 4 pm
Price: INR 7,000 per adult
Shopping: Shop souvenirs starting $5 (INR 250)! Buy the beer cooler for INR 500
Cruise Your Way Through Gold Coast
Wyndham Cruises provides 2-hour cruises that the whole family can go on! Enjoy the view of the beautiful city while basking in the warmth of the afternoon sun. There is a commentator who guides you in English- giving you an informational tour. Try to spot as may celebrity homes while you’re at it!
Timings: 12 pm to 2 pm every day
Price: INR 2500 per adult (kids under 2 go for free)
Food: Lunch buffet on the cruise included
Things To Do For Nature Lovers in Gold Coast
Watch Glow Worms On a Night Tour
It looks just as good as it sounds- the tour takes you into caves at night where you can see nocturnal animals and glow worms on the walls illuminating the caves. You’re allowed into the restricted area during this tour and get a close-up view that no one else can. You’re accompanied by a guide who makes the experience all the more worth it.
Timings: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Price: INR 5,000
Food: Not included, eat before the tour
Visit the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Ever wanted to meet the internet-famous Capybara? Or perhaps hug a koala? Feed kangaroos? These are the things we think Australia is all about, and well, the Currumbin Sanctuary has it all! There are 15 different animal encounters. They also have aboriginal dances from which you can learn about the country’s pre-European history. The sanctuary is a not-for-profit organization that invests in the protection of the environment.
Timings: 8 am to 5 pm except Christmas
Price: INR 2,600 per adult
Food: Try Wild Burger and be entertained by Blinky Bill while having your lunch.
Photography: You can buy a daily photo pass for an additional INR 2000. It ensures professional photos are taken throughout the day. And you can either send them to your family or get them printed at the end of the day.
Shopping: there are plenty of souvenirs to buy, including koala stuffed toys! They also sell Australian made products, including aboriginal trinkets-try mastering how to throw a boomerang!
Things To Do in Gold Coast For Foodies
Slice of Lamington Cake
Made by covering regular sponge cake in chocolate and rolling it in coconut, Lamington is a cult favourite here. The inside also has a jam filling. Don’t skip this treat while you’re in Australia.
Where to Eat: Karma Cupcakes
Timings: 9 am to 5:30 pm, except for Sundays
Price: INR 200
Australians love it. The rest of the world think this is a prank Australians like to pull on strangers. You either love it or hate it. You won’t know until you try. Vegemite is usually spread on toast or added to sandwiches. You can buy it from any supermarket for about INR 100. And yes, it’s vegetarian.
Betty’s Burgers & Concrete Co
They’re famous for their burgers but don’t be tempted to only stick to that as the rest of their menu is excellent too. They have great vegetarian options as well. Same with gluten-free food, you can choose the ‘bare’ option if you want just a lot of meat and no buns.
Price: INR 500 to 1,500
Try Kangaroo Steak
As cute as the Australian mascot may look, they taste pretty good too! Similar to veal, kangaroo tastes a bit gamey and well, has less fat content than beef or pork. That’s why it’s usually mixed in with fat to make sausages or burgers. But while in Australia, it wouldn’t be right if you didn’t try a kangaroo steak! Try it at Seascape Restaurant & Bar.
Timings: 12 pm to 11 pm
Price: INR 2,000 for the Steak, Wine, and Sides
Leisure Things To Do in Gold Coast
Visit the Local Markets
There are plenty of flea markets and such in the city. Here are a few you shouldn’t miss: Night Quarter, Burleigh Markets, Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets, Broad Beach Art and Craft Markets.
Sky Observation Deck
It gives you a bird’s eye view of the beautiful city. A place to visit in Gold Coast for the travellers who want to immerse themselves into the iconic skyline of the city.
Price: INR 1,300
Experience Cabaret Shows
The Gold Coast has a lively cultural scene. Make sure to catch a couple of cabaret shows while you’re there! Watch the Dracula’s Cabaret Show (INR 2600), and you’re sure to be entertained! It features a 3-hour show as well as a 3-course dinner (with alcohol!)
Helpful Information For Traveling in Gold Coast
- Emergency number (police, fire, ambulance): 000
- You can add Gold Coast to your itinerary and travel to other cities on the Australian coast like Brisbane, Newcastle, Byron etc. by car.
- The weather is usually warm so pack light. During winters a light jacket can be worn. Don’t forget your sunscreen!
Transport Information For Gold Coast
- The whole city is connected by buses running around the clock. The most popular service is the Surfside Buslines.
- Cabs, although available, can be quite expensive. Larger groups can book stretch limousines. Uber is available as well! You can rent cars (such as with international companies like Avis) and even bikes (such as with Crooze)!
- The Gold Coast Railway and the metro (G: link) connect the significant spots in the city. The metro goes every 8 minutes. They have a detailed website that shows the train and tram lines throughout the city.
As you can see, the Gold Coast offers way more than high waves. The city has something for everyone – Sports, Adventure, Music, Theatre, Food, Wildlife, and more. Don’t be surprised if spending just a week is not enough to see all its glory – the Gold Coast deserves a trip all for itself.