20 Things To Do on the Gold Coast (You won’t regret moving here!)
Are you looking to move to a city that ticks all the boxes? You may be starting to think that a lifestyle of scenic bike paths, shimmering beaches and trendy restaurants simply does not exist all in the one place, but we’re here to tell you, it certainly does exist on the sunny Gold Coast.
It is quite possible you overlooked the Gold Coast when on the hunt for a new home. In the past, the city’s reputation was defined by a loud nightlife and crowded theme parks. If this is your impression of the city, we would not be surprised if you were considering a move to Brisbane instead. However, this is simply not the case. The Gold Coast is home to many breathtaking natural attractions, scenic bike paths and trendy suburban cafes. Whether you are a young single or an established family, there is an enviable lifestyle awaiting in this balmy beach side town.
Do we have your attention now?
Looking past the common tourist attractions, there are plenty of hidden gems just waiting to be discovered on the Gold Coast. If you are planning a move to the Gold Coast, familiarising yourself with these local hot spots will have you feeling settled in no time – and no doubt eager to get out and about.
Moving to the Gold Coast? Here are 20 things to do!
1. Get To Know Main Beach
Take some time to find your bearings and explore some of the coolest suburbs to be found on the Gold Coast.
As the name suggests, Main Beach is known as the main surfing beach in the town of Southport. Simply visiting the hustle and bustle of Main Beach is a new adventure in itself, but the true Main Beach experience can be found away from the beachfront at Tedder Avenue. Here you will find an authentic surf atmosphere with some of the best local cafes, bars and boutique shopping.
2. The ‘Spit’
While visiting Main Beach, you may want to soak in a little culture at Southport Spit, known only as ‘The Spit’ to locals. Right on the water’s edge sits a casual beachfront cafe called Pavilion 23. But don’t be fooled, this is no ordinary cafe. Besides boasting the best ‘Chikko’ rolls in town, if you pay close attention you may notice the old photographs that line the walls. The cafe was in fact an old bathing pavilion, you can even find the original male and female change rooms here.
3. Broadbeach Kurrawa Surf Club
Shimmering waters and white sandy beaches are to be expected here in Broadbeach, but what you may not expect is the relaxing lifestyle hidden within it.
For the ultimate local experience, nothing quite beats a casual afternoon meal at the local surf club. Home to some of the best fish and chips in town, Kurrawa Surf Club overlooks the magnificent Pacific Ocean, you won’t want to leave without getting a few scenic snaps to savour the experience. Open seven days a week, early till late, there is always a relaxing ambience waiting for you to immerse yourself in at Kurrawa Surf Club
4. Fine Dining in Broadbeach
Broadbeach is home to some of the best local markets, shopping malls and gourmet eateries. If fine dining is your thing, you will have plenty to choose from in Broadbeach. For a truly unique dining experience paired with plenty of old world charm, The Cuban Bar And Lounge is sure to impress. Open for breakfast lunch and dinner, you won’t be able to resist a cuban coffee or an authentic mojito.
5. Broadbeach Art And Craft On The Coast Market
Take a leisurely Sunday morning stroll down to ‘Art And Craft On The Coast’ market for quaint one of a kind treasures and local food. The market is open as early at 8am and closes up around 2pm and hosts some of the best local musical talent.
If you are not visiting the Broadbeach, you can still enjoy everything the market has to offer in your local suburb. This Gold Coast market conveniently moves around on a monthly rotation to other suburbs like Coolangatta and Burleigh.
6. BBQ On The Burleigh Foreshore
The Burleigh Heads pine tree lined foreshore is a popular place to unwind with friends while enjoying a traditional Aussie BBQ. The location choices are endless, be it Justins Park or John Laws Park, you can find cooking facilities and benches scattered throughout all. Perfect for a midweek dinner by the seaside or a special occasions with family and friends.
7. The Village Markets of Burleigh Heads
Very different from the Art And Craft On The Coast market you will find in Broadbeach, The Village Markets is a creative watering hole for emerging fashion designers and artists to show off their work. You can find the market every first and third Sunday of the month at Burleigh High School but be sure to make your way in early to get first pick of the one of a kind art and designs before they disappear.
8. The Burleigh Brewing Company
Supporting the Gold Coast locals is easy at Burleigh Brewing Company. Known for its character and soul, this trendy brewery draws in crowds eager to try the best tap beer Queensland has to offer.
The perfect partner to an icey cold beer is undoubtably a hearty Food Truck meal who make an appearance every Friday evening and Sunday afternoon – what a way to enjoy your weekend.
9. Enjoy The Best Seafood At Oskars On Burleigh
Dreaming of a fresh seafood dinner overlooking a scenic beachfront sunset? You can find both (and more) at Oskars On Burleigh. Positioned in the best location the Gold Coast has to offer with a picturesque view of the ocean and the smell of lemon zest in the air, the entire Oskars experience is likely to be one you never forget.
Oskars has a menu that changes daily based on the local seafood available that day, meaning your choice are quite literally endless. If seafood is not your cuisine of choice, you are bound to find a suitable alternative from Oskars’ impressive steak menu.
10. Explore Lamington National Park
Get your camera ready because the untouched natural beauty of Gondwana Rainforests is something you will never want to forget.
Located in Coomera Valley, The Lamington National park hosts the largest subtropical rainforest in the world. With extensive walking trails that run throughout the park, every twist and turn reveals another breathtaking waterfall, native plants and an abundance of wildlife.
11. Walk within the treetops of Canungra
If you want to explore the rainforest in a truly unique way, you will be blown away by O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk. It will be difficult not to learn something new along the way with education pitstops staggered throughout the 180m long trail.
When in need of refueling, O’Reilly’s Vineyard is close by, this historic Queensland homestead will show you a side to the Gold Coast you never knew existed. Sit on the quaint verandah while enjoying a traditional vineyard wine tasting experience or bring along your own picnic and find a quiet spot on the grass. Open 7 days a week unless a wedding is booked, guests are welcome to a full dining experience or to simply explore the vast estate.
12. Fancy a staycation?
Grab a ferry over to South Stradbroke Island and pitch a tent in one of the council campsites. Perfect for anyone chasing an authentic Queensland lifestyle, South Stradbroke Island is a popular choice for locals and newcomers looking to get in touch with nature.
The island provides an adventurous getaway where fishing, hiking or rock climbing activities are readily available. Look back over to the mainland for spectacular view of the Gold Coast, you may even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a Humpback Whale emerging from beneath the ocean.
13. Mt Tamborine
If camping is not really for you, enjoy a relaxing spa getaway in one of Mt Tamborine’s many rainforest lodges and spas.
Mt Tamborine hosts many activities and entertainment to enjoy during your stay. Witches Falls Winery is a the perfect place to unwind and enjoy a meal paired with local wines. Or if you are looking to improve your cooking skills, check out Tamborine Cooking School and learn how to prepare some of the best cuisines from around the world. When the class is complete, enjoy your culinary creations while you look out over stunning botanic views.
14. Art and Culture
The Gold Coast is home to some of the best national and international art exhibitions. Enjoy the regular exhibitions at the Desert Art Center to immerse yourself in Australian culture through the works of aboriginal art.
If you are seeking something a little more contemporary, 19 Karen Contemporary Artspace is where to find a mix of modern street art, Pop Realism and everything in between. You will always find something to inspire you in the culturally rich city of the Gold Coast.
15. Play a round of gold
You may think you’ve played golf before, but never quite like this. In the beach lined city of the Gold Coast most courses stun their visitors with an unsuspected view of the vast ocean.
If you are looking for the ultimate hole in one, Villa On The Green is exactly that. This sleek and modern golf resort allows you wake up each morning to the rolling hills of the green and the smell of freshly brewed coffee. After a long day of golf, you can relax your muscles in one of the resorts many spas. This will truly be a golf experience you never forget.
16. Skypoint Observation Deck
From the never ending coastline to the tropical inland, enjoy 360 degree views of the Gold Coast from the Skypoint Observation Deck. Bound to get your adrenalin pumping and show you the city in a way you have never experienced before, this attraction is perfect for all ages.
Young individuals wanting to avoid the crowds, plan your visit on a Friday or Saturday night for an even more intimate social experience. On the weekend, the Skydeck transforms into a trendy bar and lounge that attracts locals keen to enjoy the electric atmosphere while watching a spectacular sunset.
17. Shop at Pacific Fair
For a commercial shopping experience with all those brands you know and love, look no further than the newly built Pacific Fair. From casual to luxury fashion, this sleek new shopping center sits within a tropical designed landscape not far from Broadbeach.
Once you have had your fair share of retail therapy, take a break and grab a bite to eat at one of Pacific Fairs casual or fine dining restaurants. Alternatively, you can find a speedy meal in the centers food court, perfect for shoppers on the go.
18. Miami Marketta
A social meeting point for Gold Coast residence accompanied by endless supplies of street food and an electric atmosphere, Miami Marketta is the place to be on a Friday night. Here you can find an impressive spread of street food outlets and communal tables to hold more than 400 people. Alive with music from local artists and the smell of worldly cuisines in the air, it is easy to see why the market draws in the masses each week.
19. NightQuarter In Helensvale
A modest marketplace encompassing art, simple food and a relaxed ‘backyard’ vibe, NightQuarter is a local hotspot for trendy Gold Coast folk. Sit back, relax and soak in the artisan vibe from local artists and performers.
Enjoy one of the many micro restaurants set up amongst the market. No pretentious food here, a humble Aussie meat pie paired perfectly with a locally brewed beer is all you need on a balmy Saturday night in Queensland.
20. Palm Beach
The sleepy town of Palm Beach is the ultimate place to unwind and enjoy the white sand and crystal beaches that have named it Queensland’s cleanest beach three times already.
There is plenty to see and do here in Palm Beach, be it only 15 minutes from Surfers Paradise. Here you can enjoy a day trip or a weekend stay-cation. If the latter is your desire, luxury beachfront accommodation options exist at the top end of town, or perhaps the authentic charm of a beach shack on the water sparks your interest.
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