You’ve made plans to visit the Gold Coast and are looking for things to do while you are here.  We have complied a list of the best locations to visit for Gold Coast Tourist Attractions.

When you are not from an area, not knowing what there is to do and where it is located can see you missing out on the experience or adventure of a lifetime. The following list contains a few ideas to help you plan your time and get the most out of your stay on the Gold Coast.

Depending on how far you venture from your base point, some companies will pick you up from your hotel or BnB and take you to the activity and return you in the ticket price and with arrangements in place at the time of booking. 

You will need to hire a car for some of the day trips up into the mountains and rainforests. For convenience, I have listed the Gold Coast Airport Rental company, but plenty of others are available with a google search.

Here’s the Top 9 Gold Coast Tourist Attractions:

1. Theme Parks

Theme Parks Gold Coast

When it comes to Gold Coast tourist attractions, you can’t beat theme parks. The Gold Coast, located an hour south of Brisbane is home to the highest concentration of theme parks in the southern hemisphere.

So when it comes to famous amusement parks, you have a few to choose from. Warner Bros Movie World, Wet ‘n’ Wild water park, Sea World and Paradise Country. Visitors can purchase fourteen-day passes that grant access to all of the parks, or directly from their respective websites to choose other package deals that are specific to a particular attraction of interest.

Check out their website for prices and package deals that suit your individual needs.

Want more? Check out these mega attraction stand-alone venues that offer hours of fun for adults.

2. Surfing Lessons

surfing lessons

The Gold Coast offers a plethora of Golden sands and water sporting activities. You can quickly find a private surfing coach to get you on a board and into the ocean. There are several options in the link at the top of the page that will get you squared away before you leave home with pricing and booking in advance. Allow 2-3.5 hours for this lesson, and if you are visiting in the middle of summer, we suggest you book an early morning or late afternoon lesson and have plenty of 50+ sunscreen on hand!

Check out Snapper Rocks, Burleigh Heads and Surfer’s Paradise beach.

3. National Parks And Rainforest Hikes

national Park

If fresh air and a good hike are high on your list of favourite things, then the Gold Coast has hundreds of options. The city has been designed to make the most of the population being outdoors and keeping fit and active. Interconnected boardwalks that run beside the beaches of the Gold Coast stretch for kilometres and allow pedestrians and bikes, skateboards, roller-skates, and scooters to all co-exist in harmony. 

Some of the best Gold Coast tourist attractions for a beautiful hike are:

  • Burleigh Heads National Park
  • Lamington National Park
  • Springbrook Falls 
  • Evening Rainforest and Glow Worm Experience
  • Tamborine Mountain has Zipline and High Ropes for thrill seekers 
  • Springbrook National Park has a spectacular waterfall and walking track loop
  • Gold Coast Hinterland

4. Scenic Air Flights

air flight

With private helicopters, hot air balloons, and seaplanes for rent, if you have the cash to spend, you have the ability to see the world-famous Gold Coast, Surfer’s Paradise skyline, and the endless golden sandy beaches from a vantage point usually reserved only for the birds. Take a drive up into the hinterland and explore the area from the lofty basket of a hot air balloon, or hire a helicopter to take you places only they can get you to. 

There are several options to choose from, and a list can be found here as are starting reference point from which to expand your search.

5. Hire A Kayak Or Paddle Board

paddle boat

The calm and tranquil waters of Tallebudgera Creek to the north, and Currumbin Creek to the south, offer a sheltered place to swim and are ideal for those travelling with young children and dogs. Connected to Palm Beach at the North and South end respectively, Currumbin Creek offers Kayaks and stand-up paddleboards for rent by the hour.

If you have always wanted to test your balance skills on a board while standing on water, then I highly recommend hiring a paddleboard for an hour of amusement. If you are not that game, then opt for the less physical kayak option or watch the children play in the warm shallow waters as your canine friend frolics about right beside them.

6. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary 

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

While you are in the area and exhausted from the paddle board experience, stop in and check out the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Get up close and personal with Rainbow Lorikeets and the diverse range of Australian animals taking refuge on the grounds. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary was first opened in 1947 by Alex Griffiths. At the time, it was a small-scale lorikeet feeding display but quickly gathered momentum. By 1964, a much-loved miniature railway came to life in the park, and it expanded.

Honeyworld is next door for those who like to source their honey locally. “A visit to Honeyworld will teach you about the processes involved in making and collecting honey. Learn how the honey goes from the hive to your home and enjoy a free tasting of several honey varieties.”

7. Snorkelling and Scuba Diving & Wave Break Island


There are several options depending on your budget when it comes to hiring a private boat for a few hours or the entire day. 

Check out our list of the top 10 beaches on the GC and add our list of the best snorkelling locations on the Gold Coast if you like to spend your days under the waves. There are plenty of options available for everyone, from first-time novice with a snorkel and fins to divemaster.

Rent a party boat or take a tour out to the stunning Wave Break Island, only accessible via watercraft or helicopter.

8. Whale Watching & Deep-Sea Fishing

whale watching

Depending on the time of year, if you happen to time your visit it with the whale migration up and down the coastline, you can take a whale-watching day cruise in the hopes of having a memorable encounter with the gentle giants of the deep water.

If fishing is more your thing, there are plenty of boats you can hire across all levels of the financial spectrum and budget. Some will stay within the sheltered waters of the vast canal waterways. Others will take you to Wave Break Island. For the hardcore thrill seekers after that big game fish, you can hire a deep-sea charter for a day of deep-sea fishing and try your hand at catching a Marlin or Kingfish.

9. Historical Sites And Heritage Listings

native Indigenous

From the native Indigenous culture comes the unsurpassed story-telling in the Spirits Of The Red Sand, a history journey from the dreamtime to the 1800’s. Learn about First Nations culture. Visit the Hinterland Heritage Museum or the Forest Of Memories, or discover the many Heritage listed vineyards and cellar doors for good eats and some take home wines.

Getting To These Gold Coast Tourist Attractions

The Gold Coast is one of the few global locations that still offer predominantly free parking and plenty of it around its attractions or within walking distance. This might not seem like much but try finding three hours of free parking while you work on your tan, or check out a hiking trail and what it costs you in other cities!

With extremely generous parking times, you are given ample time to pull up and get the best out of your locations and then move on to the next adventure, ensuring there is always someone coming and going. Parking spaces are available for all to utilize.

There are some exceptions to the “free parking” rule of thumb, but in those instances, you are likely able to take the easy to use public transport system to get around the Gold Coast. Surfer’s Paradise has busses and a tram line that runs to most of the popular attractions.

We sincerely hope you’ve found this list of Gold Coast Tourist Attractions helpful!

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