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News Top 15 attractions and things to do in the Gold Coast, Australia

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Top 15 attractions and things to do in the Gold Coast, Australia

Whether you're on a shopping city break in the Gold Coast or here to hang 10 on the surf with the beautiful people, there's plenty to do in Surfer's Paradise, Burleigh Heads and Main Beach. Come and see what makes the City of Gold.

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1. Take photos on Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk

Get above it all and explore Mount Tamborine’s rainforests with a leisurely stroll through the canopies 30 metres above the forest floor. A full circuit of the Skywalk takes about 45 minutes on a self-guided tour.

Opening Hours: 9.30am-4pm
Tickets: $19.50AUD per adult, $9.50 per child. $44 for 2 adults and 1 child.
Address: 333 Geissmann Dr, Mt Tamborine Queensland 4272, Australia

2. Eat, surf and snooze on Burleigh Heads Beach

Despite being one of Australia’s top-rated beaches, Burleigh Heads Beach is surprisingly quiet and you’ll find plenty of space to throw down your beach towel; just make sure you pack plenty of sunscreen. Feeling peckish? Grab a bite to eat in one of the many beachfront cafes and restaurants for a romantic meal with ocean views.

Address: Burleigh Heads, Queensland 4220

3. Pose on Surfers Paradise Beach

A 3km stretch of golden shore, Surfers Paradise lives up to its name! One of the top surf spots in the world, visitors flock to ride some of the best waves on the planet. However, you’ll want to save some energy for night time activities, as there are plenty of bars and clubs offering live music and a good time.

Address: Surfers Paradise, Queensland 4217

4. See the Australian Outback Spectacular

A dinner and a show experience like no other, The Australian Outback Spectacular combines delicious food and drink with exciting live entertainment. Based on the true story of national hero, racehorse Phar Lap, be engrossed in his tale and gorge yourself on some of Australia’s best foods.

Opening Hours: 7.30pm daily
Tickets: $100AUD per adult, $70 per child. 3 course meal included. Booking essential.
Address: Entertainment Drive, Oxenford Queensland 4210, Australia

5. Cuddle a koala at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Meet some of the most famous Aussies, from koalas to kangaroos, at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. In fact, the park is home to over 1,000 different tropical animals unique to the Gold Coast region and you can explore it on foot, on a Segway safari or swinging through the trees on a treetop ropes course. That should be enough to keep your little monkeys entertained for a while.

Opening Hours: 8am-5pm
Tickets: $50AUD for adults, $35AUD for children. Group and family discounts available.
Address: 28 Tomewin St, Currumbin Queensland 4223, Australia

Cuddle the koalas at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

6. Get a birdseye view with Skydive Gold Coast

Gold Coast is a beautiful city, and seeing it from 12,000 feet up, jumping out of an airplane is a unique way to take it all in. Several skydiving companies offer the experience to thrill seekers, so shop around for the best deal and don’t forget to smile for the camera on the way down.

7. Catch a tan at the Regional Botanic Gardens

Escape the beach for the day and head to the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens. Set on 31 hectares of land, you could happily spend the day smelling the roses, stopping at the Butterfly Garden and mangrove forest along the way. Entry is also free, great for travellers on a budget.

Opening Hours: 7am-7pm
Tickets: Free
Address: 230 Ashmore Rd, Benowa Queensland 4217, Australia

8. Do the Toolona Creek Circuit in Lamington National Park

A hike in Toolona Creek in Lamington National Park offers stunning views of waterfalls, gorges and plenty of picnic spots to stop at along this 17.4km route. The best time to visit is during winter, when temperatures are cooler and there are no nasty leeches lurking underfoot.

Opening Hours: 24 hours
Tickets: Free to enter
Address: Binna Burra Queensland 4211, Australia

9. Swap Surfer’s Paradise for shopper’s Paradise Centre

Shopaholics, bring your A-game (and a sizeable amount of cash) to Paradise Centre, the largest shopping mall in Surfers Paradise. Grab a bargain in one of the designer boutiques, catch the latest blockbuster movie or dine alfresco, there’s lots to keep everyone happy.

Opening Hours: 9am-10pm
Tickets: Free
Address: 2 Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise Queensland 4217, Australia

10. Explore the Tamborine Mountain Glow Worm Caves

Go underground and explore the incredible Glow Worm Caves at Cedar Creek Estate, where you’ll see thousands of, you’ve guessed it, glow worms. These small fly larvae put on a pretty magical show and this is a fun way to explore a whole new side to Mount Tamborine.

Opening Hours: 10am-4pm
Tickets: $12AUD per adult, $6AUD per child
Address: Cedar Creek Estate, 104-144 Hartley Rd, North Tamborine Queensland 4272, Australia

11. Go deep at SeaWorld

You might not have thought you’d see polar bears in Australia. That was before you saw SeaWorld. The park is built up of rides, tanks and presentations from the trainers and animals. The shows are perfect for kids – check out the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles power show, a daily performance of jetski tricks and the opportunity to feed the rays and penguins every afternoon.

Opening Hours: 9.30am-5pm
Tickets: $80AUD per adult, $70AUD per child. There are deals available if you’re booking multiple theme park tickets.
Address: Seaworld Dr, Main Beach Queensland 4217, Australia

12. Take the family to Warner Bros Movie World

This is where to get lost with your imagination in the Gold Coast. Choose from epic rollercoasters like Arkham Asylum, Green Lantern Coaster or Batman Spaceshot, treat the kids to Junior Driving School or make sure everyone’s in on the fun with the 4D Looney Tunes Experience.

Opening Hours: 9.30am-5pm
Tickets: $80AUD per adult, $70AUD per child. There are deals available if you’re booking multiple theme park tickets.
Address: Pacific Motorway, Oxenford Queensland 4210, Australia

13. Observe it all at the SkyPoint Observation Deck

The deck is located on Level 77 of the iconic Q1 tower, 230 metres above sea level. Catch epic views of Surfer’s Paradise, Broadbeach, and see all the way down to Burleigh from the top of the tower. You can even get breakfast at the Seventy7 Cafe, or return after hours for cocktails on top of the Gold Coast.

Opening Hours: 7.30am-11.30pm
Tickets: $14AUD for general admission, $19 for Night & Day admission (definitely worth it for returning after dark!)
Address: 9 Hamilton Ave, Surfers Paradise Queensland 4217, Australia

14. Stock up at Harbour Town

Harbour Town is an outlet shopping centre that’s a favourite with the Aussies for deals on fashion and homeware. If you’ve got time, go and stock up on surf brands like Hurley, Ripcurl and Rusty. There’s a free shuttle to the outlet from Surfer’s Paradise too.

Opening Hours: weekdays. Open til 7pm Thursdays. 10am-5pm Sunday.
Tickets: Free entry
Address: 147-189 Brisbane Rd & Gold Coast Highway, Biggera Waters Queensland 4216, Australia

15. Try not to get washed away at Snapper Rocks

Snapper Rocks is the name of a rocky outcrop in Point Danger (no, you couldn’t make this up). The surfers know it better as Superbank, for the point break off the shore. The waves are strong here, but it’s still worth a visit just to relax on Coolangatta. You can also spot whales off the coast in October.

Address: Coolangatta Queensland 4225, Australia

How to get to the Gold Coast:

The best way to get to the Gold Coast from the U.K is to fly to Brisbane, then make your way down to the coast by renting a car or catching a transfer from the airport. The Gold Coast is about an hour away from Brisbane Airport. You can get connecting flights to Brisbane from London, Manchester and Birmingham.

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Where to stay on a city break in the Gold Coast

If you’re looking for a hostel:

Komune is a hostel-come-hotel with it’s own beach club, 10 minutes away from Snapper Rocks. It’s where to stay if you fancy lounging in style with a wood-fired pizza slice in hand.

If you’re looking for a hotel:

Vibe Hotels have branches all around Australia, and they’re known for their excellent locations and services. This one is right next door to SeaWorld.

If you’re looking for luxury:

The QT Residences are perfect for relaxing after a hectic holiday of partying and surfing off Main Beach. The sauna is sure to work wonders after a long flight.

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