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What to see and do in the Gold Coast – a guide to notable attractions and landmarks

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The Gold Coast is an action-packed city, perfectly suited for families and adventure seekers. There’s world-famous beaches, thrilling theme parks, the lesser-known hinterland and, of course, iconic attractions such as the Q1 building and Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk. Combined together, these elements provide a memorable holiday on the east coast of Australia.

Astrid Kavanagh

My Destination local expert on

Gold Coast

Theme parks and wildlife sanctuaries


The Gold Coast is home to some of Australia’s best theme parks and wildlife sanctuaries. There is something for everyone, whether you’re a film fanatic, animal lover or just an all-round action seeker. Visit the sea critters of Sea World, stop by the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary to cuddle a koala or traipse along the intrepid rainforest canopies of the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk. Alternatively, to enjoy a barrel of stomach-somersault sensations, jump on the Big Thrill Rides of the Gold Coast’s Dreamworld Theme Park.


Daytime activities


Unsurprisingly, a large number of daytime activities available in the Gold Coast are water based. You’ll find information about these activities available at the various tourist information stands located in Surfers Paradise. Highlights include a romantic gondola ride, Jet Ski adventures, surfing lessons, fishing, sailing and whale watching cruises. Many of the cruises and water activities are located at Marina Mirage or Runaway Bay Marina. If you aren’t a fan of the water, however, there is plenty more to see and do in the Gold Coast. Enjoy a few rounds of golf or, perhaps, take to the skies for a romantic hot air balloon ride.


Evening attractions


If it’s an after-dark adventure or vibrant nightlife that you are looking for in the Gold Coast, you won’t have to look too far. Just a short walk away from Broadbeach is the city’s much-loved casino. With a handful of restaurants and bars, a theatre, live music and, of course, the casino itself, it’s very easy to lose an entire night at Conrad’s casino. Nearby, beside Movie World, you’ll also find the popular Outback Spectacular - a dinner and show combination that will give you a taste of real Aussie culture.


The Hinterland


While in the Gold Coast, make sure to put aside a day to visit Mount Tamborine. Away from the cosmopolitan core of the Gold Coast, here you will discover a rustic outback experience rooted in Australia’s rich history. Home to a huddle of small, welcoming cafes as well as a handful of winery spots, drinking and dining venues can be found in abundance. Natural attractions are also bountiful here including glow worm caves, the beautiful waterfalls and parks of Springbrook and horse riding ranches sprinkled all around the area.


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