Having over 20 themed attractions ranging from wildlife and marine parks and thrill rides to tropical plantations, illusion arcades and museums as well as being home to Australia’s most famous theme parks, shopping centres and world heritage listed rainforests, visitors to the Gold Coast have got plenty of things to do. To find something that you’d enjoy doing while visiting the Gold Coast, browse through our guide below.
Dreamworld® Package – At your leisure Want to experience Australia’s favourite family park? This package will give you this plus a lot more – interested… Come and ride on the world’s tallest and fastest rides, see tigers and cuddle an Aussie Koala. You won’t want to miss enjoying an Aussie BBQ lunch & take home a souvenir photo with a Koala. BOOK NOW!
Dreamworld® Entry Ticket – At your leisure Come and experience Australia’s favourite family park… Ride on the world’s tallest and fastest rides, see tigers and cuddle an Aussie Koala! There are plenty of rides for the whole family, don’t miss out – BOOK NOW!
Gold Coast and Hinterland Tour – 8 hours Discover the Gold Coast’s best-kept secret on this small personalized tour. Explore Tamborine Mountain in the hinterland, with its world of subtropical rainforests, waterfalls and breathtaking views. Enjoy lunch and see the luxurious boats and yachts at the Marina Mirage on the Gold Coast. Enjoy fine wines at Mt Cotton Estate. A golden day on the Gold Coast…
3 Day Byron Bay Tour – 3 days / 2 nights Spend a few days relaxing in the unique community of Byron Bay. Experience the clean white sand beaches, clear waters and alternative lifestyle that Byron Bay is famous for. Stay in a cabin at the Byron Bay Beach Club, situated on natural parkland with a stunning beachfront location. Play a round of golf, a game of tennis, or even learn to fly the trapeze! The choice is yours…
Tangalooma and Dolphin Feeding Tour – 2 days / 1 night Take a couple of days to visit beautiful Moreton Island and meet Bess, Echo, Freddy, Lefty and the other wild dolphins of Tangalooma Cruise from the mainland to Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort and overnight on the island. Hand feed the wild dolphins when they visit in the evening. Explore Moreton Island National Park or simply relax. An enjoyable couple of days for everybody…
The Gold Coast offers a fantastic range of shopping experiences, from resort / themed shopping villages to large variety-filled shopping centres, designer boutique stores, elegant arcades or beachside art & local craft markets. You’ll find some of Australia’s most exciting shopping centres on the Gold Coast open and buzzing seven days a week.
Late night shopping is a pleasure along Orchid and Elkhorn Avenues which are graced with names like Cartier, Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, and Salvatore Ferragamo. Shops along this strip are generally open until 9 pm each night.
Carara Markets are held each weekend, these are the biggest markets on the Gold Coast. Regular Gold Coast markets are also held at Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Burleigh Heads, Coolangatta, Robina Town Centre, Tamborine Mountain, Canungra Country Market, Paradise Point Art and Craft Market. The Surfers Paradise beachfront night markets on The Esplanade are held each Friday night from 5.30 pm (weather permitting).
Shopping on the Gold Coast
Pacific Fair Shopping Centre
Located just south of Surfers Paradise, Pacific Fair is home to many of Australia’s best retailers. There are 7 major stores including Myer Department Store and the new international Daimaru Department Store as well as over 270 speciality retailers and a vast array of bars, restaurants, cafes and the Food Court.
Harbour Town is lined with stylish, beautifully appointed stores selling quality merchandise, including store label stock made specifically for brand direct sale and first quality end of season lines. Harbour Town boasts Australia’s first purpose-built outlet shopping precinct in a major regional shopping centre. Harbour Town is also home to the Gold Coast’s largest cinema complex showing the latest movies on 14 screens.
The Oasis Shopping Centre
Over 100 speciality stores offer choices in gifts, homewares, and fashion plus the added convenience of a Woolworths supermarket. There is a range of cosmopolitan restaurants or cafes every day or night of the week. The Oasis Shopping Centre also offers a host of handy services including Australia Post, The Bank of QLD, a Dry Cleaner plus several Hair, Health and Beauty Salons.
Discover a world of shopping, dining, fun & entertainment right in the heart of Surfers Paradise. Located opposite Australia’s most popular tourist beach, the Paradise Centre has over 110 speciality stores offering a relaxed holiday shopping experience, conveniently located to all central holiday accommodation, apartments and hotels.
Situated in the heart of Queenslandâ€™s Gold Coast 2 km north of Surfers Paradise, directly opposite the Southport Broadwater. Over 220 speciality stores with majors including Coles, Woolworths, Kmart, Best & Less as well as Birch Carroll & Coyle cinemas and a range of services such as Australia Post, Medicare and RACQ.
Located 5 minutes drive from the heart of Surfers Paradise. Shop & Dine in a relaxed style, spectacular waterfront location overlooking the Broadwater, award-winning restaurants, designer boutiques, top fashion labels, and art galleries.
Gold Coast Markets – A guide to the weekly markets in and around Queensland’s Gold Coast region. Includes times and contact details for market organisers.
The Gold Coast has a sub-tropical climate with plenty of sunshine year-round (in fact an average of 300 days a year).
Summer temperatures range from 19 to 29 degrees Celsius (66 to 83 degrees Fahrenheit).
Winter temperatures range from an average of 9 to 21 degrees Celsius (48 to 69 degrees Fahrenheit) – it’s no wonder the Gold Coast is Australia’s favourite playground.
Historical Rainfall & Temperature Averages
Average temperatures are in Celcius.
Rainfall amounts are in millimetres. 25 millimetres is approximately equal to 1 inch.
A rainy day is counted if rainfall exceeds 0.2mm.
Celcius to Farenheit Conversion
Historical Rainfall & Temperature Averages
Gold Coast: Recorded at Southport 1881 – 2001
Mean Maximum Temperature
Mean Minimum Temperature
Mean Rainy Days
Suitable Clothing, What to Wear
Easy resort wear and lightweight clothing are suitable attire for the Gold Coast’s sub-tropical climate. You may need a jacket or pullover in the evening. If you’re planning on doing any bushwalking through the National Parks, then a sturdy pair of comfortable hiking shoes is a must and if you’re going to be spending a bit of time on the beach, then sun-protective clothing, a broad-brimmed hat, sunglasses and sunscreen will save you from getting too much sun – refer to the section about Gold Coast Sun and Beach Safety for more information.
For more information concerning Gold Coast weather, visit these websites:
Whether it’s for a stroll at sunset, beach fishing at dusk, a leisurely swim, an adventure-packed scuba dive or even if it’s to take on the swell with your board, the Gold Coast’s numerous beaches are famous for their clean, warm (23 degrees C in Summer) blue waters, golden sand and never-ending sunshine. The most popular of the 21 patrolled beaches on the Gold Coast include Main Beach, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Mermaid Beach, and Miami & Nobby Beach.
Main Beach gets its name from the fact that it was the main surf beach for the town of Southport which was the earliest surveyed town in the immediate area. Its located on the eastern side of the Nerang River estuary (The Broadwater) and is bounded to the north by The Spit and by a narrow isthmus (Narrowneck) extending to Surfers Paradise in the south.
Either walk the track from Surfers Paradise or ride your bike to this popular beach on Queensland’s Gold Coast. Stop in and grab a snack at Main Beach’s historic bathing pavilion, or drop into the surf lifesaving club and beach snack bar where you can enjoy light refreshments or, if you’re after something to really tempt the taste buds, pull into one of the excellent street style alfresco cafes.
View the surf from the carpark or grab your fishing rod and head on down to the sand pumping jetty or hire one of the many varieties of water equipment available, such as surfboards, wakeboards or bodyboards.
Once known as Elston, Surfers Paradise had a name change in the 1920s. Even though Surfers Paradise is a busy beach, the hum of activity doesn’t take any of its amazing natural beauty away. This famous stretch of the ocean is a perfect swimming beach where you can casually join others in a game of social volleyball on the sand or if you’d prefer, there’s plenty of room for you to take out your favourite gun surfboard and have a slash in the waves.
Nearby, cafes and shopping areas are just a short walk away and every Friday night the beachfront markets operate where you can pick up that special memory from your special trip away!
Broadbeach was named in 1934 when a new subdivision was surveyed for the area. There are some beautiful parks along the foreshore of this long stretch of beach. The parks are well equipped with sheltered picnic areas, ample BBQ’s and great playgrounds for the kids.
The surfing is consistent at Broadbeach, albeit small at times. If there’s little surf around on the coast, you can generally pick up clean left and right-handers along this stretch of ocean, or take a walk along the ocean paths and enjoy the beach markets in Kurrawa Park or nearby trendy shops.
Mermaid Beach was named in 1946 after approval from the Queensland minister for land. Situated south of the town centre is Mermaid Beach, being somewhat quieter than Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach makes this beach’s tranquil surroundings seem endless. With the small swell, sheltered picnic areas, bike tracks and children’s playground you could say this is the perfect family beach!
Miami & Nobby Beach
Broadbeach was named in 1934 when a new subdivision was surveyed for the area. There are some beautiful parks along the foreshore of this long stretch of beach. The parks are well equipped with sheltered picnic areas, ample BBQs and great playgrounds for the kids.
Nobby Beach is a quiet beach for the family to relax. Take a stroll and view the magnificent sunrise. Miami has a peaceful and relaxing beachfront as well as good BBQ and picnic areas. If you’re looking for some action, you can take a leisurely stroll up to the clifftop and take in the breathtaking views up and down the coast.
Currumbin Beach / Bilinga Beach / Tugun Beach
Currumbin, Tugun and Bilinga Beaches are situated at the southern end of the Gold Coast. The area is popular with families who are looking for somewhere away from all the action of some of their northern neighbours.
There are surf clubs at Currumbin, Tugun & Bilinga and all three beaches are patrolled. Currumbin Beach has some special rock pools and the surf is small enough for leisurely swimming.
Kirra Point is the Gold Coast’s most famous board riding beach. Experienced surfers will find challenging waves and beginners will enjoy the smaller waves that break in closer to the shore. Kirra is a very popular surf break and it works best in solid east and northeast swells during the cyclone season, although you can get good waves throughout the year.
Coolangatta & Greenmount Beach
Greenmount Beach (pictured here) and Rainbow Bay are the Gold Coast’s only North facing beaches providing sheltered conditions for swimming. A walk around the point to Snapper Rocks improves your chances of seeing the whales on their annual migration throughout the cooler parts of the year.
A note about DOGS on Gold Coast beaches you can walk your dog on most Gold Coast Beaches but to be sure, please check the signage before you go onto the beach and be sure to follow these simple rules.
Keep your dog on a leash and remember that dogs aren’t permitted within 200 metres of flagged areas. You may be issued a $150 on the spot fine if you don’t comply.
Dogs are permitted to swim off-leash but the owner must immediately leash the dog once it leaves the water.
You must clean up after your dog. A $75 on the spot fine applies when you fail to remove your dog’s defecation.
The Gold Coast is home to many award-winning restaurants serving up a diverse mix of culinary delights that will satisfy the most discerning palates.
There are over 500 restaurants on the Gold Coast giving you the opportunity to sample food from around the world with specialities including Seafood, Modern Australian, Japanese, French and Italian.
Whatever style of cuisine or eating out experience you’re looking for, from world-renowned family restaurants, surf clubs, pubs, smorgasbords and international standard alacarte restaurants, you’re sure to find one that suits your tastes and budget on the Gold Coast.
The culinary centre of the Gold Coast is around Tedder Avenue on Main Beach where the Gold Coast’s top restaurants and bars conveniently line either side of the street. You’ll find more variety in other parts of the Gold Coast such as Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach, you may just need to have your walking shoes on so you can have a good look around.
For the budget-conscious, you can generally get a great meal at the local surf club for under $15 per person. The surf clubs are dotted along the coastline and offer top views and a great dining ambience in the summer months.
Below are a few links to some of the Gold Coast’s award-winning restaurants (listed under the category they won in):
Best Asian Restaurant Shogun Japanese Restaurant 90 Bundall Rd Bundall Tel: (07) 5538 2872
Best Family Establishment Restaurant Montego’s on Tedder 27 Tedder Ave Main Beach Tel: (07) 5571 1777
Best Italian Restaurant Ristorante Fellini Waterfront Marina Mirage 74 Seaworld Drv Main Beach Tel: (07) 5531 0300
Best Seafood Restaurant George’s Paragon Seafood Restaurant 4 Clifford St Surfers Paradise Tel: (07) 5592 2775
Best Steak Restaurant Cav’s Steakhouse 30 Frank St Labrador Tel: (07) 5532 2954
Best Restaurant to Impress a Date Gold Coast Gondolas Mariners Cove 60 Sea World Drv Main Beach Tel: (07) 5529 1513
Gold Coast Shopping – An overview of shopping on Queensland’s Gold Coast including information on a range of the best-shopping outlets.
Gold Coast Entertainment & Nightlife – A guide to the Gold Coast’s thriving Club scene. From themed sports bars to alternative venues beating out the funky house and disco classics.