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Things to do in
Gold Coast

Spectacularly long beaches, hot surfing spots, big theme parks — the perfect recipe for a fun trip in the sun.

Our most recommended things to do in Gold Coast

From Brisbane or Gold Coast: Moreton Island Full-Day Trip

1. From Brisbane or Gold Coast: Moreton Island Full-Day Trip

Enjoy a day on Moreton Island on this Fully Guided day trip from Brisbane or the Gold Coast. Relax on the cruise on the way, enjoy a delicious lunch, then take part in fun outdoor activities like kayaking and sand tobogganing. Be picked up from a centrally-located meeting point in Brisbane or the Gold Coast. Sit back and relax on the air-conditioned drive to the boat's departure point. Board a spacious boat with an outdoor area and a covered seating area. Enjoy ocean views as you cruise across Moreton Bay. Discover a vibrant underwater world as you follow your guide on a snorkeling tour around shipwrecks. Have the chance to spot turtles, fish, and rays. Stop to savor a sandwich lunch on the beach before taking a guided tour in a glass-bottom kayak. View the underwater wonders of the Tangalooma Wrecks as you paddle over crystal-clear water. Explore the area on the island that is known as "The Desert." Ride in a rugged 4X4, and experience the exhilaration of sand tobogganing at speeds of over 40 miles per hour. Admire the Gheebulum Coonungai National Park that covers most of Moreton Island.

Moreton Island: Dolphin and Tangalooma Wrecks Day Cruise

2. Moreton Island: Dolphin and Tangalooma Wrecks Day Cruise

Discover Moreton Bay Marine Park and learn about marine life from an onboard marine naturalist on this cruise. Go on a guided snorkeling tour of the Tangalooma wrecks and keep an eye our for the dolphins, dugongs and sea turtles that call this glamour area home. Choose from a tour where you meet the boat at the Rivergate Marina or with pickup from the Gold Coast or Brisbane. Throw your swimwear into a bag and set sail to uncover miles of unspoiled white sand beaches. Departing daily from Brisbane, cruise in luxury to Moreton Bay Marine Park aboard the modern, air-conditioned catamaran Spirit of Migaloo II. Here enjoy the freedom to do as much or as little as you please with all activities included and no local fees. Dive in and snorkel the fifteen shipwrecks that have been deliberately sunk just off the coastline with an abundance of spectacular coral formations and colorful marine life that needs to be seen to be believed. No experience is required and all equipment and water safety items are provided. Afterwards, join our naturalist guides in a fish-feeding session with the 200 species that frequent the area. Satisfy your appetite with a gourmet tropical buffet featuring ocean king prawns, and quench your thirst with a glass of local wine, craft beer or frozen cocktail. Take the time to relax, and enjoy free island time on the pristine white-sand beach. Paddleboard on sheltered crystal-clear waters, join a game with complimentary beach sporting equipment, or simply kick back and soak in the serenity. Watch out for some of Queensland’s best marine wildlife in this area which is home to one of the largest populations of bottlenose dolphins in Australia. Feel the joy of seeing them jump and play in turquoise waters. Search for six of the world’s seven species of sea turtles and herds of shy and gentle dugongs in one of the world’s remaining strongholds for this species. Get help from the onboard marine naturalists who have been working with these incredible animals for over a decade and have the experience to give you the closest wildlife encounters possible.

Gold Coast: Movie World, Sea World, & Wet’n’Wild 3-Day Pass

3. Gold Coast: Movie World, Sea World, & Wet’n’Wild 3-Day Pass

Save time and money with this convenient 3-day admission pass to 3 of the Gold Coast's most popular theme parks. Zoom around on roller coasters at Movie World, admire marine life at Sea World, and prepare to be thrilled on a variety of extreme rides at Wet'n'Wild.  Located only a few minutes from central Surfers Paradise, Sea World features amazing aquatic animals, fun rides, and family-friendly shows. Enter the frozen tundra of the Penguin Encounter, see predators up close in Shark Bay, and meet tranquil critters in the dolphin nursery. At Movie World, experience the glamour of Hollywood as you hang out with your favorite superheroes and stars. Enjoy the Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster, Harry Potter-themed sets, a Lethal Weapon ride, the Batwing Spaceshot, and the steepest inverted drop in the Southern Hemisphere on the Green Lantern Coaster. For families, enjoy music from the Looney Tunes crew among other entertainment. Wet'n'Wild hosts some of the most extreme and fun-packed rides on the continent. You may even recognize some of them from scenes filmed in The Inbetweeners 2 movie.   

Surfers Paradise: Surf Lesson on the Gold Coast

4. Surfers Paradise: Surf Lesson on the Gold Coast

Meet your instructor and get set up with the proper rash shirt or wetsuit and board and head to the beach. Begin your 2-hour lesson with a safety briefing and basic instruction. Once everyone has caught their first few waves in waist-deep water, you’ll return to the sand for more detailed instruction on stand-up procedures. The remainder of the lesson will be spent in the water with instructors helping everyone stand up. Most participants have low expectations and don’t think they’ll be able to stand up during their first lesson. When you and the rest of the group are successful, there’s excitement all around!

Spirit of Gold Coast 2.5-Hour Whale Watching Tour

5. Spirit of Gold Coast 2.5-Hour Whale Watching Tour

Come join this family-owned and operated business with over 20 years whale watching experience, committed to offering you the best customer service and memories to last a lifetime. With caring and knowledgeable crew who are focused on your comfort and safety as well as guaranteed whale sightings, you can travel with peace of mind. Within minutes of departure, Spirit of Gold Coast will have you up close and personal with these majestic creatures as they embark on their annual migration along the east coast of Australia. This amazing journey is a truly captivating experience, as right before your very eyes these 40-ton Humpback Whales breach, wave their pectoral fins and slap their tails. Join us for the journey of a lifetime - a memorable adventure to be shared with friends and family.

Surfers Paradise: 30min Guided Jetski Adventure

6. Surfers Paradise: 30min Guided Jetski Adventure

First step, meet your instructor and get comfortable off and on your jet ski before setting off on your adventure. The tour begins with a full safety briefing, some test zigs and zags to help you get a feel for the machine, and some handy tips from experienced instructors. Explore the waterways of Surfers Paradise on a jet ski adventure with a lead instructor guiding the way. Head off on a thrilling fast-paced adventure or ride at a more relaxed pace as you discover the beauty of our Paradise. With a great mix of approx 13mins of slow zøne and 17mins of full speed it's perfect to sit back and really take in the spectacular views. Swap drivers halfway through if sharing with a friend This activity is 30mins on the water and 30mins for the safety briefing Let us capture your experience through photos which are available to look at straight and purchase right after you get off your Jetski. When booking it will ask for number of participants. Please note each Jetski sits 2 people. If you want a Solo Jetski you must still enter 2 Participants eg. If there are 3 people and each want to drive solo you must enter 6 participants, If doubling on a Jetski, 1 person Must be 18yrs plus 12-15yrs not permitted to drive during school holidays or peak days 12-15yrs may drive outside school holidays at the discretion of the instructor Swap drivers at the halfway mark of the tour Price is $132 per Jetski

Gold Coast: 55-Minute Extreme Jet Boat Ride

7. Gold Coast: 55-Minute Extreme Jet Boat Ride

If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, excitement and incredible view then look no further than this exhilarating jet boat ride departing from the heart of Surfers Paradise. The 55-minute ride is great value for money and offers a novel way to check out the stunning Gold Coast from the beautiful local waterways. Don't just go to the same old tourist attractions, enjoy an exhilarating and unique experience instead. The luxurious 5-star jet boats are equipped with padded seats to ensure you are as comfortable as possible during your trip. Sit back and enjoy the thrill of Jet Boat Extreme's 650-horsepower twin jet-power turbo engines, which will take you to up to 80 kilometers per hour on the water.  All this with low-level engine noise and well-known safety features of diesel turbo engines. The experienced, hand-selected jet boat drivers ensure both fun and safety on this extreme playground.

Gold Coast: SkyPoint Observation Deck Ticket

8. Gold Coast: SkyPoint Observation Deck Ticket

SkyPoint Observation Deck offers panoramic views of the Gold Coast, 270m above sea level, located atop the Australia’s tallest building, the Q1 in Surfers Paradise. SkyPoint's unique vantage point lets you take in the city skyline from one location so you can enjoy a delicious meal or a signature cocktail at Gold Coast’s highest Bistro+Bar, sitting 77 levels up! From gazing upon the shimmering cityscape at night, to admiring sun-kissed beaches or stormy skies during the day, SkyPoint Observation Deck highlights the best of the Gold Coast from dusk ‘til dawn. Located 230 metres above sea-level, on Level 77 of the iconic Q1 building in Surfers Paradise, SkyPoint Observation Deck provides visitors a birds-eye view of the Gold Coast’s bustling city, picturesque hinterland and glistening coastline all in one spectacular panorama. As Australia’s only beachside observation deck, SkyPoint is an exclusive, sought-after experience for both visitors and locals. No other product offers guests of all ages and abilities such a breath-taking experience. Dine at SkyPoint Bistro + Bar or, take your next event to new heights by hosting your wedding, function or birthday at one of SkyPoint’s event-spaces.

Gold Coast: Australian Outback Spectacular Dinner & Show

9. Gold Coast: Australian Outback Spectacular Dinner & Show

Discover the stories of the Outback with this entry ticket to the Australian Outback Spectacular show. Follow the tale of 2 struggling Aussie farmers, marvel at the skills of acrobats, and enjoy a 3-course meal. Head into the venue and sit down to enjoy a gripping tale. As you watch, rejoice with the farmers as the community's courage help them overcome an unforgiving life on the land. See their story performed by talented acrobats and animal stars. As you journey through the heartland of Australia, enjoy a delicious three-course meal with drinks.

Gold Coast: Sightseeing Cruise with Buffet Lunch

10. Gold Coast: Sightseeing Cruise with Buffet Lunch

Discover the Gold Coast in luxury and embark on a sightseeing cruise while enjoying a delicious buffet lunch. Gaze at panoramic views on the upper deck, and watch the city skyline pass you by. Taste delicious king prawns, roast chicken, or fresh-baked ham, then enjoy a tasty cocktail. Step aboard the luxurious vessel, Spirit of Elston, and enjoy one of the best sightseeing and dining experiences on the Gold Coast. Take in views that showcase some of the city's most famous landmarks, such as the glittering waters of the Gold Coast Broadwater, Sea World, and the glamorous Palazzo Versace. Satisfy your appetite with an irresistible buffet lunch, including locally sourced king prawns, succulent roast chicken, freshly baked ham off the bone and delicious salads. Pair lunch with wine, craft beer, or treat yourself to a tasty cocktail. Head upstairs to the open-air top deck and soak in the sunshine with a drink in hand, while listening to entertaining commentary from our expert crew about the iconic Gold Coast.

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Frequently asked questions about Gold Coast

What are the best day trips and excursions from Gold Coast?

The best day trips and excursions from Gold Coast are:

Brisbane

Other Sightseeing Options in Gold Coast

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What people are saying about Gold Coast

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 3,092 reviews

Very unforgettable experience. Our driver Mike is very nice, every time before he made a turn he would make a gesture to let us know. That’s very nice!!

Jamie was an excellent host. And the trapdoor spiders were the highlight for me. Very tranquil and the Forest was alive with many creatures.

We had the best enjoyable time!! Our assistant was really good made our experience the best it was so much fun!! And very safe !

It was fun and saw lot of fishes , the sand experience was funny Food was good too I would do it again

Arrived at midday, wish we’d shown up earlier. Would be very easy to spend the entire day there.