You might have been here before but if you think you’ve ‘done’ the Gold Coast, think again!  There are certain images that spring to mind when you think of a trip to the Gold Coast. The cluster of high-rises that make up the Surfers Paradise skyline, surfers riding world-class waves, sky high roller coasters and patting kangaroos. Many of the attractions that made this city so popular in the first place remain, but we’ve changed… for the better!  

Discover all things new and unexpected on the Gold Coast..

1. Hinterland

It's hard to tear yourself away from the incredible coastline, but for a completely different experience and a dose of fresh mountain air, hit the road (under an hour's drive) to discover the green behind the gold - the Gold Coast Hinterland.

Above: Hinterland - Mt Tamborine

Hiking in World Heritage-listed Rainforest

There are close to 700 km of hiking trails that weave through beautiful bushland reserves, conservation areas and national parks which allow you to explore the Australian subtropical rainforest.

Waterfalls & Swimming Holes

Wander through ancient rainforests where cool, freshwater creeks flow into rock pools and waterfalls. Curtis Falls in Mount Tamborine is one of the easiest to access. Take the 10-minute walk by torchlight and visit at night to see a galaxy of glow worms softly shining in the dark.

Make a Furry Friend

At Mountview Alpaca Farm you can enjoy the unique experience of taking one of the cute, fluffy pack members for a walk - the perfect way to connect with nature in a stunning location.

Above: Mountview Alpaca Farm

Sample a Local Drop

Fancy a glass of wine with your sunshine? The Hinterland is a hotspot for local produce and there are plenty of places to sample a delicious local drop. Head to Hampton Estate, Cedar Creek Estate or Witches Falls Winery for wine tasting,  Tambourine Mountain Distillery or Cauldron Distillery for local spirits.

2. Tours & Experiences

Immerse yourself in epic experiences from riding over the water or diving deep beneath it, cuddling cute critters or screaming your head off on one of our newest theme park rides. Check out some of the coolest new things to do on your holiday.


Gold Coast Tours

Joining a guided tour is a brilliant way to explore the Gold Coast. Whether your want to sample local food and wine, sip a local drop at our boutique breweries and distilleries, or explore the hinterland, jump aboard with one of these tour operators who’ll ensure your experience will be remembered as a highlight of your holiday.


Wonder reef

Just a 10-minute boat trip offshore, Wonder Reef  the world's first floating reef has to be seen to be believed. Divers can explore the reef, observing the coral, sea creatures and evolving marine ecosystems at depths of 8, 18 and 30 metres to suit every level of diver.  


Above: Wonder Reef

Breakfast with a Koala

Bet you’ve never had a breakfast date like this before! Wake up the right way and share your morning meal with a koala at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Tuck into a gourmet breakky spread while the park’s koala keepers educate you on these iconic Aussie animals and the conservation projects they’re part of. Plus you’ll get a koala cuddle and a professional photo to capture the cute moment you meet one of these lovely locals.

Above: Currumbin Koala Breakfast

3. Culture & Events

Free Music Festivals

Love live music? So do we... especially in the great outdoors and that’s something the Gold Coast does exceptionally well. Our sublime sub-tropical climate and unique open-air venues make for a magical musical experience. There are some epic multi-day music festivals held in our seaside city and the best bit? They’re all free!

- Blues on Broadbeach  

- Springtime GC

HOTA Gallery

HOTA (Home of the Arts) is the Gold Coast’s go-to destination for all things arts, creativity and entertainment, with it’s brightly coloured exterior, it looks like a work of art itself. This is a gallery for the people – inclusive, inspiring and in true Gold Coast style, you’re welcome to visit in board shorts and thongs if that’s your vibe. There’s an incredible Children’s Gallery with interactive exhibitions and craft activities, five levels of visual art to explore, with the top-level home to an exquisite rooftop bar, The Exhibitionist. Enjoy a cocktail with sweeping views of the city.

4. Gold Coast’s Dining Scene

A slew of exciting new Gold Coast restaurants and venues have swung open their doors ensuring our vibrant dining scene is constantly evolving.  

If you enjoy some stunning scenery to admire while you enjoy a meal, then you’ve come to the right place. The Gold Coast boasts some incredible waterfront venues where you can hear the waves crashing on shore and watch the sunset with your supper. Tommy’s Italian and Hyde Paradiso boast ocean views and so do the surf clubs that dot the coastline.

Fine Dining

Hospitality is something the Gold Coast does brilliantly and while fish and chips were once the kind of fare you could expect, the bar has been well and truly raised.  Some fine dining favorite's include Social Eating House and Orzo in Broadbeach, Uncle Su and Kiyomi at The Star, and The Tropic or Rick Shores and La Luna or Glass Dining at Marina Mirage.  

Above: The Tropic

Fresh Foodie Finds

If there’s one thing the Gold Coast food scene has embraced wholeheartedly, it’s the ritual of the weekly farmers market haul. With small-scale and expansive markets dotted all over the Coast every weekend, there’s endless opportunity to browse, sample, taste, admire and shop everything from fresh produce to baked goods, artisan bread, fresh flowers, specialty coffee, homewares and wholefoods.  

5. Ride the Waves

Regarded as one of the top surfing spots in the world, the Gold Coast boasts epic point breaks. Ride the waves at Currumbin Alley, Snapper Rocks or the popular surf spot Burleigh Heads. Hire a stand-up paddle board and take to the sparkling water at Tallebudgera, Budds Beach and Currumbin Creek Estuary.

6. paradise centre

Paradise Centre is the largest shopping centre in Surfers Paradise. Located on the corner of Surfers Paradise Boulevard and Cavill Mall. With 90+ specialty shops, complemented by an alfresco beachfront dining precinct and an exciting entertainment offering, Paradise Centre offers a memorable and fun experience for the whole family.

You'll find interesting shops to explore with everything from beach, swim and resort wear to funky fashion and carefree casual all under one roof. There's a selection of dining options for every occasion, with a wide array of flavours to tempt your taste buds and the iconic Surfers Beer Garden, just to name a few.

Paradise Centre is open late, 365 days.

Above: Paradise Centre, Surfers Paradise

To discover more, view the GOLD COAST GUIDE