How to ace your first Gold Coast Adventure

This guide on Gold Coast has been written by Kimpy Olivar, a writer and blogger, who loves traveling around the world. He dreams of visiting all countries around the world one day and write a book about it.

The City of the Gold Coast hugs Queensland's (Australia) southeast coast for an incredible 70km, extending far outside the borders of Surfers Paradise, its majestic center.“Goldie” as the city lovingly called has come a long way from being once renowned for its tackiness. The Gold Coast also ranked as Australia’s family-fun capital, with awesome theme parks ranging from Sea World and Whitewater World to Warner Bros Movie World, Dreamworld as well as the Australian Outback Spectacular.

Multiple modern hotels, including The Darling, grace the area, the continued development of Hota, the city’s foremost arts hub, and overhauled dining and nightlife are among the highlights of a multimillion-dollar renovation. Despite this burst of development, the vibe remained laidback. With few must-sees beyond its stunning beaches, the Gold Coast is a city best discovered through your holiday breaks and vacations.

Gold Coast

Hyped yet? Here are some of the best destinations to ace your first Gold Coast Adventure!

Take to the sea

Peppers Broadbeach should be your first destination right from the airport to satisfy your appetite. With over 100 alfresco restaurants offering diverse cuisines, you won’t go hungry here. The family-friendly Zagames Paradise Resort is in the center of Surfers Paradise. Parents can relish some “me time” while the little ones stay entertained at the kid’s club.

If you are into adrenaline-pumping activities, then you should never miss surfing on the beach of Gold Coast. It is a perfect place for surfing, so you can’t go home without trying it. If you are a beginner, don’t fret! There are various surfing classes that you can try. And there are always instructions and briefing before you start riding the waves, so don’t worry if you haven’t tried this before. The whole session lasts for about 2 hours and instructors are always with you to improve your technique and ensure your safety.

South of the Gold Coast at Kirra Beach is Nirvana by the Sea, which specializes in lavish accommodation for couples. Their units are themed “living spaces,” which captures panoramic views of Queensland’s most famed beach.

Park in the park

Goldie boasts as Australia’s theme park capital because it’s home to Dreamworld, Sea World, Movie World, Wet ‘n’ Wild and Whitewater World. You can save yourself cash and time by simply buying your passes online. Opt for the “unlimited passes” since they're worth the higher price.

Gold Coast

To avoid traffic and parking woes, catch the local bus to any of the parks – or better yet, rent your own vehicle. Getting the three-park pass entitles you to extra savings as well as access to Movie World, Sea World, and Wet ’n’ Wild. Both Dreamworld and WhiteWater World also offer discounted “world pass tickets”.

Get natural

The Gold Coast boasts everything any holidaymakers look for in a vacation. With so many beautiful national parks, each with easy walkways to explore and stretch those office-laden legs. Choose from O’Reilly’s, Springbrook National Park’s Natural Bridge Rainforest Circuit, Moonlight Craig Lookout or the Tamborine Mountain. The Natural Bridge Rainforest Circuit is a remarkable natural rock formation that stunning arches over Cave Creek. Thousands of glowworms make it most spectacular and otherworldly at night.

Gold Coast
Tamborine Mountain

Want to catch the magnificent whales? You can take part and be a witness in their annual migration along Humpback Highway. There are more than 25,000 viewing opportunities between June and November in the busy shoreline.

Can’t get enough of Gold Coast? Still thinking whether to spend your precious vacation or holiday here? There’s more to this list that we can show in a single article, so go ahead and read more reasons to visit Gold Coast here. What are you waiting for? The sun, sand, and surf waiting for you on the Gold Coast any time of the year!

61 thoughts on “How to ace your first Gold Coast Adventure”

  1. I haven’t yet been to Australia, but am fascinated by the Gold Coast. I’ll take your advice and head straight to that lovely beach from the airport. Dreamworld sounds like a lot of fun, so I’d add that to the itinerary too! A gorgeous place in Australia; I really hope I get to visit one day!

  2. I have read so much about beaches in Gold Coast, however I wasn’t aware about the national parks around the region. It sounds like a perfect vacation combined with beach amd nature. I would love to explore all of this soon!

  3. I’m an adrenaline junkie so I would definitely head to Dreamworld ASAP! It sounds fabulous and like the ideal destination for me. I also think enjoying a sunrise and sunset on the coast would be a great addition to this itinerary. Great post!

  4. Nice article. I would surely like to be there during the whale migration. It must an awesome sight to see those huge mammals of the sea in hundreds. I have been to Gold Coast before but it was just touch and go. We were on a road trip from Sydney over a long weekend. 🙂

  5. Theme parks! My younger travel buddies will love it here! I will especially love the trip to the Tamborine Mountain! The views are awesome too! There surely is something for everyone in this one place!

    1. I am sure there are amazing hiking trails in Tamborine Mountain and I’d love to check them out.

  6. I just got back from here and totally endorse this post. Gold Coast is just so beautiful – the Hinterlands as well as the coast line and the city itself has a lovely vibe. Almost keen on migrating here (ha ha ) . One week here and I still am craving for more.

  7. great that there are so many national parks and outdoor opportunities in a short drive from the city. And I’ve always wanted to try a surfing lesson. adding this to my list!

  8. I’ve been to Gold Coast to visit a sister and her family who are residents. But that was ten years ago and I’m sure a lot had changed since then. I’ve been to Surfers Paradise but most of the time we’re in Brisbane or some other places so never got the chance to explore Goldie. I would like to explore more of its national parks and witness the whale migration if I have the chance to visit again.

  9. I love amusement parks, and I’d love to see all those worlds. Movie World and White Water World sound most interesting to me, but I don’t think I’d be able to go to one and not the others. Hopefully I’ll be Australia by the beginning of next year.

  10. A perfect combination of the beauty of both the sea and land, plus sooo many theme parks to go to as well! So many things to do in one place. The panoramic view is really beautiful!!!

  11. A drive there is one of our dream must do activity. Need to time my visit to witness the annual migration of whales along Humpback Highway. Looks like an excellent opportunity for good photo shoots.

  12. Thanks for sharing Kimpy’s post, Medha. The nature in the Gold Coast seems mesmerizing and I would love to explore it one day. Is the Gold Coast a good adventure destination?

    1. Sounds like it is, to me. Especially with the surfing, the amusement parks and the nature reserves, where I am sure there are some really cool hiking trails.

  13. The Gold Coast is so beautiful everytime I see pictures! I’d definitely want to come between June and November so I could see the whales migrating. That sounds amazing.

  14. The Gold Coast looks absolutely beautiful. I missed in when I visited Australia so it looks like I need to go back.

  15. Really nice guest post here, it brought a smile to my face, recollecting my own time on the gold coast. Kimpy has done a really good job bringing out the gold coasts features and he is right it has come along way from the ‘tacky’tag it once had.

  16. Great guest blog on the Gold Coast Medha. I had heard of the Gold Coast, but really didn’t know much about it before reading this post – Kimpy has given some great insights and pointers for enjoying a trip there 🙂 Surfing seems like one of the best things to do there, though I think I’d have to have a few lessons first 😉 x

    1. Haha I tried surfing lessons in Hawaii and I just couldn’t get a hang of it 😀 But I’d surely give it another shot if (rather, when) I visit Gold Coast 🙂

  17. Gold coast is so damn beautiful and high on her list too. Recently, we have been reading a lot about it. You are right it has plenty to offer to its travelers. Migration of whales that will be so interesting. Great write up and pictures.

  18. Gold Coast looks a great place for a vacation having the combination of both sea and natural Parks. Kimpy has given some great tips about the place. And did you say migration of whales?? Wow, that would be wonderful to watch.

  19. When I think of Gold coast I think of me trying to surf but ending up swallowing 10 liter of sea water! Other than that I absolute loved spending my time here! Reading your post just made me realise how much I missed while being there! Especially now when I have a daughter of my own so I would definitely visit all these theme parks! And hopefully have a glimpse of some whales!

  20. What a gorgeous coastline. I truly missed out on seeing this part of Australia, maybe in November for whale season! Kirra beach looks beautiful. I had no idea there was theme parks there too – endless things to do for the whole family.

  21. I love beaches and natural parks and for me Gold Coast is perfect vacation destination. I would love to go for Tamborine Mountain and those stunning natural arches, cliffs and beauty of rainforest. Also I would stay at Nivarna for having perfect views.

  22. It’s so great to hear about other places in Australia, not just Melbourne and Sydney! Goldie sounds like a cool place to visit – it is my dream to go surfing in Australia so this could be the place for me! Great place for the kids too with all those theme parks!

    1. Yea, that’s true, I’m sure kids will love it as much as adults 🙂

  23. I agree, it is all about nature and the beach in the Gold Coast, the area has so much on both sides that you will be spoiled for choice

  24. This post brought back memories of our road trip to Australia .. there is so much more to Gold Coast than the beach .. I loved all the national parks around and can’t wait to go back .. very informative article

  25. I’ve never been, and I’ve never tried surfing before, but I would like to some day. Well, this sure seems like a great destination: to see the city, to take few surfing lessons and – to see the wales! I was overwhelmed when you’ve mentioned the Humpback Highway. It makes me even more interested in Gold Coast, thanks! 🙂

    1. I don’t know how to surf either. Hopefully, I will get to visit Australia soon, there’s just so many adventurous activities I want to indulge in there.

  26. One of our company’s closest clients live in the Gold Coast. He has been inviting me to visit this place after knowing that I’m an avid traveler. Indeed, as I’ve seen in your photos, it’s awesome!

  27. What an awesome itinerary this literally has it all. There is not one thing on your list that I wouldn’t be excited to do. I am a big theme fan and would love to visit Dreamworld, Sea World, Movie World, Wet ‘n’ Wild and Whitewater World.

  28. Gold Coast looks incredibly beautiful and definitely a bucket list adventure. I love the natural surroundings of the Tamborine Mountain. The view of the Kirra Beach is simply breathtaking. Hopefully, I’ll visit this place someday and soak in its beauty.

  29. I love that there’s so much beautiful nature there! I wouldn’t get bored for sure. Really hope to make it to Australia soon, and the Gold Coast will certainly be part of my itinerary!

    1. I love the mix of beaches and nature parks, I hope to make it to Gold Coast myself next year!

  30. What a way to ace my first trip to Australia! I’ve been planning a trip to the Gold Coast and you have given me a bunch of ideas! I like to spread out my interests, between shopping, city, nature, history, etc. I’m not sure I’d want to visit theme parks, but it would be cool to see them all so close together!

    1. I’d love to visit too, someday! I am planning a 2 week trip to Australia next year, will make it to Gold Coast for sure 🙂

  31. I might end up with an extended layover in Gold Coast this August when I fly back to New Zealand for a few months, and your post has really given me some fab ideas! So many theme parks, I wouldn’t even know where to start…

  32. Thanks for the tips! I have never been in that area, but would definitely consider going there. The National Parks sounds interesting.

  33. That’s where my partner is from! We drove from Brisbane and it was nice to go to the beach and eat snacks! We didn’t get to do Temborine Mountain and all that but it is def on the list!

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