The best things to do on the Gold Coast

Go for gold: experience the very best of the Gold Coast with our top tips.

Aerial view of people surfing at North Burleigh, Gold Coast. Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.
  • Jetstar
  • May 2021

One of the best things to do on the Gold Coast is just to be on the Gold Coast! The land of eternal sunshine, endless beaches, breezy resorts and breathtaking hinterlands is one ideal holiday destination. Theme parks abound, and there are great landscapes and food scenes in the surrounds. Whether you’ve got the kids in tow, or you’re flying with friends or solo, here’s where you’ve just got to go.

Relax on the beach at Burleigh Heads

With close to 60km of golden beaches etching this gorgeous coastline, it’s called the Gold Coast for a reason. Start exploring and you’ll discover a beach for every taste. Of course, there’s the iconic Surfers Paradise. There’s laidback Palm Beach, family-friendly Nobby Beach and The Spit, which suits both surfers and waders alike. Then there’s beautiful Burleigh Heads, fringed in pine trees, offering both surfing waves and calm hidden corners to soak in. With views from the headland, it’s the Gold Coast in a postcard.

An aerial view of bright blue water and a curved shoreline at Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast, Queensland.
Postcard-perfect headland view of Burleigh Heads.

Get lost in nature at Lamington National Park

Swap the beach for the bush and get lost in the wonder of Lamington National Park. It’s part of the the largest subtropical rainforest in the world, and it’s teeming with magical waterfalls. Hit the extensive walking trails for soul-soothing wanderings. If you do the Caves circuit, you’ll get incredible views over the Coomera Valley. The summit of the Moran Falls track rewards with equally spectacular views.

A bushwalker at the top of Morans Falls overlooking Morans Creek Gorge, Lamington National Park. Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.
Peak holiday views at Morans Falls. Image credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

Hit the theme park at Warner Bros. Movie World

If you’re going to the Goldie, you’ve got to lose yourself in the full-tilt fun of all the theme parks in the area. Warner Bros. Movie World is just that – a whole world of movie-related thrill rides, shows and experiences. Journey through the Wild West, hang out with the Looney Tunes gang, and ride the most extreme roller coaster in the Southern Hemisphere. There are parades, performances, and you can even try your hand at being a stunt driver!

People walking around Warner Bros. Movie World with rollercoaster and movie studio in background. Image credit: Destination Gold Coast
A world of fun for all ages. Image credit: Destination Gold Coast

Cuddle a koala at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Sprawling across hectares of rainforest, the famous, not-for-profit Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary will make even the mildest animal lover squeal. You can feed kangaroos, cuddle koalas, and get up close with red pandas and Cotton-topped tamarins. Go behind the scenes with wildlife vets and travel back in time in the Lost Valley. Challenge yourself to a Treetop Challenge, or just relax with a glass of wine, surrounded by roos. Want more beasties? Head to the David Fleay Wildlife Park for a bevy of crocs, brolgas, dingoes, dunnarts and bilbies.

A close up of a koala surrounded by green leaves at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on the Gold Coast. Image credit: ChameleonsEye/
Who could resist cuddling this? Image credit: ChameleonsEye/

Shop up a storm at Pacific Fair

So you’ve lounged on the beach or hung out at your resort – time to scratch that shopping and dining itch! Pacific Fair is a multi-level shopping and dining destination imbued with that tropical, al fresco Gold Coast ambience. Stroll in the fresh air, around palm trees and ornamental landscapes, as you browse more than 400 stores. A visitor lounge takes care of sore feet and heavy shopping bags, and an extensive array of restaurants looks after hungry shoppers.

Shoppers strolling across bridges and relaxing next to pools at Pacific Fair on the Gold Coast. Image credit: POC/
Al fresco shopping, relaxing and dining at Pacific Fair. Image credit: POC/