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Things to do on the Gold Coast today

You wake up, open the curtains to be greeted by yet another day of blue skies and sunshine. Hello Gold Coast, what will we do today? No plans, no worries. We have put together a list of some of our favourite things you can do on the Gold Coast today. All of the tours and activities below are either walk up or able to be booked on the day taking away any of the hassle of needing to plan ahead and pre-book. Feeling spontaneous? What are you waiting for – it’s time to have some fun. Whether you’re a local or a holiday maker here’s a list of  Things to do on the Gold Coast today and we’re pretty sure we’ve included something for everyone. 

Image: Movie World via Destination Gold Coast

  • Theme Parks – Days of fun and something for everyone!

Dubbed the theme park capital of Australia, a visit to the Gold Coast is not complete without exploring some of Australia’s best Theme Parks.  No matter if you are on your honeymoon, travelling with mates, or exploring with your family, everyone should visit a theme park at least once when coming to the Gold Coast. With free car parking, public transport access and same day admission, the tricky part is deciding which one?   

Dreamworld is Australia’s biggest theme park featuring live animals, thrill rides and roller coasters, family rides, live shows, kids zone and aboriginal experiences. One of its biggest draw cards is Tiger Island where you can see and learn about tigers andthere is also a tiger feeding experience  if you are brave enough. Dreamworld is also home to WhitewaterWorld, an aquatic playground with 13 different slides to choose from. There are many ticket optionas available to suit your budget and needs from annual passes, 2in1 park entry and single day admission. Check out their website for more information.

If you are a fan of all things Hollywood and the big screen you will love Movie World. With the tagline its ‘Hollywood on the Gold Coast’ its no surprise this is where you will have the opportunity to meet and greet all your favourite film characters including Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, Tom and Jerry, Marilyn Monroe and of course all your favourite Looney Tunes characters led by none other than Bugs Bunny. MovieWorld has a variety of rides and live shows appealing to the interests of movie lovers of all ages. The little ones will love the Kids WB Fun Zone, adrenalin seekers will be blown away by thrill rides like the DC Rivals Hypercoaster and Batwing Spaceshot and those who prefer to be more of a spectator than active participant will enjoy the range of shows offered throughout the day including stunt show, wild west and the famous character filled street parade. Village Roadshow has various ticket options available including single day, 3,7,14 day passes across the group of theme parks and even an annual pass option from $159 for theme park enthusiasts. 

Ocean lovers can’t go past a day at Sea World. Unlike the other parks which are located alongside the M1 Motorway at Helensvale and Coomera, Sea World is located at Main Beach, only a 5-10 minute drive from Surfers Paradise.

Sea World really is Australia’s no1 marine park with Polar bears, penguins, dolphins, seals, rays and other marine specials all calling the park home. There are 9 live shows and presentations daily and the affinity dolphin show at 11.30am daily is one not to be missed! There are a range of rides mainly suited to families and kids can burn off any extra energy in the castaway Bay adventure playground. Sea World entry is included in your Village Roadshow multi-park pass options, or a stand alone general admission ticket for $79 is also available. 

  • Blast across the Broadwater on a jetboat thrill ride!


Also located at Main Beach, with departures every hour from 9am to 4pm is Paradise Jet Boating Australia’s Number 1 Jet Boat Ride.
Jet Boat Gold Coast waterways
with a dash of thrills!  Explore 35km of Marine National Park on the 55 minute Jet Boat Adventure ride, enjoying spins and turns at high speed, but unlike many jet boat adventures, this exciting ride cruises through the pristine Gold Coast Broadwater, where you can sometimes spot dolphins coming out to play, and wallabies on South Stradbroke Island, curious by the sound of the jets, lining the beaches to say hello.  Cruise the canals of Sovereign Islands, and marvel at the residences of the rich and famous, and their incredible architecturally designed homes and gardens. For those with limited time, a 30 minute Express ride is also available, covering a shorter distance, but offering all the fun, twists and turns of the Adventure ride.  Don’t miss the boat, seats sell fast on this tour book your Gold Coast Jet Boat Ride Today.



Source – Destination Gold Coast


  • Explore one or all of the spectacular beaches on the Gold Coast

Did you know the Gold Coast is composed of 21 stunning white sandy beaches spanning 57km of coastline from Rainbow Bay in the south to South Stradbroke island in the north?  With so many to choose from which one should you visit first? Here’s a few of our favourites:  

Surfers Paradise is the most famous of them all, combining a vibrant city centre, spectacular skyline and stunning wide beaches visited by millions of tourists every year.  You cannot visit the Gold Coast without getting the most famous beach holiday snap under the Surfers Paradise sign, located right at the end of Cavill Avenue.

If surfing is on your bucket list, family owned company Get Wet Surf School offers 2 Hour lessons for surfing in the safe and calm waters at Main Beach, and you will soon be standing and surfing like a pro!

For escaping the crowds, Narrowneck is the best kept secret and located between Surfers Paradise and Main Beach.  For those looking for a challenge, there is also an artificial reef that creates a great swell for the confident surfer.

Further south, one of the most beautiful beaches is at Tallebudgera Creek, boasting calm blue waters and the perfect spot to escape in a kayak or try your skills at Stand up Paddle boarding.  The inlet opens to the ocean, so take a short stroll to the surf beach to mix it up.

Families of all ages must visit Currumbin Beach, one of Australia’s cleanest beach, with stunning waters and estuary beaches and relax in unique rock pools.  Close by is Snapper Rocks, the most famous Gold Coast surf break and start of the large sand bank known as Superbank. Snapper Rocks is home of the annual world surf league Quicksilver Pro event.

If picnics and walking are your thing, the top spot has to be Burleigh Heads, which offers magical views along the coastline, and perhaps take your picnic to Burleigh Hill where you may even see whales passing by during the winter months.

What ever your beach style is, the Gold Coast has the beach for you ..  get your swimmers on now!


  • Paddle the calm water canals

When on the Gold Coast, there is no better way to explore than on the water.  Departing from Budds Beach, Go Vertical SUP provides stand up paddle boarding tours through the calm waters of the Surfers Paradise canals.  Enjoy the stunning scenery as you paddle past pristine waterways and mangroves, and try to spot playful dolphins or the curious turtles, that may want to swim with you as you glide by them.  Stand Up Paddle boarding is for everyone, and you do not need experience.  Start your two hour tour with a mini lesson, that gives you the basic skills so you feel confident on the water before embarking on your guided paddle. A truly special highlight of the tour is the visit Macintosh Island, where we have a chance to walk amongst the beautiful peacocks and spot a curious curlew family.  Truly a way to enjoy nature, learn a new skill, enjoy the sunshine and take in the beauty of the waterways of the Gold Coast.  Two Hour lesson is $68 per adult and $63 per child (12-16 Years).  For those wanting to hone those SUP skills, 1 Hour group and private lessons are also available.

Image: O’Reillys Rainforest Retreat via Destination Gold Coast




If you’ve had enough of the city life, today might be the perfect opportunity for you to escape to nature and breathe fresh mountain air as you hike some of Australia’s most spectacular national parks.  Just 30 minutes by car from Gold Coast, head inland towards Tamborine village. Just five minutes from the village, explore the stunning rainforest tracks of Mt Tamborine, with a short hike to the beautiful Curtis Falls.  Further south, walking tracks wind through Lamington National Park, and a must is a visit to Natural Bridge located in the World Heritage Springbrook National Park.  Discover ancient trees, rainforest animals, colourful birds and spectacular waterfalls at your own leisure.  For a special treat, visit O’Reillys and enjoy a canopy treetop walk followed by hand feeding of local birds, before enjoying a coffee overlooking the peaceful rainforest.  A truly incredible way to spend your day, and become one with nature.  For those with ample time to explore, why not undertake the 3 day challenge of hiking 54 km on the Great Walk travelling from Lamington Park to Springbrook National Park, a walk from west to east, a walk of a lifetime.


  • Explore Surfers Paradise by land and water on an amphibious Aquaduck Tour

Just arrived on the Gold Coast?  What better introduction to the Gold Coast then onboard the one- hour Aquaduck City Tour and River Cruise.  The tour starts on Cavill Ave, so an easy walk from your hotel if staying in Surfers Paradise.  Your on board tour guide and driver offer fun commentary as you explore the streets and enjoy great views of the famous Surfers Paradise beach as you head towards the Spit.  This is where the exciting part starts, as the amphibious vessel turns from a bus into a boat. With a quack and a splash the Aquaduck drives into the beautiful Broadwater.  Cruise the waterways, past incredible super yachts, the stunning building of Palazzo Versace, grand homes of the rich and famous, all as you try to spot the abundant birdlife living near the waterways, and you may even be lucky to have a pod of dolphins accompany you.  Aquaduck is a true family experience, and a highlight for the kids who have the opportunity to be Captain and drive Aquaduck on the water.  They even get a Captain’s Certificate to keep as a memory of their holiday.  Add a family photo for just $10 to keep those memories fresh.  With up to 14 departures daily you can phone ahead or book online on the day or walk up to the departure location in Cavill Avenue to reserve your seats on the next tour. From just $40 per adult and $30 per child, there is no better value tour on the Gold Coast. Get Quacking.


Image: Southern Cross Tours

  •  See the glow worms in their natural rainforest environment at night.

After a full day of touring the Gold Coast, the perfect end to your day is join the Glow Worm Night Tour, operated by Southern Cross Tours.  Depart your hotel, and within 30 minutes enjoy an exhilarating night time adventure through eucalyptus forests up the side of Mt Tamborine.  Stop at a special lookout point with views of the Gold Coast lights and have a little fun trying to spot the elusive Koala in the surrounding treetops.  Continue to Mt Tamborine for some refreshments and scrumptious dessert before driving to the nearby rainforest walk.  With small groups of just 16 guests, enjoy a truly personalised experience as you learn about the rainforest, and hopefully spot some cute nocturnal animals poking their nose out from under the ferns.  After an easy walk to Curtis Falls, flashlights are extinguished, so you can stand peacefully, as you listen to the waterfall cascading over boulders, and witness the canopy rock faces come alive with an impressive light display of the tiny glow worms.  It is truly like standing in a fairy garden, and an experience that will be the highlight of your visit to the Gold Coast.  Prices for this incredible adventure are just $99 per adult and $78 per child (2-13 Years).



Image: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary– An action packed Day filled with animal encounters

    Open Daily from 8am – 5pm, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, offers various wildlife encounters, the most famous of which is the free twice daily hand feeding of the wild lorikeets. Immerse yourself in Australian culture as you enjoy a traditional aboriginal performance and meet exotic species such as Red Pandas, Dingos, Capybaras and lemurs as you wander through the Lost Valley.  Take some time to cool off at the new Wild Island Adventure Splash Zone, watch your kids run through waterfalls, water jets and waterways through the zone.  Another new feature is The Gruffalo Trail where you can download an interactive app, and take a walk through the deep dark woods and meet lots of characters from the famous book written by Julia Donaldson. Between 10am and 1pm daily you have the opportunity to cuddle a Koala yourself and purchase a souvenir photo for $29. No visit to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is complete without witnessing the incredible work being done treating, caring and rehabilitating injured, sick and orphaned wildlife of Australia, all done with the hope these precious animals can be released back into the wild.  Options to add to your experience include purchasing a paver with your name on it, starting from just $90, buy a $10 tree to help feed a koala, become a Friend of the Hospital from $50 per year, or for just $29 take home a photo of you with a Koala, a memory to keep forever.



  • The Star Gold Coast – 24 hours of Playtime Fun in Paradise

Whether you have an hour or a day to play, The Star Gold Coast is a place for everyone.  The Star Gold Coast is not just a world-class Casino, but an entertainment precinct offering iconic bars, award winning restaurants, a luxurious spa, and even a theatre featuring local and world renowned acts and theatre performances.  If you just wish to relax and unwind with friends, evenings and weekends feature entertainment at Garden Kitchen & Bar and adjacent casual outdoor venue The Lawn with seasonal pop up food beverage vendors. For special celebrations such as the 4th July, pop up kitchens feature delectable such as Smoked American BBQ Ribs.  The dining options are many, with your choice of 9 different cuisines from Harvest Buffet, great for families, to Asian style dishes at Mei Wei Dumplings and Imperial at The Star, and the incredible Japanese hatted restaurant Kiyomi.  For those looking for Italian flavours dining at Cucina Vivo is a must.  For a special occasion Nineteen at The Star offers amazing views and sublime sophistication and fresh local produce.  There is a spectacular nightly light show in the evenings on the outside of the buildings and gardens, completely free for you and the family to enjoy.  Open 24 Hours Daily (reduced hours on specified public holiday dates)

So if you are looking for things to do on the Gold Coast today all these tours and activities are open and available for you to experience today. So get out of bed and start and start playing.  With so many things to do on the gold Coast today you might want to stay for tomorrow too.