The Gold Coast is many things to many people – but to most people, the Gold Coast is, first and foremost, a destination. People come from all around the world to see the city of sun, sand, and surf.

Famed for its golden coastline, excellent surf breaks, cluster of world-class theme parks, incredible nightlife, and glamorous hotel skyscrapers towering over the beachfront, the Gold Coast is the premier place to visit in south Queensland.

Join us as we look at the many wonderful things travellers will look to do in the Gold Coast.

Best things to do on the Gold Coast

“Best” is a subjective word, but some points of interest appeal to the traveller in us all. One of those activities with mass appeal is SkyPoint Climb – an adventurous guided climbing experience which safely scales the heights of the landmark Q1 Resort & Spa tower in Surfers Paradise, and provides breathtaking, panoramic 360 degree views of the greater Gold Coast region from 270 metres up. With complimentary entry to the SkyPoint Observation Deck before or after your 90 minute ascent, SkyPoint Climb is a must-do (and see) tourist activity.

Another amazing, yet lesser known activity in the Gold Coast is whale watching. The Gold Coast sits on what is commonly called ‘Humpback Highway’, the migratory route Humpback Whales take every year as they venture up from the icy waters of Antartica for mating season. The Gold Coast has the longest continuous whale watching window in Australia, running over five months from late May to October. Whales In Paradise is the Gold Coast’s original whale watching tour operator, taking tours out past South Stradbroke Island to see these magnificent creatures in their element. 

Best beaches to visit on the Gold Coast

While many visitors will flock to the popular sandy shores of Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach, there are many other spectacular beaches along the Gold Coast:

  • Main Beach is a decidedly quieter relaxation spot away from the hustle and bustle of Surfers Paradise. Backed by sand dunes and glamorous resorts, Main Beach is a brilliant place to spend a day and a popular spot to learn to surf.
  • Surfers looking for a great point break should look to Kirra Beach in Coolangatta on the southern end of the Gold Coast, and neighbouring Duranbah Beach in Tweed Heads which sits over the state line in New South Wales.
  • For a quieter swim with a dose of coastal charm, visitors may check out Burleigh Heads. Commonly referred to simply as “Burleigh”, this Bohemian-surfer beachside community is Gold Coast’s answer to Byron Bay, and is very picturesque with tall Norfolk pines and the Burleigh Headland as the backdrop. The beach also has an awesome right-hand point break, making it incredibly popular with local surfers.

LITTLE HOTELIER TOP TIP : Ensure your website is mobile-friendly. This is especially important for hotels, as guests will often look for somewhere to stay while they’re on the move or looking for a last-minute deal. Choosing a mobile-optimised website provider (such as Little Hotelier’s website builder) makes it easy from the start.

Things to do in the Gold Coast with kids

Aside from the many golden beaches dotting its coastline, another fantastic reason most cited for visiting the Gold Coast is its ‘playground’ reputation, owing to the cluster of theme parks that sit several kilometres inland from its shores:

  • The iconic Wet’n’Wild theme park is Australia’s largest water park, with 22 attractions on-site, including several giant slides, wave pools, swimming pools, and water-based thrill rides. 
  • Featuring rides, slides, and wildlife all in one place, Dreamworld is a playground for kids of all ages (including big adult kids), and is famed for roller coasters and thrill rides. ‘Steel Taipan’ is Dreamworld’s newest coaster!
  • Sea World is Australia’s premier marine park, home to dolphins, penguins, seals, sharks, and more. With a host of aquatically-themed rides, Sea World is a leading theme park in its own right.
  • Warners Bros. Movie World allows kids of all ages to meet their favourite stars and superheroes, and enjoy the exhilaration of adventure rides, thrill rides, and exclusive experiences at a world-class theme park.

While the Gold Coast’s major theme parks tend to get most of the attention, there are several lesser known theme parks which give children unique experiences, outside of the mainstream :

  • WhiteWater World is located next door to Dreamworld and is seasonally operated throughout the warmer months of the year. As the name suggests, WhiteWater World is the perfect place to cool off at after a day at Dreamworld, the park’s slides and water-based thrill rides are sure to delight kids of all ages!
  • Gold Coast Wake Park is sure to appeal to sporty kids who don’t mind getting their hair wet. Offering wakeboarding lessons and full amenities, including its own water park, this is one theme park the kids will be talking about for years to come. 
  • Another theme park on the outskirts of the Gold Coast is EcoPark – a fishing park and farm stay with many friendly exotic and unusual animals and birds that kids will be instantly drawn to! Also known as EcoPark Fishing World, the fully stocked fishery provides kids with exceptional, first-hand encounters with the natural world through its catch and release fishing program, and has been known to kickstart many childrens’ interest in conservation.

Things to do in the Gold Coast for couples

Couples have plenty of choices for things to do when visiting the Gold Coast. Whether it’s resting and relaxing on the beach with a book in hand, or exploring the many beaches, bays, mountains, and walks, there’s a great deal of variety on offer – and most of it is free!

For adventurous couples looking to discover some of the natural delights the region has on offer, we recommend visiting Burleigh Heads for the day. After dipping your toes in the sand and water at the beach, you could head inland to trek the Oceanview Walk at Burleigh Head National Park, before cooling off again in the crystal clear waters of Tallebudgera Creek.

LITTLE HOTELIER TOP TIP : Turn your guests into advocates – or better yet, ambassadors – by blending good old fashioned hospitality with modern technology. Reply to social media comments, keep track of and acknowledge repeat visits by using a property management platform with a mobile app included (such as Little Hotelier), and be sure to say “thank you!” – even if only over email. A personal touch still goes a long way.

We’re travellers too.

At Little Hotelier we have a deep passion for travel. We also understand the challenges of running a hotel – which is why we’ve developed a simple yet powerful way for you to manage your property.

The Little Hotelier platform has been designed specifically for small accommodation providers. We help you minimise the fuss and maximise the profits of your hotel, while offering you more freedom and control while you do it.

Don’t just take our word for it. Get started right away for free and make life easier.

Try Little Hotelier's Property Management System

By Dean Elphick

Dean is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist of Little Hotelier, the all-in-one software solution purpose-built to make the lives of small accommodation providers easier. Dean has made writing and creating content his passion for the entirety of his professional life, which includes more than six years at Little Hotelier. Through content, Dean aims to provide education, inspiration, assistance, and, ultimately, value for small accommodation businesses looking to improve the way they run their operations (and live their life).