Adventure | Beach | City | Family | Food & Wine 23 October 2023

Unleashing Adventure on the Gold Coast: Surfing, Theme Parks & Beyond

Imagine a place where golden shores meet thrilling adventures – welcome to the Gold Coast, a shimmering stretch of sun-kissed shores in Queensland. It's a haven for thrill-seekers, beach lovers, and those eager to discover the best things to do on the Gold Coast.

From the roaring waves perfect for surfing to the bustling local markets and iconic theme parks, there's a myriad of Gold Coast activities awaiting every visitor. Whether mapping out places to visit in the Gold Coast for the first time or revisiting your favourite spots, our curated list of the top 12 things to do ensures you won't miss a beat.

Dive in, and let your Gold Coast adventure begin!

Our Top 12 Things to Do on the Gold Coast

Whether you're a thrill-seeker, a nature enthusiast, or someone looking for a relaxing getaway, the Gold Coast has something for everyone. And while you're diving into these adventures, Oaks Hotels’ Gold Coast accommodation options ensure your stay is as memorable as the experiences you'll gather. Dive into our curated list of the top 12 things to do, and let the Gold Coast enchant you!

1. Seek Adventure at the Theme Parks!

The Gold Coast isn't just about sun, surf, and sand; it's also Australia's theme park capital.

The cinematic adventures at Warner Bros. Movie World transport you into a world of movies and superheroes, while Sea World offers a deep dive into marine life, complete with thrilling rides and live animal shows.

Dreamworld, Australia's largest theme park, combines high-octane rides with an impressive wildlife conservation program. Wet'n'Wild is the perfect spot to cool off, with water rides ranging from the relaxing to the exhilarating. And for a touch of the rustic, Paradise Country offers a genuine Aussie farm experience, complete with sheep shearing and kangaroo encounters.

Why It's a Top Pick: The diversity of theme parks on the Gold Coast ensures there's something for everyone, from movie buffs to adrenaline junkies to families. It's a day-long adventure that combines entertainment, education, and excitement.

Nearby Gold Coast Attractions: Just a short drive from the theme parks, the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk awaits. This eco-adventure offers visitors a chance to experience the rainforest from a unique aerial perspective. The walkway, suspended high above the ground, provides panoramic views of the lush canopy, waterfalls, and local wildlife.

Stay Close: After a day filled with roller coasters, water slides, and wildlife encounters, you'll want a comfortable place to rest and recharge. Oaks Gold Coast Hotel is ideally situated, making it a breeze to get to and from the parks. Our spacious rooms, modern amenities, and top-notch service ensure you're refreshed and ready for another day of Gold Coast adventures.

2. Surfs Up at Main Beach

Main Beach is more than just waves and sand; it's a vibrant hub of activity that captures the essence of the Gold Coast's coastal lifestyle. While surfers ride the waves, families can enjoy the sun-soaked shores, and adventure seekers can indulge in jet-skiing or parasailing. The beach's patrolled areas, overseen by vigilant lifeguards, ensure that everyone from toddlers to grandparents can enjoy the waters safely.

Why It's a Top Pick: Main Beach seamlessly combines relaxation with adventure. Its versatility makes it a favourite spot for locals and tourists, offering a slice of the Gold Coast's iconic beach culture.

Nearby Gold Coast Attractions: The Southport Spit, or 'The Spit' as it's affectionately known, is a stretch of land that offers a blend of natural beauty and recreational activities. Apart from being an excellent spot for picnics, it's also home to the Seaway Dive Site, a popular spot for divers, and the Federation Walk Coastal Reserve, a haven for bird watchers and nature enthusiasts.

Stay Close: Just a short drive from Main Beach, Oaks Gold Coast Calypso Plaza Suites awaits. With its lagoon-style pool, you can continue your water adventures even after leaving the beach. The suite's modern amenities and proximity to the coast ensure the beach vibes don't end once you step indoors.

3. Visit the Local Markets

Dive deep into the heart of the Gold Coast community by exploring its bustling markets. Each market offers a unique experience, from the artisan crafts at The Village Markets in Burleigh Heads to the eclectic mix of products at the Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets. As you wander the stalls, you'll discover handcrafted jewellery, local art, fresh produce, and gourmet food stalls that tantalise the taste buds.

Why It's a Top Pick: The markets on the Gold Coast offer more than just shopping; they provide a sensory experience. The blend of live music, tantalising aromas, and the buzz of traders and shoppers creates a vibrant and laid-back atmosphere.

Nearby Gold Coast Attractions: Cavill Avenue in Surfers Paradise is a hub of activity both day and night. After exploring the markets, head over to this bustling street. Here, you can indulge in a culinary journey at one of its many cafes and restaurants, shop at trendy boutiques, or simply enjoy the street performances that bring the avenue to life.

Stay Close: Nestled in the heart of Broadbeach, Avani Broadbeach Gold Coast Residences offers a luxurious retreat after a day of market exploration. The modern apartments, complete with a fully-equipped kitchen, make it easy to whip up a meal with the fresh produce you've picked up. Plus, its central location ensures you're never far from the top Gold Coast attractions.

4. SUP at Currumbin Creeks Boatshed

Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) at Currumbin Creek isn't just a sport; it's an experience. Glide over the calm waters and feel the gentle sway of the mangroves as you paddle. The creek's serene environment makes it a favourite among locals and tourists, offering a peaceful escape from the bustling beaches.

Why It's a Top Pick: Currumbin Creek provides a unique blend of adventure and relaxation. Whether you're mastering the art of SUP or simply kayaking amidst nature, the creek offers a refreshing take on the Gold Coast's water activities.

Nearby Gold Coast Attractions: After paddling, the Currumbin RSL Club awaits with its inviting ambience. Overlooking the creek, it's a great spot to enjoy a meal or a drink, all while soaking in the picturesque views.

Stay Close: A stone's throw from Currumbin Creek, Oaks Gold Coast Calypso Plaza Suites beckons. Its beachfront setting and resort-style pool make it a haven for those looking to continue their water adventures or simply unwind.

5. Stroll Around Federation Walk

Federation Walk is more than just a trail; it's a journey through the Gold Coast's diverse ecosystems. As you walk, the sounds of chirping birds and rustling leaves accompany you, creating a meditative experience. The track's varying landscapes, from open grasslands to dense forests, offer a visual treat at every turn.

Why It's a Top Pick: For those looking to connect with nature, Federation Walk is a must-visit. The well-maintained paths and informative signboards make it accessible for all ages, making it a great family outing.

Nearby Gold Coast Attractions: If you didn’t visit The Spit after catching some waves at Main Beach, then now’s the time to explore. With its myriad of activities, is a natural extension of your day out. Whether you're in the mood for fishing, boating, or simply enjoying a picnic with a view, The Spit has it all.

Stay Close: After a day of nature immersion, Oaks Gold Coast Hotel offers the perfect respite. Its modern rooms and top-notch amenities ensure that you recharge in comfort, ready for another day of Gold Coast adventures.

6. Go Wild at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Stepping into Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is like entering a world where nature reigns supreme. From hand-feeding the vibrant lorikeets to watching the agile kangaroos hop around, every moment is a discovery. The sanctuary's commitment to conservation, evident in its wildlife hospital, adds depth to the experience, making it both fun and educational.

Why It's a Top Pick: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary offers a holistic view of Australia's rich fauna. Its interactive exhibits, live shows, and conservation initiatives make it a destination that entertains and enlightens.

Nearby Gold Coast Attractions: Just a short distance from the sanctuary, Elephant Rock Cafe awaits. With its elevated position, the cafe offers panoramic views of Currumbin Beach, making it a great spot to enjoy a meal or a coffee.

Stay Close: Avani Broadbeach Gold Coast Residences, with its contemporary design and spacious apartments, is the ideal place to relax after a day of wildlife adventures. Its central location ensures that the best of the Gold Coast is always within reach.

7. Unwind at Tallebudgera Creek

Tallebudgera Creek is a hidden gem on the Gold Coast, offering a tranquil escape from the city's hustle. Its calm, crystal-clear waters are perfect for various activities, from swimming and kayaking to simply lounging on the sandy shores.

Why It's a Top Pick: Tallebudgera Creek stands out for its serene ambience. Its sheltered location makes it a favourite among families, providing a safe and scenic spot for water activities.

Nearby Gold Coast Attractions: Just around the corner, the Burleigh Head National Park offers a blend of rainforest walks and panoramic ocean views. It's a great place to further connect with nature and catch a glimpse of the Gold Coast's diverse landscapes.

Stay Close: Oaks Gold Coast Calypso Plaza Suites, with its lagoon-style pool and tropical setting, complements the Tallebudgera experience. It's the perfect spot to continue your relaxation after a day at the creek.

8. Shop Til You Drop at Pacific Fair

Pacific Fair isn't just a shopping centre; it's a shopping experience. Its blend of high-end brands, local boutiques, and gourmet eateries offers something for every shopper. The modern architecture and open-air design make for a pleasant shopping day out.

Why It's a Top Pick: Pacific Fair's diverse range of stores and its luxurious ambience make it a standout shopping destination on the Gold Coast. Whether you're on a shopping spree or just window shopping, the centre's vibrant atmosphere is sure to captivate.

Nearby Gold Coast Attractions: After a day of shopping, the nearby Dracula's Cabaret offers a unique dining and entertainment experience. Its gothic theme and live performances make it a must-visit for those looking for an evening of fun.

Stay Close: Avani Broadbeach Gold Coast Residences is just a short walk from Pacific Fair. The modern apartments and central location make it a top choice for those who want to stay close to the action.

9. Soak Up the Sun at Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise is the beating heart of the Gold Coast. Its iconic skyline, golden sands, and lively boardwalk make it a hotspot for tourists and locals alike. Whether you're catching waves, enjoying beachfront dining, or simply soaking up the sun, Surfers Paradise delivers.

Why It's a Top Pick: The beach's central location and its plethora of activities make it a must-visit. From beach volleyball to evening markets, there's always something happening at Surfers Paradise.

Nearby Gold Coast Attractions: Just off the beach, the SkyPoint Observation Deck offers panoramic views of the Gold Coast. It's a great spot to catch the sunset and see the city lights come alive.

Stay Close: Oaks Gold Coast Hotel is ideally situated close to Surfers Paradise. The modern amenities and comfortable rooms make it the perfect place to unwind after a day on the beach.

10. Take to New Height on the SkyPoint Climb

Experience the thrill of heights with the SkyPoint Climb, where you'll ascend the exterior of the iconic Q1 building. As you reach the top, the Gold Coast unfolds beneath you, offering unparalleled views that stretch as far as the eye can see.

Why It's a Top Pick: The SkyPoint Climb isn't just about the view; it's about the journey. The exhilaration of being so high up, combined with the safety and guidance of the climb leaders, makes it a unique and memorable adventure.

Nearby Gold Coast Attractions: Once you've descended, the SkyPoint Observation Deck awaits. Here, you can enjoy a more relaxed view of the Gold Coast, perhaps with a refreshing drink or a bite to eat from the Seventy7 Café & Bar.

Stay Close: Avani Broadbeach Gold Coast Residences is just a short distance away. After an adrenaline-filled climb, the comfort of Avani's modern apartments is the perfect place to relax and reflect on the day's adventure.

11. Grab a Bite at the Local Restaurant Scene

The Gold Coast is a melting pot of culinary delights, reflecting its diverse culture and coastal charm. Whether you're in the mood for fresh seafood, gourmet burgers, or international cuisines, the city's restaurants cater to every palate.

Why It's a Top Pick: Dining on the Gold Coast is more than just a meal; it's an experience. With many restaurants offering beachfront views, rooftop terraces, and live entertainment, every meal becomes a memorable event.

Nearby Gold Coast Attractions: For a unique dining and entertainment experience, head to Miami Marketta. This vibrant venue offers a range of global cuisines, live music, and a lively atmosphere, making it a favourite among locals and tourists alike.

Stay Close: Oaks Gold Coast Hotel is situated in the heart of the city, ensuring guests are always within easy reach of the Gold Coast's vibrant dining scene.

12. Keep an Eye Out on a Whale Watching Cruise

The annual humpback whale migration is a spectacle that draws visitors from all over the world. As these majestic creatures make their way past the Gold Coast, their playful antics and sheer size leave a lasting impression on all who witness them.

Why It's a Top Pick: There's something magical about seeing a whale in the wild. Their graceful movements, combined with the backdrop of the Gold Coast skyline, make for an unforgettable experience.

Nearby Gold Coast Attractions: After your whale-watching experience, consider exploring the Gold Coast's Broadwater Parklands. This sprawling green space offers a range of activities, from water play areas for kids to scenic boardwalks and picnic spots. It's a great place to relax and enjoy the coastal atmosphere, and you might even spot some local marine life in the calm waters.

Stay Close: Oaks Gold Coast Calypso Plaza Suites is conveniently located near many of the whale-watching cruise departure points. Its beachfront location and resort-style amenities make it the perfect base for your Gold Coast adventure.

Tips for Staying in the Gold Coast: Making the Most of Your Visit

The Gold Coast, with its sun-kissed beaches, thrilling theme parks, and vibrant nightlife, promises an unforgettable experience. But to truly make the most of your visit, planning ahead is essential.

Here are some tips to ensure your Gold Coast stay is both enjoyable and hassle-free:

  • Choose the Right Accommodation: Stay central based on your activities. For shopping and dining, our Avani Broadbeach Gold Coast Residences in Broadbeach is an ideal choice.
  • Public Transport is Your Friend: Make use of the efficient G:link tram service to connect between key areas.
  • Stay Sun-Safe: Always wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. Keep hydrated and seek shade during peak hours.
  • Book Activities in Advance: Avoid long queues at popular attractions by securing tickets early.
  • Explore Beyond the Beaches: Consider day trips to the Gold Coast hinterland for a change of scenery.
  • Respect the Ocean: Always swim between the red and yellow flags and be aware of rips and currents.
  • Dine Like a Local: We recommend asking our friendly staff for their favourite local eateries and cafes.
  • Stay Connected: Use our complimentary Wi-Fi or consider getting a local SIM card if you’re travelling from outside of Australia.
  • Embrace the Local Culture: Engage in local markets, community events, or art classes to immerse yourself in the Gold Coast lifestyle.
  • Travel Off-Peak: Visit outside of school holidays and major events for a more relaxed experience.
  • Pack for All Occasions: The Gold Coast offers sunny beach days and cooler evenings, so come prepared.
  • Stay with Us: Choose Oaks Hotels for a memorable and comfortable stay. We're here to make your Gold Coast adventure unforgettable.

Your Gold Coast Getaway Awaits with Oaks

As our journey through our top Gold Coast attractions comes to a close, it's clear that this coastal gem offers more than just sun, surf, and sand. It's a destination brimming with activities, from the adrenaline-pumping to the utterly relaxing.

But the essence of a memorable Gold Coast trip lies in the comfort of your stay. At Oaks Hotels, Resorts and Suites, we provide the luxury and warmth of a home away from home, ensuring every moment of your trip is cherished. Whether planning a short escape, a family vacation, or an extended sojourn, we're here to make your Gold Coast experience unforgettable.

So, with a plethora of Gold Coast activities and attractions beckoning, are you ready to dive into the magic of the Gold Coast? Book your stay with Oaks, and let the adventures unfold!

FAQs about the Gold Coast

What are the top attractions on the Gold Coast?
The Gold Coast boasts a variety of attractions, including world-class theme parks, pristine beaches, bustling local markets, and serene nature walks. Our guide highlights the top 12 things to do, ensuring a memorable experience for every visitor.

Is the Gold Coast suitable for families?
Absolutely! The Gold Coast offers numerous family-friendly activities, from theme parks like Dreamworld and Sea World to safe, patrolled beaches perfect for kids. Additionally, many of our Oaks Hotels, Resorts and Suites cater to families, ensuring a comfortable stay.

When is the best time to visit the Gold Coast for whale watching?
The humpback whale migration occurs between June and October. During this period, several operators offer whale-watching cruises, providing an up-close view of these magnificent creatures.

How can I get around the Gold Coast?
The Gold Coast offers an efficient G:link tram service connecting key areas. Additionally, car rentals, buses, and bike rentals are available for those wanting to explore further.

Are there any local dining recommendations?
The Gold Coast's culinary scene is diverse. From fresh seafood at The Fish House to global cuisines at Miami Marketta, there's something for every palate. We also recommend asking the friendly staff at Oaks Hotels for their favourite local eateries.

What safety precautions should I take at Gold Coast beaches?
Always swim between the red and yellow flags, which indicate patrolled areas. Be aware of rips and currents, and always heed lifeguard warnings. Sun safety is also crucial, so wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses.

Where can I stay on the Gold Coast?
Oaks Hotels, Resorts and Suites offer a range of accommodations across the Gold Coast. Whether you're looking for proximity to the beach, shopping centres, or theme parks, we have a property to suit your needs.