Gold Coast remains to be one of the most famous tourist destinations not just in Australia but also around the world. Typically described as “a piece of heaven on Earth”, the Gold Coast never fails to attract millions of domestic and international tourists every single year. Last year, the figures soared to almost 6 million putting Gold Coast on the ranks of most favoured tourist destinations.

The Gold Coast is a coastal city that boasts some of the most unspoiled golden beaches in the whole world. It stretches in south eastern Queensland on the east coast of Australia. Found south of Brisbane, the city is the most populous in the state and sixth in the country. It is primarily known for its waterfront canal living as it boasts several canal frontage homes that never fail to fascinate tourists.

The Best Gold Coast activities and attractions

Why should I visit the Gold Coast? This is typically one question that a would-be tourists may ask when they travel around Australia. Well, let us count the ways, shall we? The Gold Coast is one of the most visited places in Australia for many different, great reasons.

Based on a study conducted by Tourism Research Australia, the activities that tourists participated in while they were in the city include going to the beach (74%), eating out (71%), shopping (67%), general sightseeing (52%), visit local park (39%), go to the markets (33%), visit amusement, theme, and wildlife parks (33%) and visit friends and relatives (32%).

top gold coast activities

Meanwhile, the top attractions were Surfers Paradise beach (47%), Pacific Fair Shopping Center (35%), Burleigh beach (26%), Harbour Town Shopping Center (25%) and Coolangatta beach (24%).

top gold coast attractions

Gold Coast Beachside Suburbs

The same study was able to establish the tourists’ level of satisfaction on each trip aspects. When it comes to Gold Coast beaches, 90% of the respondents said that they were extremely satisfied. Well, that’s not really a shock as the Gold Coast’s beaches are really some of the best in the world. If you intend to visit a beach on you visit, below are our recommendations:

Surfers Paradise Offers a world-famous beach that is typically dubbed as the jewel of Gold Coast. Aside from white sand beaches and great weather, it also boasts breath-taking skyline, fresh cultural scene, and it offers the best nightlife of the entire city.  Surfers Paradise has world-class developments, offers unique shopping experience, and the best Gold Coast accommodation is found in Surfers Paradise. I guess it’s not surprise to read that it also services 41% of all accommodation on the Gold Coast. Surfers Paradise is the destination for you if you want unlimited choices when it comes to accommodation, the best beaches and a lot of nightlife entertainment; the crowd here knows how to have a great fun from dusk till dawn.

Broadbeach – If you want to go to the beach but would like to avoid the overwhelming crowd of Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach is highly recommended. Although it offers convenience as it is very close to theme parks, restaurants, and shopping centres, it is more laid back compared to Surfers Paradise. Dubbed as dining mecca, tourists go here to sample some of the world’s most delicious cuisines, or to just sit and have a coffee while you watch the world go by. It is also the best place to go if your definition of great holiday includes great piano lounges and trendy nightclubs.

Great beaches for surfing – If you’re on the Gold Coast to surf, the beaches that you must check out aside from Surfers Paradise are Palm Beach, Narrowneck, the Spit, and the Mermaid Beach. The winds and easterly swells typically offer tourists a perfect two to three foot swell and the point breaks deliver good. Every now and then, there are offshore cyclones that bring mythical four-foot waves that attract thousands of surfers from all over the world.

Gold Coast Restaurants and eateries

Based on the study, 74% of the tourists who came to the Gold Coast ate out at restaurants and 84% of those people said that they were extremely satisfied. Just like any other city, the Gold Coast has some pretty amazing restaurants and affordable eateries that are sure to impress your taste buds. Some of the best can be found in Surfers Paradise which is host to a tasty array of upmarket, beachfront cafes, five star restaurants, and holiday classics such as ice creameries and fish & chips. For fine-dining, check out Bazaar, Citrique Restaurant, Seaduction, Abynthe Bar and Restaurant, Deja View, and Hanlans Bar & Restaurant.

Looking for modern Australian cuisine? Check out Melbas on The Park, Waxy’s Irish Pub, Central Lounge Bar & Dining, The Avenue, Charlies Restaurant, and Surfers Paradise Surf Life Saving Club.

Craving for seafood? Your best bets include Waves Restaurant, Coast steak and seafood, Matador Tapas Bar, Surfers Sandbar, and Oceans by Omeros.

Still thirsty for more? Read our previous post ‘Gold Coast Dinning’ and we encourage you to visit Urban Spoon for the best Gold Coast restaurants.

Gold Coast Sightseeing & Attractions

More than half of the local and international tourists who visited the Gold Coast from 2012 – 2013 stated they came for general sightseeing. It could be because they needed a change in environment, needed a fresh breath of air, or just needed to see something spectacular. One place you cannot afford to miss include the Hinterland. This is Gold Coast’s most scenic attraction and Queensland most significant tourist destination. It’s the best place to go to if you’re looking forward to wine tasting, bird-feeding, bushwalking, and eco-tourism. Some of the best Hinterland attractions include O’Reilly’s guesthouse, Binna Burra, and the Natural Bridge. The Hinterland features well-preserved UNESCO World Heritage listed national parks.

Still after other things to do on the Gold Coast? Read our guide ‘Things to do on the Gold Coast’

Gold Coast Shopping

71% of the people who have participated on the survey said that they were in the Gold Coast to shop for pleasure. If you’re thinking the same, you’ll be happy to know that Gold Coast is the retail therapy capital of Queensland and it is the home to some of the largest and most stylish shopping centers in the country.

Start your great shopping experience at Gold Coast’s premier retail and leisure destination – Robina Town Centre where you’ll find a wealth of shopping choices. Here you’ll find the only David Jones department store in the city as well as Kmart, Target, Big W, to Woolworths Supermarkets, and over 300 specialty stores. You’ll also find some of Australia’s most iconic brands including SABA, Carla Zampatti, CUE, David Lawrence, Country Road, Sportscraft, and many more. Other shopping centres worth checking out include Pacific Fair in Broadbeach, Australia Fair in Southport, Harbour Town in Biggera Waters, the shops within Chevron Renaissance, and Circle on Cavill, both great Gold Coast hotel located in Surfers Paradise.

For more information, view our Gold Coast Shopping Guide and also be sure to check out the local Gold Coast Markets too! You’re bound to pick up a bargain.

Gold Coast theme parks and wildlife

Did you know that the Gold Coast’s theme parks and wildlife parks are some of the main reasons why thousands of tourists visit the city every single year? Known as the theme park capital of Queensland, Gold Coast offers slides and rides that will make your eyes pop! There are also theme parks that will make you feel like a movie star and will you wet.

Movie World, Wet ‘n’ Wild, and Sea World are dubbed as the Big Three in the world of theme parks on the Gold Coast. These perfectly combine the thrilling fun and excitement that will satiate your thirst for heart-pounding rides and slides. While MovieWorld features famous cartoon and movie characters, live shows, and great rides, Wet ‘n’ Wild promises exciting wet experience. It features world of water, several aquatic rides, and stunning marine animal shows and attractions.  Find out about our other theme parks by reading our previous post ‘Gold Coast Theme Park Central’.

Aside from the Big Three, the other main attractions on the Gold Coast are its wildlife sanctuaries. Topping the list is Currumbin Wildlife where great experience awaits you. Here you can feed a friendly kangaroo, cuddle a koala, feed a wild Lorikeet, watch free-flight bird show and Australiana Sheep Shearing. There is also an interactive science activity zone that is perfect for kids and an exhilarating 65-challenge tree-tops ropes course that is perfect for adults.

Gold Coast hotel accommodation

Another great thing about the Gold Coast is its wide range of accommodation options, particularly in Surfers Paradise where a huge concentration of tourists can be found year after year. The Gold Coast is the home to several hotels, high-rise buildings, holiday homes, serviced-apartments, and resorts. If you intend to visit the Gold Coast, booking a Gold Coast hotel in Surfers Paradise would be the best choice as if offers the most to tourists. View a wide range of Gold Coast hotel options at

Chevron RenaissanceBook Gold Coast hotels at

There are so many things to see and do on the Gold Coast! If you’re planning to spend your holiday here, you can be assured that you’ll never get bored. However, before you come, make sure that you book look for Gold Coast hotels in advance through We manage some of the most stylish, most luxurious apartments at some of the premier Gold Coast hotels and resorts, which include Moroccan Residences, Chevron Renaissance, Orchid Residences, and many more. To check availability and to see actual photos of the apartments, please visit our home page. Also, don’t hesitate to email or call us at 07 5539 8553 and we’ll be more than happy to assist you.

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