18 Sep 2018

Think outside the box, take the alternative route and relish in something just a little bit different, with our top 20 unexpected things to do right here on the Gold Coast…


  1. Fancy meeting a skateboarding cat? Cruise down to Coolie and say hi to Didga and Boomer – the paw-some pair adored across the inter-web for their talented tricks and world record-holding skills.

    Image: Catmantoo Facebook page
  2. Nudge the thrill-factor up a notch and ride a rollercoaster backwards on the DC Rivals HyperCoaster at Warner Bros. Movie World.
  3. Chuck on that trusty flannie and channel your inner lumberjack with a bit of axe throwing at Lumberpunks in Miami.
  4. Weave a racquet, make a candle, crochet a rug or try your hand at ceramics – it’s all about letting your creative flag fly at Palm Beach’s The Craft Parlour.
  5. From veggie burgers to not-sausage rolls, to plant-based pizzas and spicy kimchi ramen – visit The LC – Australia’s first foodie marketplace solely dedicated to serving up vegan eats.
  6. Uncover a cool AF back alley bar in Burleigh Heads – sip on seductive spirits at the suave speakeasy Lockwood, or kick back with a classic cocktail at the grungy watering hole, Nightjar.
  7. Take Springsteen’s ‘Dancing in the Dark’ quite literally at Lights Out And Dance, with classes running on Monday in Burleigh, and Wednesdays at Runaway Bay.
  8. Sample the world’s first colour changing craft gin in its blushing shade of pink, conjured down the road from our doorstep at Husk Distillers. Hot tip: roll into Baskk at Kirra Point for a glass of Ink Gin served with Fever Tree Tonic and fresh rosemary.
  9. Come swell season, we’ve got some of the longest waves around, so much so that local surfer Damon Harvey once rode from Snapper Rocks to Kirra for 5 minutes straight. Think you can beat that? Grab your board and hit the water, stat!
  10. Cats and coffee! Feline fans will adore the Crazy Cat Café, nestled in heart of Surfers Paradise, where you can get up close and purr-sonal with 16 resident kitties and enjoy a tasty treat while you’re at it.
  11. Get acquainted with the spooky side of the city and take a paranormal tour of Surfers Paradise or Southport Cemetery with Lantern Ghost Tours Gold Coast.
  12. The Goldie is a haven for beer buffs thirsty for a frothie of creative calibre. Sink the beloved XPA at Balter Brewery, go for the 28 at Burleigh Brewing Co., try the Eggnog Stout at Black Hops and top it off with a TTIPA from Lost Palms.
  13. The cultural side of GC has seriously upped its anti with the recently revamped HOTA, Home of the Arts that boasts an epic new outdoor stage, and an internationally impressive events line-up.
  14. Koalas, kangaroos, crocodiles – yes, we all know they’re Aussie as. But did you know the Gold Coast is also home to lemurs, capybaras and cotton-top tamarins in the luscious Lost Valley at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary? Betcha didn’t!
  15. Luxury lovers, this one’s for you – how about a spot of shopping in a swanky retail hub with the largest concentration of high-end retailers in the country? Yup, Pacific Fair takes the cake for the fashion folk, housing brands like Gucci, Givenchy, Prada, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany and Co., just to name a few…#shutupandtakemymoney
  16. Lose yourself in the dark, mystical world of Springbrook National Park by night – here you’ll find the Natural Bridge and a sparkling colony of glow worms – the largest population in Australia, in fact.
  17. We’re not one to brag buuuut, the foodie scene on the Coast is pretty ace these days, with a number of our favourite foodie haunts even being celebrated with a Chef Hat Award, including Kiyomi, Rick Shores, The Fish House, Mamasan Kitchen & Bar and Social Eating House.
  18. So Happy Gilmore is your personal hero? We’ve got just the thing for you. Venture to Australia’s first ever Topgolf, where teeing off, cocktails and good times combine in a brand-spanking-new multi-storey facility.
  19. Time to get a watch, or a ridiculously cute cuckoo clock! If quaint and quirky vibes are right up your alley, make a beeline for German Cuckoo Clock Nest on Mount Tamborine, where walls donned with intricately carved clocks chime loudly all day long.
  20. Our blossoming Chinatown precinct is one for the dumpling devotees, particularly the Chinatown Street Markets, where scrumptious cuisine from China, Thailand, Korea, Vietnam, Japan and the Philippines is served up fresh from 4pm on the first Saturday of every second month.
Liana Gow-Killingbeck
Liana Gow-Killingbeck

A social media/PR professional by day and cocktail-lover by night, Liana is quite the beverage aficionado, and come weekends can be found following her nose to the best watering holes in the ‘hood. Whether it’s a cold brew, full-bodied wine, or Insta-worthy cocktail she can’t quite help but take a snap of, Liana’s got it pretty sussed on where the good times (and drinks) dwell. @labanna


Destination Gold Coast acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. 
We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout Southeast Queensland.