5 Great Reasons to Visit the Gold Coast in Winter

5 Great Reasons to Visit the Gold Coast in Winter

27 May 2024

Looking for the perfect winter holiday? You’ve found it! The Gold Coast is gorgeous year round and winter offers a different experience of our beautiful seaside city. The summer heat and humidity is replaced with crisp air, glorious sunshine and bluebird skies - perfect weather for exploring, hiking, foodie adventures, whale watching, winter events and if you’re brave, a bracing swim.

Hello Sunshine 

300 days of sunshine each year is our claim to fame on the Gold Coast, and plenty of those beautiful blue sky days happen during winter. Due to our sub-tropical climate, winter months are drier with minimal rainfall. Skies are clear, sunsets are especially stunning and the daily average temperature is around 21°C. While southern states shiver away in miserable rainy weather, we’re up north living our best life and basking in the warm sunshine. (Note: because of this, it’s smart to wear sun protection daily even during winter.) 

Whale Watching Season

Our seaside city is one of the best places in Australia to hang out with humpbacks. During the winter months (and right through until October) thousands of humpback whales visit the Gold Coast on their way to the warmer waters of tropical Queensland, where they mate and birth their calves. Jump aboard a Gold Coast whale watching tour to see these amazing creatures up close for a truly awe-inspiring experience. You can take a tour on a chartered yacht for an intimate tour, or step aboard a custom-built vessel with multiple viewing platforms and underwater microphones that enable you to hear the whales singing down below. 

You Can Still Get Snuggly

While it is often sunny and warm during winter on the Gold Coast, the beauty is that you can still enjoy the cosy, cold weather activities. With the elevated position, temperatures in the Hinterland are significantly cooler than down on the coast. On a chilly winter’s morning, the temp can drop down to the single digits so pack your puffer jacket and beanie! Seek out Hinterland hotels and eateries with open fires and hearty meals or spend a day visiting some of our award-winning distilleries.  

Winter Events on the Gold Coast 

Not to brag, but our events calendar throughout June, July and August is nothing short of spectacular. The festivities kick off with the iconic Cooly Rocks On in early June ( 5th - 9th  in 2024). This event is a joyful celebration of the music, motors and lifestyle of the 40s, 50s and 60s. With street parades, classic car shows, Elvis impersonators, amazing markets, live music and ticketed events, it’s an absolute vibe. 

During the winter school holidays Surface Festival hits the streets of Miami. Street art brings our city to life and this colourful, creative celebration of the medium sees multiple public murals being painted around the suburb by local, national and international street artists. The festival also includes an residential exhibition with artworks scattered throughout the neighbourhood, a gallery night where artists can sell their creative wares and lots of live music too. In 2024 Surfaces Festival will run from June 23 - July 7. (Image: Mural by Maria-Rosa Szychowska, photographed by Nearby Studios.)

HERO IMAGE _ Mural by Maria-Rosa Szychowska 2022 _ Photography by Nearby Studios (1).jpg

Between June 21 - July 7 Big City Lights* Festival will light up the streets of Southport CBD in a unique  immersive experience. With large-scale light projections transforming the city facade, surround sound audio experiences and interactive installations, this festival of light, live music, digital culture and cutting-edge creativity will be illuminating in more ways than one. 

It's Warm Enough For Water Activities

For divers and snorkellers, the winter months bring ideal conditions for underwater adventures. Water clarity is at its best so visibility is brilliant and the water temperature is between 20 - 22°C (basically a bath compared to southern states!). Sign up for a surf lesson at one of the stunning local beaches or dive the world's first buoyant reef at Wonder Reef, or any of the other numerous Gold Coast dive sites.

Need some more inspo? Check out some very Gold Coast ways to stay snuggly during the cooler months.

Feature image: Tourism and Events Queensland

Kate Veling
Kate Veling

Travel writer, Kate Veling, came to the Gold Coast for six months and loved it so much she’s still here 20 years later. The laidback lifestyle suits her to a tee and as a mum of three, she knows all the best parks, swimming spots and kid-friendly fun to be had in her ‘hood. She’s often found getting amongst the thriving local arts and culture scene, dancing to live music or kicking back on the beach, but rest assured it’s all in the name of research.


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.