Beat The Heat On The Gold Coast

Beat The Heat On The Gold Coast

11 Mar 2021

Tropical temperatures making you melt? Chill out and take a look at the best places to beat the heat and seek relief when the mercury rises. While the beach is the obvious choice, there are plenty of places on the Gold Coast to keep cool on days when the Australian sun gets too hot.


The cool, clear ocean is calling. As well as having some of the planet’s best surf spots, there are plenty of safe places for the whole family to splash around at.

Tallebudgera and Currumbin Creek

These two creeks – seven kilometres apart – provide the ideal soaking spot for families on hot days. Tallebudgera Creek starts right beside Burleigh Head National Park, so you can swim in the shade of coastal rainforest. There are safe beaches all along its banks, with parks, playgrounds, BBQ facilities and picnic tables. There’s also plenty of cafes to choose from – try a Portuguese tart from Custard Canteen on the south side of the creek or an iced coffee from Hidden Perk in Koala Park.


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Just south, Currumbin Creek stretches 24 kilometres inland to Currumbin Valley. Families can hire stand-up paddleboards or swim safely in the creek, which empties out to renowned surf spot, Currumbin Alley. The Deck at Currumbin RSL is the perfect spot for a cold beer and creek views, Saltwater at Currumbin is a dreamy location for chilled eats right on the water or grab some fish and chips and eat al fresco on a picnic rug as the sun sets.

Rainbow Bay

Have a picnic in the park or walk the pathway between Snapper Rocks and Greenmount Beach, watching surfers ride one of the planet’s best point breaks. Even when the waves are big, you can swim safely in Rainbow Bay. Visit one of the local surf clubs right on the beach where you can buy value priced breakfasts, lunches and dinners (choose from Rainbow Bay, Greenmount or Tweed Heads & Coolangatta in this area).

Main Beach

Swim between the flags just north of Surfers Paradise at one of the Gold Coast’s best family beaches. Again, the surf clubs are an easy choice for eats, right beside the beach offering meals with views right over the water.

The Rock Pools – Broadwater Parklands

You don’t have to go to the hinterland to swim in freshwater rock pools – there are some in the middle of Southport! Perfect for toddlers and up, the rock pools are part of the Broadwater Parklands – three kilometres of family recreation area beside the Gold Coast waterway. Bring a picnic and feast in the shade.


The Burleigh Pavilion is the first beach club built on the Gold Coast. Sit on a high table under umbrellas on the deck overlooking Burleigh Point and watch surfers ride the waves. Order a signature cocktail like Oh La La (vodka, strawberry, liqueur with lemon and pineapple juice) or a jug of Pimms from the Pavilion Bar and cool yourself from the inside out.


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Or turn your temperature down with the queen of all sundowners, a candy-coloured Frosé at Mexicali in Nobby Beach – a combination of rosé, strawberries with a touch of sugar to make it just like a slushie. Take a table on the west-facing upper deck to soak up a sunset over the hinterland and gaze down over one of the Gold Coast’s hippest bar and café streetscapes.

Sip on a refreshing frozen margarita from another roof-top, this time 15 minutes south in Palm Beach at Frida Sol on the Gold Coast Highway. Listen to live music or a DJ in the open-air. Then stroll 100 metres across the road for a cocktail at ultra-hip Las Palmas, a tapas-style restaurant/bar that looks out across the beach. Everything tastes better with a sea breeze.


Cold, creamy and available in your favourite flavour, this has got to be the most delicious way to cool down. The Gold Coast sure knows how to hand-make ice-cream – there’s an ice cream store in almost every suburb. Work your way through them all, starting at Ottimo in Coolangatta. Owner, David, loves experimenting to create the most delicious flavour combinations. Be sure to taste Hint Of Sicily, with mandarin custard, pistachio and almond, or go all out with OMG – salted caramel and hazelnut cream.  If you’re further north, visit their sister store at My Gelato in Broadbeach.

Try of one of the ever- changing selection of 24 flavours at Scoop Gelati in James St, Burleigh. Their small batch gelato and sorbet are hand crafted from fresh, seasonal ingredients and taste absolutely sublime. Double scoop please!


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Check out the hippest gelataria of them all at Mermaid Beach. Set in a renovated 1950s corner building with recycled brick and polished cement floors, try the selection of sorbets at Heven-Yah Gelato, or the fruit flavours sourced from local farmers at the markets. Just across the road at Nobby Beach, indulge in the delicious the flavours which won Lik Lik Gelato the award for being #1 ice cream shop on the Gold Coast in 2019/20.

For the finest, creamiest Danish ice cream, check out Royal Copenhagen on Cavill Ave in Surfers Paradise. Their waffle cones are baked fresh daily and to die for. Chocolate dipping of your cone and all toppings are included. Yum!


There’s no better place to cool off when the temperature climbs on the Gold Coast than its heavily forested hinterland – it’s over 1000 metres higher up there, so temperatures can be almost 10 degrees cooler. 30°C drops down to 22°C within an hour’s drive. There are three World Heritage Listed national parks in the Gold Coast hinterland – home to both the largest tract of remaining sub-tropical rainforest left on Earth, and the oldest rainforest left on the planet.


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The hinterland has a great range of accommodation options. You can stay at one of many properties set around Mt Tamborine National Park, or enjoy the slow pace of Springbrook with its views back to the coast from high on top of an escarpment.

Lamington National Park is home to two of Australia’s oldest eco-retreats, Binna Burra Lodge, and O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat. Sleep amongst the forest, then walk to hundreds of waterfalls on trails which take from 20 minutes to three days. There’s also a treetop walk just 400 metres from O’Reillys Rainforest Retreat, which allows you to explore from high above in the canopy of the rainforest.


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Cool off in air-conditioning with popcorn and a choc-top at Event Cinemas in Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, Queensland’s largest outdoor shopping centre. For extra chill points, take advantage of waiter service with drinks and food delivered to your seat at one of three Gold Class cinemas. Hot days are well spent shopping in air-conditioned comfort, and Pacific Fair has over 400 shops to provide plenty of retail therapy.


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You can also catch a flick in the air conditioning at Reading Cinemas in Harbour Town Shopping Centre, one of the largest cinema complexes on the Gold Coast. Watch the latest blockbuster, classic or indie film at one of their 16 screens.


iFLY Indoor Skydiving

Take a skydive without the plane while the whole family watches. Defy gravity and lift off in a 360 degree glass tunnel as wind’s blasted at you from beneath to simulate a real life skydive.


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TimeZone Surfers Paradise

It’s the largest indoor family entertainment centre in Australia – and it’s just across the road from the beach, so spend the hottest part of the day in the air-conditioning. There are plenty of new attractions – including over 200 arcade games, glow in the dark golf, a new laser tag arena, bumper cars and mini bowling.

GC Aqua Park

There’s no better place to get wet than at the Gold Coast’s only inflatable water park. Race your family or friends across 600 metres of aqua park obstacles (some of the highest and largest anywhere in Australia) set on top of the Gold Coast Waterway at the Broadwater Parklands.


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Gold Coast Aquatic Centre Pool

You can swim where the world’s fastest swimmers have swum before you. Cool down at the site of the 2018 Commonwealth Games swimming and diving competitions, in the Broadwater Parklands. There are two Olympic sized swimming pools, a half-sized pool, and outdoor dive pool and learn to swim and a splash pool for kids.

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Craig Tansley
Craig Tansley

Craig Tansley is one of Australia’s most travelled travel writers, spending at least a quarter of his year on the road. Raised near the Gold Coast, he’s lived around the world but has returned home, now residing at Currumbin. He writes for some of Australia’s best known newspapers and magazines, and has written for international titles such as The Sunday Times of London.


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.