The Gold Coast is home to some of Australia’s best attractions and experiences. We look at what experiences you shouldn’t miss on the Southern Gold Coast during your next visit.
The ultimate beach stroll
There’s no more striking coastal walk in Australia than the three-kilometre path between Kirra Point and Point Danger. Watch surfers ride the most iconic waves on the planet as you walk under pandanus trees from Greenmount to Rainbow Bay.
Surf the superbank
This is one of the longest waves in the whole world. Breaking from behind the rocks at Snapper Rocks all the way through to Kirra, it’s the world’s most famous point break. Each March it hosts the World Surf League’s Quiksilver Pro, hosting the likes of 11-time world champ Kelly Slater.
Skydive onto the beach
Take off at Gold Coast Airport and see Coolangatta from a tandem skydive, thanks to Gold Coast Skydive. You’ll see whales migrating, surfers and the mountains of the hinterland as you fall, landing on the beach at Kirra Point.
Go barefoot bowling
Once the domain of pensioners in fresh-washed whites, lawn bowls has become the sport of choice on the Gold Coast when the surf’s flat. But forget stuffy formality; at Tugun Bowls Club every Sunday from 1pm bowl barefoot as you listen to live music and drink the cheapest beer on tap on the Gold Coast.
Once the domain of fast food outlets, Tugun’s now the Gold Coast’s bar and restaurant secret stash. In the past six months, some of the region’s best new bars have opened. Try Backbone Bar & Kitchen, or choose from over 20 tap beers at Craft House Bar & Restaurant.
Shop at the local
Corner Stone Stores is the coolest abode on the Southern Gold Coast. Home to yoga studios, fashion stores, a café, organic beauty salons and a European-style wine cellar and fromagerie. Nab a spot early on the first Friday of the month for a twilight gathering with local music acts.
See the animals
It’s much more than a zoo – Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary has been saving injured animals for 70 years. It’s home to hundreds of native Australian animals. You can also watch vets help injured animals in the sanctuary’s animal hospital, which admits nearly 10,000 animals a year.
Board Currumbin Creek
Paddle board the clear waters of Currumbin Creek. Protected from the surf, Currumbin Creek runs for 24 kilometres to the Currumbin Valley. There’s paddle board hire shops beside the creek, alongside cafés like The Boatshed where you can stop for coffee, lunch or a drink.
Learn to surf
Currumbin Alley provides one of the best transitional waves to learn on in Australia. The headland protects beginners from all but the smallest waves. Once you get the hang of standing up, take on one of the world’s top 100 right-hand point breaks. There’s three learn-to-surf schools (Currumbin Alley Surf School, Surf Easy and Surfing Services) located in the carpark.
It’s located in an industrial estate, but Balter Brewery is the hippest Sunday hang-out on the Southern coast. Four of the world’s best pro surfers (including local world champs Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson) came together to create the ultimate surfie hang-out, serving beer they brew themselves. There’s food trucks, DJs and ice-cold beer on tap – and you’ll never know who’ll you see.
See kangaroos and mountains
It’s barely a 10-minute drive from the beach to Currumbin Valley’s Eco-Village. Yet you’re surrounded by mountains and mobs of kangaroos who gather every morning to graze. There’s an onsite grocer selling fresh, local organic produce and you can grab a coffee and a meal at Pasture & Co – a cafe with a lovely outdoor area to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.
Artists, poets and more
Once no more than an industrial area full of manufacturers and mechanics, Currumbin Waters is becoming the Gold Coast’s new arts precinct. Dust Temple is leading the charge. An industrial-themed café/ restaurant in an old warehouse, it hosts artists’ works as well as being home to silversmiths, artists and ceramicists. Musicians and poets also perform.
The hippest gathering space on the coast, The Collective. Five restaurants rolled into one large open-plan space, make sure you book ahead because everyone wants to be here, no matter what day of the week. The food’s great, but there’s also a range of local and international beers and over 50 cocktail choices at a bar upstairs which looks across the hinterland.
The ultimate surf club
The Gold Coast has long been famous for surf clubs nabbing the best real estate positions on the coast – and nothing epitomises this more than the Palm Beach Surf Club. The waves break a few metres away from where you’ll eat on an outdoor deck. There’s live music too.
Find zen on the sea
Protected from the famed waves of Burleigh Point – and looking across to 27 hectares of bushland at Burleigh Heads National Park – this could be the best place for yoga on Earth. Float on top of Tallebudgera Creek while honing your yoga practice.