Now that the weather’s warming up and the days are getting longer, there’s more time to make the most of golden hour – that magical stretch of time from late afternoon until dark. There are stacks of ways to wrap up your day and fill in time before dinner. Sundowners at the local surf club après beach, hinterland sunset picnics, twilight comedy gigs, trivia night gatherings or a stroll along the sand. You’ve got the 9 to 5 covered - here’s how to fill the hours from 5 to 9 with fun, leisure and pleasure on the Gold Coast.
The Gold Coast’s swathe of waterways are magical at this time of day. It’s so relaxing to sit back and trace the horizon line from the bow of a boat. Talk about a cruisy afternoon! The Sunset Tour with Surfers Paradise River Cruises is an affordable way to sail past Marina Mirage, into the Gold Coast Broadwater and visit the southern tip of Sea World. All ticket prices include complimentary savoury nibbles and there’s a fully licenced bar onboard.
A late afternoon paddle might just be the most intimate way to enjoy the last few golden rays of the day. Soak up the serenity and enjoy our stunning waterways on a sunset tour with Australian Kayaking Adventures. This activity requires low fitness levels, meaning it’s an easy flat-water paddle from Budds Beach, exploring the canals and enjoying the tranquillity of your surroundings.
Another aquatic option the Aquaduck Scandals and Sunset Tour. Departing at 5pm every Friday and Saturday this is a super fun way to see the highlights of Surfers Paradise city and listen to some very unique commentary, including weird and wacky tales about the people and events that formed the foundation of the Gold Coast. Enjoy a warm Gold Coast evening with plenty of snacks, drinks and lots of laughs along the way.
Handmade arts and crafts, gourmet food, souvenirs, vintage scores, jewellery, fashion, gifts and more. You’ll find it all at the sunset Surfers Paradise Markets stalls. Happening every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 4 - 9 pm, this is the place to be for browsing a treasure trove of market scores on the foreshore.
Embark on a twilight tasting journey at Night Bites Market and get your fix of live music as you devour delicious international and local cuisines. Held in the grounds of Palm Beach Currumbin Highschool, these food friendly markets feature an outstanding array of providores sharing amazing savoury flavours and after-dinner sweet treats. Self-proclaimed as an after dark taste of euphoria, this family-friendly outing ticks all the boxes for a memorable Gold Coast sunset feast.
Have a Laugh
When they say laughter is the best medicine, they’re not kidding. Having a good old belly laugh is a great remedy to shake off the workday and cut loose a little. HOTA delivers all the giggles with their rotating roster of top comedy gigs. The calibre of stand-up comedians that headline here is very, very impressive. Think classic Aussie talent like Lano and Woodley and international superstars such as the sharp-witted and utterly hilarious Jimmy Carr. Look ahead and on HOTA’s calendar of events and book quickly as tickets go fast.
The team from Based Comedy frequently host comedy shows at a bunch of excellent venues spread all over the Gold Coast. Come along and support the stand-up comedy scene and enjoy a unique Gold Coast evening sipping drinks on sunset paired with side-splitting puns and a whole lot of fun.
Get the creative juices flowing at some crafty workshops around the Gold Coast. The Craft Parlour in Burleigh Heads has a warm welcome for visitors and regulars a like at their regular workshops. are always welcoming to newcomers and regular attendees alike. You can learn the art of candle making, design your own earrings and even produce incense from scratch. Their resin homeware workshops and ceramics classes are fantastic for making treasured keepsakes or blessing your friends with handmade gifts. No experience is necessary – you’ll get all the material and tuition in class in this cute little craft studio.
Another excellent way to express yourself is a paint-and-sip session at sunset. Pinot & Picasso workshops are held regularly in Palm Beach, Broadbeach and Southport. It’s here that local artists will guide you through the proverbial painting ropes in a custom built studio. It’s a casual yet encouraging art-themed environment to be in and you can even bring your own vino and grazing platters along. Hint: these studios are available for private functions too. It’s such a great way to bond with friends or colleagues and maybe even create a masterpiece.
Fun & Games
Games nights are always a good idea. Here are some of the Gold Coast’s liveliest entertainment events that are happening come sunset.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that trivia is for nerds - trivia is actually for drag queens! Currumbin’s Dust Temple holds regular draq queen trivia nights hosted by some truly fabulous, fierce and hilarious creatures. Check for dates here.
Meanwhile, every Tuesday is showtime for trivia buffs over at the Chameleon Lounge Bar & Restaurant. Here you can enjoy a terrific show, drinks and $3 dollar tacos. Or perhaps you’d prefer a round of drag queen bingo at 5pm on Fridays. Either way, you're guaranteed to be so entertained and you'll have to drag yourself away.
If you’re a general knowledge genius, then trivia will be your cup of tea. Drop in for some drag-themed fun and tricky trivia questions at Fat Freddy’s Beach Bar & Diner on Tuesdays from 4.30-7.30pm.
The Gold Coast knows how to reel in fans of fishing - hook, line and sinker. Time spent on the calm and peaceful waterways at sunset is a priceless experience. Patience is key to a successful fishing outing on the GC and a little bit of local knowledge is handy too. Find out the inside info and best spots to fish from shore here.
Hangout at HOTA
A superb way to spend golden hour on the Gold Coast is a visit to the Fridays on the Lawn series at HOTA. It’s free and features local musicians sharing their tunes every Friday from 4-7 pm. Pull up a chair or bring a blanket and stretch out. The Lawn Bar is open for your favourite drinks and you can even check out the current exhibition and/or book into HOTA’s aptly named, Palette restaurant for dinner too. All ages are welcome, and there’s lots of grassy lawn for the kids to run around too - winning!
Sundowners at a Surf Club
Enjoying a cold beverage on the deck of Gold Coast Surf Club at sunset has to be one of the best combinations going. Name a more iconic duo than a golden brew with a beachfront view. Pull up a pew at the local surf club and order your beverage of choice for a front seat to the changing skies, stunning colours and fading light of a Gold Coast sunset.
SkyPoint Twilight Climb
Did you know that the amazing Q1 resort is home to Australia’s highest external building climb? Well, know you do. Of course, the Gold Coast skyline, beach and hinterland vistas are nothing short of spectacular from this lofty vantage point. The Twilight Climb is a thrilling adventure, that’s not for the faint-hearted. It is however, guaranteed to impress people seeking an adrenaline-charged experience. Tip: you stop regularly on the climb to rest your legs and admire the panoramic golden hour views.
It’s super simple, free and one of the best ways to spend golden hour – walking the golden sands of our beloved beaches. Salty sea air, the wide horizon and the changing colours of the sky will fill you with the kind of peace people pay a lot of money to obtain. And just to supercharge the feel good endorphins, walk along one of the Gold Coast dog beaches so you get the added bonus of puppy pats.
If you're looking for new activities and things to do during your stay, check out this blog: More Ways to Play on the Gold Coast.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
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.