It’s All Happening At HOTA

It’s All Happening At HOTA

27 Jun 2022

HOTA (Home of the Arts) is the Gold Coast’s go-to destination for all things arts, creativity and entertainment. This expansive precinct right behind Surfers Paradise is the cultural heart of the city, showcasing something we’re famous for. A unique nature/culture collab where the arts and the outdoors combine for a distinctly Gold Coast experience. From cabaret to comedy to music, film and theatre, along with festivals, markets and exhibitions, HOTA is a place that locals are loving, and visitors are longing to visit.


The jewel in HOTA’s crown is the $60 million art gallery and the neighbouring outdoor stage, which were completed in 2021. You won’t find any big city cultural snobbery at HOTA. This is a gallery for the people – inclusive, inspiring and in true Gold Coast style, you’re welcome to visit in boardshorts and thongs if that’s your vibe. There’s an impressive array of spaces to explore throughout the gallery including touring and permanent exhibitions, collections and indigenous art. You can explore the five levels of visual art offerings at your leisure or join a guided tour to dig deeper into the history and hidden details of various artworks. (Tours cost $20 and must be booked at least two weeks in advance.)

The ‘Souvenir from Paradise’ exhibition revisits nostalgic memories of summer holidays on the Gold Coast with a souvenir collection that spans 50 years, from the kitsch to the cool. And you can pick up your own souvenir at the HOTA Shop –  the perfect ending to your visit. With postcards, pins, gifts, artworks, accessories and wares inspired by exhibitions past and present, you’ll be sure to find something uniquely Gold Coast to take home with you.


HOTA caters for kids with a full program of interactive exhibitions at the dedicated Children’s Gallery on Level 1. From storytelling to fairy tales, arts and crafts and interactive exhibitions, little creative hearts are free to dip their toes into the world of art and be themselves in a safe, inclusive space.

HOTA’s holiday programs are always popular with free and ticketed workshops and awesome activities to keeps kids engaged and inspired. At the HOTA theatre, children will be thrilled by incredible family friendly productions encompassing comedy, circus, dance and drama.


One of the Gold Coast’s most gorgeous venues for a live performance, HOTA’s outdoor stage is purpose built to showcase some of the best local and international talent. Many world-famous bands and musicians have graced this stage, with the grassy amphitheatre transformed into a pumping live music experience for five thousand punters. It’s a very versatile space though and can just as easily play host to ballet under the stars or laid-back live tunes on sunny afternoons. HOTA’s weekly event, Fridays on the Lawn (4-7pm every Friday afternoon), is a relaxed alfresco event where you enjoy a selection of beverages from the Lawn Bar and the tunes of local musicians.


HOTA is home to an exquisite rooftop bar, The Exhibitionist, which boasts stunning views from lush mountains of the hinterland to the city skyline. Enjoy a cocktail inspired by the artworks below or choose from a curated champagne menu, along with a selection of tasty food options designed to share. The Exhibitionist is is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the enviable Gold Coast lifestyle (and sweeping vistas) after a day of cultural appreciation.


HOTA’s hatted restaurant, Palette, is found on the ground floor of the gallery serving a fresh, modern Australian menu showcasing the finest produce from across the region. A team of dedicated and creative chefs have curated an award-winning menu and wine list. Choose from a tasting menu with a vegetarian option, order a la carte  or be enticed by a High Tea on Sundays. There is a designated private dining area and function space for larger events, so don a dress or suit for that special occasion or book a long lunch after perusing the gallery’s exhibitions.


The HOTA precinct includes the sprawling Evandale Parklands – a gorgeous, green space in the city with sublime views across the Nerang River to the Surfers Paradise skyline. Perfect for a picnic, you can also take a leisurely stroll around the ground on to see the outdoor sculptures dotted through the park. There’s also a playground, exercise equipment and the lovely lake which is great for any sort of swimming, splashing or paddling. A short walk across the Green Bridge (which is actually painted blue) takes you to Chevron Island’s retail and restaurant strip.


The HOTA Farmers & Artisan Markets are held every Sunday from 6am-11.30am. An eclectic mix of vendors come together each week to showcase their wares including farm fresh produce, global street food, boutique fashion and handcrafted gifts and accessories. Get a bite to eat and a coffee and enjoy your alfresco breakfast in the sunshine by the lake.

The HOTA precinct is a vibrant destination that has landmarked the Gold Coast as the place to be for unique cultural experiences, from music to theatre to world class exhibitions. The gallery and green spaces have been designed for all to enjoy, connecting the community to the arts.

Like this article? You might like 48 Hour Itinerary: Explore Gold Coast Arts & Culture.

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Kylie Mitchell-Smith
Kylie Mitchell-Smith

After more than two-decades in the media game, Kylie Mitchell-Smith (@travellingsenorita) digs deeper and goes underground to find the story. Frequenting far and wide to unique destinations all over the world, Kylie recounts her travels in her weekly Travelling Senorita blog and podcast adventures which are always laden with plenty of local food and wine bars.


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.