The cooler weather may be upon us but there’s still plenty to see and do across the beautiful Gold Coast – a destination famed as Australia’s favourite playground. From the city’s biggest country music festival to tasty eats, cocktails and winter fun in a life-size snow globe and bubblegum machine, we’ve shortlisted the Gold Coast’s best activities that are sure to please both young and old this July.
GOLD COAST MARATHON
Adopted as Australia’s annual premier road race, the 41st Gold Coast Marathon will take to the streets on the first weekend of the month. Take on a personal challenge to run a distance, secure a personal best time, fundraise for a good cause or just run for the plain fun of it. There’s 42km, 21km, 10km, 5.7km or (2km or 4km) junior dash races for the fam to enter, but don’t sweat it if running isn’t your thing. Instead, join the spectators along the sideline stretch to cheer on loved ones and favourites like Andrew ‘Reidy’ Read, from none other than Bondi Rescue.
Attracting over 28,000 participants of all ages and abilities, this flat, family-friendly scenic course will take you beachside from the serene Broadwater at Paradise Point, to the iconic North Burleigh in the city’s south.
All finishers will receive a commemorative medal, shirt and certificate. Not to mention some serious bragging rights whether you’re a seasoned runner or a rookie at pounding the pavement. Book your tickets today to secure your place on the start line.
When & Where: 6-7 July | Gold Coast
VIVA SURFERS PARADISE
If you loved Cooly Rocks On, or would just love to relive the early rock, pop and soul days, then VIVA Surfers Paradise is not to be missed. As Australia’s ultimate tribute festival, VIVA offers 10 glorious days of live performances and entertainment, that’s suitable for all ages. Better still, this pop-up event hub in Cavill Mall of Surfers Paradise is absolutely free to attend.
The official VIVA marquee will play host to tribute acts from legendary icons of the past and present including Queen, Elton John and The Beatles each night. Then if you still haven’t got your Elvis fix, you can get yourself and the fam down to the Elvis Tribute Artist Content, or the quirky renewal of vows ceremony, officiated by the GC’s very own Elvis marriage celebrant (a yearly event highlight). The car enthusiasts and rev heads can also get excited over the Show ‘N’ Shine display, where over 70 classic model cars will be parked front and centre along the Surfers Paradise beachfront for all to admire.
For those who wish to get up close to the acts in premium seating, be a part of meet and greets, and gain access to exclusive after party events, Legend ticketed passes are available for purchase. And if you’re wondering… it’s totally acceptable to break out your leather pants and trusty belt buckles to add to the nostalgic theme – you certainly won’t be alone.
When & Where: 12-21 July | Surfers Paradise
WINTERFEST AT DREAMWORLD
The Gold Coast is renowned for its mild weather all year round, even in the cooler months, though part of the city will see a rare occurrence of snow as Dreamworld launches its inaugural Winterfest celebration between Saturday 29 June – Sunday 21 July. Themed like a magical winter wonderland, the park will be touched with a snowfall of wonder; with a unique snow-globe adding a hint of winter to the iconic Dreamworld Globe, a tobogganing slope sliding into Main Street and an ice-skating rink in the Dreamworld Exhibition Centre – with more to be revealed.
So pile on the winter woollies and head to Dreamworld to make the most of the school holidays, for the best winter park experience on the Gold Coast. With tickets starting from just $19, book your Winterfest day or park after dark passes and activity session tickets online today.
When & Where: 29 June – 21 July | Coomera
TITANS V BRONCOS
Get the kids fired up and head to Robina’s Cbus Super Stadium to witness arguably one of the best derbies of the season. It’s here the beloved GC Titans will take on city rivals, the Brisbane Broncos in the Saturday afternoon clash for round 19. With hot chips and a pie in hand (…no judgement), cheer on the Gold Coast team to victory and soak up the electric stadium atmosphere. The kids can also get involved in pre-game entertainment and if you don’t want to get caught in the mixed team spectator scrum, there’s opposition seating bays available to really get into the team spirit.
Tickets start from as little as $18 for general admission, with free public transport on Queensland Rail Trains, Translink Bus Services and metro G:Link services, 4hours pre-and post-game event times, to all (day or annual) ticket holders.
Gates open from 3.00pm, with kick-off at 5.30pm.
When & Where: 27 July | Cbus Super Stadium, Robina
SUGAR REPUBLIC MUSEUM
Kids (and adults) of all ages unite! A pop-up candy museum is coming and it is nothing short of amazing. Taking over Pacific Fair Shopping Centre for the month of July, the Sugar Republic Gold Coast will give you and the fam the sugar rush of your lives with its Instagram themed museum.
Dedicated to the celebration of all things sugar, spice and everything nice, the activation has three main walk through zones to keep you mesmerised and wanting more. It’s across the Candyland, The Resort and The Selfie Store spaces that you’ll get to jump inside a giant human size gumball machine, swim amongst a sprinkles themed ball pit, take a confetti shower and admire oversized nostalgic ice-cream installations of the classic Bubble-O-Bill and Rainbow Paddle Pop. But wait, there’s more… Continue through to have a go on the popcorn box swing, leap out of a giant birthday cake, spin the wheel o’ fruit and pose with 80s inspired sweet selfie art frames. Did we mention the free candy, soft serve and fairy floss samples? #heaven
Get your tickets today to secure your 1.5 hours of pure fun. Night time sessions are also available, but be aware – no selfie sticks allowed.
When & Where: 30 June – 28 July | Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, Broadbeach
SUNSETS BY SANCTUARY COVE
Sunsets by Sanctuary Cove is a sensational new outdoor event celebrating good food, wine, beer and cider – it’s life’s simple pleasures rolled into one mouth-watering weekend of live entertainment and good times.
The Cove will be serving up crisp whites, big reds and creamy champagnes from over 40 local, national and international wineries, and all of which are all up for tasting. 15 of Australia’s top breweries and cideries (it’s a thing) will also be present for your afternoon enjoyment at this stunning waterfront location, in the city’s northern region.
Early bird tickets start from just $15 for a one-day entry or just $30 for a two-day weekend pass, so gather your friends and family and make a weekend of it at the Cove. Accommodation is also conveniently just a short walk away at Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove.
Event open from 2.00 to 8.00pm each day over the 27 and 28 July.
When & Where: 27-28 July | Sanctuary Cove, Hope Island
GROUNDWATER COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL
Love yourself a little Casey Barnes and Lee Kernaghan? Well, you’re in luck! As one of Australia’s fastest growing country music festivals – returning to the Coast for its 7th year – Broadbeach will play host to the largely popular Groundwater Country Music Festival over 3 epic days.
As a completely free event to attend, you’ll see over 40 Aussie and International country artists take to the stages for over 130 hours of live entertainment. Think banjos, electric guitars, board shorts and people rocking out in the streets, in front of the outdoor stages in the park and in the local bars and restaurants, for a real weekend to remember. So dust off your cowboy boots, locate the ol’ Akubra and book the fam’s accommodation today to join in on all the fun.
When & Where: 26-28 July | Broadbeach
COCKTAIL MIXOLOGY CLASS
Unsurprisingly, the Gold Coast is fast becoming a destination for unmatched dining precincts with not only their quality eats, but equally for their cool vibes and killer locations. Hyde Paradiso – located in the Peppers Soul Hotel – at the Coast’s iconic Surfers Paradise offers just that.
With its LA inspired feel, delectable Mediterranean food menu and signature range of cocktails, this superb beachfront eatery and lounge is the place to be by the sea. And if that isn’t enough to entice you to visit, Hyde has recently launched a Cocktail Mixology Masterclass – perfect for those looking to add a bit more zing to their beachside dining experience. In this 90-minute session, you’ll get to try your hand at making two classic cocktails of choice and two signature Sgroppinos, whilst digging into a divine meats and cheese share platter for all your mixing and shaking hard work. And for just $89 per person, it’s some serious bang for your buck.
Groups can be as little as 4 people or as big as 12, and sessions (available almost every day from noon to 4pm throughout July and beyond) can be booked ahead of time online, alongside your dinner reservation.
When & Where: Throughout July and ongoing | Hyde Paradiso, Surfers Paradise
We’ll see you soon!
destinationgoldcoast.com – The official city guide for Australia’s favourite playground.
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