It’s no surprise that the Gold Coast is a multi-award-winning destination. We're one of a kind! Our stunning city boasts an impressive array of unique, family friendly experiences you simply can’t find anywhere else. From the some of oldest rainforests in the world, to the fastest roller coaster in the Southern Hemisphere, the Gold Coast is home to so many exclusive and diverse activities you’ll wonder how it’s possible to fit them into one trip. But anything is possible in this region of South East Queensland and to make it easy, here are all the uniquely Gold Coast experiences that you need to check out on your next visit.
It’s a world-heritage listed natural wonder and the largest sub-tropical rainforest on Earth, not to mention over 180 million years old. Stepping into the Gondwana Rainforest is akin to finding yourself on the set of a breathtaking Jurassic Park movie. Minus the terrifying deadly predator of course, but it’s cool to think some of the plant species found here existed at the same time as dinosaurs.
Packed with incredible scenery including waterfalls, swimming holes and hikes the rainforest stretches for 366,500 hectares. Luckily for us, the rainforest is accessible from right here on the Gold Coast. Our Lamington and Springbrook National Parks are home to some of the most magical views it’s possible to experience plus some beloved waterfalls; Moran Falls, Purling Brook Falls and Natural Bridge to name a few and plenty of wildlife too. Your camera roll will be crammed with pics of all the pretty scenery.
If you’re keen to immerse yourself even further, there are a few camping spots in the Springbrook National Park and O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat offers accommodation right in the midst of it all. Visiting Gondwana Rainforest is something you’ll never forget and something the whole family will love.
DC Rivals Hypercoaster
One for the kids and the kids at heart, the DC Rivals Hypercoaster at Warner. Bros Movie World is the tallest, longest and fastest in the Southern Hemisphere. Jump aboard to experience the 1.4 kilometre track and of course, a menacing 89 degree drop once you’ve emerged from the depths of the iconic Joker’s head.
Once your legs have stopped wobbling, it’s time to tackle the rest of the unique theme park experience that is Movie World. There’s the Green Lantern Coaster, Batwing Spaceshot, Doomsday Destroyer and Superman Escape, all listed as maximum thrill level plus the Wild West Falls Adventure if you’re after something slightly more relaxed after all that excitement.
There are an array of shows to catch, meet your favourite characters in the streets and of course, plenty of family fun to be had for all ages. Once you’re done with all that, why not ride the DC Rivals Hypercoaster again?!
Where: Warner. Bros Movie World, Pacific Motorway, Oxenford, Gold Coast
Extreme adventure is the name of the game at Thunderbird Park, particularly if you’re game enough to take a spin on the Canyon Flyer – the longest, fastest and highest zipline tour in Australia. You’ll find yourself over 60 metres high as you zip across canyons and gorges in the Gold Coast Hinterland, flying along the line at speeds of up to 70 kilometres per hour. The tour runs for three hours and once you’re done with that exceptionally good time, you’ll want to try out some of the other attractions the park has to offer.
There’s mini golf, crystal panning, laser skirmish, pickleball and thunderegg fossicking. You’ll also have a choice of two dining options so plan to stay the whole day or book into the range of accommodation options to extend the fun.
Where: ThunderBird Park, Tamborine Mountain Road, Tamborine Mountain, QLD
Fancy a 360-degree view of the Gold Coast region from 270 metres up in the air? It’s possible, and even more life-changing than you can imagine thanks to the SkyPoint Climb. It’s Australia’s highest external building climb, twice that of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and truly an experience you’ll want to have over and over again.
After a full safety briefing, you’ll ride SkyPoint’s high speed elevator to the launch platform, 240 metres in the air and from there, begin your 30-metre climb to the top. Harnessed to a purpose-built guardrail, you’ll be guided up the walkway with a climb leader pointing out landmarks and historical sites along the way. Once you reach the summit, you’ll wonder if you’ve ever seen anything quite so beautiful. *Children aged 12 to 15 years and taller than 130cm are welcome to climb and must be accompanied by a full paying adults.
Where: SkyPoint Observation Deck, Level 77, 3003 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise
The newest addition to the Gold Coast’s unique experience list is Wonder Reef, the world’s first buoyant reef. Found 22 metres above the sea floor, Wonder Reef is exactly as the name suggests, an underwater world so incredible, you’ll wonder how you lived before witnessing it.
With depths of 8,18 and 30 metres, the reef is suitable for all levels of qualified divers. Wonder Reef consists of nine massive underwater sculptural structures to swim around and through and is inhabited scores of marine life. You’ll want to spend as much time as possible immersed in the magic of the ocean, sharing dive time with Manta Rays, turtles, dolphins and countless species of fish as you cruise around this aquatic attraction. Gold Coast Dive Adventures take group tours out to Wonder Reef so if you and the family have your certificates, make sure you book a trip out to one of the most unique Gold Coast experiences there is.
The Gold Coast boasts many an incredible swimming spot but perhaps the most beautiful, and certainly the only award-winning is Tallebudgera Creek. Winner of Australia’s Best Swimming Spot in Wotif’s Uniquely Aussie Awards, it’s easy to understand why, even if you’ve only glimpsed it from the bridge in passing.
Nestled between Palm Beach and the Burleigh Heads National Park, “Tally Creek” as it’s affectionately known by locals loved for it’s crystal-clear water, shady coves and family-friendly conditions. The protected spot is perfect for kayaking, stand up paddle boarding or simply splashing around in the shallows. Take a break from water activities with a quality coffee and a life-changing baked treat from Custard Canteen next door (the Portugese tarts are famous), and then kick back under your umbrella and soak up the stunning scenery.
Gold Coast Airport
Flying into the Gold Coast is an incredibly unique experience in itself, the ocean stretching into the distance as far as the eye can see on one side and the mountain ranges of the Hinterland and northern NSW rolling across the other. Add to that the fact you can pick up your luggage and be at the beach within ten minutes (five if you’re lucky) and you’ve got yourself an award-winning airport.
For those reasons, and many more, Gold Coast Airport was indeed named Best Regional Airport in Australia and Pacific for the fifth time at the Skytrax World Airport Awards, not to mention the Cleanest Airport in Australia for 2023. We believe first impressions count and are proud of the welcome you’ll receive when you touch down.
Where: Eastern Avenue, Bilinga
Want some more Gold Coast holiday inspo? Check out our guide to the iconic surf clubs - the best places for a sundowner and schnitzel!
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.