It's a common problem when you get to the Gold Coast... what to do first? Launch straight into the action, ease into it with a more relaxed approach... or find somewhere to satisfy your hunger? We've broken it down for you, suburb by suburb, where to get your thrill, chill and fill.
Thrill: Fighting zombie hordes, battling killer robots and leaping between buildings ticks the box for some serious thrills at Zero Latency. Don goggles, headset and backpack, choose your weapon and embark on an insane interactive gaming mission in this epic multi-player free roaming Virtual Reality experience. With a number of interactive games to choose from, you’ll be blown away by how real it feels. Pro tip: watching other gamers play from the sidelines of the huge gaming arena is highly entertaining.
Chill: There are few activities more ‘chill’ than cruising Gold Coast’s gorgeous waterways. Hop aboard with Sea World Cruises on a variety of tours at different times of day, including a buffet lunch and dinner cruise. Sitting atop the open air roof deck with a drink in hand, has to be one of the most enjoyable ways to explore the city at a very leisurely pace.
Fill: If you’re looking for the ultimate spot for a refreshing sundowner on a hot day, you’ve found it. Serving up sensational views of the glimmering Broadwater with every meal, Waterfront Restaurant at Southport Yacht Club is a local fave. Given the location, seafood is the mainstay of the menu while steak, schnitzels, salad and burgers cater for all tastes. It’s a family friendly spot with its own private beach so the kids can go for paddle post-meal.
Thrill: Enjoy the thrills and no doubt a few spills (it’s all part of the fun), getting the hang of wakeboarding at GC Wake Park. With two cable courses towing riders around the lake, it’s a fun and safe environment to learn how, or hone your skills in waterskiing, wakeboarding or knee boarding. The super-friendly staff ensure you’ll have a blast and there’s also an epic inflatable Aqua Park on site so those not keen on learning the ropes can have just as much fun on slides, runways, jumping pillows and swings.
Chill: The Gold Coast Motor Museum is something of a hidden gem. Even if you’re not much of a motorhead, you’ll be fascinated by the stories held within the walls of this museum. It contains an impressive collection of lovingly restored classic cars from across the decades displayed alongside some amazing collections of memorabilia.
Fill: Situated on the same hinterland property as the Motor Museum and housed in a lovely old rustic barn, Stanley’s Barn Restaurant & Bar serves up first class fare. You can tell the award-winning chefs love creating in the kitchen - you’ll taste it in their menu. With a beautiful outlook onto leafy bushland, and a sprawling lawn where kids and dogs can play, a few enjoyable hours over lunch or breakfast here (dinner on Saturday night only) is time well spent.
Thrill: If you’re a surfer, paddle out at Burleigh Point for a session at one of Australia’s best right hand pointbreaks. Recommended for experienced surfers only - if that’s not you Burleigh Hill is the perfect elevated perch to watch the action in the waves below..
Chill: Spend a cruisy morning browsing the The Village Markets, held on the first and third Sunday of each month at Burleigh Heads State School. This boutique market showcases creative small businesses selling everything from fashion, art, jewellery to plants and homeware. You’ll also find excellent breakfast options from food trucks and live tunes by local artists.
Fill: Found in the heart of Burleigh on the Gold Coast Highway, Local is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and oozes casual cool. Grab a booth in the leafy, sunlit beer garden out the back, or watch the world go by from a high table on the front terrace. The flavour-packed menus will satisfy all your food and drink dreams from post-beach brunch with cocktails to tasty-but-casual dinners. Tis excellent venue is dog and kid friendly so bring the whole gang.
Thrill: Get axe-cited for some Viking vibes at Lumber Punks. Axe-throwing is a little bit badass and a lot of fun. The team here will teach you how to throw sharp objects in a safe environment and have you hitting your target with a satisfying thunk after a few practice throws. It’s less about strength, and all about timing and technique so don’t think you need to look like a lumberjack to be an axe-pert..
Chill: The lookout at Mick Shamburg Park next to North Burleigh Surf Club is a picture perfect spot to take a breather. With viewing platforms overlooking the ocean, you can soak up sweeping views of the coastline, horizon, sea and sky. It’s a magical scene at sunrise (or full moon rise) and in the right season, you’ll see humpback whales on their annual migration. Descend down the Miami side of the park for a souvenir snap on the famous #miamirainbowstairs.
Fill: A bright, breezy venue with a retro aesthetic inspired by its namesake, Palm Springs serves up breakfast and lunch options with a delicious twist and a side of So-Cal style. Pair a pastry with a signature blend coffee for a more traditional breakky or go green with a vegan option, the Nourish Bowl. This vibrant venue is licensed so if you’re in the mood, a Cali Breakfast Burrito accompanied by a Bloody Mary makes for the perfect morning-after brunch.
Thrill: Strap into your harness and hold on tight for a high speed, adrenaline fueled flight across an actual canyon on Australia’s longest (1.4km), fastest and highest zipline. You're in safe hands with experienced guides, but as you whiz down at speeds of 70 km/ph, 60 metres up in the air, your hollers of exhilaration (or fear?!) will echo through Cedar Creek Canyon. This area is home to ancient rainforest and beautiful native bushland - you’ll have a prime view of the surrounding landscape from your lofty perch.
Chill: Soak up one of the best views on the Gold Coast from Robert Sowter Park, perched on an escarpment high on Tamborine Mountain. Facing west, it over looks Koralbyn Valley to the distant mountains of Border Ranges, Springbrook and Lamington National Park. It’s a popular spot for hang gliders to take off, and at the end of each day, the landscape lights up in a stunning sunset display. (Located on Main Western Rd, Tamborine Mountain.)
Fill: Right next to Robert Sowter Park you’ll find The Polish Place - a little taste of Europe on the Gold Coast. Take a seat on the pretty terrace and enjoy coffee and cake while admiring one of the best views on the mountain, while cheeky Rainbow Lorrikeets sidle up to your table hoping to catch a crumb. If you’ve got an appetite, sit down for an authentic Polish feast with dishes like pork hock, pierogi and roast duck with cherries. If you’re not designated driver, sample some Polish vodka - there are over 50 delicious flavours to try.
Thrill: It doesn’t get more thrilling than zooming down a zipline across a crocodile enclosure! Jump, clamber and climb across seven different high ropes courses and 14 high-speed ziplines in the rainforest canopy at Treetop Challenge at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. This awesome high ropes course has had a major upgrade, reopening early 2023 to rave reviews.
Chill: The calm water estuary where Currumbin Creek flows into the ocean is the perfect location to dial down the pace. Stroll the boardwalk through the mangroves at Beree-Badalla Reserve or hire a stand up paddle board from Boatshed Bait & Tackle to enjoy exploring this peaceful waterway at your leisure.
Fill: Sitting pretty on the banks of Currumbin Creek with a sprawling deck to take advantage of its waterfront location, the Currumbin RSL is a local institution. Enjoy a refreshing brew with views of the creek or tuck into a tasty meal - you’ll find juicy burgers, fresh salad bowls, steaks and the most perfect woodfired pizzas on the menu.
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.