The Gold Coast Thrill Seeker's Adventure Guide

The Gold Coast Thrill Seeker's Adventure Guide

11 Jan 2024

Do you prefer life at a leisurely pace? Or would you rather go fast, get amongst it and immerse yourself in energetic experiences that get the endorphins flowing? For those who want to take it to extremes and explore every corner of this stunning city, we’ve compiled a hit list of action-packed adventures which showcase the best of Gold Coast’s great outdoors.

The Only Way Is Up

Some people like to live on the edge and those people probably enjoy hanging off the side of high rises too. If you’re one of them, head to the Q1 Resort tower in Surfers Paradise to undertake Australia’s highest external building climb.

After a safety briefing, you’ll start at the SkyPoint Observation Deck on level 77 and exit the building for an awe-inspiring, sky high adventure. Safely harnessed onto a handrail and led by an experienced climb leader, you’ll ascend exterior stairs towards the massive spire, stopping along the way to enjoy 360-degree views of the Gold Coast, from the golden beaches and city skyline, to lush green hinterland and beyond.

Once you reach the summit of SkyPoint Climb, you’ll have the opportunity to lean out over the 270m drop – not for the faint-hearted! There’s something so liberating and exhilarating about being out in the elements so high up – even when your feet are back on the ground it will take you a while to come back down to earth. You can climb at sunrise, during the day, at twilight and after dark to admire the Gold Coast’s many different moods.
Location: 9 Hamilton Ave, Surfers Paradise

Take the Plunge

Only the biggest adrenaline junkies need apply for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Take in the best views of the glittering Coast (if you can keep your eyes open that is) with the crew at Gold Coast Skydive. No experience is needed here, as you’ll be given a safety briefing and get kitted up before departing Gold Coast Airport and soaring high into the clouds.

Now for the hair-raising part – strapped safely to your tandem skydive instructor you’ll free fall from 12,000 feet, reaching speeds of up to 220kph before deploying your parachute and floating down for a soft sand landing on beautiful Kirra Beach. If you’re looking for one of the best adrenaline-pumping experiences – this is it!
Location: 18 Coyne St, Coolangatta

Sailing Adventure

If the thought of sailing the high seas gets your blood pumping jump aboard a luxury catamaran with Sailing in Paradise for a voyage of adventure. This is one of the best ways to explore Gold Coast’s gorgeous Broadwater - an expanse of sparkling shallow water estuary stretching from Southport to Moreton Bay.   

Sailing in Paradise has three stunning vessels available for private charter and you can bring up to 40 people with you, or just keep it intimate with a few friends or your special someone. On the Island Cruise you’ll sail to deserted beaches only accessible by boat, where you drop anchor anf jump into turquoise waters for a swim, snorkel or paddleboard, play some beach games or just laze around in the trampoline-style foredeck with your beverage of choice in hand. 

Once the sails are hoisted and motors off, it’s an exhilarating feeling to glide along the waters of the Gold Coast on a sunny day, with the spectacular coastline sliding by.  On your voyage, keep an eye out for marine life like dolphins, dugongs (and Humpback whales in the right season).
Location: Marina Mirage, 74 Seaworld Dr, Main Beach

Island Vibes

At our fine dining restaurants you may be offered a choice of H2O, but when it comes to the Gold Coast’s pristine waterways there’s only one option – sparkling. For a unique aquatic adventure in our crystal-clear ocean, join Australian Kayaking Adventures for a tour of tranquil waters and snorkelling with sub-tropical fish. You might see dolphins, turtles, rays, dugongs and seabirds too. This is a wonderful way to explore the gorgeous waterways with a seasoning of salt, sun and sand.
Location:15 River Dr, Surfers Paradise

Go Turbo

If a leisurely paddle is too tame for your taste, jump aboard a considerably faster watercraft for a gung-ho Gold Coast adventure.

Jetboat Extreme‘s 650 horse-power twin jet-power turbo engines deliver a hair-raising ride at speeds up to 80kph. White-knuckle your way through 360-degree spins, water slides, sweeping fish tails and wild wave riding. It’s 55 minutes of non-stop fun as you whip around Gold Coast’s waterways hooting, hollering and squealing as the spray hits you.

The exhilarating experience is made even more memorable by wise-cracking captains who throw in a few jokes, fun facts and local knowledge along the way. Hot tip: bring a towel or a change of clothes as you’re guaranteed to get wet!
Location: 34 Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise (in front of Surfers Pavailion).

Chasing Waterfalls

Purling Brook Falls is one of the Gold Coast’s most spectacular waterfall walks and a short hike in the Hinterland is something that should definitely be on your itinerary. Allow three hours so you can enjoy the journey and stop along the way to admire some incredible views and perhaps cool off with a swim. The route is a circuit, best walked in a clockwise direction.

The vista from the top of the falls across Springbrook National Park is magical, but once you’ve descended into the gorge and are standing at the base of the falls looking up, it’s a jaw-dropping spectacle, especially after heavy rainfall. You can feel the power and energy of the natural elements as the huge volume of water cascades from hundreds of metres above, misting you in a refreshing spray. 

While you can’t swim at the base of the falls, a short 2km detour will take you to Warringa Pool where you can cool off in the bracing fresh water, and take a breather before the ascent back to the beginning of the track.
Location: Purling Brook Falls car park at Forestry Rd, Springbrook (near Dancing Waters Cafe).

Monkey Business

Afraid of heights? Give this one a miss! But otherwise Tree Top Challenge in the Gold Coast’s Tamborine Mountain is a must-do. This Gold Coast adventure takes place in Australia’s largest treetop adventure park, traversing nine acres of subtropical rainforest where you can tackle the high ropes course with four different levels of difficulty. Just pray your palms don’t get sweaty! It’s suitable for all levels of fitness and experience, and the perfect activity to do with kids.
Location: Treetop Challenge is located in Thunderbird Park, Cedar Creek Falls Rd, Tamborine Mountain

If you enjoyed this story you might also like: Make a Splash! Water Sports Without the Waves.

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Kate Veling
Kate Veling

Travel writer, Kate Veling, came to the Gold Coast for six months and loved it so much she’s still here 20 years later. The laidback lifestyle suits her to a tee and as a mum of three, she knows all the best parks, swimming spots and kid-friendly fun to be had in her ‘hood. She’s often found getting amongst the thriving local arts and culture scene, dancing to live music or kicking back on the beach, but rest assured it’s all in the name of research.


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.