Your Ultimate Guide To Getting Wet: Gold Coast Waves & Watersports

Your Ultimate Guide To Getting Wet: Gold Coast Waves & Watersports

16 Sep 2021

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to Gold Coast watersports. We have some of the world’s longest canals and waterways (longer than Amsterdam and Venice combined!) which provide calm, protected waters to splash around in. Then there’s the 57km of pristine beaches, world-class surf and azure Pacific Ocean, which capture the imagination of water lovers the world over.

Playing in the waves and connecting with the ocean is popular past time round these parts and there’s an endless variety of ways to do it. Brace yourself for an immersive experience of the best kind while we run through some of our favourite ways to enjoy our big and beautiful blue canvas. Get amongst Gold Coast’s watersports!


It’s one thing we’re known for and a reputation we’re happy to uphold! The allure of picture-perfect waves has been attracting surfers from all over to the Gold Coast for more than 100 years. This quintessential beach-going pastime captures the spirit of our city to a tee. It’s not just for leisure or sport – it’s also a way of life for many locals.

We’re proud to be one of 10 World Surfing Reserves around the globe, which means our perfect point breaks, beaches and surrounding environment are preserved and protected for future generations of ocean lovers. From Snapper Rocks to The Spit and beyond, our ocean playground is the perfect place to learn to surf. The surf schools listed below can help you get the hang of it in a super fun and supportive experience, and if you’re already ripping, many offer intermediate and advanced lessons as well. Show us your shakas!

Go Ride a Wave (Surfers Paradise)
Get Wet Surf School (Main Beach)
Cheyne Horan School of Surf (Surfers Paradise)
Surf in Paradise (Surfers Paradise)


There are many ways to enjoy the gorgeous views of our iconic beachside city. This one’s a bit different! How does floating 500 feet up in the air as you’re towed behind a boat on the Broadwater sound? It’s a perspective of the Gold Coast that can only be experienced via parasailing.

You can undertake this fun and fabulous sky-high adventure with Gold Coast Watersports. After a boat ride out to the Broadwater, the experienced deck hands will fit your harness and clip you into the parachute. All you have to do is simply sit back and ascend skywards to admire the view! The wind will ruffle your hair and you’ll feel like you’re flying as you absorb the contrast of spectacular high rises against a stunning sub-tropical backdrop — a truly unique way to see the sights.


For those who enjoy a thrill and feeling their heart rate exceed normal levels, then a high-speed spin across the ocean in a jet boat is a must.  Paradise Jet Boating takes the thrills and spills of a theme park ride and mixes it with waves and speeds of around 100km/h. Their premium adventure ride travels over 35km through Moreton Bay Marine Park. It’s 55 minutes of full-on fun and adventure mixed with wonderful scenery and sightseeing. Hang on tight as your captain takes you through 360-degree spins, high-speed drifting, power slides, beach-buzzing and other exciting manoeuvres through the beautiful, pristine waterways.


Head below the surface to see some amazing aquatic life, offshore reefs and historic shipwrecks spanning back some 150 years. Rick’s Dive School offers a fun and safe ways to experience scuba diving. From first time try dives, training, right through to advanced level tours — all backed with over 20 years of operation.

The Gold Coast boasts a long list of dive sites. Some such as Kirra and Palm Beach reefs are easier to access, and you can swim to them from the shore. Other prominent locations include the wall sections around The Seaway and the wreck of 19th-century transport ship The Scottish Prince – both incredible places to witness an array of marine life and natural coral.

As of early 2022, Gold Coast will be home to Australia’s newest and most exciting new dive attraction – Wonder Reef. Approximately 2.5 km offshore from The Spit in Main Beach, the site promises to attract divers of all levels to explore a rich diversity of subaquatic animals and plant life. Featuring large scale underwater sculptures and structures, swim throughs and landing platforms for divers, it will be an innovative and environmentally friendly playground for those who adore exploring!

Prefer to try some watersports at a slower pace? Then you might like to read this blog: Make a Splash! Watersports Without the Waves.

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Alex Mitcheson
Alex Mitcheson

Alex is often found battling the crowds for a few waves somewhere on the Coast. When he's not salty and covered in zinc, his passions are reading rock 'n' roll biographies, finding fine food and damn good wine. Originally from Northumberland, England, he has enjoyed writing for a slew of travel and lifestyle publications nationally and internationally — but still cannot believe he gets to call the Gold Coast home. Find Alex on Instagram: @alexmitcheson


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.