The Gold Coast
Gold Coast History
The history of the Gold Coast Australia is one of fast development since WW2.
After WW2 the South Coast region of Queensland was a popular holiday destination for servicemen returning from the war. From then on and with inflated prices for real estate and other goods and services led to the nickname of “Gold Coast” in the early 50s.
As tourism grew throughout the decade businesses began to adopt the term in their names, and a memorable day the 23 October 1958 the South Coast Town Council was renamed “Gold Coast Town Council”. One year later the Gold Coast was labelled a city.
By the late 60s Surfers Paradise had established itself as the main destination and then the crazy introduction of bikini-clad meter maids in 1965 the aim to feed parking meters to prevent holiday makers from getting parking fines was a particularly popular innovation. And even still alive to this day.
The 70s came along and with that did the high rise boom followed 10 years later by the Gold Coast Airport, making the Gold Coast Australia number one holiday destination.
During the 80s the introduction of the 5 theme parks that lie there today (see in list) only solidified its presence as a number one destination.
The turn of the century bought a real estate boom with it’s economical peak in 2005 with the opening of the 322.5m ‘Worlds Tallest Residential Tower’ Q1, in Surfers Paradise.
To this day the Gold Coast continues to grow and strengthen its position establishing itself as a international destination to add to its domestic success.
The Gold Coast is not is not one place that is short of things to do and see, its the number one destination in Australia for fun and entertainment and boy do they do it well.
You would think making a top 40 list would be hard but, and to be honest we probably haven’t even scratched the service.
Located half way up the east coast of Australia, an hour south of Brisbane and hour north of Byron Bay.
This beautiful city is made up of a number of suburbs along the coast line forming the Gold Coast as a whole.
The Gold Coast has it’s own international airport in Coolongatta on the south end of the coast. Services many parts of Asia and domestic Australia routes.
Gold Coast Top 40 Things To Do
This list has been tried and tested by ourselves and we hope it can all be of some value.
So without further ado here is our Top 40 things to do on the Gold Coast Australia.
Take a Surf Lesson on the Famous Gold Coast Strip
The most well known suburb of the Gold Coast aptly named Surfers Paradise so it would not do it justice if you didn’t take a surf lesson.
With some of the best qualified instructors around you are in capable hands. We tried the long standing company Get Wet and found them great, well organised and really imformative.
Visit Q1 Observation Deck
360 degrees views around the Gold Coast, as far as the eye can see. If you get a clear day you wouldn’t believe what you can see.
The tall residential tower stands head and shoulders above most buildings and the Skypoint observation deck is located on an impressive 77th floor, with a bistro bar and gift shop available.
One of the best views in Australia and with 300 days of sun on the Gold Coast it’s normally a good chance your get a great view.
Catch A Sunset On Burleigh Hill
The place to be for sunset, sit on Burleigh Hill with the view looking back over the Gold Coast across the white sandy beach. Grab your picnic, blankets and drinks and unwind with these sensational views.
Top Tip: Weekends get there early it gets pretty crowded.
Visit A Gold Coast Theme Park
With many a theme park to choose from, the Gold Coast is the theme park capital of Australia.
The five main parks are
- Warner Brothers Movie World
- Wet and Wild
- White Water World
Top tip: Walk along the boulevard in Surfers Paradise and look for the theme park booths, there are many deals available.
Check Out Miami Marketta
Love the street food markets of asia, well Miami Marketta brings a taste of it to the Gold Coast.
A trend setter for food markets on the Gold Coast. With it’s converted warehouse and 20 plus international food stalls, live musicians and a fully stocked bar make this a great night for all.
Open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, from 5pm
Make Your Millions At Star Casino
Star casino is one of the Gold Coast most popular venues, with numerous bars, restaurants and huge casino floor you would certainly never get bored inside here.
Even for people who don’t gamble its a great night out. Residents at the casino have great options with cinema and huge outdoor pool to name a few.
Perfect localality to Broaadbeach and Pacific fair shopping center.
With it’s 24 hour opening time the casino comes a late night hotspot for the Gold Coast locals and visitors.
Barefoot Bowls At Broadbeach Bowls Club
A bit of a tradition on Australian soil is the barefoot bowls. Grab a group of mates some beers and get competitive.
Broadbeach was our favourite but there are a scattering of clubs all over the coast. The venue was also home to the bowls during the Commonwealth Games.
Visit A Brewery
The craft brewery scene in Australia and on the Gold Coast especially exploded a few years back and is flourishing still today. With tours around your favourites breweries and weekends the taphouses open for the public with live music and food trucks.
Here is our choice breweries and favorite tipple in each .
- Burleigh Brewey – Big head
- Balter Brewery – Balter IPA
- Black Hops – East Coast Haze
- Fortitude Brewery – Fortutude Pacer
Afternoon Drinks At Edgewater
Nestled in on the beautiful Isle Of Capri is Edgewater Dining. With its river side seating and views of the impressive Surfers Paradise makes for a excellent late afternoon drinking spot.
Farmers Market Bundall
A perfect Sunday morning would always be wandering around the ever popular farmers market. More than just farm supplies with food trucks, boutiques pop up shops and live music.
Visit the Gold Coast Turf Club
The Gold Coasts only horse racing track and home to the Magic Millions Carnival, one of Australia’s premium horse racing carnivals.
Get trackside or enjoy premium stands either way you are guaranteed a fun day out.
Top Tip: 150 public house is a stones throw away and is the perfect post race spot.
Visit the Botanic Gardens
Walk round the beautiful Botanic Gardens in Benowa. Well maintained and array of plants, pond and wildlife.
Two other bonuses are the 2 km walking track around the grounds and lake to the side. The gardens also has it own cafe with a whole host of treats, coffees and preboooked high teas.
A great place to bring kids, with its large playground and plenty of grass for them to run around in the sun.
Go see the Gold Coast Suns
The Gold Coast now has it’s own AFl side, playing out of the 25,000 Metricon stadium in Carrara. Catch a game against some the countries best sides.
Go see the Titans
If rugby is more your thing then rugby league from the Gold Coast is also available with the Gold Coast Titans playing in Australia’s premium league NFl. applying there trade out of the 21,000 Skilled Park stadium in the suburb of Robina.
Take a drive to Tallebudgera Valley
At the end of Tallebudgera Valley lies a great little place so quiet to many and home of the great cream track walking track. A difficult but rewarding walk over the mountain range.
Wander through the rainforest forest with only the sound of the whip birds and the crunching of twigs on the floor. Relatively untouched area, so very important to bring away whatever you bring with you.
Walk over the Burleigh Headlands
Take a walk from Burleigh Hill through the headlands and out the other side to see the stunning view of Tallebudgera Creek.
Eat tacos at Bonita Bonita
Gold Coast number one Mexican and taco bar Bonita Bonita is a must on any visit.
With tapas style small plates you really get to indulge. And the tequilas, oh the tequilas an impressive back bar with over 50 to choose from. Did someone say Margarita?
Try the acai bowls at Cardamon Pod
These are a must, pleasing to the eye and even more so on the belly. A wide selection to choose from, all vegan plant based.
Cardamon Pod is a regular haunt for tge Instagram faithful trying to get the snap. But to Cardamon Pods credit what they deliver in appearance doesn’t waiver the quality of the food.
Visit Pacific Fair shopping center
Shopping center or village ? it’s hard to tell so many shops to choose from with a scattering of restaurants, 2 food courts, cinema and a range of entertainment. Find top brands like Tiffany and Prada or budget like K Mart and Big W it has something for everyone. Perfectly located in the heart of Broadbeach.
Tackle Surfers Paradise slingshot
Warning!!! Make sure you have a empty stomach before attempting, based just outside Surfers Paradise is Slingshot.
Get fired from your seat at 160km and 80 metres in the air, and well basically bounce your way back down. Best of all it gets captured on video for you to purchase after.
Holey Moley Gold Coast putt putt golf
Holey Moley is a themed putt putt golf center or for those Europeans crazy golf. All indoors with many a fun twists and turns to keep you guessing. Drinks are available only to enhance the experience or decrease the playing experience. But a fun night out is certainly had.
Take a river cruise
Follow the famous waterways of the Gold Coast, meandering past luxury residences and even the odd famous inhabitants.
Enjoy this trip with Surfers Paradise River cruises with on board bar and snacks, its no thrills just good old cruising round the outskirts if the city.
Gold Coast Gondola Rides
Take a romantic gondola ride all around the Gold Coast rivers at sunset. Unwind with certain packages, food, drinks or just the ride. A perfectly relaxed experience, can seat up to 4 people on board tours last from 45 minutes to two hours.
Visit the Collective Restaurant
Its like a food market and restaurant at the same time. The usual restaurant set up but 4 different purposely built kitchens run by different vendors and with different cuisines.
Its a unique experience but a great idea for a restaurant with its variety and options.
Go see Curtis Falls
On Tamborine Mountain between North Tamborine and Eagle Heights lies Curtis Falls and the walking track. A beautiful waterfall and viewing deck.
Go enjoy the views of the coast at the Spit
Out past Main Beach and past Seaworld is the spit. A bit of beach sticking out looking back at the coast. With further walkway heading out to sea, gives you the best views of Surfers Paradise of the remaining Gold Coast.
Visit Eagle Heights Tamborine Mountain
A long road quite aptly named Long Road is Eagle Heights. Full of boutique shops, eateries, wineries and antiques.
Compared to the vast growth of the city, this part of Tamborine feels like it hasn’t changed in 30 years. Making it refreshing change.
Go wine tasting at Mason Wines
Mason wines on Mount Tamborine is a boutique winery and restaurant in the woodland of North Tamborine.
A great selection of Reds and whites, with tasting tours and guided tours to talk you through the winery.
The food is known as some of the best on the mountain and with its lush green views, really sets a great scene.
Check out Getaway Day Spa
Located in North Tamborine also Getaway, has its own spa rooms with steam room, jacuzzi and mineral pool. Take 2 hours of relaxation in these before unwinding with one of there treatments.
Great quiet surrounding, which is just a perfect setting to relax in comfort.
Stay at Pethers Rainforest Retreat
This is a special treat nestled in the deep hinterland in North Tamborine lies Pethers. 10 large eco friendly tree houses. That’s right tree houses, who wouldn’t want to stay in a tree house.
With log fires, in room hot tub, fresh breakfast baskets and stunning views out into the rainforest who wouldn’t want to get lost here.
One of the most spectacular places to see in Queensland. This naturally formed bridge, glow worm cave and walking track is just paradise to see. The walking track is a loop track, of 2.4km taking you through the forest and beneath the trees.
The Natural Bridge is about 40 minutes out of the main center of the Gold Coast, but certainly worth the drive.
Purling Brook Falls
One of the best and biggest waterfalls on the east coast. With uts 200ft waterfall drop and 3.5 km loop walking track to the bottom of the falls makes for a great experience.
Purling Brook Falls is accessed at the top of Springbrook Mountain in the heart of the suburb.
Too Tip : its a big incline up the Springbrook Mountain so be prepared
HOTA meaning home of the arts. Is home to all things entertainment. Theatre, cinema, music, comedy and live festivals is all readily available.
Walking tracks with sculptures and the well maintained Evandale lake to swim in.
Top tip: 150 bar is only 500 metres away a river side bar and restaurant well worth the visit.
Check out the Heinze Dam
An impressive site is the Heinze Dam, you get the sheer size of it when you see it up close to it. And has grown over the years since it’s 1976 opening.
Now the dam is a huge attraction with visitor center, cafe and walkways along the dam and the adjoining woods.
Try axe throwing
They say when in Rome! well what about on the Gold Coast, Located in the backstreets of Miami is the Lumper Punks axe throwing.
What can we say you throw axes at a target sounds fun right ?
With multiple venues across Australia in Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth, these guys know how to put on some fun
Surfers Paradise beachfront markets
If you haven’t had enough of the beach then head back Friday and Saturday evenings for the beachfront markets.
A range of boutique stalls from jewelery, hand crafts, health products and even more. Its just as nice to meander through and maybe finish with some refreshments from one of many close by local bars and restaurants.
Curumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
The Gold Coast very own little zoo featuring all the native Australian animals, like koalas, crocodile, dingos, kangaroos and many many more. get you pictures taken with the resident koala.
Cafe available on site for your refreshment needs, and this site is also the home of the Sanctuary Markets. A market dedicated to food around the world open every friday 4 – 10
Visit Gold Class Cinema
Want some down time catch a movie in style, order meals, alcohol, snacks and sit back in a reclining armchair and watch on the usual large cinema screens. You can even book your food and drinks to come at certain points throughout the movie.
Once you try you wont go back to a normal cinema experience..
Shopping at Harbour Town
Situated on the northern end of the coast lies Harbour Town shopping Village. A wide range of well known shops and local boutiques give Harbour Town great variety.
A 10 screen cinema with Gold class and wide screen rooms adds a bit of entertainment to this shopping town.
Ferry Road Markets
The trendy Ferry road markets in Southport bring a range of boutique shops, trendy eateries and top end food suppliers. we would certainly recommend the Providore bakery its certainly one of the best around for cakes, treats and our favourite sausage rolls.
The Round Up
A fine list for a fine city, the Gold Coast Australia is certainly a busy and entertaining place to be. The Gold Coast should be proud of its uniqueness and wide variety for all varieties.
Many more things that didn’t make the list but could easily of been included. Maybe one day we would need to do a volume 2.
We love all things Gold Coast and we have served you with the best things to do, but now you may need somewhere to eat. Make sure you try out our Best Restaurants Gold Coast, Best Cafes Gold Coast and Best Vegan Restaurants, Gold Coast guides offering an inside to the dining scene on the Gold Coast.
For now it’s goodbye but we will be back soon.
Yes the Gold has an International Airport at Coolongatta at the southern end of coast.
The Gold Coast is lucky enough to enjoy on average 300 days of sunshine a year.
Taxis, Uber, Trams, Trains and Buses its well equipped.
The Gold Coast has one of Australia’s best public beaches.