Why You Just Can’t Help Falling in Love With Gold Coast, Australia

Why You Just Can’t Help Falling in Love With Gold Coast, Australia

With this list of irresistible activities lined up for your trip, you're ready to take Gold Coast by storm!

Ever been to the Gold Coast? This gorgeous and idyllic coastal area in Australia appeals to families and lovers, groups of fun-seeking friends of all ages, and solo adventurers in search of a perfect blend of action and relaxation! Boasting a pleasant climate, the area is home to rich biodiversity, plenty of attractions to suit all tastes and interests, and various scenic landscapes. Trust us when we say: you’ll be falling helplessly in love with this amazing slice of paradise Down Under.

Not convinced? Here are 8 irresistible activities that you can’t help falling in love with on your next trip to Gold Coast. And to kickstart your trip planning, book your tickets with AirAsia from just RM329*! Are you ready?

*Valid for bookings from now to 10 Dec 2017 for travel from 7 May 2018 to 31 Jan 2019.

1. Head to the numerous beaches for a splashing good time

Image credit: Kerrie Brailsford

Say hello to the incredibly soft white sand beaches of Gold Coast! With a beach to suit almost any mood, finding the perfect vibe is easy. Soak up some sunshine, take a refreshing dip in the waters, build a sandcastle, join in a game of beach volleyball, and lap up the picture-perfect vistas. A variety of water-based activities are possible too, including surfing, snorkelling, boating, and diving! Alternatively, pack a towel and get your tan on while lounging around the beach.

Image credit: Christy Gallois

Rainbow Bay has a rather classy vibe, while Fingal Head Beach is very photogenic. Broadbeach, Palm Beach, and Mermaid Beach are popular spots, Burleigh Beach has a youthful ambience, and Kirra Beach offers peace and tranquillity. Main Beach offers terrific views of Wave Break Island and Currumbin Beach’s sheltered waters make it a favourite with families. With so many beaches to choose from, you’ll be absolutely spoilt for choice. Take your pick and get ready for an awesome day of fun in the sun!

2. Get back to nature with a Farm Stay

Paradise Country

Image credit: Paradise Country

Many escape to Gold Coast for a taste of nature and wildlife, and where better to experience both than at a Farm Stay? There are plenty of Farm Stays that the whole family can enjoy, but our top pick is Paradise Country Farm Stay. On top of being just a 20-minute drive from Surfers Paradise, Paradise Country is home to both a farm and wildlife park. Experience farm life in its entirety; participate in the morning animal feed up, head to the nursery and help with bottle feeding, collect eggs, or even milk some cows. During weekend evenings, the kids can even have the opportunity to get up close and personal to some of the farm’s resident animals. At night, take your family bonding even further with a session around a crackling campfire.

Image credit: Paradise Country

Accommodation-wise, you can choose to stay in their farm-style camp, or one of their on-site caravans and motorhomes. Whether you visit with your family, friends or significant other – a night (or weekend!) spend at a Farm Stay will definitely be one to remember.

Address: Paradise Country, Production Drive, Oxenford QLD 4210

Worendo Cottages

Image credit: Worendo Cottages

Just 90 minutes away from Brisbane and the Gold Coast, in the Lost World Valley, is Worendo Cottages. Here, you can escape to the wilderness and admire the breathtaking mountains of Lamington National Park.

Image credit: Worendo Cottages

Experience nature at its best as you embark on onsite activities such as animal feeding, fishing, lawn games and hiking. Plus, what better way to experience Australia than to get up close and personal with iconic Australian wildlife such as snakes, crocodiles, possums and more? With different cottages available, you can choose one that fits for your family best and you’re off for a perfect Australian farm stay getaway. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the milky way – how awesome is that!

Address: 97 Cedar Glen Road, Darlington, 4285 Queensland Australia

Bestbrook Mountain Resort

Bestbrook Mountain Resort is definitely not your usual campground. It offers plenty of accommodation options such as dorms and cabins as well as powered and unpowered camp sites! Surrounded by magnificent mountain views, you’d find yourselves waking up to the refreshing mountain breeze every morning. Located right next to Main Range National Park, Bestbrook Mountain Resort is the perfect paradise for nature enthusiasts and bird lovers!

Did we also mention that this farm stay is especially suited for families with young children? With the opportunity to interact with farm animals from ducks, chickens and turkeys to peacocks, cows and sheep, we promise that the kids will be talking about their farm stay experience for months to come.

Address: 9790 Cunningham Highway Maryvale Queensland 4370

3. Visit incredible rainforests, waterfalls, National Parks & more

Image credit: Steve Austin

The Gold Coast’s hinterland has several patches of wildlife-rich rainforest and a number of national parks. Those who love hiking can spend three days completing the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk, taking in the UNESCO-listed Gondwana Rainforest and passing by a once-active volcano.

Caves Circuit | Image credit: Tourism & Events Queensland

Lamington National Park is another great spot for walks in nature and one of the highlights is admiring the views from the 15-metre-high rainforest canopy walk. Alternatively, embark on the Caves Circuit, which boasts spectacular views of the Coomera Valley. It brings hikers through a variety of rainforest tree species and across an open forest before emerging at a road near Binna Burra Mountain Lodge.

Rainforest Canopy Walk | Image credit: Daniela (left); Best of All Lookout | Image credit: Tourism & Events Queensland (right)

Conquer your fear of heights atop the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk as you marvel at the dense canopy and splendid views! Springbrook National Park is also known for its waterfalls (some of which you can swim under), the striking natural stone bridge, and its community of glowworms. The park’s Best of All Lookout track stays true to its name and promises breathtaking lookouts, spectacular waterfalls, dense rainforest and ancient Antarctic beech trees. Embark on the trail and find the beautiful Gold Coast Hinterland laid out right in front of you, complete with views of the Pacific Ocean and stretching as far away as Byron Bay. With a short 0.6 kilometres walk bringing you to an amazing lookout, there is really nothing more you could ask for!

Nerang National Park and State Forest is loved by locals and visitors alike while the Numinbah Valley Horse Trails will appeal to keen equestrians. The Gold Coast Botanical Gardens are perfect for visitors who want to enjoy an array of flora while taking a languid stroll. The area also has numerous pretty parks, including Justins Park, Apple Tree Park, and John Laws Park. Experience nature like never before right here in Gold Coast!

Excited to experience the great outdoors in Gold Coast? Fly with AirAsia X to Gold Coast from as low as RM329! There’s no reason to resist, lace up those hiking boots and let’s get going.

Book by 10 Dec 2017 to enjoy this awesome deal for travel from 7 May 2018 to 31 Jan 2019!

4. Scream your heart out at exhilarating theme parks

The Gold Coast is famous for its plethora of theme parks, where people of all ages visit for a copious dose of good fun! Enter the world of the big screen at Warner Bros Movie World and snap a selfie with well-known cartoon characters. As you live your childhood dreams and watch your favourite characters come to life, don’t forget to challenge yourselves to some of the best rides offered in the park!

Superhero fans and adrenaline junkies, step right up and set foot on the brand new DC Rivals HyperCoaster, probably the greatest theme park attraction in the Southern Hemisphere yet! Feel yourselves plunging down from an intimidating 61.6 metres at a steep angle of 85 degrees and eventually reaching a top speed of 115km/h. How’s that for a thrill ride?

Image credit: Dreamworld

The expansive Dreamworld offers squeals aplenty with its exciting thrill rides. Test your nerves on rides like the Tower of Terror II, The Giant Drop, The Claw, Tail Spin, Buzz Saw, Pandemonium, and more. There are also tamer rides for kids and engaging shows. Tropical Fruit World offers an alternative experience, and Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium is sure to confound, amaze, and befuddle.

Image credit: Holiday Point

For a refreshing time, check out Wet ‘n’ Wild or Whitewater World and have heaps of giggles on the slides, chutes, and other water rides! Get up close and personal with adorable marine life at Sea World, enter a futuristic land at Holoverse, and set your heart racing at Dracula’s Haunted House. That’s right, there’s no time in lose in Gold Coast at all – you’ll find excitement everywhere!

No visit to the Gold Coast is complete without thrilling theme park visits of course! For those of you out there with a penchant for roller coasters and slides, fly with AirAsia X to Gold Coast from as low as RM329 today! Book by 10 Dec 2017 to enjoy this awesome deal for travel from 7 May 2018 to 31 Jan 2019!

5. Go local at a market

Think about Gold Coast, and soft sandy beaches, theme parks, or the iconic high rise buildings come to mind. However, delve deeper and discover an authentic side of Gold Coast during a visit to one of the local markets! Spend a couple of hours browsing through exquisite craft products, sampling decadent local produce, and kickstart your understanding of this seaside city’s unique culture. On your next trip to Gold Coast, make sure to include these 3 markets in your itinerary:

Burleigh Farmers Markets

If you happen to be in town over the weekend, take a trip down to the Burleigh Heads Farmers Markets! The market boasts a wide selection of products, where you can take your pick from fresh fruits, vegetables, honey, chutneys, sauces, fresh flowers, unique handicrafts and more. This market is truly a great reflection of the local farmers, craftsmen, artisans and producers’ dynamic spirits.

Address: Burleigh Heads State School, Burleigh Heads

Opening Hours: Every Saturday, 7am–12pm

Surfers Paradise Beachfront Market

If you’re looking for a handmade souvenir, chasing after a bargain or just looking to take an evening stroll by the beach after your dinner, the Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets is exactly where you’d want to be! Situated along the coastal stretch and housing more than 120 market stalls, immerse yourselves into the market’s crackling atmosphere and experience the vibrant lifestyle of the locals.

Find yourselves browsing through a variety of premium products; from fashion, jewellery and various accessories to artworks, photographs and beauty products – you name it, you get it! Comb the area for a unique souvenir and bring a piece of Gold Coast home with you.

Address: The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise

Opening Hours: Every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, 4pm–9pm


Image credit: NightQuarter

Have you heard of Gold Coast’s creative playground? Take a trip down to NightQuarter for the most amazing experience yet. Featuring night markets alongside micro-restaurants and a live music space called The Paddock, you’d find yourselves amongst an eclectic 120 speciality food vendors, designers, musicians, craftsmen. This is an experience that will definitely shake up your usual Gold Coast itineraries!

Address: 1 Town Centre Drive,  Helensvale, Q, 4101

Opening Hours: Every Friday and Saturday, 4pm–10pm

Entry Fee: Adults AUD$3, Kids 12 and under enter for free

6. Get your adrenaline pumping with tons of exhilarating activities

Image credit: Tomas del Coro (left); Destination Gold Coast (right)

Adventures abound on the Australian Gold Coast and thrill seekers will find it easy to get the adrenaline coursing through their veins. Water-based activities include surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, jet skiing, kayaking, parasailing, game fishing, and kite surfing. GC Wake Park in particular offers an assortment of activities for people of varying experience levels. If you happen to be in town from June to October, it’s the perfect season for whale-watching! So sign up for a tour and you might just find yourself squealing in delight at the sight of these magnificent gentle giants. If heights excite you, enjoy the views of the sands, ocean, greenery, and high-rise buildings with an epic skydive. Last but not least, don’t miss out on a jetboating experience. As you sit on a turbo-charged jetboat, you’ll explore Gold Coast’s amazing broadwater and scenery in the most thrilling way possible. From 360 degree spins and high-speed drifting to power slides and beach-buzzing, we promise that you’ll be in for an experience like no other!

Image credit: Phalinn Ooi (left); SkyPoint Australia (right)

Alternatively, take a deep breath and step out onto a platform of the Q1 building for the dramatic SkyPoint Climb. The observation deck is at the 77th level, from which you will climb to the top of the building, pausing to admire the sweeping views, before descending to the observation deck again. It’s definitely an activity that’s not for the faint-hearted! Other adventure activities around the Gold Coast include go-karting, cycling, buggy riding, ziplining, climbing walls, jet pack flights, ice skating, driving a supercar, and 4WD experiences.

7. Shop till you drop to your heart’s content

Image credit: Carrara Markets

The Gold Coast offers terrific shopping, with establishments that cater to a range of budgets. Choose from a huge array of wares, with something to tempt everyone! With more than 400 shops, the large Pacific Fair is a top choice for luxury. If you’re looking for bargains, head to Harbour Town; it’s the biggest outlet shopping mall in all of Australia!

Pacific Fair

Set amidst tropical landscapes with a unique outdoor ambience, Pacific Fair is any shopper’s haven. It is furnished with over 400 stores, offering a delightful blend of the world’s best brands from luxury goods to global mega brands. If you’re in the mood, indulge in some of the best dining options and choose from casual dining or fine-dining restaurants. Step right up to the Visitor Lounge or Concierge desks for your Visitor Privileges Pass and be entitled to exclusive retailer offers! To get here, catch the free shopping shuttle service which operates daily from Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach and Mermaid Beach and you’ll be well on your way to your shopping paradise.

Harbour Town Outlet Shopping Centre

Complete with over 240 stores inclusive of both brand direct outlets, clearance stores, speciality retailers, alfresco dining, entertainment and services, Harbour Town Outlet Shopping Centre is without a doubt Australia’s largest outlet shopping centre. If you’re looking to get the best bang for your buck, this would definitely be the place to be!

Here’s a tip: Catch the free Outlet Shopping Shuttle to Harbour Town which operates daily. Also, drop by the Tourism Lounge to receive free services such as a Tourist Discount Card that provides you with access to a selection of international brands.

Pick-ups: 9.15am & 10.30am
Return transfers: 2pm & 5pm

8. Feast on a variety of cuisines

With a variety of options available, there’s never any need to feel hungry when visiting the Gold Coast. Whether you’re seeking Italian, French, Thai, Vietnamese, American, Indian, Chinese, or other global fare, you’re bound to find something that will satisfy you! Of course, trying traditional Aussie dishes is also a must.

Outdoor dining is especially popular along the sunny coast – top spots for discernable diners include Broadbeach, Surfers Paradise and Tedder Avenue (at Main Beach). The top-notch eateries in these areas regularly attract stars and celebrities too, so you might even get to meet someone famous. Laid-back beach BBQs are also a great way to get into the local spirit!

If you’re out to seek the best value for money and explore Gold Coast’s dynamic food scene at the same time, we have a few favourites just for you:

The 4217

Image credit: The 4217 Facebook

Gathered here at The 4217 are the finest providers that Gold Coast has to offer. Have your daily dose of caffeine with a fresh brew of coffee at the coffeehouse, satisfy your burger cravings at a boutique burger restaurant, dig into the finest selection of gourmet delicacies and have a taste of Japan from the fresh sushi operator! There’s no better way to experience the local scene and have a taste of the best artisanal and seasonal produce than to take a trip down to The 4217, right in the heart of Surfers Paradise.

Address: 10 Beach Road, Surfers Paradise Queensland 4217, Australia

Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, 7am until late

Betty’s Burger

These may not be the fanciest burgers out there but priding itself on being fresh and simple,  Betty’s Burgers promises you consistency in quality and taste! With its beef source grass-fed from Riverina in New South Wales and with milk buns that are made fresh in the stores daily, these burgers are simply mouthwatering and delightful, yum!

Address: Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre, 3240 Surfers Paradise Boulevard SURFERS PARADISE, Queensland 4217

Opening Hours: Monday to Sun, 11am until late

Charis Seafoods

Image credit: Charis Seafoods

Hands up if you’re a seafood lover because this paradise is home to the largest supply of fresh seafood on the entire Gold Coast. Choose from a range of cooked and fresh fish fillets, whole fish, oysters, prawns, mussels, clams, scallops, squid, octopus, crab and lobster – you name it, you get it! Alternatively, grab some fish and chips, crumbed calamari or a burger and head on down to the adjacent Harley Park or Broadwater to have a meal.

Here’s a tip: Visit Broadwater at 1.30pm to catch the Pelican’s daily feeding session!

Address: 371 Marine Parade. Harley Park Labrador, Gold Coast Queensland Australia

Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, 7am–7pm

Surfers Paradise Surf Life Saving Club

Soak in an atmosphere like no other as you dine by the beach while feeling the rhythm of the waves. Start your morning at the Surfers Paradise Beach, just steps away from the sea, with the All You Can Eat buffet breakfast from 7am daily for just AUD$12!

Address: Cnr Hanlan St and The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise Queensland 4217, Australia

Lunch: 11am–4pm
Dinner: 5pm until late

Seventy7 Cafe & Bar

Grab some lunch at Seventy7 Cafe & Bar, located on the SkyPoint Observation Deck of the Q1 Building in Surfers Paradise. Experience and enjoy the 360-degree panoramic views of the Gold Coast beaches extending to the hinterland and beyond. On Friday and Saturday nights, the Observation Deck becomes an 18+ venue so grab your buddies for some drinks and music while you take in the breathtaking night skies of Gold Coast.

Address: 9 Hamilton Ave, Surfers paradise QLD 4217

Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday, 7.30am–9pm; Friday to Saturday, 7.30am–12pm

Paddock Bakery

Image credit: (instagram) @paddockbakery

What’s a holiday without indulging in the quintessential brunch? Fiercely shaped around a wood-fired oven, the food served at Paddock Bakery is daring, heartwarming and, above all, incredibly delicious. Once a dilapidated house that had been abandoned for over 70 years, the owners of Paddock Bakery decided to give the place a new lease of life, and share their uninhibited passion for food with the world. When here, do try their Acai Bowls, Avo Toast and decadent pastries.

Address: 20 Hibiscus Haven, Miami, QLD 4220

Opening Hours: Daily, 6.30am–3pm

One50 Public House

Image credit: One50 Public House

Located along a stunning waterfront, head to One50 Public House where you can, quite literally, dine with a view. Priding themselves on offering only high-quality produce, One50 Public House is the place to go for a night out with friends. Take your pick from a wide range of burgers, pizzas, and plenty of shared options. Aside from that, kick back with a draught beer, a margarita or one of their One50 Homemade Tap Cocktails. There’s a live band playing on most nights as well, putting the cherry on top of a perfect night.

Address: 150 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise, QLD 4217

Opening Hours: Daily, 10am until late

So there we go! Watch a marvellous sunset over the ocean, take the kids to various animal attractions, visit local museums and art galleries, snap pictures of local landmarks, flirt with Lady Luck at a casino, and experience the energetic nightlife of the Gold Coast. There really are so many reasons to visit!

To make things even sweeter, AirAsia X has a special promotion just for you! Fly with AirAsia X to Gold Coast from just RM329 and kickstart your vacation Down Under. It’s your chance to discover the beauty and diversity of everything Gold Coast has to offer. Book your tickets by 10 Dec 2017 and pack your bags. It’s time for an adventure!

Brought to you by AirAsia X.

About Author

Sarah W
Sarah W

Sarah W is a travelling cat-lover who enjoys exploring places that are a little bit quirky or away from headline attractions. Favourite things include delicious falafel, snuggling under a thick duvet, (badly) belting out karaoke at the top of her lungs, and, of course, her family, friends, and furry pets.