The ultimate guide to fun on the Gold Coast
The Gold Coast may be known for its glittering skyline, acres of white sandy beaches and rolling surf. But those in the know will tell you it’s so much more than a tourist spot, and there’s much more to see than the strip and the surf. Let a locals guide the way…
Theme Parks have put the Gold Coast on the map when it comes to family fun. And no doubt you’ll want to visit them all.
Buying multi-park-passes is the way the locals do it, so take their lead and supersize your experience by fitting in more. Village Roadshow has a Super Pass that covers seven consecutive days entry to Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World, Paradise Country and Wet’n’Wild.
Dreamworld combines animal encounters with the thrill of wet and dry rides with their park combo pass for three consecutive days entry. It includes Dreamworld and WhiteWater World (right next door to each other) and Skypoint Observation Deck in Surfers Paradise. But all Gold Coast theme parks have a range of tickets to suit all occasions, and you can buy your tickets online so you’re ready to go as soon as those gates swing open.
Plus there are ways to do all the parks in style, but it will cost you a little extra. Here are some of the most popular:
- Fast Pass: From a VIP Pass where you get the run of the park with your own personal guide; to smarter fast passes that will hold your place in a line while you go off to ride something else. All parks offer advantages at associated costs. Check the websites to compare.
- Coco Cabana: For a day at either Wet’n’Wild or WhiteWater World – hiring a cabana will give you a cool, poolside position to swan. At Wet’n’Wild the Wave Pool cabana hire includes a meal pack, lockers and a fan. And if you pre-purchase online, you’ll get it cheaper.
- Go Wild: From swimming with dolphins at SeaWorld to getting up close with tiger cubs at Dreamworld. Gold Coast Theme Parks aren’t just about the rides. The parks are always adding more activities and adventures, so check in regularly to stay up to date.
Royal resort and pristine golf
The Gold Coast is home to some of the best golfing greens and views from the tee box. Not a pro? No problem. Like many other coastal regions of the world, the Gold Coast is also very flat meaning mostly even level shots give scoring opportunities for a fun day out. So pack your bag and don your best golf attire.
The jewel of the Gold Coast, RACV Royal Pines Resort Golf Course is a championship style course with 27 holes that can be transformed into three different 18 hole adventures. This world-class redeveloped championship course by Graham March is also a 5-star resort with over 300 luxury rooms that overlook the pristine greens as well as the beautiful vistas of the hinterland and iconic Surfers Paradise skyline.
Aqua promenade & Currumbin Eco Village
Alike to many tourists (and even some locals), you might not know that there’s a big public park in the middle of the Eco Village, called Currumbin Reach. The park encompasses the flood plains both upstream and downstream of a bridge over the magnificent Currumbin Creek. Residents of the Eco-Village have been maintaining a list of birds seen on-site for seven years and have clocked some 181 species to date. Water-bird lovers will be delighted with the variety of birds to be seen both within that floodplain as well as Robert Neumann Park which adjoins the Village. You can literally grab your binoculars from the comfort of your car and see a collection of different bird species right there at the park.
The hidden suburb gems
For those who like to gain their glow closer to the beach, the opulent Palazzo Versace in Main Beach boasts Australia’s only Water Salon. Tucked behind the sheer curtains of your cabana, sip on champagne and take in the pool and wider marina views while you relish this secret haven in the heart of luxury.
The music lovers crowd will also adore Studio 56, a new music and events space at Miami Marketta which comes alive several times a week with fresh food, bars and street art. Other hidden precincts which are the epitome of cool these days on the Gold Coast are 19 Karen Contemporary Art Space and Dust Temple at Currumbin.
For an award-winning local brew, Burleigh Brewing sells its beer all around the coast, or you can head out to the brewery itself west of Burleigh. Try the 28 Pale Ale, My Wife’s Bitter, and FIGJAM IPA among other drops. Professional surfers Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Josh Kerr and their marketing mate Stirling Howland are also owners of another local favourite, Balter Brewing Company at Currumbin. It’s retrofit with cool vibes and cool brews, and brewery tours are also on offer.