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Best things to do on the Gold Coast: The top 5 beaches, attractions, walks, cafes, bars & more

Updated: Jul 18, 2020

Welcome to our Top 5 Guide to the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.

Written by a Gold Coast local, and full of insider tips for your perfect short break.

Top 5 best things to do on the Gold Coast Queensland Australia
Top 5 Things to do on the Gold Coast: Beaches | Attractions | Eat | Drink

This post contains some affiliate hotel links, if you click through and book via these links we will get a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Top 5 Gold Coast Places to Stay:

Don't miss a night stay in some of these amazing Gold Coast hotel stays, whether your a visitor or looking for a staycation:

  1. QT Gold Coast - Luxury stay in the heart of Surfers Paradise

  2. The Star Grand or The Darling at The Star - Luxury stay in the heard of Broadbeach

  3. The Iconic in Q1 - Enjoy the best views of the Gold Coast, walking distance to the beachfront in Surfers Paradise

  4. O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat - Escape the city for some fresh air in the rainforest

  5. The Pink Hotel - Enjoy a boutique and instagrammable stay in the more local neighbourhood of Coolangatta

Top 5 Gold Coast Beaches & Creeks:

Skip the crowds of Surfers paradise and check out these top 5 local favourite Gold Coast swimming spots:

  1. Burleigh Heads & Tallebudgera Creek

  2. Currumbin beach & creek 

  3. Currumbin Rock pools

  4. Broadbeach

  5. Mermaid Beach

Burleigh Heads Gold Coast Australia beach
1. Burleigh Heads

Mermaid Beach & Currumbin Beach

Top 5 Gold Coast Attractions & Activities:

Don’t miss adding some of these activities to your trip:

  1. Enjoy water sports or a sunset sail on the Broadwater

  2. Play a round of Top Golf over cocktails

  3. Visit a theme park: Get your thrill from Sea World, Movie World, Wet n Wild or Dreamworld

  4. See the view from the top of Q1in Surfers Paradise

  5. Make friends with Koalas, Kangaroos and Rainbow Lorikeets at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary  

Sunset Sailing on the Gold Coast Broadwater

Top 5 Gold Coast Hikes & Walks:

Enjoy the hinterland and nature with these walking trails:

  1. Burleigh headland

  2. Springbrook National Park

  3. Lamington National Park

  4. O’Rileys Rainforest

  5. Hike Mt Warning

Burleigh Headland Burleigh heads Gold Coast Tallebudgera creek
1. Burleigh Headland Walk - Overlooking Tallebudgera Creek

Lamington National Park & O'Rileys Rainforest

Top 5 Gold Coast Cafes:

Get your morning caffeination from:

  1. BSKT - Nobby Beach

  2. Paddock Bakery - Miami

  3. Bam Bam Bakehouse - Mermaid Beach

  4. Elephant Rock Cafe - Currumbin

  5. Goji Granola Bar and Cafe - Clear Island Waters

BSKT Cafe Nobby Beach Gold Coast
1. BSKT - Nobby Beach

Elephant Rock Cafe & Goji Granola bar and cafe

Top 5 Gold Coast Bars:

Sip on cocktails at:

  1. Burleigh Pavilion/The Tropic - Burleigh Heads

  2. Justin Lane - Burleigh Heads

  3. Nineteen at the Star - Broadbeach

  4. Frida Sol - Palm Beach

  5. The Scottish Prince - Palm Beach

Burleigh Pavilion Gold Coast Queensland Australia
1. Burleigh Pavilion & The Tropic - Burleigh Heads

Top 5 Gold Coast Restaurants:

Don't forget to make a booking if you want to dine at one of these delicious restaurants:

  1. Goccia Italian Pizzeria - Mermaid Beach

  2. The Fish House - Burleigh Heads 

  3. Mikes Kitchen - Robina (The Ribs are a must!)

  4. Social Eating House + Bar - Broadbeach

  5. Try a surf club - experience a causal beachside lunch with a view

Goccia Italian Pizzeria Mermaid Beach Gold Coast restaurant
1. Goccia Italian Pizzeria - Mermaid Beach

Top 5 Day trips from the Gold Coast:

Go on a little road trip adventure within 30 minutes to 1 hours drive to:

We hope you enjoyed our weekend travel guide to the Gold Coast, Australia. For more blog posts on weekend getaways and travel itineraries check out the destinations section of our blog.



Little Sherpa Travels Gold Coast Queensland Australia top things to do



OUR AIM: is to help more people experience the world in just a weekend. We hope through sharing our easy-to-follow short break and weekend travel guides we can inspire others to make the most of their weekends and precious annual leave.


WE ARE: An Australian and British married couple living in Australia, which we recently moved back to after 7 years exploring Asia. By week we manage data forecasting and engineering projects. By the weekend we wander. This is the story of our weekend travels. We are passionate travellers who love taking photos, eating and going on adventures.  We hope you enjoy our travel blog.


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