43 Things You Need To Do On The Gold Coast This Summer

By Phoebe Grealy
18th Dec 2015

things to do gold coast

So you booked a 2 week beach holiday at the Gold Coast, but then you went and got blisteringly sunburnt on the very first day leaving with you with little choice but to avoid the beach, the sun and the water until further notice? Good one.

No matter... There’s a silver lining here and that is there are so many awesome things to do at the Gold Coast this summer that don’t necessarily involve swimming at all the awesome beaches.  Here’s 43 things you’ll want to do on the Gold Coast this summer, come rain, hail or shine.

  1. Buy fish and chips and a bottle of bubbles and sit in the shade on Burleigh Hill gazing at all the surfers catching waves.
  2. Try a new Gold Coast breakfast spot every day, starting with Bam Bam in Mermaid Beach.
  3. Pretend you’re a much better surfer than you are and chat to the dudes at Sunhouse Kirra about buying a vintage Malibu surfboard.
  4. Seek out super strong air-conditioning and watch a cheesy holiday movie at the Coolangatta cinemas.
  5. Follow it up with a tiramisu gelato at Messina downstairs.
  6. Get up to watch the sunrise with a great coffee at the Barefoot Barista in Palm Beach.
  7. If you’re seriously into your coffee though, head to the Gold Coast hinterland to Zeta’s Coffee where they grow organic coffee and run cupping classes all with a stunning view of the coast.
  8. Get into some hardcore hiking activity and hike up Mt Warning. And I’ll warn you myself: there’s a vertical rock face to climb up at the end and you’ll need to pull yourself up by a chain!
  9. Reward yourself afterwards with a delicious long lunch at the charming Mavis’s Kitchen at the base of the mountain.
  10. For a more relaxing hike, amble through Natural Bridge in Springbrook National Park to the beautiful waterfalls. #romantic
  11. Surfers Paradise hosts two of the best bowling alleys out there in Strike Bowling and Surfers Paradise Ten Pin and if you’re really bored, celebrate every strike with shots because they’re both licensed.
  12.  Book in a deluxe pamper session at one of the Gold Coast’s best day spas, we can’t think of a more relaxing way to spend a day off the beach.
  13. Hit the night markets. Both Miami Marketta and recently opened NightQuarter are a must do on a Friday and Saturday night.
  14. Learn how beer is made and look forward to a tasting at the end at Carlton Brewhouse.
  15. Get sassy at QT Hotel’s Stingray Bar, Surfers Paradise. Thursdays are Tequila Appreciation Night where $15 will get you a tequila tasting paddle and free snacks.
  16. Get snap happy at Main Beach around 6pm when the sun is setting. It’s the perfect lighting for #selfies. 
  17. Tick off at least five of our sister site Metropolist’s 15 best cheap eats on the Gold Coast. Your stomach and your bank account will thank us.
  18. Sink your teeth into any of the wicked creations at cheeky Dick’s Donuts Broadbeach, because you can bulk in the festive season.
  19. Rally your mates for Sunday barefoot bowls at Burleigh Heads Bowls Club. At five bucks a head you’ll have plenty of dosh left over for a few cheeky pints.
  20. Do your darndest to look chic while stand-up paddle boarding (or stand-up paddle boarding yoga) at Currumbin Alley.
  21. Always swimming in the same spot in front of your hotel? Add a bit of spice already! Here’s Metropolist’s wrap of the Gold Coast’s best beaches.
  22. Commit to an afternoon-long Sunday session on the new Justin Lane rooftop.
  23. Or if you want to fully relax, get by the beach at Greenmount’s Beach Club and pretend you’re at The Beach Club from 90210 circa 1995.
  24. Crane your neck around the tall gums atop Koala Park to spot a furry friend in Burleigh.
  25. Touch the sky on the super-sized trampolines at Air Factory.
  26. Shop for bikinis! Hit the beach with a new bikini from One Hundred Words or Bikini and Me boutiques.
  27. Get cultured and have your mind blown by the work of talented local photographer, Sean Scott.
  28. Get on ya bike! Cycle north along the foreshore as far as your legs will carry you. Just remember you still need to turn around and come back.
  29. Grab the girlfriends and check in overnight at the QT Hotel. No occasion needed, right?
  30. Then get rowdy downstairs in the QT's bar which has 50 tequilas on offer!
  31. Learn to surf at the gentle break at Greenmount.
  32. Watch a surf carnival on the weekend and marvel at all the ‘unusual’ surf games – like that running for flags business!
  33. The Gold Coast is made up of a host of little villages with their own unique flavor. Take some time to pop into all of them including refined Main Beach, hipster Burleigh and chilled out Kirra.
  34. Go through all the different countries of the world via cuisine: there’s great Japanese at Etsu, huge American burgers at Brooklyn Depot, divine Greek at Hellenika and spicy Mexican at Goodness Gracias.
  35. Take a motorbike ride through the winding roads of Currumbin Valley and stop for a pub lunch at St Bernards Hotel.
  36. See if you can find the most under the radar coffee place on the coast, the aptly names Hide and Seek Espresso in Miami.
  37. Head to the fancy new food court in Pacific Fair: new restaurant Bin 232 will have you covered for wine and oysters.
  38. For more fresh seafood, try a Metropolist fave: The Little Plate in Burleigh.
  39. Do a donut crawl. Our favourites are here.
  40. Play ladies (or gentlemen) for a day and book in a high tea at Palazzo Versace.
  41. Take a day trip to Halcyon House in Cabarita and order glamorous cocktails by the beach.
  42. Or if you don’t mind driving a little further, Fleet in Brunswick Heads is exceptional and the delightful owner Astrid will really take care of you!
  43. If all else fails, buy a full body rashy, put on the SPF 50 and get back out there! The Gold Coast’s best beaches are waiting!

Looking for more things to do on the Gold Coast? Check out our awesome sister website Metropolist: the ultimate guide to eating, drinking and beaching on the Gold Coast!

Image credit: The Salty Pixel

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