The Gold Coast lives up to its exuberant name… a majority of the time. But alas, Mother Nature does have its rainy outbursts every now and then, leaving us folk unsure what to do with ourselves.
While we all love a good Netflix binge, if you’re ready to make the most of your rainy day—here’s 21 things to do on the Gold Coast when it rains.
1. Fancy yourself a bit of a master chef? Test your culinary skills by joining a cooking class at family-owned Italian restaurant, Salt Meats Cheese. The pasta masterclass is our pick—a fun, hands on, three-hour experience suitable for beginners and concludes with a pasta lunch and a glass of wine (phew!). Still hungry? Icon Cooking School at The Kitchens has a ridic selection of offerings from making sushi, paella, apple strudel and macarons, to how to cook the perfect steak.
2. Get precise, dedicated and hungry while trying your luck at nailing an Insta-worthy cheese platter. Alternatively, if the gloomy day has made you lazy and you’ve got a crew to entertain, order a masterpiece from local cheese queen, Your Platter Matters.
3. Need produce for said cheese platter? Get up and go to the Burleigh, Palm Beach, Miami, Bundall, Helensvale or Currumbin farmers markets that run every weekend rain, hail or shine. These markets boast fresh, locally-grown produce, ranging from fruit and veg, meats and flowers, to all your superfood needs, because #health. The spirit of local farmers, craftsmen, producers and artisans that oozes throughout the stalls is guaranteed to make your rainy day better. Not the weekend yet? Any of these delicious gourmet delis can help.
3. Put your plaid shirt and lumberjack beard to good use for once—throw an axe at Lumber Punks in Miami. Seriously, it’s one of the best things to do on the Gold Coast when it rains.
4. Shitty weather certainly doesn’t mean being stuck inside suffering from cabin fever, so why not embrace Mother Nature when she’s having a tantrum? Pack up the car and head for Lamington National Park’s Birra Burra or O’Rielly’s. Misty and moody under cloud cover, there’s a network of beautiful tracks in the Gold Coast hinterland that really come to life on dreary days. There’ll be very few people to share the space with, everything is lush, sweat patches are rare due to the cooler mountain weather and fresh rain means those waterfalls will be rushing, too!
6. Order an espresso martini with a side of golf! One of the best things to on the Gold Coast when it rains, Holey Moley is where cocktails and bar snacks collide with crazy putt putt golf and good times galore. Located in Surfers Paradise, nine holes here will set you back $15; just bring extra cash for beers and burgs.
7. Get crafty with one of the Coast’s many creative classes, from Sip & Paint nights offered across the city to adorbs workshops at Palm Beach’s The Craft Parlour. It’s one of our fave rainy day activities on the Gold Coast.
8. Trawl through your closet and make a pile of clothes to chuck out. Yes, that Roxy crop-top needs to go, and no it doesn’t look as good as when you were 16. Drop the garbage bag off to your local Vinnies store—help yourself while you help others.
9. Beer never cares about the weather, so neither should you. Take advantage of our rad selection of breweries (and craft beer bars) with a bar hop to lift your mood.
10. You’re gonna get wet anyway, so use this beautifully peaceful time to go stand-up paddle boarding in the drizzle. We’ve rounded up some of our favourite local spots (with board hire) here.
11. If you love dining out, one the local’s favourite things to do on the Gold Coast when it rains is to sip coffee and brunch indoors. There are endless choices, so hit our list of best cafes for breakfast and find something delicious near you.
12. Drink away your sorrows and hit up one of the Gold Coast’s best bars. Applauded as one of the top cocktail, rum and craft beer bars on the Coast, The Cambus Wallace is the perfect misty evening visit. With hip and cosy vibes, dim lights and funky furniture, you’ll quickly forget it’s raining outside.
13. Don’t let your exercise plan go out the window on miserable days. Instead, make the dreariness more of a reason to go out and kick ass! We’ve got you covered with Gold Coast’s top Pilates studios, yoga studios and dance classes just for adults. It’s already raining, so why not sweat a little?
15. Grab your pals and head to Bam Bam Bakehouse in Mermaid Beach for a rainy day treat—the pastries and dessert pots are to die for.
16. If your company is driving you up the wall, use it to your advantage at indoor rock climbing. If you came to the Coast expecting adventure, you won’t be disappointed with Paramount Adventure, boasting impressive indoor rock climbing facilities, perfect for using some of that pent-up energy.
17. Searching for some delicious cheap eats and free entertainment on a lacklustre Friday or Saturday evening? Miami Marketta and NightQuarter have you covered, literally. Pair it with a wander down the dessert hall afterwards; go on, it’s cold and you deserve it.
18. Most sports are weather dependant right, so what on Earth is one meant to play on showery days? Welcome to Slice Virtual Golf, where not even hail and gale-force wind can bring this party down. Tee off with your mates hitting real balls with real clubs, while interacting with a groovy camera slash entertainment system that teleports you straight to an international outdoor golf course. It gets better, there’s a licensed bar and an in-house chef serving metre-long gourmet pizzas. Is it raining yet?
19. What else would you want to do on a bleak day other than shop ‘til you drop with a coffee stop? We’re in! Pacific Fair, Robina Town Centre and Harbour Town are loaded with local and international brands, and each with their fair share of foodie offerings to refuel. Love retail therapy but don’t have wads of cash to splash? Here’s where to find Gold Coast’s best op shops instead.
20. Rainy day activities on the Gold Coast are all about channelling the sunshine in other ways. Working your way through the Coast’s favourite acai bowls should do the trick.
21. Why not sit back, relax and enjoy the downpour. You can always top up your tan again tomorrow.
Looking for more fun things to do on the Gold Coast on a rainy day? We suggest you try eating your way through these cheap eats. You're welcome.
Image credit: Hayley Williamson for The Urban List