Activities & Itineraries

6 Unmissable Events To Check Out This Winter

By Brooke Darling
16th May 2018

Winter is here, folks! Seriously though, how did that happen?!

Fortunately, the sunny Gold Coast is a magical slice of the world where winter is barely a blip on the thermometer… and, let’s be honest, who’d want to be in Victoria right now anyway?

After successfully showing the world how to party during the recent Commonwealth Games, the Coast is proving that its promising food scene is not the only change that’s deserving of attention. Its prowess as an events host is also adding fuel to fire the once one-dimensional tourist city’s ongoing gentrification.

Yep, life is pretty good on the GC, especially when you’ve got a jam-packed roster of winter festivities to keep you on your toes. So, get your diary ready and book a long weekend away, ‘cause we’ve rounded up some of our fave events that are well worth a trip to the Sunshine State.

Blues On Broadbeach

Returning for its 17th year, Blues on Broadbeach promises a jam-packed roster of toe-tapping live concerts and intimate sessions at various indoor and outdoor venues across Broadbeach. This action-packed, multi-stage street crawl of bluesy bliss has broadened its artist scope to bring you a line up that trumps all others. This year’s headliners include The Robert Cray Band, The Screaming Jets, Ash Grunwald and dozens more. And best of all? It’s completely free! 

When: Thursday 17 to Sunday 20 May
Where: Various venues around Broadbeach
Cost: Free
For more information, click here

Gold Coast Food & Wine Festival

Now in its third year, the fast-growing Gold Coast Food and Wine Festival, hosted by NightQuarter, celebrates the city’s blossoming foodie scene. Expect four gastronomic-filled days of events, workshops and parties in locations from Coolangatta to Burleigh and Beenleigh. Plan a weekend on the Coast and grab your tickets to the opening night soiree at The Star, degustation and progressive dinners, the inaugural Gold Coast Beer Festival, and oh so much more.

When: Thursday 31 May to Sunday 3 June
Where: Various locations with NightQuarter Helensvale the key host
Cost: Both free and ticketed events
For more information and to book, click here

Cooly Rocks On

With a whopping 100,000 people expected to converge on Coolangatta over the five-day festival, Cooly Rocks On is Australia’s biggest nostalgia festival. If you love everything retro and vintage, head south for live rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly music, retro markets and swap meets, food trucks, street parades and beach-side parties, and their famously mega hot rod and classic car show ‘n’ shine. If you don’t already have an outfit in the dusty depths of your closet, raid the op shop for some 50s or 60s-inspired garb and get amongst it.

When: Wednesday 6 to Sunday 10 June
Where: Various venues throughout Coolangatta
Cost: Free
For more information, click here

Gold Coast Marathon

We give full props to local and visiting pavement-pounders who’ve been in training for this monster challenge. A signature event on the city’s sporting calendar, this year the Gold Coast Marathon is celebrating its 40th edition! The flat and jaw-dropping course takes in some of the city’s most scenic beachfront suburbs—and the same route recently run by Commonwealth Games athletes. Thousands of local runners, together with elite competitors from around the world, are expected to partake in the full and half marathons, plus the 10km, fun run and junior dash. It’s a bucket list event for many and totally worth a trip to the Coast to partake in.

When: Saturday 30 June to Sunday 1 July
Where: Race starts Southport
Cost: $65 to $165
For more information and to enter, click here

Groundwater Country Music Festival

Dust off your plaid and cowboy kicks, for some boot scootin’ and boogieing in the winter sunshine at the Groundwater Country Music Festival. And, even if you’re not a country tune lover, there are some pretty big acts planning to take over the streets of Broadbeach. The McClymonts and US stars Granger Smith, Lillie Mae and Joshua Hedley will be there and all live events are free, so check out the website for a full schedule of performances. Suddenly country just became cool again! 

When: Friday 27 to Sunday 29 July
Where: Various indoor and outdoor venues across Broadbeach
Cost: Free
For more information, click here

HOTA—Gold Coast’s New Home Of The Arts

An evolution of the well-established Arts Centre Gold Coast, the surf city’s new-look Home of the Arts features a stunning outdoor stage and auditorium, with the construction of Australia’s largest regional art gallery to follow in 2019. This vibrant hub celebrates everything we heart about the GC (AKA the cultural diversity, the sense of entertainment and excitement and, of course, A-class beaches), even bringing community festivities to life like yoga, dances, fun runs and markets. For a full roster of events, including The Spirit of Churaki (26 May), From Jaws to Jurassic Park featuring QLD Symphony Orchestra (16 June) and a cute-as-pie concert for dogs (24 June), hit the website here.

Where: HOTA, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
For more information and to book, click here

Weekend Night Markets—Street Eats & Grassroots Entertainment

If you’ve not planned your visit accordingly and miss out on the signature winter events, fortunately, the Coast’s favourite night markets are a regular weekend occurrence and a chance to rub shoulders with locals doing what they do best. Fuelled by international street eats and shoulder swaying to (often free) live entertainment, a visit to the Gold Coast is not complete without a session at atmospheric Miami Marketta or the carnival-esque set up of Helensvale’s NightQuarter.

When: Every Friday and Saturday Night
Where: Miami Marketta 23 Hillcrest Parade, Miami // NightQuarter 1 Town Centre Drive, Helensvale

Dying to get amongst it? Check out Destination Gold Coast for more info

Editor's note: this article was produced in partnership with Destination Gold Coast. Thank you for supporting the partners that make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy. 

Image credit: Hayley Williamson

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