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How to Spend 1 Day on the Gold Coast

How to Spend 1 Day on the Gold Coast

The sunbaked shores of the Gold Coast are Queensland’s flagship beach destination thanks to their year-round sun, sand, and surf. While it’s tempting to spend the whole day at lounging on the beach, there’s plenty more to see and do along the coast. Here’s how to spend the perfect day on the Gold Coast.

Morning: Hit the Beach

Early morning is the best time to chase the waves around Surfers Paradise, Main Beach, and Burleigh Heads, so join the locals out on the water. If you don’t fancy surfing, there are plenty of other water sports to get your adrenaline pumping. Perhaps kick off the day with a jet boat ride along the Gold Coast Broadwater, a Jet Ski safari, or a stand-up paddle board excursion along the Nerang River. For lunch, head to a waterfront restaurant in Surfers Paradise to feast on fresh seafood or set sail on a lunchtime sightseeing cruise.

Afternoon: Seafront Sightseeing

Each of the beach towns along the Gold Coast has its own character, but with limited time, it’s best to pick just one for the afternoon. At Surfers Paradise, explore the scenic canals on a walking tour, take in the views from SkyPoint Observation Deck, or zip along the beachfront promenades on a Segway. Alternatively, take a half-day tour to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary where you can see Aussie animals including koalas, crocodiles, Tasmanian devils, emus, and dingoes. 

Night: Sunsets and Sundowners

Gold Coast sunsets are best observed from the beach, and both Surfers Paradise and Burleigh Heads combine sunset views with a happening coastal nightlife scene. Enjoy drinks with a view at one of the many rooftop bars, tuck into street food at the Miami Marketta night market, or join a pub crawl and party until the early hours. 

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5 Tours and Activities

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Gold Coast Sunset Cruise with sparkling wine & nibbles platter
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Gold Coast Sunset Cruise with sparkling wine & nibbles platter

star-5
46
Go sailing on the Gold Coast Broadwater at sunset aboard a luxury sailboat. Glide past landmarks such as the Southport Yacht Club, Marina Mirage, Wave Break Island and Surfers Paradise on this romantic and relaxing 2-hour sunset cruise. Travel in a small group with a maximum of 10 people, and enjoy complimentary sparkling wine and appetizers during your sunset cruise. Have the option to upgrade to include a gourmet dinner featuring fresh Australian seafood.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$59.54
From
$59.54

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary General Entry Ticket

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary General Entry Ticket

star-4.5
367
Enjoy a close encounter with Australia's native animals at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, located on the Gold Coast. Your ticket includes admission to the park plus daily keeper presentations and animal shows. Admire critters such as the kangaroo, Tasmanian devil, koala, wombat, echidna and reptiles that live in natural-style bush and rainforest habitats. Walk through the stunning 5-acre forest of the Lost Valley and see unique flora and wildlife such as lemurs, red pandas, capybaras and other exotic reptiles.
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  • 1 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$37.65
From
$37.65

Gold Coast Airport Arrival Transfer

Gold Coast Airport Arrival Transfer

star-3.5
216
Start your visit to the Gold Coast with hassle-free airport pickup and easy transport to your hotel. This convenient and economical shared transfer service meets you at Gold Coast Airport (OOL) and provides door-to-door service to your hotel in the Gold Coast, from Coolangatta to Sanctuary Cove. No need to look for airport taxis or wait in long lines, simply pre-book your transfer service to travel in comfort with a courteous professional driver and climate-controlled coach.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$17.33
From
$17.33

Gold Coast Segway Safari Adventure: 90-minutes
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Gold Coast Segway Safari Adventure: 90-minutes

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4
Easily travel around Sydney’s Gold Coast on this Segway tour. Hop on your all-terrain Segway and ride along the Main Beach pathway into the Federation Walk Coastal Reserve, an undeveloped sand dune system along the coast. The Segway will allow you to smoothly tackle gravel, sand, and concrete in the bush and rainforest on this short tour.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$95.67
From
$95.67

Gold Coast Airport Departure Transfer

Gold Coast Airport Departure Transfer

star-4.5
148
When it’s time to say goodbye to the Gold Coast, end your trip the easy way with this shared departure transfer by bus or minicoach to Gold Coast Airport (sometimes known as Coolangatta Airport). It’s a budget-friendly alternative to the pricey private taxi rides.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$17.33
From
$17.33