10 must-do activities if you’ve just moved to the Gold Coast

Whether you’ve made the move from the city, from overseas or interstate, relocating to the Gold Coast means dreamy white-sandy beaches are now right on your doorstep. But what about when you’ve had enough of the beach for the day, or the weather doesn’t quite lend itself to sitting on the shoreline? The Gold Coast has stacks of incredible activities for you to enjoy without the need to get sand everywhere, and with all of them in your new backyard, there’s no reason not to explore all the other amazing things the Gold Coast has to offer. These are our top ten must-do activities if you’ve just moved to the Gold Coast (that aren’t just going to the beach).

1. See the Gold Coast from a birds-eye view at Skypoint

Australia’s tallest building, Q1, is a sight to be seen even from the ground. Standing at over 322.5 metres from the base to the tip of the spire, Q1 is undeniable and impressive addition to the Gold Coast skyline. Luckily for us, you don’t have to stay at the bottom. Skypoint observation deck is the Gold Coast’s highest attraction, offering 360 degree views of Surfers Paradise and the hinterland. Skypoint sits 230 metres above sea level, on Level 77, but for those adventurous folk, climbing up the spire to 270 metres is also an option and is a great way to truly see your new home in a whole new way.

Q1 Tower, Gold Coast

2. Watch the sunset from Burleigh Hill

A Sunday afternoon tradition of sorts, Burleigh Hill is the spot the locals go to watch the sun go down over the ocean. Grab a blanket, pack a picnic, pop a bottle of champagne and spend a couple of hours relaxing on the hill. You may have to fight for a park close by (unless you live close enough to walk that is) but the sweeping views of the headland and out to sea make it worth it. Between June and November, you may be lucky enough to spot a whale or two as well.

3. Take a hike through the hinterland

There’s not many people in the world lucky enough to live right on the beachfront, yet still just 30 minutes from ancient rainforests bursting with waterfalls, wildlife and walks. Make the most of it and go for a hike through the Gold Coast hinterland. Our top picks include a hike to the spectacular Purling Brook Falls in Springbrook National Park and the Curtis Falls circuit in Tambourine National Park — both perfect for ignoring TLC’s advice and chasing waterfalls. The stunning Natural Arch is also worth a visit and with just a 1km return track, it’s one the kids can enjoy too. Looking for a challenge? The 17km Toolona Creek Circuit offers stunning streams, gullies and mystical canopies to explore.

The Natural Arch, Springbrook National Park

4. Roll the dice at The Star Casino

Now we’re not one to encourage irresponsible gambling, but there’s no denying laying down some chips on a blackjack table or taking a risk in roulette is a fun way to spend the evening. The Star Casino in Broadbeach is THE place to go when you want to feel like a baller, even if you’re only gambling $50. There’s over 70 table games and 1600 machines, as well as a slew of restaurant and bar options, so take your time to explore.

5. Spend your Sunday browsing The Village Markets

Embrace the Gold Coast’s boho culture and get lost exploring the plethora of gorgeous creations at The Village Markets in Burleigh. On the first and third Sunday of each month, make your way through the clothing, jewelry, woodwork, fresh flowers, trinkets and a million other things you never knew you needed until now. Top it off with some live music and a coffee and you’ve got yourself a lovely Sunday morning.

The Village Markets. Image credit Soda Photography.

6. Grab a MoBike and ride down the boulevard

The Gold Coast bike sharing scheme, MoBike offers a great way to get around the Gold Coast without having to worry about parking your car. One of the best things about living on the coast is not having to sit through the traffic at the end of the weekend as the flocks of day trippers make their way back to Brisbane. Make the most of it and ride straight past the traffic along the boulevard.

7. Sink a brew or two at Burleigh Pavilion

Having opened at the start of 2019, Burleigh Pavilion is the latest place to be seen on the Gold Coast. This spectacular bar and restaurant sits on absolute-beachfront, with instantly iconic views of Burleigh Headland. The Burleigh Pavilion has two main sections: The Tropic restaurant and the more-casual Pavilion Terrace , both pen for lunch and dinner every day, and cocktails and craft beers in between. Feast on ocean king prawns or dry-aged rib eye while sipping your way through their signature cocktails. Our pick? The Beachside Jaffatini.

Burleigh Pavilion

8. Embrace your inner child and visit the theme parks

While perfect for a day of family fun, the famous Gold Coast theme parks are also a tonne of fun for kids-at-heat. Regardless of age, Seaworld, Movie World, Wet’n’Wild, and Dreamworld promise a jam-packed day out. Whether you brave the Tower of Terror or take it slower and just enjoy the dodgem cars and a Dagwood dog (not before the thrill rides please), the theme parks have something for everyone.

9. Enjoy a show at HOTA

The Home of the Arts (HOTA for short) is a large outdoor entertainment venue, showcasing the best in art, cinema, theatre, dance, music and comedy that the Gold Coast has to offer. Regularly hosting movie nights, theatre performances and free kids entertainment, be sure to check out the HOTA program and enjoy a big ol’ dose of local culture.

Home of the Arts

10. Enjoy some retail therapy at Pacific Fair

With over 400 retails, Pacific Fair offers some serious retail therapy. This is not a shopping centre you simply ‘duck into’ to pick up ‘one thing’ — Pacific Fair is a whole day affair. Offering luxury, local and international stores all in the one spot, it’s easy to blow your budget here. Take a break from the shopping with lunch with a truly impressive range of dining options from Mexican to Yum Cha, burgers to Italian and everything in between.

Got your heart set on moving to the Gold Coast, but not sure where yet? Check out our Gold Coast Suburb Profiles to help make the decision easier.

Written: 24 July 2019, Updated: 22 January 2020

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