How To Spend a Weekend on the Gold Coast, Australia

Explore the Gold Coast with our insiders guide
Explore the Gold Coast with our insider's guide | © JAV Clix / Stockimo / Alamy Stock Photo
Lou Boyd

Commissioning Editor

The Gold Coast is one of the most eclectic and culturally vibrant places not just in Queensland, but in the entirety of Australia.

Teeming with sprawling beaches, theme parks and stunning places to eat, all along a 66km (41mi) stretch of coastline, the Gold Coast is one of Australia’s most desirable holiday destinations. You’ll be hard pressed to see everything here in just a couple of days, but you can certainly give it a good try. Here’s the perfect itinerary for a couple of days exploring this glorious part of the world.

Day one

Morning

Begin your time in the paradisal Gold Coast by hitting Surfers Paradise, one of the most popular beaches in the area. Whether you’re a pro surfer or you prefer to lounge on the sand and people-watch, Surfers Paradise offers up ample opportunities to get your surf, sand and sea fix. Once you’ve had enough of the waves, make your way to Cafe Alfons for a healthy salad or a hearty burger, washed down with a refreshing iced coffee or smoothie.

Surfers Paradise is one of the most popular beaches in the area

Afternoon

After indulging in a scrumptious meal at Cafe Alfons, it’s time to head up the SkyPoint Observation Deck for truly unparalleled views of the Gold Coast. Situated an impressive 230m (755ft) in the air, the Observation Deck provides you with mesmerising 360-degree views of the sun, beach and city from the vantage point of the world’s tallest residential building. Alternatively, head to one of the Gold Coast’s many theme parks including Wet’N’Wild or Movie World for an afternoon of family entertainment.

Head to the SkyPoint Observation Deck for amazing views

Evening

If you happen to be in the Gold Coast on a Friday or Saturday night, spend your evening at the Miami Marketta which is frequented and loved by people of all ages. Here you’ll find live music, delectable street food and artisan craft beer. It’s the perfect place to unwind after a busy day exploring the north of the Gold Coast.

Day two

Morning

Your second day in the Gold Coast will begin at Plantation House Cafe for a full English breakfast or one of their fantastic vegan breakfast dishes, before making your way to Burleigh Head National Park.

The park is a prominent landmark within the Gold Coast landscape and provides ample hiking opportunities amongst its 27-hectare (67-acre) rainforest, mangroves and beaches. It’s an idyllic place for any type of traveller including families with young children and solo travellers looking for adventure.

Burleigh Head National Park is home to a number of natural delights

Afternoon

Hiking and exploring Burleigh Head National Park will have likely worked up your appetite, so a stop over in Palm Beach at the Surf Club for lunch is a definite must-do. Tuck into a substantial portion of pancakes or French toast and quench your thirst with some rich coffee and a decadent dessert.

Appetite sated, pay a visit to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary where you can spend hours cuddling koalas and admiring native Australian species such as dingos and the Tasmanian Devil. The Wildlife Sanctuary is a heritage-listed zoo and among the ultimate attractions to visit while in the beloved Gold Coast.

Enjoy watching the koalas at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Evening

Watch the waves crash against the surf as the sun goes down at Snapper Rocks; one of the most naturally beautiful stretches of beach and rock surface in the Gold Coast. No trip to the Gold Coast is complete without feasting on a sizable portion of fish and chips at Get Hooked Seafoods. Huge helpings and a vast variety of freshly caught fish is enough to make you want to return to the Gold Coast again and again.

Snappers Rock affords ample opportunity to relax at the beach

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