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Australia has a lot of wonderful beaches, but the ultimate beach destination is the Gold Coast. Situated in sunny, subtropical New South Wales, many of the best places to visit in Gold Coast Australia are perfect for outdoor adventures. However, you can also find shopping centers, theme parks, and nightlife.
The history of the Gold Coast originated from thousands of years ago as the ancestral home of Yugambeh people. The British settlers came in 1823, interested in the red cedar trees in the area. It later grew into a holiday destination for rich people, with its first luxury hotel actually called the Surfers Paradise.
The Gold Coast later grew into more popularity as an international tourist destination in the 1980s. It is also “the largest non-capital city in Australia”, boasting diverse industries such as tourism, filmmaking, culture, media, sports, and constructions. However, for tourists, it is still largely known for its beaches and outdoor attractions.
Here are some of the best places to visit in Gold Coast Australia to create your itinerary.
Warner Bros. Movie World
Probably the most iconic attraction in Gold Coast, Warner Bros. Movie World offers all the fun and thrills for movie lovers everywhere. No trip to this place complete without taking pictures at the grand entrance, with the iconic Warner Bros logo emblazoned above the gate. This theme park was opened in 1991 as the response of Australia’s movie industry boom in the 1980s.
You can enjoy various thrill rides and meet your favorite characters from the Warner Bros Studios, such as Batman, Robin, Catwoman, Superman, the Looney Tunes family, and Scooby Doo. Don’t miss exclusive performances like all-favorites stunt driver performance and star parade. The rides offer mild to extreme experiences, perfect for the whole family.
Dreamworld Theme Park
One of the original Gold Coast theme parks, Dreamworld was first opened in 1981. The creator, John Longhurst, employed designers from Walt Disney World and Disneyland to build the theme park. The result is an inclusive theme park that combines rides, zoo, and waterpark.
Enjoy various rides with different levels of thrill, or head to the zoo to see tigers, koalas, tree kangaroos, and more. When the day is hot, have some splashes at the WhiteWater World with its slides and various pool attractions.
Wet’n’Wild Gold Coast
Known as the biggest waterpark in Australia, Wet’n’Wild boasts the tallest slide tower, perfect for a fun adrenaline rush. It also boasts various attractions with different thrill levels. From mild, family-friendly thrills to the most exciting ones, these attractions make Wet’n’Wild better than your average waterparks.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Opened for the public in 1947, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary has quickly established its reputation as a heritage site and notable zoological garden. It was first established as a bird sanctuary, but quickly sheltered other animals such as koalas, lemurs, capybaras, red pandas, tree kangaroos, various Australian birds, and many more.
You can join a guided tour and learn more about wildlife. The sanctuary also has several scheduled shows, such as lorikeet feeding, Aboriginal culture show, and nocturnal animal tour.
Springbrook National Park
Escape the noises and bustles of the city by going to Springbrook National Park. Situated in a beautiful hinterland, this national park boasts carefully selected walkways, giving you bushwalking and forest exploration activities without risk of getting lost. Each walkway has a specific grade for different fitness levels, from mild to steep and challenging. A beautiful place to have adventure and enjoy natural sceneries.
Lamington National Park
Lamington National Park is 85 km away from the Gold Coast suburban area, but your driving journey will be rewarded with its beauty. This national park consists of Gondwana Rainforests, an ancient forest that is included in Australia World Heritage list. Covering the area of 20,600 hectares, Lamington National Park offers walkways among beautiful trees, waterfalls, creeks, and mountain views.
SkyPoint Observation Deck
SkyPoint Observation Deck allows you to see the majestic view of Gold Coast. It is situated on top of the Q1, Australia’s tallest building. You can see the city from 230 meters in height and savor the scenery, before heading to the bistro and bar to enjoy delicious meals and cocktails.
If you feel adventurous, join the SkyPoint Climb. Here, you will depart in a group from level 77 to the eagle’s nest point on top of the building.
Australian Outback Spectacular
If you want to enjoy the iconic “Australiana” adventures, head to see the Australian Outback Spectacular. It is a package of dinner and show that introduces you to bush music, performances, and animals. Since this show is situated between Wet’n’Wild and Warner Bros. Movie World, it makes a strategic travel schedule that you can finish in one day.
Tamborine National Park
Tamborine National Park offers fun outdoor adventures for all levels in the hinterland area. You can explore the safe areas of the forest on the walkways, or take many beautiful photos and do birdwatching.
If you love camping, you can head to the dedicated camping ground, to avoid damaging the forest outside the area. You can also go to the populated areas around the park to find restaurants, pubs, boutiques, and bed-and-breakfast.
Surfers Paradise Beach
The white sand and turquoise water of the Surfers Paradise Beach is worth your time to visit. Extending to 2 km of coastline, Surfers Paradise Beach is a perfect place for swimming, sunbathing, and other fun activities. The beach has moderate swell, perfect for leisure surfing. The beach is also well guarded, with lifeguard posts situated every several hundreds meters.
HOTA, Home of the Arts
HOTA is the artistic pride of Gold Coast, offering various artistic exhibitions, performances, and education in one place. Inaugurated in 1986, HOTA now regularly holds performances in its indoor and outdoor stages. You can also see various exhibitions and artworks, including the ones by indigenous people in Australia.
Finally, enjoy Gold Coast in everyone’s favorite public park in the city, the Broadwater Parklands. Opened in 1928, this park used to have a pier, before deteriorating and finally being replaced with a new one. Broadwater Parklands offers perfect sites for just sitting and relaxing, having a picnic, taking a walk, or holding outdoor events such as barbecues.
The best places to visit in Gold Coast Australia are ideal for outdoor excursions on sunny days. Start putting these places in your travel schedule to better enjoy Gold Coast’s charm.