Use our weekend guide to discover the best things to do in Surfers Paradise on your next voyage to the sun-soaked Gold Coast.
A glittering cityscape cradled by a golden stretch of coastline, Surfers Paradise is as iconic as Australian suburbs get. No longer simply a night owl’s playground, this sun-drenched destination is perfect for those searching for the best surf spot, a sun-soaked family holiday, the hottest restaurants and endless fun at the famous nearby theme parks. Come for the beaches and stay for the rooftop bars, panoramic observation decks and electrifying rollercoaster rides.
Savour every moment of your trip with our ultimate weekend guide to things to do in Surfers Paradise.
Ready to book your Surfers Paradise escape? View our hotel packages here.
SUP adventures and dinner with a view
After checking into your fabulous accommodation, head out to partake in a favourite local pastime: stand-up paddleboarding (or SUP, as those in the know call it). Whether you’re a beginner or a well-practised pro, anyone can hop on a SUP for a leisurely paddle around Chevron Island and Macintosh Island Park. If you’re a real novice, why not book in a short lesson before hitting the waterways of Surfers Paradise? By kickstarting the weekend with a SUP adventure, you’ll see the town from a unique perspective in a real local way.
By this point, you would’ve worked up an appetite. In recent years, Surfers Paradise’s culinary scene has ramped it up a few notches with an impressive array of restaurants and bars. Tonight, head to the Gold Coast’s largest open-air rooftop bar, The Island Rooftop. Here you can expect stellar views overlooking the CBD and the famous Main Beach coastline, plus live music, an extensive cocktail list and tempting treats like burgers, woodfired pizzas and seafood.
Beach fun and 360-degree Gold Coast views
Rise and shine in sun-soaked Surfers Paradise, where the city is your playground. If you’re a keen surfer, start the morning catching a wave at the famed Surfers Paradise Beach. Two kilometres of dazzling sand is fringed by silver skyscrapers on one side and rolling ocean waves on the other. Hire a board and hit the water, or if you’re a beginner yet to catch your first wave, opt for a surf lesson first. If surfing’s not your thing, unfurl your beach towel and take a seat to soak up the morning sun with a good book.
The afternoon brings with it a change of scenery. Head 230 metres above sea level to the 77th floor of the Q1 building, where you’ll find the SkyPoint Observation Deck. It’s the only beachside observation deck in Australia and boasts 360-degree views of the Gold Coast, from the golden coastline to the lush hinterland. If you come here around sunset, you’ll be treated to fiery panoramas while the observation deck shifts into a chic lounge bar with sultry music and drinks.
Return to Earth and set off on foot for a leisurely 15-minute walk along Surfers Paradise Boulevard to dinner at Yamagen. This trendy Japanese restaurant is located inside QT Gold Coast hotel and is home to Queensland’s largest Japanese whisky collection, with over 65 bottles onsite. Sit at the sushi bar and order sashimi zensai or let the chefs fill your belly with a set menu of thinly sliced snapper, pan-fried gyoza with wagyu beef, tempura Brussels sprouts and crispy pork belly with nashi pear and wasabi.
Endless theme park thrills
No trip to the Gold Coast is complete without a fun-filled expedition into the famed themed parks of the area. Whether you’re after thrilling rides, water slides, wildlife encounters or meet and greets with your favourite movie characters, you’ll find something to enjoy.
Dreamworld: Make a beeline for Australia’s largest theme park, where you can spend a whole day enjoying heart-racing rides, shows and attractions, plus encounters with over 500 native animals at Tiger Island.
WhiteWater World: Right next door to Dreamworld is this ultra-fun waterpark, featuring four winding waterslides, adventure rides and the Wiggle Bay play area for younger kids. Plus, the whole family can hire a luxury cabana for the day. WhiteWater World is seasonal, so just make sure to check ahead.
Wet‘n’Wild: Escape the heat and take a deep dive into fun at Wet‘n’Wild, home to extra-exciting, twisty-turn waterslides, plenty of family-friendly pools to cool off in, a seven-story rollercoaster and a giant wave pool.
Warner Bros. Movie World: Meet your favourite movie characters, set off on an exhilarating, thrill-seeking adventure on the themed roller coasters, and meet your favourite Looney Tunes characters in the Kids’ Fun Zone – a guaranteed way to make your little ones smile.
Sea World: This theme park is committed to marine research and conservation, while still providing endless fun for the whole family. Catch a dolphin presentation, lock eyes with a shark and get your thrills on one of the rollercoasters.
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