Beyond Surfer's Paradise: Gold Coast Activities

When most people think of the Gold Coast, they immediately think of Surfer’s Paradise. It’s a tourists’ Mecca and the favourite default location for anyone travelling to the area. It’s easy to understand why so many people head for the bright lights and golden sands of Surfer’s Paradise. With its extensive range of accommodation choices, its bountiful entertainment and its beautiful beach front position, it makes for an easy holiday.

The problem, however, is that because so many visitors focus on Surfer’s Paradise, they neglect some of the other gems that can be found on the Gold Coast. This guide aims to highlight a few other spots along the Gold Coast worth visiting, because as great as Surfer’s Paradise is, it only scratches the surface of what this beautiful and diverse region has to offer!

Hinterland & National Parks

If natural beauty is what you’re after, the Gold Coast hinterland is the perfect place to look. Places like the Lamington National Park and the Burleigh Heads National Park are teeming with natural wildlife, not to mention some of the most lush and breathtaking scenery in the state. There are waterfalls, creeks and rainforests to explore, and a visit to the region wouldn’t be complete without at least seeing the beauty of nature that’s on offer away from the coast.

Stradbroke Island

For something a little different, Stradbroke Island (located about 30km off the mainland of the Gold Coast) is a picturesque and chilled out place away from the hustle and bustle of the usual tourist crowds. Accessible by ferry, the island is dotted with pristine beaches, fantastic fishing spots, laid-back campsites and great four-wheel-driving and bushwalking tracks. You’ll really feel like you’re on a holiday when you’re laying back on the sands of this gorgeous and relatively remote island.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

 you like your wildlife a little more predictable, you simply have to visit the Currumbin Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary in (you guessed it!) Currumbin. Get up-close and personal with a kangaroo, allow some Eastern Rosellas to eat from your hand and see the animals that make Australia so fascinating and unique to many.

Whether you’re cuddling a koala or spying a platypus in the water, there’s no better way to get acquainted with such a large range of Aussie wildlife all in the one place.


Well, they don’t call it the Gold Coast for nothing, and no guide would be complete without mentioning some of the spectacular stretches of sand to be enjoyed. Burleigh Heads, about a 20 minute drive from Surfer’s Paradise is a surf haven, with people from all over Australia coming to surf the big breaks here. If you’re after something a little more secluded, Couran Cove is just a boat-ride away and boasts some of the best and most beautiful beaches in the area.

If you’re planning a trip to Australia’s Gold Coast, then by all means, include Surfer’s Paradise and the theme parks into your itinerary—but make sure it’s not at the expense of some of the other truly magical places that are just waiting to be explored.


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