If you're the person that thinks, 'Gold Coast... been there done that,' then we challenge you to think again, because you might actually be surprised by how much the popular tourist destination and its surrounds actually has to offer.
From the beaches to the rainforest, thrills for adventurers, peace and quiet for nature lovers, and delicious eats for the foodies out there, the Gold Coast truly has something for every kind of traveller.
FOR THE THRILL SEEKER
Skypoint Climb and observation deck
Some people like to live on the edge and those people probably enjoy hanging off the side of high rises too.
If you’re one of them, head to the Q1 Resort tower in Broadbeach to undertake Australia’s highest external building climb. After a safety briefing, you’ll start at the SkyPoint Observation Deck on level 77 and exit the building for a sky-high adventure. Safely harnessed onto a handrail and led by an experienced climb leader, you’ll ascend exterior stairs towards the massive spire, stopping along the way to enjoy 360-degree views of the Gold Coast.
Once you get to the top, you’ll have the opportunity to lean out over the 270m drop - not for the faint-hearted! You can climb at sunrise, during the day, at twilight and after dark to admire the view.
Jet Ski Safaris
Ride your own jet ski and feel the freedom and exhilaration with the wind in your hair as you zip over the glistening Gold Coast waterways, past lush green islands, luxury homes, and super yachts.
If you're lucky enough you might spot some local dolphins, turtles, wallabies and dugongs that inhabit this scenic Jet Ski paradise. Stop off at a tropical Island resort on South Stradbroke Island where you can have a splash, enjoy something delicious to eat and a nice cold beverage.
All Safaris are led by expert guides for safety and navigation. With multiple guides per trip, you set the pace and can travel at whatever speed you like.
Adulting is hard and the last 18 months have been some of the most difficult many if us will ever experience. Theme Parks are just the antidote for feeling down and getting a good old dose of adrenaline. The Gold Coast is known for its incredible selection of action-packed, family-friendly parks theme parks, from Dreamworld, Sea World, Wet n Wild and Movie World.
This time we hit up Warner Bros. Movie World as it has the biggest selection of rollercoasters - not to mention the longest and fastest coaster in the southern hemisphere, the DC HyperCoaster. It goes from zero to 100km in two seconds flat and if you're game enough for the ultimate thrill, book your spot to ride the HyperCoaster backwards... (we did!) just don’t eat beforehand.
FOR THE FOODIE
For views, vibes, and cocktails Hyde Paradiso in Surfers Paradise is a must-visit, especially for a bottomless brunch on a weekend. The sun-soaked Mediterranean inspired look is very popular with influencers and if that's not you we definitely recommend a nice early visit. As the afternoon roles on the tunes get turned up and the mood-lighting switched on and with the cocktails flowing the party atmosphere isn't far away.
Found on level two of Peppers Soul Surfers Paradise and overlooking the ocean, Hyde Paradiso first opened in April 2021. It's open for lunch or dinner, although fair warning while the food is delish, the servings are relatively small and made to share. It's all about spending time with friends, drinking tasty beverages, being seen, and enjoying the killer views of the famous beach and foreshore.
Miss Moneypenny’s Broadbeach
The Hatted Mediterranean fusion restaurant Miss Moneypenny's Broadbeach is the sister venue of multi award-winning bar and restaurant Miss Moneypenny's Noosa. Executive Chef Adam Dundas-Taylor's menu features flavour-packed dishes influenced by his passion for fire and charcoal, Spanish-style BBQ techniques and globally-inspired Mediterranean fare geared to ‘social dining’.
The venue really is ‘capital city elegance meets Gold Coast chic’ and with the bar taking up one entire wall of the restaurant you know you'll get a great night cap as well. The service was incredible, the food delicious and we left completely satisfied - and many cocktails later.
FOR THE JOKER
Dracula’s Cabaret Gold Coast
If you love laughter, music, dancing and a bit of a surprise here and there then a visit to the Gold Coast isn't complete without a night out at Dracula’s Cabaret. The current show is named Muertos or ‘dead’ in Spanish - a tribute to the Mexican Day of the Dead - and it follows Dracula's signature style of layering carnival acts, death-defying aerial acrobatics, incredible singing and hilarious comedy.
A ghost train ride gets you in the door before you enjoy a three-course dinner and delicious themed cocktails. There are IV drips to serve your wine, or syringes for the shots, and all the while you'll be laughing your head off. The acts were outrageous and with a VIP ticket you get to site on the upper level with prime viewing what's unfolding on stage.
FOR THE NATURE LOVER
O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat
O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat is just 90 minutes from the Gold Coast in the heart of the World-Heritage Listed National Lamington Park and the perfect way to get a taste of the beautiful Hinterland. The retreat offers a range of accommodation options on the property, proudly operated by passionate third generation O’Reilly family members whose ancestors pioneered eco tourism in Australia in 1926. With expansive views overlooking the western McPherson Ranges, go for family-friendly guided bird walks, animal shows, or head to the Morans Falls, one of the more popular walks. Or if you've ever wanted to climb to the canopy of a rainforest, the Tree Top walk is for you.
Once you've had your fill of hiking and meeting the 'locals', take one relaxing step further for a visit to O’Reilly’s Lost World Day Spa. Equipped with a sublime couples suite and 25-metre infinity lap pool and a separate children’s area it's the perfect way to relax and recover. Choose from a range of massages, facials, hot stone therapies, spa or steam room treatments.
WHERE TO STAY
The sculpted towers of Peppers Broadbeach soar above the Gold Coast city skyline, with panoramic views to the Pacific Ocean and Gold Coast Hinterland. The hotel is perfectly located 35 minutes from Gold Coast Coolangatta Airport and just 10 minutes from Surfers Paradise. You're steps from the ocean and the building is literally surrounded by so many food options you'll struggle to decide what to try first.
The elegant apartment-style rooms come with a full kitchen and private balconies. The bed was comfortable and comes with a Pillow menu with SEVEN options! The hotel also boasts a multitude of amenities, including a lovely outdoor swimming pool with lap and lagoon sections plus a hot tub. The floor-to-ceiling windows in our Ocean View apartment gave us almost in 270-degree views of the famous coastal strip. That will stay with us for a while.
Be sure to check the Queensland Government website for any travel updates and relevant restrictions before heading off on your trip.
Yahoo Lifestyle was a guest of Destination Gold Coast in June 2021.
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