Aerial view of Coolangatta showing the beaches at the Southern end of the Gold Coast.. From left to right are the beaches of Point Danger,
Snapper Rocks, Greenmount & Coolangatta.
Photo courtesy of Tourism Queensland

Where is Gold Coast great outdoors?

Gold Coast - the great outdoors

The Gold Coast is known as the ‘glitter strip’ because it combines glamour, beach, and resort living. The key themes of this area are beach, fun, relaxation and natural beauty.

Feel the soft white sand between your toes on the many Gold Coast beaches. Enjoy the crystal blue water and warm temperatures that make Queensland beaches swimmable all year round.

The Gold Coast has something for everyone, from lounging on the beach, having a surf lesson, visiting our world class theme parks, or heading off for a picnic and a bush walk in one of the stunning national parks or rainforests.​​ 

Life's a beach!  Beaches & water activities

  • The number one pastime on the Gold Coast is surfing. But surfing isn’t only for the pros, it’s the perfect place to learn to surf. That’s right, book a surf lesson with one of the many local surf companies. They guarantee you’ll be standing up by the end of your first lesson! If you haven’t surfed before, have a go. Age is no barrier and you're guaranteed to have a blast.
  • Go kayaking on the Broadwater where you’ll paddle past all kinds of marine life such as dolphins, turtles and sub-tropical fish.

Surfing on the Gold Coast. Photo: Jamie MacFadyen, courtesy of Tourism Australia
  • Head off on a snorkeling and diving safari to the Cook Island Marine Reserve.
  • Looking for calmer waters, head south to Currumbin Creek. Hire a kayak, stand up paddle board or perhaps enjoy a spot of fishing. Further along the foreshore, you’ll find the aptly named Elephant Rock, peer closely and you will see the resemblance to its namesake. A short drive from Currumbin beach, and you’ll find the quaint Currumbin Rock Pools. Breathe in the cool fresh air as you laze in the sun following an al fresco lunch.
  • Soak up the rays in Rainbow Bay. With BBQ facilities, playground, and shaded grassy areas, this location is popular among families with young children. Dolphin pods are regular visitors to these waters, while during migration season, whales are frequently seen from Snapper Rocks. And don’t forget to bring your binoculars!
  • Choose from so many great beaches including Greenmount, Duranbah (or D’bah as the locals say), North Kirra, Broadbeach, North Burleigh, Miami, Tallebudgera, and Nobby Beach.

Back to Nature

The Gold Coast has some of the most stunning national parks and rainforests in the world, and are perfect for a bush walk and a picnic. Head off to the O-Reilly’s Lamington National Park, Mount Tambourine, Springbrook National Park, or Moreton Island and Tangalooma resort which is a marine and national park. Why not pack a picnic and head off to one of these hidden treasure with your family and friends, or to join an organised tour.​

Experience the Gold Coast rainforests.
Photo: Darren Jew, courtesy of Tourism Australia

  • Burleigh Heads National Park is a haven for migrating birds such as ospreys, sea eagles, whistling and brahminy kites. This walking track will also lead you to the “secret” Echo Beach; just take a right at the fork in the path. Take a left at the fork and you will be on the Rainforest circuit. Follow this track to Tumgun Lookout, for incredible panoramic views.
  • Head to Kirra Hill Lookout for gorgeous coastal views… Kirra Hill is easy to find with its iconic iron eagle. Kirra Hill is also the perfect place to spot a skydiver or two landing at Kirra beach. To arrange your own adrenaline pumping experience, contact the team at Gold Coast Skydive, who are the only tandem skydiving company on the Gold Coast.
  • Mount Tamborine is one of the world’s oldest rainforests and has a wealth of things to see and do. For an unforgettable experience view the Scenic Rim by hot air balloon. There are several walking circuits to choose from, with easy graded tracks at Cedar Creek Falls, Palm Grove Rainforest, Sandy Creek (Knoll section) and Macdonald Rainforest circuits. For moderate graded tracks go to Curtis Falls (Joalah section), Jenyns Falls (Palm Grove section), Witches Falls, Witches Chase and the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk.
  • Visit Tamborine Mountain Botanical Gardens with themed gardens including the rose garden, Japanese garden, and Perennial (Cottage) garden.
  • Visit the World Heritage listed Springbrook National Park filled with ancient trees, cascading waterfalls and spectacular lookouts. Set off on one of the many walking trails, spot some wildlife, a picnic, or find a swimming hole. Not to be missed are the Purling Brook Falls, Goormoolahra Falls, Rainbow Falls, Canyon Lookout, Mount Cougal Cascades and Best of All Lookout.
  • After dark - grab your torch and head to the Natural Bridge where a colony of luminous glow-worms have made themselves at home. During the summer months fireflies and glowing mushrooms will also enchant you.
  • A canopy walk is a must, so take advantage of the two canopy walks at Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk, Mount Tamborine and O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk, Lamington National Park.
  • Some of the walking tracks and circuits mentioned might be closed for safety or other reasons. Visitors are encouraged to view ‘Park Alerts’ for more information on admittance and closures.

  •  Safety note: Always stay on the walking trails, tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return, take water, check weather forecasts, and make sure you return before dark.