Southern Gold Coast beaches. From left are the beaches of Point Danger, Snapper Rocks, Greenmount & Coolangatta.
Photo: 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

  • A popular pastime on the Gold Coast is surfing. Surfing isn't just for professionals and the Gold Coast is the perfect place to learn. So book a lesson with one of the many local surf companies. They guarantee to have you standing up by the end of your first lesson! Age is no barrier and you'll 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.
Couple surfing on the Gold Coast beaches


Surfing on the Gold Coast. Photo: Jamie MacFadyen, Tourism Australia
Kids paddle boarding at Currumbin Creek
Paddle boarding at Currumbin Creek.
  • 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, look closely and you will see the resemblance to its namesake. Around the corner from Currumbin beach is the Currumbin Rock Pools. Breathe in the cool fresh air as you laze in the sun following an al fresco lunch.
  • Gold Coast beaches are the perfect place to relax, build sandcastles, swim at the waters edge, or dine al fresco. There are so many great beaches to choose from including Greenmount, Duranbah (or D’bah as the locals say), North Kirra, Broadbeach, North Burleigh, Miami, Tallebudgera, and Nobby Beach.
  • Head off on a snorkeling and diving safari to the Cook Island Marine Reserve.
Kids playing at the Berleigh Rock Pools, Gold Coast
The kids will love playing at the beach.
Photo: Jamie MacFadyen, Tourism Australia

2 men walking along Greenmount Beach, Gold Coast Australia
Surfers on Greenmount Beach on the Gold Coast
  • Most of the Gold Coast beaches have free BBQ facilities for you to use, playgrounds and shaded grassy areas. Our beaches are popular among families with young children, and are the best free fun you can have.
  • See the dolphin pods that visit Snapper Rocks, or the whales passing by during migration season. And don’t forget to bring your binoculars!

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


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.​
  • 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.
Girl doing the splits at Springbrook, Gold Coast

Get the best views from Springbrook Mountains

Tamborine Mountains rainforest skywalk.
Photo: Jamie MacFayden, Tourism Australia

Gallery Walk in the Tamborine Mountains.
​Photo: Jamie MacFayden, Tourism Australia

  • Mount Tamborine is one of the world’s oldest rainforests with lots 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.
  • 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. Check park alerts in case walking tracks are temporarily closed.
Safety note: Always stay on the walking trails, tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return, take water, and check weather forecasts.

Get your shoes on and let's explore the parks

O Reilly's in the Gold Coast Hinterland

O'Reilly's in the Lamington National Park
Photo: Brisbane Marketing
  • 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.