If you’re looking to make the most of your time on the Goldie, we have you covered with our epic 7 day Gold Coast itinerary, including the best Gold Coast beaches, hikes, live music, eateries, and more!
Known for its stunning beaches, vibrant cityscape, and thrilling theme parks, the Gold Coast offers a diverse range of experiences for every traveller.
Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a mix of both, this coastal paradise has something special to offer.
In our comprehensive Gold Coast itinerary guide, we will take you on a journey through the best attractions, activities, and hidden gems of the Gold Coast.
From exhilarating water sports and breathtaking hikes to world-class dining and vibrant nightlife, you’ll discover an array of exciting options to fill your days and nights.
Immerse yourself in the sparkling waters of the Gold Coast beaches, explore the lush rainforests of the hinterland, and indulge in the thrill of theme park rides.
Discover charming coastal towns in the Gold Coast area, the delicious local cuisine, and witness stunning sunsets over the skyline and in the national parks.
Get ready for an unforgettable journey as we dive into the top attractions, hidden gems, and insider tips that will make your Gold Coast experience truly exceptional. Let the adventure begin!
Check out our full list of the best things to do on the Gold Coast if you have time for more activities!
Table of Contents
- Our Ultimate Gold Coast Itinerary – 7 Days of Perfection
- Day 1 – Burleigh Heads
- Day 2 – Currumbin
- Day 3 – Surfers Paradise
- Day 4 – Surfers Paradise and Northern Gold Coast
- Day 5 – Lamington National Park
- Day 6 – Tamborine National Park
- Day 7 – Hot Air Balloons, Alpacas and Back to the City
- Getting Around the Gold Coast
- Getting to the Gold Coast
Our Ultimate Gold Coast Itinerary – 7 Days of Perfection
This itinerary is meant to be flexible, so you can modify it to suit your travel style! 7 days is never enough to fully explore the Gold Coast, but it’s a great introduction to this amazing area.
You can also pick and choose this itinerary based on how long you have here.
So if you just have 3 days on the Gold Coast, pick and choose what you like from each of the days below.
The best way to get around is to rent a car and explore on your own! We recommend Rental Cars, which has the largest range of vehicles for the best value on the market.
Day 1 – Burleigh Heads
On day 1 of your Gold Coast itinerary, we’ll leave the morning open assuming you’re flying in and taking some time to get settled. Today, we’ll stick to the south of the Gold Coast and explore the Burleigh Heads area.
Lunch at The Tropic Restaurant
The Tropic on Burleigh Beach is a dining hotspot offering modern Australian cuisine with a focus on local seafood.
The restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating, all with stunning ocean views. Enjoy the restaurant’s diverse range of cocktails, from classic to beach-inspired creations, alongside the flavourful food.
A dining experience at The Tropic captures the Gold Coast’s essence, combining great food, drinks, and unparalleled views.
Go for a Walk in Burleigh Heads National Park
After finishing lunch at The Tropic Restaurant, it’s time to walk off that delicious food.
Burleigh Heads National Park is a breathtaking oasis on the Gold Coast, offering a blend of lush rainforest, rocky cliffs, and serene beaches.
The park offers two main walking trails: the Rainforest Circuit and the Oceanview Walk.
The Rainforest Circuit, a tranquil path amid towering trees and dense vegetation, offers wildlife spotting, from koalas to lorikeets.
The Oceanview Walk showcases panoramic coastal views and the city skyline, with occasional whale sightings during migration season.
While the Rainforest Circuit may not be suitable for wheelchairs and strollers due to steeper sections, the Oceanview Walk provides assisted access.
The park provides an immersive natural environment experience, highlighting the Gold Coast’s renowned beauty.
Check out our list of Gold Coast hikes to whet your appetite.
Watch the Sunset from Burleigh Hill over the Gold Coast
Situated perfectly for viewing, Burleigh Hill offers an unparalleled vista of the Gold Coast skyline at sunset.
The skyline’s glow, reflected off shimmering high-rises, creates a stunning spectacle, enhanced by the silhouettes of surfers and paddlers in the golden ocean below.
As twilight descends, the city’s lights flicker to life, adding a twinkle to the picturesque panorama.
This sight, encapsulating the area’s natural beauty and laid-back charm, is a must-see experience for any Gold Coast visitor.
If you want, you can walk along Burleigh Beach while the sun sets and feel the soft sand between your toes. This is a great way to wind down a fabulous first day in the Gold Coast.
Read next: 10 Amazing Things To Do In Queensland
Dinner at the Collective Palm Beach
The Collective in Palm Beach offers a unique dining experience with its innovative concept of hosting five different restaurants under one roof. Diners can enjoy an array of global cuisines, from Mexican to Asian, in a vibrant, casual atmosphere.
The venue features adaptable indoor and outdoor dining areas, with a retractable roof to enjoy the Gold Coast’s glorious weather.
Each diner can order from any of the kitchens, making it perfect for groups with varied tastes.
The Collective’s eclectic menu options, combined with its laid-back ambiance, make it a favourite among locals and visitors alike.
Stay – The Mysa Motel
The Mysa Motel, once a traditional accommodation, has been transformed into a retro-chic boutique motel in the heart of the Gold Coast.
It offers an intimate stay with a handful of carefully decorated rooms that blend nostalgia and modern comfort.
The motel also features a tranquil pool area, perfect for a refreshing dip or relaxing in the Gold Coast sun.
Mysa Motel, with its unique fusion of old-school charm and contemporary amenities, stands out as a memorable choice for visitors.
Stay a couple of nights here to be close to all the activities and restaurants you’ll be visiting in the coming days.
Day 2 – Currumbin
For day 2 of your Gold Coast Itinerary, you’ll be exploring the fabulous Currumbin area!
Breakfast at Dune Cafe
Begin your day at Dune Cafe in Currumbin, a dog-friendly spot boasting striking views of the lagoon and beach.
The menu caters to all, from avocado on sourdough to hearty breakfasts and irresistible pancakes. Their excellent coffee perfectly complements the meals.
Post-breakfast, enjoy a stroll along the nearby beach, immersing in the peaceful coastal ambiance.
This blend of good food, great coffee, and beachside walk creates an authentic Gold Coast experience.
Have a Surf Lesson in Currumbin
If you’re looking to engage in Gold Coast’s signature sport, a lesson at Currumbin Beach is a must.
This beach is known for its mellow waves and crystal-clear waters, making it a perfect spot for both beginners and those looking to improve their skills.
For beginners, instructors provide an introduction to the fundamentals of surfing, such as reading the waves, paddling, and standing on the board.
These lessons are designed to give you confidence and to find yourself riding your first wave back to shore.
For those who’ve surfed before, more advanced lessons are available. Instructors help refine your technique and boost your understanding of wave selection, turning, and manoeuvres on bigger surf breaks.
The exhilarating feeling of catching a wave is an unforgettable experience and a classic activity to try in the Gold Coast!
Lunch at Currumbin Beach Viking Surf Life Saving Club
After surfing the morning away, you will have an appetite, so why not have an early lunch.
Overlooking Currumbin Beach, Viking Surf Life Saving Club offers a relaxed lunch spot with stunning ocean views.
The varied menu features local seafood, burgers, and salads, alongside vegetarian and gluten-free options.
After a morning of surfing, enjoy a satisfying meal paired with a local beer or Australian wine, all while soaking up the beautiful Gold Coast scenery.
Visit the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, a renowned institution on the Gold Coast, is deeply committed to wildlife conservation.
This interactive sanctuary offers visitors a unique opportunity to learn about and interact with a wide variety of Australian animals while also supporting important conservation work.
One of the sanctuary’s most important initiatives is its on-site wildlife hospital. This facility operates to rescue, rehabilitate, and release sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife.
The hospital provides an invaluable service to the local wildlife and is integral to the sanctuary’s commitment to animal welfare.
Visitors to the sanctuary can witness this crucial work firsthand. Not only does the sanctuary provide educational displays about the animals, but guests can also learn about the various conservation programs in place.
It’s a fulfilling, educational experience that lets you appreciate Australian wildlife in a new light.
The sanctuary’s goal is to inspire its visitors to respect and protect our natural environment for generations to come.
Try the TreeTop Challenge
While you are at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, you can try The TreeTop Challenge.
This is an exhilarating high ropes course set amidst the natural beauty of the sanctuary.
With multiple courses of varying difficulty, participants can navigate swinging bridges, balancing ropes, and thrilling zip lines while enjoying panoramic views of the park.
Trained staff providing assistance, equipment, and advice to ensure a fun and secure experience.
It’s an adventure that combines the excitement of high ropes with the unique setting of the surrounding wildlife at the sanctuary.
READ MORE: Check out our latest guide to the best things to do in Brisbane!
Dine at your own leisure
There are some great restaurant options within walking distance from the Mysa Motel. You can find Italian, Thai, Mexican, classic Australian, and anything else you might want!
We also recommend heading to a supermarket tonight before you head out on your activity tomorrow.
Pick up some yummy cheeses, crackers, fruits, vegetable sticks, and dips to snack on for your lunch or afternoon snack while you are out adventuring!
Day 3 – Surfers Paradise
Today on your Gold Coast itinerary, head to Mariner’s Cove Marina for an epic day out on the water!
Go on a Jet Ski Safari
Pick up some breakfast on the way to the marina and head out on some jet skis for the morning.
This jet ski adrenaline ride will take you on a guided tour through the scenic waterways and as far as North Stradbroke Island, allowing you to discover hidden gems and iconic landmarks along the coast.
When you arrive, you watch a safety video and learn about the rules of the waterways.
All participants receive comprehensive instructions and safety equipment before embarking on the jet ski safari. No licence or experience is necessary which makes it fun for both beginners and experienced riders.
Professional guides will accompany you to guide you throughout the journey, pointing out landmarks and ensuring a safe and memorable experience for guests.
We went with Jet Ski Safari Gold Coast and they were fantastic. I was a beginner and Jarryd has been on a jet ski before but our guides Pandora and Connor were magnificent catering to different skill levels.
They give you tips and advice to make your ride more pleasurable.
You don’t get too wet at all on the jet skis (that’s if you don’t fall off). It is up to you if you want to head back to the hotel for a shower before all the other awesome activities you have planned for the day.
This is such a fun adrenaline-fuelled adventure and a unique way to explore the Gold Coast’s waterways and canals.
Lunch at the Mariner’s Cove Marina
After all that adrenaline, you’ll probably be hungry so it’s time to grab some lunch. At the Mariner’s Cove Marina, you can find lots of excellent fish and chips restaurants.
You can eat your meal overlooking the marina. Since you are on the coast, fish and chips is a classic Aussie meal that you should definitely indulge in!
Read next: 7 Best Day Trips From Brisbane
Get out on the Gold Coast Waterway with a Duffy Down Under Boat Hire
Duffy Down Under Boat Hire is also located at the Mariner’s Cove Marina. After lunch, you can get straight out on a boat and explore the other side of the waterways that you didn’t see on the jet skis.
Duffy Down Under Boat Hire has several electric boats which offer a sustainable and easy way to navigate the canals and rivers.
The staff will go through the potential routes, local rules, and safety tips before you take off.
You don’t need a license to hire the boat and it’s a great way to have freedom and flexibility while exploring the Gold Coast’s waterways.
Make sure you have your snacks and drinks for this afternoon boat adventure.
Enjoy the city views, and relax with your favourite music playing through the boat’s Bluetooth sound system.
These guys offer such a unique and leisurely experience to enjoy the Gold Coast’s stunning waterways. We really enjoyed it and highly recommend it!
See Gold Coast from the Sky in a Helicopter Ride
Experience the awe-inspiring beauty of the Gold Coast from above with the team at Gold Coast Heli Tours. You can honestly see the entire city and area, with panoramic views from the Gold Coast beaches all the way out to the Hinterland.
We can not recommend this tour enough. This is a family-run company that offers thrilling helicopter rides where you will enjoy breathtaking aerial views of iconic landmarks, golden beaches, and the vibrant cityscape.
You can head out during the day or wait till sunset and see the golden light on the city.
The pilots have so much knowledge and provide commentary through your headset so you can learn about the history and culture of the area.
Dinner at Costa D’oro Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria
Nestled in the heart of the Gold Coast, Costa D’oro Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria is a charming culinary treasure.
From the moment you step inside, you’re greeted with a warm and inviting ambiance that feels like a cozy Italian trattoria.
They have indoor or outdoor dining. The night we went, it was a little chilly but they had the heaters outside and it was cozy.
Whether you indulge in their wood-fired pizzas, classic pasta creations, or delightful seafood options, every bite transports you to the streets of Italy.
The staff were so friendly and the food was delicious. If you are looking for Italian flavours on the Gold Coast Costa, check out Costa D’oro Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria.
If you are not into Italian, there are many other restaurant options in the Surfers Paradise area.
Stay – Meriton Suites Gold Coast
Consider switching up your accommodation tonight and stay in Surfers Paradise at the fabulous Meriton Suites.
Having stayed at Meriton Suites Gold Coast ourselves, the views are incredible and their rooms are not badly priced.
The suites are spacious, well-appointed with full kitchen setup and a balcony. The hotel is 78 floors (252 metres) so depending on your room location, you will have an excellent view.
The staff are super friendly and helpful and the location is perfectly located near the beach and various shops, restaurants, and attractions.
The tram is right behind the hotel if you need to head to another part of the Gold Coast or the airport.
Stay here for a couple of nights to be near all your activities for the next few days!
Day 4 – Surfers Paradise and Northern Gold Coast
On day 4 of your 7 day Gold Coast itinerary, you will be spending the day in the Surfers Paradise area and surrounds.
Walk Along the Beach and Watch the Sunrise
Take an early morning stroll along the beach of Surfers Paradise and witness a breathtaking sunrise that paints the sky with vibrant hues.
As you walk along golden sands, the gentle sound of crashing waves creates a soothing ambiance.
Pause for a moment to soak in the awe-inspiring beauty and feel the warmth of the sun on your skin. Watching the sunrise along the beach path of Surfers Paradise is a serene and uplifting experience that connects you with the natural wonders of the Gold Coast.
You can rent a bike and ride along the Surfers Paradise boulevard if you want! The boulevard is a picturesque route, lined with palm trees and overlooking the glistening ocean.
Gold Coast Beaches are stunning so take advantage of these mornings. Walk or ride down to ESPL Coffee in Surfer Paradise and grab breakfast to start your day.
Looking to travel along the East Coast more? Check out our Sydney to Brisbane road trip itinerary!
Head to One of the Theme Parks
The Gold Coast is renowned for its world-class theme parks, offering a plethora of thrills and entertainment for visitors of all ages.
When it comes to adults seeking excitement, several theme parks stand out.
Dreamworld is the largest theme park in Australia, offering an array of thrilling rides and attractions.
From adrenaline-pumping roller coasters to heart-stopping water slides, this theme park provides an action-packed experience.
Plan to spend a full day here to fully enjoy all the rides and immerse yourself in the various themed lands.
Wet’n’Wild Gold Coast
For a splash of aquatic fun, Wet’n’Wild Gold Coast is another great theme park.
This water park has a wide range of water slides, wave pools, and lazy rivers, providing a refreshing escape from the heat.
It is fun for all ages. Everyone can indulge in exhilarating water slides or relax in the sun-drenched pools.
Spending a half-day to a full day here ensures ample time for water-based excitement.
Warner Bros. Movie World
Movie World is another popular choice for everyone, combining thrilling rides with cinematic experiences.
Explore movie-themed attractions, enjoy spectacular live shows, and embark on exciting roller coasters inspired by iconic films.
So you can choose from a number of theme parks for the day. Spend the whole day at one theme park, or choose to switch between different locations.
We have not mentioned Sea World as we are still on the fence about this theme park company. Sea World does great conservation work but they are also breeding dolphins within their facility for entertainment. We are not a fan of this and would not visit Sea World ourselves.
This is our opinion and we ask you to please your own research and decide whether you want to visit or not.
Visit the Skypoint Observation Deck in the Q1 Tower
The SkyPoint Observation Deck atop the iconic Q1 Tower provides unmatched 360-degree views over the Gold Coast.
You can see the entire Gold Coast city and all the beautiful Gold Coast beaches from its elevated position of 230 metres!
For those looking to unwind, there’s a licensed bar that serves an array of cocktails, wines, and beers.
Relaxing with a drink in hand while watching the cityscape shift from day to night is an unforgettable experience.
In terms of dining, SkyPoint offers a café-style menu for those who wish to pair the view with a bite to eat.
From light snacks to heartier meals, there’s a variety of options to satisfy your palate.
Whether you’re visiting for the view, a drink at the bar, or to enjoy a meal, SkyPoint Observation Deck offers a unique perspective on the stunning beauty of the Gold Coast.
Dinner at Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets
Experience the lively Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday evening from 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
Located along the Esplanade, these vibrant markets offer a wide variety of stalls showcasing unique arts, crafts, fashion, and gourmet food.
Explore handmade jewellery, clothing, artwork, and more while enjoying live music and savouring delicious street food from around the world.
The Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets are a must-visit destination for a vibrant shopping and dining experience on the Gold Coast.
Day 5 – Lamington National Park
On day 5 of this amazing Gold Coast itinerary, explore the stunning landscapes of Lamington National Park.
Drive out to Lamington National Park
After breakfast, start the drive out to Lamington National Park in the Gold Coast Hinterland.
The journey takes you through charming towns and winding roads, surrounded by lush greenery. It is stunning, so take your time and stop at all the viewpoints.
Within an hour, you’ll arrive at the Lamington National Park, where hiking trails and stunning lookout points await. Immerse yourself in the park’s diverse ecosystem, filled with flora and fauna.
The drive from Surfers Paradise to Lamington National Park is a captivating adventure, offering a refreshing escape into nature’s tranquility.
Do the Rainforest Circuit Walk, Lamington National Park
The Rainforest Circuit Walk in Lamington National Park is a captivating journey through a lush and ancient rainforest.
The trail winds through towering trees and vibrant greenery, providing a peaceful and refreshing walk. We found ourselves mesmerised by the diversity of plant life, with ferns, moss-covered rocks, and delicate wildflowers adorning the trail.
This loop walk is very easy and will only take about 30 minutes from the Burra Binna Lodge carpark.
If you do the walk early in the morning or late in the evening, the lighting is gorgeous coming through the trees. You can hear all the native birds and you may even see a kangaroo!
Check out our complete list of the 18 best Lamington National Park walks!
Dinner – Binna Burra Lodge
Binna Burra Lodge has a restaurant there that offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The rustic restaurant offers a menu showcasing fresh, locally sourced ingredients prepared by its chefs.
Binna Burra Lodge offers inside dining by the fire or al fresco on the terrace or on the deck with a beautiful view.
Stay – Tiny Wild Houses, Binna Burra Lodge
Elevate your stay in the area with a tiny home at Binna Burra Lodge! This is where we stayed and it was an amazing experience.
As we arrived, we were immediately captivated by the charm and tranquility of the lodge nestled on the border of the Lamington National Park. The location of this accommodation is stunning.
The Tiny Houses are located on the Bellbird clifftop, with uninterrupted views of the Ships Stern Range with their full-sized glass wall. You can sit inside on those chilly morning or evenings or make the most of the outside deck and take it all in.
The Tiny Wild Home was so cozy and thoughtfully designed providing a unique blend of comfort and immersion in nature. Surrounded by greenery and breathtaking views, we honestly felt a deep sense of connection to the natural world.
Each tiny home was equipped with modern amenities, with comfortable bedding to a well-equipped kitchenette while still maintaining a rustic charm. It’s a chance to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life and reconnect with the beauty and serenity of the natural world.
Make sure you wake up for sunrise. You will experience the most amazing sunrise from your Tiny Wild Home, even laying in bed.
From watching stunning sunrises and sunsets to stargazing under clear night skies, this place is an experience of its own.
We highly recommend staying at Tiny Wild Homes, Binna Burra Lodge.
Day 6 – Tamborine National Park
One Day 6 of this Gold Coast itinerary, continue exploring Lamington National Park before heading over to Tamborine National Park!
Wake up to the Sunrise over Lamington National Park
Do not miss this one! Waking up in the Tiny Wild Homes was a truly magical experience as the sun slowly rose over Lamington National Park.
The serene ambiance and breathtaking views created an unforgettable start to the day, filling me with a deep appreciation for the natural beauty that surrounded me.
Breakfast in the Tiny Wild House
You can have breakfast in your Tiny Wild House or head up to the Binna Burra Lodge for breakfast.
They offer a range of different breakfasts and great coffee. If it is a chilly morning, you can sit by the cozy fireplace or sit on the deck and enjoy the sun and view.
The staff were very friendly and accommodated for different dietary requirements.
Do the Caves Hike in Lamington National Park
The Caves Hike in Lamington National Park is a captivating trail that unveils the park’s natural wonders.
With a length of approximately 4 kms, the hike typically takes around 2 to 3 hours to complete, depending on your pace and exploration along the way.
As you embark on the trail, you’ll meander through ancient rainforests, surrounded by towering trees and lush vegetation.
The path gradually ascends, leading you to magnificent rock formations and hidden caves.
These caves serve as a testament to the park’s geological history and provide a unique opportunity for exploration.
Throughout the hike, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys and distant mountain ranges.
The tranquil sounds of birdsong and the gentle rustling of leaves accompany you on your journey, creating a serene and immersive experience.
The days can heat up, especially in the summer, so make sure you have enough water for the hike and sun protection.
Also, there are no facilities along the trail so make sure you go to the toilet before you leave. Like any time being in nature, please leave no trace.
Take your time to appreciate the natural beauty and immerse yourself in the peaceful ambiance of this secluded corner of the park. It really is just gorgeous.
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Drive to Tamborine National Park
The drive to Tamborine National Park from Burra Binna Lodge will take about 1 hour to reach Cedar Creek Falls entrance. As you ascend into the mountainous region, the air becomes cooler and crisp, signalling your arrival at this lush rainforest retreat.
The well-paved roads guide you through the park, allowing you to explore its many walking trails and breathtaking lookouts.
Along the way, you will be surrounded by dense forests, towering trees, and vibrant birdlife, creating a sense of tranquility and natural beauty.
Visit Cedar Creek Falls
Cedar Creek Falls is a picturesque waterfall nestled in the Tamborine National Park in the Gold Coast hinterland.
The waterfall cascades down a rocky ledge into a tranquil swimming hole, inviting visitors to cool off and relax.
With its natural beauty and peaceful ambiance, Cedar Creek Falls is a popular spot for locals and tourists seeking a moment of tranquility in nature.
The walk down is well pathed with some stairs. Anyone with a bit of fitness will be fine. There is a viewing platform near the beginning of the path if you do not want to walk all the way down.
Dinner at Rainforest Restaurant and Bar
The best place to eat in the area is Rainforest Restaurant and Bar at Cedar Creek Lodge.
The tranquil ambiance and natural elements of the restaurant create a serene backdrop for your meal. Get dressed up and make a night of it.
The menu showcases a fusion of flavours using locally sourced ingredients, with options ranging from fresh seafood to succulent steaks and creative vegetarian dishes. We had a variety of dishes and they were all magnificent.
The restaurant offers inside dining or outside dining on the deck area where you can enjoy your meal amidst the rainforest garden.
They have a bar where you can grab a drink before your dinner or after.
Stay – Glamping Tent at Cedar Creek Lodge
This is another accommodation we loved and highly recommend staying here. The Glamping Tents at Cedar Creek Lodge near Tamborine National Park are for those who want a camping getaway in luxury style.
Inside the Glamping Tents, you are greeted by a spacious and beautifully designed interior.
The tent is equipped with 2 comfortable queen size beds, cozy furnishings, coffee and tea setup, lamps, an outside modern bathroom, and a lovely deck with your own fire pit and sitting area.
There are large windows that you can roll up to allow natural light to flood in.
In the evenings, you can stargaze from the comfort of your own outdoor seating area while keeping warm by the fire pit. They also have games in the tent for you to enjoy.
There is one glamping tent that has a heated swimming pool, offering a great way to relax overlooking bushland. Get disconnected from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with the natural world.
Day 7 – Hot Air Balloons, Alpacas and Back to the City
This is the last day of the Gold Coast itinerary! You will finish the morning in the Hinterland and drive to the airport to head home.
Wake up to Hot Air Ballooning
A hot air balloon over the hinterland is a must-do on your Gold Coast itinerary! We highly recommend the guys at Hot Air. They were so professional and full of so much knowledge.
You will have to get up early, but it will be worth it! As the sun begins to rise, you will get ready to embark on a thrilling adventure that will take you soaring above the breathtaking landscapes.
As the balloon takes to the skies, you’ll be greeted by panoramic views of the stunning hinterland, with its rolling hills, farms, verdant forests, and picturesque vineyards.
Drifting with the wind, the pilot (Stu) points out iconic landmarks and tells you all about the area. You’ll have a bird’s-eye view of the region’s natural wonders, watching as the landscape is bathed in the warm hues of the rising sun.
The tranquility of the experience is truly captivating, offering a sense of serenity and freedom as you float above the world below.
Take your camera or phone to get some great photos. Just make sure they are attached to you somehow so you do not lose anything over the edge. The company has a camera on board for group photos also.
It’s an adventure that will leave you with a sense of wonder and an appreciation for the natural wonders that surround us. It is a great way to finish your Gold Coast itinerary.
After touch down, you may get a chance to walk inside the balloon. It was great to check out. The team will then take you to O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards to have a glass of champagne and a cooked breakfast.
Visit Mountview Alpaca Farm
After breakfast and the thrilling morning in the sky, calm your nerves by visiting with an alpaca. Located right next door to O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards is Mountview Alpaca Farm.
Mountview Alpaca Farm is a charming and interactive destination nestled in the scenic Gold Coast hinterland.
Visitors can get up close and personal with adorable alpacas by hand-feeding them and learning about these gentle creatures.
The farm provides a picturesque setting surrounded by lush greenery, offering a serene atmosphere to relax with your alpaca.
The guys at Mountview Alpaca Farm do great work. They have a few alpacas that are therapy animals and the owners take them into hospitals to visit patients.
Animals lovers will definitely have to check this place out!
Drive back to Gold Coast or Brisbane and fly out
As your time in the Gold Coast comes to an end, you have the option to drive back to either Gold Coast or Brisbane to catch your flight home.
If you choose to drive back to the Gold Coast, you’ll have the opportunity to soak in the beautiful coastal scenery one last time. The drive along the coastal highway offers stunning views of the Gold Coast beaches.
Alternatively, driving back to Brisbane gives you the chance to explore the vibrant capital city of Queensland before bidding farewell to this stunning region. Brisbane offers a mix of cultural attractions, bustling markets, and scenic parks that are worth exploring if you have some extra time before your flight. You could even spend the night.
Check out our article on things to do in Brisbane for more ideas!
Once you arrive at the airport, you can reflect on the great time you had on the Gold Coast.
We hope this Gold Coast itinerary helps you with planning your trip! There is so much to do and see on the Gold Coast and one week is still not long enough.
If you have extra time to explore more of the Gold Coast, check out our other destinations below.
If you have more time, check out these other Gold Coast attractions!
Springbrook National Park
Nestled in the hinterland of the Gold Coast, Springbrook National Park is a natural wonderland with its lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and breathtaking lookouts.
Springbrook National Park offers so many hikes for different levels. Don’t miss the natural bridge, this hike is for everyone! Springbrook National Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers, promising unforgettable experiences and a rejuvenating connection with the natural world.
Rainbow Bay is a picturesque coastal paradise located on the southern end of the Gold Coast. With its pristine golden sands, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and stunning views, it’s a slice of heaven for beach lovers and surf enthusiasts.
This hidden gem offers a more relaxed and laid-back atmosphere compared to its neighbouring beaches, making it a perfect spot for sunbathing, swimming, or simply taking a leisurely stroll along the shore.
With its idyllic setting and breathtaking beauty, Rainbow Bay is a must-visit destination for those seeking tranquility and natural splendor on the Gold Coast.
Snapper Rocks is a renowned surf break located on the southern end of the Gold Coast. Known for its world-class waves and consistent swells, it attracts surfers from around the globe.
With its unique rocky outcrop and powerful waves, Snapper Rocks provides an exhilarating surfing experience for both professionals and enthusiasts. The vibrant atmosphere and stunning coastal scenery make it a popular spot for spectators and photographers alike.
Whether you’re catching a wave or simply enjoying the view, Snapper Rocks offers a captivating glimpse into the dynamic surf culture of the Gold Coast.
Getting Around the Gold Coast
If you do not have your own wheels, there are many ways to get around the Gold Coast area. You will need a car to head out to the Gold Coast Hinterland as transport is very limited out there.
The Gold Coast has an excellent public transport system managed by TransLink, offering bus, tram, and train services.
The G:link light rail system, also known as ‘the G’, runs from Helensvale to Broadbeach, connecting several main points, including Southport and Surfers Paradise.
Surfside Buslines operate numerous bus routes throughout the region. A Go Card, a pre-paid travel card, can be used across all TransLink services.
If you prefer the convenience of your own vehicle, car rental services are readily available.
Driving gives you the flexibility to explore further afield areas like the Hinterland’s national parks.
Do note that parking, especially in popular areas like Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach, can sometimes be challenging to find and may be paid.
The best way to get around is to rent a car and explore on your own! We recommend Rental Cars, which has the largest range of vehicles for the best value on the market.
Cycling and Walking
The Gold Coast is very pedestrian and bike-friendly, with extensive pathways and bike lanes.
It’s an ideal way to explore the beachfront areas. Bike rental services are available at numerous locations.
Taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber are also popular on the Gold Coast. They offer a convenient and often time-efficient way of getting around, especially if you’re travelling in a group or have lots of luggage.
Lastly, the Gold Coast also has a network of waterways, and taking a ferry can be a scenic and leisurely way to travel, especially around areas like Main Beach and South Stradbroke Island.
Planning your routes and transport methods in advance can help you make the most of your visit to the Gold Coast.
Getting to the Gold Coast
There are a few ways to get to the Gold Coast area. You will need a car to head out to the Gold Coast Hinterland as transport is very limited out there.
Flying into the Gold Coast
Flying into the Gold Coast is very simple. Gold Coast Airport, also known as Coolangatta Airport, is your gateway to this stunning region where there is so much to do.
The Coolangatta Airport is located in the southern part of the city. As you fly in, enjoy beautiful views of the coastline and hinterland, so try and get a window seat.
There are many transportation options, from car hire services to taxis, Ubers, and the SkyBus service, providing transfers to key Gold Coast locations. We picked up a rental car and the process was very simple and easy.
The airlines that fly into the Gold Coast airport are Air Asia, Air New Zealand, Jetstar, Qantas, Virgin Australia, Scoot, and Hong Kong Airlines.
If you can not fly direct from your destination, you may have a connecting flight through another city or you can fly into Brisbane and drive down to the Gold Coast.
Driving into the Gold Coast
The Gold Coast is well-connected with several major highways and motorways. If you’re driving as a day trip from Brisbane, the most direct route is via the Pacific Motorway (M1), which takes approximately one hour.
This scenic route provides stunning views of the Gold Coast skyline as you approach the city.
If you’re coming from the south, you can take the Pacific Highway (also known as the M1 in New South Wales), which connects with the Gold Coast Highway.
This route will bring you up from New South Wales through beautiful coastal towns such as Byron Bay and Tweed Heads.
The Gold Coast Highway is a major arterial road that runs parallel to the coastline, providing access to the city’s key attractions and beachside suburbs. It’s a scenic drive with ocean views on one side and high rises on the other.
Check out our list of Queensland road trips so you can plan more fun drives around the area!
Taking a Bus to the Gold Coast
Taking a bus to the Gold Coast is a cost-effective and straightforward option. Long-distance services like Greyhound Australia connect the Gold Coast to major cities like Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne, usually arriving at Surfers Paradise’s Coach Transit Centre.
From Brisbane, Translink buses offer regular services to the Gold Coast, taking just over an hour.
Upon reaching the Gold Coast, local bus services by Surfside Buslines and Translink provide easy access to popular attractions.
For regular public transportation users, consider purchasing a Go Card, a prepaid card valid on all Translink services in South East Queensland.
Check the latest timetables and plan routes in advance for a smooth journey. Taking a bus allows you to relax and enjoy the scenic journey to the Gold Coast.
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