Top 10 things to do as a local
10 must-do Gold Coast experiences to tick off your local bucket list.
Discover places locals love, located in every corner of the coast. From the beach to the Broadwater, hinterland to the city heart and all the neighbourhood treasures in between.
1. Stroll the local markets
Soak up some rays, grab a boutique brew and fill your bag with the very best local produce at any of the Gold Coast’s much-loved markets. There’s beachfront craft markets, vibrant farmers markets, vintage finds and eat-street extravaganzas, just waiting to be discovered. There’s also plenty of twilight markets complete with street eats and live music perfect for the whole family.
2. Take a dip at the beach
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been a local the beckoning call of the Gold Coast’s shimmering coastline is irresistible to many. There’s nothing quite like getting away from it all playing on the sand and taking an exhilarating plunge into the pristine waters of our creek and ocean beaches. From the calm-water swimming enclosures of the Broadwater, to the white sands of Main Beach and world-famous surf breaks in the south, you are sure to find a piece of paradise that‘s your local favourite.
3. Catch a live gig or stage show
Let the music move you, with a night of raw entertainment at an intimate live gig or at a concert under the stars. Perhaps theatre, opera or ballet is more your style? No matter what you are into, the Gold Coast entertainment scene has got you covered. Exploding with new talent, vibrant venues and a crammed calendar of exciting events and festivals.
4. Get into nature
We are a rare seaside city that boasts not only stunning beaches, but a diverse landscape, stretching west into luscious rainforested hinterland. Breath in the cool, fresh air of a rainforest nature trail, hike to waterfalls or go mountain biking in the tranquil surrounds of our rugged hinterland.
We have parklands, nature reserves and the beautiful Gold Coast Botanic Gardens for those nature lovers looking to stay central. It’s time to get out and explore.
5. Eat and drink
There’s a plethora of cafés, bars, delis and dining spots north, south, east and west. From urban breweries, iconic Surf Lifesaving Clubs, coastal-cool restaurants, hidden laneway bars, quaint country teahouses and exciting venues offering ‘dinner and show’ experiences, you’ll be sure to find whatever you’re in the mood for.
But just sometimes it’s hard to beat the simplicity of enjoying fish and chips at the beach with family or friends.
6. Explore the city by water
The Gold Coast has nine times more waterways than Venice and over 260 kilometres of navigable boating waters. Spectacular lakes, dams and canals wind their way through our iconic landscape to our famous ocean beaches.
Explore the city via the water, either on a boat, a jet ski, kayak or stand-up paddle board. There are sunset cruises on offer, Aqua Duck tours, jet boating, parasailing and we even have our very own hop on, hop off water ferry, HOPO.
7. Go shopping
The Gold Coast is a mecca for retail therapy. Shop high-end labels and high street staples at premium shopping destinations, explore waterfront retail precincts, unearth locally made market-treasures or mingle with locals at our village-style centres and boutique lanes.
You will find an exciting array of local, national and international brands paired with top coffee spots, hidden bars and delicious eateries, making for a perfect day of retail therapy.
8. Get active
The Gold Coasters tend to be an active bunch, making the most of our incredible natural terrain and climate to get out and about. Whether it’s mountain biking through the hinterland, running suburban network of pathways, sunset walks on the beach, surfing the morning breaks, or stand-up paddle boarding,the Gold Coast is THE place to get out and get moving.
9. Experience the arts
Experience art through a distinctly different Gold Coast lens by taking in a mix of emerging and established artists. We have local, national and international exhibitions across a range of artistic disciplines, along with a galleries, pop-up performances and cultural experiences to tantalise your creative side.
10. Play tourist
We live in Australia’s favourite holiday playground. With endless attractions, outdoor adventures, entertainment and dining experiences to choose from, it’s fun playing ‘tourist’ in our own backyard. Why not local-cation and stay a night or two at one of the Gold Coast’s hotels, apartments or holiday houses. A moment at home could make you feel a million miles away.