Welcome to the Gold Coast, Australia’s home of sun, surf, and adventure! With its pristine beaches, thrilling theme parks, lush hinterland, and vibrant food and beverage scene, the Sunshine State’s glittering jewel simply packs in too much sparkle for just one day. So, book a long weekend, pack your best bucket hat, and embark on this three-day itinerary designed to lead you by the hand to the best the Gold Coast has to offer. Don’t forget your sunscreen!
Day 1: Cruise the Coast
Rise and shine in your cute qtQT beach cabin and take in a yoga class before nabbing one of the onsite guest bikes to begin your day of coastal cruising. Pop onto the seaside Esplanade and head south, enjoying one of the prettiest shore-skirting trips to be found anywhere in the world.
Stop in at Bam Bam Bakehouse in Mermaid Beach for a coffee and cheeky twice-baked almond croissant, then push onto Burleigh Heads where you have options. You can either take a dip, sign up for a surf lesson, or keep your show on the road with a hike up and around the stunning Burleigh Headland, which will lead you straight to sweet Tallebudgera Creek.
By now you’ll be famished, and the good news is there aren’t many better lunch settings than Rick Shores, the cult Burleigh diner famed for its staggering surfside setting and delectable Moreton Bay Bug Rolls.
Time to roll on! Hop on your bike and start cruising back northwards, and if the timing is right (Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday from 5pm), make a pitstop at Miami Marketta, where live music, boutique drinks, and global street food draw crowds from far and wide. Or else keep on cruising to Cantina in Mermaid Beach, where the standout Negroni and decadent tapas plates are well worth a sample.
Day 2: Thrills and Chills
And… action! Get set to get that heart pumping at the country’s most iconic theme parks and sporty attractions, all conveniently located close together at the northern end of the Gold Coast. There’s Dreamworld, Sea World, WhiteWater World, Movie World, Wet’n’Wild, Topgolf, and Paradise Country—take your pick! Just remember, get there early to avoid the crowds, and if you wish to visit more than one, you’d do well to consider picking up a Mega Pass that allows entry to multiple theme parks for a reduced rate.
Once you’ve coasted, floated, swung, and swum to your heart’s content, you’ll likely be in need of refreshment. Zip up to the Exhibitionist Bar atop the colourful HOTA Gallery for sundowners with a side of gobsmacking panoramas. Ready to go again? Good! It’s time for round two at Cali Beach Club after dark, where pulsing beats and curated event programs will see off your action-adventure day with a bang!
Day 3: Into the Woods
It’s time to cleanse those post-party blues with a restorative nature moment. Choices. You can either skip up to the northern end of the hinterland and enjoy all the charming diversions Mount Tamborine has to offer, or else veer south to Springbrook and Lamington National Park. Here’ll you’ll discover World Heritage-listed rainforests, hundreds of kilometres of hiking trails, waterfalls, and famed glow worm hideout, Natural Arch.
It's been a big three days so to round off, cruise back to town and take pause at Mermaid Beach mineral bathhouse, Soak. Treat yourself to a steep in the soothing hot baths or splash out on a deep tissue massage to ease those wearing muscles. And that’s a wrap!
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