East Coast
Travel Tips

Skip the Beach: Alternative Gold Coast Activities

Posted on 6 March 2020

There's no denying the Gold Coast's biggest drawcard for travellers and holidaymakers alike are its beaches. Yep, the GC boasts some bonafide beauties in the beach department, making it a haven for sand and sun-loving travellers. 

With the cooler months approaching, a sizzling day in the summer sun will be on hold till the end of the year, meaning when you visit the Gold Coast in upcoming months, you’ll want a few alternative activities to the beach. In truth, this east coast destination is pretty pleasant year-round, but nonetheless, here’s a few places to visit on the GC once you’ve washed the sand from your feet. 

Miami Marketta 

miami marketta destination gold coast


Image thanks to Destination Gold Coast 

A few years ago, the Gold Coast scored its own permanent market hall between Mermaid Beach and Burleigh Heads. Since it first opened, Miami Marketta has progressively grown into a thriving hub for foodies, music lovers and keen shoppers. With over 25 food vendors in the one place, you can visit every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday for internationally inspired Street Food, aided by the permanent Gin Parlour bar next door. This is also one of the best spots on the Gold Coast for travelling music lovers, with a dedicated live music venue located inside the market.


Home of the Arts (HOTA) 


Image thanks to Home of the Arts (HOTA) 

The creative and arts-loving traveller visiting the Coast will want to put HOTA high on their holiday hitlist. Located in Surfers Paradise just behind the city’s central hub, there’s always something happening at the Gold Coast’s contemporary cultural precinct. You can catch movies every night of the week at the arthouse cinemas, live events on the outdoor stage, art at the HOTA Gallery, live performances in the theatre rooms and heaps more. HOTA hosts comedy nights, festivals, creative workshops, international performers, dance, talk shows - the list goes on. If you’re looking to inject a bit of art and culture into your GC trip, pop a visit to HOTA on your itinerary. 

Cabaret Show

the pink flamingo by the pink flamingo

Image thanks to The Pink Flamingo Spiegelclub 

Move over Paris, the Gold Coast has its own permanent entertainment show! Ok, so not quite as notorious as Moulin Rouge, but a few years ago Broadbeach scored its own permanent entertainment club - The Pink Flamingo Spiegelclub. This entertainment wonderland is a purpose-built, custom-designed theatre, offering live performance shows from Wednesday to Saturday. The gist is a nightclub experience served with a side of entertainment, as performers from all around the world deliver a cabaret-style show on stage. You’ll see ariel acts, comedy, circus, singing and dancing at The Pink Flamingo Spiegelclub, which will no doubt go down as one of your most memorable Gold Coast experiences. 


Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary 

CWS by currumbin wildlife sanctuary

Image thanks to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary 

Want to see the best of Australia’s awesome wildlife without leaving the east coast? Of course you do, which is why a trip to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary should be on your Gold Coast to-do list. The conservationist heroes at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary do a hell of a lot for Aussie animals, working tirelessly in the business of animal conservation and rehabilitation for over 70 years now. At the Sanctuary, you can feed kangaroos and lorikeets, cuddle koalas, see flight bird shows and Aboriginal performances, test your physical abilities on a high ropes course and take a trip through the exotic rainforest precinct. It’s not just Australian animals who call this place home either, the Sanctuary houses lemurs, cotton-top tamarins, red pandas, capybaras along with exotic birds and reptiles from around the world. If you’re interested in learning more about the work they do, you can get behind the scenes and take a Wildlife Hospital Tour while you’re here! 


Burleigh brewing co by blank gc

Image thanks to blankgc.com.au 

With one in just about every GC suburb, you're spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a place to sink a few brews while you’re here. The beer-loving traveller won’t want to miss Gold Coast brewing royalty, Balter in Currumbin. Burleigh Brewing is equally famous here, bringing travellers more than just beer with their regular events, outdoor cinema nights and live music performances. One suburb north you’ll find two spots to drink on the same street in Miami - Lost Palms and Grandad Jack’s. Lost Palms is another haven for craft beer lovers, while Grandad Jacks Craft Distillery satisfies the travelling gin enthusiast. Breweries aside, there are a plethora of places to find bars and drinking spots on the Gold Coast, from Burleigh Heads to Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise. Perfect for beach-free days and evenings!  


Don't forget the Gold Coast is a paradise for theme park lovers too! If you need to fill a day with thrills, visit Seaworld in Southport, Movieworld, Dreamworld and Wet'n'Wild in Helensvale, or the new Topgolf for some games and golf. Or why not get away from the GC for a day and take a trip north or south? We've got the low-down on all the best towns to visit south of the border and where to head north on the east coast for more adventures!