Top 10 Gold Coast things to do

Wondering what to do in the Gold Coast? Here's a quick guide to activities and attractions that always earn five-star rave reviews.

Everyone knows there's heaps of things to do in the Gold Coast, but to put your itinerary together you need detail! To get started, check out our top 10 things to do in Gold Coast list - it covers off a bit of everything, from cabarets and a koala sanctuary to forest walks and outlet shopping.

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1. SkyPoint Climb

If you really want to get the adrenaline pumping, climb the external stairs to the top of the imposing Q1 Resort Building, one of Queensland's most iconic landmarks. The SkyPoint Climb lasts 90 minutes and rises 270m in the air, providing breathtaking 360° views.

2. Laugh until it hurts at Dracula's

Spend an evening at Dracula's Comedy Cabaret & Restaurant, Australia's longest running and most successful dinner theatre. Climb aboard the ghost train (yes, an actual train), which delivers you to a sumptuous three-course dinner. Dessert is a chocolate coffin and cocktails come served in glass skulls. The entertainment is brash, energetic and a lot of fun, featuring sassy singers, dancers, circus aerial acts, special effects and live music.

3. Float along the canals

The Gold Coast has more than 400km of man-made canals - more than Venice and Amsterdam put together. One way to enjoy them is with a leisurely cruise. Sea World Cruise, runs morning, lunch and afternoon tea trips, allowing you to peek at the grand homes that line these waterways while enjoying delicious food and cocktails.

4. Cuddle a koala at Currumbin

There are few things more happy-making than cuddling a blissed-out koala. At the Gold Coast's Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, 27 hectares of bushland and rainforest, you can hug one of these adorable marsupials to your heart's content. A Segway Safari of the park is an even more fun way to enjoy one of the largest collections of Australian native wildlife in the world.

5. Walk or bike the Gold Coast Oceanway

Running from Southport Spit to Point Danger at Coolangatta, the Gold Coast Oceanway is 37km long. If you want to walk the whole thing, it'll take around 7 hours. It's the best thing to do in the Gold Coast for free. Biking or scootering will trim the journey considerably. At almost any location along the way you can have a swim or find somewhere to eat.

6. Explore the Gold Coast Hinterland

Less than an hour's drive from the Gold Coast, the hinterland is another world entirely. It immerses you in nature with national parks, tropical rainforests, thundering waterfalls and amazing native bird-life. You'll also find some of the region's best artisan food and wine producers. If you're travelling with kids, they're going to love the Tamborine Mountain Rainforest Skywalk.

7. Pick up a bargain at Harbour Town

Located at Biggera Waters, the bargains at Harbour Town are bigger than average. There's almost a full A to Z of stores here, from Adairs homewear to YD menswear. Food is also great value at Harbour Town - the newly extended and renovated eating precinct is definitely a cut above what you'll usually find at an outlet shopping centre.

8. Have a flutter at the casino

Want an old-school 007 night out? Try your luck at The Star Gold Coast, where more than 70 table games and 1600 machines are ready to put you in the running for a win. There's lots of other fun to be had at The Star, including dining at any of nine places to eat, sipping at one of the six bars or getting pampered at the spa.

9. Rise above it all in a hot air balloon or helicopter

For a bird's eye view of the Gold Coast's blonde beaches, high-rises and the green hinterland, jump in a helicopter for a tour of the coast. If you prefer to feel the wind in your face while you soar above the city, a sunrise hot air balloon ride will provide you with unforgettable memories (and photos).

10.  Catch a whale watching tour

The whale migration season is a reason to schedule May to October - is an excellent time for a holiday on the Gold Coast. There are several whale watching tour operators available to take you and your family onto the ocean to meet the migrating humpbacks. These cetaceans are famously playful and curious, so you'll be in for some big surprises.

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