People enjoying a day at the beach in front of high rise apartment buildings at Broadbeach, Gold Coa

How to spend a long weekend on the Gold Coast

What’s better than a weekend on the Gold Coast? A long weekend on the Gold Coast! With its unique blend of sun, surf and hinterland, the Gold Coast is an ideal destination for an unforgettable long weekend experience. The Labour Day long weekend is fast approaching so it’s time to start planning your Gold Coast activities. Read on for our suggestions on how to spend a long weekend on the Gold Coast.

Hit the beach

Kick off your Gold Coast weekend by immersing yourself in the coastal city in the best way possible – by hitting the beach! There’s no shortage of beaches on the Gold Coast and each has its own unique features and facilities. For an iconic surf, head to Surfers Paradise, Mermaid Beach or Durranbah. Enjoy a leisurely swim in protected waters at Burleigh Heads, Currumbin Beach or Rainbow Bay Beach. If it’s a bit too chilly to swim but you’re after a long beach walk, look no further than the three-kilometre Mermaid to Miami Beach walk along the beautiful beachside.

See the city sky high

SkyPoint Observation Deck is one of the more popular Gold Coast activities. At 230 metres high on the Q1 building you can enjoy unrivalled 360 degree views spanning from the coast to the hinterland. Make your visit extra special with sky high dining – enjoy a buffet breakfast, signature cocktail or bistro dinner while you take in the panoramic views.

Experience the home of the arts

Home of the Arts (HOTA) is the premier cultural facility of the Gold Coast and has been built with families in mind. HOTA delivers year-round art, entertainment and culture for visitors of all ages. Catch a theatre production, visit an art exhibition, watch an art-house film or participate in an interactive workshop.

Community markets

For a family-friendly Gold Coast activity, visit the local community markets. The open-air Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets are held every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday night on the iconic Esplanade. Enjoy the live entertainment as you browse through the huge variety of stalls selling art and craft, jewellery, fashion and street food. At the bustling Carrara Markets held on Saturdays and Sundays you’ll find an array of products, including fresh produce, arts and crafts, homewares, fashion and more.

Shop ‘til you drop

No Gold Coast weekend is complete without a visit to Harbour Town, Australia’s largest outlet shopping centre. At Harbour Town you’ll find 200 stores, including high-end brands and incredible deals with up to 70% off. For a quintessential Gold Coast shopping experience, make your way to Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, with 400 stores set amongst tropical landscapes and a unique outdoor ambience.

Enjoy the thrills of theme parks

For an adrenaline-packed long weekend, why not hit up the Gold Coast’s world-renowned theme parks? They offer a dedicated three day pass specifically for those long Gold Coast weekends. For three consecutive days you can get unlimited access to Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World and Wet’n’Wild.

Explore the hinterland

On a good weather day over the Gold Coast long weekend, take a scenic drive to the lush hinterland. At Tamborine Mountain you can explore the charming village, visit the local markets and indulge in gourmet treats. Don’t miss the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk for a breathtaking treetop experience.

The Gold Coast hinterland is also home to Springbrook National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage site is the perfect long weekend escape for a rainforest hike complete with spectacular waterfalls, ancient trees and impressive views.

Getting to tour Gold Coast activities with Airtrain

Start your Gold Coast weekend with Airtrain. At Brisbane Airport you can visit the helpful staff at the Airtrain counter for assistance with pre-booking tickets to several Gold Coast events, experiences and attractions.

From Brisbane Airport, Airtrain departs every 15 minutes on-peak and every 30 minutes off-peak. Your train will take you to Helensvale Station, where you can then board a tram to take you into the heart of the Gold Coast, using the same Airtrain ticket.

With the Gold Coast’s extensive network of trains, buses and G:link trams, it’s easy to get around.

The go card is accepted on all Translink transport throughout Greater Brisbane and the Gold Coast. For selected travel, another payment option is Smart Ticketing which allows you to pay with your Visa, Mastercard and American Express debit and credit cards.

For short stays on the Gold Coast, we recommend the go seeQ smartcard. Using this smartcard you can get unlimited travel for 3 or 5 consecutive days on buses, trains, ferries and trams.