How to Make the Most of a Weekend at the Gold Coast

In Holiday Reviews - Australia, Holiday Reviews - Queensland, Short Breaks by The H4C Team

The Gold Coast is one of Australia’s beautiful and exciting holiday destinations, with plenty of sunshine, sand and surf on offer. Why not head out on a weekend getaway to the Gold Coast with your loved one?

Here’s our advice on how to spend 48 hours in this fun destination.

Friday Night Beachfront Markets; photo: Tourism and Events Queensland

Friday night

Settle in with a visit to the Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets, located on the Surfers Paradise foreshore. Check out the range of market stalls selling everything from fashion, art, beauty products and homewares – plus much more. There are plenty of refreshments on offer too, so you can wander the gorgeous beachfront with a snack – and maybe even an ice cream – in hand as the sun goes down.

For a cute dinner date with a fabulous atmosphere, check out Justin Lane. This pizzeria and pasta bar recently opened a rooftop bar which has views to Burleigh foreshore.

Related articles: 3 Great Weekend Getaways for Couples in Queensland

Saturday morning

Make your way back to Surfers Paradise and this time spend a morning at the beach. Take in the stunning skyline that lines the shore, with the casinos, hotels, shops, restaurants and more. 

Ensure you’ve got your bathers on and go for a swim, or perhaps get a little adventurous and take a surfing lesson. 

When you’re ready for a break, you can head back to the shops and peruse the giant world-class malls on offer! Grab lunch at the Surfers Paradise Beach Cafe, with its great alfresco dining, views and tasty menu. 

Main Beach; photo: Tourism and Events Queensland

For a quieter place to laze away the day, head to Main Beach. This is towards the north of the Gold Coast and has some great retro changing pavilions, perfect for photo ops. 

Broadbeach is another relaxed option for beachgoers keen for some extra variety. 

Related article: 10 Images That Will Make You Want to Escape to Queensland With Your Loved One

Curtis Falls; photo: Tourism and Events Queensland

Saturday afternoon

It’s time to get a taste of the Gold Coast’s beautiful scenery and wildlife.

Make your way to the Tamborine Rainforest, which is about a 45 minute drive from Surfers Paradise. 

Here there is a Skywalk adventure, where you can head up into the forest canopy and take in jaw-dropping views. The elevated walkway that takes you through the forest is made from a high-tech steel structure, so you can feel safe and sound as you explore. At times, the walk does dip down to explore ground-level features such as rock pools and creeks. 

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary; photo: Tourism and Events Queensland

If you’re a wildlife lover, you simply must head to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on your Saturday. This is only a 25 minute drive from Surfers Paradise. Here you can snuggle up close to koalas, try your hand at feeding kangaroos and meet plenty of Aussie birds. 

In addition to this, there are local didgeridoo performances, dances and a high ropes course to give a try for an afternoon of fun. 

Related articles: 8 Short Break Locations Under 2 Hours From Brisbane

Saturday night

It’s time to hit the town! The Gold Coast is famous for its nightlife, after all. If you want to experience some of the renowned clubs, check out City Nightclub, Vanity Nightclub, Shooters Superclub and Cocktails and Dreams Nightclub for plenty of glitz and glamour.

On the other hand, those more inclined towards quiet drinks or a long, indulgent meals will find plenty to satiate their appetite around the streets of Broadbeach and Main Beach.

If you’re looking for a great big burger with all of the trimmings, head to Brooklyn Depot. The American-style menu has some real doozies like The Depot Burger with its two grass-fed beef patties, double American cheese, hickory smoked bacon, grilled pineapple, oak leaf lettuce, tomato and Depot special sauce. With sides like Cowboy Caviar and Pimped Chicken Wings and dessert consisting of doughnut balls, brownies and/or icecream sandwiches you’re going to want to wear something loose-fitting. 

Cyclone, Dreamworld; photo: Tourism and Events Queensland


Adventurous spirits simply must head to one of the Gold Coast’s biggest and best attractions, Dreamworld.

There are a huge number of exciting rides to try, including Pandamonium, the Tower of Terror and the Giant Drop – imagine freefalling from 38 storeys high! 

If you’re eager to try some rides but don’t want to be turned upside down and inside out, there’s still plenty to cater for you. From car racing to water-based rides and attractions, days can be spent exploring the theme park’s various districts. 

With plenty of eateries, live entertainment such as musicians and endless heart-pounding rides, a visit to Dreamworld is the cherry on top of your Gold Coast experience.

Related article: Escape for a Short Break in Northern New South Wales