Surfers Paradise is hard to miss when travelling up or down the East Coast of Australia. I wasn’t really sure what to make of the place when I first went there as it had been a while since I’d seen skyscrapers! But it’s well worth staying for a few days to explore and you’ll certainly find plenty of things to do in Surfers Paradise. I’ve listed some of the best Surfers Paradise attractions from thrill seeking to very sedate, depending on what you fancy doing.
Surfers Paradise Attractions
1. Infinity Gold Coast
What the heck is that you may ask… I was exactly the same, not knowing at all what to expect and with no idea what was about to happen. I had an amazing experience with Infinity but it’s very hard to explain just exactly what Infinity is, so as they say on their website; “INFINITY is a unique and mind-blowing 30 minute journey into spectacular, futuristic maze-like worlds of wonder – an extraordinary series of 20 multi-sensual environments filled with unique special effects, emotive atmospheric sound fields, sensuous aromas, ultra-groovy music and amazing spectacular illusions that appear to go all the way to infinity!” so you’ll just have to go and check it out yourself or watch this amazingly cheesy video!
2. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is around a 30 minute drive, or 1 hour train journey, south of Surfers Paradise. Expect to see lots of iconic Australian animals, such as Tasmanian devils, koala’s, emu’s, dingo’s, cassowaries, kangaroos, crocodiles… As well as seeing all of these animals and more, there are opportunities for wildlife encounters. Ever wanted to feed a crocodile? Or maybe you fancy a cuddle with a possum or a selfie with a koala… All of the animal encounters will cost you a bit extra on top of your entrance fee but for a once in a lifetime experience it might just be worth it!
Dreamworld is a family theme park that offers rides and attractions for all ages. You have the “Big Nine” which are for the thrill seekers, plenty of other rides like log flumes and bumper cars, white water world and even a zoo. With a wide range of attractions there’s never a dull moment. Just don’t forget your swimming costume so you don’t miss out on the white water world rides.
4. Skypoint Climb
270 metres above sea level, climbing the highest external building walk in Australia… that’s just a sample of what Skypoint Climb in Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast is all about. This adrenaline pumping adventure captures the most AMAZING 360 degree views of the Gold Coast and its beaches, mountains, Broadwater and city. Fully attached to the rail system you climb 298 stairs before you arrive at the very top. After taking in the scenery for about 15-20 minutes it’s time to descend back down to the observation deck.
Oh yeah and there’s also a Night climb too on Fridays and Saturdays so you can see all the city lights.
From the super spunky stretch jeep pick up to the fabulously fast jet boat – Paradise Jet Boating is a fantastic way to see the Gold Coast. Cruising through the Gold Coast Broadwater is absolutely beautiful! A slow cruise through Sovereign Islands gives you a sneak peak of some of the Gold Coast’s most rich and famous residents. (I turned green with envy as we cruised past the multi-million dollar mansions.)
Then you’re off to Wave Break island travelling at what feels like a ridiculous speed – going extremely close to the islands edge as well as 360 spins around the marker beacons in the water. Talk about an adrenaline rush.
You’re in a place that has ‘surfers’ in its name so it would be rude not to go surfing while you’re here. You can learn to surf in Surfers Paradise or hire a surfboard. The surf conditions are particularly good for beginners.
7. Go on a River cruise
Do something a bit different from the usual Surfers Paradise attractions aimed at thrill seekers and go on a leisurely sightseeing river cruise. With Wyndham River Cruises you can choose a 1 hour morning coffee and muffin cruise, a 2 hour lunch buffet or a 3 hour evening cruise with an a la carte menu if you feel like being a bit fancy. Or head out with Surfers Paradise River Cruises whose trips are slightly cheaper. With both companies you get to explore the canals and check out the homes of the rich and famous.
8. Aquaduck tours
Why not combine a river cruise with a city cruise and explore Surfers Paradise in Australia’s first amphibious Aquaduck ride? You start with exploring the city and head out to Main Beach before driving into the water when your trip turns into a cruise!
If you feel like reliving your childhood then you should head to Timezone. Play arcade games and pinball machines, have a go on the dodgems, play mini golf, air hockey, ten pin bowling or choose from loads more games and attractions. A seriously fun time can be had here!
10. Ripley’s Believe it or not
If you like the bizarre and the unusual then you’ll love this. This is a collection of some of the strangest things that have existed. You can actually get a real sense of how tall the tallest man was by posing next to a figure of him, see a shrunken head, or pose next to a wedding dress made of toilet paper. As well as the oddities on display you can also challenge yourself to get through a laser race.
11. Indoor Skydiving with ifly
Suitable for pretty much all ages, if you don’t really want to jump out of a plane but still want to experience what free-falling feels like then an indoor skydiving experience could be the thing for you! It’s a really strange feeling but very fun and very safe!
12. Whale watching – June to November
One of the most popular things to do in Surfers Paradise, and Australia, is to go on a whale watching tour. Seeing such magnificent animals in their natural habitat is one of those things you will never forget. Many whale watching or dolphin watching tours allow you to go out a second time if you were unlucky enough not to see whales on your first trip out (which rarely happens to be fair).
13. Mini Golf (maybe with a beer or cocktail?)
I’m not going to lie to you, I love playing crazy golf, mini golf, putt putt… whatever you want to call it.
At King Tutt’s Putt Putt there are 3 courses to choose from, one outside and two inside. If it’s really hot then it’s worth heading indoors. The courses inside are themed to Ancient Egyptian and Dinosaurs, with the former helping explain the places name of King Tutt’s Putt Putt.
At Holey Moley there are 18 crazy golf holes, a karaoke room, and probably the best thing – a cocktail bar!
14. Hire a bike and explore the coastline
A beautiful coastline and glorious weather means only one thing: a bike ride.
15. Stand up paddle boarding
Surfers Paradise is a great place to go stand up paddle boarding. There are lots of waterways and they’re really nice to explore. There are a few places you can hire SUP boards from, or take lessons if you’ve never done it before.
16. Go to Stradbroke Island
If you fancy getting out of Surfers Paradise for the day why not head out to the beautiful Stradbroke Island. You can do a half day tour from Surfers Paradise which includes plenty of time for swimming and snorkelling. Other tours include kayaking or Stand Up Paddle Boarding. All tours give you the chance to just lounge about on the beach or spot wildlife in this tropical paradise.
17. Beachfront markets
All good tourist hotspots have great markets and Surfers Paradise is no exception. This is a big market which therefore has a huge variety of things to buy. The beachfront markets are open every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday night from 4pm until 9pm. Like many Australian night markets you can shop while enjoying the live entertainment. Head into town afterwards for a bite to eat, after getting your dinner special vouchers from the marquee at the market.
18. Sample the nightlife
The two main things most people hear about Surfers Paradise before arriving are the skyscrapers and the nightlife. So basically you have to experience the nightlife in Surfers Paradise on at least one night that you’re here. As well as things like slingshot, evening shopping, amazing restaurants and the night market there are of course also some good bars. Pubs, clubs, bars with live music… you name it it’s here.
19. Paint and drink
I absolutely love the idea of this. Brush and Barrel is the place to go to do a bit of painting with your friends whilst drinking your favourite wine (it’s BYO).
20. Hit the Beach
After all that activity, why not spend the day on the beach. Surfers Paradise has a massive beach so it’d be hard not to find a spot all to yourself.
And finally, well for this list anyway, why not go shopping? Head to the Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre for some of your usual shops, even a Coles supermarket. The Paradise Centre on Cavill Avenue is where you’ll find Timezone as well as a Hard Rock cafe amongst many others. Or check out Cavill Lane for some ‘sophisticated food and fashion’. Soul Boardwalk is an open air shopping centre where the only beachfront eateries in Surfers Paradise are located. This is also where to find Ripley’s Believe it or Not.
So, as you can see, there’s much more to Surfers Paradise than skyscrapers and crazy nightlife. It’s a pretty cool place to visit with plenty of options for things to do.
Need somewhere to stay? Check out Sleeping Inn Backpackers