Get Cultured on The Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is full of great arts experiences—if you know where to look!

The Gold Coast is more than golden sandy beaches, theme parks and shopping. Art of all genres is blossoming on this sunny coastal strip. There’s everything from theatre, street music and markets to exhibitions of fine art and photography and live performances. Here are some of our top places to get cultured on the Coast.

The Gallery at HOTA.
The Gallery at HOTA. (©Destination Gold Coast)

Gallery at HOTA

Gallery at HOTA is home to more than 4,000 permanent contemporary and traditional works. The venue hosts a range of exhibitions, artist programs, films, and a variety of shows including the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award.

Dracula’s Cabaret Restaurant

Dracula's Cabaret Restaurant is a comedy theatre restaurant in Broadbeach where you mix with demons, vampires and other bizarre characters in a crazy but fun show that incorporates a little of everything: singing, dancing, music and fabulous performances. You’ll need to book in advance to enjoy the three-course banquet and show. There is a choice of main meals and for desert, we highly recommend the "Death by Chocolate."

Enjoy a terrific live show at the Australian Outback Spectacular.
Enjoy a terrific live show at the Australian Outback Spectacular. (Courtesy Australian Outback Spectacular)

Australian Outback Spectacular

Only a stone’s throw from the beach, step into the outback and meet cowboys and cowgirls and their trusty steeds. The Australian Outback Spectacular is a terrific night out for all ages with pre-show entertainment, dinner, a themed bar and plenty of photo opportunities. Australian Outback Spectacular is located in Oxenford, only a 20-minute drive from Surfers Paradise.

An array of entertainment is on offer at The Star Gold Coast.
An array of entertainment is on offer at The Star Gold Coast. (Courtesy The Star Gold Coast)

The Star Gold Coast

Housed in The Star Gold Coast, located in Broadbeach, The Star Theatre has an ever-changing array of shows from live concerts and comedy to musical entertainment and cabaret. There’s also movie screenings on Mondays and Sundays.

Sunday Sessions

The Gold Coast has been a long-loved venue for a relaxing Sunday session listening to live music from up-and-coming bands to well-known acts. A few favourites worthy of checking out are: The Helm Bar at Surfers Paradise; Finders Keepers at Burleigh Heads; Currumbin Hotel at Currumbin; Nobbys Arc on the beautiful Nobbys Beach and the Coolangatta Hotel.

Tweed Regional Art Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre

One of our favourite art galleries only a short drive over the border through the hinterland and picturesque Tweed Valley. The Margaret Olley Art Centre celebrates the life of one of Australia’s most celebrated painters of still life and interiors. Walking through the centre gives an insight into her home where she created most of her masterpieces. There are doors, windows and over 20,000 items from her home. The restaurant at the centre is first class!

Shop up a storm at The Village Markets.
Shop up a storm at The Village Markets. (© Mel Carrero)

Markets on the Gold Coast

There are many markets on the Gold Coast where you can treat yourself to free music and performances. NightQuarter, at Helensvale, has a unique live music place called The Paddock. The Village Markets held at the Burleigh Heads State School the first and third Sunday of each month are another fabulous market. Miami Marketta may be home to many splendid food stalls, but it is also here that you can catch some great local musicians performing. So as you chow down on some delicious street food, sit back and relax to fantastic live sounds. There are some ticketed shows here, but at the Friday and Saturday Street Food Marketta, all the live music is free.

The stunning SWELL Sculpture Festival at Currumbin
The stunning SWELL Sculpture Festival at Currumbin. (©Destination Gold Coast)

Annual Events

The Blues on Broadbeach music festival, held every May, is a multi-day festival that draws local, national and international performers to venues around Broadbeach for you to enjoy. Listen to rock, jazz, blues, opera, contemporary and everything in between. SWELL Sculpture Festival is held every year in September on Currumbin’s beautiful beach. Local, national and international sculpture artists create amazing sculptures. However, venture away from the beach and you’ll find even more art, music and a little theatre through cafés and local businesses that support this festival.