What to Do in 48 Hours on the Gold Coast

If you only have two days on the Gold Coast, here's our list of the top things to do.

Only two days to spend on the Gold Coast? Here's how to make the best of limited time
 at Australia’s premier beach location. You can pack in so much in 48 hours from the beach to the hinterland; do it all!

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (Courtesy Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary)

Day 1: Morning

Start the day by taking in the sunrise on a leisurely beach walk. Take the time to feel the sand between your toes. Our favourite locations are Burleigh Heads, The Spit and Currumbin. After an alfresco breakfast, adventure seekers can head to the hinterland which is less crowded, and consider the Tree Top Challenge at Tamborine Mountain. For nature lovers, go to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary or David Fleay’s Wildlife Park in Burleigh. At each, experience wildlife
 up close and personal. Currumbin has fantastic bird and reptile shows daily.


With the tummy in need of some fuel, the Ian Dipple Lagoon at 371 Marine Parade, Labrador, is a great spot for lunch. At 1.30 pm daily the pelicans are fed and it is rather a flustering spectacle as the pelicans bully each other for attention and the pick of the fish. There are free two-hour parking spaces, a picnic and barbecue area, plus Charis Seafood for a takeaway.

Burleigh Heads
Surfers at Burleigh Heads (©Jamie MacFadyen/Tourism Australia)


Any time on the Gold Coast must include a scheduled beach visit. Maybe take a surf lesson, a kayaking tour, parasailing or just relax and watch the surfers riding the barrelling waves. Our favourite beaches to throw down the towel are Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Mermaid and Burleigh.

The Cambus Wallace
The Cambus Wallace (Courtesy The Cambus Wallace)


Take the lift at Q1 in Surfers Paradise up to Level 77.
 From Australia’s only beachside observation deck, enjoy unsurpassed 360-degree views of the Gold Coast beaches and the hinterland and perfect for sunset. There is a licensed café, plus you can book the SkyPoint Climb. This is Australia’s highest external building climb and provides unparalleled views of the Gold Coast and beyond. Rising 270 metres, it is a must for the adventurous visitor. SkyPoint Observation Deck has meals and drinks and is an 18-plus venue on Friday and Saturday nights from 8 pm.

For cocktails after dark, visit the Stingray Lounge at the QT Hotel in Surfers Paradise; the Cambus Wallace at Nobby’s Beach is renowned for its craft beers; or the Sandbar is another Surfers Paradise beachfront watering hole. 

O'Reilly's Vineyard's historic Grand Homestead
O'Reilly's Vineyard's historic Grand Homestead (©Roshan Sukhla)

Day 2: Morning

Don’t miss a moment discovering the Gold Coast and its magical hinterland. For sunrise, how about a hot air balloon ride? With views across the coast, islands and verdant hinterland, finish the morning with a glass of crisp, cold sparkling bubbles while enjoying a delicious hot breakfast at the historic O’Reilly’s Vineyard’s historic Grand Homestead. Complimentary tastings at the cellar door are included as part of your flight with Hot Air. If you would prefer to keep your feet on the ground, a walk around the historic Burleigh Head National Park introduces you to one of the many secluded highlights of the Gold Coast.


It’s time to fill up the stomach and dining on the Gold Coast provides an array of opportunities. With the sea on one side and what’s considered one of Australia’s premier food bowls on the other—you won’t be disappointed. 

A family dines at Oskar's. (©Tourism and Events Queensland)


Some of the best meals can be found at any of the Gold Coast Surf Life Saving Clubs (SLSC). Here are our picks followed by some more upmarket options using local, seasonal produce, or you could grab an order of fish and chips, a tasty burger, or snags from the butcher and head to one of the parks with their million-dollar views. 

Burleigh SLSC, located on Goodwin Terrace and Gold Coast Highway in Burleigh, serves a classic surf club menu catering for all tastes. Nobby Beach SLSC is noted for its signature dishes like the Longboarder.

Rainbow Bay SLSC regulars include Mick Fanning, Stephanie Gilmore and Joel Parkinson to name a few. It’s a
 great place during surfing competitions as is Kirra SLSC.
A little more upmarket: For one of the best fine dining views and service for your last lunch (this visit) we recommend Oskars on Burleigh and Rickshores with selections to delight all palates.

Entering the last evening on the Gold Coast, visit 
a market for souvenirs for a loved one or something for yourself. Or simply relax and take in the ambience of the
 Gold Coast, Australia’s leading beach location, and start 
planning your next visit.