Lifestyle Study Abroad and Exchange Travel

Fun and beautiful things to do on the Gold Coast while on exchange

When I came to the Gold Coast to study at Griffith University, I found it hard to decide what I should do and see in this beautiful place in such a short time. During my stay, I visited many locations around the Gold Coast and surrounds. I have narrowed down my favourites to give you an idea of what is out there and what you can experience yourself!

Miami Marketta Street Food Market

Grab your friends and visit this fun place to listen to some live music, enjoy a cold drink and choose from great international food. I found it really hard to decide which food to eat – the options are endless here! My advice: try the pizza! It is a life changer! 

Springbrook National Park – Twin Falls

This national park is a beautiful spot, not far from Surfers Paradise. By car, it takes around one hour from the Southport CBD. Take the walking track for about two hours and gape in astonishment!


Natural Bridge

Another 20 minutes’ drive from the walk of Twin Falls, brings you to the Natural Bridge. I tell you; this place is exceptional! With the splashing of water in the back, you can watch a swarm of bats that call the cave their home. By night, you can see glow worms on the cliffs as well! A trip to this magical cave is definitely a must.


SkyPoint at Q1

SkyPoint at the Q1 is one of the main tourist highlights in Surfers Paradise. Although not free, I highly recommend you head up to the observation deck and get the best views of the Gold Coast from the 360° tower. Let me assure you, you do not want to miss this!

Hot tip: plan ahead. During the holidays, it can get really crowded, and you may experience a long wait.

Burleigh Head National Park – coastal walk

Burleigh Head National Park is not far away from Surfers Paradise, and you can get there easily by bus.

On the one-hour coastal walk you have a beautiful view over the ocean and the national park itself. And after completing the walk through the national park, you can cool off at the beach with some ice cream!


Tallebudgera Creek

One of my favourite spots on the Gold Coast! Leave the busy beach at Surfers Paradise behind you and drive to this natural beauty.

The beach at Tallebudgera Creek, with its crystal-clear water, is not far from Burleigh Heads and is really popular for its tropic appearance. You can also access Tallebudgera Creek through the Burleigh Head National Park. I promise you will love it there!


Wildlife Sanctuary

Another must-do experience when visiting the Gold Coast is Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. See beautiful birds, captivating reptiles, pet a kangaroo and cuddle a cute koala. Pay the sanctuary a visit with your friends and learn more about the animals living on this diverse planet and Australia’s wildlife!

Breakfast go-to

I always love to go out on a breakfast date and enjoy a hot coffee in the morning. One of my favourite places I have visited so far is Cardamom Pod, located in Broadbeach. The healthy food on offer gives you power for the whole day! And anybody who says going out for breakfast “is not their thing”… has never been to this place!

Mount Tamborine

Trust me, you do not want to miss this! Mount Tamborine is a gorgeous place to visit. Not only the glow-worm cave which makes it worth the trip, but also the breathtaking view from up there!


And of course, this city is a must-see while you live at the Gold Coast. Maybe you even go to the South Bank Campus in Brisbane, then you will know what I am talking about! For everybody else; pay the city by the river a visit! Take the city ferry and enjoy the skyline from the water; stroll through the Botanic garden; enjoy the bustling inner city suburb that is Southbank, and sit under the famous bridge at night!

Watch the sunset by the ocean

My favourite thing at last. And it is totally free. Grab a blanket, your friends and a cold drink and enjoy the sunset by the ocean, you do not want to miss that! The water in front of you and the skyline behind you… Trust me, it will give you goosebumps!

– Anna

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