Whether you are an adrenaline junkie looking for thrills or a family man with a dad bod seeking rejuvenation, there’s a wealth of choices in Gold Coast’s fun and nature-based activities galore.
Located 60km south of Brisbane, Gold Coast is known worldwide as a top sun, sand and surf holiday destination.
Here you have white sandy beaches, surfing zones, nature trails and natural attractions, where outdoor types get to swim, surf, skydive, run, hike, cycle or walk in sunny subtropical climate.
You can find wildlife sanctuaries and nature reserves for visitors to cuddle a koala, feed the kangaroos and generally get close to the fauna.
Gold Coast is also home to iconic theme parks such as Warner Bros Movie World, Dreamworld, Sea World and Wet’n’Wild.
This April, Malaysians have one more reason to head to the Coast. The 2018 Commonwealth Games is set to take place in Gold Coast next month, so it’d be great to turn up in a show of support for Team Malaysia during the 12-day event (April 4-15). All together now, Malaysia Boleh!
Surfers get all the attention
Think Keanu Reeves in the 1991 movie Point Break. (A point break refers to the place where waves hit a point of land or rocks jutting out from the coastline, causing the wave to break and form a barrelling wave that can be surfed.)
If the movie inspires you, go for surfing lessons – at about A$55 for a two-hour course.
Then check out five of the best surfing spots on the Gold Coast, according to www.australia.com: Snapper Rocks, Rainbow Bay, Currumbin, Duranbah Beach and Burleigh Heads.
Otherwise, if you are content to just watch them surfer dudes in their element, Burleigh Heads and Palm Beach are great options because you don’t have to travel far from the city.
Just so you know, in 2016 a 16km-stretch of Gold Coast’s 70km of beaches was officially declared the eighth World Surfing Reserve, which means that there is management and protection for beaches and breaks between Snapper Rocks on the southern Gold Coast and north to Burleigh Heads.
That shows how serious the Aussies are about their surfing and stuff.
Falling with style
We know the buzz of free-falling is one of life’s ultimate thrills, and tandem skydiving gives you that in a safe and controlled setting.
Here’s what happens. You sign up for a tandem skydive for about A$375. You get suited up on the ground and your instructor will put you through a few practice “dirt dives”. Then you get on a plane and take a 20-minute flight. Once you reach an altitude of 12,000ft, you jump out of the plane – together with the pro of course.
At 200kmph, you plummet 7,500ft in 45 seconds. Try to enjoy the moment.
About 4,500ft from sea level, your parachute is deployed. As you glide to terra firma, you are awashed with the most intense feeling of awesomeness.
If skydiving is on your bucket list, check off that item in Gold Coast.
Sky’s the limit
Take the high-speed elevator to the SkyPoint Observation Deck on level 77 of the Q1 Resort building in Surfers Paradise for a 360-degree view of the Gold Coast beaches, hinterland and beyond.
Sit back, relax and grab a bite and a drink or two at the SkyPoint Bistro+Bar.
Too laid-back you say?
Then step outside and do the SkyPoint Climb. The observation deck is 230m from the street below, and from there you climb 298 steps to 270m.
The SkyPoint Climb is billed as Australia’s highest external building climb and takes about 90 minutes getting to the top and back.
You will be rewarded with breathtaking views and butterflies in your stomach.
Best. Ride. Ever.
The longest, fastest and tallest hypercoaster in the Southern Hemisphere. We’re talking about DC Rivals HyperCoaster which opened at Warner Bros Movie World last September.
There’s plenty of stomach-churning twists and turns, sheer drops, loops, S-bend curves and a 480-degree-helix – all the while you are hurtling at 115kmph along the 1.4km track 61m above ground.
Now doesn’t that sound just like fun?
And if you pay an extra A$10 in-park, you get to do the ride backwards!
On June 30 and July 1, 25,000 runners from all over the world will converge Down Under for the 40th edition of the Gold Coast Marathon – to take part in the various events, from the 21km-half marathon and 42km-full marathon to the wheelchair marathon and, 10km- and 5km-fun runs.
Better still, make this a family affair by signing up your kids for the easy-peasy 2km and 4km junior dashes.
Australia’s premier marathon offers a fast, flat and scenic course in which participants get to run alongside the city’s renowned beaches such as Main Beach, Mermaid Beach, Surfers Paradise and Burleigh Heads.
Running in Australia’s winter means low humidity, less wind resistance and mild temperatures – conducive conditions that enhance a runner’s chance to improve over his personal best time.
So if you have been trying to beat your own record, the Gold Coast Marathon may just be the place to do it.
Take it easy
Now that you’re done with all the heady stuff, let’s settle down to something more chill. Like walking. Or cycling.
Cycling is a great way to explore a city. In Gold Coast, there are more than 1,000km of bikeways that link neighbourhoods, schools, foreshores and parks, and interconnect with major transit routes.
If you prefer to walk, there are plenty of places for you to discover on foot, among them the Gold Coast Oceanway, Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens and Pat Fagan Park.
If hiking on the hinterland trails is on your to do list, four of the best places according to Queensland Blog are Mt Cordeaux (best short walk), Toolona Creek Circuit (best day walk), Stinson Retrace (best adventure walk) and Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk (best overnight walk).