Things to Do in Surfers Paradise: 20 Best Activities for 2024 [UPDATED]

20 of the Best Things to Do in Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast in Queensland


20 Best Things To Do in Surfers Paradise


20 Things to Do in Surfers Paradise

Are you thinking of visiting the Gold Coast but not sure what Things to Do in Surfers Paradise? Well allow me to enlighten you!

This post of mine outlines 20 things to do in Surfers Paradise in detail. However, before you start to read the article, here is a brief overview of what they are:

1. Introduction
2. Things to do in Surfers Paradise
2.1 Hit the Beach
2.2 Surfing
2.3 SkyPoint Observation Deck
2.4 Dracula's Cabaret Restaurant
2.5 Ripley's Believe It or Not!
2.6 Infinity Attraction
2.7 Whale Watching
2.8 Jet Boating
2.9 Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets
2.10 Gold Coast Wax Museum
2.11 Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
2.12 GC Aqua Park
2.13 Glow Worm Caves
2.14 Hot Air Balloon Ride
2.15 Jet Skiing
2.16 Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk
2.17 Nightclubs and Bars
2.18 Sea World
2.19 Learn to Fly at iFLY Indoor Skydiving
2.20 Australian Outback Spectacular
3. Final Thought
4. FAQs

After you have read the article, I hope you’ll be convinced as to why you should visit Surfers Paradise for your next Gold Coast family holiday or weekend getaway!

(My post about things to do in Surfers Paradise may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you).

Read Time: 14 Minutes



This post is titled ’20 Things To Do in Surfers Paradise’. But in truth it could have been titled ‘100 things to do in Surfers Paradise’ and it still wouldn’t have covered everything this fantastic Gold Coast Beach destination has to offer.

From its iconic stretch of sand and fantastic dining scene to its world class entertainment and high-adrenaline activities boredom here is not an option.

If you are planning a trip to this part of South East Queensland you are going to have to priortise where you are going to go.

With that in mind, here are 20 sites, landmarks and attractions you should add to your itinerary.


Things to do in Surfers Paradise

Looking for the best things to do in Surfers Paradise? Then check out these 20 activities outlined below. You are sure to find something you’ll love!


1. Hit the Beach

As you can imagine, visiting the pristine three-kilometre stretch of golden sandy beach that defines the region is one of the main things to do in Surfers Paradise.

Boasting clean waters, gentle waves and welcoming atmosphere, the beach is a popular destination for locals and scores of tourists to soak up the sun, swim, surf or enjoy the benefits of a nice long beach walk.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can hire kayaks, paddleboards and other water sports equipment near the beach. There are also surf schools that will teach you the basics if you don’t know how to surf.

The beach is popular all day long, but especially in the middle of the day, at weekends or during the school holidays. Come here at dawn to watch the an amazing sun rise while the waves gently role in.


Surfing at Surfer's Paradise on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia


2. Surfing

On the subject of surfing, as you probably guessed from its name, Surfers Paradise is, well, a Surfer’s Paradise!

Thanks to its consistent swell, Surfer’s is one of the best beaches for surfing in Queensland.

For more experienced surfers, the feeling of paddling out into the ocean, waiting for the perfect set, and then riding a perfect wave to shore is an exhilarating experience that will entertain them all day. However, for those who don’t know how to surf, there are several surf schools in the area where expert instructors provide lessons that emphasise safety and technique.

Surfing is one of the best things to do in Surfers Paradise in the morning shortly after sunrise, when the waves are often at their best.


3. SkyPoint Observation Deck

If you’ve got a head for heights, you should take the opportunity to visit the SkyPoint Observation Deck in the iconic Q1 building. Rising 230 metres above the glittering Surfers Paradise skyline, the breathtaking panoramic view you’ll get of the Gold Coast is incredible.

As one of the best things to do in Surfers Paradise, you’ll be blown away by the unobstructed view of coastline, hinterland and sparkling Coral Sea views you get from the glass-walled observation deck.

It doesn’t matter if you come during the day to see the scene at its clearest light, at sunset when the skies are illuminated by brilliant hues of reds and oranges, or at night when the city dazzles with its sparkling lights, you remember the views for the rest of your life.

For those with an adventurous spirit, you might want to try the SkyPoint Climb. This guided journey takes you outside, even higher up the building and offers unparalleled 360-degree views that will break you out in goosebumps!

You can even turn your visit into a culinary experience by enjoying a meal at its unique, gourmet restaurant. Here is the menu for you to peruse. (Bookings are essential).


4. Dracula’s Cabaret Restaurant

It is worth going to the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre for the shops, of which there are hundreds. However, you should also make a point of visiting Dracula’s Cabaret Restaurant, a one-of-a-kind, horror-themed cabaret show with a 3-course dinner.

As it features adult themes, coarse language and partial nudity, you must be over 15 years old to attend a performance. However, given that it provides you with entertainment, a show and an immersive experience all in one, it is definitely one of the best things to do in Surfers Paradise.

On arrival, you’ll be taken into the Theatre of the Vampire via an eerie ghost train ride. There, you’ll be greeted by strange waiters and fantastic performers who will present to you an evening of rock, comedy, puppetry, circus and incredible stage FX. All of which you can enjoy whilst feasting on a superb meal.


Aerial View of Surfers Paradise Beach on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia


5. Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Love the weird and wonderful? Then you simply have to visit Ripley’s Believe It or Not!!

One of the best things to do in Surfers Paradise when it is raining or if the sun is too hot, this fascinating attraction is a treasure trove of the bizarre, unusual and downright unbelievable. As you explore the museum’s collection of over 350 mind-boggling artefacts, interactive exhibits, and optical illusions, you’ll be left in awe of the mysteries and curiosities that the world has to offer. I am talking shrunken human heads, the world’s smallest car, the world’s tallest man and actual red rocks from Mars!

Overall, Ripley’s promises an adventure that sparks your curiosity and challenges your perceptions – making it a must-visit destination for those seeking a unique and unforgettable Surfers Paradise experience.


6. Infinity Attraction

Located within the Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre, the INFINITY Attraction will take you on a captivating half an hour journey to a futuristic maze-like world you’ll need to see to believe!

Filled with an incredible array of optical illusions and special effects which, as you might have guessed it, extend to infinity, this attraction takes you through 20 different worlds all of which feature mesmerising lights and trippy music.

Suited for children above the age of eight it is one of the best things to do in Surfers Paradise with kids. Its actually open from 10 am to 10 pm, though I would recommend going mid-morning. If you go around 8pm, you kids might have trouble going to sleep!


7. Whale Watching

When it comes to the best things to do in Surfers Paradise, it is hard to look past going on a whale-watching tour.

Between the months of June and November, the waters off the Gold Coast become a playground for humpback whales as they migrate along the coast, including the famous Migaloo who was first sighted near Byron Bay in 1991 and continues to make an annual appearance on the Gold Coast.

There are several whale-watching tours in Surfers Paradise that will provide you with the opportunity to witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. During them, you should get to witness their breaching, tail-slapping and acrobatic skills up-close and personal.

Overall, it’s a thrilling experience that you will remember for a very long time and you’ll want to have your camera ready.

If a whale watching adventure is something you want to do, I would recommend this one as you may get to swim with them as well.


Woman with a surfboard about to go surfing in Queensland


8. Jet Boating

As well as whale-watching, one of the best things to do in Surfers Paradise is jet boating.

This adrenaline-pumping adventure combines the thrill of high-speed transportation with the breathtaking coastal scenery the Gold Coast is known for.

You can choose between several tours, many of which will showcase Surfers Paradise million dollar mansions and towering skyscrapers. My favourite one is this 55-Minute Extreme Jet Boat Ride that zooms at speeds of up to 80 km per hour!

If that sounds a bit too fast for you don’t worry, the jet boats are driven by experienced hands who know what it takes to provide you with an unforgettable experience.


9. Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets

If you find yourself at a loss of what to do between 4pm and 9pm on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, they why not head on over to the foreshore to the Surfer’s Paradise Beachfront Markets.

These markets have been running since 1995 and is one of the best things to do in Surfers Paradise for those who love to shop and eat. They offer an eclectic mix of over 100 stalls in a free, outdoor setting that is very family-friendly.

As you walk past them, you’ll be able to peruse a wide range of items including everything from unique crafts and fashion to jewellery and handmade wares. There are also plenty of food trucks and produce stalls and regular entertainment to enjoy, all set against the backdrop of the stunning beach.


10. Gold Coast Wax Museum

If you have ever been to Madame Tussauds and enjoyed it then you’ll want to pencil in a visit to The Gold Coast Wax Museum. It houses the Southern Hemisphere’s largest collection of authentic wax figures.

Inside, you’ll get to see an impressive collection of lifelike historical figures, ex-Australian presidents, plenty of celebrities, and iconic movie characters that are so realistic, you’ll have to look twice. Expect to see the likes of Gandhi, The Prince and Princess of Wales and Captain Jack Sparrow. If you are feeling brave enough, you can even venture into the Chamber of Horrors.

At present, the Gold Coast Wax Museum is open from 10 am to 6 pm. If you find yourself needing to escape from the weather, visiting this attraction is definitely one of the best things to do in Surfers Paradise.


Surf Lifesaving Tower at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.


11. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Another of the best things to do in Surfers Paradise for tourists is to visit the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

Located about a 30 minute drive away, this attraction allows you to get up close and personal with Australia’s native wildlife, through activities such as having a photo taken with a koala, hand-feeing kangaroos, and witness a range of interactive animal shows.

Overall, the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary possesses over 800 animals – including saltwater crocodiles, Lorikeet and pelicans – which you can see every day of the week.

If you are a zoophilist, you should plan to spend a full day there, as it is one of the best things to do in Surfers Paradise for animal lovers.


12. GC Aqua Park

One of the most thrilling things to do in Surfers Paradise is to visit the GC Aqua Park. Located in Broadwater Parklands, which you’ll find on the Marine Parade in Southport, a trip here promises hours of family-friendly fun and excitement.

This fantastic inflatable water park is notable for having some of the largest and highest inflatable water obstacles in the whole of Australia. Kids (and big kids!) will want to spend all day racing down slides, bouncing on trampolines and navigating the various aquatic challenges they see before them.

The Aqua Park is presided over by trained lifeguards and everyone is given property safety equipment before being allowed into the water zone.

If you don’t fancy going in there yourself, you can always watch the fun with a barista made coffee from Barrel Espresso which is located onsite..


13. Glow Worm Caves

Should time permit and you want to explore an area away from the Gold Coast, the Tamborine Mountain Glow Worm Caves is a nice place to go.

Located within the Cedar Creek Estate Winery, these caves are home to one of the world’s largest colonies of glow worms’ which illuminate them with soft, ethereal light.

Guided tours such as this one will take you through winding caverns that revealthe mesmerising spectacle of these bioluminescent creatures.

Overall, it’s a fascinating attraction that provides a real point of difference from the things to do in Surfers Paradise, which is what makes it such a great option.


Whale Watching is one of the best things to do in Surfers Paradise in Queensland, Australia


14. Hot Air Balloon Ride

If you think the view of the Gold Coast from the Q1 tower is good, just wait until you see it from a hot air balloon.

The landscape you’ll take in as you drift serenely above the coastline and surrounding hinterland is nothing short of extraordinary. You’ll definitely tell all your mates its one of the best things to do in Surfers Paradise!

There are several hot air balloon tours you can go on, most of which start at sunrise. This one lasts for an hour and also gives you a champagne breakfast afterwards.


15. Jet Skiing

Surfers Paradise is known for its iconic skyline and one of the best ways to see it is on a jet ski ride.

As well as taking in the views of the magnificent structures from an aquatic perspective, you will also be able to revel in the feeling of the wind blowing in your hair and droplets of the Coral Sea splashing on your face.

You can hire jet skis from several vendors around the Gold Coast. However, this tour runs from Cavill Avenue and provides you with an instructor who will join you on the ride as your guide.

The tours last for either 90 minutes or 2.5 hours and are one of the best things to do in Surfers Paradise. The latter includes a stop over at a nearby island for half an hour, which offers excellent photo opporunities.


16. Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk

During your time on the Gold Coast there are several Surfers Paradise day trips you can do, should you fancy some time away from the beach. One of the best of them is the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk.

This fantastic attraction provides you with a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the lush rainforest canopy via a series of suspended bridges and walkways that wind through the treetops well above ground. From such a lofty position you can enjoy a fantastic view of the region’s natural beauty at a vantage point you wouldn’t normally get.

Along the route you will pass, cascading waterfalls, lush ferns and trees that date back beyond Federation. So, it really is a serene and awe-inspiring experience that allows you to connect with the tranquillity and majesty of nature.

If you are interested in visiting the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk, you can do it as part of this tour that will also take you to the Numinbah Valley, Springbrook National Park, the Scenic Rim and the Glow Worm Caves – truly making it one of the things to do in Surfers Paradise and beyond.


A beach picnic is one of the best things to do in Surfers Paradise in Queensland, Australia


17. Nightclubs and Bars

Surfer’s Paradise is known for its world-class nightlife, so as soon as the sun goes down, you should turn your attention to which bars and clubs to hit up.

Enjoying the city’s nightlife is an essential addition to any list of things to do in Surfers Paradise and there are plenty of venues you could go to.

Here is a list of the best bars in the suburb as well as the best nightclubs you should visit during your time on the Gold Coast.


18. Sea World

Visiting Sea World is one of the best things to do in Surfers Paradise for those visiting the area with children.

Uniformly a theme park, oceanarium, and marine mammal park, it offers a wide range of animal exhibits and rides, while also promoting conservation through rescuing and rehabilitating injured, sick and orphaned wildlife – as well as human education.

On a visit here you can see dolphins, seals, polar bears and even sharks. You can also enjoy thrilling rides, captivating shows, and interactive animal encounters that you’ll remember for a long time.

If you decide to go to Sea World, it is worth using this 3-day pass that also allows you to visit Movie World and Wet’n’Wild, both of which are nearby.


19. Learn to Fly at iFLY Indoor Skydiving

If you’ve ever wanted to go skydiving but don’t fancy the idea of jumping out of a plane then you should take the opportunity to visit iFLY Indoor Skydiving.

Located in the heart of Surfer’s Paradise Boulevard, this fantastic attraction allows you to enjoy the thrill of skydiving, without jumping from 10,000 feet!

iFLY offers a safe and exhilarating experience that takes place inside a vertical wind tunnel. With the guidance of expert instructors, you’ll learn to control your body in the air and enjoy the sensation of free fall in a unique and adrenaline-pumping activity that’s definitely one of the best things to do in Surfers Paradise.

This package includes an offer of 2 flights for 1 person, which will give you twice as long a free-fall time than you would get in a tandem skydive.


A beach picnic is one of the best things to do in Surfers Paradise in Queensland, Australia


20. Australian Outback Spectacular

If you don’t fancy a night of clubbing or drinking then one of the best things to do in Surfers Paradise in the evening is to watch the Australian Outback Spectacular.

Situated in Oxenford, about a 20 minute drive from Surfer’s Paradise, this unique dinner and show experience offers a high-energy glimpse into Queensland’s rich cultural heritage of bushmen, cattle ranchers, and iconic stories.

The show takes place in a high-tech arena and lasts for a couple of hours, features live performances, music, horsemanship, and delicious outback-inspired three-course meal with drinks.


Where to stay at Surfers Paradise Beach
Click here to make a reservation at any of the hotels below

1. Rhapsody Surfers Paradise Beachfront Apartment
2. Peppers Soul Surfers Paradise
3. The Island Gold Coast
4. Paradise Resort Gold Coast
5. Q1 Resort & Spa
6. Rhapsody Resort
7. Paradise Centre Apartments
8. Hilton Surfers Paradise Hotel & Residences
9. BreakFree Acapulco
10. Soul Surfers Paradise
11. Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise
12. Wyndham Resort Surfers Paradise
13. Artique Surfers Paradise
14. Mantra Sun City
15. Moroccan Resort
16. Vibe Hotel Gold Coast
17. JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa
18. Mantra Legends Hotel
19. Circle on Cavill
20. Novotel Surfers Paradise

Final Thought

As you can see from this list of 20 things to do in Surfers Paradise, boredom is not an option in this part of the Gold Coast.

Overall, Surfer’s Paradise is a versatile and vibrant destination that offers something for every tourist and traveller.

If doesn’t matter if you are after a relaxing time on the beach, in pursuit of high-octane, thrill seeking adventures, enriching cultural experiences, or just a great activity for all the family, you’ll find it all in this coastal gem.

So, why not start to plan your trip, book some Surfers Paradise accommodation and get ready for an unforgettable adventure on your Queensland holiday!



As well as this post about things to do in Surfers Paradise, I have written an entire post to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about whether Surfers Paradise is worth visiting. But here are a handful that don’t feature on it.


How do you spend a day in Surfer’s Paradise?

The great thing about visiting Surfer's Paradise is that with so many options available, you can spend the day however you want to.

That said, a typical day at Surfers Paradise could begin with a sunrise walk along the golden shores, and past the iconic skyline of this famous beach or an early morning surf.

After that you can have breakfast at one of many beachfront cafes or browse the local shops for a bit of retail therapy before hitting the beach again for sunbathing, a swim or more high-octane pursuits like jet boating or jet skiing.

One of the best places to have lunch is the SkyPoint Observation Deck which serves up great food and even better views of the Surfer's Paradise coastline.

In the afternoon, one of the best things to do in Surfers Paradise is to check out the Infinity Attraction or Ripley's Believe it or Not museum.

After dinner at any of the top notch restaurants on Surfers Paradise Boulevard, you can spend the rest of the evening at a few bars or nightclubs.


Is Surfers Paradise safe to swim?

Swimming is one of the best things to do at Surfers Paradise and the beach is largely recognised as being safe for doing so - but only if you swim between the red and yellow flags.

It is patrolled in three separate lifeguard towers by Surf Lifesavers who monitor the conditions closely to ascertain if anyone needs assistance.

These surf lifesavers are highly trained to respond to any emergencies as quickly and effectively as possible, so when swimming in the water, you can do so with a bit of peace of mind.


Is Surfers Paradise safe at night?

Yes, Surfers Paradise is quite safe at night and is usually well patrolled by police. But it pays to exercise common-sense by not venturing into deserted places on your own and staying in well-lit and populated areas where possible.

If you do this, you should enjoy the many things to do in Surfers Paradise at night without any hassle.


Why should I visit Surfers Paradise?

There are several reasons why you should visit Surfer's Paradise. However, the main reasons are because it has great weather all year round, as well as excellent beaches. It also boasts a terrific cafe, dining, bar and nightlife scene, plenty of wonderful accommodation options and a host of things to do in Surfers Paradise to suit all needs and preferences.


Things to do in Surfers Paradise

Some of the best things to do in Surfers Paradise include surfing, sunbathing at the beach, eating at its many restaurants, shopping, taking a hot air balloon ride, jet skiing and enjoying its many bars and nightclubs.

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