If you’re looking for the best perfect day trip destination while in Australia, you should seriously consider the Gold Coast. Here, you can find numerous great activities that will definitely make your holiday worthwhile. In addition, you’ll enjoy the pleasant weather, friendly people, and the relaxed environment. Most tourists who go here just want to spend time relaxing on the beach, trying out new restaurants, or do some trekking.
Before we get into a few day-trip itinerary suggestions for you, first let’s have a look at the latest day-trip statistics and see what they have to say about our fine country, state and region.
Based on a report released by Tourism Research Australia, there were 165.8 million day trips taken by Australian residents aged 15 years and over. Compared to the data gathered from September 2011 to September 2012, this is 5% lower. However, expenditure by overnight visitors increased by 5% to $51.7 billion. The state that received the most day visitors was New South Wales (31%), followed by Victoria (26%) and Queensland (22%).
The percentages translate to 35,673 visitors for Queensland and 5,765 day trip tourists for the Gold Coast. Based on a report from Tourism Queensland, the total number of day trip tourists spent a total $5,888,000, that’s $102 spent per visitor for our economy.
Same day visitors in Australia or those people who take round trip visits of at least 50km and who do not spend the night away from home as part of their visit, most popular reason for visits are holiday (48%), visiting friends and relatives (30%), and business (10%). 92% of them are using private vehicles as a means of transport.
On the other hand, the statistics for the Gold Coast are slightly different. 60% of them said that they were on the Gold Coast for holiday while 25% of them were visiting friends and relatives. A small percentage (8%) were here for business.
The top 5 origin of same-day visitors for Queensland were Brisbane (69%), Gold Coast (14%), Darling Dawns (3%), Sunshine Coast (3%), and Outback (.5%).
As for the age group, 22% of Gold Coast same-day visitors were from 15-24 bracket. Followed by 25-34 years old visitors (21%), 35-44 years old (19%), 45-54 years old (16%) 55-64 years old (13%), and 65 years or over (9%).
Top activities undertaken on a Gold Coast day trip
Of the 5,765 same-day visitors to Gold Coast from September 2012 – September 2013, 48% of them said that they went here to eat out at restaurants while 32% of them said that they were visiting friends and relatives. Meanwhile, 31% said that they were here to go to the beach while 23% said they shopped for pleasure. The remaining 13% were here for sightseeing.
Below we look at each of these activities in a little more detail:
Gold Coast Dining
If you’re thinking about taking day-trip to the Gold Coast and need help with your itinerary, let me make some recommendations. If you’re going here to eat out at restaurants like 48% of those people who did last year, you should seriously consider going to Surfers Paradise. This isn’t just the home to many great beaches but also to wide array of restaurants that serve modern Australian cuisine, seafood, steaks, Italian dishes, authentic Japanese food, Mexican, Indian, Chinese, and Thai. You’ll also find great cafés, bars, and pubs serving wide array of drinks.
Gold Coast Beaches
One of the reasons why the Gold Coast is one of the highly visited places in Australia is because of its huge number of pristine white beaches. If you’re looking for a beach in the suburb that provides a pleasant blend of upmarket restaurants and shopping, Broadbeach is one of your best options. Here, you can swim, enjoy the sunset, or shop for pleasure at Pacific Fair Shopping Centre. As this beach is boarded by several large parks, it is also a great picnic area for friends and families.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a more hip and more urban beach, head to Surfers Paradise. Throughout the year, this beach is crowded due to its proximity to main theme parks, attractions, great Gold Coast accommodation, and nightlife.
Gold Coast shopping
Gold Coast is one of Queensland’s premier shopping destination offering tourists with great shopping districts that are perfect for amazing retail therapy. Some of the centres to visit that house hundreds of retail shops include Robina Town Centre, Harbour Town Outlet shopping centre, Pacific Fair shopping centre, Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets, Tamborine Mountain Distillery, Carara Markets, Coolongatata Art and Crafts Market, and Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre.
Sightseeing on the Gold Coast
When it comes to wanting to have some fun, the Gold Coast certainly knows how to deliver the goods. A lot of tourists specifically visit the Gold Coast primarily to experience the region’s world-famous theme parks. The Gold Coast is the home to Wet ‘n’ Wild, Warner Bro’s Movie World, Sea World, and Dream World. You can also get close to nature at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Lamington National Park, O’Reilly’s and Long Pine Koala Sanctuary.
The Gold Coast also offers a lot of free sightseeing activities including exploring the numerous beaches along the coast, the rockpools at Southport, the Natural Bridge at Springbrook and so much more. There are so many things and places to see on the Gold Coast and you may need to make several round trips to see and experience everything.
Planning your day tour on the Gold Coast
If this is your first time travelling to the Gold Coast you will be forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed with all the exciting options that the region has to offer! To help you experience the very best the Gold Coast has to offer in a short period of time, let me help you plan your out by planning a one-day sightseeing itinerary for you. Below are various day trip itineraries based on themes so you can choose the one that will best suit your preference.
If you’re going to the Gold Coast to have a relaxing time and just want to forget about work and stress, you can start your morning with a laid back breakfast in Surfers Paradise where pancakes, coffee, and stunning views are definitely to die for. Then, make your way to the Gold Coast Hinterland taking in the Gold Coast suburbs along the way As you reach Mt. Tamborine, you’ll enjoy lush acreage properties. You may have a quick stop over here as they have a number of lovely cafes and boutique stores. You can then have a relaxing lunch at Mt Tamborine Vineyard. For dinner, head back down to central Gold Coast and take a relaxing dinner cruise at the Main Beach.
Party on the Gold Coast
If you’re going to the Gold Coast to have some serious fun, start the day by doing Go Karting in Nerang. Bring your friends or family members and race on the 250-metre track. Once done, head to Helensvale where you can buy both local and imported beers and play a game of pool. Next stop is Surfers Paradise where you can find Timezone and Infinity. These are great places where you can play with some friends. For dinner, choose one of the best restaurants at Surfers Paradise before going to one of the trendy nightclubs. Some of your best choices are Elsewhere, Vanity, Sin City, and Cocktails & Dreams. There are also sophisticated bars and clubs in Broadbeach. Also read ‘Gold Coast Holiday for party lovers‘
Go to the Beach
Gold Coast offers tourists with amazing beaches along the entire coast line. You can choose based on your preferred activities. If you’re going to surf, start your day at Snapper Rocks where Quicksilver Pro and Roxy Pro are held every year. After surfing, grab a delicious breakfast at Rainbow Bay where you can find a number of cafes and bakeries. Spend the day lying down under the sun as you get your tan. For lunch, head to Boundary St. or Marine Parade, Coolangatta where you can have your choice of burgers, fish, and fresh sandwiches. Relax under the shade of pine trees on the foreshore. By afternoon, you can throw a Frisbee, take a dip into the clear water, kick the ball around, or build sand castle. End the day with a dinner, good music, and socialise with other travellers. Also read ‘Gold Coast holiday for beach bumbs‘
Shop till you drop!
Take out your wallet and stretch your arms and your legs and get ready for hours of walking. Start your shopping tour at the heart of Main Beach where you can have a relaxed breakfast at Tedder Avenue. You’ll need the energy to browse through several trendy boutiques that sell anything that you can think of. From unique gift stores to art galleries, to exclusive fashion brands, you name it, they all got it here. If you’re up to more walking and shopping, head to Pacific Fair Shopping Centre and experience their 900-seat food court where you can find smaller cafes offering great lunch and snacks. End your day at Robina Town Centre where you can shop some more and dine at stylish restaurants that serve Japanese, Italian, and other international cuisines. Also read ‘Gold Coast Shopping Guide‘
If you’ve read the article in its entirety, you might get the feeling that one day isn’t enough when you explore the Gold Coast. With wide variety of places to see and things to do, you may consider spending a night or two here to really appreciate the place. When looking for the best Gold Coast accommodation that meets your budget and your preference, always make us, GCHR.com.au your accommodation partner. We offer luxurious and spacious apartments that will not burn a hole in your pocket. For inquiries, please call (07) 5539 8553 and one of our friendly staff will be more than happy to assist you.