Ok, so you're on the Gold Coast for the weekend or doing a stopover, here are some of the top things to do that aren't *too* touristy!
For the 24 hours, you'll need a car, or hire an electric scooter or biked to get around.
Head to Burleigh Headlands and go for a walk early in the morning. Absorb the ocean which gradually leads you down a garden path (no pun intended here) to a pleasant rainforest alongside the beach.
Grab a juice from where the locals go - The Juice Shop at Burleigh Heads. Word of warning - there is always a line up here, but the fruit is fresh and smoothies are delicious! We just order online, go for a walk, and it's ready by the time we get there!
Head to Main Beach and join a Jetski tour out to the Gold Coast waterways where you will see amazing views of Gold Coast from the water. Some Jetski tours will also take you to South Stradbroke Island where you can spend a few hours by the beach. We went with Jet Ski Safaris and it was an absolutely exhilarating experience.
Time to replenish your body after a full morning. Depending on where you are on the Gold Coast, here are some of our top picks:
Goukai Ramen, Burleigh Heads - Their tonkotsu ramen is outstanding!!
Burleigh Pavillion, Burleigh Heads - Absolute beachfront views while you dine.
Peter's Fish Market, Main Beach - We love their seafood baskets where you get a selection of everything. Fresh from the ocean. If you're joining a jet ski tour, this place is just down the road.
Amimoto, Surfers Paradise - Affordable and fresh Japanese food including sashimi selections! Keep in mind these guys aren't open on Sundays.
Easy House Vegetarian, Mermaid Waters - Vegetarian friends, this is for you. There aren't many yum cha places that are vegetarian so here's your opportunity to eat up!
Once you've had a feed, catch the latest movie at Harbour Town. The Reading Cinemas there has the most cost effective gold class you'll find anywhere on the Gold Coast - Just under $30 at the time of this article (September 2021)! Harbour Town is also a shopping outlet for our shopping enthusiasts here.
Whale migration season is from June - October each year. Book yourself on a whale watching tour to see the amazing creatures. We went with the Seaworld Whale Watching Cruise and had a blast. The tour departs near Seaworld in Main Beach. These guys always have deals on so make sure to check their site.
Enjoy an evening at a hidden bar/Japanese restaurant - Etsu Izakaya in Mermaid Beach. This place hides behind a wooden sliding doors with lanterns on either side. This place has some of the best Izakaya vibes in South East Queensland! They do get busy so make sure you book ahead of time!
If Japanese isn't your thing, these are some of our other recommendations:
Moo Moos Restaurant, Broadbeach - Quality food at a premium but well worth it. Enjoy a stroll along the beach post dinner.
Cardamom Pod, Broadbeach - To our vegetarian lovers - we have you sorted here!
We hope you enjoy some of the things listed here! Of course there are theme parks on the Gold Coast but we want to share the more unique experiences with you! These locations are also fantastic if you want to take a visiting friend, or a date to!
Happy travels and keep wandering.