21 AWESOME Tours in Gold Coast [Hidden Gems!]

Updated - September 7th 2020

Gold Coast is one of Australia’s most popular holiday destinations, and it’s easy to see why. The coastline boasts 35 miles of gorgeous golden beaches lining the vast Pacific ocean and enjoys stunning sunshine all year round! The central city skyline is set dramatically right where the Pacific Ocean meets the golden sand.

The Gold Coast originally gained traction as a vacation retreat in the mid 19th century, and it’s grown increasingly popular since.

The crown holiday destination of the Gold Coast is Surfers Paradise; a shimmering seaside resort and all-round entertainment hub, packed with action and attractions. But venture inland and the Gold Coast shows off a different kind of magic with the dense rainforests of the hinterland!

Embarking on a tour is one of the best ways to explore all that the Gold Coast has to offer, and fortunately, there are plenty of tours to choose from!

• The 21 Best Tours in Gold Coast •

# 1 – Sub-Tropical Jet Ski Adventure to South Stradbroke Island

Sub-Tropical Jet Ski Adventure to South Stradbroke Island
One of Our Favourite Gold Coast Tours
  • $$$$
  • 2 hours
  • Speed along a breathtaking stretch of Australian coastline
  • Drive your own jet ski and enjoy an unparalleled sense of freedom

There’s nothing quite as liberating as rocketing across gorgeous sub-tropical waters on a jet ski. After some training, this tour allows you to pilot your own jet ski along the stunning shores of Stradbroke Island!

You’ll wind your way past crisp beaches, idyllic islands, and entangled mangroves, and spot some stunning marine life along the way! You’ll be fully immersed in the raw Australian wildlife, exploring in one of the most exciting ways possible.

Guaranteed BEST Tour Price

#2 – Surf Lesson on the Gold Coast

Surf Lesson on the Gold Coast
An Awesome Experience for Ocean Lovers
  • $$
  • 2 hours
  • Your experienced instructor is committed to getting you standing during the lesson
  • Get kitted out with a wetsuit or rash shirt, and a soft beginner board

Try your hand at one of Australia’s favorite sports, amongst the wonder of Surfer’s Paradise Beach. Gold Coast is world-renowned for its surf spots, and Surfers Paradise Beach, as the name suggests, is one its best!

Set beneath the towering city skyline, Surfers Paradise Beach is a beautiful spot to learn how to surf! You’ll be kitted out with the necessary gear, and given a safety briefing before hopping into the ocean.

Guaranteed BEST Tour Price

#3 – Natural Bridge and Springbrook Afternoon Tour

Natural Bridge and Springbrook Afternoon Tour
One of the Coolest tours Gold Coast has to Offer
  • $$
  • 5 hours
  • A guided tour through the Springbrook hinterland rainforests
  • Visit several waterfalls and stop for tea and scones

Venture into the enchanting Springbrook area of the Gondwana Rainforests for a half-day adventure that you’ll never forget. After a short drive from your hotel in Gold Coast, you’ll embark on a fully-guided walk through the rainforest.

You’ll visit five separate waterfalls over the course of the tour, as your experienced guide peppers the experience with fascinating facts and information! Enjoy unparalleled views and learn about the area’s rich natural wildlife.

Guaranteed BEST Tour Price

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#4 – Aquaduck City Tour and River Cruise

Aquaduck City Tour and River Cruise
Amongst the Most Unique Gold Coast Sightseeing Tours
  • $
  • 1 hour
  • Experience the Gold Coast in a unique amphibious vehicle, on road, and on water
  • Kids will have the chance to steer the Aquaduck and receive a free certificate

See the best of Gold Coast in a completely unique way by hopping on board the ‘Aquaduck’. This rather ridiculous looking vehicle is fully amphibious, meaning it can travel on both land and water!

Enjoy a sightseeing tour of the Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise before plunging into the water for some river explorations. You’ll get some great views of the city’s beautiful waterways as well as the glamorous mansions of millionaires row!

Guaranteed BEST Tour Price

#5 – Moreton Island Shipwreck, Sand Dune, & Kayak Full-Day Adventure

Moreton Island Shipwreck, Sand Dune, & Kayak Full-Day Adventure
One of the best Day Tours from Brisbane or the Gold Coast
  • $$$
  • Full-day
  • An incredible day filled with amazing island activities
  • A picnic lunch is included, and you’ll have time to relax on the stunning beaches

Experience the sub-tropical nirvana of Moreton Island on a full-day, action-packed adventure from Gold Coast! After an early start, you’ll embark on the journey to Moreton Island, which includes a scenic cruise across Moreton Bay.

Once you arrive at the island, head out for a snorkeling tour or kick back on the breathtaking Tangalooma beach. Next, enjoy a guided tour of the island’s marine life and shipwrecks. You’ll also 4×4 through the dunes, go sand tobogganing, and paddle a transparent kayak!

Guaranteed BEST Tour Price

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#6 – Mt Tamborine Winery and Distillery Tour with Lunch

Mt Tamborine Winery and Distillery Tour with Lunch
One of our Favourite Day Trips from Gold Coast
  • $$$
  • 8 hours
  • Experience the flavors of Mt Tamborine through a series of wine tastings and pairings
  • Water, snacks, and lunch are all included in the price

Set off on a comfortable journey from your accommodation in Gold Coast through stunning scenery to Mt Tamborine.

This tour takes you to four of the best wineries in the area! Each winery will take you through a private guided tasting of up to 10 varieties of local wine. You’ll also stop by at a distillery, enjoy a 2-course lunch, and have the option to visit a brewery or cheese factory!

Guaranteed BEST Tour Price

#7 – Gold Coast Morning Tea Cruise

Gold Coast Morning Tea Cruise
A perfect blend of Gold Coast Tours and Cruises
  • $
  • 1 ½ hours
  • Enjoy complimentary tea, coffee, and snacks while admiring beautiful waterway scenery
  • Treat yourself to a drink from the onboard bar

Hop on a purpose-built sightseeing cruise boat in the heart of Surfers Paradise, From there, you’ll embark on a tranquil morning cruise through the picturesque waterways of the Gold Coast.

Enjoy the impressive natural and urban scenery, with waterside mansions and million-dollar yachts lining the canals. You’ll also see some beautiful wildlife, and enjoy informative stories and commentary along the way.

Head up to the sundeck and bask in the sub-tropical sun, making the most of the complimentary tea, coffee, and snacks.

Guaranteed BEST Tour Price

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#8 – Tamborine Mountain: Guided Half-Day Rainforest Tour

Tamborine Mountain: Guided Half-Day Rainforest Tour
Amongst the Most Enjoyable Day Tours Gold Coast has to Offer
  • $$
  • 4 hours
  • A scenic adventure into the stunning Queensland National Park
  • Enjoy complimentary morning tea, and have a go at throwing a boomerang

Queensland National Park is the oldest national park in the country, and home to some of Australia’s most spectacular natural scenery! A comfortable and scenic 4×4 ride will initiate the adventure, passing through an incredibly wildlife-rich area. Keep an eye peeled for indigenous Australian animals; exotic birds and treetop koalas are common sightings!

Check out the Tamborine Mountain Gallery Walk before setting out on a guided hike through the lush rain forest. Stop off at an idyllic waterfall, and enjoy this subtropical paradise.

Guaranteed BEST Tour Price

#9 – Half-Day Deluxe Whale Watching Cruise

Half-Day Deluxe Whale Watching Cruise
Amongst the Most Enchanting Gold Coast Day Trips
  • $$
  • 3 ½ hours
  • A guaranteed-sighting whale watching cruise, with professional guides
  • Includes a free cruise on the Gold Coast waterways

Experience the wonder of magnificent humpback whales up close and personal on a half-day cruise from Gold Coast. This tour guarantees humpback whale sightings (or a free return cruise) and boasts the best viewing decks of any similar tour in the area!

Depart from Surfers Paradise and enjoy an idyllic cruise, before coming face to face with the playful whales. These gentle giants are spectacular to observe, especially when paired with professional commentary. This tour also includes a complimentary Gold Coast canal and waterway cruise!

Guaranteed BEST Tour Price

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#10 – Coastal Exploration Bus Tour with Q1 Tower

Coastal Exploration Bus Tour with Q1 Tower
A Well Rounded Sightseeing Tour
  • $$
  • 2 hours
  • A great way to see the city and its best beaches
  • A day pass to the SkyPoint observation deck is included

Escape the tourist crowds as you explore some of the quieter and less developed beaches of the stunning Gold Coast. This mini-bus tour takes you along the coast, stopping by at some of the area’s best lookout points. Enjoy stunning views of the ocean, skyline, and natural landscape!

Make a stop at the Spit and explore the deserted beachfront of Phillip Park, before heading back to the city for a trip up to the SkyPoint observation deck.

Guaranteed BEST Tour Price

#11 – Lamington National Park Small-Group Tour

Lamington National Park Small-Group Tour
One of Our Favourite Gold Coast Day Tours
  • $$$
  • 8 ½ hours
  • A wonderful adventure through some of the country’s most exotic natural scenery
  • Enjoy a complimentary lunch with spectacular views and try the awe-inspiring tree top walk

If you’re a nature lover, an outdoorsman, or simply want to escape the bustle of the city, a day tour of Lamington National Park should be high on your list of priorities.

This World Heritage area is home to enchanting plant and animal life, set in some spectacular landscapes! Absorb the area’s unparalleled natural beauty, while being shepherded by a former Queensland wildlife ranger. Hike through dense rainforest, past waterfalls, and amongst exotic fauna and flora while your guide shares a wealth of knowledge!

Guaranteed BEST Tour Price

#12 – Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
A Perfect Experience for Animal Lovers
  • $
  • Full-day access
  • Cuddle a koala, hand-feed kangaroos, and experience interactive keeper shows
  • Learn about Australia’s wonderful wildlife from experts

Located just a ½ hour drive from Surfers Paradise, the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuaries is a haven for indigenous animals. Australia is famous for its rich and unique animal life, and the sanctuary affords you the opportunity to experience them up close and personal!

With over 1,400 native animals calling the sanctuary home, there’s plenty to see and explore. Amongst many others, you’ll encounter emus, kangaroos, koalas, wombats, Tasmanian devils, and dingoes!

Guaranteed BEST Tour Price

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#13 – Broadwater Jet Boat Adventure

Broadwater Jet Boat Adventure
One of the Most Exciting Boat Tours Gold Coast has to Offer
  • $$$
  • 1 hour
  • An adrenaline-pumping jet boat ride
  • A great mix of scenery and action-packed adventure

Set out on the scenic Gold Coast Broadwater for an epic jet boat adventure! For 55 minutes you’ll rocket along in an incredibly fast speedboat (reaching up to 50mph!).

Experience high-speed drifting, 360-degree spins, and some other heart-stopping maneuvers along the way! Enjoy the scenic natural beauty of the estuary, jet around Sovereign Island, and spot some spectacular marine life.

Guaranteed BEST Tour Price

#14 – Australia Outback Spectacular: Dinner and Show

Australia Outback Spectacular: Dinner and Show
A Truly Immersive Experience
  • $$
  • 2 hours
  • A spectacular show about the outback
  • Enjoy a delicious 3-course meal

Take a journey to the vast Australian Outback and back in time as you plunge into this immersive show. Featuring astounding acrobatics, talented animal stars, great comedy, and immersive technology, this show will take your breath away!

It’s set in an arena that transforms throughout the show, and you’ll get to enjoy a delicious 3-course meal while you watch.

Guaranteed BEST Tour Price

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#15 – Tamborine Mountain Guided Zipline Tour

Tamborine Mountain Guided Zipline Tour
Awesome for Adventurers
  • $$
  • 3 hours
  • The largest guided zipline tour in Australia
  • A stunning canyon setting, surrounded by dense rainforest

An adrenaline-fueled mix of nature and adventure, this zipline tour sees you soaring through a canyon, with the lush rainforest beneath your feet.

Following a 4×4 expedition up Mount Tamborine, you’ll be inducted and briefed by your experienced guides. The next 2 ½ hours will be packed with action and gorgeous scenery!

Several enormous zip lines are strung through the Cedar Creek Canyon, up to 200 feet above the rainforest below! Reach speeds of up to 45mph and enjoy unparalleled views.

Guaranteed BEST Tour Price

#16 – Australia Zoo Full-Day Tour from Gold Coast

Australia Zoo Full-Day Tour from Gold Coast
A Great Experience for Families
  • $$$
  • Full-day
  • With a keen focus on conservation, the zoo was made famous by Steve Irwin
  • Home to a vast range of animals from Australia and around the world

Travel north on a scenic drive through Queensland’s scenic countryside before arriving at the renowned Australia Zoo. The zoo, made famous by Steve Erwin and his family, is home to an extensive range of animals from all corners of the globe.

See cuddly favorites like koalas and kangaroos, as well as some less cuddly creatures, like crocodiles and snakes! You’ll be able to handle some of the animals, and enjoy spectacular live shows such as Tiger Temple and Wildlife Warrior. The zoo also makes for a great Brisbane day tour.

Guaranteed BEST Tour Price

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#17 – Surfers Paradise Paranormal Activity – Private Group Tour

Surfers Paradise Paranormal Activity - Private Group Tour
Lots of Fun for Larger Groups
  • $ – $$$ (depending on group size)
  • 90 minutes
  • Enjoy a guided tour of the famous Surfers Paradise
  • Learn about its history and explore its paranormal activity

The glamourous resort known as Surfers Paradise has some hidden secrets and a paranormal past! On this tour, you’ll delve into the area’s history, uncovering the darkness beneath the facade and learning about the spirits that live there.

Slip down secret alleyways and hidden streets as you explore the area and its past. You’ll also have the chance to make contact with the paranormal side using dowsing rods, KII meters, and black mirrors!

Guaranteed BEST Tour Price

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#18 – Spirits of the Red Sand Aboriginal Show and Dinner

Spirits of the Red Sand Aboriginal Show and Dinner
One of the Most Immersive Tours from Brisbane and Gold Coast
  • $$
  • 2 ½ hours
  • An immersive and powerful experience in a historical setting
  • Learn about aboriginal culture and history

This unique live entertainment experience takes you on a journey through time with powerful storytelling. It’s an immersive theatrical experience that casts light on aboriginal creation myths and ‘Dreamtime’.

You’ll be shuttled to Beenleigh Historical Village, where the magic will take place across a variety of stage sets! The story explores an extended timeline of aboriginal history, from creation to the 1800s. Drinks will be available, and a post-show meal is included as you mingle with the talented cast!

Guaranteed BEST Tour Price

#19 – SkyPoint Observation Deck

SkyPoint Observation Deck
Offers the Best Views in Gold Coast
  • $
  • Full-day access
  • Enjoy unparalleled 360-degree views of the Gold Coast beaches and city
  • Treat yourself to drinks and a meal with a view from the SkypPoint bar

Located on the 77th floor of the Q1 building is the SkyPoint Observation Deck, offering up the most spectacular views of the Gold Coast.

SkyPoint is the only oceanside observation deck in Australia, and it looks out over one of the most celebrated coastlines in the world! See the golden beaches meander off into the distance, and the impressive Gold Coast skyline by their side.

A stroll to the opposite side of SkyPoint reveals stunning views of the lush hinterlands to the west.

Guaranteed BEST Tour Price

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#20 – Dreamworld and WhiteWater World

Dreamworld and WhiteWater World
An Exciting Experience for the Whole Family
  • $$
  • Full-day access
  • Enjoy full access to Australia’s largest theme park
  • Over 50 rides and attractions

Dreamworld is Australia’s biggest theme park, with a vast array of rides and attractions to keep the whole family entertained! From child-friendly fun-rides to adrenaline-pumping thrills, you won’t be bored for a moment at Dreamworld.

Kids will be particularly enthralled, with immersive attractions letting their imaginations run wild! You’ll also have full access to WhiteWater world, where the whole family can enjoy big splashes and slip-slide fun.

Guaranteed BEST Tour Price

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#21 – Paradise Country: Aussie Farm Experience and Lunch

One of the Most Unique Gold Coast Trips

  • $
  • Full-day Access
  • Enjoy a classic Aussie farm experience
  • A delicious BBQ lunch is included

Paradise Country offers a traditional Australian farm experience. A variety of activities and experiences are available; you can learn how to throw a boomerang, watch a sheep shearer in action, try your hand at a stockman’s whip, and milk a cow!

Watch the rounding up of sheep at the Sheep Dog Show, and witness experienced horsemen showing their riding skills. You’ll even have the opportunity to hang out with koalas and kangaroos!

 

FAQs about Gold Coast Tourism

We’re sure you have some questions you want answered before you book a tour in Gold Coast, so we’ve done our best to provide some answers.

How do I book a Gold Coast tour?

The best way to book a tour in Gold Coast is to make use of an online tour provider. There are several platforms that offer this service, but we recommend using GetYourGuide.

The site is really easy to use and offers an impressive range of experiences and tours in the Gold Coast and surrounding areas.

What should I pack for a tour in Gold Coast?

The Gold Coast is famous for its glorious weather, so for a trip outside of the winter months (June – August), we recommend light clothing and plenty of sunscreens! You’ll also want to wear comfortable walking shoes, as most of the tours involve at least a bit of walking.

How much do tours in Gold Coast typically cost?

The cost of a tour in Gold Coast can vary considerably depending on the length and type of experience. The average cost of our recommended tours is around $70 USD, with the most expensive at around $170 USD pp, and the cheapest just $17 USD.

How long do tours in Gold Coast last?

Our recommended tours range from 1 hour in length, to full-day tours from Gold Coast. In general, tours in and around the city last just a few hours, while excursions to islands and the countryside can last the entire day.

Closing Thoughts on Gold Coast Tours

The Gold Coast is a shimmering holiday destination, boasting dramatically varied and beautiful landscapes as well as some of the country’s best attractions and activities!

The neverending stretches of golden sand, warm Pacific ocean, dense rainforests, and idyllic islets make for one of the most well-rounded holiday spots on Earth.

Many of the experiences recommended in this Gold Coast guide can also be enjoyed as day tours from Brisbane! So they’re also great if you’re touring Brisbane and want to expand your geographical range.

We hope this guide to the best Gold Coast tours helps you find the tour that’s perfect for you. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a family retreat, or anything in between, we’re confident that you’ll have an amazing time!

***Disclaimer*** Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, One Weird Globe will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps me keep the site going :)

Aaron Radcliffe
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