If you’re on a hunt for the best water activities in Australia, then make the Gold Coast your next destination. Home to the best pristine beaches in Queensland, this iconic tourist hotspot has so much in store for us water lovers. So, pack your best swimming gear and get your itinerary full with this list of Gold Coast water activities you shouldn’t miss!
Go Water Sports Crazy
The Gold Coast is a haven for water sports fanatics and thrill-seekers. Here, you can challenge the inner surfer in you and ride the waves like a pro. First-timers won’t feel left out either as experts are all over the area, ready to show you the ropes:
- Jet Skiing. The best way to explore Gold Coast’s expansive waters is to ride a jet ski at full throttle. There is nothing more exhilarating than racing with your mates across the sea waves. You can also sign up for fully guided jet ski tours if you prefer, depending on your time and budget preferences.
- Surfing. Gold Coast is a surfing wonderland, and the locals even named its city Surfer’s Paradise. Some of the best surfing areas include Burleigh Heads, the Spit, Miami and Kirra Beach. Experts can hire surfboards, while beginners can get quick surf lessons from surfers along the coastline. January to April are the best months to experience the waves.
- Jet Boating. If balancing on the water isn’t exactly your expertise, then it’s jet boating for you. Here, you’ll be strapped on your seat while experiencing high-speed drifting, wake surfing and 360° spins that will leave you breathless and soaking wet!
- Scuba Diving. For certified divers who love to see the Gold Coast’s reefs and wrecks first hand, a scuba diving adventure in the area is a must. The Scottish Prince Shipwreck and Palm Beach Reef are some of its best local dive spots.
- Flyboarding and Parasailing. Daredevils shouldn’t miss out on these thrilling Gold Coast water activities. If you’re not afraid of flying or being hauled aloft by a boat, then these advanced adventures are for you. Make sure to cap the unforgettable experience with a snapshot of the panoramic view.
Try Your Hand on Paddleboarding
If you can swim but are not ready to surf just yet, then perhaps you’ll be interested to go SUPing instead. Stand up paddleboarding is a great way to explore Gold Coast’s beautiful beaches. You can sit on the board and gently paddle to enjoy the coastline, or take it to the next level by standing up as you paddle. Tallebudgera Creek is a well-known spot for hiring paddleboards, joining SUP tours or getting SUP lessons. The best time to visit is 2 hours before and after high tide for crystal-clear ocean water.
Snorkel and See Amazing Marine Wildlife
The Gold Coast is beautiful on the surface as it is underneath the waves. So, squeeze in a quick boat ride to Cook Island and snorkel and swim with the green turtles! This spot is home to a large population of these majestic reptiles as well as tropical fish, clownfish and coral reefs. Other top snorkelling sites also let you see leopard sharks, eagle rays and dolphins. It’s a water activity to see and experience Australia’s remarkable marine life. And don’t worry if it’s your first time to go snorkelling as instructors will be with you on the trip.
Sign Up for a Boat or Kayaking Tour
There are many things to do on the Gold Coast even while in a boat. Here are some of the popular options:
- Kayaking. Gold Coast’s waterways offer several opportunities for canoeing, kayaking and fishing. Some of the popular spots include Tallebudgera Creek where you can visit and have a picnic at Schuster Park; Jabiru Island Park to kayak along Coombabah Creek; and Colman Road Reserve to explore various creeks and islands via the Broadwater.
- Boat Tour. Boat rides at the Morton Bay Marine Park and Gold Coast Broadwater let you see all sorts of marine life, from turtles to rays to dolphins. You can continue the tour on foot at the South Stradbroke Island Conservation Park and spot rare shorebirds, kangaroos, wallabies and koalas.
- Round or BBQ Boats. If you’re in for a party at sea, then consider renting a round boat during your stay at the Gold Coast. Gather up to 10 of your friends, bring your food on board and enjoy your drinks while coasting the waters. For a more luxurious experience, you can also rent a self-drive BBQ boat, complete with a BBQ, sound system, icebox, toilet and sink.
- Gondolas. No need to travel to Venice for a romantic boat ride. The Gold Coast has its canals at Surfer’s Paradise and the Main Beach that you can enjoy while on a fancy gondola. You can bring food and drinks on board if you like and choose from 30-minute to 2-hour cruises.
Experience Whale Watching
If you happen to plan your Gold Coast getaway sometime between May and November, make sure to sign up for a whale-watching adventure. Humpback whales cruising the Gold Coast waters are a common sighting during this time that you only need to get up to a high point to catch a glimpse. However, whale-watching operators at Surfer’s Paradise or Mariner’s Cove offer boat tours for a good view. Or better yet, book the Sea the Gold Coast tour and hop in a small boat for a more personalised, up-close whale encounter.
Catch Crabs and Eat Oysters
Here’s something for the seafood lovers. Sign up for the Catch a Crab tour to visit the Tweed River, tour the Oyster Farm and dine at the Lakeside Café for the freshest oysters. Here, you get to experience trapping live mud crabs and cook them on board the boat. You can also hand feed the wild pelicans in the area, go fishing and pump for yabbies.
Join a River Cruise
When you need to take a break from all those exciting Gold Coast water activities, a relaxing river cruise is just what you need. The tour has a guide on board, with entertaining stories about the sights. It also comes with cocktails and cold beer, which is perfect while enjoying the Surfer’s Paradise skyline or sighting dolphins.
Visit Water Theme Parks
Are you thinking of bringing your kids with you? Well, they’re in for a treat as Gold Coast has the best water parks in the country:
- Sea World. This park is famous for its water slides as well as its polar bear and penguin enclosures. It’s also a go-to place to cool down during summer, see entertainment shows and do jet skiing.
- Wet N Wild. If you love extreme water adventures, this park has several adrenaline rides and attractions for your family and friends to try.
- Aqua Splash Water Park. This park is popular among locals and tourists for its colourful inflatable slides that your kids are sure to love.
Certified beach lovers and adventure seekers will never run out of Gold Coast water activities to try. And if you love going on treks as much as surfing the waves, then check out this list of Australia’s best hiking trails.
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