The Ultimate 7-Day Gold Coast Itinerary

Gold Coast, Australia

5min read

Published 14 April 2023


When it comes to family-friendly holidays, a couple’s getaway, or a few days of escapism with your mates, Australia’s holiday capital, The Gold Coast caters to all and is undoubtedly one of Kiwis' favourite overseas destinations. From theme parks to shopping, surfing to ancient rainforest, hot air ballooning to national parks, there’s a lot to cover in your Gold Coast itinerary, which is why you should give yourself about a week to truly enjoy the region. 

While The Gold Coast's star attraction is its beaches, including the world-renowned stretch of sand at Surfers Paradise, there’s a laid-back way of life here that you will quickly adopt as you enjoy your holiday in paradise. 

What's coming up

  1. Day 1 – Arrive in the Gold Coast – Where to Stay 

  1. Day 2 – Dreamworld - WhiteWater World 

  1. Day 3 – Pacific Fair - Burleigh Heads - Dracula’s  

  1. Day 4 – Movie World/Wet‘n’Wild 

  1. Day 5 – Mount Tamborine Rainforest and Springbrook National Park 

  1. Day 6 – Skypoint Observation Deck - Jet Boat Ride - Sunset Cruise 

  1. Day 7 – Depart Gold Coast 

Day 1 – Arrive in the Gold Coast - Where to Stay

Surfers Paradise sign, Gold Coast Australia

The Surfers Paradise sign greeting visitors to the beach, Gold Coast. Image credit: Getty Images

Surfers Paradise sign, Gold Coast Australia

The Surfers Paradise sign greeting visitors to the beach, Gold Coast. Image credit: Getty Images

Surfers Paradise sign, Gold Coast Australia

The Surfers Paradise sign greeting visitors to the beach, Gold Coast. Image credit: Getty Images

Welcome to Australia’s favourite playground, the Gold Coast. Australia's premier holiday destination for people of all persuasions - you've made a good choice. Upon arrival check into your accommodation for the next week. The GC has a wide range of high-rise beachfront accommodation. There are also plenty of cheaper low-rise apartments a few blocks back from the ocean. Wherever you choose to stay on your Gold Coast holiday, you'll be walking distance from all the action. 

For families, some of our favourites include Paradise Resort Gold Coast, which has been voted Australia's Best Family Resort for 11 years in a row. Known as a ‘cruise ship on land’ the resort features an ice-skating rink, waterpark, kids club, miniature train, and a heap of activities for the kids. 

For couples, Mantra Crown Towers is a popular option for Kiwis. Just 100m from the beach and it has spacious living areas, gourmet kitchens and all apartments feature large balconies with views of the surrounding city. For those that want a true luxurious experience, stay at QT Gold Coast, a retro-glam, designer hotel packed with all kinds of indulgence and sophistication. 

Once checked into your hotel, your immediate trip is to the beach! Surfers Paradise Beach is one of the Southern Hemisphere’s most famous and beautiful beaches. A two-kilometre stretch of golden sand and rolling surf, this is the perfect place to go for a swim, or give surfing a go, with board hire and surf lessons available and beach breaks extending the full length of the beach. 

Day 2 – Dreamworld - WhiteWater World

Gold Coast theme park ride

Rollercoaster at Dreamworld theme park. Image credit: ©Dreamworld

Gold Coast theme park ride

Rollercoaster at Dreamworld theme park. Image credit: ©Dreamworld

Gold Coast theme park ride

Rollercoaster at Dreamworld theme park. Image credit: ©Dreamworld

Today is your day for adrenalin, thrill rides, and fun as you spend the day exploring Dreamworld and WhiteWater world theme parks. Start the day early and drive on the Pacific Motorway for the 25-minute journey to Australia’s favourite theme park, Dreamworld.

Boasting 13 worlds-in-one, Dreamworld is a theme park for all ages. Adrenalin junkies can't get enough of Dreamworld's fast and furious rides including the famous Tower of Terror, Giant Drop, the Claw, the Gold Coaster, Taipan Steel and the stomach-churning Wipeout. For fun at a slower pace, families can ride the Dreamworld Express or drive in a 1920s vintage Ford replica. 

Dreamworld is also the home of Wiggles World, a place where kids can meet all their favourite Wiggles characters as well as enjoy some rides of their own including the Big Red Boat Ride and Dorothy's Rosy Tea Cup Ride. But it doesn't stop there.  

After taking a pit stop for lunch, venture next door to spend the afternoon at WhiteWater World, a water theme park that has groundbreaking technology to deliver some serious splash. For thrill seekers, check out the Triple Vortex - an oscillating slide which drops the rider onto a series of funnels; the Green Room - a four-person tube ride which drops you down from a 75-metre tunnel; The Wedgie - step inside the launch chamber, cross your arm and prepare to be dropped; and The Rip – a massive whirlpool with high-speed revolutions and a black terror tunnel. 

Day 3 – Pacific Fair - Burleigh Heads - Dracula’s

For your Gold Coast shopping, head to Pacific Fair one of Australia's largest shopping centres, which boasts an outstanding collection of luxury, high-street fashion, and dining and bar experiences, plus a world-class indoor/outdoor leisure and entertainment precinct and around 400 specialty stores.  

After all that shopping, you’ll be wanting to have a little relax time. Head out to Burleigh Heads, which sits like a cool comma between Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta.  Locals flock here for world-class point break, unbeatable beaches, lively café and dining scene, nature walks and the all-around sunny vibes that this beloved location has to offer. We recommend Rick Shores Restaurant where you can enjoy some delicious Pan-Asian food right on the beach.  

The National Park that occupies most of the headland provides bush walks through lush rainforest and breathtaking views of the Gold Coast. 

In the evening, this one is only for the adults! Spend the night watching a cabaret show at Dracula’s. It’s fair to say this is a crazy live cabaret club show with singing, dancing, burlesque, magic, juggling, and aerial performances, then step inside their maniacal lair for the ride of your life. It’s a night you won’t forget!  

Day 4 – Warner Bros Movie World - Wet‘n’Wild

It’s time for another theme park day, so strap yourself in, it will be a bumpy ride! 

Affectionately known as "Hollywood on the Gold Coast" Movie World is a theme park where famous characters wander the streets and action-packed movie scenes come to life. For lovers of stunts, blockbusters and cute cartoon characters, Warner Brother's Movie World is the ultimate day out. Movie World has hosted numerous movie premieres and is constantly updating its attractions and rides to coincide with the latest in entertainment. 

Ride the DC Rivals HyperCoaster,  the tallest, longest and fastest HyperCoaster in the Southern Hemisphere! Or go on The Green Lantern Coaster which has one of the steepest inverted drops in the Southern Hemisphere! Or experience Superman Escape where you will reach 100km an hour in only two seconds. You can also watch the dazzling Hollywood Stunt Driver show and you can meet your  favourite Looney Tunes, Justice League and Scooby Doo characters at the Main Street Star Parade each day. 

In the afternoon, cool off next door at Wet’n’Wild, but don’t be fooled, this water park can be just as thrilling! Experience the ultimate adrenaline rush as you take on the AquaLoop. Be released via a trap door then enjoy a heart pumping vertical free-fall drop! Or brave the all-new exhilarating KABOOM! where you lunge down a 10-metre drop before zooming uphill at zero gravity then twist, turn and descend at a 360-degree rotation.  

For those wanting a more relaxed time at Wet’n’Wild, there are some great family slides and pools that will cater to everyone, you can also hire a luxury cabana for the day. While the others are getting their adrenaline cup filled, you can enjoy the sun and work on your tan. 

Day 5 – Mount Tamborine and Springbrook National Park

Waterfall in Mount Tamborine, Queensland, Australia

Waterfall at Mount Tamborine. Image credit: Getty Images

Waterfall in Mount Tamborine, Queensland, Australia

Waterfall at Mount Tamborine. Image credit: Getty Images

Waterfall in Mount Tamborine, Queensland, Australia

Waterfall at Mount Tamborine. Image credit: Getty Images

After all those theme parks, today is a whole different vibe as you journey inland to see Mount Tamborine and Springbrook National Park. A 30-minute drive from the Gold Coast and perched high on the rim of an ancient volcano is Mount Tamborine. Despite being so close to the Gold Coast, Tamborine Mountain feels like you’re a world away. The beautiful and picturesque area in the Scenic Rim has a rich history, is home to some of the most fertile land in Queensland, with stunning national parks and rainforests, and has its fair share of food and wine experiences.  

The Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk is probably the best – and easiest – way to get your head around just how beautiful Mount Tamborine is. Wander among the treetops and follow the path that gradually descends to the lower canopy, past rock pools to the cantilever that stands 30 metres above the valley and offers endless views. 

For those that want a unique experience, Hot Air Balloon Scenic Rim takes you up into the sky, giving a 360-degree view of the beautiful green landscape of the Scenic Rim and out to sea.   

You can also go on a unique guided tour through the Tamborine Mountain Glow Worm Caves. Unlike most wild glow worms, this colony is fully visible during the daytime. Plus, visit the local Tamborine Village for a wide variety of options for lunch. 

For the afternoon, visit Springbrook National Park. Spectacular waterfalls, lush rainforest, ancient trees, impressive views, exceptional ecological importance and natural beauty make Springbrook an outstanding place to visit.  

Day 6 – Skypoint Observation Deck - Jet Boat Ride - Sunset Cruise

t’s your last full day on the Gold Coast so why not make the most of it! Visit the Skypoint Observation Deck, Australia’s tallest building. 230m above sea level located atop the iconic Q1 building, SkyPoint's unique vantage point lets you take in the entire city skyline from one location so you can enjoy a delicious meal or a signature cocktail at Gold Coast’s highest Bistro+Bar, sitting 77 levels up!  If you are feeling a little more adventurous, conquer the SkyPoint Climb, Australia's highest external climb. 

Once back down, try jet boating down the Gold Coast. You still get views of the same landmarks - the Versace Hotel, Surfers Paradise, and the Southport Yacht Club - with high speeds and daredevil tricks thrown in between. This needs to be booked ahead of time as boats get booked out (talk to us about that!). 

In the evening, spend your last night on a memorable sunset cruise that will take you through the canals and waterways of the Gold Coast as the sun goes down. 

Day 7 – Depart Gold Coast – Learn to Surf or Aquaduck Tour

Today is the day where you depart a place you now realise why so many travellers call paradise. If you’re looking for something to do on the last day of your Gold Coast holiday, we have a couple of options still up our sleeves!  

The first thing would be to learn to surf, since you’re literally in surfers’ paradise! There are many places to learn to surf and we can organise that for you, either in Surfers Paradise or Broadbeach where you can take a 2-hour introductory lesson with Go Ride a Wave Queensland. These lessons are best for complete beginners, all equipment is included and even kids as young as 5 can join. The main goal of your lesson will be to get you to stand up, it’s a challenge for a first timer but we believe in you!  

Otherwise, if you’d prefer to stay dry on your last day in the Gold Coast, you could take a river and city tour on the legendary Aquaduck! This tour is a hoot, and kids especially will love it! The Aquaduck is an amphibious vehicle with a big yellow beak, that will take you on a quacktastic 1-hour tour around the landmarks of Surfers Paradise both on land and in the water!  

Depart the Gold Coast full of memories, sunshine, and rejuvenation. As you fly back to New Zealand, you may find yourself planning your next trip away to Paradise. Contact Flight Centre today to get your ultimate Gold Coast holiday underway!

Flight Centre

© Flight Centre (NZ) Limited.

Lowest Airfare Guarantee is no longer valid at Flight Centre stores in New Zealand as of Thursday 14 July 2022. Click here for more information.

A Travel Expert Service Fee will be applied to bookings made in store, over the phone or via email, and is charged in addition to the advertised price. Click here for more information.

*Travel restrictions & conditions apply. Review any specific conditions stated and our general terms at Terms and Conditions. Prices & taxes are in NZD and are correct as at the date of publication & are subject to availability and change without notice. Prices quoted are on sale until the dates specified unless otherwise stated or sold out prior. Prices are per person.