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This adrenaline-inducing Gold Coast itinerary is bursting with activities

Bring your sense of adventure and your stamina. The Gold Coast is packed with thrilling experiences that will set your heart aflutter over action-packed days.

The Gold Coast is blessed with swathes of rainforest, cooled by waterfalls and dotted with talented growers, makers, distillers and producers. It’s a natural choice for outdoor adventure activities. But it also fosters creativity in spades – all you need to do is look at the line-up of incredible events and festivals.

From scaling Australia’s tallest residential tower and ziplining one of Australia’s longest – and most thrilling zip lines to taking to the skies at dawn in a hot air balloon flight, experience the Gold Coast like never before with this four-day itinerary.

Day One

Morning

Ease into your Gold Coast adventure with a private stand-up paddleboard yoga session on calm Tallebudgera Creek. Pure Aloha Yoga offers intimate sessions to connect your mind, body and spirit within stunning surrounds.

Soul fully salved, get your heart racing on beach cruiser bicycles from Action Outdoor Hire, offering a blissful morning spent drifting between sun- drenched beaches along the Gold Coast Oceanway. This 36-kilometre coastal path stretches from Point Danger in Tweed Heads to The Spit in the north. It is peppered with golden beaches, accessible viewing platforms (look out for whales from May through September) and the occasional seaside market.

Brunch is best enjoyed beachside, and The Tropic at legendary Burleigh Pavilion is not to be missed. It’s just a short cycle from Tallebudgera Creek, and offers sensational ocean views. The brunch set menu includes freshly shucked oysters, spiced bread, burrata, smoked salmon and bottomless Veuve Clicquot.

The Tropic at legendary Burleigh Pavilion has stunning Burleigh Beach views
The Tropic at legendary Burleigh Pavilion has stunning Burleigh Beach views

Afternoon

Head to qtQT Gold Coast to check in to your open-air rooftop cabin (they’re new!). This urban oasis dishes out curated fun and laid-back luxury in equal measure with soft linens, eclectic décor, and locally sourced art and amenities. Relax with a fireside aperitivo. Or, indulge in a spaQ treatment. The concierge, aka Curator of Sunshine, is at your disposal to plan the seaside stay of your dreams.

Evening

As the sun sinks below the horizon, more thrills await at Australia’s tallest residential tower, the Q1 Resort and Spa. Tackle the Q1 with the SkyPoint Twilight Climb, which takes you a thrilling 270 metres above the ocean to watch as the city below starts to sparkle.

Afterwards, treat your tastebuds at two-hatted restaurant, Palette, to devour the tasting menu. Expect dishes of Lady Musgrave Island swordfish served alongside fermented seawater vegetables and native ginger, and Borrowdale pork belly with quandong and Pedro Ximénez.

Day Two

Morning

Fuel up at QT’s Bazaar, a vibrant dining room that takes you on a globetrotting culinary ride around the world. This is not your average hotel buffet – there are tantalising dishes inspired by traditions served up in Middle Eastern souks, Asian hawker markets and Latin American bodegas, from slow-cooked meats and fresh seafood to sweet treats that are as pretty as they are tasty. Then, venture out on the Gold Coast’s sparkling waterways for a private catamaran tour.

Sailing in Paradise offers three-hour charters to secluded Stradbroke and Wavebreak islands, where you’ll glide alongside bottlenose dolphins, before plunging into the wonderfully warm waters for a spot of snorkelling.

Afternoon

Looking to go deeper? Don your scuba gear and explore the world’s first buoyant reef, just offshore from Main Beach. The Gold Coast’s latest and greatest dive site, Wonder Reef features nine ethereal structures that support an incredibly diverse ecosystem of aquatic life. Gold Coast Dive Adventures has your transport and equipment hire sorted, so all you have to do is take the plunge.

Evening

Fire up your Friday night at QT’s Stingray Lounge for an unforgettable evening of tacos, tequila and rumba caliente. If salsa isn’t your cup of tea, simply sit back and be transported to Latina America, chilli coconut margarita in hand.

Day Three

Morning

Begin your Gold Coast hinterland foray at dawn with a sunrise hot-air balloon flight. Drive to Canungra, an hour from QT Gold Coast, to take to the skies and soak in views of lush valleys bathed in golden morning light. Your complimentary breakfast is served hot at O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards, accompanied by sparkling wine and vineyard views from the verandah of the estate’s grand Queenslander.

Afternoon

An hour and 15 minutes’ drive from the vineyard, serene and secluded glamping tents at Nightfall Camp await. Nestled in an untouched pocket of Lamington National Park, and limited to only eight guests at a time, this fully-catered escape is sure to leave you rejuvenated and at one with nature. Enjoy a massage beside the tumbling waters of Christmas Creek, venture out for a hike or simply enjoy the twin vintage bathtubs and crackling fireplace of your sumptuous safari-style tent.

Evening

After dark, Nightfall comes alive with organic meals served under the stars. There’s no set menu – instead, your hosts create a bespoke meal tailored to your tastes. Produce is sourced from the Nightfall kitchen garden and small regional suppliers, with a focus on native bush tucker.

Luxe glamping tents at Nightfall Camp
Luxe glamping tents at Nightfall Camp

Day Four

Morning

Savour a homemade organic breakfast at Nightfall Camp before exploring a different pocket of the hinterland. It’s an hour’s drive onward to the TreeTop Challenge, where you can soar across canyons and a lush emerald-green rainforest canopy on one of Australia’s longest – and most thrilling – zip-line tours. There is also a challenging network of high-ropes courses to set your heart racing.

Afternoon

A hike through lush hinterland is the ideal way to end your Gold Coast adventure. Close to the TreeTop Challenge you’ll find the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk, set across 12 private hectares of rainforest. The 1.5-kilometre walk takes you across the forest floor and along high-tech bridges, offering a dreamy view of this special part of the coast.

This article was created in partnership with Destination Gold Coast and one of five fantastic Gold Coast itineraries.