All that glitters: the best things to do at night on the Gold Coast
With its non-stop surf and pedestrians in Surfers Paradise to the gentle Tallebudgera Creek in Burleigh Heads and the luxury of Marina Mirage on Main Beach, there’s plenty to do on the Gold Coast during the day. But after the sun goes down and the flags are removed for the day, there’s an energy that fills the air.
Our list of things to do with friends at night on the Gold Coast will have you living like a local. From vino-fuelled art classes to glamping and mini golf, round up the crew and discover a whole new way to create memories after dark on the GC.
Go sky high
Fancy glittering views while you sip on your gin?
Go rooftop (bar) hopping: Try tacos and margaritas at Frida Sol in burgeoning foodie hotspot Palm Beach, or visit boutique Surfers Paradise hotel The Island‘s elegant rooftop brimming with native plant life and coastal accents.
If you’re after food just as good as the cocktails, Justin’s Rooftop at Justin Lane in Burleigh Heads definitely delivers the goods.
Perfect your swing
Forget everything you know about golf, because this swanky new venue has reinvented it.
Standing proudly next to Warner Bros. Movie World, Topgolf Gold Coast is oh-so-much more than just your average driving range – it’s open until midnight every day and is one of the most popular things to do at night on the Gold Coast for a reason.
Round up the crew and drive your way through three levels of golfing fun, mouthwatering eats, feelgood tunes, multiple bars and event spaces – and did we mention there’s a rooftop terrace?
The multi-storied facility is impressively high-tech, with climate-controlled hitting bays, and microchipped golf balls that measure the distance and accuracy of your shot as well as record your score on one of the TVs in your private bay.
The main event(s)
Never one to shy away from the spotlight, the Gold Coast’s music scene is hotter than its sun-kissed weather.
Vibrant musicians and industry professionals from around the globe descend on the Gold Coast throughout the year to showcase and witness the best new Australian music.
If you like your festivals free, check out one of the pumping music events like:
Surfers Paradise LIVE | 30 April-3 May 2020 – an award winning four-day music festival held on the Surfers beachfront that presents a diverse and iconic line-up of Australian artists.
Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival | 14-17 May 2020 – a true street music festival with plenty of dining, shopping and accommodation options close by.
Cooly Rocks On | 3-7 June 2020 – an annual rockabilly celebration of everything 50s, 60s and 70s.
Groundwater Country Music Festival | 24-26 July 2020 – as Australia’s fastest growing country music festival that pays tribute to the original Indigenous owners of the land, it’s indicative of the growing appeal of country music in Australia and features Aussie country bands.
Paint the town
There’s nothing like a paint and sip class to get your creative juices flowing – and if that’s right up your alley, book in for a session at Brush & Barrel in Surfers Paradise.
With a sip (or two) and a swish of a paintbrush, you could be the next Picasso at the studio that allows you to paint, laugh and sing to your heart’s content (bless them). Rather than being left to your own devices, each night there’s a new feature painting to re-create.
Have a look online ahead of time at what you’ll be painting (they post a calendar schedule in advance) and choose your masterpiece. Or leave it to chance and select a night at random. On the night, the studio’s paint instructor will be on hand to guide you with easy-to-follow instructions.
Tucked away in Lamington National Park in Gold Coast’s hinterland, Nightfall Wilderness Camp is the most luxurious a glamp can get. A secluded rainforest escape, the campsite is restricted to only eight guests at a time. This luxe camping spot features permanent hand-built safari tents, delicious fire-cooked cuisine, a free-standing bath, fireplace and natural spa pools.
If you go in winter, you can curl up in front of the fire, and in summer you can open your tent walls to relish the surrounding rainforest and moonlight.
Watch stars under the stars
Burleigh Brewing Co. puts on an open-air cinema experience on the last Thursday of every month, so you can see Hollywood’s brightest under some of the twinkliest stars.
Drinks and snacks are available, so grab your beer, a gourmet cinema snack box (with antipasto goodies, cheese and dips) and settle in. Pre-purchase your tickets online for $15 which gets you a complimentary schooner, or for $20 at the door (sans beer).
Take a night paddle
Kayaking may not immediately spring to mind when you’re looking for things to do at night on the Gold Coast. Soak up the moonlight and a different perspective of the city with a night paddle along Southport to Wave Break Island. Seaway Kayaking Tours offers the Full Moon Tour once a month so you can kayak alongside the luminous full moon and watch the night waves break along the shore.
Arrive for a glass of wine and some nibbles before setting off on the water and admiring the breathtaking night view of the Gold Coast city skyline. The tour lasts 90 minutes, and if you’re worried about the visibility or capsizing, fear not: you’ll receive a safety induction before the tour, and experience is not required.
To market, to market
Stroll through the laneways and order one of each of the different cuisines from over 70 stalls. Bite down on everything from Italian to Greek while you listen to the tunes wafting over from the main stage, where independent artists serve up local blues, jazz and roots.
Miami Marketta is open and free to the public from 5pm, and is the original street food market on the Gold Coast.
Go craft brewing
If hops are your thing, we’ve got you covered. The Gold Coast has some of the best craft brews in Queensland. Take your pick (or visit all three) for a night out well spent.
Head to Balter Brewing, where pro surfer Mick Fanning and friends’ “full of drinkableness” beer ranges from XPAs to fruity IPAs and everything else in between.
Crowdfunded brewery Black Hops was started by three mates who were asked to come up with a Call of Duty (COD) special release beer.
Burleigh Brewing Co is the epitome of beach culture, known for its Twisted Palm brew and a great range of merch featuring their signature designs, including a skateboard collab.
Nibble new eats
You’ll never go hungry with the array of new and exciting restaurants popping up all along the Gold Coast. With the likes of Rick Shores, Restaurant Labart, BKA Vegan and Hyde Paradiso among other impressive eats, the calibre of dining in this region more than compares to its more cosmopolitan Australian cousins.
With the likes of mouth-watering signature dishes like Rick Shores’ bug rolls, bottomless Sunday brunches and any cuisine you can imagine, your taste buds will be dancing with delight.