Gold Coast Storm

How to spend a rainy day on the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast has a reputation for serving more days of sunshine than rain; but if it does happen to fall on your holiday parade, chin up, there are plenty of things to do on when it rains on the Gold Coast.

Surf a break without any line ups

Gold Coast Burleigh Heads

Rain tends to scare some people away, but if you are going to get wet anyway, why not hit the waves and enjoy a few uncrowded sets at Burleigh Heads, Currumbin or Snapper Rocks? These are the pick of the Gold Coast’s best surf breaks, and usually pretty busy, but on a rainy day, how’s the serenity?

No rain, no rainbows, right?

With beaches named after mermaids and rainbows, it gets pretty magical around here. So after a rain shower, head for the beach to catch the sun charging up the rain drops with all the colours of a rainbow. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot a rare double.

Get Wet Go Wild

Same rule applies to theme parks – so don’t let the rain perturb you. Wet’n’Wild is all about being immersed, so pop on your swimmers and hit the slides at Australia’s biggest water park. Dreamworld doesn’t pack up when it rains either – their newest slide; the Triple Vortex is built for thrill seekers but if have littles in tow, plonk them in the biggest puddle they’ve ever seen at Wiggle Bay. For more on theme parks.

The burgers are better at Longboards

What better way to deal with a rainy day on the Gold Coast than smashing a burger? And the legendary local favourite for gourmet burgers and craft beer is Longboards Laidback Eatery and Bar under the iconic Q1 Resort & Spa in Surfers Paradise. Take on the “Phat Bastard Challenge” if you dare by munching your way through 600g of wagyu beef patty loaded up with the works in record time. Wash it down with a few of the 30 cocktails and craft beers on tap at the only themed surf bar on the Gold Coast serving authentic dude food.

Shop it off

Shopping is considered sport on the Gold Coast, and regardless of whether you prefer luxury brands or bargains, there are plenty of places to indulge in a spot of retail therapy.

For the best brands, head to Pacific Fair. Here you’ll find over 400 stores from international icons though to local favourites. And with cinemas, dining and a playground for the kids, it is easy to spend a whole day out of the rain here.

Robina Town Centre is where the locals like to shop; also home to over 400 stores. Serve your shopping with a side of art and visit ArtVo Illusions; Queensland’s only “trick art” gallery, filled with entertaining optical illusions. Face off with wild animals, surf the ultimate wave or even scale mountains. All ages are welcome to be wildly adventurous here and you’ll have the photos to pop on your instagram to prove it.

If you love a bargain, Harbour Town in Biggera Waters is Australia’s largest and the Gold Coast’s only outlet shopping centre. You’ll have to be nimble to duck in and out as the centre is mostly open air, but with the money you will save, it’s well worth taking on a bit of water.

But first – beer

Book a designated driver and head for the breweries. The Gold Coast has a few, but start your session with one of the pioneers at Burleigh Brewing Company. The sun is not the only thing pumping out gold on the Gold Coast. The amber brew at this establishment wins medals – gold medals in fact, and at the World Beer Championships no less. And with 25 awards currently sitting on the bar; more than any other Australian brewer. Take a tour with one of the “bartisans” or just kick back in the tap house sampling the Daisy Duke, Bighead, or My Wife’s Bitter alongside beer inspired bites from the food trucks.

When world surfing mates Mick Fanning, Bede Durbidge, Josh Kerr and Joel Parkinson decided to start a brewery; Balter was born.The wall art says “Hot City Cold Beer” which pretty much sums up the ethos at Balter. Good beer served cold and a space designed to make you feel right at home. You can wander through the brewery, chat to the makers and of course, sample the brew. Try our fav IPA – which Balter says is “like frolicking naked through a spring forest, then dive bombing off a mandarin-scented waterfall’. We’ll take a carton thanks.

Add more beer tasting to your rainy day on the Gold Coast with this Gold Coast hit list.

Celebrate the rain

How? On a rainy day pub crawl or food safari of course.

Food, glorious food

If you’ve ever wanted to sample the best local food, but you’re not sure where to start, hand your taste buds over to the crew at Gold Coast Food and Wine Tours. Choose either Broadbeach or Burleigh (or Surfers Paradise for group bookings), to discover some of the best local places to eat. Great company, delicious food, wine tastings or cocktails are sure to chase any rainy day blues away. Tours depart on Friday and Saturdays from 2-30pm and run until 6.00pm and are $129 per person.

Get arty

HOTA is the Gold Coast’s creative arts precinct and with an outdoor stage, two theatres, two cinemas, cafe and activities almost always underway; you’ll find plenty to do at Home Of The Arts. From yoga to dance, musical theatre, art, markets and kids programs and the best bit: most of them are free. Construction is currently underway for a new $60.5m HOTA Gallery, due to open in early 2021, which when complete, will make it the largest public gallery outside a capital city in Australia.

Looking for more free family fun? Step over here to these free activities on the Gold Coast.

If tea is more your tipple

Palazzo Versace | rains Gold Coast

Photo by @lydia.wa

Then take your tea sipping to a fashionable new level at Palazzo Versace by indulging in their decadent high tea. Sip tea, champagne or cocktails alongside a tiered plate of sweet and savoury petit fours while watching the beautiful people frolicking in the lagoon pool outside. Marvel at the exquisite chandeliers and breathe in the perfume from thousands of fresh flowers that decorate the lobby. It’s opulent, but a great way to spend a rainy day on the Gold Coast at one of the best luxury resorts in Queensland.

Escape reality

A rainy day on the Gold Coast is the perfect excuse to get lost in the magical world of make-believe. For a brain-straining thrill – head to Escape Hunt Experience at Southport where you will be part of a team of sleuth’s tasked with solving a mystery that is the only guaranteed way to get out (don’t be scared it’s make believe remember).

For another mind boggling experience visit to Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditorium on Cavill Avenue where the wacky, wild and wonderful will bemuse, baffle and bamboozle you. Discover some of the worlds weirdest across 15 themed galleries with 400 genuine artefacts, almost impossible illusions and all sorts of things unusual.

And take it up a notch at LaseRace next door to contort your way around laser lights trying to ping you and see if you beat not just your friends, but the clock too.


Gwinganna retreat | rains Gold Coast

Photo by @retreatlux

The final way you can spend a day on the Gold Coast when it rains is all about treating yourself. And the Gold Coast has plenty of day spas and wellness retreats to choose from.

For a little self-luxe in the burbs – Greenhouse the Bathhouse will pamper, preen and pummel your rainy day blues away with indulgent massages, sublime soak sessions (in a heated hydrotherapy spa no less), and a soothing magnesium plunge pool to complete your me time trilogy.

For something a little more fancy, but mind-blowingly meditative, head for the hinterland and call 200 hectares of forest/rainforest  home for a weekend at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat. Nestled in the lush Tallebudgera Valley, leave the phones behind and take a cue from the heavens and refresh, revive and relax while listening to natures soothing soundtrack of rain falling gently outside.