Winter is arguably one of the best times to visit the Gold Coast. There’s no humidity or crowds and if you spend the morning whale watching or at the beach, you can soak in the ambience of the rainforest in the afternoon before dining out at night.
As a city that never sleeps and as a thriving winter destination, the Gold Coast hosts a myriad of national and international events such as the annual TV Week Logie Awards and Cooly Rocks On. Theme park thrills are always on the cards and animal experiences are more pleasant when it’s cooler.
Offering beachfront apartments and luxury hotels within walking distance of world-class eateries, as well as cabins with fireplaces and views across Springbrook National Park, there’s dozens of reasons to visit the Gold Coast in winter.
But here are just 7 to get you started…
With clear skies, Instagram-worthy sunsets and an average daytime temperature of about 21.5C, winters are practically balmy on the Gold Coast compared to most other states. It rarely rains and quite often reaches 25C. Mornings can be fresh, especially if you’re staying at a rainforest cabin such as O’Reilly’s or are up early for a hike in the hinterland but by noon you may be toasty so it’s best to wear layers.
In winter the water temperature can be anywhere from 22C to 25C which means it’s often warmer in the ocean than out. Winter swimming and sunbathing is totally a thing on the Gold Coast, especially if there’s no wind. Don’t forget to pack a snorkel set and underwater camera and head to Wave Break Island to spot more than 50 different fish species in depths ranging from 0-15metres.
The cooler months make it a lot more pleasant to feed lorikeets at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and meet crocs, koalas, emus, bilbies and the resident platypus at the heritage-listed David Fleay Wildlife Park. You’ll find friendly farm animals at Paradise Country and this winter there’s baby tigers at Dreamworld. To see penguins, polar bears, sharks, stingrays, sea lions and dolphins, visit Sea World.
Why not shop until you drop at Pacific Fair, Queensland’s largest retail and dining destination. It’s home to more than 400 stores including an expansive collection of iconic and leading global brands and it’s just a short walk from the G: Link’s Broadbeach South station. Further south, Robina Town Centre is home to an eclectic array of shops as well as The Kitchens; a bustling food urban marketplace.
Theme park thrills
Queues are almost non-existent in winter but the thrills never end, with Movie World, Dreamworld and Sea World all offering nail-biting rides for adrenaline junkies. Wet’n’Wild and WhiteWater World are not off-limits in the cooler months as the parks aim to keep the water temperature a mild 25C. Just keep in mind a wind chill factor might come into play if it’s blustery.
You can head out on a chartered boat to get super close to humpback whales as they cruise past the Gold Coast from May to November, but there’s plenty of free vantage points along the coastline. Just bring some binoculars, a chair, coffee and a jacket and head to Miami Hill, Burleigh Headland, Kirra Hill or Point Danger.
The Gold Coast is home to a plethora of high-profile events in winter, including the 61st TV Week Logie Awards on June 30 and Australia’s largest 50s, 60s and 70s nostalgia festival, Cooly Rocks On, from June 5 to 9. For two nights from May 31, Surfers Paradise will be lit up thanks to SeaFire, and from June 1 to 14 the city is hosting the Australian Open Bowls, the world’s richest open bowls event.
Still need more convincing? Why not spend a day at Canungra Valley Vineyards, experience a world-class cultural event under the stars at by HOTA or take a hot air balloon ride. Once you’re here you’ll wonder why you haven’t visited in the Gold Coast in winter sooner!