With 13 million national and international tourists https://www.gccec.com.au/quick-facts.html visiting our golden shores each year, the Gold Coast is one of the most popular holiday hotspots in the world.

With an endless stream of sunshine, popular tourist activities for the whole family include the Q1 observation deck, interactive island adventure bus tours and a day experiencing the thrills of Australia’s biggest and best theme parks.

While there’s certainly no shortage of attractions for tourists, the list of non-touristy things to do on the Gold Coast is just as long.

If you want to go off the beaten tourist track and spend your time rubbing shoulders with the locals, check out our list of non-touristy things to do on the Gold Coast.


Immerse yourself in the vibrant café culture

One of the many things Gold Coasters do better than most is their kickstart morning coffee.

From Espresso Motto in Palm Beach https://espressomoto.com.au/ which doubles as a motorbike shop, to the whole-in-the-wall aptly-named Nookin Burleigh, there are hundreds of cafes and eateries that line the coast, each one more distinctive than the next.

Sit back and watch the world go by, coffee on the Golf Coast is an experience and a mighty delicious one at that!


Sample local delicacies from food trucks

The foodie culture on the Gold Coast is becoming more prominent by the day. In contrast to the Michelin Star restaurants that line the waterways, taster plates from local food trucks are fast growing into a favourite way for non-tourists to eat.

The infamous Miami Marketta https://www.miamimarketta.com/ is a bustling hive of local food trucks serving tasty treats from all over the world. Sample a taster plate or two as you soak in the atmosphere and mingle with non-tourists connecting over live music and delicious food to suit all tastes.


Cycle from Burleigh Heads to Main Beach on a beach cruiser

Grab yourself a beach cruiser and cycle the designated road from Burleigh Heads to Main Beach. The 19 km cycle track may sound like a daunting feat but taking in the breathtaking scenery along the way makes this adventure more gain and less pain.

The beach road is inaccessible by cars, and the purpose-designed clearly-marked cycle track keeps cyclists and pedestrians safe.


Uncover local wares at the markets

From north to south, regular markets line the coast and provide a treasure chest of local wares and fresh produce.

Every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, 100’s of market stalls set up on the Surfers Paradise esplanade http://www.surfersparadise.com/things-to-do/beachfront-markets with live music setting the tone for a relaxing evening with the locals.


Shop up a storm

Give the credit card a workout in the Gold Coast’s world-class shopping centres. Robina Town Centre and Pacific Fair both recently underwent multi-million-dollar facelifts and are now home to some of the top retail brands in the world. Top off a day’s shopping with dinner, a movie, or even bowling!


Watch the sun set on the weekend at Burleigh Hill

Sunday afternoon on Burleigh Hill is the non-touristy place to be!

Grab a picnic blanket, fill the esky and soak up the atmosphere with hundreds of locals enjoying the soothing sounds of the ocean as the sun sets on the weekend.

Stick around after dark and watch fire twirlers and bongo drummers give free performances.

When you scratch beneath the surface of the bright lights of Surfers Paradise, you’ll discover a Gold Coast filled with endless non-touristy activities. Find out about more Gold Coast activities here.


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