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Australia Day on the Gold Coast 2024 | Fireworks and events

Fireworks, sailing trips, pop-up festivals and, of course, the beach. This is how the Gold Coast does Australia Day.

With sun, surf, bronzed bodies and a lively atmosphere, you can't beat the Gold Coast on Australia Day. You can pretty much guarantee that wherever you turn, the flag will be flying, eskies will be strewn about and the nation's pride will swell.

Searching for something to do on Australia Day? We've got some ideas.


Australia Day fireworks on the Gold Coast

The City of Gold Coast has confirmed its annual Australia Day fireworks at HOTA Outdoor stage.

While you're busy revelling, the little ones will remain amused all afternoon long with live music and kids' activities between the Outdoor Stage and Parklands. Food trucks will be available to purchase meals.

The event starts at 4pm and ends at 8pm with the Australia Day fireworks starting at 7:50pm.

fireworks gold coast

Australia Day Gold Coast events for 2023

EventsDetailsWhereWhenCostMore info
Australia Day @ Cove TavernCelebrate Australia Day at your local tavern. Includes free Zooper Doopers for kids when adults purchase a meal and live performance from Dave Ritter at 11am and Mono from 3pm.

Cove Tavern, Sanctuary Cove

11am–4pmFreeMore info
Australia Day @ Southport SharksKeep those little ones entertained with a free reptile show, kids face painting and kids disco. Big ones will be entertained by live entertainment and BBQ-themed raffles.

A buffet of Aussie favourites (think bangas, steak and lamingtons) will be available from 5:30-8:30pm.

Southport Sharks Corner Olsen and Musgrave Avenues, Southport4pm–7:30pmEvent is free

Buffet costs $35.90 (adults) or from $10.90 (kids)

More info
Australia Day @ Coolangatta HotelLive music is always on at the Coolangatta – and on Australia Day, it's got to be an Aussie behind the mic. Catch live music from Fat Albert.The Strand at Coolangatta10am–8pmFreeMore info
Aussie PrideCatch performances by local talents as they sing on stage at Twin Towns.Twin Towns, Wharf St, Tweed HeadsFrom 5pmFreeMore info
Australia Day Eve Party @ Finn McCool'sCelebrate Australia Day early with an Irish twist and all the Guinness you could want.39 Cahill Avenue, Surfers ParadiseFrom 8pm, 25 January 2023FreeMore info

Things to do on Australia Day on the Gold Coast

Sail away on an Australia Day cruise

From gondola and canal to scenic and island cruises, the Gold Coast has all the on-the-water options to make your Australia Day special.

While you're there, why not pop the bubbly in celebration? After all, you're not driving.

If you want, you can up the stakes and charter a private vessel for a romantic day out on the water.

Gold Coast Sightseeing River Cruise from Surfers Paradise
Gold Coast Sightseeing River Cruise from Surfers Paradise

Viator

Visit a Gold Coast theme park

Synonymous with a trip to the Gold Coast is a trip to its large network of theme parks. Whether you're a SeaWorld lover or a Warner Bros. Movie World fan, each theme park transforms itself into an Australian paradise on 26 January.

Full events and activities for the date have yet to be released, but to give you an idea of what you can expect, in the past, SeaWorld has hosted roving entertainment and a barbeque in its plaza, while Dreamworld has hosted a shearing show and sausage sizzle and sold lamingtons and ANZAC biscuits in its cafe.

3-day Pass: Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World, Wet'n'Wild
3-day Pass: Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World, Wet'n'Wild

Adrenaline

7-day Pass: Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World and Wet'n'Wild
7-day Pass: Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World and Wet'n'Wild

Adrenaline

Cool down on the water

Australia Day on the Gold Coast calls for one thing: a beach, a pool or an ocean adventure. Choose from scuba dives, jet boat rides, jet skiing, kayaking or even splash parks if you have little kids.

2.5hr Gold Coast Kayaking & snorkelling tour
2.5hr Gold Coast Kayaking & snorkelling tour

Tripadvisor

Surfers Paradise or Broadbeach Surfing Course in Gold Coast
Surfers Paradise or Broadbeach Surfing Course in Gold Coast

Klook

Head to the rainforest

Not much of a beach bum? Prefer to stay away from the crowds this public holiday? Head west to the Gold Coast Hinterland and you'll discover relaxing walks, adventurous climbs and nature unparalleled.

Natural Bridge & Springbrook Waterfalls Tour
Natural Bridge & Springbrook Waterfalls Tour

Tripadvisor

Full-day Springbrook National Park Tour from the Gold Coast
Full-day Springbrook National Park Tour from the Gold Coast

Viator

Natural Bridge and Springbrook Waterfalls Tour from Gold Coast
Natural Bridge and Springbrook Waterfalls Tour from Gold Coast

Klook

Encounter local critters

Animal lovers and kids alike will adore the myriad of animal encounters to be had on the Gold Coast. To keep with the day's Australiana theme, our pick is Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, which houses koalas, crocodiles, emus and echidnas.

Dolphin Deep Water Adventure at Sea World
Dolphin Deep Water Adventure at Sea World

Adrenaline

Fly high in a hot air balloon

Want to start the new year off on the right foot? Tick off this bucket-list activity on Australia Day and marvel at the wonderful land we live in from your view from above.

Gold Coast Hinterland Hot Air Balloon Flight with Breakfast
Gold Coast Hinterland Hot Air Balloon Flight with Breakfast

RedBalloon

Hot Air Balloon Flight with Breakfast and Photos
Hot Air Balloon Flight with Breakfast and Photos

Adrenaline


Top free things to do on Australia Day on the Gold Coast

  • Play beach cricket. Up your game on the beach this year and pack the cricket set for a match on the sand.
  • Host a barbeque. No room in your backyard? No worries! The Gold Coast is home to over 380 public barbecues in its parks and beaches.
  • Get to know your local pub or RSL. If your local pub or RSL isn’t doing something to commemorate the founding of our nation, we’ll eat our hats! Want to keep it local? Wander into your local to say "G'day".
  • Play barefoot bowls. Have a few laughs with mates new and old with a barefoot bowls session. Some Gold Coast faves include Burleigh Heads Bowls Club, Broadbeach Bowls Club, Southport Bowls Club and Tugun Bowls Club.

What's open on Australia Day on the Gold Coast?

AttractionAustralia Day trading hoursWhere to book
2.5hr Gold Coast Kayaking & snorkelling tour7:30am–1:30pmTripadvisor
Natural Bridge & Springbrook Waterfalls Tour8:45am–5:45pmTripadvisor
Movie World9:30am–5pmRedBalloon
Sea World9:30am–5pmRedBalloon
Wet 'n' Wild10am–8pmRedBalloon
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary9am–4pmAdrenaline
Infinity Attraction Gold Coast10am–10pmAdrenaline
Skypoint Observation DeckClosed for Australia DayExperience Oz
WhiteWater WorldClosed for Australia DayExperience Oz

Are shops open on Australia Day?

These are the major shopping centres that typically open for the Australia Day public holiday (26 January) and their public holiday trading hours.

  • Harbour Town Outlet Shopping Centre: Open 10am-5pm
  • Robina Town Centre: Open 10:30am-4pm
  • Paradise Centre: Open 9am-12am
  • Pacific Fair Shopping Centre: Open 10am-5pm
  • Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre: Open 6am - 10pm
  • Australia Fair Shopping Centre: Open 9am-9pm
  • Marina Mirage: Open 10am-6pm
  • Westfield Helensvale: Open 9am-9pm (TBC)
  • The Strand at Coolangatta: Open 10am-5:30pm
  • Southport Park Shopping Centre: Open 9am-9pm (TBC)
  • Runaway Bay Centre: Open 9am-9pm (major stores)
  • Soul Boardwalk: Times vary depending on the store (TBC)

Some opening hours of attractions and shops above are based on regular opening hours. Opening hours for Australia Day on 26 January are yet to be confirmed and may be subject to change. Updated as of 11 January 2023.


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Written by

Stephanie Yip

Stephanie Yip was the travel editor at Finder and has been writing about travel and lifestyle for over a decade. She has written for a range of travel publications including Thomas Cook Magazine and Showpo. Stephanie has a Bachelor of Communications from the University of Technology Sydney, Australia, and has visited over 50 countries (and counting). She has a passion for sharing her experiences and knowledge of travel and helping consumers stretch their travel cash while on holiday. See full profile

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