With 300 days of sunshine each year, you don’t have to crunch the numbers to know you’d have to be damn unlucky to visit the Gold Coast on one of its wet weather days.
If you do find the odds against your beach-going favour, don’t zip up your board-bag and put away your cut-off shorts just yet; the Gold Coast still shines when skies are grey.
Your wet-weather holiday plans are about to get a lot more exciting than Netflix in bed, with this list of things to do on the Gold Coast when it rains.
Home is where the art lives
You know the local art scene is going to be good when it requires a $60.5 million building to showcase it.
In fact, by 2021 the Gallery at HOTA in Surfers Paradise will wear the title of the largest public gallery outside a capital city in Australia – and good news for storm-evaders, this gallery is completely free.
Inside, you’ll find a collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, alongside interactive exhibitions all year round.
Keep the little ones away from the puddles with arty distractions (or adorable souvenirs for grandma) like finger painting, paper animals and pipe cleaner flowers.
Looking for more free family fun? Step over here to these free activities on the Gold Coast.
Bottoms up at Burleigh Brewing Company
Weather out the storm in a beer-bunker with an afternoon at Burleigh Brewing Company.
Delivering more than just a roof over your head, you can take a brewery tour to meet the maker and enjoy an amber ale or two on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays when this brewery opens to the public.
What you save on entry (oh yes, it’s free!), you can spend on a growler of Daisy Duke, Bighead, or My Wife’s Bitter while the clouds clear.
Throw in wings, weiners and waffles from one of the onsite food trucks and chances are you’ll be in for both a good time and a long time.
Like where this is going? Make your rainy day pub crawl progressive with this Gold Coast hit list. Be warned, if you make it to the end, you may no longer be able to see clearly now the rain has gone.
Pull out your spyglass and get sleuthing
There’ll be no pitter-patter of rain, just the tick-tock of a countdown clock, as you race to solve a vineyard murder, escape a prison, crack cryptic codes or break into an evil alchemist’s home.
As predictable as the red-herring before the last commercial of CSI, you can expect a dead-end or cruel misdirection before the hour is out, so pack your problem-solving A-game.
Stay in school, cooking school that is
Whip up the kind of food that would have Matt Preston salivating onto his wildly coloured cravat with an Italian cooking class at Salt Meats Cheese.
Hosted by chefs at their Surfers Paradise restaurant, you’ll be rolling out pasta and flinging pizza dough like a veramente Italiano in no time.
Whether your only kitchen skills are removing a layer of plastic and tossing a meal into a microwave or you’re used to whipping up your own four-course meals, you’ll leave one-step closer to preparing your Masterchef audition tape.
Believe it or not at Ripley’s
From ancient eras to Alice-in-Wonderland type of illusions, transport yourself to different worlds and discover some of the world’s most astonishing, yet bewildering relics across 16 themed galleries.
You can expect to find authentic shrunken heads, Ancient Egyptian coffin treasures and a wedding dress made out of toilet paper.
If you’re more of an action not re-action kind of visitor, head to Laser Race next door to limbo your way, Tom Cruise-style, through an (almost) impossible mission.
Be immersed in a movie like never before
If you’ve been there, done that, and worn the 3D glasses, it’s time to go to a movie that takes it up a notch or four, at the 7D Cinema.
Ignite all five senses and then some, with this state-of-the-art simulator platform that combines science and technology to make you ‘feel what you see’.
Sorry to disappoint, but you won’t find Moana or Frozen on the big screen here, there’s just 10 specialised short adventure films that are specifically produced for the 7D screen.
Don’t stop there – get on the family-fun bandwagon with these holiday ideas.
High tea fit for a Queen
If you’ve ever wondered what high tea at Buckingham Palace looks like, Palazzo Versace’s high tea is as close as you’ll get on the Gold Coast – albeit with a distinctly Italian-twist.
With exquisitely presented sweets (with a signature Valrhona chocolate delice with orange, cardamom) and savouries (the likes of roast beef and celeriac remoulade finger sandwiches), one thing is for certain – those pinkies will be out and pointed the whole time.
Put cucumbers over your eyes
If Instagram has taught us anything, it’s that self-care is not selfish; so stop drumming up the excuses and get yo’self to a day spa and stat.
Scrap the meditation tapes and fall into deep relaxation mode at Q1 Resort & Spa, where there’s just one street between sand and spa.
Or for something more Instagrammable than a unicorn latte, set a date with yourself at Greenhouse the Bathhouse with its luxe massages, pamper soak sessions (in a heated hydrotherapy spa), not to mention a magnesium plunge pool and red cedar sauna at your polished-fingertips.
You can fuel up the right way with a nourishing meal at the onsite cafe, which serves up stunning salads and kombucha on tap.
Have your own Disney on Ice moment
Your view of kids clubs is about to get a hell of a lot cooler with a visit to Planet Chill Ice Skating Rink.
Spend up to two hours at this Surfers Paradise hangout, where anyone over the age of three can take to the ice.
For family-fun, time your visit for a Friday night when strobe lighting comes out in force for Family Disco night. Expect games such as ice-hockey and red rover as you zip from one side of the rink to the other.
Pack your sense of adventure along with your jumper and socks – even though it might be 28 degrees outside it’s a guaranteed 10 degrees inside this fun-igloo.