April 15, 2021 | 3 Minutes

Outdoor Escapes in Australia

Play Outside in Surfers Paradise

There’s nowhere more quintessentially Australian than Surfers Paradise. With its 1.2-mile-long stretch of golden sand in the heart of Queensland’s Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise attracts families, surfers, and sun-worshippers keen to enjoy its laid-back lifestyle. If you want to get outdoors and enjoy the best of what the area has to offer, try these activities:

Go Humpback-Whale Watching

If you’re visiting Surfers Paradise between May and November, you might be lucky enough to spot humpback whales as they migrate from Antarctica to warmer waters. Head to vantage points such as Burleigh Hill, Point Danger, and Miami Lookout in the early morning or late afternoon. Or book a guided boat excursion and get up close to see males breaching and slapping to attract mates, or mothers guiding their calves. Many tour operators even offer a money-back guarantee if you don’t spot a whale.

Hit the Theme Parks

Beyond the beach, the Gold Coast is well-known for its family-friendly theme parks. From the extreme waterslides at Wet’n’Wild to a behind-the-scenes look at the movies at Warner Bros. Movie World, there’s a park for just about every interest. If you want to see more marine life beyond the saltwater lagoon at your Surfers Paradise resort, then Sea World is a must-visit. Or for a high-tech simulation of life in Australia’s remote rural areas, book a ticket to the Australian Outback Spectacular dinner and show.

Cruise Along the Waterways

Few visitors realize that not far from the busy main strip of Surfers Paradise, there’s an extensive network of peaceful waterways, canals, and rivers. Set out on a river cruise and explore some of the 500 miles of navigable tidal waterways, including residential canals built in the 1950s, where you’ll see some of the area’s finest homes (and boats moored at their own private pontoons).

Get Up Close with Koalas and Kangaroos

A 30-minute drive from the beach at Surfers Paradise, the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is the best place along the coast to learn about Australia’s native wildlife. There are plenty of hands-on activities to try, including feeding kangaroos, experiencing what it’s like to be a raptor handler, and cuddling with koalas (Queensland is one of three Australian states where it’s legal to handle koalas).

Where to Stay

Use your Points* to stay at Marriott Vacation Club at Surfers Paradise in Australia. This resort is co-located with the luxurious JW Marriott® Gold Coast Resort & Spa.

How to Get There

Members can use Points to make a reservation for a studio, or 1-, or 2-bedroom suite at Marriott Vacation Club at Surfers Paradise. Contact Member Services to check availability or make a reservation.

Members may also trade their Points for Marriott Bonvoy Points for a stay at JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa.