Travel Diary: One week in Gold Coast & Sydney

You don’t have to stick to one city. From stunning coasts to urban escapades, discover the best of Gold Coast and Sydney with this one-week itinerary.

gold coast to sydney

Day 1: Arrival

Goodbye Singapore, hello Gold Coast.

We like to take it easy on the first day, so first stop: SkyPoint Observation Deck. The only beach-side observation deck in Australia, SkyPoint sits on the 78th floor and has a museum, cafe-bar, and weather station. Think you’re up for a physical challenge? Go for a SkyPoint Climb and scale the exterior of the tower in a 90-minute workout.

Hungry? There are several dining options at the Q1 building (where the deck is located) along Hamilton Ave. If you want to enjoy the view while eating, head for the Seventy7 Cafe + Bar at the deck itself. For seafood and Western fare, try Brady’s (Q1, ground level). Missing Asian cuisine? There’s a Japanese restaurant Osaka Kaiten Sushi for that sashimi fix.

Day 2: DreamWorld Fun!

Wherever you’re staying, make an effort to rise early and find a homely local cafe nearby. Have a hearty Australian breakfast do: Fresh eggs, sizzling bacon, and yummy toast! Walk it off by taking a morning stroll.

Now, it’s time for adventure! Hit Gold Coast’s largest theme park, DreamWorld. Go for the heart-stopping Tower of Terror ride (it has a 38-storey drop, yikes!), or blast through the hottest steel roller coaster, Hot Wheels SideWinder. Thrill seekers can continue on the other Big 9 Rides (Buzzsaw, Mick Doohan’s Motocoaster, Pandamonium, Tail Spin, The Claw, Giant Drop, and Wipe Out). If you’re a LEGO fan, don’t miss the newly opened LEGO store at the entrance of the park: It has the largest selection of LEGO products in the country.

When you think you’ve had just about enough, skip to the next-door WhiteWater World. Also owned by DreamWorld, the water park houses 12 rides and is great for cooling off from the sun!

Day 3: Gold Coast Sydney

Take a domestic flight (1h 30min) to Sydney, the home of the iconic Sydney Opera House. (You may also choose to drive there, but it’s a whopping 848km away. Read: Nine-hour drive!).

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Sydney is famous for its picturesque coasts, but you’ll need more time (and energy) to cover those. For today, head to the heart of the city and do some shopping. Popular spots in the central business district include the upmarket Queen Victoria Building and mega mall Westfield Sydney. If you enjoyed the bird’s eye view experience in Gold Coast, you can go up the Sydney Tower Eye, which is also in the district.

Next, take a short walk to Madame Tussauds Sydney and take some photos with your favourite stars. For a flexible tourist attraction card, consider the iVenture Sydney Unlimited Attractions Pass. Purchase it, and enjoy free (or discounted) entry into multiple places of interest.

Day 4: Luna Park

Located on the northern part of the Sydney harbour is Luna Park, the city’s liveliest theme park and go-to amusement park filming site for local shows. With its smiley mascot all over the park and colourful buildings at every turn, Luna Park is truly a carnival with lots of life and festivity. 

A must-go attraction is the 40m-high Ferris Wheel, which offers unparalleled views of the famous Sydney harbour. If you want, you may even book High Tea on the Ferris Wheel! Our favourite is Coney Island, a retro (and child-friendly) fun house that exudes 1930s Australian charm. If kiddy slides are not your cup of tea, go for the Hair Raiser. Enjoy the few moments you’re 50m up in the sky, before it sends you back to the ground at a terrifying 80km/h.

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Milsons Point (where Luna Park is located) is home to many chic cafes and restaurants. If you’re in the mood to splurge, book a table at Aqua Dining. From the Italian-Western restaurant, you can enjoy the view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House as you eat your spaghetti.

Day 5: “Island”-hop & visit the Taronga Zoo

Yet another day of adventure is planned for day five! Purchase the Taronga Zoo & 24h “Hop On Hop Off” Ferry Pass (click here!) Combo and have an experience combining the best of nature and wildlife. It’s your holiday, so go wherever you feel like going first!

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With the 24h “Hop On Hop Off” Ferry Pass, you have unlimited rides on the ferry network, which brings you to and from scenic points including Darling Harbour, Shark Island, and Watsons Bay.

Ready for the Taronga Zoo? You betcha. The 28-ha Sydney city zoo is home to over 4,000 animals. Being set on a hill, as you ascend (while exploring the park) you’ll get to feast your eyes on not just the animals, but the coastal view as well. Taronga Zoo is easily accessible via ferry from Circular Quay.

Day 6: Buffet before heading home!

Yup, nobody likes goodbyes, so eat your heart out before flying back. We recommend the Sydney Harbour Seafood Buffet Lunch Cruise, where you can have one last look at the beautiful Sydney harbour and city while polishing off plates of freshly prepared seafood.

Get your tickets & tours:

Check out See the Nearby, Equally Beautiful Southern Lights with Just $223, THE BUCKET LIST: 12 Heart-stopping Activities That Every Grad Trip Must Have, and Hitting The Great Ocean Road? Well, You’ll Need An Australian Tourist Visa.

Ready to embark on your adventure?
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