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Major Events on the Gold Coast

With magnificent beaches, a fantastic climate, a huge range of accommodation and a strong business infrastructure the Gold Coast is a helluva place to hold an event. That's why there's so much happening in this town.

Whether you like car races, golfing tournaments, tennis, musicals, surfing or lawn bowls, there's guaranteed to be something on the Gold Coast events calendar to suit you. The following is a brief guide to some of the major events held on the Gold Coast each year.

See what's happening on the Gold Coast this month at our event calendar, or read about some of the major events that happen on the Coast each year below.

Opera on the Beach
Fireworks at the Southport Yacht Club
Bleach Festival tent

Quiksilver Pro Surfing Titles

Quiksilver Pro Kelly Slater
With some of the greatest waves in the world at the doorstep (albeit a sandy doorstep) the Gold Coast is the natural home to the Quiksilver Pro, the first event on the ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) World Tour - the most prestigious surfing competition on earth.

The competition is held wherever the best waves are on the day, and takes in an area from South Strabroke Island to Ballina in NSW - cyclones permitting, the home of the tour is at Snapper Rocks in Coolangatta where the legendary new wave breaks all the way to Kirra providing the longest rideable waves in the ocean. 

The Gold Coast has been home to world class professional surfing for decades, but only recently have the fabled pointbreaks been called into Foster's ASP Men's World Tour duty. Formerly a ASP six-star WQS venue, Quiksilver staged their inaugural Quiksilver Pro ASP World Tour event at Snapper in 2002. Since then, it's been one barrier-breaking event after another.

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Blues on Broadbeach

Blues on Broadbeach crowds
With over 450,000 people in attendance since the festivals inception, Blues on Broadbeach is regarded as one of the world’s largest free festivals. Transcending the barriers of age, gender and culture, the Blues on Broadbeach festival is a free, non-ticketed event that takes over Broadbeach every year.

Spanning four huge days in May, it has become on Australia’s most iconic Blues festivals, attracting fans and artists from around the world. It is also the largest free music festival in Australia.

The festival nurtures local talent while providing a platform for international acts with artists performing day and night at a range of outdoor stages and venues throughout Broadbeach and the Gold Coast. It's a music experience like no other that still manages to remain a free event.

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Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show

Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show

The annual four-day event attracts visitors and exhibitors from across Australia and around the globe, and with a strong 30 year history on the Gold Coast the SCIBS is a boating event not to be missed.

Showcasing the latest innovations, technologies and products within the marine industry, including power, sail, multihulls and superyachts, trailerable boats for fishing or family fun, ski boats, tenders, jet skis and more!

Wander through the marina, pavillions and through the Sanctuary Cove Marine Village and browse through the hundreds of exhibits and displays, watch exciting demonstrations of the latest watercrafts, and speak with industry professionals and other boating enthusiasts from all over the world.

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The Gold Coast Airport Marathon

Gold Coast Airport Marathon
In one of the most desirable holiday destinations in the world – the Gold Coast  is an event that motivates and challenges tens of thousands of people of all ages and abilities, inspiring both participants and spectators alike. The Gold Coast Airport Marathon draws on young and old every year to try their hand at everything from the junior dash to the full 42.196km marathon.

Participants from all over the world flock to the beautiful Gold Coast every year to compete in the Gold Coast Airport Marathon. With the wonderful climate, low humidity, minimal wind and mild temperatures, the Gold Coast enjoys excellent running conditions perfect for a marathon.

The Gold Coast Airport Marathon course runs alongside the Gold Coast's iconic surf beaches and Broadwater, and enjoys a reputation as one of the flattest, fastest and most scenic courses in the world, drawing in thousands of visitors to the Gold Coast each year during the winter months. 

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Schoolies Week

Schoolies in Surfers Paradise
Schoolies Week is usually foremost on the minds of all Australian Year 12 students. It marks the end of exams, assignments & school, and the start of freedom – a rite of passage before entering University or the workforce. Students usually start planning for Schoolies early as not booking in advance may see you miss out on Schoolies accommodation.

Australian school leavers have been flocking to the Gold Coast since the 1970s for a week of partying with friends by the beach, a tradition that still continues with Year 12’s migrating to the Gold Coast to have fun in the sun with new and old friends every year.

As the event has grown, so too have the support services that ensure students have a safe time while they let their hair down. It's safe to say that the suburb of Surfers Paradise becomes somewhat off-limits for the rest of us, but for school leavers it's THE place to be.

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Vodafone Gold Coast 600

Gold Coast 600 car races
This event marked the re-birth of one of the world's greatest motorsport festivals and at a heavily discounted rate on previous years! 

Initially known as the Gold Coast Indy 300, then the IndyCar Series, then later when A1 Grand Prix withdrew from the event, the popular V8 Supercars took over the show and after more name changes than Elizabeth Taylor had ex husbands, the annual event is now known as the Vodafone Gold Coast 600 (although was also briefly named the ARMOUR ALL & Castrol EDGE Gold Coast 600 as well for anyone playing at home) and delivers a week of show stopping celebrations and three action-packed days of V8 Supercar street racing. 

If fast-paced motor sport racing isn’t your scene there are plenty of beach concerts, stunts, car shows and plenty of other celebrations happening during the event.

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Swell Sculpture Festival

Swell Sculpture Festival
Featuring an intriguing display of local and international artworks, the Swell Sculpture Festival is a fantastic free exhibition that turns Currumbin Beach into an outdoor art gallery in September every year. 

Open all hours, you can walk amongst the sculptures under the warming spring sun or see them lit up under the southern sky. Over ten days there are twilight walks, talks from the artists, a Public Art Forum and the Swell Smalls Gallery for smaller pieces. So head down to Currumbin Beach to be inspired, amused, uplifted and touched by the artistic displays.

As well as the art displays, Swell also includes a number of participating events such as informative artist talks, entertainment programs, workshops and master classes to help the aspiring artists in all of us.

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Magic Millions Horse Racing Carnival

Magic Millions horse race
In the second week of January every year the glamorous Gold Coast is the venue for the Magic Millions Yearling Sales and ten days of Carnival and society events surrounding the Magic Millions raceday.

Two One Million dollar races are the highlight of the raceday, with only graduates of the Magic Millions Sales eligible to compete. The Magic Millions Sales and raceday has established its reputation on the international scene, and has fast become a "must be there" event worldwide. 

Horse Racing and Thoroughbred Sales go hand in hand at Magic Millions. Horse racing is all about winning and Magic Millions Sales proudly claims it's share of legends cementing Magic Millions reputation as the place to buy world quality thoroughbreds. Such success reflects the Company's relentless quest for excellence in all of the Magic Millions thoroughbred auctions wherever they may be held.

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Images courtesy Tourism & Events Queensland, Tourism Australia, Destination Gold Coast, Getty Images & Magic Millions

Things to do and seeOn the Gold Coast in Queensland

Theme Parks

Combo passes & packages

Free things to do

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary


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