9 of the Best Places to Watch the Sunset on the Gold Coast

Gemma Music, Staff Writer

Watching the sun dip below the horizon is a truly magical experience – and when it comes to the Gold Coast, there’s no shortage of exceptional vantage points from which to watch the sky transform.

Allow us to share the nine best nooks, rooftop bars, restaurants and lookouts in the Gold Coast to witness dusty pink hues shift from light to dark, feint amber tones develop into a striking shade of fiery red and golden yellows stretch across the sky (preferably with a glass of bubbles in hand).

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1. Take in 360-degree sunset views from Kirra Lookout

One of the most picturesque spots for sunset gazing can be found atop Kirra Hill, where you will be treated with sweeping views of headlands to one side and the ocean to the other. On a clear afternoon, views will stretch from Main Beach to the north and Snapper Rocks to the south.

At the top of the hill, you will find facilities including tables and BBQs – perfect for an early dinner with sunset drinks – and between June and November, you might be lucky enough to spot a pod of whales during their annual migration period – which is made even more spectacular by the sunset melting into the horizon.

2. Elevate your sunset viewing with a twilight tower climb at Q1

There are adventures, and then there are hair-raising, heart-racing, serious adventures; and the Skypoint Climb at the top of the iconic Q1 resort building safely falls under the latter.

Up the ante in your quest for the perfect sunset viewing experience with a Twilight Climb (starting at 4.20pm), available daily for unparalleled views at 270 metres.

3. Catch the sunset from all angles at The Spit

Main Beach, courtesy of Destination Gold Coast

There’s nothing better than getting a 360-degree view of the sun’s last rays dancing across the ocean – and The Spit jetty at Main Beach is an unmissable spot to make that happen.

Tucked away on the northernmost section of this famous stretch of Gold Coast beach, The Spit extends far into the water and is the point where the Gold Coast Broadwater meets the open ocean. While you’re there, pop into Seaway Kiosk, famous for its delicious crab sandwiches.

4. Reach new heights at The Star Grand’s Nineteen Rooftop Bar

Nineteen at The Star Gold Coast, courtesy of The Star Gold Coast

Is there a better combination than sky-high cocktails and a dazzling Gold Coast sunset? From this luxe rooftop restaurant and bar, you can enjoy uninterrupted views of the sky as it becomes awash with pastel hues. With an expertly crafted cocktail in hand, you’ll be treated to sweeping vistas of the glittering skyscrapers and towering buildings that line the beachfront.

Once the sun goes down, let the disco beat draw you in, as some of Australia’s best DJs take control of the decks, or slip inside to sample a selection of culinary delights from the carefully curated menu that places a strong emphasis on premium sustainable produce.

5. Experience the Burleigh sunset trifecta

Looking across to Burleigh by Mark Fitzroy, courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland

If you’ve ever seen a photo looking back across Surfers Paradise, there’s a very high chance it was captured at either Burleigh Pavilion, Rick Shores or Burleigh Hill – each within moments of one another, and all offering incredible sunset vistas.

Take to the hill and BYO picnic, visit ‘The Pav,’ as it’s affectionally known to locals, or indulge in a seafood extravaganza like no other at Rick Shores. Whichever you choose, be sure to keep your camera or phone nearby to snap a few shots of the colourful sky.

6. Look back at Surfers from Rainbow Bay SLSC


Rainbow Beach SLSC at Greenmount Beach, by Brooke Darling, courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland

If you’re seeking year-round sunset bliss, look no further than Rainbow Bay SLSC – perfectly positioned on one of the Gold Coast’s only north-facing beaches.

A much-loved spot among local families and surfers, the club straddles the state’s border, making it the most southern club on the Queensland coastline. From the balcony of the Surf Club, you will be rewarded with views towards Burleigh and Surfers Paradise, making it a gorgeous place to gaze at the rainbow sky. Surfing enthusiasts will also relish the opportunity to catch some of the world’s best breaks in action before the sun goes down, with Rainbow Beach acting as the gateway to Snapper Rocks, where champion surfers, including Stephanie Gilmore, have graced the waters.

7. Swap ocean views for verdant landscapes at Moonlight Crag

O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, courtesy of Destination Gold Coast

While much of the action is found in the Gold Coast’s bustling heart, sometimes it pays to leave the city lights behind and immerse yourself in the hinterland’s beauty.

Perhaps one of the best-kept secrets among locals is the jaw-dropping views atop Moonlight Crag at Lamington National Park, located approximately a 90-minute drive from the Gold Coast. To reach this tranquil spot, you can set off on two feet and brave the 8km return walk starting at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, or snake your way through the lush rainforests and drive to the elevated vantage point (to avoid navigating your way home in the dark!).

8. Transport yourself to an urban rooftop paradise at The Island

Picture this: you’re sipping a cocktail that’s been shaken to perfection, you’re about to take a bite of the tasty entrée you just ordered and at the same time, the sky above you is glowing as it slowly disappears. But this isn’t a dream – it’s what most (if not all) nights at The Island Rooftop look like.

Proudly claiming the title of the Gold Coast’s largest open-air rooftop bar, this much-loved spot is in the heart of Surfers Paradise, with views overlooking the CBD and coastline – a drink here is a quintessential Queensland experience.

9. Head to the Rotary Lookout at Mount Tamborine for views across the Scenic Rim

There’s nothing like watching the day come to an end at one of Mount Tamborine’s gorgeous viewpoints. Make your way to the popular Rotary Lookout – easily accessible and less than an hour’s drive from the Gold Coast – for outstanding views over the eastern corner of the Scenic Rim, which stretches from Tamborine Mountain to Lake Moogerah, Mount Barney, Boonah and beyond.

Bonus:

Now that you have the perfect perch to sit and watch a glowing sunset, there are a few things to know before you go.

  • To ensure you don’t miss the sunset and there’s plenty of time to pull up a chair or roll out a picnic rug, checkout the sunset time here and be sure to arrive at least 30 minutes in advance.
  • If you’re heading to a bar, book your table early to avoid disappointment – don’t worry though, the sunset happens daily, so you’ll always have a second chance!
  • Overcast weather? Don’t be put off. The colours can be at their most dramatic with a bit of cloud cover.

Please note that due to current restrictions some operators may be temporarily closed. Check their websites for the most up-to-date information

Keep your eye out for businesses displaying the ‘Good to Go’ stamp — this means they have the required COVID Safe documentation in place to ensure a safe travel experience for visitors.

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