There’s always plenty on in Surfers Paradise, and this March we’re excited to present Beyond the Sand Arts Festival (formerly known as Gold Coast Sand Safari). Beyond the Sand Arts Festival is a free event running from the 13th March to 21st March 2021 and celebrates sand, sea and surf on the infamous coastline of Surfers Paradise.

The 2021 event will be circus-themed offering entertainment for the entire family. Featuring the annual Australian Sand Sculpting Championships, installations from local and nationally acclaimed artists, as well as daily circus performances, roving entertainment, sand art activities and sculpting workshops, attendees will be able to ‘step right up’ and learn new skills from performers and artists. Here are eleven events and installations to look out for – do not miss out on #7:

#1: The Australian Sand Sculpting Championships (ASSC)

The most anticipated event of the Gold Coast Sand Safari is the Australian Sand Sculpting Championships. The Australian Sand Sculpting Championships (ASSC) sees 10 world-renowned sculptors go head-to-head to take out the highly acclaimed championship title by creating 10-tonne sand masterpieces.

Established in 2012, the ASSC was the cornerstone of the former Sand Safari Arts Festival. Now a feature showcase opening the first weekend of Beyond the Sand Arts Festival, witness an astounding show of artistic flair unfold over three days, 13 – 15 March.

Our 10 sculptors will be carving spectacular sand displays that reflect the 2021 theme of Circus Carnival, it is a sight not to be missed.

#2: Feature showcase

Fun Park

Bringing the iconic heritage of Luna Park to the picturesque Gold Coast coastline. Witness first-hand, the intricate, sand carving details that go into recreating one of the most recognisable faces and heritage listed theme park entrances of Australia.

Merry Go Round

Imagine a merry-go-round like you have never seen before. Carved from 45 tonnes of white brickies sand, standing approximately 4.2 metres high and 4.2 metres wide, the scale and enormity of the Beyond the Sand merry-go-round will have you standing in awe as you appreciate the meticulous detail that sends you to a place of pure joy.

#3: Art Installations

Installation art is a modern style of art characterised by immersive, larger-than-life constructions designed to transform the perception of a space. These are usually made for a specific location and only a temporary period of time.

Artwork title: Lost

The Lost installation artwork features large botanicals to celebrate nature whilst inspiring fantasy. Parer Studio’s artwork explores the human relationship with the natural world. The monumental flora celebrated in this artwork are either extinct or endangered botanical species from around the globe which are delicately coloured, illuminated, and vibrant highlighting the beauty and wonder that has been or that is soon to be Lost .

The large-scale flowers and leaves of Lost are made from printed nylon 210D, illuminated by internally placed led lights and inflated using continual air blowers. The exhibition allows visitors to wander through the flowers that have seemingly grown to form part of Beyond the Sand.

#4: Artist Gallery

Discover a diverse and unique display of artwork from contemporary to abstract paintings and sculptures, created by talented local artists. You’ll not only see art come alive as you wander through the artist gallery, but have the option to purchase your favourite piece as well.

#5: Live DJs

Talented local DJs will be playing: Sharks Llyod, Cory Hotline, Just Jessie and DiskoDisco.

Dates & times:

13 March Saturday 12:30PM, 4:30PM, 6PM & 7:30PM

14 March Sunday 12:30PM, 4:30PM & 6PM

19 March Friday 12:30PM, 4:30PM, 6PM & 7:30PM

20 March Saturday 12:30PM, 4:30PM, 6PM & 7:30PM

21 March Sunday 12:30PM, 4:30PM & 6PM

#6: Circus Performances

Get ready to be amazed as you enjoy the talented performances by local circus entertainers. Filling the streets of Surfers Paradise with colour and excitement, witness unicyclists, jugglers and stilt walkers roving through crowds at Beyond the Sand.


TIMES: 3:30PM, 5PM & 6:30PM

#7: Sand art activities

The ever so popular Sand Art interactive craft activities are back in 2021. This wonderful activity has been entertaining children and the young at heart for years, and this year is no different.




#8: Sand sculpting workshops

Take your bucket and shovel sandcastles to the next level as you test your hand at sand carving during Beyond the Sand. These free Sand Sculpting Workshops are designed to show the intricacies of sand sculpting and help you to learn the secrets that the master sand sculptors have taken years to form and perfect.

DATE: 17 – 21 MARCH 2021


Cost: Free

#9: Circus workshops

Get ready to test your flexibility, strength and core stability as you try your hand at a variety of circus performances from stilt walking, plate twirling, juggling and even riding a unicycle. Do you think you’ve got what it takes to join the circus? We’ll soon see.


FRI – SUN 4PM, 5:30PM & 7PM

#10: Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets

Voted as the 2019 Best of Queensland Experiences by Tourism & Events Queensland. The Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets have been providing a unique shopping and cultural experience since 1995.

The twilight markets located on the Esplanade at the end of Cavill Mall operate all year round, every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 4pm to 9pm.



Where to Stay for Beyond the Sand Arts Festival – Gold Coast Sand Safari?

For Gold Coast accommodation, check out Holiday Holiday’s central accommodation options in the heart of Surfers Paradise, all of which are within walking distance to the Gold Coast Sand Safari Festival. See beachfront amazing accommodation such as Soul Surfers Paradise, family friendly accommodation at Chevron Renaissance, Luxury accommodation at The H Residences and Circle On Cavill.