There’s always plenty on in Surfers Paradise, and this February we’re excited to see the annual Gold Coast Sand Safari Arts Festival return. Gold Coast Sand Safari is a free event running from the 14th February to 1st March 2020 and celebrates sand, sea and surf on the infamous coastline of Surfers Paradise.

Surfers Paradise will come alive with large-scale sand sculptures and inflatable art. This year’s theme is our favourite yet! In the year 2020, this FREE festival will see your imagination come to life across 17 days, containing over 270 tonne of sand themed to your favourite fairy tale classic. 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. Sculptors from Australia and around the world will battle for the Australian title. Expect to be wowed, with sculptures creating intricate masterpieces, all made from sand!

Be amazed when 15 world-renowned sculptors, go head-to-head to take out the highly acclaimed title by creating 10-tonne sand sculpts revealing your favourite fairy tale classics.

Friday 14 & Saturday 15 February 7.30am – 6.30pm
Sunday 16 February 7.30am – 4.00pm

Sunday 16 February 5.30pm at the castle of ever after

During the course of the festival get involved and have your say by collecting a golden coin to vote for your favourite sculpt in the People’s Choice Award, the winner will take home the crown on Saturday 29 February.

#2: The Harp of the City

Six giant public instrumental harps, will be placed along the beachfront produces unique sounds along with an interactive light show. Designed by artists Joseph Burgess and Joshua Wilkinson, each harp is completely unique, carved by hand out of wood, giving each instrument its own character, reflecting in both form and sound. Each of the harps’ six strings produces a different musical phrase and sympathetic response by using single coil guitar pick ups and reactive LED lighting.

#3: Blue Migration Soldier Crabs

Internationally-acclaimed local artist Clayton Blake, will showcase two of his extraordinary works of art across the duration of Sand Safari Arts Festival. A cast of over 500 electric blue “Migration” soldier crabs will converge on Surfers Paradise beach. Each crab in the creative army is fitted with legs and eyes to enhance the artwork’s crustacean‐like appearance ‐ this vast and enchanting installation is sure to spark the imagination of all ages.

#4: Tentacle Tales

This year, in collaboration with local mixed media artist, Courtenay McCue (CTR DESIGNS) a thicket of eight large scale tentacles will ignite Cavill Mall – reflecting the beings of fairy tale dreams. “Tentacle Tales” features eight larger than life octopus tentacles embellished in well‐known and cherished fairy tales.

#5: Art Installations

The Artist Plaza in Cavill Mall – spotlighting new, emerging and established artists work in a dynamic outdoor exhibit. Discover a diverse display of artwork in a range of mediums, from paintings to Sand Safari‐themed masterpieces. You’ll not only see art come alive, but have the option to purchase your favourite piece as well.

#6: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Mirror, Mirror on the wall – who’s the selfie king or queen of them all? Photo opportunities will be flowing throughout the festival to capture memories that will stay with you forever and ever. Like in Snow White, a magic mirror will surface along the beachfront teamed with the not so small seven dwarf sand sculpts standing at whopping five tonne.

#7: Jack and the Bean Stalk

Be mesmerised by the largest sand sculpture ever to be seen at Sand Safari Arts Festival! Weighing in at 45 tonnes, the world famous Surfers Paradise sign sets the stage for the cherished tale of young Jack, a poor country boy who trades the family cow for a handful of magic beans. To his astonishment, these beans grow into an enormous beanstalk reaching up into the clouds and to the Giants castle. Rediscover the iconic beanstalk and let your imagination come to life with the story of a whole new world high up in the clouds.

#8: Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

They have yelled that there is no more room at the table, but in this one of a kind enormous interactive display there is plenty of room for you to join the fun! Take a seat and a photo of this classic scene from one of the world’s most beloved fairy tales, Alice in Wonderland. Carved from 35 tonnes of sand over five days, this captivating display comes to life with all your favourite characters including, the Mad Hatter, March Hare and the Dormouse enjoying tea with Alice and is sure to delight.

Carving dates: Monday 17- Friday 21 February 2020

#9: Aladdin’s Genie of the Lamp

We all know the story of the peasant boy who discovers a lamp and out pops a 10,000 year old genie and grants him three wishes, now it’s your turn! Step back in time to ancient Persia and journey across the skies of Surfers Paradise on a magic carpet with none-other than Aladdin’s Genie of the Lamp. An astonishing 35 tonnes of sand has been used to create this famous and magical scene with the mystical Genie granting you three wishes – what will you wish for?

Carving dates: Monday 17- Friday 21 February 2020

#10: The Castle of Ever After

The mythical adventures will continue as you step into The Castle of Ever After, the home where fantasy meets inspiration. Behold the enchanting array of fairy tale book readings, performances, games, live music and the Storyfest pop-up beach library like no other.

Be sure to check the full timetable of activities listed daily on The Castle of Ever After blackboard.

#11: Dare to Dream

To celebrate the little Hansels and Gretel’s that “Dare to Dream”, Surfers Paradise State School will be showcases breathtaking works of art, including entries from the prep to grade three colouring‐in competition. A talented art teacher will be viewing all entries on display, with the winner announced in March 2020.

Where to Stay for 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.