Gold Coast/Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise is the capital of the Gold Coast, and one of the largest tourist destinations in Australia. Set on miles of ocean surf beach, Surfers has more going on than just the waves. From the high rise apartments that line the shore, to the nightclubs, pubs and late night shopping lining the mall, Surfers is busy all through the day and night.

It is a site of near-pilgrimage to many Australian teens. It's a destination for New Zealanders, with direct flights bringing frozen Kiwis to defrost on the golden beaches, and an attraction for travellers from around the world.

Many believe that Surfers Paradise has been over-commercialised, and there is certainly intense high-rise development. The area has a reputation for rip-off shopping, timeshare salespeople, and seedy strip clubs (which are plentiful). The beaches and the rest of Surfers sit in the long shadows of the high rises in the late afternoon.

Love the beaches, or hate the kitsch. Love the nightlife, or just find the drunks stumbling and singing down Cavill Mall a turn-off. You can't be ambivalent about Surfers.

Get around

Surfers Paradise itself is quite compact, and you walk between much of the Surfers accommodation, Cavill Mall, and the beaches. In fact walking may often take less time than trying to find a parking spot close to the centre.

Surfside bus lines provides public bus services for the Gold Coast area, for timetable information and prices

Taxi cabs are another way to go, but can be quite expensive.


There are theme parks, water parks, wildlife parks, and a range of things to see in the surrounding Gold Coast.

In Surfers Paradise itself there is:


As the name of the city implies, surfing is the order of the day. Other water sports like boating and fishing are also plentiful.

If you are going to swim make sure you swim in patrolled areas (between the red and yellow flags). Each year hundreds of swimmers get into trouble in the strong currents swimming outside the flags. If you do get in trouble just put your hand up above your head to get the lifesaver's attention. There are many sets of flags around the Surfers area. Head north or south from the main beach if the crowds are too much.





Plenty of the hotels around Surfers Paradise offer buffet all you can eat seafood, which is normally quite nice and around $50 - $60 per person plus drinks. Some offer lunch specials or early bird deals.


Most of the night clubs are down Orchid Ave just off the main strip Cavil Ave, ones to check out are:


There are accommodation options all up and down the Gold Coast. Surfers itself is home to numerous apartments, premium high-rise hotels, and many backpacker hostels. Motel style accommodation is generally elsewhere on the coast.




Stay safe

As with all beaches in Queensland you need to swim between the Red & Yellow flags at all times. These flags mark the safest area of water in which to swim & also the area in which the lifeguards are supervising. Many lives have been lost due to people not swimming in the marked area.

Surfers Paradise, as with all other clubbing areas, can have its fair share of alcohol related problems as drunks stumble out of clubs (or are not let in to them due to the 3AM lockout law). Best to be mindful.

Go next

Go anywhere else on the Gold Coast, even if it's just a walk down the beach to Broadbeach. If you confine yourself to Surfers for the duration of your stay you haven't actually seen the Gold Coast.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, February 24, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.