Surfers Paradise

Population 18501

Surfers Paradise is the Gold Coast’s signature settlement. The first big hotel was built here in the 1930s, among little more than a clutch of shacks. Today, high-rise apartments  – including the world's tallest residential tower, Q1 Resort and Spa – front one of the state’s most beautiful beaches. This area has become an international-holiday metropolis, attracting every kind of visitor from backpacker to jetsetter.

Visitor Information

Cavill Mall, 2 Cavill Ave

Nearby national parks

  • Springbrook National Park

    A winding drive up into the Gold Coast hinterland leads to a pristine landscape of deep valleys, plunging waterfalls and dense rainforest in...more

  • Tamborine National Park

    The scenic Tamborine Mountain plateau and its surrounding foothills is the setting for this national park in the Gold Coast hinterland. Made...more

  • Lamington National Park

    The World Heritage–listed Lamington National Park, cresting the McPherson Range, is renowned for its natural beauty, panoramic views,...more

Nearby towns

  • Nerang

    Nerang is in the Gold Coast hinterland. Today the town is much more similar in character to that dense urban strip of coast than to the...more

  • Burleigh Heads

    Burleigh Heads is a suburb of the Gold Coast and is situated between Coolangatta and the tourist mecca Surfers Paradise. It is known for its...more

  • Tweed Heads

    Tweed Heads is the state's northernmost town and – along with its twin town Coolangatta over the Queensland border – is a popular holiday...more

In Town

Circle on Cavill: exciting new-generation shopping and leisure precinct with Circle Big Screen entertainment; access via Surfers Paradise Blvd, Cavill and Ferny Aves.

Orchid Avenue:  famous strip with the best live music in town. 

Ripley's Believe It or Not: the 12 galleries of amazing feats, facts and figures will surprise and amaze. There are interactive displays and movies that bring events to life; Raptis Plaza, Cavill Ave. 

Haunted House: from the creators of Dracula’s world-famous cabaret, this walk-through attraction offers 5 levels of fright and a shop of horrors; Surfers Paradise Blvd. 

Q1 Observation Deck: the tallest residential building in the world, the Q1 Observation Deck gives breathtaking panoramic views from Brisbane to Byron Bay at 230 m above sea level; Hamilton Ave.

Adventure activities and tours: try surfing lessons or scenic flights to see Surfers Paradise in a new light or take a tour to the Gold Coast hinterland; contact visitor centre for details.

KP Go Karting: Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise.

Flycoaster and Bungee Rocket: thrill rides; Cypress Ave, Surfers Paradise.

Quack'R'Duck: take an adventure on both land and water in this amphibious vehicle; departs Surfers Paradise Blvd.


Broadbeach The cosmopolatin heart of the Gold Coast has sophisticated wine bars, chic cafes, sun-drenched beaches and a vibrant nightlife. Visit Pacific Fair, Australia's largest shopping centre, hit the famous Conrad Jupiters Casino and try your luck at some blackjack, or stroll down to Kurrawa Beach, home of Australia's major surf-lifesaving competition. 3 km S

Main Beach This wealthy area just north of Surfers Paradise is a wash of trendy boutiques and chic eateries. The Southport Spit Jetty, or The Spit as it's commonly known, is home to Sea World and the famous Palazzo Versace Hotel, as well as many specialty shops, restaurants, outdoor cafes and weekend entertainment at Marina Mirage and Mariner's Cove. It is also a hotspot for fishing while diving can be done at the nearby wreck of the Scottish Prince. 3 km N.

South Stradbroke Island This resort island, separated from North Stradbroke by the popular fishing channel Jumpinpin, is a peaceful alternative to the Gold Coast. It boasts quiet coves to the west and lively ocean beaches to the east, separated by wetland and remnant rainforest. See the abundant bird and butterfly species and discover the pleasures of windsurfing and sailing on either a daytrip or longer stay. Cars are not permitted; once on the island visitors must walk or cycle. Access by ferry or private boat from Runaway Bay Marina; 13 km N.

Theme parks The Gold Coast is the theme park capital of Australia, with 4 major theme parks in the Oxenford and Coomera areas. Read More

Gold Coast Arts Centre: art gallery incorporating contemporary and historical Australian art. Evandale sculpture walk nearby; Bundall Rd; 2 km W.

Miami and Nobby Beach: both beaches are separated by a headland known as Magic Mountain. Miami is home to many diehard surfers; 6 km S 

The Broadwater: sheltered waterways excellent for boating (hire available), watersports and shore walks; access  from Labrador and Southport; 5 km N

Surfers Riverwalk: scenic 9 km walk from Sundale Bridge at Southport to Pacific Fair at Broadbeach. 

Sanctuary Cove: famous area for championship golf courses, the exclusive Pines and the immaculate Palms. Hire a houseboat or take a cruise; 23 km NW.

High-speed racing: 3 professional circuit tracks to test the visitor's driving skills in V8 Supercars, Commodores and WRXs. Courses at Ormeau and Pimpama; Pacific Hwy towards Brisbane; 33 km NW.

Fishing spots near town

Clarrie Hall Dam - Fishing Sub-region 51 km

Angling is a buzz when you are into a hot bite. It is also a buzz when discovering new territory or out hooking with other anglers, observing their methods and techniques on their home waters. So it was when I fished... Find out more

Eco-friendly activities around town

Tamborine Mountain Distillery 26 km

There is a multitude of chemical-free schnapps, gins and vodkas to try here, many of which come from the fruits grown on the farm. Try lemon myrtle vodka, the multifaceted choc’n’chili liqueur, forest... Find out more

Rock climbing around Brisbane 70 km

Brisbane’s Kangaroo Point is perhaps the friendliest city rock-climbing spot in the country, with views over the Brisbane River, a range of climbs for absolute beginners and upwards, and established anchor points... Find out more

Cycling and mountain-biking around Brisbane 71 km

Brisbane has a growing network of great cycling trails and some excellent rides for tourists – a five-to-20-kilometre ride along the shores of the Brisbane River comes highly recommended. There is also a great ride... Find out more

Westlander 72 km

Take the overnight train ride from Brisbane to Charleville or Quilpie, travelling over the Great Dividing Range and through some of Queensland’s rich farming areas.... Find out more

Diving and snorkelling around Byron Bay 73 km

Although there is not much in the way of shore dives or snorkelling around Byron Bay, the nearby Julian Rocks Marine Reserve is a top spot if you can get on a boat, with sea turtles, eagle rays, corals, grey nurse and... Find out more

Golf courses around town

Lakelands Golf Club 6 km

As a player, Jack Nicklaus was a regular visitor to Australia for more than two decades. He won six Australian Opens and inspired a generation of young Australians to take up golf. When his playing career began... Find out more

The Glades Golf & Spa 10 km

Ask Greg Norman’s former chief designer Bob Harrison to name one course that makes him feel proud when he sees the final result, and chances are he’ll say The Glades. Upon joining the Gold Coast golfing... Find out more

The Grand Golf Club 12 km

Think of the Gold Coast and flashing images spring to mind: beaches, theme parks, high-rise apartments, hordes of tourists. The Gold Coast hinterland has none of these, and could be thousands of miles away. The... Find out more

The Links, Hope Island 17 km

When Hope Island opened for play in 1993 it was a unique addition to Australia’s golfing landscape. Here was a links-style layout seemingly uprooted from Scotland and transplanted on to the sunny northern... Find out more

Sanctuary Cove Golf & Country Club (Pines course) 17 km

Sanctuary Cove’s Pines layout, designed by Arnold Palmer, has reigned for more than two decades as one of the Gold Coast’s best courses. At various stages during that time it has also ranked among the... Find out more

Brookwater Golf & Country Club 65 km

Brookwater opened to considerable fanfare in 2002, with many observers quick to draw comparisons with Augusta National, venerable home of the US Masters. The varied terrain, inventive bunkering and undulating putting... Find out more

Royal Queensland Golf Club 71 km

Of all the golf courses in this book, Royal Queensland has undergone the most dramatic changes in recent years. Originally opened in 1920, on reclaimed mangrove swampland on the north bank of the Brisbane River, ... Find out more

Cafes & restaurants around town


Combine classic French techniques with the best available produce you can find, and you have a great restaurant. Add the talents of chef Mayjitte Boughneot, who earned himself two Michelin stars in Belgium before he... Find out more

Chill on Tedder

Sophisticated, contemporary and fresh, this restaurant epitomises the ultimate beach-side dining experience. With a background in English restaurants (including the famed River Café), celebrated owner/chef Daran... Find out more

Kurrawa Surf Club

With unbeatable views of the beach below, the comfort of air-conditioning and the promise of a mouth-watering feed, this bistro is a must-visit. Try a sumptuous buffet breakfast on the weekend or and a la carte... Find out more

Moo Moo The Wine Bar 
and Grill

As the name implies, this is the place to go if you're craving a steak. Far removed from your average steakhouse, sophisticated decor and an emphasis on the 'where, when and how' of the meat you eat sets this... Find out more

Ristorante Fellini

Expect classic Italian fine dining and a view of the Broadwater from every table at this restaurant, which has the experience and history of four generations of the Percuoco family behind it. The pasta is made in the... Find out more

Nearby eco-friendly places to eat

Mondo Organics, West End 71 km

Australia’s first organic restaurant when it opened in 2000, Mondo Organics serves a range of organic meats, including beef, chicken, duck and lamb, and the fish is chosen for the sustainability of the catch. The... Find out more

Nearby breweries

Burleigh Brewing Company 11 km

Queensland has generally suffered from a dearth of craft breweries so the Burleigh Brewing Company is a welcome and relatively recent addition. Co-owner/brewer Brennan Fielding boasts considerable experience as a... Find out more

Mt Tamborine Brewery 24 km

One of Queensland’s more ambitious craft-brewing operations is at Mount Tamborine, in the Gold Coast hinterland. The 24-hectolitre microbrewery is the original plant used by the Bluetongue Brewery in Newcastle and... Find out more

Foster's Group (Yatala Brewery) 34 km

This brewery site, located at Yatala, midway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, was established by the Power Brewing Company, which launched Powers Bitter in 1988. Four years later a joint venture between Powers and... Find out more

Stone and Wood Brewing 71 km

The popular coastal holiday destination of Byron Bay is the location for one of the country’s newest and most exciting craft breweries – Stone & Wood. The partners behind the venture include a trio of... Find out more

Castlemaine Perkins (Fourex) Brewery 73 km

The pages of Australian brewing history are littered with take-overs and acquisitions, and while Castlemaine Perkins sounds like a merger, it was, in reality, yet another buy-out. As the name suggests, the Castlemaine... Find out more

Campsites around town

Main Beach Tourist Park 3 km

This large, busy tourist park – across the road from Main Beach and 2 min drive from Surfers Paradise – has 100 powered sites and an additional 24 ensuite powered sites. Facilities include a swimming pool,... Find out more

Burleigh Beach Tourist Park 10 km

Set on a prime location directly opposite Burleigh Beach, this tourist park has 73 powered sites and 16 unpowered sites. Facilities include a modern amenities block, laundry, free wireless broadband access and tour desk.... Find out more

Sharp Park River Bend Bush Camping 25 km

Only 30 min from the Gold Coast’s theme parks, this no-frills family site is split into 2 areas by the Coomera River. It's 4 km south of Canungra, which in turn is 27 km east of Beaudesert. Ideal for daytrips... Find out more

The Settlement camping area 26 km

The 11 well-defined sites at this newly established campsite are suitable for tents and campervans, but the area is not well shaded. Hikers should note that walking tracks near this site lead to the Gold Coast Hinterland... Find out more

Binna Burra camping area 32 km

A south-east Queensland gem, this privately managed mountain-top site has long been a favourite with campers for its stunning panoramic views of the Numinbah Valley. Activities at Binna Burra include guided bushwalks,... Find out more

Bush camping areas (walk-in camping) 36 km

For experienced, self-sufficient campers with good navigational skills, there are 10 remote camping sites (Bithongabel, Darlington, Echo Point, Illinbah, Lost World Creek, Lost World Saddle, Point Lookout, Rat-a-tat,... Find out more

Green Mountains camping area 38 km

Close to O’Reillys Rainforest Resort, this hillside campground in forest surrounds has designated campsites on terraces on the slope and a separate area designated for those doing the Gold Coast Hinterland Great... Find out more

Darlington Park camping area 41 km

Sensational for families, this well-shaded campsite has the added bonus of a cricket oval (with artificial turf pitch) and kids’ playground on a glorious 12 ha site. The kiosk is handy for basic supplies, including... Find out more

Mount Warning Rainforest Park 44 km

Surround yourself with lush and up-tempo rainforest and mountain streams in this verdant mid-north-coast holiday park at the foot of Mt Warning. Accommodation options include deluxe, ensuite and budget cabins, and tent... Find out more

Stinson Park camping area 50 km

In 1937 local legend Bernard O’Reilly led the Stinson air crash survivors to safety from this historic site. O’Reilly found the wreckage in dense rainforest and saved the lives of 2 men who had been lost in... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Main Beach Tourist Park 3 km

This is a unique park set amid the famous Gold Coast high-rise buildings. Across the road is a patrolled beach, and the fashionable Tedder Avenue restaurant strip is a short stroll away. The park is neat and well... Find out more

Broadwater Tourist Park 6 km

Position is everything, and this spacious council-owned park fronts the Gold Coast’s Broadwater. It has very good facilities and outstanding views across the water to Marina Mirage and the Palazzo Versace. There... Find out more

Ocean Beach Tourist Park 7 km

This is one of several good quality Gold Coast City Council parks. It is smaller than many and has very good facilities. Just across the road from the beach, the access from the Gold Coast Highway is also excellent. This... Find out more

NRMA Treasure Island Resort & Holiday Park 9 km

This is a good quality park recently acquired by the NRMA. It has a licensed family bistro and a range of great facilities including a resort-style pool, spas, tennis courts and minigolf. The park is a short stroll from... Find out more

Burleigh Beach Tourist Park 10 km

This is one of the older council parks on the Gold Coast but it has recently been upgraded with new amenities. It is very popular with holidaymakers as it is across the road from a patrolled beach and within walking... Find out more

Tallebudgera Creek Tourist Park 11 km

A favourite of ours, this park fronts onto the Tallebudgera Creek and is just a short walk to the beach. It is among the Gold Coast’s best parks, centrally located with good amenities and a wide range of... Find out more

Big4 Gold Coast Holiday Park 16 km

This is a larger park adjoining the M1, almost opposite Movieworld, and very close to Dreamworld. The park has undergone a redevelopment in recent times and is the only quality dog-friendly park east of the Pacific... Find out more

Kirra Beach Tourist Park 20 km

Easily accessed from the Gold Coast Highway, this is a spacious, good quality caravan park, popular with beach devotees, backpackers and international travellers. It is very close to some of the Gold Coast’s best... Find out more

Pyramid Holiday Park 22 km

This is a well-maintained, good quality park on the southern end of the Gold Coast. It will suit those chasing the winter warmth but who do not wish to be right beside the beach. Bookings are required in peak periods and... Find out more

Boyds Bay Holiday Park 23 km

This is a large riverfront park, with easy access to the highway. It is well managed, council owned and conveniently located for exploring the Tweed coast and southern Gold Coast. Bookings are required in peak periods... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Chevron Palms Resort

Low-rise and value for money in a good location, this one-bedroom apartment complex on Chevron Island is close to the beach, shops and the Nerang River. You can turn your back on the party side of Surfers and go fishing... Find out more

Q1 Resort & Spa

There are 526 apartments ranging from one to three bedrooms at 80-storey Q1, the world’s tallest residential building. Apartment balconies are, understandably, glass enclosed. An observation deck on floors 77 and... Find out more

Surfers Paradise 
Marriott Resort & Spa

This seriously good hotel of international standard has 28 floors, with 300 rooms and 30 suites, yet its staff and location close to the beach keep it grounded in the relaxed atmosphere of a seaside holiday resort. The... Find out more

Harbour Side Resort

There’s good value here and you can choose to suit your budget from 48 rooms that run from motel-style studio rooms with kitchenettes to one- and two-bedroom apartments with full kitchens. There’s a shaded... Find out more

Palazzo Versace

The rest of the world followed this hotel in terms of engaging couture houses in their design and branding, and it is generally regarded as the most luxurious hotel in Australia. It really is remarkable, even if you... Find out more

Sea World Resort

Because it is only a monorail ride away from Sea World, Australia’s top marine park, this resort is understandably popular with families. But couples who are big kids at heart can also enjoy it. Located between the... Find out more

Sofitel Gold Coast

This five-star hotel is handy to the beach and has 295 rooms, including 17 ocean spa rooms. Rooms and suites are luxuriously furnished, well lit and have large desks in comfortable work spaces. All have balconies and... Find out more

Surfers Paradise YHA

Close to the beach and on the same street as Palazzo Versace, but a million miles away in price and style, this hostel is probably not the best choice for you if you don’t like to party. It is also not suitable for... Find out more

The Ritz Resort

A recently renovated seven-storey block, each level of this resort has just four one- or two-bedroom apartments. Close to Kurrawa Beach, it has a sunny north-facing aspect and is near Pacific Fair shopping centre and... Find out more

Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Cottages on the Creek 24 km

This 2-hectare establishment is managed as a Land for Wildlife property and the two, onebedroom spa cottages have composting toilets, protecting Currumbin Creek with its turtles, catfish, platypus and yabbies.... Find out more

The Mouses House, Springbrook 29 km

Set in a beautiful rainforest at more than 800 metres above sea level, this luxury resort has 11 self-contained chalets, hot tub, sauna, tennis court and bikes, a sensible environmental policy and eco-accreditation. It... Find out more

Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat 30 km

Located near Murwillumbah and surrounded on three sides by World Heritage–listed national parks, this secluded couples-only resort on the Queensland border has minimal-impact, self-contained bungalows and cabins.... Find out more

Emerald Valley Villa 67 km

Nestled in the hinterland some 25 minutes drive from Byron Bay, this is way up the high end of ecotourism in this country. You can rent your own five-star palace (they call it a villa), complete with pool, courtyard,... Find out more

Brisbane Marriott Hotel 72 km

By no means the greenest accommodation in this book, the Marriott still deserves inclusion as one of the better options in large hotels. It gained the Green Globe Benchmarked Bronze status and is AAA-rated for its water-... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Sleepy Hollow rest area 47 km

58km N of Ballina (L) or 32km S of Tweed Heads (L)

Just off the highway on both sides.

Yelgun rest area 54 km

50km N of Ballina (R) or 42km S of Tweed Heads (L)

Well off the highway.

Tyagarah rest area 67 km

36km N of Ballina (L)     

Just off the highway. For northbound only.

What's on around town

Markets: The Esplanade between Hanlan St and Elkhorn Ave; every Wed and Fri evening.

Broadbeach Market: Kurrawa Park; 1st and 3rd Sun each month. 

Lantern Market: Broadbeach Mall; Fri nights, May–Sept.

Farmers Market: Marina Mirage Shopping Centre; 1st, 3rd and 5th Sat each month. 

Magic Millions Racing Carnival: Jan.

Gold Coast Big Day Out: Music festival; Jan.

Australian Beach Volleyball Championships: Mar.

Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival: May.

Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show

: May.

 GC Bazaar: month-long festival of fashion, food and fun; June.

Gold Coast Marathon: July.

Tastes of the Gold Coast Festival: Feb–Mar. 

Broadbeach Jazz Festival: Aug. 

Gold Coast Show: Aug–Sept.

Gold Coast Eisteddfod: Aug–Sept. 

Indy Cars Grand Prix: Oct.

New Year’s Eve fireworks: Dec. 

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