Gold Coast Surfer’s Paradise Things To Do And General Info

Gold Coast Surfer’s Paradise Things To Do And General Info

For those of you who don’t know, the Gold Coast is a coastal city in Queensland. It sits approximately 66km southeast of Brisbane, just above the New South Wales border and is currently the 6th largest city in Australia.

In fact, it is the largest non-capital city in the country. Of course, it’s only the second largest city in Queensland.

What may surprise you is that this beautiful area was almost uninhabited, until 1823 when the famous explorer, John Oxley, found his way ashore at Mermaid Beach. It wasn’t until the 1850s and 60’s that people really started to pay attention to the Gold Coast when the value of the red cedar was fully appreciated.

But, even this wasn’t enough to really put the Gold Coast on the map. The real turning point was in the late 1920s and early 1930s when the Surfers Paradise Hotel was created and people started to view the area as a good vacation destination.

The 1980s saw a huge boom in tourism, by 1994 it was the expanded to include most of the metropolitan area, this is when it became the second most populous area in Australia.

Photo taken by Petra Bensted

The Population

The Gold Coast is home to nearly 600,000 people and enjoys average temperatures of between 63°F and 77°F, (17.2-25.1°C).

It was actually originally known as the South Coast, as it was below Brisbane. However, the popularity of the area led to a dramatic upturn in prices for everything, resulting in the area earning a nickname as “Gold Coast”.

Although the locals were originally against this nickname, they quickly discovered it had become a convenient way to refer to the entire area. The result was local businesses started to incorporate Gold Coast into their names.

By 1958 South Coast had been renamed Gold Coast and the following year it was awarded city status, (although it wasn’t until 2007 it became the 6th largest city in Australia).

The Modern Day Approach

Photo taken by Rocky88.

The Gold Coast may have become established thanks to its Red Cedar trees but today the entire area is known as a surfer’s paradise. In fact, Surfers Paradise is the name of a suburb of Queensland!

Surfers Paradise has a population of approximately 24,000, it’s 78 km from Brisbane, and covers an area of 5.8 km squared, bordering the Nerang River and the Pacific Ocean.

The first official European inhabitant, in the mid Nineteenth century, was James Beattie. His attempt to farm 80 acres of sandy soil was unsuccessful, as was Johan Meyer’s, who bought the farm from him.

However, Meyer’s farm may have been unsuccessful but this was the spark that started the town, which would eventually be known as Gold Port.

The Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise, in particular, are now premium vacation destinations. It doesn’t matter if you live in the Gold Coast or are interested in vacationing there, you need to explore this area at least once in your life. The great news is that you can fly in, get car hire gold coast, enjoy your stay, and be on your way again, fully refreshed.

One thing is certain, no matter how long or short is your stay, you’ll experience a vibrant, enthusiastic, exciting, and unique environment. This is more than just a surfing venue; this is an opportunity to check out some of the best venues in Australia.

All you have to do is decide when the best time is for you to visit. Your decision will depend on exactly what you want to experience in this entertainment center. You may be surprised at just how satisfying a visit here is and even extend your stay!

The Area

Photo taken by Kerrie Brailsford.

Unsurprisingly the beachfront is the focus of much of the attention during the day time, and even for much of the evening. You can join in, or simply enjoy watching the skateboarders, skaters, cyclists, and walkers; as they move across the boulevard.

There are plenty of spots to stop and enjoy the view, look past the sports enthusiasts and take a few moments to enjoy the crashing waves as they hit the golden sand. There are certain to be an abundance of surfers in the water, ranging from those just starting out, to those who have been doing it for years.

You can learn to surf at many destinations across the world but it’s worth making the effort to get to the Gold Coast, it’s a special place and the consistency of the waves will make it much easier for you to practice!

But that’s not all! Don’t just sit empty-handed. The boulevard is lined with delightful shops, eclectic restaurants, and some of the best clubs and bars you’ll find. This is why so many people spend their entire day and evening by the beach, it has everything you need to make a perfect vacation.

The area may be relatively small but it offers everything you need for a great time, and the weather is almost guaranteed to be good.

Check out some of the things you could be doing when you visit the Gold Coast:

Surf Lifesaving Competitions

There are a variety of surf lifesaving competitions you can watch or take part in throughout the season. But, perhaps the most famous and largest one is the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships. It provides an opportunity for the 311 Australian surf cubs to come together and compete for the title of champion. There are more than 400 events, both on the beach and in the water.

In fact, it’s not just a massive competition, it’s comparable to the Commonwealth Games!

Supercars Vodafone Gold Coast 600 Race

In October there will be in excess of 100,000 people at the Surfers Paradise Street Circuit for the Supercars Vodafone Gold Coast 600, where Supercars will race to find the fastest car and best driver.

The event lasts for three days, practices are on Friday with 20-minute qualifiers on Saturday. This will decide the 10 cars that get to start on the grid for the 300km race on Saturday.

The Sunday sees more qualifiers and a second 300km race before the ultimate champion is revealed. You don’t need to love Supercars to enjoy the race.

Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets

There is an abundance of beachfront markets in Surfers Paradise. In fact, the main market is considered one of the biggest in the Gold Coast. It sits on the Esplanade at the end of Cavill Mall and has been running since 1995

There are in excess of 100 stalls and live entertainment, creating an opulent, yet relaxed atmosphere.

You’ll be able to pick up fashion items, jewelry, photos, beauty products, homewares, and an array of unique, local creations. If you’re after a souvenir then this is definitely the place to visit.

The best part is you don’t need to get up too early, the market is open Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 4 pm to 9 pm.

Don’t forget to watch some of the artisans creating the unique articles, this is part of what gives the market such a cool and welcoming vibe.


You can’t visit Surfers Paradise or the Gold Coast without at least trying the water. It doesn’t matter if you’re a pro or you’ve never even touched a surfboard, you’ll be able to find the right resource for your needs.

There are surf schools on practically every beach in The Gold Coast, all you have to do is pick which beach, and therefore which school, you’re going to try.

You can even give paddle boarding a go if you prefer!

The Gold Coast is known for having consistent waves, whether you want championship practice or are just starting out. Check out some of these options:

Snapper Rocks

The most southern point here is where the annual Quicksilver Pro surfing competition is held. If you’re an experienced surfer then this is where you’ll want to be. It’s often referred to s the Superbank and it’s a right-hand point that often barrels. The barrels tend to be heavy and long, not something you want to try without experience.

Surfers Paradise is just 45 minutes away making it the perfect place for a bed for the night.

Rainbow Bay

This is a great option if you’re just learning the ropes regarding surfing. It actually has 3 points, together making one of the longest right-handers in the world. The fact that it is patrolled throughout the year improves the safety element.

You’ll also find good, sheltered swimming areas which make it the perfect choice for families, they can enjoy the beach while you try surfing!


This is potentially the most famous point on the Gold Coast and offers a little something for everyone. The right-hand point wave has a workable face for experienced surfers and whitewash waves on the inside, that’s good for those with little or no experience.

Duranbah Beach

Technically this beach crosses the border into New South Wales but it is always considered part of the Gold Coast. The surf is consistent and reliable, even if it’s not the biggest waves in the world.

There are fun lefts and rights, peaking waves, solid barrels, and hollow barrels; pick your poison!

Burleigh Heads

This is the home of the famous Burleigh barrel, if the three breaks line up perfectly you’ll get an impressive long ride. Of course, it helps if you’ve got a little experience to ride this one properly.

The barrels are fast, thick, hollow, and often break over the sand.

It should be noted that this is generally the busiest of all the breaks. But, where else can you book a private lesson with a former professional world surfer? Michael Barry is just that!

Infinity Attraction

If you want a break from surfing and fancy challenging your imagination in a different way then you should check out the Infinity Attraction.

There are 20 multi-sensual environments, all with their own special effects, sound fields, and musical masterpieces. Combine this with illusions that seem to go beyond the point of no return and your imagination will be stretched.

In fact, this is actually a lot of fun if you go as a group.

IFLY Indoor Skydiving

If you’ve ever fancied jumping out of a plane but aren’t quite ready to commit or are struggling with the cost; then the Ifly is the venue for you!

It doesn’t matter what age you are, provided you’re over 3! You can experience the thrill of flying for a fraction of the cost of a skydive and your family can enjoy your reactions as you’re inside a glass chamber!

You’ll get the help of an instructor as you lean forward into the chamber and start to fly. It’s an experience not to be missed and a great way of taking a breather from the waves.


If you want to do something completely different you should consider horse riding through the hinterland.

You don’t need to know how to ride a horse, just be prepared to learn and enjoy riding through the rainforest with some impressive views when you reach the top. It will give you a new appreciation for the rain forest and nature.

The Theme Parks

The Gold Coast has its share of theme parks that will keep any child, or child-at-heart happy. Whether you’re interested in water rides, checking out movie sets at Warner Bros Movie World, or simply visiting Diagon Alley, you’ll find it all in the Gold Coast.

Don’t forget that the Gold Coast is also home to the Canyon Flyer, the longest zip line tour in Australia. You’ll get as high as 60m above the ground and get up t speeds of 70km’s per hour. It may just be more thrilling than the perfect wave!

Final Thoughts

It doesn’t matter what you love doing the most, surfing, adventure, shopping, or simply people watching. The Gold Coast has something that will inspire and invigorate you, leaving you with an experience that will last a lifetime.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We are Karolina, Patryk, and Mia, the lazy traveling family. After spending 5 years as digital nomads, and living in many countries in the world, we decided to make Poland our base.

Our mission is to show you safe and interesting destinations where you can travel with your family.

Join our Facebook Group

Join the LTB Family Travel Support Group, a group to help and encourage parents to travel with kids.

Subscribe and Get Updates