At the heart of the Gold Coast is the ever-popular Surfers Paradise and in this guide, I will intro the best of what the area offers inc. attractions & things to do, restaurants, nightlife, and more.
The central suburb is bordered to the east by the long stretching sandy beach with its pure ocean waters, to the north is the suburb of Main Beach, to it’s south the suburb of Broadbeach and to the west you’ll find the Nerang River.
Renowned as a tourist mecca since the 1920s, Australians have been flocking to the beach at Surfers Paradise for relaxation, recreation, and holiday leisure. Over time, ‘Surfers’ has grown from simple beach shacks and a hotel, into a world-class tourist destination attracting people from around the world.
- Population: 23,689 (ABS census)
- Post Code: 4217
- Area: 5.8 km2 with a population density of 4,080/km2
- Established: Originally known as Elston the suburb was renamed to Surfers Paradise in 1933
The area is packed with things to do ranging from shopping, attractions, an array of dining options, it’s well-known nightclubs through to the beautiful beachfront.
Things to do in Surfers Paradise
At night, Cavill Avenue and Orchid Avenue come alive with music and festivity as the many bars and clubs kick into life, during the day, they transform back into laid-back streets where you can enjoy the many cafes, restaurants, and shopping.
On Ferny Ave you’ll find The Wax Museum which has been an attraction of the area for over 40 years.
Over at the Paradise Centre on Cavill Mall, you’ll find Timezone which offers a huge range of video games, mini-golf and other fun stuff that will be popular with the kids, plus, there’s a bowling alley in there and ‘old time photos’ store. Across the road in the Soul Broadwalk, you’ll find the ever-popular Ripley’s Odditorium.
At Circle on Cavill, there’s another bowling alley, Strike Bowling Bar, which also has a bar and karaoke rooms.
For all the attractions, see Things to do in Surfers Paradise and all things to do, sights, and attractions in the region.
There is always something happening in Cavill Mall with a variety of council-sponsored entertainment, check out the official local government tourism website which showcases the latest events, see our monthly events round-up for what’s on.
Surfers Paradise Beach
The beach is the obvious star attraction of the area. It is a most beautiful place for early morning strolls catching the sunrise and also especially nice in the evening for leisurely strolls. It is very peaceful in the early morning and as the day rolls on it gets busier and busier with people coming to swim and relax. More about Surfers Paradise beach here.
Shopping in Surfers Paradise
Heading along Cavill Avenue you’ll find Circle on Cavill Shopping Mall which features a Billabong surf fashion store, Surf Dive n Ski, and a Woolworths supermarket.
Head north up Surfers Paradise Blvd. and you’ll find the Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre which features fashion and casual dining. Stores include Beauty Stop, Boho Fashion Collection, BooDeluxe, Beseduced, Endota Spa, Max Brenner Chocolatier, Starbucks, Ticketmaster and much more.
On the opposite side of the road, you’ll see Ugg Boot stores and T-Shirt stores.
At the eastern beach end of Cavill Avenue, it becomes a pedestrian-only walking street where you’ll find loads of cafes and touristy shops.
At Soul Boardwalk you’ll find fashion stores such as Footlocker, Hype, Quicksilver, Rip Curl, Rush, Roxy, and Sunburn. On the opposite side, you’ll see the Paradise Centre which features cafes, restaurants, attractions, and shopping. Stores include Ally Fashion, Cotton On Body, Factorie, Surf Dive n Ski, Tarocash, and more.
Surfers Paradise Markets run each Wednesday, Friday and Sunday night offering over 100 stalls featuring local handicrafts and local produce. It opens at 4 PM and closes around 9 PM, and is located on The Foreshore (in front of Soul building, beach end of Cavill Ave and turn left).
Also, see Shopping on the Gold Coast section for the top shopping malls and stores.
Surfers Paradise accommodation
The suburb offers a mix of hotels, apartments and holiday resort-style accommodation with prices varying depending on the season. Peak holiday times are during the school holidays, Easter, Schoolies Week, GC600 and Christmas Holidays.
There are several amazing new developments in the central area but if you are looking for cheap accommodation, scope out the fringes of the Surfers near to Main Beach and south near to Broadbeach.
Here are my top picks for places to stay in Surfers Paradise.
The Top Luxury Picks
You can find fantastic rates during the off-peak season and live it up in style with 4 swimming pools, 2 fully equipped exercise rooms, spa, sauna, 2 bars, and 2 restaurants.
a new development right on the beachfront offering and luxury 1, 2 & 3 bedroom apartment accommodation. It features an outdoor pool, spa pool and fitness centre.
Great Value Pick
Voco Gold Coast (formerly Watermark) offers modern, designer rooms enjoy the ocean or river views and include a flat-screen TV, refrigerator or minibar and are fully air-conditioned. Access to shared laundry facilities is available. There are 2 outdoor swimming pools, 2 spa tubs, and a fitness centre and games room on site.
Also see our top 10 Surfers Paradise accommodation list (ranked by visitor reviews) and for a full list of available accommodation options and the latest deals see:
- Booking.com – 151 properties in Surfers Paradise
- HotelsCombined.com – 191 properties in Surfers Paradise with rates from multiple providers
For a detailed guide and the top choices for where to stay on the Gold Coast see our accommodation page.
Surfers Paradise Nightlife
Head down Cavill Avenue and Orchid Avenue of a night and your entertainment options are endless. The options include bars, nightclubs, and pubs. Some of the most popular include:
Bars & Lounge Bars
- Central Lounge Bar & Dining – Sunday-Wednesday 8:00am-12:00am, Thursday-Saturday 8:00am-1:00am – 27 Orchid Avenue
- Fix Cocktail Bar – 5pm till late – 6 Orchid Ave
- Melbas On The Park – 12pm to late – 46 Cavill Avenue
- Stingray – Monday-Friday 4:00pm-12:00am, Saturday-Sunday 12:00pm-12:00am – 7 Staghorn Avenue
- Surfers Sandbar – Monday-Saturday 7:00am-12:00am, Sunday 7:15am-12:00am – 52 The Esplanade Surfers Paradise
- The Avenue – Monday-Sunday 8:00am-2:00am – 3-15 Orchid Avenue
- The Bedroom – 9pm til late, Wednesday to Sunday – 26 Orchid Ave
- Cocktails Nightclub – Thursday-Saturday 9:00pm-5:00am – 3-15 Orchid Ave
- Elsewhere Bar – Thursday-Sunday 9:00pm-3:00am – 1/23 Cavill Ave
- Asylum Nightclub – Friday-Sunday 8:00pm-3:00am – 15 Orchid Ave
- Sincity Nightclub – Monday-Sunday 9:00pm-3:00am – 22 Orchid Ave
- Clock Hotel – Sunday-Thursday 10:00am-12:00am, Friday-Saturday 10:00am-2:00am – 3282 Surfers Paradise Boulevard
- Surfers Paradise Tavern – Monday-Sunday 12pm-3:00am – Corner Cavill Mall and Orchid Avenue
- Waxy’s Irish Pub – 10am-3am – 3206 Surfers Paradise Blvd
- G-Clef Karaoke – Monday-Thursday 12:00pm-11:00pm, Friday-Sunday 12:00pm-9:00pm – Shop 3 RSL Centre, 9 Beach Rd
- Hollywood Showgirls – Monday- Sunday- 8:00pm- 3:00am Address: 19 Orchid Ave
See our full list of Nightlife and dining in Surfers here
Restaurants in Surfers Paradise
There really are too many to mention, and you’ll be pleased that the standards are pretty high. So, what I will list here are my top ten restaurants in Surfers Paradise.
The Top Ten Restaurants in Surfers Paradise
- Misono Japanese Steakhouse – Marriott Hotel – 158 Ferny Ave
- Seascape Restaurant and Bar – Contemporary Australian & Seafood – 4 The Esplanade
- Seaduction Restaurant + Bar – Amazing views and award-winning seasonal cuisine – Peppers Soul Surfers Paradise, 8 The Esplanade
- Elston Restaurant & Wine Bar – hip new restaurant with a classic and rustic menu – Soul Building, 8 The Esplanade
- Vapiano Gold Coast – Traditional Italian in an amazing location – Soul Boardwalk, Cavill Avenue
- Costa D’Oro Italian Restaurant – Mediterranean cuisine – 27 Orchid Ave
- Chiangmai Thai – Best Thai cuisine on the GC – 5 Palm Avenue (inside Mantra Crown Towers)
- Bazaar – Buffet – A unique food experience, a marketplace-style restaurant
- Tandoori Palace – Indian cuisine – 30 Laycock Street, Aegean Building
See our full list of Nightlife and Dining in Surfers here
Where to find Amazing Coffee
See the map further below for station locations.
G: Link – the light-rail service has several stations in Surfers Paradise being
- Surfers Paradise station on Surfers Paradise Boulevard at the front of the Q1 building
- Cavill Avenue station on Surfers Paradise Boulevard at the intersection of Cavill Ave
- Cypress Avenue station on Surfers Paradise Boulevard near to Cypress Ave and the Slingshot attraction
- Surfers Paradise North station on Surfers Paradise Boulevard near to Mantra Sun City and Ocean Ave
- Northcliffe station on Surfers Paradise Boulevard near to Thornton St.
Public Bus – There are public bus stops along the Gold Coast HWY (Ferny Ave) with the most commonly used being
- Ferny Ave at Ocean Avenue
- Ferny Ave at Palm Avenue
- Surfers Paradise Cypress Avenue Bus Stop
- Surfers Paradise stop
More about public transport on the Gold Coast
Best of Surfers Paradise Map
Here it is, your essential tourist map for Surfers Paradise including attractions, hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars, nightclubs, transport and all you need for an amazing holiday in an amazing place, enjoy!