Things to do Surfers Paradise

HOLIDAY Destination: Surfers Paradise

With the warm Pacific Ocean on one side, the deep blue Nerang River on the other, and more shops, restaurants, high rise resorts and attractions squeezed in between than probably any other peninsula on earth - Surfers Paradise is the undisputed tourist capital of Australia, and some would even argue the world. 

A mere 50 years ago 'Surfers' was a small beach resort typical of the Australian coast, but in the 21st century, the city is now the pulsing heart of one of the biggest tourism machines in the Southern Hemisphere. Surfers Paradise is home to many attractions, with everything from bungee jumping & mini ice skating to the Armor All Gold Coast 600 and Schoolies Week. There are also countless restaurants, night clubs & bars to entertain during the night.

About Surfers  |  Tourist Attractions  |  Nightlife & Entertainment  |  Shopping  |  Surfers Paradise Map

Surfers Paradise - Holiday Capital of Australia

Surfers Paradise signSurfers Paradise gets very busy during peak holiday periods (Christmas, Easter, school holidays and during a major event), but despite the crowds it's still an incredibly beautiful, safe and happy city with great weather and unlike many resort towns around the world, tourists are welcomed with big open arms, big Queensland smiles and bright Queensland sunshine.

Holiday makers are attracted to the neon lights, endless high rise buildings, golden sand, sunny atmosphere and laid-back lifestyle. In Surfers you can be comfortable in a tuxedo eating at a five star restaurant or walking down the main street in your swimmers and flip flops! 

But they don't call it a "surfer's paradise" for nothing, so it's not surprising the main drawcard is the 150m wide stretch of sand that extends for almost 10km in each direction. The beach is patrolled year round and it's safe to swim - so jump in, but make sure you swim between the flags!

Surfers is also an excellent beach to learn how to surf, with a few local surf companies established right along The Esplanade opposite the beach, offering board hire and lessons. You can also book surfing lessons online here! The Surfers Paradise foreshore is also home to an array of activities such as beach volleyball, beachfront markets and a number of events throughout the year. 

Learn to Surf on Surfers Paradise Beach

Learn to Surf Surfers Paradise

Book now There’s only one way to get started, and that’s to get in the water! However, a few helpful tips, the right equipment, and heaps of encouragement from your highly qualified and experienced instructor will go a long way to getting you hooked forever. Enjoy this 2 hour surf lesson with an experienced instructor, with all equipment provided.

Location: Meet at the corner of Cavill Ave and the Esplanade.


Things to do in Surfers Paradise

Tourist Attractions

Jet Boating GOld CoastBeing one of the most popular tourist destinations in Australia, Surfers Paradise has one of the largest selections of tourist attractions and activities on the Gold Coast!

  • There's Ripley's Believe it or Not, a unique museum housing the odd and amazing.
  • The Sporting Hall of Fame at the Surfers Paradise RSL club.
  • Take a mind blowing journey through Infinity, a maze of futuristic worlds and 20 multi-sensory environments.
  • Take game lovers to Timezone, the largest indoor gaming centre in Australia! 
  • Visit the Wax Museum to see which celebs you can pick.
  • Walk through the Draculas Haunted House for a few thrills.
  • Strike Bowling offers a fun night out with both bowling and Karaoke!

Surfers is also home to many tour operators including Jet Boat Extreme, the Aqua Duck and numerous day tours. There are also plenty of combo passes available to help you get the most out of your holiday within a short period of time.

Surfers Paradise 3 attraction passThe Surfers skyline also features Q1, the tallest residential building in the world. Take the world's fastest elevator to level 77 and experience the SkyPoint Observation Deck - with spectacular views from the hinterland out to sea, you'll be able to take in the beauty of the Gold Coast in it's entirety.  If looking through glass isn't exciting enough for you, the SkyPoint climb should satisfy your adrenaline cravings, being Australia's highest external building walk (at 270m above sea level). 

iFLY Indoor Skydiving

iFLY Indoor Skydiving

Book now Get the thrill of skydiving without the fear with this brand-new Gold Coast indoor skydiving experience! Join in the fun and perform all the aerial twists, turns and spins you like in a near-perfect simulation of the free-fall of dropping from 14,000 feet that standard skydives offer.




Book nowInfinity is a mind blowing journey into spectacular futuristic maze-like world of wonder. Made up of an extraordinary series of around 20 multi-sensual environments filled with unique special effects, atmospheric sound fields, ultra groovy music and illusions.


Skypoint Observation Deck at Q1


Book nowLocated 230 metres above the ground, SkyPoint has been transformed from a room with a view to an exciting and educational tourism experience to showcase the 360 degree beauty of the Gold Coast. Hop on board one of the fastest elevators in the world at Q1 Resort, taking you from the ground to Level 77 in just 42.7 seconds. SkyPoint is a must-see experience with spectacular 360 degree Gold Coast views from the surf to the hinterland and beyond. Like some adventure? Why not try the new SkyPoint climb


Ripley's Believe It Or Not!

Ripleys Believe It Or Not

Book now Take a self guided tour through individually themed air-conditioned galleries which feature hundreds of unbelievable exhibits, amazing stories, magic, mystery, incredible illusions, interactive displays and an unforgettable movie. A completely different experience that lasts an hour or more, it's up to you! 




Book nowThe Aquaduck lets you discover the Gold Coast by land and sea without even leaving your seat! Your return journey will begin in the heart of Surfers Paradise, taking in views of the famous, golden Gold Coast beaches while waddling along the beachfront. The vehicle then "transforms" into a boat as the Aquaduck goes harbour cruising, taking in the sights of Sea World, Marina Mirage, Australia Fair, Mariners Cove, The Yacht Club, fabulous millionaires homes, canals and more from the water!


Jet Boat Ride from Surfers Paradise

Jet Boat Ride from Surfers Paradise

Book now Make like a super hero with a ride on one of the coolest new contraptions that offers the closest sensation there is to actually flying! Hover high above the waterways while being strapped to a thrilling high-powered water jet pack. This amazing technology is now accessible to all on the Gold Coast where you can take a Solo Flight or a Two Flight Pack to get even more Gold Coast jetpack action!


Ice Skating in Surfers Paradise

Ice Skating

Book now Get set for the newest ice skating experience on the Gold Coast! This Surfers Paradise area ice skating rink provides a great option for some all-weather, year-round fun that's perfect for the whole family - lace up the skates and have some fun on the ice! Located within Paradise Resort, Surfers Paradise, Planet Chill offers not just skating but also the "Chill Zone".


Haunted House Experience

Haunted House

Book now The Gold Coast's chilling and thrilling Haunted House experience provided by Dracula's is an amazing walk through five floors worth of laughs and scares! Set in a purpose-built building, you and your friends will be amazed by the combination of mind-bending optical illusions, horror displays and special effects along with the animated sculptures and variety of haunted passengers that will provide you with one thrill after another.


Nightlife & Entertainment 

Swingin SafariSurfers in known amongst locals to be THE place to go for a big night out, with the majority of the Gold Coast's nightclubs, bars and pubs located in and around Orchid and Cavill Avenues.

The scene can be a bit less glamourous late on a Saturday night (well... Sunday morning) but if you're looking for a place (or 20) to wet your whistle then this is the place to go - and because there's so many holiday accommodation options in Surfers, you'll typically be able to walk back to your hotel rather than wait in a taxi line. 

There's lounge bars, hip hop venues, dance clubs and Irish pubs, find a Beer Garden, cafe of Hard Rock and a Swingin 1970's beach house - there's plenty of choices - the Surfers Paradise Alliance website has a good list of nightlife venues here. 

If clubbing isn't your scene, there's plenty of restaurants to choose from as well as buskers and street performers in the mall to keep you entertained while you dine. Otherwise, make your way a few minutes south to Broadbeach and check out Jupiters Casino

Shopping in Surfers

There are two extremes in Surfers. At one end of the scale, you'll find all the typical souvenier shops and discount stores for the real touristy stuff (if you want to take a stuffed koala home or find a t-shirt with a boomerang on it). 

Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets

The other end of the scale oozes high fashion, with big name designer labels like Guess, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Chanel, and boutique stores lining the street from brands including Zimmerman and Billabong.

These boutique stores are mainly in and around High Street (a new precinct beneath the Hilton hotel), Circle on Cavill and Elkhorn Avenue. In the middle, find everything else you'll need with the normal shopping centre experience and stores at Centro and Chevron Renaissance. 

The beachfront markets are incredibly popular with both locals and tourists, and are held every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday night (weather permitting).

You can find yourself some unique treasures for souveniers and gifts from the locals who made them, and you're always bound to spot something unusual.

Book Surfers Paradise Tours & Attractions!

Buffet Lunch Sightseeing Cruise Departing from Surfers

lunch cruise

Book now Join this exclusive two hour Gold Coast lunch cruise departing from a convenient point in the heart of the Gold Coast that provides you with a delicious buffet lunch and takes you through the extensive Surfers Paradise canal system - larger than the systems of both Venice and Amsterdam combined! - then out onto the Southport Broadwater to soak in some extensive views of the coast's skyline.


Jetpack Adventures

Jetpack Adventures

Book now Make like a super hero with a ride on one of the coolest new contraptions that offers the closest sensation there is to actually flying! Hover high above the waterways while being strapped to a thrilling high-powered water jet pack. This amazing technology is now accessible to all on the Gold Coast where you can take a Solo Flight or a Two Flight Pack to get even more Gold Coast jetpack action!


Surfers Paradise Map  - Interactive Version