Main BeachHoliday Destination
Nestled between the sparkling blue waters of the Southport Broadwater and the magnificent Pacific Ocean, Main Beach is only minutes north of the heart of Surfers Paradise.
The suburb was named so as it was the town's main surf beach with visitors using the ferry to access it. The area truly became a holiday destination after the Jubilee Bridge (now called the Sundale Bridge) was built in 1926 leading to holiday houses springing up and an influx of beach goers.
It's easy to see why Main Beach has been a popular holiday destination for over 90 years as visitors and locals can simultaneously enjoy relaxed beachside living whilst being in the hub of high end shopping and dining.
Things to do in Main Beach
The water is this destination's best asset with the white sandy beaches of Main Beach to the east and the calm waters of the Broadwater to the west. This tiny pocket of land can see you surfing one minute and launching a yacht the next. Main Beach is a family friendly beach which is patrolled all year round by lifeguards. If you ever tire of these beautiful waters, Hollindale Park is set back from the beach and has a great playground, picnic area and masses of grass making it perfect for a game of touch footy.
If you listen carefully at night, you might just hear the barking of a seal coming from Sea World. That's how close it is to Main Beach. Enter through the iconic Sea World as come face to face with sharks, dolphins, penguins, polar bears and a myriad of other sea life. Watch the marine shows, experience the rides and soak up the carnival atmosphere. You can also pre-purchase theme park passes to visit Sea World, Movie World and Wet n Wild to save money.
Ever wanted to take to the skies like a bird or a superhero? Hire a water jetpack and do just that as you hover over the Broadwater. In Main Beach you'll find the Gold Coast's only jetpack experience which has had customers as young as 7 and as old as 83 enjoying this totally cool contraption.
Join a Whale Watching tour leaving from Sea World or Marina Mirage and travel 20 minutes out to the Humpback Highway. View these majestic animals and look carefully as you might just get lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Migaloo, the rare white whale who passes by the Gold Coast on his annual migration.
With an obvious emphasis on creatures that live in the water, Sea World has a fantastic range of sharks, dolphins, seals, penguins, polar bears and other marine life on display in realistic, natural environments. Many of the animals will also entertain you in spectacular stage/water shows; laugh at the seals and marvel at the playful dolphins. Throw in a bunch of roller coasters, get wet at Cast Away Bay, see SpongeBob in 3D and marvel at the Jet Stunt Extreme show. You'll see that Sea World emerges as perhaps the best all-round theme park on the Gold Coast. Grab a combo pass to save $$$ and see 3 theme parks for (almost) the price of one.Buy Tickets
Join this exclusive 2 hour lunch cruise departing from the heart of the Gold Coast with a delicious buffet lunch that takes you through the extensive Surfers Paradise canal system - larger than the systems of Venice and Amsterdam combined! Then head out to the Broadwater to soak in some views of the coast's skyline. Enjoy your seafood and chicken lunch, perhaps a drink from the fully-licensed onboard bar, and soak in the sunshine from the deck.Book Online
Enjoy an exciting 55 minute thrill ride with Paradise Jet Boating. Departing from Marina Mirage, the high powered 500hp engines will prpvide wicked spins, exciting fish tails and adrenaline pumping 360 degree spins through the Gold Coast Broadwater and Seaway. There's never a dull moment on this tour! Get free return transfers from Surfers and Main Beach hotels aboard the unique 10 seater open air Super Jeep.Book Online
This is Queensland's only off shore ocean jet boating experience! Combining great views with awesome thrills, Ocean Jet Boat is the ultimate extreme activity. Stay dry in the fully enclosed boat in an individual racing seat in air conditioned comfort as the 880 horsepower twin turbo engines will blast through the huge ocean waves reaching speeds of up to 90km per hour. Don't be surprised if you see some dolphins on this tour!Book Online
Enjoy a scenic and relaxing day out on the water on this Sea World cruise. The luxury 24m vessel will cruise to Sanctuary Cove Marine Village while exploring the Gold Coast Broadwater's beautiful islands on the way. See waterfront mansions and spot some of the wildlife like sea eagels and dolphins. You'll have 2 hours to enjoy at Sanctuary Cove and can choose to get some lunch and wine at one of the restaurants.Book Online
A perfect island getaway awaits you on this cruise to South Stradbroke Island. Hop on board the MV Entertainer at Mariner's Cove and enjoy a scenic cruise to the island's resort Couran Cove, a peaceful destination for nature enthusiasts, adventures, families and everything in between. Choose from a range of free outdoor activities or one of the paid activities like a jet ski tour, 4WD tour or scenic flight. This tour includes morning and afternoon tea.Book Online
As the Gold Coast's longest running cruise provider, join Wyndham Cruises for a Gold Coast waterways cruise through the tranquil waters of our canals and Broadwater. Their comfortable, purpose built sightseeing vessel has a rooftop observation deck so you can enjoy uninterrupted views of waterfront mansions and the famous Gold Coast skyline. Choose from morning, afternoon and evening cruises, breakfast, buffet lunch, dinner cruises and much more.Book Online
One of the newest experiences on the Gold Coast, this water jetpack ride will have you feeling like James Bond! Get strapped into the hi-tech jetpack or flyboard and propel yourself high into the sky defying gravity. Get guided instructions through a walkie-talkie headset and choose between an introductory jetpack experience, 45 minutes or a full hour. Located at Pelican Beach at Main Beach (just near the Sundale Bridge).Book Online
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. This 2 hour lesson is held at The Spit which provides perfect conditions for both beginners and intermediate surfers. All equipment is provided, just bring your swimmers, a towel and a smile!Book Online
Marina Mirage offers visitors a truly unique shopping experience with over 70 fashion boutiques, jewellers and homewares stores located in an open air centre. The goods might be pricey but store owners are understanding if you leave a trail of sand in the changerooms.
There are a smattering of shops on Tedder Avenue selling high end accessories, fashions and even real estate. There's a number of hair salons and beauty clinics to keep you looking fabulous on your holiday.
The Main Beach Bakery has been selling their baked goods and fresh sandwiches since 1976 and it is a favourite with the local surfers and holidaymakers. Nothing beats a freshly baked pie from Main Beach bakery after a big morning in the surf! Take your lunch away or enjoy sitting and watching the passing parade on Tedder Avenue.
The heritage listed Main Beach Pavilion sits overlooking the beach and it is a great spot for a snack, breakfast or lunch. On the weekends the cafe is buzzing with locals stopping in for a coffee on the way to the surf and visitors soaking up the sun while sharing a bowl of hot chips. The menu has recently been changed to provide a fresher approach and we hear the bacon and egg roll is a must! Next door is the Southport Surf Life Saving Club which opens its doors to visitors wanting to enjoy a good meal at great prices.
Unfortunately, the once trendy and vibrant Tedder Avenue, known for its dining, bars and shopping has declined a bit over the last few years but with all the redevelopment in the area we think this street is set to come back to its former glory. That's not to say the street is all doom and gloom, the old guard of Main Beach have kept their favourite restaurants, cafes and bars alive. Anyone staying in Main Beach would be remiss not to try the Crab Lasagne on the menu at award-winning restaurant, Shuck.
The waterside restaurants of Marina Mirage are located a hop, skip and a jump from Main Beach and offer great food with amazing views. Sit back and relax over a meal and enjoy the pelicans and superyachts glide by.
Dignities, celebrities and royalty join the Gold Coast's 'It Crowd' for a day of Polo by the Sea just up the road from the centre of Main Beach at Doug Jennings Park. The event is sponsored by luxury car company, Ferrari and is part of the largest polo series in the world, the Urban Polo circuit. Tickets to the Main Beach Polo Club don't run cheap but your entry includes food and alcohol with a great vantage point to view the match.
Fisherman's Wharf Tavern is located right on the Broadwater and is a great spot to while away the night with a beer or cocktail in hand. This venue has long been a popular 'Sunday Session' spot but visitors will be pleased to know the bar and restaurant are open all week with DJs spinning tracks on Friday through to Sunday night.
Changing pace, Sea World Resort & Water Park lights up with the SpongeBob SplashBash LED light show. Guests at the hotel can dance and sing along to their favourite SpongeBob songs every night from 8pm.
Take a look through the below map of Main Beach on the Australian Gold Coast showing every street, beach and property. This map shows the whole suburb, which is about 1km square.
Images courtesy Tourism & Events Queensland, Tourism Australia, Destination Gold Coast & Getty Images