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Surfers ParadiseHoliday Destination

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 than probably any other peninsula on earth - Surfers Paradise is the undisputed tourist capital of Australia, and some would even argue the world.

Surfers high rises and beach at sunrise
Surfers 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.

Holidaymakers are attracted to the neon lights, endless high-rise buildings, beautiful beaches, sunny atmosphere and laid-back lifestyle. In family-friendly Surfers Paradise, you can be comfortable in a tuxedo eating at a five-star restaurant or walking down Cavill Avenue in your swimmers and thongs!

Things to do in Surfers Paradise

Natural Attractions

They don't call it a "surfer's paradise" for nothing! It is no surprise the main drawcard is the 150m wide stretch of sand that extends for almost 10km in each direction. The Surfers Paradise beach is patrolled year-round and it's safe to swim - so jump in, but make sure you swim between the flags!

Surfers Paradise Beach
Aerial learn to surf
Aerial of Surfers Paradise beach

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 find surf lessons for singles and families just a stone's throw away in Main Beach.

Become a surfing pro in record time! Learn the art of paddling, mastering the stance, and achieving balance to ride the waves back to shore effortlessly. With a comprehensive land lesson, you'll swiftly transition to the water, applying your newfound skills, aiming to conquer and ride those waves like a seasoned surfer.

You can book surfing lessons online here

Does your family love the ocean and want to learn how to surf? Book this family Gold Coast surf lesson and enjoy private tuition that will have everyone up on their boards catching their first wave with the pros. All surfing equipment is provided for you and your family during your Gold Coast surf lesson including surfboards, sun shirts and wet suits. All you need to do is bring a willingness to learn how to surf. Book this private Gold Coast surf lesson and learn to surf with the experts now.

Location: 507 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach, QLD

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Enjoy a Gold Coast surfing lesson at Main Beach in a lovely natural environment just a few minutes north of Sea World at an area called The Spit. This beautiful spot near Surfers Paradise is one of the last undeveloped areas on the Gold Coast and it is a well known surfing spot for locals! We are known to provide a safe, fun and memorable surfing experience where customer service is our top priority and we guarantee you stand up on your board or your next lesson free! 

Location: 507 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach, QLD

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Dive in board first and experience surfing on the world famous Surfers Paradise Beach with this fully guided lesson. You'll feel like a pro in no time as you're taught how to paddle, stand and balance to ride that wave back to shore. After a lesson on land you'll take to the waters to put your new skills into action and hopefully nail a few of those waves. The lesson runs for a total of 2 hours and in that time you'll receive all of the necessary instructions to build up your confidence. 

Location: Shop 26a Cavill Mall, Surfers Paradise, QLD

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Tourist Attractions

Being one of the most popular tourist destinations for family holidays in Australia, Surfers Paradise has one of the largest collections of tourist attractions and fun activities on the Gold Coast!

  • There's Ripley's Believe it or Not, a unique museum housing the odd and amazing.
  • The ultimate experience for any adrenalin junky is the Jet Boat adventure ride departing from Surfers Paradise.
  • Ever wanted to fly? Visit indoor skydiving centre iFLY and free fall without the fear.
  • Climb to the top of the Q1 tower with one of the Gold Coast's most popular attractions, the SkyPoint Climb.
  • 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.
  • Swap your bathers for a jumper and take to the Gold Coast Ice Skating rink
  • Strike Bowling offers a fun night out with both bowling and Karaoke!
  • Sound the siren and journey through Surfers Paradise on an authentic Fire Truck.

You can choose to see Surfers Paradise by land or by sea, or if you hop aboard the amphibious Aquaduck you can discover it both ways. The 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 360 Degree 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 the Broadwater, fabulous mansions, canals and more.

Stick to the water and journey through Surfers Paradise's canals and waterways on board the sightseeing river cruise, sunset kayak or stand-up paddle boarding tours, or go for something more extreme such as an exhilarating jet boat ride.

Scenic Hot Air Balloon Flight

Hot Air Balloon Tour Surfers Paradise Beach
Embark on an unforgettable journey aboard a Hot Air Balloon over the stunning landscapes of the Gold Coast Hinterland. Start your day early with a convenient hotel transfer starting from Surfers Paradise, reaching the launch site before dawn to witness the captivating inflation of the balloons. Once airborne, be captivated by the picturesque scenery of rolling hills and expansive fields, illuminated by the rising sun and teeming with awakening wildlife.

Upon a gentle landing, anticipate indulging in a delightful champagne breakfast. Skilled pilots guide the descent to the landing point, followed by a short drive to an exclusive vineyard. There, enjoy a delicious breakfast featuring fresh pastries, fruits, sizzling bacon and eggs, cereals, refreshing juice, and, of course, a glass of bubbly to celebrate the incredible morning.

This Gold Coast hot air balloon escapade includes return bus transfers and a complimentary digital photo pack, ensuring you can cherish and revisit the enchantment of your ballooning adventure.

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There are also plenty of combo passes available to help you get the most out of your holiday within a short period.

Hot Air operates the best value hot air ballooning rides in Australia, perfect for your first time if you have never ballooned before! The Gold Coast offers a wealth of amazing views to take in. Experience the wonder and romance of ballooning over such picturesque scenery. Inflation locations are carefully chosen to ensure optimum take-offs for maximum enjoyment. Choose between a 30 minute or 60 minute ride including breakfast!

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Go on a scenic adventure in Byron Bay with a hot air balloon ride. Get spectacular views of the region on a one hour journey - make sure to have your camera ready as there'll be plenty of incredible photo opportunities of the Coastline and more. Watch as the balloon inflates and enjoy the amazing feeling of rising to the height of the clouds and let the wind carry you around this beautiful region. Includes a gourmet champagne breakfast.

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Get incredibly scenic views of the entire Gold Coast region from both the water and air with a combined package for a Hot Air Ballooning tour and sightseeing cruise all for a single low price! Your adventure will begin with early morning hot air balloon flight over the beautiful hinterland, followed by a delicious champagne breakfast. Next you can choose between either a morning or afternoon sightseeing cruise with complimentary snack. 

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SkyPoint Observation Deck & Climb

Q1 skypoint
Australia’s only beachside observation deck, located in the heart of one of the world’s favourite holiday hot spots has been transformed from a room with a view to an exciting and educational tourism experience to showcase the destination. SkyPoint, located in the iconic Q1 Tower, is a must-see for all visitors and the perfect location to start your Gold Coast adventure. Boasting Australia’s only beachside observation deck and highest open-air building climb, this unique destination offers spectacular 360-degree views from up to 270m in the air, sumptuous food and drinks, plus an exciting and educational tourism experience.

SkyPoint Observation Deck is a celebration of the Gold Coast’s history, culture and tourism treasures. The attraction promotes the lifestyle and the entire spectrum of experiences available on the Gold Coast.

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Located 230 metres above the ground, SkyPoint boasts:

  • One of the fastest elevators in the world taking you from ground to Level 77 in just 42.7 seconds
  • A mini museum in the sky providing guests with a wealth of facts and information to plan the ultimate Gold Coast adventure
  • SkyPoint Weather Station presented by the Bureau of Meteorology including a live feed of the local weather radar and interactive weather information
  • Surf Lifesaving Queensland display, educating guests on official surf and sun safety, reading the flags and providing vital patrol information to guests
  • SkyPoint theatrette presenting “The Birth of Paradise” - a fifteen-minute rollercoaster ride on our flamboyant and colourful history

SkyPoint Observation Deck is open from 9 am to 9 pm Sunday to Thursday and 9 am to midnight every Friday and Saturday night.

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). Ascend to a breathtaking height of 270 meters above sea level with the Skypoint Climb, offering unparalleled views of the mesmerising Gold Coast region. Guided by skilled guides and safely connected to an internal handrail, climbers reach the tower's pinnacle via stairs. At the summit there's the opportunity to walk along the building's edge, offering an adrenaline-inducing experience of peering down into the thrilling 270-meter drop below. This is not for the faint-hearted!

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Take a walk through the largest museum of its kind in Australia! Located in the heart of Surfers Paradise, the Wax Museum is home to over 110 life-size wax figures that will make you look twice. See replicas of the British Crown Jewels and dioramas of Australian history, marvel at the Chamber of Horrors or get selfies with celebrities and politicians. These displays were crafted by leading local and international sculptors.

Location: 56 Gold Coast Hwy, Surfers Paradise

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The newest ice skating experience on the Gold Coast, Planet Chill is a great option year-round for any weather conditions - escape the heat or find something fun to do during the rain. Swap your swimmers for a jacket and jeans and bring the family in for a day on the ice! Located at Paradise Resort in Surfers Paradise, choose from one of four daily two-hour sessions. There are limited numbers available so it's best to pre-book.

Location: 122 Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise

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These 60-minute escape rooms will test your problem-solving skills with suspenseful, timed experiences where you have to look for and decipher clues to solve a mystery with a group of mates. Located all over the world, Escape Hunt rooms have grown in popularity with people of all ages having a great time trying to solve the riddles and escape in time! Choose between three great storylines. An excellent rainy-day activity, located in Southport.

Location: 2/162 Scarborough Street, Southport, QLD

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Get the thrill of skydiving without fear with this super awesome Gold Coast indoor skydiving experience! Located in the middle of Surfers Paradise, join in the fun and the feeling of complete weightlessness while performing 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. Enjoy your time in mid-air as the powerful fans have you feeling like a superhero.

Location: 3084 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise

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Infinity is a mind-blowing journey into a spectacular and interactive futuristic maze-like world of wonder. Made up of an extraordinary series of around 20 multi-sensual environments that are filled with unique special effects, atmospheric sound fields, ultra-groovy music and illusions. Travel to another universe and enjoy the sights and sounds, offering great family fun in the heart of Surfers Paradise. Located at the Chevron Renaissance.

Location: G31 Chevron Renaissance Centre, Surfers Paradise

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SkyPoint has been transformed from a room with a view to an exciting tourism experience to showcase the 360-degree beauty of the Gold Coast from the surf to the hinterland and beyond. Hop on board the fast elevators at Q1 Resort, taking you from the ground to Level 77 in just 42.7 seconds. Like some adventure? Why not try the new SkyPoint climb! You can even get a combo pass to visit SkyPoint, Dreamworld & WhiteWater World.

Location: Level 77, Q1 Building, 9 Hamilton Ave, Surfers Paradise

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Take a self-guided tour through themed galleries featuring hundreds of unbelievable exhibits, amazing stories, magic, mystery, incredible illusions, interactive displays and more at Ripley's believe it or not. You'll see a piece of Mars rock from the Red Planet, survive a walk through Australia's only double spinning tunnels, discover rare artifacts in the Egyptian tomb, marvel at the world's smallest car, be entertained by “Ripley's Fab Four” and more. 

Location: Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise, QLD 4217

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Calling all adrenaline junkies, this activity is for you! Jet Boat Extreme departs from the heart of Surfers Paradise and is jam-packed with fun, adventure, thrills and beautiful scenery. The twin jet-powered 600hp turbocharged jets will give you 360-degree spins, power slides and amazing speeds through the Gold Coast Broadwater and Seaway. Slide along sandbanks and pristine beaches and be warned, you're going to get a little wet!

 Location: 30 Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise, QLD

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Accommodation In Surfers Paradise

Stunning balcony views surfers paradise
With Surfers being the tourist hotspot that it is, there is no shortage of accommodation options in this beachy suburb. Just check out the skyline! 

Choose to stay in a beachfront high-rise apartment like The Hilton, Q1, Meriton Suites or Peppers Soul and enjoy sweeping ocean views and luxury amenities. There are holiday accommodation options to suit all budgets, and the majority are just a stone's throw from cafes, restaurants, shopping and attractions. 

Bringing the kids along? Choose one of these award-winning family-friendly accommodation options to keep them entertained.  

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Shops of all sorts line the streets of Surfers Paradise selling souvenirs, bikinis, sunhats and supplies. You'll find all the typical souvenir shops and discount stores for the real touristy stuff like stuffed koalas, chocolate-covered macadamia nuts and authentic Ugg boats. Interspersed amongst the souvenirs are shops selling bikinis, boardshorts and thongs designed by surfwear favourites.

Woman window shopping
Shopping in Surfers Paradise
Surfers Paradise night markets

There are several small shopping centres in Surfers Paradise where you can pick up supplies for your holiday including Chevron Renaissance, Paradise Centre, Circle on Cavill and the Cavill Mall. The centres will service all your needs with supermarkets, bottle shops, banks, chemists and specialty stores selling everything from clothes to boogie boards.

Every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday night (weather permitting) stallholders set up their homemade wares on The Esplanade overlooking Surfers Paradise beach. With over 100 stalls at the Beachfront Markets, you'll be able to find yourself some unique treasure or gift. There's a wide range of quality, one-off pieces including fashion, jewellery, accessories, artworks, beauty products and homewares. 


Eating out in Surfers Paradise
You can find heaps of restaurants selling good fish'n'chips, steaks and fry up breakfasts but over the last few years, a number of hip and delicious restaurants have opened their doors. Though, that's not to say old time favourites like Charlie's in Cavill Avenue shouldn't get a look in.

There's nothing like a good coffee before you hit the beach or the theme parks (or after a big night in a Surfers nightclub) and Surfers has plenty of good cafes. Head into Paradox Coffee Roasters where coffee is at the heart of everything they do and the food is sourced locally and seasonally.

Stairwell Coffee located beneath the stairs in The Centre Arcade also gets a favourable mention for their cold-brew and nitro coffee. Our favourite place to enjoy breakfast is Bumbles overlooking Budds Beach. This refurbed house-come cafe, located a 5-minute walk outside of Surfers is simply adorable and with their evolving menu and river-view dining we think you should check it out at least once.

There are several arcades (like laneways) dissecting the area between Surfers Paradise Blvd and Orchid Avenue. Here you can be transported to Asia, with many holes in the wall restaurants offering authentic fare from Korea, Thailand, Malaysia and Japan. We recommend you head to Amimoto for the best sushi and sashimi in South East Queensland.

Many of the quality hotels in Surfers Paradise have fantastic restaurants inside their towers with Bazaar at QT, Citrique at the Marriott and Seaduction Restaurant & Bar at Peppers Soul.



Surfers Paradise is never sleepy or boring but when an event comes to town the place really comes alive. The Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 (what was the Indy 300 back in the day) is a motorsport extravaganza. National and international revheads converge in Surfers Paradise for 3 days of street racing, big music acts and plenty of parties. The race winds through the streets of Surfers and Main Beach so the best vantage point is from the accommodation trackside. 

Another huge event for Surfers is the annual Schoolies festival which attracts school leavers from all over Australia. It marks the end of exams, assignments and school and the start of freedom - it's become a rite of passage for most Year 12 students. There are lots of official events with concerts on the sand, dance parties and celebrity meet and greets. Schoolies got a bad wrap for a while but as the event has matured the police and volunteer presence has grown to help keep all the kids safe. 

Vodafone Gold Coast 600
Live music in Surfers Paradise
Scoolies celebrations in Surfers Paradise

In the second week of January every year, the glitterati head trackside for the racing carnival Magic Millions. While not strictly in Surfers, the event brings lots of punters to stay for the week long event. It's not all about hats and ties as the event is also home to the Southern Hemisphere's leading thoroughbred sales company. In 2017, the yearling sales grossed over $196 million so you bet things get pretty serious in the stands. 

Surfers Paradise has plenty of free events held throughout the year adding to the party vibe of this beachside town. Surfers Paradise Live teams up with the Gold Coast Music Awards to create an amazing live music experience. There are multiple stages and all kinds of music genres playing over 3 days.

The Sand Safari Arts Festival features sand and sea-inspired art with the Australian Sand Sculpting Championships drawing in thousands of visitors. You can vote for your favourite masterpiece or follow the Sand Trail of art throughout Surfers, the best part is it is free!

The world's leading Pyrotechnic designers and producers light up the Surfers Paradise sky with SeaFire. It's a hypnotic firework display held on Surfers Paradise beach. Also on the beach (and free) is the Bush Meets Beach festival which sees the famous beach become a stockyard with mobs of sheep, horses and a one-tonne bull take to the sandy shores. Spectators can watch breakers and stockmen show off their skills as they put the animals through their paces. 


Yamagen Bar at QT
Surfers 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 glamorous late on a Saturday night (well... Sunday morning) but if you're looking for a place to wet your whistle then this is the place to go - and because there are so many holiday accommodations options in Surfers, you'll typically be able to walk back to your hotel rather than wait in a taxi line.

There are lounge bars, hip-hop venues, dance clubs, Irish pubs and live music venues - there are plenty of choices to keep you busy at night. One of the most iconic bars to park yourself at is the Surfers Paradise Tavern and the famous Beer Garden. Opening in 1925, the venue has evolved with the times and is now the leading rock venue in Surfers Paradise. Another place to rock out to is the House of Brews, which has 32 beers on tap, BBQ and live music aplenty.

The Island Rooftop has become a favourite hangout for people with the rooftop bar setting the scene for a fantastic night out. Dine, dance, drink cocktails and enjoy the glittering lights of Surfers Paradise while you do it. Don't want to leave the party? Downstairs is a fully refurbed boutique hotel. The QT hotel also has a stylish Lounge Bar with over 50 tequilas to choose from, a fresh food menu and weekend DJs, it's the perfect place to let your hair down after a day at the beach.

Images courtesy Tourism & Events Queensland, Tourism Australia, Destination Gold Coast & Getty Images

Surfers Paradise Map

Things to do and seeOn the Gold Coast in Queensland

Theme Parks

Combo passes & packages

Free things to do

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary


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