AWESOME THINGS TO DO
Do you need a holiday, desperately? Then get away to Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, the quintessential beach vacation you will love. Warm and sunny all year round, with miles of golden beaches, crystal clear water and blue skies, makes Surfers Paradise an awesome holiday destination. Only problem is, you won’t want to leave.
Queensland’s Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast has been a primary holiday destination for decades, not only for local Aussies, but for many overseas tourists too, since the mid 1900’s. It has continued to grow in popularity through the years and is now the most visited coastal resort location in Australia, offering everything for the perfect stay for a few days or longer.
Here are some of the awesome things to do here, to make the most of your get away in Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast.
1. Spectacular beaches to enjoy
Definitely one of the best reasons for a getaway to Surfers Paradise is for the long stretch of wide, golden, sandy beaches looking out to the Pacific Ocean. There is so much space on the beach here, you don’t have to worry about bumping into people or fighting over a place to put your towel. There’s no need to get on the sand early so that you don’t miss out on a spot, as there is literally miles of beach. In fact there is 3 kilometres of soft sand to enjoy, for as long as you want, for free.
When swimming, it is best to remain within the designated areas of the yellow and red flags which are patrolled by lifeguards. The water is clean, clear and invigorating.
Surfing is of course the iconic Australian activity here at Surfers Paradise, hence the name, duh! You can hire boards and have surfing lessons, either private or in a group. This is one of the best places to give it a go.
But don’t surf between the flags, as this is dedicated patrolled swimming area.
For more competent surfers you can find other locations all along the Gold Coast, such as Currumbin and Burleigh Heads.
Snazzy Tip: The best months for swell are usually February to July.
2. River and canals to explore
Taking a cruise to explore a city from a different perspective is a great idea. A river cruise on the gorgeous Nerang River here in Surfers Paradise is a fun and relaxing way to appreciate the beautiful river and the many canals here.
Snazzy fact: Queensland has more canals than the Venice Lagoon. Isn’t that remarkable?
The waterways are also the location of some luxury waterfront mansions and private yachts, as you will see whilst cruising. The marina has dozens displayed in spectacular fashion.
The cruise also takes you past the grandiose Palazzo Versace Hotel Gold Coast. It is located just 5km from the centre of Surfers Paradise. I popped in for afternoon tea which was just delightful.
Snazzy fact: This was the first fashion-branded hotel in the world.
Now, there is another Versace hotel in the UAE, Dubai of course.
It makes perfect sense that Versace would have a presence on the ‘Gold’ Coast – a match made in heaven, or paradise!
This is the only 6 star hotel in Australia. You can stay here for about A$400 per night. Ahh, a girl can dream, right?
The cruise also has snacks and a fully stocked bar to purchase drinks on board. Just saying.
There are several different cruise companies in operation here. You can book one of the many cruises on line, or at the various kiosks located around Cavill Avenue.
3. Restaurants and bars to try
The entertainment precinct centres around Cavill Avenue. Day and night this area is full of life with a plethora of restaurants, cafes and bars. You are spoiled for choice on places to dine and socialise.
On the beach, I can’t recommend highly enough the BMD Northcliffe Surf Club, open all day, everyday, you can drink and eat whilst enjoying views of the coast. I even saw whales whilst having drinks here one afternoon. I was so thrilled to see them swimming.
You don’t have to be a member, and best of all, proceeds go to lifesaving, which is such a good cause.
4. Shopping to do
Shopping has become a major part of vacations and here is no exception, with an array of large stores and smaller boutiques to shop til you drop.
The best shopping precinct by far is Pacific Fair in Broadbeach, just a short distance from Surfers Paradise. Here you will find all the iconic brands, dining and set in a delightful tropical landscape. This is a destination in itself not to be missed, with free shuttle services from certain locations.
The night market along the foreshore in Surfers Paradise is another major part of life on the beachfront here. More than a hundred stalls are set up 3 times a week in the evenings from 5pm, on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, all year round, where you can stroll and shop for an array of goods.
5. Q1 Tower and Skypoint view to see
The most iconic landmark of Queensland is the Q1 building, located right here in Surfers Paradise. You can’t miss this ultra modern skyscraper. Q1 is the tallest structure in Australia at 322 metres high and was built in 2005. The spire on top of the tower is one of the world’s longest.
You should visit Skypoint observation deck on level 77 & 78 for the best panoramic views of the Gold Coast, open everyday. But please check opening times, as these vary throughout the year.
There is a bar & bistro for casual dining up at Skypoint also, for you to enjoy a meal and/or drinks with unparalleled views.
Most days the weather is fine and sunny, but make sure you don’t pick a day that is cloudy to go to the top of Q1.
6. HOTA – Home Of The Arts to visit
HOTA is an art precinct in Surfers Paradise and a popular destination for all things art related – movies, theatre, live entertainment, galleries, exhibitions, workshops and more.
Plus, you can enjoy the lovely lake, beach and parkland setting to relax, swim, and play.
A tour of the 5 galleries is free and not to be missed if you love modern Australian art. The galleries are located in the vibrant multi-coloured, cubed building that stands out on the skyline.
Be sure to check the website for details of what’s on.
7. Theme Parks to conquer
Looking for more fun and thrills? Well look no further than Gold Coast’s theme parks, some of the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere.
For all you theme park enthusiasts, you will be in heaven! Just a short distance from Surfers Paradise you can visit all the major theme parks here on the Gold Coast for world class fun and adventure. Located no more than half hour drive away, or you can take the light rail and train.
The best Theme Parks to visit are:
- Dreamworld, at Coomera.
- Whitewater World, at Coomera.
- Sea World, at Main Beach.
- Warner Bros. Movie World, in Oxenford.
- Wet’n’Wild, in Oxenford.
There are plenty of deals for ticket passes to choose from, to suit every budget.
And there’s more …
Other attractions available in and around Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast include:
- Wax Museum
- Infinity Attraction
- Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum
- Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, and
- Australian Outback Spectacular show.
Getting to Surfers Paradise
Getting to Surfers is easiest by flying domestic to Coolangatta Airport from any major Australian airport. I have flown from Melbourne with Virgin Australia, which takes about 2 hours. Then a 40 minute drive to Surfers Paradise.
Getting around Surfers Paradise and nearby places
Snazzy Tip: I strongly advise you avoid going to Surfers Paradise during the last week of November and first week of December. Each year at this time it’s ‘Schoolies’, when many school leavers, 17 and 18 year olds, from all over the country descend on the area to let their hair down after final exams. It’s mayhem during this period and you don’t want to get caught up in the revelry and be labelled ‘toolies’!
Other Tours of Surfers Paradise and beyond
There you have it. The perfect get away to Surfers Paradise, Queensland. I hope you are inspired to visit in the future
Refer to Queensland Travel website for more information on planning your getaway to Surfers Paradise.