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Surfers Paradise Top 5, Gold Coast

Joanna Hall

Energetic, glitzy, dynamic and something for everyone, are just a few of the words and phrases that sum up the famous Gold Coast beachside community, Surfers Paradise. It’s an entertainment playground, home of the Gold Coast 600 V8 Supercar race, and prestigious Surf Life Saving competitions, and thanks to the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which start on April 4, it’s about to come under the global spotlight once more. Blessed with a golden sand beach which stretches for kilometres, a beachfront boulevard which is forever busy with walkers, cyclists and skateboarders, and world class dining, bars and clubs, Surfers Paradise is affectionately regarded as the “good-times hub of the Gold Coast”. So what should visitors be looking to see and do while staying? Here’s our top pick.


If you’re planning to visit Surfers Paradise, and considering where to stay, there is a plethora of accommodation choices to suit all budgets. If you want something luxurious which really ticks all the boxes, however, from its location to its facilities Peppers Soul is hard to beat. This impressive tower stands opposite the sparkling beach in the heart of Surfers Paradise, stretching 77 storeys into the sky. The accommodation is a range of self contained luxury apartments, from spacious one-bedrooms to jaw dropping sub-penthouses, but  just entering the impressive lobby, the high ceiling and marble staircase sets a tone more akin to a five-star hotel. Peppers Soul also has all the attractions of a full-service resort, from a beachfront pool and gym, to 24-hour reception, a top notch on-site restaurant and room service.  

You can read our full review of Peppers Soul here. 


Surfers Paradise is blessed with many dining venues from hit and run street side eateries and cafes, to silver service restaurants with a view. As locals, just a few of our favourites include El Patio de Cuba, tucked away inside the Chevron Renaissance complex, and featuring an authentic menu, occasional live salsa, and plenty of mojitos and Cuban rum. For authentic, yet inexpensive Japanese cuisine, head to Bistro Lamp on Surfers Paradise Boulevard near the Q1 building; it is part al fresco, part indoors with great sushi and sashimi among other dishes. For a burger to remember, try Brooklyn Depot which brings a small slice of New York to the back streets of Surfers, while Seascape Restaurant & Bar comes with a bit of a price tag but offers uninterrupted views of the beach and Pacific Ocean with semi-casual and dress up options. Surfers Paradise also has a great lineup of Asian eateries, one of the best of which is Pleiku Kitchen on the corner of Surfers Paradise Boulevard and Alison Street, which offers authentic, inexpensive Vietnamese cuisine in a casual and friendly environment.


You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to watering holes, with something to suit all tastes, and some venues offering glittering views. Melbas on the Park is one; a place to eat, drink and watch sport, and an institution in Surfers Paradise since 1981 which has recently undergone a spruce up. Steampunk Surfers Paradise sits beneath one of the Hilton Hotel towers on Cavill Lane, boasting an uber-cool Victorian era decor, $10 jugs of beer and it’s famous Espresso Martinis. On a balmy night the low-level rooftop bar at The Island has DJs, a retro-styled cocktail bar, seating in romantic nooks, and heaters for the cooler months. And for views of the beach, Northcliffe Surf Club has a huge bar and restaurant, and a small outdoor deck - but only if you get in early. 

See & Do

You could be forgiven for thinking that Surfers is all about eating, drinking and partying, but there is are plenty of other things to see and do in the beachside community. If you are in need of a facial or massage, you are looking to buy some cool gifts such as crystals or tarot cards, or you just want to keep up with your yoga while on holiday, head into Chameleon New Age Salon on Surfers Paradise Boulevard. A simply stunning multi-level space devoted to wellness, you can also get a great hair cut or colour, have a coffee or organic tea, and enjoy psychic readings. The Surfers Paradise beachfront markets have been setting up for more than 20 years, and take place every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday evenings, starting from 4pm on the foreshore at the end of Cavill Mall. For cultural pursuits, HOTA, or Home of the Arts, is surrounded by parkland with Surfers as a backdrop, and it the place for live performances and art. It has a new outdoor stage for live events, a cafe, cinemas and an art gallery. Something everyone should do is take a walk on the beach at sunset, and for the truly adventurous, you can learn to surf, go indoor skydiving with iFly, go jet boating, and more.

Don’t Miss

Currently the Gold Coast’s highest attraction, the SkyPoint Observation Deck is located on Level 77 of the iconic Q1 Building in Surfers Paradise, and offers a 360 degree view of the Gold Coast beaches, the hinterland and beyond. It’s pricey to ride to the top only, but if you opt for a deck and dine for $35 you get to enjoy the view (preferably at sunset) and enjoy $20 towards food and drink in the SkyPoint Bistro + Bar. presents - Surfers Paradise Lifestyle 01:34

“Surfers Paradise to me means fun and freedom” - Lou McGregor, a Surfers Paradise mum and local business woman. She knows how to make the most out of the precinct’s great mix of cafes, restaurants, bars, attractions, events, shopping, the beach and much more.

  • presents - Surfers Paradise Lifestyle
    “Surfers Paradise to me means fun and freedom” - Lou McGregor,...

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