Thanks in large part to the sun-kissed beaches, the Gold Coast has earned a spot as one of Australia’s top tourist destinations, and nearly half the accommodation options in the region are found in Surfers Paradise. The 2-mile (3-kilometer) stretch of sand known as Surfers Paradise Beach tends to get lively with families, joggers, impromptu beach volleyball games and surfers of all skill levels. If you’re new to the sport, you’ll find a couple surf schools is town who will take you out and get you standing on the beginner-friendly shore breaks.
While sun, sand and surf are the main draws, the town itself offers a variety of other family oriented attractions, including the Gold Coast Wax Museum, Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Odditorium, Dracula’s Haunted House and Racecentre, where you can get behind the wheel in the same racing simulators professional drivers use to train. Visitors can get an overview of the city with a visit to the SkyPoint Observation Deck on the 77th floor of the Q1 building, where you’ll be greeted by 360-degree views of the Gold Coast below you.
Second only to surfing in popularity in Surfers Paradise is shopping, and there’s plenty of it; you’ll find 14 shopping centers spread throughout the community. For a uniquely Gold Coast shopping experience, head down to the beach on Wednesday, Friday or Sunday night to browse the 120 some stalls of the Surfers Paradise Beachfront Market. You’ll find a little bit of everything here, including jewelry, fine art, housewares and souvenirs, and you can browse to the sounds of live music.
Surfer's Paradise is about an hour's drive south of Brisbane. If you don't have your own wheels, you can catch a Greyhound bus.
Tours & Tickets
Climb Mount Warning in the morning to reach the highest point in the region. The walk takes you through subtropical rainforest and, upon ascent, offers 360 ... Read more
Location: Byron Bay, Australia
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)