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An Idyllic Gold Coast Destination - It’s Surfers Paradise
It was back in 1920 when Jim Cavill, a hotelier from Brisbane, acquired 25 acres of land in the area now known as Surfers Paradise; 15 years later, he opened the original Surfers Paradise Hotel. Although fire destroyed this hotel in 1936, an energetic and eclectic city sprang from its ashes. The modern Surfers Paradise is a melting pot of entertainment, international events, and global tourism. A beautiful beach, a bustling foreshore, fabulous food, and family fun are all part of the landscape here; it is of little wonder that the city is described as the jewel of the Gold Coast.
Beach Life Prevails
Life here often revolves around the beach. Surfers Paradise offers almost two miles of golden sand - a stretch of beach that is among the most famous in Australia. Despite its name, Surfers Paradise is not normally thought of as a number one spot for surfing - the waves are usually better at nearby Kirra and Duranbah Beaches. That said, the gentler waves here are ideal for novices to the sport. If you do fancy learning to surf, you can take lessons at the Gold Coast Surf Academy and the Cheyne Horan School of Surf, both open daily and just a short stroll from the apartments and iconic high-rise hotels along the beachfront. The conditions here are also ideal for swimming; lifeguards are on duty every day to ensure safe fun for families. Remember to seek a little shade from time to time. The Pandanus trees dotted among the rejuvenated Surfers Paradise Foreshore provide an ideal spot.
Events, Arts, and Culture
Widely thought of as the Gold Coast’s entertainment precinct, Surfers Paradise knows how to throw a party. Be entertained at annual events such as the Sand Safari Arts Festival, the Australian Street Entertainment Championships, and Surfers Paradise Live. Events such as these tend to take place between February and April although Christmas and New Year events also pull in the crowds. Outside of these dates, you can get a helping of arts and culture at the Arts Centre Gold Coast on Bundall Road. This complex plays host to the Gold Coast City Gallery and the Arts Theatre as well as a couple of movie theatres and performance spaces. Also worth a visit is Urban Paradise at Piazza on the Boulevard; an artist driven co-op with a graffiti lounge area and resident DJ. Be sure to squeeze in a visit to the Spirit of Australia Gallery, too. Situated on Surfers Paradise Boulevard, it is the city’s only Aboriginal art gallery.
Food & Retail
Of course, the best form of entertainment for some is a spot of lunch and, with everything from farmers’ markets to fine dining on offer, Surfers Paradise is a surprisingly good spot for foodies. Visit the Bundall Farmers’ Market on Sundays or head to the waterfront where you can enjoy million-dollar views alongside your meal at everything from a relaxed pub-style venue to an upmarket hotel restaurant. Shopaholics will also find plenty to keep them entertained. Big brands can be found at the likes of Pacific Fair and Australia Fair Shopping Centres and, just a little further afield, Robina Town Centre. Find more retail therapy at Cavill Lane and the open-air Soul Boardwalk. A visit to the beachfront night markets is also a must; held three-times weekly on the Esplanade, they’re a great place to pick up arty bits handcrafted by locals.
Thanks to a choice of more than 25 family-friendly attractions, Surfers Paradise is a popular destination for families. Ramp up the fun factor at destinations such as the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium, King Tutt’s Putt Putt, The Wax Museum, and Dracula’s Haunted House. Take to the water on a kayak or the famous Quack’R’Duck or take things up a level (230 metres to be exact) by taking in the views from the SkyPoint observation deck atop of the Q1 building. Animal lovers can visit the likes of Sea World and the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary while thrill seekers will love to spend the day at one of the Gold Coast theme parks. Warner Bros. Movie World, Dreamworld, and Wet’N’Wild are all within a 25-minute drive of Surfers Paradise. For something a little different, be sure to visit the 7D Cinema on Trickett Street and at Cavill Mall.
Tours & Sightseeing
Surfers Paradise provides a great base from which to explore a little further afield. Unsurprisingly, whale watching tours are a popular choice; climb aboard a catamaran and set sail for the waters past South Stradbroke Island to see the magnificent Humpback Whales. Prefer dolphins? Tours to the Moreton Bay Marine Park offer an excellent opportunity to watch Bottlenose Dolphins play alongside Giant Loggerhead Turtles. If you like to keep your feet on dry land, options for bus tours from the area include trips to Lamington National Park and Tamborine Mountain; adventurous types may choose to head off in a 4WD instead. Trips to Tangalooma, Byron Castle, Mooloolaba, and a fabulous Glow Worm cave are also easily accessible. Plus, Brisbane is only an hours’ drive to the north.
Surfers Paradise: Not just for surfers