Best things to do in Surfers Paradise

Are you planning a trip to Surfers Paradise? This article covers all the very best things to do in Surfers Paradise, including tourist attractions, activities and places to visit.

The Queensland Travel Guide acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which the Gold Coast is situated, the people of the Yugambeh language. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continued spiritual and cultural connections to Country. Always was, always will be, Aboriginal land.

Surfers Paradise is an iconic coastal town on the Gold Coast. Known for its glistening high rises lining a pristine stretch of dazzling golden sand, Surfers is a bustling, vibrant place that offers visitors a fun and exciting holiday. 

Surfers Paradise offers a range of exciting attractions and activities, whether you’re searching for things to do in Surfers Paradise with kids, for a multi-generational Gold Coast getaway or even a romantic break for two. 

Some of the best things to do on Surfers Paradise include beachside activities like surfing (obviously!), body boarding and swimming (which are great options if you’re looking for free things to do!) Surfers Paradise family activities aren’t much better than a day at the beach!

There are also plenty of Surfers Paradise tourist attractions for all ages and all weathers (including plenty of cheap things to do in Surfers Paradise), so you won’t be stuck for things to do in Surfers Paradise when it’s raining. 

Attractions in Surfers Paradise include the SkyPoint Observation Deck (which offers panoramic views of the Gold Coast from the top of the Q1 building), putt putt, rooftop bars, jet boat rides, river cruises and so much more. You will not be short of activities to do in Surfers Paradise!

If you’re looking for things to do in Surfers Paradise at night, you won’t be disappointed as the area comes alive with a thriving nightlife scene, with bars, clubs and restaurants coming alive as the sun goes down.

There are plenty of Surfers Paradise attractions to entertain you during your stay if you just want to park up your car and explore on foot. Although there are plenty of Surfers Paradise activities to keep you busy, it’s also the ideal location to use as a base to explore all of the attractions up and down the Gold Coast. There are so many fun attractions near Surfers Paradise – you could stay for weeks and still find new things to do daily!

Equally, Surfers is a great location to slow down and relax – everything you need is on your doorstep, so you can enjoy all of the attractions Surfers Paradise offers without needing to travel far. It’s just the perfect holiday destination!

So let’s get into it and help you discover the best things to do Surfers Paradise has to offer with our favourite Surfers Paradise to do list.

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Before we get started with our list of what to do in Surfers Paradise to help you plan your itinerary, check out the map below. This map shows the location of all the attractions in Surfers Paradise. 

We’ve tried to cover all bases – so things to do at Surfers Paradise at night, things to do at Surfers Paradise for free, iconic attractions you definitely shouldn’t miss and activities and attractions for all ages and interests. 

I recommend you first make a list of all of the attractions at Surfers Paradise that are must-do activities for you and then use this map to plan your day to day itinerary. 


Below we cover the top attractions at Surfers Paradise and the best activities in Surfers Paradise for visitors.

1 Go to the beach!

With a whopping 66 kilometres of sandy beaches, there’s no doubt visiting the beach is among the top 10 things to do in Surfers Paradise. A haven for lovers of sand, sun and surf, the Gold Coast boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and the expansive beaches at Surfers Paradise do not disappoint. 

Surrounded by high rises and shopping galore – the 2 km stretch of golden sand at Surfers is a great beach for surfing and swimming. Lifeguards patrol many sections, and it’s highly recommended you swim between the red and yellow flags. 

A day at the beach is a must when visiting the Gold Coast, and the best thing – it’s one of the things to do in Surfers Paradise for free! As we all know, holidays can get expensive, so this is the ultimate in our list of Surfers Paradise free things to do! 

2 Take a surf lesson 

If you’re up for it, one of the fun things to do in Surfers Paradise is to take a surf lesson! Given the Gold Coast is known for its awesome surf – there are several operators and places where you can take a lesson – regardless of your surfing ability.

Most surf lessons include instructions on paddling, balancing, and riding a wave, as well as basic surf safety and ocean awareness. Generally, all the necessary equipment, including a surfboard and wetsuit, are provided, so you don’t need to worry about bringing your own.

It’s a good idea to book your surf lesson in advance, especially during peak season, as classes can fill up quickly. Consider your skill level and choose a lesson that is appropriate for you. 

Beginner lessons are usually available for those new to surfing, while intermediate and advanced lessons are typically geared towards more experienced surfers.

Whether you’re looking for things to do in Surfers Paradise for couples or things to do in Surfers Paradise for kids, a surfing lesson is one of those cool things to do in Surfers Paradise for everyone!

A range of operators offer surf lessons – click here to see what’s available. 

3 Infinity 

If you’re looking for stuff to do in Surfers Paradise, one of the fun things to do is visit Infinity! Infinity is a funhouse, an interactive and immersive attraction featuring a range of special effects and illusions designed to test your senses and challenge your perception of reality. 

At Infinity, you’ll journey through a series of themed rooms, each with a unique atmosphere and challenges. You’ll encounter illusions and special effects that will challenge and delight visitors of all ages.

Allow around 30 minutes to one hour to make your way through Infinity.

Being indoors, it’s one of those great things to do in Surfers Paradise on a rainy day!

Location: G31 Chevron Renaissance Centre, 3240 Surfers Paradise Blvd
Hours: Daily from 10 am to 10 pm
Price: $28.90 per adult | $19.90 per child (4-13) | Family Pass (2A+2C) $82.90 – click here to buy tickets online

4  Ripleys Believe It or Not

Ripely’s Believe It or Not is one of the must-do in Surfers Paradise attractions if you’re a fan of the quirky and unusual. There’s everything here, from shrunken human heads to rare animal skeletons, as well as a mix of strange stories, extraordinary feats, and hair-raising oddities from around the world.  

Plenty of interactive exhibits keep even the young visitors engaged – you can compare your height to the tallest man, walk through the spinning vortex or, just like in the movies, make your way through the laser room without being touched by a laser beam. 

A few hours at Ripley’s is one of the fun things to do at Surfers Paradise!

Location: Soul Boardwalk – Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise
Opening Hours: Daily from 9 am to 10 pm
Price: $30.90 per adult | $25.90 per child (13-17) | $20.90 per child (5-12)

5 Skypoint Observation Deck

Top things to do in Surfers Paradise include visiting the top of Q1 at the SkyPoint Observation Deck. Here you can stand on the Gold Coast’s highest building at 77 floors and 322 metres to get the best possible view of the city.

For those who are super brave, you can get outside level 77 and climb even further to a peak of 270 metres above sea level, with uninterrupted 360-degree views of the greater Gold Coast. 

There is also a Bistro and Bar at SkyPoint, where you can grab a bite to eat or something to drink while you’re there. It’s one of those iconic activities Surfers Paradise offers that you will never forget!

It is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail if you go late when the sun is going down. You’ll find this one of the best things to do at night. Surfers Paradise lights up, giving you a great view of the city. 

Location: Level 77, Q1 building/9 Hamilton Ave, Surfers Paradise
Hours: Daily from 7.30 am to 6.30 pm (open 7.30 pm on Friday and Saturday); closed on Tuesdays – hours may vary, so do check
Price: Observation Deck: $31 per adult | $23 per child (3-13) | Family Pass (2A+2C) $85- click here to buy tickets online

6 Gold Coast Wax Museum

The Gold Coast Wax Museum is home to the southern hemisphere’s largest collections of wax figures.  Here you’ll find famous faces who made world history – from the likes of Michael Jackson to our very own Kylie Minogue – a gruesome torture chamber, and much more. 

Being indoors, it’s another great option if you’re looking for things to do in Surfers Paradise when it’s raining.

Location: 56 Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise
Hours: Daily from 10 am to 6 pm
Price: $33 per adult | $26 per child | $96 per Family Pass (2A+2C) – click here to buy tickets online

7 Go fishing

Are the kids bored of all of the Surfers Paradise sightseeing? Get them outside to enjoy the fresh air by taking them fishing. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an expert with your own fishing gear; there are opportunities to enjoy this sport on your own or with a guided group. 

You won’t need a license, but regulations apply, so familiarise yourself before heading out.

Alternatively, join a fishing trip – like this half day one.  That way, all the gear is provided for you, and having your own professional guide will ensure you get a great catch!  

Either head out solo or grab the kids or a couple of mates to go with – it’s one of the fun things to do Surfers Paradise offers for all ages. Don’t forget to pick up a fish guidebook to know which fish are safe to touch.

If you bring your own gear, it’s one of the best free things to do in Surfers Paradise, and it will entertain the kids all day!

8 Go jet boating

If you’re a thrill seeker with a thirst for adventure, then jet boating is one of the must-do Surfers Paradise activities!  

An extreme jet-boat experience is guaranteed to get your heart racing – plus, it’s a memorable way to see some of the Gold Coast’s most stunning scenery.  You’ll love skimming across the local waterways on a purpose-built, adrenaline-filled jet boat. 

Surfers Paradise fun things to do don’t get better than this!

A range of operators offer jet boating on the Gold Coast – click here to see what’s available. 

9 Go whale watching

Whale watching season runs from May to October, and during this time, you can see thousands of humpback whales migrating north to warmer Queensland waters from Antarctica. They pass up the coast and back down once they have calved. 

You can try your luck and spot whales from one of the elevated headlands along the coast, as the whales come quite close to shore. Recommended spots to see the whales include Point Danger, Greenmount, Kirra Hill, Currumbin Rocks, Tumgun Lookout within Burleigh Heads National Park and North Burleigh/Miami Headland, so if you’re prone to getting seasick and prefer to stay on dry land, whale watching is one of those great things to do near Surfers Paradise. 

But a whale watching cruise is an unforgettable experience; it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to see these majestic creatures up close and in their natural habitat.  You’ll also receive educational commentary onboard, so you’ll come away knowing more about whales than before the cruise. It is one of the must-do things in Surfers Paradise, and you will see so much more out on a boat than you can from land. 

Several boats around the Gold Coast offer whale watching tours.  Click here to see what whale watching cruises are available.

Whale watching is undoubtedly one of the top 10 things to do in Surfers Paradise.

10 Do a tandem skydive

Are you an adrenaline junkie who wants to see Surfers Paradise like never before? Try a tandem skydive. It’s an unforgettable adventure and one not for the faint-hearted. 

The ultimate adrenaline rush, skydivers will enjoy a 10,000ft drop, free-falling at over 200 km per hour. Thrill-seekers only need to apply.

There are a range of operators on the Gold Coast, such as Skydive Australia – click here for more information.

11 Hire a jet ski

Another super fun way to explore the Gold Coast waterways is via a jet ski.  Bring your own if you’re lucky enough to own one or rent one from the several operators around town. The Broadwater is a popular place to jetski – here you can zip around a circuit for a set time.

Better yet – why not join a jet ski tour where you get the experience of zooming around on a jet ski while exploring the Surfers Paradise coastline. 

Things to do around Surfers Paradise don’t get more fun than this!

Click here to see what jet ski options are available. 

12 Take a sunset cruise

If a jet ski tour is a bit much for you – how about a more relaxing sunset cruise? Cruising around the Gold Coast canals with a drink in hand as the sun sets is a fantastic way to end a day of sightseeing and enjoying the Surfers Paradise entertainment activities.

Several tour operators offer Surfers Paradise sunset cruises. Some take you around the canals, while others go on the ocean.  Some include a drink or two, while others provide dinner.

Click here to see what sunset cruises are available.

13 Visit the Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets

Looking for Surfers Paradise places to visit to enjoy the buzzing beachside atmosphere? Go along to the markets!

Taking place along the Esplanade, the Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets provide an iconic shopping opportunity and a fabulous immersive community experience. Pick up handmade souvenirs, pick up some fresh, locally grown produce, meet the local characters, enjoy the delicious food trucks and enjoy the buzzing vibe while enjoying the live entertainment. 

It’s one of those Surfers Paradise top things to do for all ages.

Location: The Foreshore, Surfers Paradise
Hours: Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 4 pm to 9 pm
Cost: Free


HOTA – or Home of the Arts – is a place that fuses art, entertainment, culture and lifestyle. The centre includes a range of facilities, including a theatre, gallery, and outdoor amphitheatre, and hosts various performing arts, visual arts, and community events.

The gallery is worth a look – displaying a range of artworks – including a children’s gallery.  There is also a restaurant, bar and cafe and don’t miss the top floor, which has fabulous views across the surrounding area.

It’s one of the best places to go in Surfers Paradise if you love arts and culture, and it’s an ideal rainy day activity too. 

Location: 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
Hours: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm, Monday to Thursdays & Weekends | 10 am to 8 pm Fridays
Price: Free to visit, but you need to pre book a ticket and some events will have a fee

15 Do a coastal walk

If it’s not warm enough for you to get into the water – why not view it from one of the various coastal walks around Surfers Paradise? There are over 50 km of pathways in the region passing through some of the coast’s most popular destinations, including Burleigh Heads National Park, Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta, and it’s a great opportunity to explore the gorgeous beaches, rugged rock pools and bushland. There are so many places to see in Surfers Paradise and the surrounding area! 

The pathways are flat and suitable for all fitness levels- you can even ride a bike! Choose a starting point from wherever you like, and walk as far as you want. There are plenty of places to stop along the way for a cold drink or even a bite to eat.

Walking the coastline is one of the best things to do in Surfers Paradise for free.

16 Take a segway tour

I know you’ve all seen a segway by now – but have you ever tried one?  If not – why not consider a segway tour passing some of the most iconic spots at Surfers Paradise?

A range of operators offer segway tours on the Gold Coast – like this one which, over 90 minutes, takes you all around the Broadwater. I

f you’ve got teens, they will love this, as it’s one of the best things to do in Surfers Paradise for families with older kids. 

17 Enjoy a high tea

Many big hotels and restaurants in Surfers Paradise offer high tea, so be sure to check them out while browsing for the best places to eat in Surfers Paradise!

High tea usually involves cakes, sandwiches and savoury delicacies served with tea or coffee. You can also typically upgrade to a VIP high tea with a glass of champagne.

What better place to enjoy a decadent high tea experience than the stunning location of Surfers Paradise! Many hotels offer high tea from an elevated level so you can look out to the ocean as you enjoy your cream tea experience. 

18 Ride the Aquaduck

Yet another interesting way to explore the Gold Coast Water Ways – on land too – is via the Aqua Duck. The Aqua Duck is an amphibious vehicle capable of going on land and water.

From your meeting point, you’ll drive the streets so you can check out all of the things to see Surfers Paradise offers  – before hitting the water to cruise the Gold Coast canals. 

If you have kids with you – they may be invited to captain the boat for a short period. This is a tour that combines sightseeing and fun for all the family!

Location: Cnr Elkhorn Avenue and Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Hours: Tours are daily with multiple times to choose from
Price: $45 per adult | $35 per child (2-16) | $149 Family Pass (2A+2C) | Kids under 2 on laps free – click here to book tickets online

19 Drink a cocktail in a rooftop bar

Surfers Paradise waterfront is lined with high rises, so what better location to sip a rooftop cocktail than here! Some of the best places to eat Surfers Paradise has are the rooftop bars, so you can enjoy your meal and then finish it off with a delicious cocktail with a view! 

Our favourite rooftop bars include The Island Rooftop, Skyline Rooftop Bar, the Exhibitionist Bar at HOTA and Surfers Paradise Beer Garden, but there are plenty more to choose from!   

20 Slingshot Gold Coast

If you want to experience the thrill of a lifetime by being launched into the air at speeds up to 160 km/hour, then Slingshot Gold Coast is for you! 

It’s open until late, so if you’re looking for Surfers Paradise things to do at night, this could be it, providing you’ve got a strong stomach, and you enjoy the adrenaline rush of being catapulted into the air at break-neck speeds. 

There is a minimum height requirement of 125 cm, so scratch this off your list if you’re looking for things to do in Surfers Paradise with toddlers, but teens will be all over it!

You can book a couple’s pack if you’re searching for romantic things to do in Surfers Paradise if you’re both on the same page regarding adrenaline activities! 

Location: 32 Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise

Hours: Sunday to Thursday from 10 am to 10 pm | Friday and Saturday from 10 am until midnight
Cost: $40 Single rider | $65 Single Package (ride + video + t-shirt) | $120 Couple Package (2 riders + video + 2 t-shirts)

21 Holey Moley Golf

If thrill-seeking isn’t your thing and you prefer a more gentle activity, Holey Moley Golf could be it, and it perfectly fits the brief if you’re looking for things to do with kids in Surfers Paradise or romantic Surfers Paradise couple activities. 

Enjoy a fun game of mini golf and make it a day or night to remember! 

Location: 313197 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Level 1, (Cnr of Elkhorn Ave), Surfers Paradise97 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Level 1, (Cnr of Elkhorn Ave), Surfers Paradise

Hours: Monday to Wednesday from 12 pm to 10 pm | Thursday from 12 pm to 11 pm | Friday and Saturday from 10 am to midnight | Sunday from 10 am to 11 pm
Cost: Prices start from $14 per person for 9 holes and $24 per person for 18 holes during off peak times/days


There are so many family things to do in Surfers Paradise. Looking for things to see and do in Surfers Paradise for teens and tweens? Things to see in Surfers Paradise don’t get more fun than FREAK VR!

Delivering immersive, multiplayer VR experiences, this is an entertainment venue that everyone will love. The 4D effects and curated spaces offer everything from escape rooms to exploring a parallel universe! 

As an all-abilities, inclusive venue, they offer opportunities for everyone to take part and the games are adapted to suit the needs of the individual (you just need to let them know in advance if you’re booking in a player with specific access requirements). Plus, they offer an All Abilities discount of 50% (and that discount extends to carers too). 

It’s one of the top things to do in Surfers Paradise for families!

Location: Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise

Hours: Monday to Wednesday from 12 pm to 7 pm | Thursday from 12 pm to 8.30 pm | Friday from 12 pm to 9 pm | Saturday from 10  am to 9.30 pm | Sunday from 11 am to 7.30 pm | Hours are extended during school holidays
Cost: Prices and packages vary as they can be combined with other activities 

23 David Hart Galleries

Enjoy gazing at creative masterpieces by iconic artist David Hart. Even if buying an original painting is out of your price range, it’s a great place to be inspired by the colourful canvases; plus you can pick up some giftware as a souvenir to take home as a reminder of your Surfers Paradise holiday. 

Location: Mirage Marina, 74 Seaworld Drive
Hours: Every day from 10 am to 4 pm
Cost: Free

24 Hire a boat on the Surfers Paradise waterways

If you want to explore the Gold Coast canals at your leisure, you can hire your own boat. There are boats for all experience levels and a boating license is not even required. There are options for an hour, half a day, or even a week. 

This one accommodates up to 10 people and the boat is out for up to 4 hours.

25 Take a sightseeing cruise

Surfers Paradise romantic things to do, don’t come much better than taking a sightseeing cruise. There are many cruises, including short cruises to lunch and dinner cruises. A cruise is also one of those great things to do at night in Surfers Paradise, as you see all the twinkling lights.  

A range of sightseeing cruises are available, including lunch too. Click here to find out what’s available.  

26 Enjoy a wing foiling lesson

Wing foiling (also known as wing surfing) is a wind-propelled water sport – think of it as a cross between surfing and windsurfing as you ride on a board while holding onto the ‘wing’. 

Foiling Australia runs wing foiling lessons. Click here to find out what’s available.

27 Try parasailing

Enjoy the Gold Coast coastline from a new angle – what better way to explore Surfers Paradise’s sights than from the air! This breathtaking activity is something you can do alone or with a partner or family member.

Imagine soaring the skies and looking across the water – you won’t believe the views! You might even be lucky to spot a dolphin, turtle or dugong! 

Click here to find out what’s available

29 Stand up paddleboarding

Whether a beginner or something of a seasoned pro – there are some great places to go paddleboarding on the Gold Coast. 

You can either bring your own gear or hire from the providers – there are a few rental shops around the Gold Coast and some even on the beach. Another option is to join a guided tour which is a great way to explore the waterways.

If you fancy exploring a little further afield, there are many places to visit near Surfers Paradise, where you can enjoy standup paddleboarding. Some of the best places to go are Currumbin Creek, Tallebudgera Creek, The Spit and the Broadwater. 

Click here to check what paddleboarding options are available.

29 Enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet

Feeling peckish? There are so many good places to eat! Surfers Paradise is a foodie’s heaven. 

What’s better than finding the best places to eat at Surfers Paradise? Finding the best places to eat that also offer an all-you-can-eat buffet! 

Who doesn’t love a buffet, especially when you’re on holiday and the health kick disappears for a week or two? Surfers Paradise has many great food options, and visiting a buffet is one of the best things to do! Surfers Paradise kids will also love it (especially if they’re picky) as they can choose what they put on their plate! Winning.

We love the buffets at Waves Buffet Restaurant, Citrique and Bazaar Gold Coast, but there are SO MANY buffets to choose from! 


While there is plenty to keep you occupied in Surfers Paradise, if you’re keen, there are some great day trips you can do from Surfers Paradise. 

For most of these places, it’s recommended you stay at least a few days in each, but if you only have a day, then a day trip is possible.


At just over an hour’s drive from Surfers Paradise, a day trip to Brisbane is possible for those wanting to visit the Queensland capital. Brisbane is laid back and vibrant, featuring everything from lush parklands and gardens to modern galleries and cosmopolitan waterfront dining. 

There are so many attractions to choose from in Brisbane. For culture seekers, there is the Queensland Museum, QAGOMA (The Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art) and the National Maritime Museum. 

For wildlife lovers, there is Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. There are Roma Street Parkland and the tranquil Southbank Parkland for lovers of gardens. There is the bridge climb, rock climbing and kayaking for thrill seekers. 

Lastly, you can’t beat a simple stroll along the river or a swim at the iconic Streets Beach. 

Click here for our full guide on things to do in Brisbane.

Gold Coast Hinterland

About an hour’s drive Inland from the Gold Coast is the stunning Gold Coast Hinterland. A picturesque part of southeast Queensland known for its natural beauty, small villages and local produce. 

Home to several national parks (including Lamington National Park, Springbrook National Park, and Tamborine National Park), the hinterland is perfect for those who enjoy hiking, picnicking, and birdwatching. The parks are also home to various native plants (some ancient trees in the lush rainforests of Lamington National Park date back 5000 years) and animals. 

In addition to the beautiful National Parks, the hinterland is home to several small towns and villages, including Mt Tamborine, Canungra, and Beechmont. These communities are known for their quaint charm and offer a range of accommodations, dining, and unique shopping options for visitors.

For wine lovers, you’ll be pleased to know that the region has an emerging wine industry, with many local wineries producing high-quality wines from grapes grown in the area’s rich, volcanic soil. This makes the hinterland a popular destination for wine tastings and winery tours.

While we recommend hiring a car and exploring the area on your own, there are several tours you can join to explore the area. For example, you could take a day trip to see the highlights of Tamborine Mountain, visit the popular Natural Bridge during the afternoon, spend the day tasting the region’s beautiful wines, spot glow worms during an evening walk or take a bird’s eye view of the region from a hot air balloon.

Byron Bay

Byron Bay is a coastal town in New South Wales, about a 90 minute drive south of the Gold Coast. Known for its laid-back, bohemian atmosphere, Byron Bay is a popular tourist destination for those looking to relax and enjoy the area’s natural beauty and experience its vibrant arts and culture scene.

One of the main attractions of Byron Bay is its stunning beaches. The town is home to several, including Main Beach, Wategos Beach, and Clarkes Beach. These beaches are popular for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing. 

The town has many walking trails, including the Cape Byron Walk, which offers panoramic coastline views and is a popular spot for whale watching (seasonal: July – October.)

In addition to its natural beauty, Byron Bay is known for its vibrant arts and culture scene. The town is home to several galleries, studios, performance spaces, and festivals and events throughout the year, like the Byron Bay Blues Festival (April) and Splendour in the Grass (July.)

Byron Bay is a popular destination for foodies, with various dining options, from casual cafes and restaurants serving local seafood and produce to fine-dining establishments offering gourmet dishes. The town is also home to many farmers’ markets and organic food stores, making it a great place to find locally-grown, fresh produce.

To explore Byron Bay, it’s best to drive yourself, but if you don’t have transport, you can join a tour like this one.


Looking for the best places to stay in Surfers Paradise? We recommend booking through as they offer a wide range of room types, most with free cancellation, which is ideal for last-minute changes.

However, if you want our recommendation for a hotel, we’ve listed our top pick for a luxury hotel, family hotel, mid-range and budget hotel below.

Best Luxury Hotel: JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort and Spa

The JW Marriott is a 5-star, luxury retreat, just a short stroll to the beautiful beaches of the Gold Coast and everything that Surfers Paradise offers, although with its sprawling saltwater lagoon pool, you may never want to leave!

Set in 2.5 acres of beautiful ponds, pools and waterfalls, this resort was awarded Australia’s best hotel pool in 2021! Kids will love the slide and the white sandy poolside beaches, and there is a watersports kiosk offering snorkels, fins and motorised aquatic scooters for hire. 

There is also a fitness centre and multipurpose sports court if you love to stay active during your trip. If you prefer to relax, a day spa and award-winning restaurants are on site. You could easily park up here and never leave the resort.

All rooms feature air conditioning and private balconies offering views of the Gold Coast Hinterland, Surfers Paradise skyline or Pacific Ocean. Rooms include a flat screen TV, tea and coffee making facilities, free WiFi, fridge, hairdryer, laptop-sized safe, dining table, desk, slippers, bathrobe and a minibar. Larger suites have extra large beds, more living space and floor-to-ceiling windows.  

JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort and Spa is a great hotel for couples, families, friends or anyone wanting to get away from it all and indulge in some Gold Coast luxury. 

Click here for more information or to book

Best Family Hotel: Paradise Resort Gold Coast

This place is named ‘heaven for kids’ and ‘paradise for parents’ for a good reason! Paradise Resort has won Australia’s best family resort for the 11th year in a row, and in 2021 won the title of Unique Accommodation. 

The draw card for this resort is all of the kids’ activities and the awesome water park! There is also an ice rink, pool, kids’ club and nightly entertainment, including character shows and a magician. There are restaurants on site, so you don’t need to go out to eat. 

A range of room types are available, depending on the size of your family. Standard rooms can fit up to four people, superior spa suites can accommodate up to 5, plus there are bunkhouse rooms (from 1 – 5 guests) and accessible rooms which are for up to 4 guests. 

Rooms are all a standard size with various bed configurations available. All rooms have a balcony, en suite, tea and coffee making facilities, iron, fridge, linen, towels, hairdryer and TV. The room grades above the basic Resort Rooms offer a microwave. 

This is a place that kids will adore, but be warned: you may not get them out of the waterpark to go anywhere else!

Click here for more information or to book

Best Mid Range Hotel: Novotel Surfers Paradise

The Novotel Surfers Paradise is an excellent mid-range Surfers Paradise hotel. Located in the heart of Surfers Paradise, you’re just minutes from Cavil Ave, where you’ll find numerous shops, restaurants and cafes.  Attractions, like the Sky Point Observation Deck, are close and the beach is just a few blocks’ walk.

The Novotel is a great place for all kinds of travellers, couples, friends, and families.  For families, kids stay free and enjoy a free buffet breakfast too.

There is a range of room options, and most can accommodate four people in two double beds and the choice of an additional roll out bed. Family rooms are great as the kids will get their own bedroom, giving everyone extra privacy. All rooms include TVs, tea and coffee making facilities, and some even have a spa.

Regarding hotel facilities, there is a good size heated swimming pool with lots of sun lounges and a spa. There is also a gym, day spa and a full-size tennis court.

Novotel is well known for its delicious breakfast buffets, which often come included depending on the accommodation package you book. There is also a cafe on site, as well as poolside dining and BBQ facilities too.

Click here for more information or to book

Best Budget Hotel: Surfers Paradise – meters from the beach!

If you want to be just metres from the beach without a hefty price tag, this is your resort as Surfers Paradise – meters from the beach offers comfortable self catering apartments just 800 metres away from the sand!

Featuring free WiFi, and a kitchen with a toaster, stovetop and oven, these air-conditioned apartments are great options as a base as you can cater for yourself and eat out when you like. All apartments have a balcony so you can enjoy breakfast outside and include a coffee machine, hairdryers, microwaves, fridge and washing machine. 

The apartment complex has a pool, hot tub, and a garden with BBQs for guests. 

Set in a convenient location, these clean and tidy apartments are a great price if you’re looking for some space and freedom on your Surfers Paradise holiday. 

Click here for more information or to book


Hopefully, this guide has given you loads of inspiration on things to do in Surfers Paradise.

If you’re planning a trip to Surfers Paradise, I highly recommend you check out our guide to the Gold Coast, which provides links to everything you need to know to plan your trip. 

I’d also recommend you join our free Queensland Travel Guide Facebook community, where you can ask all your questions and find even more great trip suggestions.

If you’re heading to Surfers Paradise, you might also be interested in the following nearby destinations: