A Guide to the Gold Coast Neighbourhoods: Where is good for What

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The Gold Coast is one of my all time favourite holiday destinations in Australia, namely because I visited every couple of years on family vacations when I was younger and now that many of my friends reside on the coast it gives me all the more reason to visit!

On my recent trip to the Gold Coast I stayed in three different hotels over four nights, all to experience different Gold Coast neighbourhoods and get more of an understanding for each of them. I soon learned that some are good for surf, others for cafe, and many for both… but each with their own unique flair! So here’s where to stay and play in the Gold Coast, depending on what you are after!

Guide to the Gold Coast Australia Surfers Paradise

Lets start with an obvious choice: the infamous Surfers Paradise. I say “infamous” because this is typically known by locals as a party neighbourhood for young people, however remains wildly popular among tourists who want to stay in amongst the action. Many of the popular clubs and bars are here and the entire neighbourhood comes to life after dark, so depending on what you are after for your holiday this may or may not be the right choice for you. Regardless of whether you stay or not, the neighbourhood is certainly worth a look and there are still a handful of great restaurants here, such as the Bazaar buffet.

Hotel choice: QT Surfers Paradise

Broadbeach_Gold_Coast Broadbeach

Not too far south of Surfers Paradise but with far less crowds is Broadbeach, one of my favourite neighbourhoods as it offers the best of both worlds. This area is full of both hotels and residences, many shops and is situated in a very central location. You can walk between Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach in around 30-40 minutes.

Hotel choice: Peppers Broadbeach

Yard_Cafe_Gold_Coast Miami & Nobby’s Beach

To mingle with the locals and enjoy a great range of cafes, you can’t miss out on visiting Miami and Nobby’s Beach. This area is fairly casual and a great place to spend a long afternoon cafe hopping from The Yard Cafe to BSKT and beyond.

Commune Cafe Burleigh

My all time favourite neighbourhood for cafe hopping remains the same as it always has been: Burleigh. Not only will you find a bunch of great cafes, vegetarian and vegan eateries, healthy food stores, etc., but you will also enjoy the Gold Coast’s best sunset point at Burleigh Heads. There are always loads of people around the beach and park areas, so you’ll have to be willing to share!

The_Spit_Southport Southport

North of Surfers Paradise is Main Beach and the area known as Southport, which is where you will find the most impressive sunrise view of all the coast (in my opinion). The area is popular for weekend boat trippers and there’s a great vibe around this part of town, especially if you want to mingle with the locals.

Hotel choice: Palazzo Versace

Neighbourhoods in the Gold Coast Coolangatta

Perhaps my overall favourite (okay definitely my favourite, I’m just trying to be fair!!!) neighbourhood in the Gold Coast is actually the closest to the airport in which you arrive – Coolangatta. The further South you stay seems to be the more low key, resulting in a more relaxed holiday and much less beach crowds on weekends.

Hotel Choice: Nirvana by the Sea

Neighbourhoods in the Gold Coast


When you think of the Gold Coast your mind will likely wander straight to beaches and coastlines, but in fact there is so much more to discover just a little inland! I checked myself in to Peppers Ruffles for my first night on the Gold Coast, which was a chance to escape the city and enjoy the countryside. The biggest bonus of this location for me was the close proximity to the theme parks, allowing me to reach them within a ten minute drive from my hotel.

Hotel choice: Peppers Ruffles Lodge & Spa

Thanks to Visit Gold Coast for inviting me to experience the Gold Coast! All opinions and oodles of photos are my own.

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!