Towards the north end of 57 kms (35 miles) of Surfer’s Paradise beaches on the Gold Coast, central east Australia.
Gold Coast climate
Winter is our choice of best time to be in Surfer’s Paradise, July to September, for low rainfall and pleasant temperatures. Average highs at this time are about 22C (71F) with nights falling to around 13C (55F), a low mosquito count and more breeze.
Summertime temperatures are frequently in the 30C+ range rising to an occasional 40C+ while rain appears every other day, albeit a short, brutal tropical storm rather than a north European drizzle without end. Clouds are also more common of course and may spoil the beach ambience.
The Gold Coast generally is not a bad year-round destination though Surfer’s Paradise becomes very noisy, pricey and overcrowded during the Christmas summer holiday December – January, and IndyCar race days in October when Surfer’s is turned into a road-race-track.
One approach to Surfer’s Paradise main beach.
Every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday evening there’s a night market – The Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets – with a mass of interesting and varied market stalls and live entertainment to keep the punters moving.
And if shopping is your idea of a good time then Carrara Markets offer over 400 stalls of oddities (they say) and family entertainment possibilities along with a free bus service operating at weekends along the length of Surfers Paradise. They operate pony rides, merry-go-rounds, bungy trampolines, a repulsive Reptile Kingdom and much more that I don’t want to see. But then I am no longer a family guy.
Elkhorn Avenue looking towards the beach, a typical town view. Photo by Donaldytong.
A high view of Surfer’s Paradise looking north. Photo by Greg Miller.
As for backpackers, the Gold Coast is much, much bigger than most cities in Australia and ‘packers won’t just stumble onto a budget hotel scene, they’ll need to search for it as the coastal strip is lined with dozens of massive all-inclusive Gold Coast hotels that are well located for surfing, sun-lounging and shopping but provide nothing in the way of budget accommodation.
For Gap Year travellers and others looking for cheap accommodation and food they should look a little further south at Burleigh Heads or Coolangatta which are lower-rise and more laid back but still offer good surf.
Gold Coast inland
A little know fact by casual tourists is that behind the Surfer’s paradise high rises and Theme Parks lurks a natural bounty of mountains, gorges, waterfalls and subtropical rainforest including 160km (100 miles) of hiking tracks and tree-top walks, award-winning wineries and a gourmet food and wine trail, but hey, who cares when there’s glam ‘n’ glitz overload by the beach.
Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk, for example, is a 1. 4 km rainforest walk that takes about 45 minutes and includes a Skywalk Bridge and a viewing platform, along with a lush rainforest trail at ground level.
In the Gold Coast hinterland, the Skywalk is 45 minutes drive from Surfers Paradise.
Alternatively Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary offers a look at Australian life and wildlife, with animal shows, petting possibilities, Aboriginal didgeridoo performances with dancers, and a challenging tree-top rope-swing course.