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Where To Stay In The Gold Coast: Best Areas & Neighbourhoods Guide

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Where To Stay In The Gold Coast: The 6 Best Areas

Gold Coast is a bustling city in Australia that’s a popular tourist destination for visitors from all over the globe. It’s home to a lush hinterland, world-class entertainment, and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. And while Surfers Paradise is undeniably iconic, it’s not the only great place to stay on Gold Coast.

Many beautiful accommodations exist in different areas, from luxurious beachfront resorts to budget-friendly hostels. I created this accommodation guide to help you choose the best area to stay on Gold Coast. There’s something for everyone in this charming city, so you can pick one that suits your needs, budget, and preferred ambience.

Best Places To Stay In Gold Coast
Aerial View of Gold Coast City Australia

Broadbeach + Mermaid Beach: Best Area To Stay For Solo Travellers & First-Timers

Broadbeach is a picturesque suburb centred around Kurrawa Beach, just 10 minutes south of Surfers Paradise. You can reach it via public transport like buses (705, 738) and light rail (G: LINK). If driving a car, go along the Pacific Motorway and take the Nerang Broadbeach turn-off. Adjacent to Broadbeach is the other must-visit coastal town of Mermaid Beach and Mermaid Waters. It’s a picture-perfect escape from flocks of tourists with its scenic view of gold sand and blue waters. Just take a bus (700, 777) and quickly reach this scenic stretch of golden coastline.

Kurrawa Park Broadbeach
Music Festival In Kurrawa Park

These two neighbourhoods offer the perfect blend of entertainment and relaxation. First-time travellers to Gold Coast will find these places best for visiting beautiful white-sand beaches, experiencing mouthwatering dishes, and going on a fun-filled shopping spree. A relaxing stroll through Kurrawa Park, a satisfying dining experience in Mamasan Kitchen + Bar, and visiting the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre will all be a stellar addition to your holiday. Nightlife is also abuzz in places like Dracula’s Cabaret and The Star Gold Coast.

Best places where to stay in Broadbeach

Location Location Location – Broadbeach – Balcony with pool and garden views. Fitness centre. 2 Swimming Pool. BBQ facilities. Terrace. Spa and Wellness Centre. Restaurant. Hot Tub. Close to Moya Egerton Park. 12 min walk from the Broadbeach North Station. 9 min walk from the heart of Broadbeach.

Meriton Suites Broadbeach– Swimming Pool. Fitness centre. Spa and wellness centre. Free WiFi. 24-hour front desk. Kitchenette. Close to Gold Coast Bulletin Centenary Park. 6 min walk from the Board Beach North Tram Station. 4 min walk from the heart of the Broadbeach.

The Star Grand at The Star Gold Coast– Set amongst 7 acres of landscaped gardens & parklands. Outdoor pools. Climate control rooms. 24-hour casino. Restaurant & Bars. Parking on-site. Fitness centre. Free WiFi. Laundry. Close to Broadbeach. 8 min. walk from the Broadbeach North Tram Station. Eight min walk from the heart of Broadbeach.
Peppers Broadbeach
– Interior Design. Zen gardens. Tai Chi Lawns. Private Cinemas. Hot tub. Teppanyaki Barbecue Area. Fitness & Spa and wellness centre. Outdoor swimming pool. Gourmet Minibar. Close to Victoria Park. 7 min walk from Broadbeach North Tram Station. 2 min walk from the heart of Broadbeach.

Mermaid Beach near Broadbeach
The Mermaid Sculpture at Mermaid Beach


  1. Fill up with energy with a morning workout in Pratten Park‘s outside exercise area.
  2. Walk through the rainforest and have a picnic at Cascade Gardens.
  3. Play miniature golf in Putt Putt Golf Mermaid Beach.
  4. Explore the Broadbeach Art and Craft Markets.
  5. Experience the horror-themed dinner theatre at Dracula’s Cabaret.

Surfers Paradise: Where To Stay For Nightlife

Surfers Paradise is the long-time tourist centre on Gold Coast and the jewel in the city’s crown. This suburb is between the famous Surfers Paradise Beach and the Nerang River. Ride a bus (705, 731) or light rail (G: LINK), and you’ll quickly get to the vibrant entertainment precinct of Surfers Paradise. This is the perfect spot for travellers wanting the best nightlife in Gold Coast. Clubs, speciality bars, and other late-night entertainment abound here, especially on Cavill Avenue. BOBs Beer, Elsewhere, and Stingray Lounge are among the popular hosts for night owls. And, of course, its iconic beach is one of the main attractions in Surfers Paradise.

With golden sand, cerulean waters, and a wide range of water activities, it’s a hotspot for travellers. HOTA (Home of the Arts), Infinity Attraction, and the Q1 Tower with its SkyPoint Observation Deck are also among the top attractions in this area. As for your dining options, I recommend going to Hurricane’s Grill & Bar for premium beef steaks or to Edgewater Dining & Lounge if you like refined dishes served in a chic setting.

Beachfront Markets Surfers Paradise
Browsing through stalls at the beachfront market in Surfers Paradise

Best places where to stay in Surfers Paradise

Oaks Deluxe Ocean Views– 2 Swimming pools. Free parking. Restaurant & Bar. Spa and Wellness Centre. Tennis Court. Hot Tub. Close to Cascade Gardens. 1 min walk from the Florida Gardens station. 14. Min. ride from the heart of Surfers Paradise.

Meriton Suites Surfers Paradise– Sea View. 2 Swimming Pools. Fitness & Spa. On-site Cafe. 24-hour front desk. Terrace. Fitness centre. Close to The Wax Museum. 8 min. Walk from Cavill Avenue Tram Station. 11 min walk from the heart of Surfers Paradise.
Voco Gold Coast, an IHG Hotel– 2 Outdoor Swimming Pools. Private Parking.Fitness & 2 Spa Tubs. Restaurant & Bar. Breakfast included. Ocean Views. Games Room. Minibar. Close to Surfers Paradise Beach, 8 min walk from the Cavill Avenue Tram Station. 13 min walk from the heart of Surfers Paradise.

The Langham, Gold Coast and Jewel Residences– 2 swimming pools. Fitness centre. Restaurant & Bar. Sauna. Coffee Machine. Kitchen. Oven. Microwave. Close to Surfers Paradise Beach. 7 min walk to Florida Gardens Tram Station 15 min. ride from the heart of Surfers Paradise.
Marrakesh Apartments– Moroccan-inspired accommodation. Heated outdoor/indoor pool. Fitness & Spa and wellness centre. BBQ facilities.Terrace. Free parking. 360 degrees of coastal views. Close to Cascade Gardens. 4 min walk from the Florida Gardens Tram Station. 22 min from the heart of Surfers Paradise.


  1. Visit Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets, an open-air night market with local artisans and live music performances.
  2. Go 333 metres above ground and enjoy the 360-degree view at the SkyPoint Observation Deck.
  3. Experience the thrill of Ripley’s 7D Moving Theatre.

Southport & Main Beach: Where to Stay Near Theme Parks And Shopping Malls

Situated north of Surfers Paradise, Southport is a bustling suburb that’s one of the business hubs in Gold Coast. But aside from being a commercial centre, Southport is also known for its pristine beach, dining experience, shopping scene, theme parks, and golf course. Its main surf beach—Main Beach—is located at the northern end of Gold Coast between Broadwater and the Pacific Ocean.

You can reach Southport by bus (375) or train (Merseyrail). It’s a great place to stay if you like to be close to various theme parks and all-encompassing shopping centres. The Spit—a sandy isthmus starting at Main Beach—offers luxe dining options and a remarkable shopping experience at Marina Mirage. You’ll also love shopping at Australia Fair Shopping Centre. It’s a central Southport retail hub with different fashion, lifestyle, and entertainment stores.

Southport Gold Coast
Aerial View of Southport Golf Course in Surfers Paradise

As for your theme park options, the top ones include Sea World, Broadwater Parklands, and GC Aqua Park. And once you’re hungry from dipping in water, shopping, and having fun in the park, delicious food awaits you at Omeros Brothers Seafood Restaurant. Their fresh seafood and stunning waterfront location are popular among tourists and locals.

Best places where to stay in Southport

Budget Hotels: 
Maldives Resort– Outdoor swimming pool.Free parking.Spa and wellness centre. BBQ facilities. Terrace. Beach view. Fully-equipped kitchen. Close to Main Beach. 7 min From Main Beach Station. 3 min walk from Main Beach centre.

Mid-Range Hotels:
Meriton Suites Southport– Panoramic view of Gold Coasts’ surf beaches. Resort-style pools. Private Parking. Fitness & Sauna. 24-hour front desk. Close to Matron & Sister Higman Park. 2 min walk from the Broadwater Parklands Tram Station. 17 min walk from Southport.
Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort Gold Coast– Swimming Pool with Swim-up Bar. Restaurant. Direct Beach access. Lush garden. Sparkling lagoon. Fitness centre. Private parking. Breakfast Included. Close to Main Beach. 23 min. walk from the main Beach Station. 19 min walk from the heart of Main Beach (Resort).

Luxury Hotels: 
Palazzo Versace– Outdoor swimming pool. Free parking. Fitness centre. Restaurant & Bar. Breakfast Included. Meeting and event facilities. Close to Main Beach. 23 min ride from Main Beach Station. 18 min walk from the heart of Main Beach. (remain operational from 1 August 2023).
Xanadu Resort
Landscaped grounds. 2 swimming pools. Hot tub. Sauna. Free Parking. Fitness. Beachfront. Spa & Wellness Centre. Free Wifi. Airport Shuttle Service. Barbeque Area. 2-full-sized tennis courts. Close to Main Beach. 21 min walk from the Broadwater Parklands Tram Station and 5 min from Main Beach’s centre.

Marina Mirage Shopping Centre in Southport
An areal view of Marina Mirage Shopping Mall Area in Southport


  1. Visit and learn the history of Anzac Park.
  2. Explore Marina Mirage, a harbourside mall for luxury shopping and waterfront dining.
  3. Experience virtual reality in Holoverse.

Burleigh Heads And Currumbin: Best Area For Nature

Nestled between Surfers Paradise in the north and Coolangatta in the south, Burleigh Heads is a sweet spot for anyone who likes a panoramic view of nature. And a bit further south of Burleigh Heads is Currumbin, a coastal suburb that boasts pristine beaches and crystal-clear water that attract surfers and SUP enthusiasts. You also won’t have problems with public transport with several buses coming here, including 753, 754, and 756 bus lines.

Burleigh Heads Beach is prime for surfing breaks, relaxing swimming, or bathing under the sun. And if you want out of the water, you can head up to Burleigh Heads National Park for a stunning view of the coastline and hinterland. The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is also one of the most famous attractions on the Gold Coast. And for good food with soothing beach views and even better service, I recommend Rick Shores. Their food is made from fresh, local produce that is always up to standard.

John Lawns Park Burleigh Heads
Soaking up peacefulness at John Lawns Park in Burleigh Heads

Best places in Burleigh Heads

Budget Hotels:
Timbertop for Life– Outdoor swimming pool. Free parking. Free WiFi. BBQ facilities. Laundry. Bar.Terrace. Close to Beachcomber Court Reserve. 10 min ride from the Varsity Lakes Train Station. 37 min Train ride from the heart of Burleigh Heads.
Burleigh Gold Coast Motel– Outdoor swimming pool. Free parking. Free WiFi. Coffee-making facilities. Close to Burleigh Heads Beach and Miami Beach. 11 min ride from the Varsity Lakes Train Station and 8 min ride from the heart of Burleigh Heads Centre.

Mid-Range Hotels:
Swell Resort– Outdoor swimming pool. Free parking. Fitness centre. Beachfront. Spa and wellness centre. Free WiFi. BBQ facilities. Close to Tallebudgera Creek. 13 min. Ride to Varsity Lakes Train Station, 9 min ride from the heart of Burleigh Heads.

Luxury Hotels:
Key Largo Holiday Apartments– Outdoor swimming pool. Free parking.Free WiFi. BBQ facilities. Terrace.Private Balcony. Hot tub.Tropical gardens. Airport shuttle service. Close to Rotary Park Burleigh. 12 min ride to Varsity Lakes Train Station and 8 min ride from the heart of Burleigh Heads.

Currumbin Beach
Watching Surfers catching a wave at Currumbin Beach


  1. Go for a hike in the Burleigh Heads National Park and have a picnic or barbeque.
  2. Learn stand-up paddleboarding at Burleigh Heads Beach.
  3. Get up close and personal with native animals at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.
  4. Swim and unwind in Currumbin Rock Pools. And the Elephant Rock Lookout.
  5. Enjoy a morning walk and relax at the beachfront Jonh Lawns Park.

Coolangatta: Where To Stay For Surfers and Best Views

Coolangatta is the southernmost suburb on Gold Coast. It borders New South Wales and is only a 30-minute drive from Surfers Paradise. And if you prefer public transport, you can easily catch a bus (700, 760) to get here. I recommend this place for anyone who likes to capture the best view of the Gold Coast in photos or memories. Surfers will also love the beaches in Coolangatta as well.

Coolangatta Beach, Kirra Beach, and Rainbow Bay are beautiful beaches offering fun activities like surfing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. You can then visit the Point Danger Lookout to better view the coast and hinterland. For shopping enthusiasts, you’ll love The Strand—a famous shopping centre that features different fashion items, house goods, and entertainment stores.

Foodies will also have a wonderful experience in other highly-rated restaurants in Coolangatta, with Choofas Smokehouse & Seafood as my recommendation. And if your visit falls in June, don’t miss the Cooly Rocks On Festival. It’s the largest nostalgia festival in Australia, where you celebrate the motors, music, and lifestyle of the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

Gold Coast Silhoutte From Coolangatta
Surfing in Coolangatta Gold Coast

Best places to stay in Coolangatta

Budget Hotels:
Oaks Gold Coast Calypso Plaza Suites– Free-form lagoon pool.Balcony. Fitness centre. Free parking.Free WiFi. 24-hour front desk.Laundry. Close to Coolangatta Beach. 22 min ride to Varsity Lakes Train Station. 14 min walk from the heart of Coolangatta.

Mid-Range Hotels:
The Pink Hotel Coolangatta– Scandinavian and mid-century themes. Beachfront rooftop.On-site restaurant & bar. Private balcony. Smeg fridge. Free WiFi. Terrace. Breakfast Included. Close to Coolangatta Beach. 22 min ride to Varsity Lakes Train Station, 18 min walk from the heart of the Coolangatta.
The Sebel Twin Towns– 2 swimming pools.Balcony. Free parking.Fitness centre.Restaurant & Bar. 24-hour front desk. BBQ facilities. Breakfast included. Close to Coolangatta and Kirra Beach. 20 min ride to Varsity Lakes Train Station. 12 min walk from the heart of the Coolangatta.

Luxury Hotels:
Kirra Beach Apartments-Outdoor swimming pool. Spa. Beachfront. Free Wifi. BBQ Facilities. Terrace. Fully equipped kitchen. Washing Machine. Close to Kirra Beach. 18 min. Ride from the Varsity Lakes Train Station—10 min. Ride from the heart of the Currumbin.


  1. Go whale-watching by the Captain Cook Memorial and Point Danger Lighthouse.
  2. Buy unique souvenirs and handmade crafts at the Coolangatta Art and Craft Markets.
  3. Swim at the Snapper Rocks Pool.

Mount Tamborine: Where To Stay In the Gold Coast Hinterland

Mount Tamborine is a gorgeous mountain village in Gold Coast Hinterland and is considered the scenic rim of Gold Coast. If you don’t mind staying without a beachfront view, I’d recommend staying here. It’s a 35-minute drive from Surfers Paradise, or you can go on a bus (721, 727) or a train (BDVL) to reach this charming village where nature’s beauty, wineries, and local arts and crafts beckon you to stay. From Mt. Tamborine, it’s mere steps to Tamborine National Park, where you can enjoy the feel of nature on one of the many walking trails.

You can also swim by Cedar Creek Falls, surrounded by the lush rainforest. Other activities here include zip-lining, hot-air balloon rides, and horseback riding. And once you’re tired from swimming, hiking, and fun, I recommend eating at Three Little Pigs or Hickory. You can then indulge in some locally produced wines. You can even sign up for a wine-tasting tour where you explore vineyards and learn their wine-making process.

North Tamborine Gold Coast
Enjoying the panoramic view from North Tamborine

Best places where to stay in Mount Tamborine

Budget Hotels:
Camelot Boutique Accommodation– Wooden flooring and modern furnishings. Free parking. Free WiFi. Breakfast included. Luxury spa cottages. Barbecue facilities. Close to Tamborine Mountain. 32 min ride from the Helensvale Train Station and 5 minutes from Mount Tamborine Centre.
Mt Tamborine Motel– Outdoor swimming pool. Free parking and WiFi. Balcony. Garden Views. Refrigerator. Microwave.Toaster. 5 min drive from Tamborine National Park. 28 min drive from the Helensvale Train Station. 15 min. Walk from the heart of Mount Tamborine.

Curtis Falls Cottage, Tamborine Mountain– Terrace with Garden Views. Fully equipped kitchen. Fireplace. Hot tub. Oven. Spa and wellness centre. Free WiFi. Balcony. Close to Lions Park. 31 min ride from the Helensvale Train Station and 10 min from the heart of Mount Tamborine.
Shambala Eco Retreat– Private patio with views of the gardens and Witches Falls National Park. Kitchenette. Refrigerator. Fireplace. Free parking. Spa and wellness centre. 20 min drive from Mt Tamborine National Park. 10 min ride from the Mount tambourine centre. 35 min ride from Helensvale Train Station.

Luxury Hotels:
Pethers Rainforest Retreat-Restaurant & Bar. Garden. Private parking. Kitchenette. Flat-screen TV. Terrace. Car rental is available. Breakfast included. Airport shuttle service. Close to North Tamborine Park. 37 min. Ride from the Coomera Train Station. 11 min ride from the heart of Mount Tamborine. The English Cottage on Tamborine Mountain– Free Parking. Garden. Kitchen. Fully equipped kitchen. Fridge. Coffee machine. Terrace. Close to Tamborine Mountain. 33 min from the Helensvale Train Station. 6 min from the heart of Mount Tamborine.


  1. Browse through the various boutique stores and art galleries at The Gallery Walk.
  2. Explore Springbrook National Park and marvel at the sights of glowing worms.
  3. Visit the Tamborine Mountain Botanic Gardens: ‘The Jewel in the Crown of the Scenic Rim’.
  4. Walk between the treetops on the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk.
Exploring Tamborine National Pak
The Peacefulness of Tamborine National Park

Trip Planning Guide To The Gold Coast

Flying is the way to go if you plan your trip to the Gold Coast from any city or town in Australia. The small airport is located in Coolangatta, and domestic flights are frequent throughout each season but especially in summertime and autumn. Alternatively, you can fly into Brisbane and catch the 1-hour train or a bus transfer to Gold Coast. If you prefer driving from Sydney, it’s about 900 km. The bus network from Melbourne, Sydney and Cairns is also well-connected.

Getting around the Gold Coast

The best way is to use public transportation. The bus network on the Gold Coast is very efficient. Several bus lines travel from north to south (nearly 50 km) on a frequent schedule. Renting a car is also an option if you travel at night for road trip explorations of the Gold Coast Hinterland.

Related Queensland Guides:

Gold Coast Travel Guide For Solo Travellers

Things To Do In Coolangatta

Brisbane On One Day For Solo Travellers

Day Trips From Brisbane

Where To Stay in Brisbane

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Best Areas & Hotels Where To Stay In the Gold Coast

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© Content Published on in May 2023

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