Where to Stay in Gold Coast – 10 Best Areas

In this guide, I will help you to decide Where to stay in Gold Coast for first-time visitors, families, couples, backpackers; the best aread to stay in Gold Coast (include map and video) and the best hotels in Gold Coast for all budgets.

Located on the eastern coast of Australia, Gold Coast is the 2nd largest city in Queensland after Brisbane. Stretching from its golden shores to rainforest-covered mountains, Gold Coast is one of the most diverse cities you’re likely to find.

Where to stay in Gold Coast?

The best areas to stay in Gold Coast for tourists are Broadbeach, Surfers Paradise, Southport, Main Beach, Currumbin, and Burleigh Heads. These are popular and safe locations, offering plenty of things to do and see.

Broadbeach is the overall best area to stay in Gold Coast for first timers due to its prime location and a wide range of accommodation for budget travelers. Broadbeach is home to beautiful beaches, trendy restaurants, cafes, top shopping center, and the famous Star Casino.

Along with Broadbeach, Surfers Paradise is also an ideal base for first-time visitors. While Broadbeach is best for travelers seeking a relaxing and less crowded holiday, Surfers Paradise is best area for those seeking vibrant party and nightlife scene.

The Surfers Paradise can be reached from Broadbeach by a short tram ride. Here you will find countless attractions designed exclusively to draw tourists to the area.

Broadbeach and Currumbin are some of the best places to stay in Gold Coast with family due to their wide range of kid-friendly activities, including beautiful sandy beaches, amazing theme parks, sky decks, ziplines, and wildlife parks.

Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, and Burleigh Heads are some of the best places to stay in Gold Coast for couples. With pristine beaches, private surfing lessons, hot-air balloon rides, dinner cruises, and lot activities for every kind of traveller, it is really a paradise for couple vacation.

If this is your first visit to Gold Coast, I recommend to spend at least 5 days to explore to city. This time will allow you enjoy the beaches, do some shopping, try food, and wines as well as get the sense of the local culture.

💖 Best Area for first timers:Broadbeach
💎 Best luxury hotel:Meriton Suites Broadbeach
🏨 Best mid-range hotel:Dorsett Gold Coast
💰 Best budget hotel:Neptune Resort

Map of areas and neighborhoods in Gold Coast:

Map of Best Areas & Neighborhoods to Stay in Gold Coast
Map of Best Areas & Neighborhoods to Stay in Gold Coast

Best areas to stay in Gold Coast for tourists are:

1. Broadbeach

where to stay in Gold Coast for first time: Broadbeach

Broadbeach is the best area to stay in Gold Coast for tourist because it has countless amenities, attractions and points of interest. Broadbeach, known as Broadie by local, is centered around Kurrawa Beach.

Broadbeach is home to The Star Gold Coast, a famous casino and hotel resort covering 7 acres. It is a perfect choice for all manner of visitors, whether you want to relax, let loose, or dine in style. 

Then you have the Oasis Shopping Centre. Covering almost 250, 000 square feet, the complex contains everything from specialist boutiques to supermarkets. It also houses a number of restaurants, giving you plenty of places to dine when you are all shopped out.

Other places to shop are the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre and Oracle. The Oracle Boulevard, Niecon Plaza, and the Broadbeach Mall also have many more boutique shopping.

There is also the Broadbeach Art and Craft Markets which is hosted on the 1st and 3rd Sunday each month. You can grab handmade souvenirs and local produces.

You even have the Gold Coast Convention Centre. Formerly the home of the city’s basketball team, it now hosts many of the largest conventions, events and shows in the area. You can also spend a night at the famous Dracula’s Cabaret Restaurant for nightly show and dinner.

If you visit at the right time, there are also numerous activities that you will be able to take part in. The Blues On Broadbeach Music Festival, Broadbeach Christmas Carols, and Gold Coast Superhero Weekend are all free to attend.

You can catch a game at the Broadbeach Australian Football Club, and learn a new activity at the Broadbeach Surf School and Broadbeach Bowl’s club.

Broadbeach’s location offers easy access to numerous beaches such as Kurrawa Beach, Mermaid Beach, and the Broadbeach.

You can relax at the Cascade Gardens where you can find a serene rainforest walk, traces of aboriginal culture, Korean War Memorial, and Kokoda Memorial Walk. There are many picnic and barbecue spots for families with the views over Nerang River.

Another park is Kurrawa Park. It has unique playground for children and barbecues areas, great place to relax. You can also find Pratten Park, which is south of the Kurrawa Surf Life Saving Club. it has a large shaded playground, barbecues, picnic shelters, bathroom, and showers.

There is the incredible collection of bars, cafes, hotels, restaurants, bistros, brasseries, and shops, particularly along the Broadbeach Strip.

Broadbeach has a well-connected transportation with two stations on the Gold Coast light rail service including Broadbeach South station and North station. It is also home to a major bus transport hub at Pacific Fair.

Broadbeach is the best place to stay in Gold Coast for family with kids due to its central location, safe swimming beach, fantastic kids playgrounds, and barbeque areas. Famous theme parks like Dreamworld, Movie World and Wet n Wild, with Sea World are only 15 minutes away.

Broadbeach has a wide range of accommodation options that suit all budget travelers including hotels, high rise apartments, holiday apartments, resorts, and motels.

Stay in Broadbeach if you are visiting Gold Coast for the first time; you travel with family; you want to stay in central location; you want relaxing and less crowded neighborhood;

Best Places to Stay in Gold Coast Broadbeach for first-timers:

luxury ($$$): Meriton Suites Broadbeach, 5-star popular hotel, one of the best places to stay in Gold Coast for families and couples. located within walking distance from the beach, Star Casino, Gold Coast Convention Centre, and Pacific Fair Shopping Centre.

luxury ($$$): The Star Grand at The Star Gold Coast, 5-star hotel, situated in the heart of Broadbeach on Gold Coast. Featuring a wide range of restaurants and bars and a 24/hour casino, as well as a short stroll to the numerous shops and restaurants of Broadbeach.

mid-range ($$): Dorsett Gold Coast, 4-star hotel, offering spacious rooms for couples and families with children of all age. It has an outdoor swimming pool, 24-hour front desk, an ATM, a concierge service and luggage storage.

budget ($): Neptune Resort, one of the best places to stay in Gold Coast on a budget, located in the heart of Broadbeach, just 5 minutes’ walk from Kurrawa Beach. Featuring apartments with views of the Gold Coast and free on-site parking, which is great for those traveling with a car.

2. Surfers Paradise

Where to Stay in Gold Coast: Surfers Paradise
Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise is one of the best places to stay in Gold Coast. Surfers Paradise is a better place to stay then Broadbeach if you want more nightlife and tourists. Located just a short tram ride from Broadbeach, Surfers Paradise is probably the most famous beach on the Gold Coast.

Surfers Paradise is the heart of the entertainment and tourism district of the city. Filled with many high-rise hotels and apartment blocks, it is easily recognizable as one of the most distinctive parts of the city’s skyline.

This area is home to Surfers Paradise Meter Maids. Scantily clad in gold bikinis, they historically topped up expiring parking meters in the area. Since the modern meters have done away with coins, they now roam the streets offering directions and information to motorists.

You can find an amusement park and golf course that are available for those seeking an energetic experience. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum hosts numerous exciting exhibits.

This area is home to Paradise Centre offers you numerous establishments, a supermarket and the largest family amusement arcade in the southern hemisphere.

Surfers Paradise also has a fabulous beach. Surfers Paradise Main Beach is the most iconic beach in Australia. With waves ideal for surfing and a wide stretch of the beach providing plenty of room for sunbathing and swimming.

It also backs on to the Surfers Paradise Foreshore. Featuring contemporary coastal streetscaping, full of vegetation, and stylish architecture, it is a wonderful place to take a stroll.

The adjacent Macintosh Island Park is popular spot for waterfall, BBQ facilities and picnic areas. You can spot many ducks and lyrebirds in the parks’ stream.

Be sure to check out the Q1 building, where you can take the world’s fastest elevator to SkyPoint Observation Deck on 77th floor and check out the SkyPoint climb.

The Holey Moley is a unique Surfers Paradise destination with a mini golf course and karaoke bar. Indoor skydiving with iFly Gold Coast is a family friendly activity that kids can take a ride.

The Surfers Paradise Festival, Gold Coast Marathon, Gold Coast 600, and Schoolies Week provide plenty of unique opportunities dependant on the time of year that you visit.

Surfers has great nightlife scene. The Nightlife Precinct is home to countless bars, clubs, restaurants, nightclubs and bars, especially on Orchid Avenue and Cavill Avenue.

You can check out famous spots such as The Island Rooftop, Surfers Paradise Tavern, the House of Brews, and Hyde Paradiso among others. Surfers Paradise Beach is ideal for those looking to party around the clock, no matter how they intend to do so.

Stay in Surfers Paradise if you want party and booming nightlife; you are a fan of surfing or beautiful beaches; you want to stay in one of the districts most iconic areas.

Best Places to Stay in Gold Coast Surfers Paradise for fist-time visitors:

luxury ($$$): Meriton Suites Surfers Paradise, 5-star beachfront family-friendly hotel, located directly on The Esplanade. It has a convenient location, easy access to the light rail, and the express train lines, making it easy to travel around.

mid-range ($$): Q1 Resort & Spa – Official, great 4.5-star accommodation, rises 230 metres above Surfers Paradise, offering panoramic views of the Gold Coast hinterland, Pacific Ocean and Byron Bay. It has free parking, heated lap pool, two lagoon swimming pools, BBQ facilities.

mid-range ($$): Rhapsody Resort – Official, beautiful beachfront hotel, ideal base for couples, located on the golden sands of Surfers Paradise Beach, offering free parking, outdoor pool, a rooftop terrace and BBQ area. Within easy walk from a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment options.

budget ($): Tequila Sunrise Hostel Surfers Paradise, great hostel, one of the best locations for backpackers and budget travelers. Close to Surfers Paradise Beach, Budds Beach and Narrowneck.

See more: 19 Best things to do in Gold Coast, Australia

3. Southport

Located just north of Surfers Paradise, Southport is the most heavily populated area in the city, home to more than 32,000 people. Essentially the downtown area of the city, it is the main business district in Gold Coast.

As you would probably expect based on that, you will find a great concentration of large buildings, companies and corporations in the area. However, Southport isn’t just a place for workers, as there are also an incredible number of attractions and amenities to make it appealing to tourists as well.

For starters, as is usually the case in a downtown area, you have a great range of services available. Various shops, bars, restaurants and Gold Coast hotels offer all manner of styles, goods and cuisines. This makes it one of the most varied places you can stay in the city.

Beyond the normal, you then have a selection of more unique attractions, each of which will appeal to a different type of guest.

First, you have Chinatown Gold Coast. Here, you have the opportunity to sample the cuisine, learn about the culture and take in the architecture of the Chinese people.

You have the Southport Broadwater Parklands, a major park on the shores of the neighbourhood. Outside of giving you a chance to enjoy the local nature and wildlife, the park is home to a number of popular features. 

The Southport War Memorial pays tribute to those who have given their lives for the country, while the Southport Pier extends out into the ocean, giving you the chance to take in some absolutely stunning ocean views.

The park also contains the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre. The location of a number of events at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, it features heated pools, diving boards, and a children’s aquatic playground and wading pool, making it a great family friendly stop. 

It even features a teaching pool, where you can take part in lessons and classes, including everything from aqua aerobics and underwater sports to basic swimming techniques. This is perfect for anyone who wants to learn a new skill during their vacation.

Broadwater Parklands hosts the bi-monthly weekend market, Produce by the Pier, on the 2nd and 4th Sunday each month.

Along the Gold Coast Broadwater lies the high-end hotels like Palazzo Versace, Marina Mirage, and the Southport Yacht Club.

The Gold Coast’s only inflatable water park, GC Aqua Park is also great destination for families and kids.

The Seaway Dive Site including the Short Pipe and the Sand Pipe are popular spots for divers and snorkelers from all over Australia.

On the outskirts of the park, Southport is even home to the Australia Fair Shopping Centre. Covering almost 60,000 square metres, the mall contains more than 200 stores and outlets, spread over 5 floors. This makes it a fabulous choice for anyone looking to indulge in a little retail therapy.

You put all of this together, and it makes Southport the sort of destination you would expect from the downtown section of a city. A place where there is always something going on, that has something to offer for visitors of all different interests and backgrounds.

Stay in Southport if you want to visit the Chinatown area of the city; you want to have fun or learn a new skill at the aquatic center, you want to explore one of the city’s major theme parks; you are traveling on business;

Best Places to Stay in Gold Coast Southport for first-timers:

luxury: Meriton Suites Southport, 5-star children-friendly hotel, offfering picturesque views of Gold Coasts’ surf beaches, hinterland and the marina. Easy walk from Woolworth and Australia Fair Shopping Centre, as well as the light rail system, offering trains to shopping centres, universities, hospitals, restaurants and beaches.

mid-range: Mantra at Sharks, 4-star hotel, in the heart of Southport, is surrounded by dining and entertainment choices. Easy access to nearby bus stops and the light rail to help you explore some of the popular things to do on the Gold Coast.

budget: De Ville Apartments, family-friendly beachfront accommodation, short walk from Main Beach, Marina Mirage Shopping Centre and offers free parking.

4. Main Beach

Main Beach was previously considered part of Southport. Primarily known for fishing, boating and water sports, it is a much quieter location than its neighbour, with a population roughly an 8th of the size. It has long been a popular destination for surfers, with its quieter, yet active waters perfect for those who want to get out on the waves. 

It is also popular among the boating community, as it is the home of the Southport Yacht Club. This makes it an ideal choice for anyone who wants to moor their boat and enjoy a sophisticated experience during their stay.

Outside of these two popular pastimes, most of the tourist activity in the district is centered around an area known as The Spit. Located at the northern end of the neighborhood, it is a permanent sand spit that separates Southport from the Pacific Ocean.

For starters, this is where you will find the majority of the resort hotels. With copious choices of luxurious Gold Coast accommodation options, surrounded by tourist-oriented bars, shops, and restaurants, it gives travelers the chance to completely unwind and pamper themselves during their stay.

The area is also home to one of the most popular attractions in not just Main Beach but the entire Gold Coast, that being Sea World. Containing an oceanarium, marine mammal park, and theme parks, it makes a fabulous destination, no matter how you like to spend your time.

Here you have the opportunity to get up close and personal with various animals, whether they be living in recreations of their natural habitats or showing off their talents in choreographed shows.

A selection including sharks, seals, sea lions, polar bears, rays, penguins, dolphins, turtles, and all manner of aquatic birds will keep animal enthusiasts fascinated for hours on end. The dolphins and sea lions perform incredible tricks with their handlers to amaze and entertain, while shows featuring jet ski stunts also take place on a regular basis.

On the theme park side of things, you have a selection of 10 rides, including rollercoasters, water rides, and interactive experiences. This makes the park just as suitable for those days when you simply want to enjoy some good, safe, mindless fun.

Main Beach is also home to the Scottish Prince Dive Site, 800 metres off the Southport Spit, features the wreck of a three steel-masted, 64 metre iron barque ship.

Without question, the options we have looked at so far are certainly why the majority of visitors come to Main Beach. However, there are also a number of historic locations in the area as well, which will appeal to a specific group of travelers.

The Pavilion 34 And Southport Surf Lifesaving Club, Southport Cable Hut, and Humphrey’s Boat Shed are all heritage-listed buildings. Those interested in the history of the area can use these to get an insight into how things once looked and see how they’ve changed as well.

Apart from the beach, the Tedder Avenue is the strip of modern cafes, exclusive restaurants, bars and boutiques.

Stay in Main Beach if you want to visit Sea World, you are looking best places to stay on the Gold Coast for theme parks, you are planning to go to the yacht club, you are a fan of surfing, you are interested in historic buildings.

Best Places to Stay in Gold Coast Main Beach for first-time visitors:

luxury: Sheraton Grand Mirage, 5-star beachfront hotel, features a pool bar, private parking, on-site restaurants, and direct beach access.

mid-range: Sea World Resort & Water Park, 4.5-star children-friendly hotel, located on Broadwater, with direct access to Sea World, within walking distance from the popular Surfers Paradise and Marina Mirage. It has a lagoon pool and waterfall, aquatic playground.

budget: Pacific Views Resort, 4-star family-friendly resort, Centrally located on the Gold Coast’s Main Beach, offering a sauna, a fitness centre and free private parking.

🎬 Check out my virtual tour about the best places to stay in Gold Coast:

See more:

5. Coolangatta

Coolangatta, or Cooly by locals is the Coast’s most southern city, share border with Duranbah and Tweed Heads in New South Wave. The area takes its name from a schooner that wrecked on the coast here in 1846.

Split across the three hills of Greenmount Hill, Kirra Hill, and Murraba, the area also features a section of the Tweed River. With a thriving fleet of fishing vessels, the area has become widely known for its seafood. It is so popular that it is not only offered in the restaurants and resorts, but in the night  here as well.

Beyond the seafood, one of the main attractions here is surfing, much like it is at many of the other coastal destinations in the city. The quiet beaches and powerful tide make them ideal places for anyone wanting to get out on the waves for a while.

You can learn surf at the Walkin’ On Water Surf School, which is the Gold Coast’s Premier Surf School at Greenmount Beach.

You will find beaches such as Coolangatta Beach, Kirra Beach, Snapper Rocks, Froggy Beach, Rainbow Bay, Duranbah Beach (known as D’Bah by locals), and Greenmount beach.

In fact, surfing is so popular here that the area even has 4 surf life saving clubs spread out across its beaches. The clubs in question are the Coolangatta Surf Life saving Club, the Kirra Surf Life Saving Club, the Rainbow Bay Surf Life Saving Club, and the Tweed Heads Coolangatta Surf Life Saving Club.

In addition, you will also find a number of tournaments taking place here. These include The Coolangatta Gold surf life saving tournament, as well as the Quicksilver Pro Gold Coast and the Roxy Pro Gold Coast surfing tournaments.

There’s even sporting tournaments held here for other sports, such as the Beach Cricket Tri-Nations series. This shouldn’t be a surprise given the number of sports teams in the area, like Coolangatta Tweed Heads Australian Football Club, Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club, Coolangatta Bowls Club, Coolangatta Croquet Club, and the Coolangatta Tweed Barbarians rugby union team.

There are also festivals that occur here revolving around things other than sports too.

For example, the Cooly Rocks On Festival that takes place for two weeks each June. Centred around nostalgia, the free festival features restored 50’s and 60’s cars, including hot rods, live music by bands playing hits from the time, as well as other entertainment options and attractions.

You shouldn’t worry if you like to make your own entertainment either, as there are plenty of sightseeing options in the area as well.

The scenic headland Point Danger Lighthouse, Captain Cook Memorial, and Razorback Lookout are great places to take in some historic architecture and combine it with stunning beach views.

Meanwhile, areas like Marine Parade, McLean Street, Boundary Street, Garrick Street, and Coolangatta Creek are full of heritage listed sites for you to explore.

For shopping, you can check out the Coolangatta Art and Craft market near Queen Elizabeth Park with more than 100 stalls. The Strand at Coolangatta is also great beachside dining, shopping and entertainment.

Nine Mile Reef, off Tweed Heads is a sharky spot, great for snorkeling and diving. Also check out The Gold Coast Skydive which are the only Tandem Skydive operation on Gold Coast!

Stay in Coolangatta if you want to visit some heritage listed sites, you are attending one of the sporting tournaments or are a fan of a local team, you are a fan of surfing, you want to experience the Cooly Rocks On Festival, you enjoy fresh seafood.

Best Places to Stay in Gold Coast in Coolangatta:

  • mid-range ($$): Oaks Gold Coast Calypso Plaza Suites, 4-star beachfront resort, centrally located in the heart of Coolangatta, minutes from the airport and a variety of attractions.
  • mid-range ($$): Mantra Coolangatta Beach, 4-star family-friendly hotel, offering views pf the surf beaches of Kirra, Greenmount and Rainbow Bay.
  • mid-range ($$): Iconic Kirra Beach Resort, 4.5-star accommodation, featuring family rooms, a barbecue, and free parking, which is great base for those travel with a car.

6. Currumbin

Where to Stay in Gold Coast: Currumbin

Currumbin along with Broadbeach is one of the best places to stay in Gold Coast for family. Sandy shores and calm waters are perfect for families with littlies. Meanwhile, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is where kids can cuddle a koala and feed kangaroos.

Currumbin is one of the Gold Coast’s least populated suburbs in the entire city. Home to less than 3,000 people, it is a predominantly residential area, ideal for anyone seeking a quieter, more relaxed destination.

Located on the coast, it is home to the eponymous Currumbin Beach. Stretching between Elephant Rock and Currumbin Point, at the mouth of Currumbin Creek, it is a popular destination for surfers, due to its combination of impressive waves, natural beauty and quieter atmosphere.

In a similar vein, nearby Currumbin Alley is particularly popular with those who use longboards. Formed on the bar of Currumbin Creek, it is one of the Gold Coast’s most popular breaks in the entirety of city, with waves wrapping around the point, creating perfect conditions, especially for beginners.

This reputation also helped with the formation of the Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Life Saving Club. However, that isn’t the only team that calls Currumbin home, as the Currumbin Eagles, Gold Coast Titans, Palm Beach Currumbin Alleygators RUC, and Palm Beach Currumbin Australian Football Club are all located here.

In addition to the numerous sports teams, the district is also home to two popular festivals. The Swell Sculpture Festival and Currumbin In The Bin short film festival are held concurrently each year.

The former is held on the Oceanway between Currumbin Creek and Elephant Rock. Signature pieces are displayed using Elephant Rock as a pedestal, while numerous other local works of art are displayed along the Oceanway pavements, beaches and dune areas.

Meanwhile, the latter takes place opposite the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Here you will get to view a fabulous collection of short films by local, up and coming filmmakers. The TreeTop Challenge is an interesting aerial adventure with 80 aerial challenges including 11 huge ziplines that are spread across five courses and hanging high above many animal enclosures.

Speaking of Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, there are many similar options in the area for people who want to make the most of the local landscape and wildlife. While this is certainly the most popular, the Currumbin Hill Conservation Park and Currumbin Valley Reserve give you plenty of choices.

Between them, you can experience rainforests, heritage sites, and a collection of animals that includes birds, crocodiles, dingos, frogs, koalas, Tasmanian devils, red pandas, lemurs, capybara, tamarins, and tree kangaroos.

Combined with the natural attractions, you also have amenities like restaurants, souvenir shops, a miniature railway, and one of the largest walkthrough aviaries in the southern hemisphere. This can make it an equally enjoyable experience for people who aren’t especially interested in nature too.

Stay in Currumbin if you are planning to go surfing, you are attending one of the festivals, you are nature lovers; you area family;

Best places to stay in Gold Coast Currumbin for first-timers:

  • mid-range ($$): Currumbin Sands On The Beach, 4-star family-friendly resort, located within minutes of the beach, restaurants, shopping and Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Also a short drive from Sea World and area theme parks.
  • mid-range ($$): Golden Riviera Absolute Beachfront Resort, 4-star kid-friendly hotel, located directly on the Gold Coast beach front, offers self-catering apartments with private balcony and Free secure underground car parking.
  • mid-range ($$): Sanctuary Lake Apartments, great apartment, located east walk from peaceful Currumbin Beach, featuring an outdoor pool, free parking, and a sunny terrace.

7. Burleigh Heads

Where to Stay in Gold Coast: Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Heads along with Broadbeach Surfers Paradise is one of the best areas to stay in Gold Coast for couples because it has peaceful vibe, picturesque scenery and central location. Home to Burleigh Beach and Burleigh Head National Park, Burleigh is the perfect spot for relaxation and romance.

Primarily known as a residential area, the Burleigh Heads neighbourhood, or Burleigh to locals, is filled with establishments such as cafes, chemists, delis, hairdressers, retailers, restaurants and thrift stores.

Much like many coastal locations in the area, its primary draw for most is going to be Burleigh Beach. It is also much less crowded. This makes it deal for anyone who sees the beach as a place to have a bit of quiet time, relaxing in the sun.

With clubs and teams involved in surfing, soccer, Australian rules football, bowls, cricket, golf, rugby league, tennis, hockey, and martial arts, it is ideal whether you want to watch a game or are planning to actually take part yourself.

There are even a number of heritage listed sites in the area. This makes Burleigh Heads an equally great place to come for anyone wanting to experience a little more of the history and culture of the area as well.

Some of the great options available include the Rotary Classification Pole, Grave Of Emily & Thomas West, Tourist Park & Caretakers Residence, Liberty Gardens, The Old Burleigh Theatre Arcade, Bora Memorial Rock, West Burleigh Store, and the Norfolk Pines Burleigh Foreshore.

Burleigh Heads has incredible collection of wildlife reserves and parks. The David Fleay Wildlife Park, Burleigh Head National Park, Jebribillum Bora Park, Koala Park, Ocean Parade Bush Reserve, Burleigh Ridge Park, and Tallebudgera Creek Conservation Park are all great places to explore the local landscape, learn about the wildlife, and perhaps even enjoy a BBQ.

For a shopping opputinities, you can visit the monthly Village Markets at Burleigh Heads State School, and the Burleigh Art and Craft markets with over 100 stalls of locally made arts, crafts, fresh produce, near Justin’s Park.

Stay in Burleigh Heads if you are interested in wildlife parks and reserves, you prefer a quieter beach, you are interested in history and culture, you are planning to watch or take part in a sporting event, you like to stay in a more residential area.

Best Places to Stay in Gold Coast Burleigh Heads for the first time:

8. Miami Beach

Our next destination close to Mermaid Beach, has quite a tall task trying to live up to the reputation of the other, more famous, beach resort of the same name in Florida. Unfortunately, if you come here expecting a similar experience, you are almost guaranteed to be disappointed.

With a population of less than 7000 people, this is a much quieter destination. It isn’t the sort of place full of attractions that is going to attract huge numbers of tourists each year. 

In fact, one of the most popular reasons for people staying here is its proximity to the airport, which is only 8 miles away. That makes it ideal for anyone who is worried about missing their flight, doesn’t want to drag their luggage all over town, is stopping on a layover, or simply wants to remain near the airport for any other reason.

That said, there is one attraction that is likely to be the main draw for most of the tourists arriving in the area, and that is Pizzey Park. Covering 150 acres, it is an open-air sports and outdoor recreation park. Built around a number of lakes, it is a great destination for anyone who likes spending time outdoors and wants to explore the local landscapes and wildlife.

Numerous walking, jogging and cycling tracks have been installed in the park, making it easy access to all users, no matter how they prefer to do their exploring. There’s even an off-lead dog park present as well, for those who like to get their exercise with their four-legged friends.

You don’t even simply have to walk around the lakes either, as they are perfect for those who want to get in them as well. Whether swimming or boating is your preference, you will have ample opportunities to get out on the water and enjoy a little exercise and solitude.

There is also Mick Schamburg Park that offers sweeping views of the beaches. it on the top of Miami Headland which separates North Burleigh and Miami beaches.

Its popularity has also been noticed by the Australian Institute Of Sport, who committed half a million dollars to installing facilities for a canoeing and kayaking training centre in the park.

These weren’t the only facilities added either. Sports fields have been set out for a wide range of sports, including athletics, Australian rules football, netball, rugby league, rugby union, and soccer. They’ve even had ramps and facilities installed for extreme sports as well, such as skateboarding and BMXing. 

While this makes it a perfect place to participate in a sport and perhaps learn a new skill, it is also great for those who prefer to spectate. 

With popular teams like the Burleigh Bears, Eastern Cobras, and Miami Beach Surf Lifesaving Club located in the area, you can watch people of all levels compete, from grassroots all the way to professional.

There is also Marketta Street food which is the first Street Food market on the Gold Coast. It has covered outdoor seating for 1,200 people. You can enjoy the food from all over the world.

You can also visit The Wayne Sorensen Photo Gallery. it has collection of Gold Coast’s landscape and wildlife photographs by award-winning photographer, Wayne Sorensen.

Stay in Miami Beach if you are a fan of watching and playing sports, you plan to explore Pizzey Park or are traveling with a dog, you want to remain near the airport, you want to get out on one of the many lakes, you want to explore the local landscape and wildlife.

Best places to stay in Gold Coast Miami

9. The Hinterland

Where to Stay in Gold Coast: Hinterland

The Hinterland includes the very western part of Gold Coast, as well as a number of the surroundings areas. It includes the Tweed Range, Nimmel Range, Numinbah Valley, Tamborine Mountain, and the eastern portion of the McPherson Range.

The region is incredibly popular with tourists, as it features an incredibly diverse range of attractions and amenities. National parks, lookouts, rainforests, tourist resorts, private guesthouses, wineries and more give you plenty to do and see throughout your stay.

In fact, the range on offer is so diverse that it is considered one of the best tourist areas in not just Gold Coast but in the entire state of Queensland.

Prominent activities available in the area include things such as wine tasting, bird feeding and watching, eco-tourism, and bushwalking. The landscape being so diverse also creates even more options for you to come up with yourself. 

For example, you have numerous rivers like the Coomera River, Nerang River, Pimpama River, Tallebudgera Creek and Currumbin Creek, which are ideal whether you want to get out on the water or simply take a stroll along their banks.

Meanwhile, many of the region’s tallest mountains are also located here, such as Mount Nimmel, Tamborine Mountain, Mount Cougal, Tallebudgera Mountain, and Springbrook Mountain. This is perfect for those who enjoy challenging hikes with stunning views.

You even have a number of protected areas and national parks, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage listed, while also being listed nationally as well. 

Springbrook National Park, Lamington National Park and Tamborine National Park are probably the most popular, offering every type of landscape you could dream of.

Spread between them you will find cliffs, mountains, rivers, volcanos, waterfalls, rainforests, woodlands, gorges, valleys, caves, heaths, creeks, and countless rock formations. All of this is then covered with some of the most beautiful flowers, plants and vegetation you are ever likely to see.

It isn’t just the landscape that makes the region so impressive either, as the wildlife on offer is just as incredible and diverse.

Birds, butterflies, frogs, eels, reptiles, pademelons, koalas, crayfish, bats, skinks, platypus and countless other species can be discovered, making this one of the most incredible adventures you are ever likely to have.

Stay in Hinterland if you want to stay in a much more rural area, you enjoy trekking up mountains and along rivers or want to explore national parks, you want a wide range of flora, fauna and landscapes, you want to go wine tasting or bird feeding, you want a choice of both tourist resorts and private guesthouses.

10. Mount Tamborine

Mount Tamborine is technically not located in Gold Coast and is actually found in The Hinterland. Formerly a suburb of the city, it merged with North Tamborine and Eagle Heights in 1997 to form the larger area of Tamborine Mountain.

The area has a thriving tourist industry, which relies heavily on visitors looking to explore the more rural, natural side of the area. For starters, it is abundant with wildlife, featuring things like short-beaked echidnas, platypuses, and Richmond birdwings, as well as being an important bird area.

With large sections of wet, subtropical rainforest, you will find countless species of birds here. With Albert’s lyrebirds, pale-yellow robins, green catbirds, regent bowerbirds, Australian logrunners, glossy black cockatoos, sooty owls, marbled frogmouths, and noisy pittas, it is a fabulous destination for birdwatchers.

Even if you aren’t too fussed about the wildlife and just want to enjoy the natural beauty, you will have plenty of options to explore. Numerous walking tracks wind past cliffs, waterfalls, knolls, palms, fig trees, streams and sections of rainforest.

There’s even The Botanical Gardens closer to Eagle Height, where you can enjoy the scenery in a slightly more controlled environment.

While most of the draw to the area is its natural beauty, there are a few specifically designed tourist attractions on offer as well. Probably the most popular attraction would be the Gallery Walk.

Here you’ll find numerous art galleries, cafes and souvenir shops, ideal for those who want to get a greater feel for the culture of the region. You even have the Tamborine Showgrounds Markets to enjoy even more culture and local wares, held on the second Sunday of every month.

Nearby, you also have Main Street, which is abundant with cafes, hardware stores, newsagents, fuel stations, a library, the Zamia Theatre, and various other shops. For those of you who still aren’t satisfied, a brand-new major shopping precinct features even more stores, as well as a supermarket.

Another of its most popular attractions is the Glow Worm Caves. Man made caves built on one of the many wineries around the region, you have the chance to witness the beautiful, iconic creatures, whilst perhaps treating yourself to some of the local vintages while you’re there.

While that is the bulk of what’s on offer in Mount Tambourine, there are still a number of heritage listed sites and the Rotary Lookout dotted around as well. This is ideal for those days when you just want to take a drive with no real plan and enjoy your surroundings.

Stay in Mount Tamborine if you want to explore The Botanical Gardens, you love nature and are interested in birdwatching, you want to shop at local stores and stalls, to pick up some culture while you’re at it, you want to see the glow worm caves or visit a winery.

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In conclusion, Broadbeach, Surfers Paradise, Southport, Main Beach, Coolangatta, Currumbin, Burleigh Heads, Miami Beach, and Hinterland are the best places to stay in Gold Coast for tourists and first-time travelers.

Broadbeach is known for its wide beaches and family-friendly atmosphere, while Surfers Paradise is known for its lively nightlife scene. Both locations have a variety of shops, restaurants, and attractions, so it’s worth considering what you’re most interested in doing during your visit.

About Author: Linda Smith

I'm Linda Smith, the Hotel Expert, an experienced travel blogger who passionate about traveling. I'm here to share with you all my travel experiences and tips. I cover a wide range of travel topics, specializing in sharing information about the best areas, neighborhoods, and hotels in each city. I hope all these things will make your travel easier.

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