Why I Find Surfers Paradise Overrated (+ Alternatives on the Gold Coast)

surfers paradise is overratedSurfers Paradise is a popular tourist destination on the Gold Coast, only one hour south of Brisbane. Although some people love it, I don’t. If you’re planning a trip to Australia’s east coast, take a few minutes to consider if it’s worth spending your precious time in Surfers Paradise.

First, let’s be clear that Surfers Paradise is not a destination to avoid. There is nothing wrong about it – except maybe during Schoolies, the giant end of school party. If I advise not to stop there, it’s only because I think there are many better things to do in the region.


Surfers Paradise… what do these words evoke to you?

For me, Paradise is a quiet and relaxing natural place far away from the crowd. Add to the picture great waves and a couple of surfers. In summary, it’s the opposite of the town of Surfers Paradise.

The beach has nothing special except the skyscrapers one street away. Yes, there are nice waves in Surfers Paradise…. but you have to share them with dozens of other surfers. In Australia, we’re lucky to have kilometres of empty stunning beaches. So I always prefer picking a less busy place.

If you love shopping, skyscrapers and want to party, maybe Surfers Paradise is your kind of paradise, and you’ll most probably love it. I prefer natural adventures or historical cities, so “Paradise” is overrated here! My point of view: it’s crowded, there’s no heritage, it’s over-built and not natural.


What are the alternatives from Surfers Paradise?


Other beaches on the Gold Coast

fingal head - gold coast
Fingal Head

The Gold Coast is a succession of beaches. It’s hard to tell which ones are better than others as it all depends on what you’re looking for. I’ve selected a few of them below.

Fingal Head is my favourite place on the Gold Coast (well, it’s actually in NSW but really close to the border). I like the short walk to see the trees, the funny rock formation and the lighthouse.

Burleigh Head makes it to the list for the views and the small national park. Surf Life Saving Queensland named it the Best Beach in Queensland in 2016, but I was honestly a bit surprised. It’s apparently a good spot for surfers. I don’t surf, but I’ve heard that Coolangatta / Kirra Beach up to Snapper Rock are good for the waves. It’s for sure amazing for sunsets.

If you want to skip the waves, there are lovely estuaries like Tallebudgera Creek and Currumbin Creek. The water in Rainbow Bay (Coolangatta again, near Snapper Rock) is also generally calm, and there are lovely views in this area.


Leave the coast for the Gold Coast Hinterland

Lamington National Park - Box Forest Circuit - Elabana Falls 01
Lamington National Park – Elabana Falls

You may be surprised to read that my favourite part of the Gold Coast is inland.

Few kilometres from the beach, there are stunning national parks with lush rainforest and amazing waterfalls, like Springbrook National Park or Lamington National Park.




Have you been to Surfers Paradise? Do you like it or is there another place on the Gold Coast that you prefer? Leave a comment below!


Where is Surfers Paradise?


Surfers Paradise is on the east coast of Australia, one hour south of Brisbane. It is the most famous destination on the Gold Coast.

Why I Find Surfers Paradise Overrated (+ Alternatives on the Gold Coast) was last modified: August 26th, 2017 by Eloise

I am a part-time traveller: I combine a full-time job with a passion for travelling. I love to share my trips and tips to inspire others to explore what’s around them. Before moving to Australia, I lived in France, England and Turkey. I’ve finally found my balance in Brisbane.

4 thoughts on “Why I Find Surfers Paradise Overrated (+ Alternatives on the Gold Coast)

  1. I stopped off there between Brisbane and Byron Bay for an afternoon and I honestly couldn’t wait to leave. Not that there is anything wrong with America, but I felt like it had a very US feel (I’m travelling Australia I don’t want that!). I’d seen better beaches and better waves further up the cost too tbh.

What do you think?