Choosing the Better Location: Broadbeach or Surfers Paradise

By Josh •  Updated: 08/05/23 •  16 min read

When looking to visit places like the Gold Coast you have your choice of several places that offer an excellent retreat from real life.

Most have some benefits and drawbacks to others which may leave you wondering, is Broadbeach or Surfers Paradise better?

For a tourist-style culture then Surfers Paradise is your choice, if looking for a lower-key, relaxed experience with fewer crowds, then you would want to go to Broadbeach. Broadbeach also provides simple access to other southern areas of the Gold Coast with beautiful beaches like Currumbin.

Now that you know where I feel is best based on experience let’s jump into why I would choose one or the other, this way you can find the right one for you to have the fun time you want yourself.

How Far Is Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise From Each Other?

If you are to choose which beach area to stay around you may want to take the time to go visit the other beach to see what you can experience, so how far are the two beaches from each other?

The overall distance between Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise is approximately 2km, there are many means to traverse this distance: via a tram, bus, taxi, or by foot.

The most common methods are by foot and tram as they are the least expensive and fastest typically to run between sites without waiting. The quickest way to travel from Broadbeach to Surfers Paradise is to use a taxi which will typically cost between $8 – $10 and takes about 3 minutes.

Can you walk from Broadbeach to Surfers Paradise?

If you want to travel at no cost from one beach to the other then choosing to walk may be the best option for you, there is no issue with walking between the beaches other than the time it will take you versus faster transportation options.

Can you Tram from Broadbeach to Surfers Paradise?

There is a tram that runs along the street at set times which can allow you to move from beach to beach at very low cost and fast speeds.

The tram is also the cheapest way by vehicle to get from Broadbeach to Surfers Paradise, it costs approximately $2 – $3 and takes around 8 minutes!

Shared Features Between Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise

There are some things that both sites share which shouldn’t be used as a primary decision in choosing one over the other, I wanted to cover these first in case you have them as a “necessary” criteria.


There is no big differences between both places in regards to their beaches, they are in short distance to one another and are patrolled by lifesavers for safety.

Surfers Paradise will typically have a larger crowd due to the nature of the beach and the iconic Surfers signage that people want to get their picture in front of for posting or scrapbooks.

Either choice won’t be wrong and if you want to you can simply travel to the other beach as they both offer amazing coastline views.

Choosing to Stay at Broadbeach

Broadbeach is a huge destination for dining, shopping, and a more traditional city nights, most people choosing to go out, whether single to party or families.

Many will be out in traditional relaxing vacation outfits, some will be dressed up in high fashion to enjoy their nights and days.

It is in a near-perfect location for everyone to enjoy with amazing restaurants, beaches and The Star casino all in quick reach.

Highlights to Broadbeach

There are a great many options to enjoy a trip to Gold Coast when staying at Broadbeach, they range from entertainment options to dining and much more.

Lets dig into each category and give some examples to help you figure out where you would like to visit!


Broadbeach is incredibly close to the Pacific Fair, which looks very much like an American mall with vast amounts of shops and options to buy amazing goods from.

For those who are looking for luxury and high-end brands like Gucci, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, and David Jones to name a few this is where you want to be!

In addition, there is plenty of other international stores and Australian brands available in the same area to allow anyone searching for a purchase to find exactly what they need and want.

The place has a resort feel to it, complete with a huge open-air atrium, water features and pools, and sun chaises.


If you are a fan of entertainment options then Broadbeach is definitely the place for you to explore, with options ranging from tribute shows, to guitar duos, to touring productions, and everything the casino adds.

The Pacific Fair shopping center also adds shops and boutiques but with a tropical feel and ambiance.

As an additional option on the first and third Sunday of each month, the Broadbeach Markets offer one-off bespoke, handmade goods and souvenirs along with amazing ocean views.

For kids and adults who enjoy old arcade-style gaming can visit the Level Up Arcade and get some of that old quarter-play experience!


Personally I am not a gambler, I don’t like losing money with a hope of possibly winning it back or maybe more, I will just keep my money.

For those though that enjoy this kind of entertainment the numerous slot machines are found in the casino and in many pubs in the area.

The Jupiter’s Casino is newly remodeled, and rebranded The Star, was brought into the Star group, and is by far the biggest, oldest, and most well-known casino in the Broadbeach area. It offers many great dining options, which included outdoor bar space and movie screen.


Broadbeach has an amazing array of dining options to allow any visitor to find food that appeals to them at near any time of day, also having an amazing assortment of fine dining for those looking for higher class.

Hideaway Kitchen and Bar – An exciting venue for evening drinks and mouth-watering Asian food, right in the heart of Broadbeach. Offering options to dine inside surrounded by the impressive graffiti artwork or outside under the hanging umbrella installation.

Kurrawa Surf Club – Their clubhouse boasts an uninterrupted 230-degree view of the magnificent Pacific Ocean and Gold Coast coastline for amazing dining and visual experience.

Maggie Choo – Inspired by the sensuality and quirkiness of the street food and hawker markets of Bangkok, Vietnam, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Hong Kong the new next-level Asian Fusion restaurant on the Gold Coast.

Moo Moo The Wine Bar + Grill – For those looking to have a more traditional dining experience, Wagyu, and more options Moo Moo is the perfect location.

No Name Lane Cafe – Located at The Oracle shopping precinct makes this place easy to find, all you need is to look for the line of coffee lovers waiting. Simple meals that are well prepared and Black Sheep Coffee “feeling woolly” blend puts a spring in your step.

With Broadbeach offering so many award-winning café and restaurants, your actual challenge will be in deciding which one to visit first.

Places to Stay in Broadbeach

Where Broadbeach shines is in the options that are available for you to stay at, the absolute pinnacle of barefoot-style luxury offering perfect accommodations to suit all visitors.

The Wave Resort

This is a spectacular resort which is perfectly located in the heart of Broadbeach’s Café and Dining Precinct and a short stroll from the beaches of Broadbeach. The Wave Resort is ideal for couples, families or the astute business traveler.

This is perfect for those looking to be in central Broadbeach, with only a short stroll to Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, Jupiter’s Casino and the Gold Coast Convention Centre.

The Star Grand at The Star Gold Coast

A premier entertainment destination set in the heart of Australia’s stunning Gold Coast. Relax in luxury in The Star Grands stunning new swimming pool, or for a touch of indulgence, a massage or treatment at Azure Spa and Fitness.

It combines the luxury and sophistication of a world-class hotel with the excitement of award-winning restaurants, lively bars, spectacular stage shows and concerts, plus the non-stop action of a 24-hour casino. 

Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach

Located in the heart of Broadbeach, just 200 meters from patrolled beaches, a luxurious hotel featuring 296 beautifully appointed rooms and suites, all with breathtaking ocean or hinterland views.

Within walking distance of the Gold Coast Convention Centre and a heartbeat away is the illuminated Star Casino, distinctive designer shopping at Pacific Fair is opposite.

Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach artfully blends its French origins with the very best of local culture. Whether casually dining outdoors in the resort-style bistro, or indulging in French cuisine in the chef-hatted restaurant, room 81.

Meriton Suites Broadbeach

Meriton Suites Broadbeach boasts two high-rise towers with 405 luxury apartments, just minutes from the surf beaches, The Star Casino, multiple shopping centers and the vibrant cafes and restaurants of Broadbeach.

Featuring a resort-style property with great facilities including an indoor heated pool, spa, sauna and gym, plus an outdoor resort deck with swimming pool and barbecue area.

The Meriton Suites Broadbeach is located a short stroll from the beach, with large balconies that are perfect for breakfast or evening drinks.

Choosing to Stay at Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise has the “it” factor as it features almost everything a tourist would want, from a lively pedestrian mall, pumping bars, and quirky tourist attractions. It also is at the entrance to what is, arguably, the area’s most famous beach.

If you’re craving fun in the sun and endless entertainment options, you will love Surfers Paradise.

Highlights to Surfers Paradise

Energetic, enthusiastic, electric, and eclectic! There are some of the words that sum up the social scene that Surfers Paradise was built on.

The new foreshore is bustling throughout the day with walkers, cyclists and skateboarders taking advantage of this beachfront boulevard vista overlooking the surf and sand.


Surfers Paradise is a night time extravaganza with bars and restaurants are plentiful everywhere. Nightclubs, bachelor parties, a German bier hall, even evening information kiosks on the streets to direct you to the best party- no shortage of action here. 


SkyPoint Observation DeckA must-see for all Gold Coast visitors with unrivalled 360 degree views from the coast to the hinterland, mini-theater. 

Infinity Attraction – Laugh and scream in an extraordinary series of around 20 multi-sensual environments filled with unique special effects, atmospheric sound fields, ultra groovy music and amazing, spectacular illusions that appear to go all the way to infinity.

Timezone Surfers Paradise – Re-opened and now with bigger and better attractions that include glow in the dark golf, new laser tag arena, bumper cars, mini bowling and over 200 games.

Hungry? Thirsty? Look no further their onsite café! Have a Hotdog while playing Angry Birds. Chug down a Milkshake while hitting your high score on their mini bowling!

Gold Coast Wax Museum – Australia’s largest Museum of its kind, featuring more than 110 life-size wax effigies, copies of the British Crown Jewels and dioramas of Australian history!

The Gold Coast Wax Museum is listed as a Great Wax Museum of the World. The figures have been crafted by leading overseas sculptors to international standards, equal in quality to the world’s best.


Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre – Enjoy convenience shopping with a blend of boutique shopping, exciting restaurants, relaxation and entertainment, in the heart of Surfers Paradise.

Discover a host of exciting restaurants, bars and cafes, covering the flavor spectrum from mouth-watering street food to fine dining, with an astounding array of Asian, European and Latin American cuisines available.

Surfers Paradise also has plenty of other smaller shopping sites which include souvenirs, surf shops, and Australian brands.


Surfers Paradise also features an amazing array of dining options to allow any visitor to find food that appeals to them at near any time of day, there’s a range of restaurants to suit all budget and tastes, including a nightly market that runs a few times per week..

Hurricane’s Grill & Bar Surfers Paradise – Famous for their flame grilled steaks and ribs with an emphasis on fresh premium quality produce, their menu features Australian grain and grass fed beef, pork, lamb, chicken and seafood.

During the day, the lounge bar and balconies are popular for patrons happy to sit back and relax with a wine, beer or cocktail soaking in the views. In the evenings, the atmosphere is livelier, with locals and visitors coming together to enjoy all their favorite Hurricane’s dishes.

Seascape Restaurant + Bar – a multi level establishment perched on level one and two of the Soul Boardwalk directly opposite the iconic Surfers Paradise beach.

The Bistro + Bar on level one with its open air atmosphere enjoys the fresh sea breeze with spectacular views of Surfers Paradise Beach. The extensive food menu has something for everyone, from fresh local seafood to meat and vegetarian dishes.

The Restaurant elevation on level two with its absolute beach front location enjoys the best views the Gold Coast’s has to offer. 

Social House Cafe – Connect and celebrate over tapas platters with creative and adventurous cocktails in Surfers Paradise, inspired by the Gold Coast’s quirky history. 

Get good coffee where baristas remember your order. Before getting on the G:link, choose something from our grab and go menu: pastries, salads and wraps. 

Melbas on the Park, Restaurant and Bar – offers a relaxed dining atmosphere, with an extensive bistro menu that is sure to please any palate.

The Melbas Level 2 Nightclub open Friday and Saturday nights from 9pm till late. Offering a elite club experience, it stands apart from the rest as a boutique club where quality and exclusivity reigns. 

Sandbar – Wine, dine and take your time… Relax and let their good time dealers pour you a delicious cocktail, sublime wine or crisp ale from the Gold Coast’s largest range of beers. 

All produce is sourced locally and boasts the highest food standards the region has to offer. This means you get to taste and embrace the freshest flavors prepared daily by a team passionate about the dishes they plate.

Places to Stay in Surfers Paradise

There are an array of places to stay from large hotels to hostels to fit your price and needs, below I wanted to list out the nice quality of options that can ensure your trip is fantastic!

Hilton Surfers Paradise

Hilton Surfers Paradise sits proudly in the heart of the Gold Coast. The hotel’s two spectacular curved towers offer an unprecedented range of accommodation options and stunning views over the famous beach, city skyline and Gold Coast Hinterland.

The hotel embraces the energy and excitement of one of Australia’s most dynamic hot spots and puts a host of shopping, dining, and entertainment right at your fingertips.

Paradise Resort Gold Coast

Renowned as Heaven for Kids and a Paradise for Parents as every accommodation package includes up to four hours of supervised care for every child up to 12 years per STAY!

The Zone 4 Kids Club is fully supervised, allowing parents time to escape the daily routine and indulge in some holiday sightseeing or precious downtime.

There is also a giant Kids Water Park right in the center of the resort, an indoor and outdoor playground, a permanent ice-skating rink plus a whole range of free daily activities and entertainment.

QT Gold Coast

The QT Gold Coast recaptures the fun of vacation and holidays past using retro-inspired décor and front-desk staff wearing matching 70s-inspired turquoise jumpsuits. Guests can borrow vintage-inspired bicycles to cruise along the Surfers Paradise boardwalk which is lined with historic photos.

QT Gold Coast is your glowing ticket to the epicenter of a cultural gold rush, taking a cool left-hander to stardom by way of music, fashion, food and art done the easy way.

Coast into Baha cool and unexpected delights, drink and dine in the care of the true aficionados at Yamagen Japanese, Bazaar, FIXX and Stingray. 

QT Gold Coast offers the perks of an outdoor pool and spa, two tennis courts, undercover and valet parking, 24 hour reception, wireless internet access, full concierge facilities and a luxury day spa, spaQ.

Alpha Sovereign Hotel Gold Coast

Located just minutes away from the beach and the buzzing town center of Surfers Paradise, perfect for the outdoor and golf enthusiasts, the scenic hinterland and premier golf courses are close by. 

Simply the perfect place to simply arrive, relax and unwind in a resort environment, whilst enjoying the excitement of the Gold Coast at your doorstep.

Vibe Hotel Gold Coast

The Vibe Hotel Gold Coast offers a mix of style and affordability in the heart of the action, with easy access to everything Surfers Paradise has to offer.

With a prime position in the heart of Surfers Paradise, Vibe Hotel Gold Coast is moments from sandy beaches and the famous Esplanade.

World-class shopping is on your doorstep, not to mention the celebrated Gold Coast nightlife with its bounty of restaurants, nightclubs, bars and pubs. Main Beach, Broadbeach, and Mermaid Beach are also a short distance away.

Final Verdict: Is Broadbeach or Surfers Paradise Better?

For me and my family the choice is clear, staying at Broadbeach gives us more to experience and a less busy beach which is perfect for a family, though I can see why Surfers Paradise is attractive to tourists.

If you need to though you can easily spend time walking or taking the tram between them allowing you greater experiences of visiting both should you want to expand outside of where you choose to stay.

In either case, you are on vacation or holiday and they are a perfect way to get away from your life and to just relax and enjoy the beach, sun, and surf!

If you’re a family heading to the Gold Coast to explore the theme parks around the area, I found a great resource to the Gold Coast’s theme park accommodations.

Leave a comment on your favorite place to stay when you are visiting the Gold Coast below!


Josh is a loving dad and husband, writer, business owner, and someone who loves to explore the world. He last travelled to Australia to visit Sydney, Brisbane, and Cairns and am looking to head back soon to see more! He is a huge fan of hiking, drawing, and so much more!

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