Central Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise
The Central Gold Coast area runs from The Spit at the Seaway, south to Burleigh Heads. Here you will find all the modern day excitement of the glitz and glamour of the Gold Coast. This area after the developments of the last 40 years has become the adrenalin driven heart of the Gold Coast and is responsible for most of today’s image of the entire Gold Coast.
Southport overlooks ‘The Spit’ (also known as "The Southport Spit’), a long sand bar dividing the calmer waters of the Gold Coast’s Broadwater and the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. It is the northern tip of Main Beach before you have to cross the Seaway to South Stradbroke Island. The Gold Coast Seaway was the first entrance in the world to include the construction and operation of a permanent sand bypassing system. The newly created seaway entrance and sand bypassing system opened in 1986 and pumps about 500,000 cubic meters of sand from the spit to South Stradbroke Island each year. The Sand Pumping Jetty has become a popular destination for fishermen. Today the Southport Spit is also home to world class resorts, shopping facilities and theme parks. However the landmass consists of mostly public parkland and you will also find the Gold Cost Oceanway and federation walks provide an ideal destination for pedestrians and cyclists to explore the surrounding environment. There are two parks, Doug Jennings Park at the northern end and Philip Park on the ocean side.
To the south of The Spit lies Main Beach, one of the Gold Coast’s most trendy districts. Blessed with a café and alfresco restaurant lined street environment, as well as boutique shopping, it is but a short stroll from the golden sands of the beach. Main Beach is also an upmarket area of multi-million dollar style living and accommodation, with apartments and residences overlooking both the Ocean and the Broadwater. Here too you will find a millionaire’s row of luxury vessels quietly moored in the calm waters of the Broadwater. Main Beach boasts a sophisticated beach lifestyle and is one of the Gold Coast's best beaches.
Heading south from Main Beach is Surfers Paradise, the undisputed beating heart of the Gold Coast. Love it or hate it, no visit to the Gold Coast is complete without a stroll through or indulgent visit to Surfers Paradise. Here you will find a paradise of accommodation, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, duty free stores, day spas, art galleries, fashion houses, jewellery and designer boutiques A shopper’s paradise with everything from famous name brands to night time beachside markets as well as entertainment for all ages. This is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Australiain its own right, an iconic jewel of glamour, lost fortunes, intrigue and unbounded fun. Here exists an exciting non-stop fusion of glitz and beach, of night and day. Away from the action and excitement, a walk down Cavill Mall, a stroll across the bridge to the increasingly trendy Chevron Island, a visit to the quiet but beautiful Budd’s Beach or a long walk along the beachside esplanade are just some of the many worthwhile things to do.
South of Surfers Paradise is Broadbeach now laying claim to be the Gold Coast’s newest cosmopolitan lifestyle with its distinctly different style to "glitzy" Surfers Paradise and a very contemporary feel. Broadbeach has become the new alternative for many of the Gold Coast’s hottest and most ultramodern dining and nightlife establishments. Broadbeach encompasses a diverse range of beachside accommodation and a truly excellent stretch of white, sandy beach. Broadbeach is one of the Gold Coasts most famous shopping destinations and is the location of several Shopping Centres which offer a huge variety of department and specialty stores.
This area’s distinctly different style and dynamic cosmopolitan feel is further enhanced by world class entertainment facilities that host local and international touring shows, events and acts. In addition Broadbeach hosts many of the Gold Coast’s premier functions. Everything from gala evenings and world famous superstar concerts, to international and local conferences, as well as premier exhibitions of all descriptions. Also in the heart of the Broadbeach district, is a world famous Casino, resplendent with its treasure of 24-hour activity comprising more than 70 gaming tables, 1,300 gaming machines and the Stage show spectacular.
Adjacent and to the south of Broadbeach is Mermaid Beach which offers another magnificent beachfront and great breaks for surfers. Mermaid Beach is, however, best known for its 'millionaire's row' of beachfront homes. It is here that the sometimes rich and famous buy and sell the much envied and highly sort after beautiful beachfront properties on the famed Hedges Avenue, simply because of its location and prestige fame. This is undoubtedly one of Australia's most heavily developed and utilised beach locations and the beachfront continues uninterrupted all the way through Miami Beach to Burleigh Heads. Mermaid Beach offers many accommodation options including motels and self-contained apartments, and a range of alfresco dining restaurants and cafes.
Neighbouring Miami Beach has a spectacular stretch of beach perfect for families and children. There's a children's playground and a park ideal for an afternoon barbecue or "Fish and Chips" on the beach. You can also walk The Esplanade and feel you are on the beach without getting the sand between your toes. If you want a break from the sand and the surf, Miami is home to the famous Pizzey Park. This is the 5 star Olympic training pool favoured by leading Australian World and Olympic swimming champions. Miami Beach is also well known for its fantastic shopping, including a stretch of highway known for its factory outlet shopping.
Burleigh Beach and Burleigh Heads
Burleigh Heads has a unique and real link to the Gold Coast’s cultural past. It is nestled beneath the rolling Burleigh Headland and Burleigh Head National Park. Formed by an ancient volcano, this Headland is a sacred site for Aborigines who once gathered there to fish and feast. Burleigh Heads is now world-renowned for its surfing conditions, coining the term ‘Burleigh Barrel’. A short climb up the cliff from the beach at Burleigh Heads is a National Park offering a stunning view of the beach and coastline that extends to the north. With its scattering of Norfolk Island Pines, the headland makes an ideal place to get out of the sun and enjoy a picnic lunch. This headland of Burleigh, locally known as "The Point", is a favourite for weekend family barbecues, cricket, and if the surf is up, a great vantage point to watch some action. Back down off the headland on a Sunday afternoon, the local musicians and fire-twirlers come out to the park beside Burleigh Surf Life Saving Club for a jam and dance session.
These lesser known fantastic Gold Coast beaches of Mermaid, Miami and Burleigh offer excellent surfing, swimming, picnic and barbeque areas. They have an abundance of all forms of accommodation, restaurants and cafes, and should not be overlooked on any visit to the Gold Coast. They are especially suitable for families and those wanting a less glitzy stay on the Gold Coast.