If you’re looking for a mixture of white sandy beaches and constant entertainment -Australia’s Gold Coast is the answer! One of the most popular travel destinations both for domestic and worldwide travelers, Queensland’s glittering gem offers something for everybody’s taste.
In this article, I am going to give you an insight into the best neighborhoods where to stay in Gold Coast as well as a couple of accommodation options (luxury hotels, budget-friendly apartments, bustling family hotels, and everything in between).
As the sixth-largest city in Australia, it is spread out along 70 km (44mi) of coastline with 81 unique suburbs and a variety of accommodation options, making it challenging for first-timers to choose the right stay. That’s why I introduced my guide on where to stay in Gold Coast – with the purpose to help you find the best neighborhood to stay in based on your unique needs.
Australia’s glitter strip with sunny beaches, award-winning restaurants, and abundant nightlife welcome visitors of all kinds to enjoy a memorable getaway (whether that be a romantic weekend, a girl’s getaway, or a family holiday). So whether you are planning to sunbathe all day long, party all night long, or get back to nature, I will help you find the area in Gold Coast that best fits your travel wishes.
NOTE: I suggest booking in advance to make the most of special offers and find affordable flights that will save you some money!
Ready? Let’s go!
- If You are in a Hurry:
- 1. Broadbeach – where to stay in Gold Coast for your first time
- 2. Surfers Paradise – where to stay in Gold Coast for nightlife
- 3. Main Beach/Southport – best area near Queensland’s theme parks
- 4. Burleigh Heads – best area to stay for couples
- 5. Currumbin – where to stay in Gold Coast for surfing
- 6. Coolangatta – ideal for a vacation with the family
- BONUS 1: Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast, Where should I stay?
- BONUS 2: Romantic Hotels to stay on the Gold Coast
- BONUS 3: Where to stay in Gold Coast Hinterland
- Frequently Asked Questions about hotels on the Gold Coast:
If You are in a Hurry:
Here are some interesting accommodation options in and near Broadbeach. This is the most central location in Gold Coast with all the major attractions and hotels, so it should fit every type of traveler, especially those visiting for the first time.
Best luxury boutique hotel
An Airbnb at an ideal location
Best value for money
Bunk Surfers Paradise
Best affordable accommodation
Here’s a map of the 6 best areas where to stay in the Gold Coast, so you can better visualize them:
1. Broadbeach – where to stay in Gold Coast for your first time
Home to Pacific Fair Shopping Centre and the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Gold Coast Broadbeach has become a well-known attraction to many international tourists. However, you will find a wide range of other activities and attractions, when you venture beyond that.
Situated in a very central location, just south of Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach offers a relaxed atmosphere at the beach where you can bask in the sunshine or indulge in a delicious meal. Moreover, with two large shopping centers, and many boutiques and local stores, you can shop until you drop!
Broadbeach offers the best of both worlds – the area is full of both hotels and residences, and as I mentioned, many shops where you can buy handmade arts and crafts. What’s more, the walking distance between Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach is just about 30 minutes.
Broadbeach is much quieter than Surfers Paradise, giving you the opportunity to relax while remaining close to all the action. The little sister of Surfers Paradise still has much going on, so you will never feel bored.
This Gold Coast Broadbeach resort offers luxurious accommodations with free WIFI and a swimming pool. But that’s not all – lovely views of the city and the ocean are awaiting you as well! Close to everything you need, Peppers Broadbeach Resort guarantees an amazing beach getaway.
Other accommodation options in Broadbeach
Right in the heart of Broadbeach, this spacious Airbnb has everything you need for a comfortable stay.
Wake up to stunning ocean views of the Pacific after a long day of travel
Located in a desirable area and close to public transport, this apartment is perfect for a short stay
Top things to do in Broadbeach
- Sunbathe on the extensive coast of Kurrawa Beach
- Have a tour of the Natural Bridge & Springbrook Waterfalls!
- Relax at the peaceful Cascade Gardens
- Party all night at Love Nightlife or Pink Flamingo Spiegelclub
- Try your luck at the Star Gold Coast Casino
- Go shopping at Pacific Fair Shopping Centre
- Enjoy a specialty coffee at Elk Espresso
2. Surfers Paradise – where to stay in Gold Coast for nightlife
Right in the heart of the action, you will find one of the liveliest neighborhoods in the region, Surfers Paradise. Without a doubt, this is one of the most popular neighborhoods in the area with excellent bike and footpaths and ice cream shops along the way.
Australians, as well as international travelers, visit Surfers Paradise because of its long and stunning beachline, variety of restaurants, and crowds of happy people. Moreover, this is the prime zone for public transport, making it easy to wander around.
Not only does Surfers Paradise have some of the best beaches but it also offers a wide selection of nightclubs and party venues. In fact, the famous Cavill Avenue is the heart of all entertainment and activity!
Whether you want to enjoy a few drinks or dance all night long, this is the place to be. Ah, and as you might have guessed by its name, it’s a great place to do some surfing as well. 🙂
NOTE: If you are traveling to the Gold Coast during late Novemeber/early December, I recommed you check if your dates correspond with Schoolies (highschool graduation parties). Surfers Paradise is the most popular Schoolies destination in the country and is best avoided during those weeks unless you want to party with some roudy 18 year olds.
If you are heading here specifically for Schoolies, check below for my recommendations specifically for you!
Right beside the beach, Guests at Peppers Soul Surfers Paradise can marvel at the beautiful ocean view with whales from the balcony. Very spacious and comfortable rooms with beautiful decorations that make your stay perfect
Other accommodation options in Surfers Pradise
A stylish Oaks studio Room with breathtaking views, a few steps from spectacular surf beaches.
Enjoy a 4-star stay at Aris Ruby Gold Coast situated in a vibrant and modern location.
Featuring an outdoor swimming pool and a hot tub, this cool hotel has rooms and dorms!
Best Schoolies Hotels:
Heading to Surfers Paradise for Schoolies? Here are some popular Schoolies hotels where to celebrate with your friends in November or December!
- Mantra Circle on Cavill – luxurious hotel perfectly located walking distance from all the schoolie action of Cavill Avenues bars and nightlife and the hottest beaches on the Gold Coast! Here you’ll find great amenities such as a swimming pool, a sauna, a games room and much more!
- Surfers Century Oceanside Apartments – If you want to be in the middle of all the action but at the same time just some meters from the beach, this is the place for you! Focus Apartments are beautifully furnished and they feature very spacious balconies with amazing views of the ocean, plus they have so many cool amenities!
- Surfers Chalet – The perfect accommodation to just relax and unwind in a hotel environment, whilst enjoying the excitement of the Gold Coast at your doorstep, minutes away from the beach and the buzzing town center of Surfers Paradise. Plus, here you’ll find some good prices!
Top things to do in Surfers Paradise
- Swim and surf at the popular Surfers Paradise Beach
- Admire uninterrupted ocean views at One Cavill Beach Bar
- Eat fresh tasty seafood at Sushi Train Surfers Paradise
- Have a boisterous night at The Avenue-Surfers Paradise
- See incredible views of Gold Coast from Skypoint Observation Deck
- Delight your taste buds at Hunger Hunt Pizza Bar
3. Main Beach/Southport – best area near Queensland’s theme parks
In case you didn’t know, Gold Coast is very famous for its theme parks – going to a theme park is fun at every age and if you want to make some fun memories, Main Beach is the place to be!
Located at the northern end of the Gold Coast, just a few minutes north of Surfers Paradise, Main Beach offers easy access to the city’s main theme parks such as the Sea World, Dreamworld, Warner Bros. Movie World, Wet n Wild World and more!
The Main Beach or Southport was once a central business district, but now it has transformed into a laid-back, easy-going neighborhood where you can chat with locals, grab a nice meal or just enjoy a marvelous sunrise. Moreover, you can also find a wide selection of affordable and mid-range accommodations. I picked something for every type of traveler on every type of budget.
I highly recommend Main Beach also for luxury travelers: here you will find many sophisticated boutique hotels as well as a shopping center whenever you feel like shopping.
Guests particularly love this resort because it boasts incredible views, and offers a splendid buffet breakfast. It will make you feel like you have escaped somewhere tropical!
Other accommodation in Main Beach/Southport
Located at a gorgeous sandy beach, it offers absolutely wonderful view and free parking
Enjoy a wonderful stay at a modern and lovely hotel, just 20 meters from Main Beach!
A very good price for a superb location right on the beach. Just book it far in advance!
Top things to do in Main Beach/Southport
- Indulge in a shopping therapy at Australia Fair Shopping Centre
- Take a boat ride or hire an inexpensive yacht at Southport
- Grab a swimsuit and splash in the nearby rock pools
- Experience parasailing with Gold Coast views!
- Discover the amazing native plants at Anzac Park
- While away the mornings with breakfast at Cafe Catalina
- Enjoy a family picnic at Broadwater Parklands
4. Burleigh Heads – best area to stay for couples
When I think of a beautiful area along the coast with plenty of great things to do, I cannot ignore Burleigh. Burleigh is home to one of the most popular sunset points, so the best thing to do here is to admire the gorgeous views from Burleigh Heads Beach and Burleigh Head National Park.
It also has some of the most charming cafes, and vegetarian and vegan eateries along the whole Gold Coast which makes it my all-time favorite spot for coffee or food hopping and the ideal location for couples who are looking for a romantic escape!
Located to the south of Surfers Paradise, the break offers great surfing conditions and that’s why many surfing events take place here. The best thing about staying in Burleigh Heads is that it is close to everything – you can take a tram and reach Surfers Paradise in just 15 minutes or Miami Beach, which is even closer!
NOTE: There are always tons of people around the parks and beaches, so you will have to share!
Situated right on the water, the apartments are a great option for travelers who want to indulge into surfing. Location is spot on – the rooms are very homely, close enough to the centre, but far enough to rest in tranquillity. Just make sure you book it far in advance… here places sell super fast!
Other accommodation options in Burleigh Heads
Top things to do in Burleigh Heads
- Head to the Village Markets to explore high street brands
- Pick up local souvenirs for your loved ones at the Burleigh Markets
- Enjoy a romantic dining experience at the breathtaking Rick Shores
- Treat yourself with a refreshing dip at the Bathhouse by Greenhouse
- Relive your youth with a boisterous night at Lockwood Bar
- Hop on the rooftop at Burleigh Pavillon to enjoy epic ocean views
5. Currumbin – where to stay in Gold Coast for surfing
Set south of the bustling Surfers Paradise, Currumbin is a small neighborhood known for its amazing nature, animal attractions, swimming spots but especially for it’s great surfing!
Currumbin is ideal for both beginners and more advanced surfers, being home to a wide collection of surf schools, and to one of the famous surfing breaks in the area, Currumbin Alley.
There are plenty of exciting things to see and do here also for families, such as the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and the Cougal Cascades. Whether you are looking to play in the sand with your kids or learn about Australia’s diverse wildlife, Currumbin is the place to book your stay on the Gold Coast.
Currumbin is a peaceful neighborhood with easy access to the city center which makes it an ideal choice for all of you who prefer both natural attractions and exciting activities. I suggest heading to the coast to try out some scuba diving and snorkeling – it is definitely a fantastic area for ocean lovers!
Guests at these luxurious apartments can relax in the tropical gardens or rest at the lovely outdoor pool area. Your kids will especially love this place as the pool is excellent! Perfect place for a relaxing holiday away from the noisy nightlife.
Other accommodation options in Currumbin
A homely villa walking distance to stunning beaches and Gold Coast Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
A very homely apartment, ideal for families who want to chill and relax
Lovely, clean, and quiet room under a canopy of trees, in a quiet road, cooled by the sea breeze!
Top things to do in Currumbin
- Admire great ocean views from Elephant Rock
- Visit the Currumbin Valley and Currumbin Rock Pools
- Hug a koala in the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
- Learn more about honey and bees at Superbee Honeyworld
- Explore the history of surfing at Surf World Gold Coast
- Sample the goods at the Sanctuary Markets
- Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere at Cougal Cascades
6. Coolangatta – ideal for a vacation with the family
A little bit further out of the city center, Coolangatta, or ‘the sleepy border town’ (as locals love to call it) offers a peaceful environment for families that want to chill and relax away from the crowds and parties. It’s very close to the airport and has easy access to the entire region by tram.
If you want to explore nature along Australia’s coast, this is the neighborhood to book your stay on the Gold Coast. With plenty of private beaches and exciting rock formations, you will have a lot to discover!
Coolangatta is also a great neighborhood to find affordable Gold Coast accommodation far away from the weekend crowds. The further South you stay, the more peaceful it is. There are fewer restaurants and shops than in other areas, but enough for you to choose from.
Known for its remote, hidden swimming spots, Coolangatta makes one of the most family-friendly settings on the Gold Coast. For outdoor enthusiasts, I recommend exploring the beautiful parks and walking trails.
A great hotel that offers spacious, modern, and quiet apartments with a private balcony just 2 mins was from the beach. It features an outdoor pool, spa, and limited Wi-Fi access. Perfect for a weekend getaway, the Gold Coast Airport is 5 minutes away by car!
Other accommodation options in Collangatta
A private guest room with a balcony and has access to laundry, living area, kitchen, and barbecue area.
A perfectly pink decor with funky details and a rooftop bar that offers fabulous sunsets
One of the most exceptional holidays retreats in Gold Coast, right next to the beach
Top Things to do in Coolangatta
- Relax and bask in the sun at Snapper Rocks
- Explore the colonial history at Captain Cook Memorial & Lighthouse
- Try out a typical Australian barbeque at Bondi Grille
- Hit the waves with the assistance of Rainbow Bay Surf Club
- Climb Kirra Hill to enjoy exceptional beach views
- Drop in Sunbaked Bakery Cafe for breakfast or traditional cakes
|👑 Luxury price:||$260|
|💵 Mid Range:||$130|
|💰 Accommodation prices:||Medium|
|📍 Best neighborhood:||Broadbeach|
|👪 Best area for families:||Coolangatta|
|🛎️ Best luxury hotel:||Peppers Broadbeach|
|💵 Mid-range hotel:||Avani Residences|
|👛 Best budget hotel:||Bunk Surfers Paradise|
BONUS 1: Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast, Where should I stay?
Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast? This question often arises among those seeking a beach-based getaway on the sunny coast of Australia. These popular travel destinations make the perfect example of a typical Australian holiday, however, it’s no surprise that this can be a tough decision as both places are popular for their beautiful beaches, sunny skies, and reasonably-priced accommodations. So what makes them different?
Which destination is a better choice really depends on your individual situation and what is important to you as a traveler.
Sunshine Coast – If you are a nature lover, I’d recommend staying at the Sunshine Coast because it has plenty of natural highlights that offer many natural experiences such as Kondalilla National Park. Another major advantage for visitors to the Sunshine Coast is the opportunity to take a trip to Fraser Island – the world’s largest sand island.
Gold Coast – If you want to explore the city’s party culture and nightclub districts, the Gold Coast makes a better choice. Moreover, despite its adult-oriented reputation, the Gold Coast attracts families with kids of all ages with its enjoyable attractions. This area also has a casino that offers gambling opportunities for those who want to try their luck.
BONUS 2: Romantic Hotels to stay on the Gold Coast
Is your anniversary coming soon? Or perhaps you’re just looking to spend some quality time alone away from the busy everyday life? Oh, or is it time for that special honeymoon? Whatever the reason is, I am sure you will have an unforgettable stay at one of these romantic hotels in Gold Coast. And you won’t be even breaking the bank, as they have some pretty good deals!
With an abundance of lush forest, shining shores, and secluded beaches, it makes the perfect spot to reignite your passions and spend intimate moments with your loved one.
From cozy nights under starry skies in award-winning restaurants to pampering mornings spent in a superior spa, these Gold Coast hotels will seduce you on your next romantic getaway in Gold Coast.
Get ready for a romantic getaway in this luxury resort, located just 100 m from the golden sands of Surfers Paradise Beach. You’ll find modern and luxurious self-contained accommodation, where you can take a leisurely swim in the outdoor pool, or admire the stunning ocean views from the rooftop terrace and BBQ area!
Other romantic accommdation options
Wake up to the peaceful rural lifestyle of the countryside at Country Mile Escape
A beautiful large tent with uninterrupted scenic views that makes the perfect spot for a much needed time away
Get away from the hustle of the city in a relaxing home that will exceed your expectations
BONUS 3: Where to stay in Gold Coast Hinterland
Until now I talked a lot about beaches, surf, and highrise buildings, but the Gold Coast has even more to offer! In South East Queensland, just half an hour from the beach lies a stunning mountain rainforest (and regional park): the Gold Coast Hinterland, a green backdrop to the coastal strip.
With beautiful waterfalls, bushwalking trails, and lovely villages, this green area covers 62 hectares and is home to Mount Tamborine, the Numinbah Valley, and the World Heritage sites Lamington National Park and Springbrook National Park!
This natural paradise is perfect if you want to reconnect with nature and explore its rainforests, lookouts, national parks, and wide diversity of fauna and flora! Luckily for you, there are many resorts, hotels, and apartments that will allow you to do that, where you can experience this different side of the Gold Coast, let’s take a look:
- (Luxury) Quest Robina – one of the best luxury hotels just 10 minutes’ driving from Gold Coast Hinterland. Featuring a heated swimming pool, a new fitness center, an amazing indoor spa with a sauna, a garden and pet-friendly apartments, you’ll have everything you need and more here!
- (Mid-range) Wildlife Retreat Mudgeeraba – if you’re looking for some quiet and privacy completely surrounded by nature, this amazing guest house is for you! Located on a rural 8.5 acre block and secluded in the natural bush, this incredible accommodation will offer you an abundance of wildlife & panoramic coastal views of the Gold Coast skyline.
- (Budget) Dachshund’s Delight – Cozy home is situated in the beautiful Gold Coast Hinterlands, and 3 minutes drive away from village of Mudgreeraba with good cafes, restaurants and shops. You’ll have access to a tropical-inspired garden, and will wake up to the sounds of birds singing and smells of the lovely fresh country air!
Frequently Asked Questions about hotels on the Gold Coast:
📍Which part of Gold Coast is best?
❓Is it better to stay at Surfers Paradise or Broadbeach?
If you are a nature lover, I’d recommend staying at the Sunshine Coast because it has many natural highlights like the Kondalilla National Park, if you want to explore the city’s party culture and nightclub districts, the Gold Coast makes a better choice.
👪 Where to stay in Gold Coast for families?
There you have my complete guide on where to stay on the Gold Coast. I covered accommodations to fit every type of traveler, so I am sure you will find something to satisfy your travel wishes.
If you want to stay close to shopping centers, restaurants, cafes and even nightclubs I recommend The Star Grand at The Star Gold Coast located in the heart of Broadbeach, because of its excellent central location. Moreover, this elegant and entertaining property offers many leisure activities and a 24-hour casino.
However, if you prefer somewhere quiet, I would say you should book your stay at The Pink Hotel Coolangatta, which is right next to the beach but a bit further from the hustle of the city. The rooms are absolutely exceptional, designed in a funky style, making your holiday even more enjoyable.
Whichever you choose, make sure to book it in advance as the Gold Coast is one of the most popular spots in Queensland and the best hotels sell out fast!
Enjoy your trip and please leave a comment below if you have any questions 🙂