The entertainment heart of the Gold Coast, the high rise development
and nightlife of Surfers Paradise has come to represent what, for many,
the Gold Coast lifestyle is all about.
Location: 80 km south of Brisbane.
Events: Surfers Paradise hosts a calendar of free public events,
largely targeting residents of the Gold Coast, visitors from southeast
Queensland and interstate and international tourists.
Surfers Paradise Festival
Staged each June and July, the annual Surfers Paradise Festival is a
celebration of local music, food, fashion, film and art and is a key
driver of the Gold Coast's long-term cultural development. Across the
four weekend of the festival, the Surfers Paradise precinct is
transformed into a vibrant showcase of the Gold Coast’s emerging
arts and cultural scene. The festival comprises an accessible mix of
family events, exhibitions, live music, street markets and short film
Colloquially known as 'Surfers', the suburb has many high-rise
apartment buildings and a wide surf beach. The feature of the central
business district is Cavill Mall, which runs through the shopping
precinct. Cavill Avenue is one of the busiest shopping strips in
Queensland, and the centre of activity for night life.
Surfers Paradise is the Gold Coast's entertainment and tourism centre
and the precinct's high-rise buildings are the best known feature of
the city's skyline. Surfers Paradise is also one of Australia's iconic
coastal tourist destinations, drawing visitors each year from New
Zealand, China, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and around
Places of interest: Surfers Paradise Beach; Nerang River; Budds Beach;
Ripleys Believe It Or Not Museum; Flycoaster; Bungee Rocket; Snow
World; Australian Shooting Academy/Timezone; Gold Coast City Art
Gallery; Buccaneer Bay theme park play area; Whirlpool Hot Springs;
Conrad Jupiters Casino.
The Surfers Paradise area was a popular spot among the Bandjalang
Aboriginal peoples. It remained their domain well into the 1860s. The
Gold Coast district was not surveyed until 1869, Southport was
established in 1874. In 1923 James Cavill paid £40 ($80) for a
block of land and proceeded to build his famous Surfers Paradise Hotel.
Two years later the bridge across the Nerang River was built, improving
access to the hotel which by then had a small zoo and excellent gardens
among its attractions.
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During World War II, the hotel was used to convalesce soldiers and
their wives. After the war, the area's potential as a major resort for
holidaying families was realised. An influx of holidaymakers and the
easing of building restrictions led to the intense high rise and canal
developments seen today. The nature of the amusement park-style
attractions now on offer at Surfers has seen many families move on,
either to the quieter, southern section of the Gold Coast, or to other
areas like the Sunshine Coast. In their place are young people who come
to let their hair down, which has changed the feel of the place in
Origin of name: The name 'Surfers Paradise' was first used for a hotel
built here in 1923. At that time, surfing as a sport had just been
introduced to Australia.