Australia’s Gold Coast is an excellent city for backpackers that offers so much more than parties, beaches and surfing.
But the city is spread out along 70 kilometres of coastline, which means that choosing the right place to stay is super important. That’s exactly why we put together this no-stress guide for where to stay in Gold Coast.
This article is designed with one purpose in mind – to help YOU find the best neighbourhood to stay in Gold Coast based on YOUR travel needs.
So whether you’re looking to hit the beach, party all night long, or get back to nature, our list of the five best neighbourhoods in Gold Coast will help you find the area that best fits your needs.
Let’s jump right into where to stay in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.
- Where to Stay in the Gold Coast
- Gold Coast Neighborhood Guide
- Gold Coast’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
- 1. Broadbeach – Where to stay in Gold Coast first time
- 2. Southport – Where to Stay in the Gold Coast on a Budget
- 3. Surfers Paradise – Best Area to Stay in Gold Coast for Nightlife
- 4. Coolangatta – Coolest Place to Stay in Gold Coast
- 5. Currumbin – Best Neighborhood in Gold Coast for Families
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay on the Gold Coast.
Best Hostel in Gold Coast: Aquarius Gold Coast
Aquarius is our pick for the best hostel on the Gold Coast thanks of its great Southport location and fantastic facilities. Guests can enjoy clean and modern rooms, a fully-equipped kitchen, and a beautiful outdoor swimming pool. It’s also conveniently located for exploring, sightseeing, or enjoying a night out on the Goldie.
Best Airbnb in Gold Coast: Studio close to beach
This studio is part of a resort, and is ideally located in central Broadbeach. The top things to see in the area are a short walk away, including numerous bars and restaurants. This comfortable Airbnb is clean and modern, and there’s an onsite pool and spa for guest use.
Best Hotel in Gold Coast: Meriton Suites Broadbeach
This excellent five-star hotel is our pick for the best hotel on the Gold Coast. Comfortable and spacious rooms are offered at a reasonable price, so guests can enjoy staying in style without breaking the bank. From the hotel, thriving Surfers Paradise is an easy drive away.
Broadbeach is a suburb on the Gold Coast. It is set just south of Surfers Paradise and offers a laidback and relaxed beachy atmosphere. Here you can enjoy a wide range of activities and attractions, which is why this is our pick for where to stay on the Gold Coast if you’re visiting for the first time.
Southport is a popular neighbourhood located at the north end of Gold Coast. It sits north of the Main Beach and Surfers Paradise and offers easy access throughout the city.
Surfers Paradise is, without a doubt, the most famous neighbourhood on the Gold Coast. It is wildly popular with Australian and international tourists because of its long stretch of stunning beach, its vast array of restaurant, and its overall atmosphere and Australian charm.
Coolangatta is the southernmost suburb of the Gold Coast. Along with its neighbouring community, Tweed Head, Coolangatta occupies a jetty surrounded by the stunning Coral Sea. This low-key and relaxed neighbourhood is considered the surfing capital of Australia.
Currumbin is a small neighbourhood located on the southern Gold Coast. It is set south of bustling Surfers Paradise and is well-connected throughout the region. Currumbin boasts sheltered swim spots and surfing beaches, perfect for a relaxing and sun-filled holiday.
The Gold Coast is a massive and sprawling city located on Australia’s east coast. It’s situated in Queensland, around an hour’s drive south of Brisbane.
The Gold Coast is divided into 81 unique suburbs offering diverse activities to visitors. To get a good feel for the area and make the most of your time, we recommend traveling around the various destinations on offer.
Broadbeach is the best place to stay if you’re visiting for the first time. This neighbourhood offers the best of both worlds, as you’ll find a good mix of locals and travelers. In the city, you can enjoy a range of shopping, dining and cultural attractions.
Southport is a bustling neighbourhood located in the northern Gold Coast, and is ideal for budget backpackers. The city’s former CBD, Southport has great cafes and restaurants, as well as a variety of wallet-friendly accommodation options.
Surfers Paradise is a lively and bustling area, and a must-visit for anyone heading to the Gold Coast. One of the largest towns on the coast, Surfers Paradise comes alive after dark and is the best place to go for nightlife, thanks to its many pubs, bars, clubs.
Coolangatta is an ultra hip and laidback neighbourhood set at the south end of the Gold Coast. A haven for hipsters and surfers, you’ll find a vast array of vegetarian and vegan restaurants, laid back bars and blissful beaches.
If you’re deciding where to stay on the Gold Coast for families, check out Currumbin. It’s an area bursting with natural attractions, and is home to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. It’s also the gateway to the Currumbin Valley, so your Gold Coast itinerary will be bursting at the seams!
Still not sure where to stay in Gold Coast? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
Gold Coast’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
In this next section, we’ll take an in-depth look at the five best neighbourhoods to stay in Gold Coast, Australia. They each offer something slightly different, so it’s good to get an idea of what’s on offer in each.
1. Broadbeach – Where to stay in Gold Coast first time
Broadbeach is set just south of Surfers Paradise, and offers a laidback atmosphere. Here, you can enjoy a wide range of activities and attractions, making it the best place to stay on the Gold Coast if you’re visiting for the first time.
This neighbourhood is home to two large shopping centres, as well as a number of chic boutiques and quirky local stores. Of course there are also stunning beaches to enjoy, and amazing restaurants to discover.
Things to See and Do in Broadbeach:
– Bask in the sunshine at Kurrawa Beach.
– Dance the night away at Love Nightlife.
– Dig into a delicious meal at The Loose Moose Tap & Grill House.
– Dine on excellent Moroccan dishes at Mecca Bah.
– Eat tasty Greek cuisine at The Lamb Shop.
– Enjoy a relaxing afternoon at Cascade Gardens.
– Go for a stroll through Kurrawa Pratten Park.
– Grab a pint at The Bavarian Bier Café.
– Party until dawn at Platinum Nightclub.
– Place a few bets at The Star Gold Coast Casino.
– Savour a glass of wine and Australian dishes at Moo Moo.
– Shop until you drop at Pacific Fair Shopping Centre.
– Sip cappuccinos at Elk Espresso.
Best Airbnb in Broadbeach: Studio close to beach
This studio is ideally located in the main central area of Broadbeach. It comes with a free pool and onsite spa, and furnishings are modern and comfortable. The beach is practically on the doorstep, and the best things to see in Broadbeach are just a few minutes away.
Best Suite in Broadbeach: Meriton Suites Broadbeach
Australia isn’t the cheapest country to visit, but this excellent five-star hotel offers comfortable and spacious rooms at a reasonable price. Wellness facilities can be found onsite, and rooms are well-equipped with wifi and A/C. Surfers Paradise is also a short drive away.
Best Hotel in Broadbeach: Voyager Resort
The Voyager Resort is situated close to the Wave and provides easy access to the city’s top tourist attractions. This resort boasts a sauna, outdoor swimming pool, and a private beach. There’s also an on-site gym, bike rentals, and excellent ocean views.
Best Hotel in Broadbeach: Peppers Broadbeach
Located at the heart of Broadbeach, the property is in a great location for sightseeing, shopping, and enjoying the beach. It boasts well-stocked apartments with air-conditioning and private balconies. Guests can make use of the hotel’s private cinema, zen garden, and a myriad of health and wellness facilities.
2. Southport – Where to Stay in the Gold Coast on a Budget
Southport is a popular neighbourhood located at the north end of Gold Coast. It offers easy access around the region, so if you’re traveling Australia on a budget you can enjoy the best of the Gold Coast without breaking the bank.
Boasting everything from backpacker hostels to boutique hotels, there’s something for every traveller on every type of budget in Southport. There are also numerous shops, bars and trendy cafes dotted around the area.
Things to See and Do in Southport:
– Browse the shops and restaurants at Australia Fair Metro.
– Chill out and grab a cuppa joe on Nerang Street.
– Drink coffee and enjoy a delicious meal at retro Randy Wallhole.
– Explore the Broadwater Parklands
– Grab a coffee at The Roose @ 53.
– Pack a picnic and enjoy an afternoon in lush and peaceful Anzac Park.
– Pop over to nearby Main Beach and enjoy an afternoon of shopping and sunshine.
– See an incredible collection of works at Boomerang Art – Aboriginal & Contemporary Fine Art Gallery.
– Shop for sweets, treats, crafts and more at the Brickworks Centre.
– Splash and wade through the Rockpools.
Best Hostel in Southport: Aquarius Gold Coast
This excellent hostel on the Gold Coast boasts a great location and fantastic facilities. Guests of this lovely boutique hostel can enjoy clean and modern rooms, a fully-equipped kitchen, and a beautiful outdoor swimming pool. It is also conveniently located for exploring, sightseeing, or enjoying a night out.
Best Airbnb in Southport: Beautiful budget apartment
Wanting to see the Gold Coast but you’re on a budget? This Airbnb is the right one for you. Located in Southport, you’re in walking distance to the central Gold Coast District, lots of shops and the main tram station. The apartment is very cheap, yet clean, spacious and has all the amenities you need. You can also use the pool and spa in this building.
Best Hotel in Southport: Mantra at Sharks
Mantra at the Sharks is one of our favourite hotels in Southport. It is conveniently located in the neighbourhood and offers easy access to bars, restaurants and shops. This hotel features comfortable furnishings, free wifi and a tasty on-site restaurant.
Best Hotel in Southport: Meriton Suites Southport
This five-star hotel is a great place to stay in Southport because it has fantastic features and comfortable rooms. Each apartment comes complete with air conditioning, a kitchen and a refrigerator. Guests also have access to a gym, indoor and outdoor spa, as well as a swimming pool and sauna.
3. Surfers Paradise – Best Area to Stay in Gold Coast for Nightlife
Surfers Paradise is undoubtedly the most famous neighbourhood on the Gold Coast. It is wildly popular with Australian and international travelers thanks to its stunning beach, array of restaurants, and its overall atmosphere and Australian charm.
One of the liveliest neighbourhood in the region, Surfer’s Paradise is the best place to come for nightlife. Packed with bars and clubs, this neighbourhood really comes alive as the sun goes down. Whether you want to enjoy a few relaxed drinks or dance until the sun comes up, Surfers Paradise has it all!
Things to See and Do in Surfers Paradise:
– Admire ocean views as you drink sophisticated cocktails at Stingray.
– Catch a live act at iconic venue The Avenue.
– Dance the night away at elsewhere Bar.
– Dine, drink and dance at The Clock Hotel.
– Indulge in fresh seafood and sushi at Citrique.
– Eat well at Melbas on the Park.
– Gaze out 230 meters into the horizon from the SkyPoint Observation Deck.
– Grab a quick bite to eat at Helm Bar & Bistro.
– Indulge in local cuisine at Bazaar.
– Listen to great music at Shooters.
– Sink your teeth into a delicious slice at Costa D’Oro Pizzeria.
– Sip a glass of wine at Fix Bar.
Best Hostel in Surfers Paradise: Down Under Hostels – Surfers Paradise
This new and comfortable hostel in Surfers Paradise is one of our favourite budget options on the Gold Coast. It’s conveniently located close to great bars, clubs and restaurants. Guests can enjoy air-conditioned rooms, free breakfast and excellent laundry facilities.
Best Airbnb in Surfers Paradise: Apartment with the best view
Located in central Surfers Paradise, this apartment offers stunning views and sits you’ll be close to the busy nightlife. The apartment sleeps four people, and comes with a gym, pool and spa on the premises.
Best Hotel in Surfers Paradise: The Island Gold Coast
The Island Gold Coast is our pick for where to stay in Surfers Paradise. This four-star hotel is in a great location near tourist attractions, bars and the beach. It boasts a rooftop terrace, an outdoor swimming pool and a Jacuzzi. There’s also an excellent bar and lounge on-site.
Best Hotel in Surfers Paradise: Mantra on View Hotel
This 4.5-star hotel has clean and spacious rooms, and offers a fantastic breakfast each morning. This hotel is centrally located and is surrounded by bars, clubs and restaurants.
One of the best investments you can make is a worldwide travel adapter that will work anywhere! The one featured here is tough, reliable and a solid buy – Don’t leave home without one.
Buy your travel adapter on Amazon now.
4. Coolangatta – Coolest Place to Stay in Gold Coast
Coolangatta is the southernmost suburb of the Gold Coast. Alongside Tweed Head, Coolangatta occupies a jetty surrounded by the stunning Coral Sea. You’ll find pristine beaches along with a myriad of surf clubs, cafes, shops and restaurants.
Coolangatta gets our vote for the coolest neighbourhood in Gold Coast thanks to its overall atmosphere, hip shops and trendy cafes. It’s also one of the less busy neighbourhood, which means you can enjoy all the perks of the Gold Coast without the throngs of tourists and travellers.
Things to See and Do in Coolangatta:
– Climb Kirra Hill and enjoy the scenic views.
– Dine on delicious seafood at Rainbow Bay Surf Club.
– Drink a coffee at Café Scooterini.
– Eat fresh and delicious Australian cuisine at Bondi Grill’e.
– Enjoy the views from Coolangatta Beach.
– Excite your senses at Bin 72.
– Grab a quick and delicious snack at the Coolangatta Pie Shop.
– Indulge in a tasty breakfast at Kirramisu Café and Restaurant.
– Kickstart your day with a delicious breakfast and coffee at Black Sheep Espresso Baa.
– Lounge in the sun at Snapper Rocks.
– Sip urbane cocktails at Baskk at Kirra Point.
– Visit the Captain Cook Memorial and Lighthouse.
Best Hostel in Coolangatta: Komune
Komune is centrally located and one of the best hostels in Coolangatta. It offers amazing views over Greenmount and allows for easy access to bars, restaurants, shops and the beach. This hostel provides comfortable beds, laundry facilities and a free backpacker breakfast every day! They also regularly host DJ nights, fashion parades and excellent entertainment.
Best Airbnb in Coolangatta: Beachfront apartment
This apartment is situated next to the beach and close to shops, cafes and Rainbow Bay. The Airbnb is an apartment-hotel, and guests have access to the gym, pool, spa, and mini-golf. You will also have the best view from your balcony – a great to spend the evening after a long day.
Best Hotel in Coolangatta: Mantra Coolangatta Beach
Mantra Coolangatta Beach is our top pick for where to stay in Coolangatta. This 4.5-star hotel offers a wide range of facilities, including a gym, tennis courts, a swimming pool and a Jacuzzi. Rooms are air-conditioned and each has its own seating area and refrigerator.
Best Motel in Coolangatta: Bombora Resort Motel
The Bombora Resort Hotel offers good-value accommodations in lively Coolangatta. It is ideally located close to bars, restaurants and the beach. Rooms come well-equipped and make a perfect base for exploring the area.
5. Currumbin – Best Neighborhood in Gold Coast for Families
Currumbin is a small neighbourhood located on the southern Gold Coast. It’s our pick for where to stay on the Gold Coast for families, thanks to its proximity to awesome nature and animal attractions. Some of the best things in the area include the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and the Cougar Cascades.
So, whether your family is looking to relax and play in the sand, or venture deep into the wilderness, Currumbin is the place to be!
Things to See and Do in Currumbin:
– Dine on fresh seafood and tapas at The Boatshed.
– Dive deep into the history of surfing at Surf World Gold Coast.
– Eat tasty Australian fare at Elephant Rock Café.
– Enjoy great ocean views from Elephant Rock.
– Feast on an incredible burger at The Beach Shack.
– Get up close and personal with your favourite Australian creatures at the incredible Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.
– Grab a quick and delicious bite at Currumbin Beach Viking Surf Life.
– Head into the Currumbin Valley and discover the hidden Currumbin Rock Pools.
– Learn all about honey and bees at Superbee Honeyworld.
– Snack and sample your way through the Sanctuary Markets.
– Visit the peaceful Cougal Cascades.
Best Airbnb in Currumbin: Beachfront holiday house
This beachfront house is perfect for small families visiting the Gold Coast. Located right next to a lifeguarded beach, you’ll never be too far from a safe and fun day out. Nearby attractions include hiking trails and coastal treks.
Best Apartments in Currumbin: Little Cove Currumbin
Little Cove Currumbin is your best bet for budget accommodation in Currumbin. This charming four-star property is ideally located in the region and allows for easy access to nature. Each apartment comes complete with a spa bath, refrigerator and free wifi.
Best Apartment in Currumbin: Sandcastles On Currumbin Beach
This hotel is one of our favourites in Currumbin because of its proximity to bars, restaurants and cafes. The property boasts a swimming pool, Jacuzzi and a private beach.
Best Apartments in Currumbin: The Hill Apartments
The Hill Apartments offers convenient accommodations for families in Currumbin. The property is centrally located and is close to popular sights and attractions, as well as eateries, shops and the beach. It features a heated pool and a Jacuzzi – and there’s a pool just for kids!
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Gold Coast
The Gold Coast is one of the best places to stay in Australia. With its combination of white-sand beaches, trendy coffee shops and eccentric bars, it’s a haven for all type of traveler.
Whether you’re passing through on a Queensland road trip or are staying long-term, the Gold Coast is a must-visit.
If you’re still not sure where to stay on the Gold Coast, you can’t go wrong at the Aquarius Gold Coast in Southport. This hostel enjoys excellent facilities and an even better location, so you can enjoy the best things to see in the area.
Another great option is Meriton Suites Broadbeach. Located in central Broadbeach, this hotel offers spacious rooms and a myriad of wellness facilities all at an awesome price!
And don’t forget to take out Travel Insurance for your trip! I have been using World Nomads for some time now and made a few claims over the years. They’re easy to use, professional and relatively affordable. They may also let you buy or extend a policy once you’ve started your trip and are already abroad which is super handy.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
Over to You
Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.
“Find out how YOU can support the site. We work hard to put out the best backpacker resources on the web, for free! It’s all about helping out our tribe of awesome backpacker readers [that’s you!]. Please visit the link to find out how you can help keep the site going 🙂
For the sake of transparency, some of the links in our content are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation, buy a book or sort your insurance, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only link to stuff I’ve actually used and never endorse products or services that are not up to scratch. Thanks for your support.