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.
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Gold Coast
- Where to stay in Gold Coast first time – Broadbeach
- Where to stay in Gold Coast on a budget – Southport
- Best area to stay in Gold Coast for nightlife – Surfers Paradise
- Coolest place to stay in Gold Coast – Coolangatta
- Best neighbourhood in Gold Coast for families – Currumbin
In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:
- 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.
Table of Contents
- Where to Stay in 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 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 neighbourhood in Gold Coast for families
Where to Stay in Gold Coast
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
This hostel is our pick for the best hostel on the Gold Coast because of its great Southport 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.
Sometimes the best way to experience a destination is from a good dorm room with good people. Book one of these sweet hostels in Gold Coast and get ready for the time of your life!View on HostelWorld
Best Hotel in Gold Coast: Meriton Suites Broadbeach
This excellent five-star hotel is our pick for the best hotel on the Gold Coast. Because it offers comfortable and spacious rooms at a reasonable price, guests can enjoy the best of Broadbeach without breaking the bank. They also provide wellness facilities and well-equipped rooms. This hotel is an easy drive from thriving Surfers Paradise.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Gold Coast Neighborhood Guide
Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Gold Coast
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The Gold Coast is a massive and sprawling city located on Australia’s east coast.
It is situated in the state of Queensland and is approximately 66 kilometres south-southeast of the Brisbane, Queensland’s state capital.
The sixth largest city in Australia, the Gold Coast is home to a population of approximately 640,000 people. It is divided into 81 unique suburbs that offer diverse activities and attractions to visitors. To get a good feel for the area, we recommend you visit at least four or five neighbourhoods depending on your interests and the nature of your visit.
Southport is a bustling neighbourhood located in northern Gold Coast. The city’s former CBD, Southport has great cafes and restaurants, as well as a variety of budget accommodation options.
Travel south from here and you’ll arrive in lively and vibrant Surfers Paradise. One of the largest towns on the coast, Surfers Paradise comes alive after dark because of its many bars, clubs, restaurants and pubs.
Continue heading south and you’ll pass through Broadbeach. The second largest area on the Gold Coast, this neighbourhood offers the best of both worlds because here you’ll find residences and shops, plenty of tourists as well as locals. In Broadbeach, you can enjoy a range of shopping, dining and cultural attractions.
Currumbin is a neighbourhood bursting with natural attractions. It’s home to the exquisite Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and offers easy access to all of the wonders of the Currumbin Valley.
And finally, Coolangatta is an ultra hip and laidback neighbourhood set at the south end of the Gold Coast. A haven for hipsters and surfers, here you’ll find a vast array of vegetarian and vegan restaurants, laid back bars and blissful beaches.
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.
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.
Travellers who love to shop will also feel at home in Broadbeach. This neighbourhood is home to two large shopping centres as well as a number of chic boutiques and quirky local stores. So whether want for high-fashion, high-street or something completely unique, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for at one of the many, many shops in Broadbeach.
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 Suites in Broadbeach: Meriton Suites Broadbeach
This excellent five-star hotel is our pick for where to stay in Broadbeach. Because it offers comfortable and spacious rooms at a reasonable price, guests can enjoy the best of Broadbeach without breaking the bank. They also provide wellness facilities and well-equipped rooms. This hotel is an easy drive from thriving Surfers Paradise.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Best Hotel in Broadbeach: Voyager Resort
The Voyager Resort is ideally located in Broadbeach. It is 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.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Best Hotel in Broadbeach: Peppers Broadbeach
Located at the heart of Broadbeach, the property is in a great location for sightseeing, shopping, or enjoying the beach. It boasts well-stocked apartments with air-conditioning and private balconies. Guests can also enjoy a satisfying breakfast, private cinema, a zen garden, and a myriad of health and wellness facilities.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
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.
Once the Gold Coast’s central business district, Southport is today an easy-going neighbourhood where you can mingle with locals, enjoy a good meal and take in impressive sunrise views.
In addition to all that, Southport is also where you’ll find a good selection of budget and good value accommodations. Boasting everything from backpacker hostels to boutique hotels, there’s something for every traveller on every type of budget in Southport.
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 animal attractions, 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 is our pick for where to stay in Southport because of its 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.View on HostelWorld
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 accommodations, free wifi and a tasty on-site restaurant.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
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.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
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.
One of the liveliest neighbourhood in the region, Surfer’s Paradise is our pick for where to stay on the Gold Coast if you’re looking for a great night on the town. Packed with bars and clubs, this neighbourhood really comes alive as the sun goes down. So whether you want to enjoy a few relaxed drinks or to dance until the sun comes up, Surfers Paradise has what you’re looking for – and more!
Things to See and Do in Surfers Paradise
– Admire ocean views as you drink sophisticated cocktails at Stingray.
– Catch a live act at the iconic The Avenue.
– Dance the night away at elsewhere Bar.
– Dine, drink and dance at The Clock Hotel.
– Eat 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 is one of our favourite budget options on the Gold Coast. It is strategically located in Surfers Paradise and offers easy access to great bars, clubs and restaurants. Guests can enjoy air-conditioned rooms, free breakfast and excellent laundry facilities.View on HostelWorld
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.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Best Hotel in Surfers Paradise: Mantra on View Hotel
This 4.5-star hotel is a great choice because of its clean and spacious rooms, and its delicious breakfast offerings. Set in Surfers Paradise, this hotel is centrally located and is surrounded by bars, clubs and restaurants. Guests can enjoy air-conditioned rooms and a variety of features.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
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. Here you’ll find an exquisite and pristine beach 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.
From sun and sand to surf shops and seafood restaurants, Coolangatta has everything you could want for a Gold Coast holiday.
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 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.View on HostelWorld
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.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Best Motel in Coolangatta: Bombora Resort Motel
The Bombora Resort Hotel offers good-value accommodations in lively Coolangatta. It is ideally located for exploring the neighbourhood and is close to bars, restaurants and the beach. Each room is equipped with a refrigerator, coffee/tea maker and comfortable accommodations. A satisfying breakfast is also available each morning.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
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.
This neighbourhood is our pick for where to stay in Gold Coast for families because of its amazing nature and animal attractions. Set in and around Currumbin is a variety of unique, fun and exciting things to see and do, including the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and the Cougal 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 Apartments in Currumbin: Little Cove Currumbin
Little Cove Currumbin is your best bet for budget accommodations – and is our pick for where to stay 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.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Best Apartments in Currumbin: Sandcastles On Currumbin Beach
This hotel is one of our favourites in Currumbin because of its great location. It is in close proximity to bars, restaurants and cafes, and is a short drive from top tourist attractions. The property boasts a swimming pool, Jacuzzi and a private beach.View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
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!View on Booking.com View on HotelsCombined View on Agoda
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Gold Coast
Gold Coast is a paradise for travellers of all ages and styles. It boasts pristine beaches, stunning ocean views, unique natural attractions, and plenty of bars, clubs and restaurants. No matter your interests or your budget, you’re guaranteed to have an amazing and unforgettable time on Australia’s Gold Coast.
In this guide, we’ve looked at the five best places to stay in Gold Coast. If you’re still not sure which neighbourhood is the best fit for you, here is a quick recap of our favourite accommodations.
The Aquarius Gold Coast in Southport is our favourite hostel because of its excellent location, modern rooms and fantastic facilities.
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!
Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.
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Need More Inspiration?
- Budget Guide & Itinerary for Backpacking East Coast Australia
- Backpacking Australia on a Budget
- 10 Best Hostels in the Gold Coast
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