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Surfers Paradise - The Changing Face

Updated on June 8, 2013

Surfers Paradise - surfing playground

Surfers Paradise, known locally as 'Surfers', is situated on the Gold Coast in Queensland, about 1 hour drive from Brisbane. The beachside suburb has numerous high-rise apartment buildings, a wide surf beach and shopping precinct. Cavill Avenue which runs through the shopping area was named after Jim Cavill, an early hotel owner, and is the main center for night life. The Surfers Esplanade runs beside the beach and is home to shops and restaurants. Shopping also extends into Orhard and Elkhorn Avenues. The high rise apartments are a feature of the Surfers skyline and can be seen from the mountain resorts on the Gold Coast hinterland and the southern beach of Coolangatta. Surfers Paradise beach is world famous as a surfing beach.

Surfers Skyline - Nature's Backdrop

Surfers Skyline - Nature's Backdrop
Surfers Skyline - Nature's Backdrop

The Changing Face of Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise continues to experience unabated development with new apartment blocks stretching skywards.

While Surfers retains its natural beauty - sandy beaches and great surf, canals and beautiful mountain backdrop - it has changed in character over the years.

I describe the change as the Japanization of Surfers Paradise. Many of the boutique stores are now owned by Japanese business people and the whole strip is oriented to Japanese tourists. Hotels, for instance, have extensive Japanese breakfast buffets and signage everywhere is in Japanese (as well as English).

Japanese visitors are wonderful people who are polite and respectful and enjoy their surroundings immensely (taking endless photos). However, one of the consequences of the Japanization of Surfers Paradise is that the local visitors with families tend to stay at other beaches such as Broadbeach and Burleigh Heads rather than Surfers.

The local youth, though, frequent Surfers Paradise for the high life. "Schoolies' Week" at Surfers in October has become an institution with thousands of school leavers descending on Surfers Paradise to celebrate their "release" from School.

The local youth often rent (in groups) sub-penthouses in luxury high rise apartments and enjoy the surfing and the night life of Surfers Paradise.

Photo Credit: Japanese Wedding on Surfers Beach by Sir Mervs on Flickr.

Surfers at Twilight - an evening stroll on the Esplanade

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Reader Feedback

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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Another Great Lens! Best wishes :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This lens is really awesome and gives great information related to surfers paradise. For more you can check this car hire surfers paradise also.

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 

      9 years ago

      The first place I ever wanted to visit was 'Surfers.' I've travelled extensively in my youth but still never mad Aus. Hoping to be there in December.


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