There’s no denying the southern beachside suburbs of the Gold Coast boast some of the finest unspoiled beaches. Here’s a run-down of a few of our favourite jewels in the south-side crown.
Once considered the little sister of tourist mainstay, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach has certainly come into its own. ‘Broadie’, as the locals call it, manages to maintain a family-friendly vibe while still catering to a large tourism contingent. Bordering on Central Gold Coast we love Broadbeach because it’s right in the heart of all the action.
Whilst it has a heavy density of apartment living (with more than 50% rented according to some reports), it also caters to those who want to enjoy some high-end shopping at the recently revamped Pacific Fair. For those who fancy a flutter, the new Star Casino offers a luxury fix.
It’s always a good bet to live in Burleigh – 10,000 plus people can attest to this! Boasting a trendy, relaxed beach lifestyle and an adjacent 27-hectare, lush national park, the ever-popular Koala Park nestled on the Tallebudgera Creek and bordered by Miami, Burleigh Waters and Palm Beach, there are no surprises why it’s said to be home to more permanent residents than with its bustling James St dining precinct. It’s a popular destination for foodies as well as families, thanks to the stretch of pretty parklands and playgrounds.
With its bustling James St dining precinct, it’s a popular destination for foodies as well as families, thanks to the stretch of pretty parklands and playgrounds.
Burleigh Heads is a haven for those property buyers relocating from interstate who want a beachside holiday destination that hasn’t lost its charm or wish to be seen in a social hub. However, it’s not so great if you aren’t a fan of crowds on the beach. On average, over three thousand people soak up the sun and sand here – second only to the numbers Surfers Paradise records!
If absolute beachfront access in one of the most exclusive residential enclaves is on your wishlist, the Mermaid waters are the place for you. Home to famed Hedges Avenue – otherwise known as Millionaire’s Row – it’s predominantly professionals who reside in this affluent area.
With plenty of parking, shopping and dining options, as well as a reputation for exclusivity and safety, it’s beautiful for those property buyers who enjoy soaking up the great outdoors.
This is why with a median age of 35, so many young entrepreneurs who’ve made a fortune in their 30s can’t get enough of it.
However, if the thought of waking up to the sounds of the ocean crashing on the shore each morning isn’t your thing, you might want to head further west.
The ideal blend of old meets new. Palm Beach is where you’ll find rambling beach shacks nestled amongst multi-million dollar masterpieces.
A three-time winner of Queensland’s cleanest beach, this clean and green coastal hub is known for its laid-back living, famous beaches and trendy dining establishments, not to mention its easy-as navigation, with numbered avenues from 1st to 28th.
With a population of almost 15,000 who are predominantly aged between 20 to 39 and made up of a mix of professionals, retirees, singles and families with kids, it’s great for those who like to catch a wave or a plane (it’s just 10 minutes from Coolangatta Airport) and want access to an abundance of parks, recreation and excellent schools. It’s not so great if you’re after a thriving nightlife (or a car park at Palm Beach’s Pirate Park during daylight hours!)
The northern end of the Gold Coast plays host to a treasure trove of hotspots. Let’s take a look at what some of the popular property types include:
Perched in one of the most northerly points of the Gold Coast waterways and providing a fusion of luxury waterfront homes and non-waterfront homes, Paradise Point is a haven for all ages. 18 parks punctuate the landscape, encouraging long lazy picnics and ample time for family fun without the tourist crowd.
It’s perfect for those astute property buyers that want to enjoy a similar multi-million dollar view that Ephraim Island and Sovereign Island offer, but without the hefty house prices attached.
It’s not going to be the right fit for you, though, if you don’t like living amongst the greenery, with almost 9% of its 4.1 square kilometre footprint occupied by parks.
Similar in prestige to Sanctuary Cove, here you’ll be hard-pressed to find properties for sale under the $2,000,000 mark. In previous years properties transacted in excess of $10,000,000 in this gated community. Accessed by a single bridge (frequented by high-end cars), this is a suburb for those who enjoy the finer things in life. Residents attest to its community spirit and enjoy its less restricted security (gates shut late at night and re-open around 6 am), so you aren’t at the mercy of security guards who might turn away invited family and friends.
It’s also a water enthusiast’s paradise – almost all properties for sale deliver deep frontage and offer either uninterrupted water views of the Surfers Paradise skyline or over South Stradbroke Island (which also protects from weather extremes).
Stretch yourself if you love water views and boating life, but stay away if you’d rather be in the middle of things. It will take you 20 minutes to get to the beach, the best schools on the Gold Coast, and other sites that look like nightlife.
Southport is the very definition of a tale of two cities. On the one hand, you’ll find some of the city’s most exquisite trophy homes perched on the Main River, yet, it’s also the Gold Coast’s CBD, meaning there is a broad mix of industry and development amongst the residential sector. Southport is also home to two of the Gold Coast’s most exclusive schools, St. Hilda’s and The Southport School.
Southport is a great place to buy a home if you care a lot about your children’s schools and want to either live on Main River or enjoy the convenience of being centrally located in the business district.
It’s not so great if you’re not a fan of building works – there is a lot of activity expected soon as Southport continues to go through dramatic change.
Contrary to popular belief, Surfers Paradise doesn’t just consist of the ‘Glitter Strip’. While apartments heavily occupy it, it’s also dominated by some of Gold Coast’s most sought-after addresses.
Places like Paradise Waters, Chevron Island, Isle of Capri and the uber-exclusive Cronin Island fall under the umbrella of the suburb of Surfers Paradise, and each suburb boasts epic skyline views sure to make you the envy of everyone. Not only that, you’re within easy reach of HOTA – the Gold Coast’s only arts and science precinct, as well as home to the popular Bundall Farmers Markets on a Sunday. Marina Mirage and Main Beach also await close by, as do iconic beaches and exceptional restaurants, shops and cafes.
Surfers Paradise is fantastic if you want to indulge in exquisite Main River living. But rethink it if you need bridge-free access for your weekend watercraft as it may not fit under the Sundale Bridge.
A myriad of canals and waterways meander through the Gold Coast topography, trickling off this Main River artery. Some are also man-made.
Whatever their origin, homes which are anchored on a waterfront block fetch some of the highest property prices in our region, but that doesn’t mean waterfront homes are necessarily off the cards if you’re on a budget – we’re still picking up waterfront homes in the low $800’s. Serious boaties, from Runaway Bay to Hope Island/Sanctuary Cove, also like to frequent the waterways.
This popular waterfront enclave is home to many massive masterpieces and is desirable due to its centrality. Here, you can live to enjoy your waterfront homes’ tranquillity, yet be just moments from world-class shopping and beaches, the M1, Star Casino and the canals of the Gold Coast.
A community that is built around the 261-hectare, man-made lake, it boasts excellent schools, parklands and unique, wide water vistas for waterfront homes.
Best of all – as the locals will attest to – it delivers midge-free waterfront living! It’s not so great if you’d like to indulge in a spot of water-skiing from your aquatic backyard – tow behind water activities are banned.
If living life as if every day is a holiday takes your fancy, and you like the idea of heading out to dinner or into the village on a golf buggy, then Sanctuary Cove is a must-see.
Blessed with an abundance of luxury residences that flank the deep water, pristine parks or famous golf greens, this resort-style, master-planned community is a Gold Coast icon.
A 360-hectare, gated community, it features two international golf courses – The Pines and The Palms – and the quaint local Marina Village.
Residents also enjoy the additional benefits of the 5-star Intercontinental Hotel, along with 24-hour security, a swimming pool, a lounge room, a breakfast bar, and air conditioning systems in bedrooms.
You’ll love it if you don’t like guests popping in unannounced (they won’t pass the security checkpoint if their name isn’t on the list) but reconsider if you don’t have a starting budget of at least $1,000,000. It’s also a community you’ll need help getting into, with such a range in price points and most new listings advertised without a price.
With a reputation for being home to the best state primary and high school in the region, parents clamour to buy real estate in Benowa just to be nestled within this very narrow school catchment zone.
You’ll find a lot of property variety here – from new builds to duplexes and some real estate properties which even have their own water views, addresses, and median prices from last year ranged from $845,000 for houses to $470,000 for units. It’s also super central, offering easy access to Southport CBD, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach waters and some of the best medical amenities on the Gold Coast (Pindara Hospital, for one).
You’ll also have on your doorstep the beautiful Gold Coast Botanic Gardens and tennis, netball or basketball sporting hubs, making it a great choice for families who adore the athletic lifestyle and the outdoors. If you’re a fan of golf -the RACV Royal Pines Resort sees big-name golfers (and fans) flock here yearly for the Australian PGA and RACV Ladies Masters. Skip the Benowa area if you need a quick commute to Brisbane, one of the capital cities in Australia.
Ask any Carrara local, and they’ll tell you they are just 15 minutes from anywhere on the GC. It’s also one of the suburbs which has benefitted the most from the Commonwealth Games, with the Queensland Government injecting more than $122 million into upgrading the Carrara Sports precinct.
The median house price is $610,000 for real estate properties, making it affordable for families. Yet, one sought-after street (Maryland Avenue) sees staggering suburb prices fetched, well into the seven-figure range.
People love it for its central location, proximity to transport links, plus its sound selection of private and public schools close by. Give it a wide berth, however, if you aren’t sports-mad. Home to Metricon Stadium (which plays host to an array of worldwide sporting fixtures) as well as many high-end golf courses.
One of Queensland’s fastest-growing regions, its focus is all about family. Parks, playgrounds, trails and more act as an extension of the humble backyard.
It’s also home to the acclaimed Bond University, private and public hospitals, a sports stadium and the revamped Robina Town Centre (one of the biggest retail spaces in the southern hemisphere).
Live here if a vibrant and central to everything community appeals to you but think twice if you’re after a smaller suburb. There are also a select few pockets that offer well-positioned waterfront homes. With a population of over 23,000 and dominated by 64% owners and 36% renters, thanks to a transient student contingent, it’s not your stereotypical small-town community.
It’s got to be the Gold Coast’s best-kept secret – the fact we have on our doorstep some of the country’s most pristine rainforests. Often referred to as ‘the green behind the gold ‘, here’s a look at where a buyer’s agent might suggest you relocate to (if you’re looking for a tree change?).
It is nestled between the mountain ranges of the Queensland/New South border. Welcome to mother nature’s wonderland.
With its World-Heritage-Listed rainforest walk, the Cougal Cascades and a surplus of native flora and fauna, the Currumbin Valley is also regarded as the most accessible hinterland destination, being just a 10-minute drive from the coastline.
Littered with hobby farms, eco villages, fruit stalls, bed and breakfasts, homesteads, backyard spaces, and cottages, this evergreen tropical valley is home to less than 2,000 residents.
It’s all you could ever want if you love a natural setting, great neighbours and a lack of traffic, but overlook this option if you rely on public transport.
Nestled west of the M1 and home to rolling hills of tranquillity and semi-rural estates, this long-established community offers a good mix of residential and commercial areas.
Infused with a quaint, country aesthetic, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were not just a short stroll from the famed tourist mecca of the Gold Coast. Yet, it’s still just a short drive to the beach, and the nearby central hub of Robina, meaning all the amenities you need are just a stone’s throw away.
It is located close to the M1, and it offers easy access for commuters and some excellent private and public schools on the Gold Coast.
With this former “Friendliest Town” award winner, the only downside is that you are prone to be stranded at home if a heavy rainfall sets in, as many acreages sit on low-lying parcels of land.
Affectionately known as “Tally Valley”, this pristine paradise awaits at the back of the ever-popular Tallebudgera Creek. Sprawling lots of an acre or more await, and there is quite the cross-section of properties – from rambling to luxury and everything in between.
It’s safe, serene and offers excellent re-sale. But, if you don’t have access to a car, then it’s not going to be a great choice. Like Currumbin Valley, it’s not known for its plethora of public transport.
Tony + Eva Coughran
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