I’m not a surfer, so I can’t speak for how well it lived up to its name, but Surfers’ Paradise was wonderful nevertheless. Even though there were tall skyscrapers, it never really felt like a city; the ocean breeze and the trees helped keep it open. The beach was never too far out of sight.
This neighborhood was only a short bus ride away from Surfers’ Paradise (maybe fifteen minutes max). It had a much smaller beach town feel to it, with Mom-and-Pop stores and little cafes selling all the beach supplies and caffeine your heart could desire. Of course, the main attraction is Burleigh Heads National Park, which is a quick walk up the hillside into unbelievable views. The trail is mostly paved, though little steep in parts, and it eventually ends up on a quiet beach on the other side of the park.
Less than an hour away from the beaches, Springbrook feels like its another world: 3,000-year-old trees, waterfalls, and incredible wildlife lend the impression that you’ve stepped back in time. Springbrook is technically an extinct volcano, which was responsible for creating the steep canyon. The birds especially were unafraid of people, as you can see in come of the pictures taken at a nearby cafe.