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san francisco
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Coffs Harbour or Gold Coast/Surfer's Paradise?

I'm curious to hear the difference between these two areas, how does the scenery, people, nightlife, and overall vibe differ? I need to choose only one. Thanks!

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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1. Re: Coffs Harbour or Gold Coast/Surfer's Paradise?


Think Miami Florida for the Gold Coast - high rise buildings along the beachfront. However, fabulous beaches with excellent surf conditions.

If staying on the Gold Coast we usually stay at 3 places -

Coolangatta - Broadbeach or Main Beach - Sheraton Mirage.

We love SM as its located on the beachfront with absolutely no roads to cross to the surf.

Surfers is okay if your young 20's - 30's otherwise I would advice to opt for Broadbeach. Coolangatta is a lovely laid back village with an excellent beach.

I've never been a great fan of Coffs but that's only my taste and opinion I'm sure others like it. Have you thought of Byron bay ??


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2. Re: Coffs Harbour or Gold Coast/Surfer's Paradise?

Im totally with EM on this one. Never been a fan of Coffs either. I know people who either love the place or despise it... each to their own I suppose. Coffs itself isnt special but the surrounds are beautiful with many stunning beaches within easy reach.

EM also got it spot on with the GC. Its a large stretch of coast. 30km or so with many scatterd beach towns and a stunning hitnerland. I would opt for GC as you are in close proximity to world heritage listed rainforest and have access to a plethora of amazing beaches as well as shopping, nightlife (to suit all tastes, ages and budgets), restaurants etc. It is quite an international destination. If youre young an appreciate night clubbing etc than Surfers is fantastic however if after a more sophistcated vibe, without being void of a plethora of entertainment options stay at Broadbeach (3km south of Surfers). Surfers and Broadbeach are quite built up (think skyscrapers etc) but Broadbeach definitely has a more sophisticated, mature yet fun feel to it compared to Surfers. Many restaurant options and the monorail goes directly to the Casino and then there is Pacific Fair Shopping Centre (the largest in QLD).

Again depending on your age, perhaps look into Noosa (mature crowd, slightly more upmarket beach town with fantastic beach, national park walks and great restaurants) or Byron Bay (good mix of younger backpacker crowd and more mature "down to earh" folk with a lot of disposable income). Both places are more natural, less built up and quieter than the GC. Noosa is about a 2.5-3 hour drive north of GC, Byron is about a 1.5 hour drive south of GC.

Importantly for me GC, Byron, Noosa and Coffs have a beautiful hinterland with many natural wonders and sights.

Again it depends on your intersts, age range etc. Get back to us and maybe we can make some more suggestions.



san francisco
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3. Re: Coffs Harbour or Gold Coast/Surfer's Paradise?

I'm in my 30's and your suggestions are fabulous and I think I'm set to GC. Thank you so much.

Canberra, Australia
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4. Re: Coffs Harbour or Gold Coast/Surfer's Paradise?

As a comparison, GC is approx 600,000 people & Coffs is approx 70,000 people.

5. Re: Coffs Harbour or Gold Coast/Surfer's Paradise?

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