Bar Hopping Fun on the Gold Coast

Are you ready to party up and down the coast? If you want to enjoy a few drinks without battling traffic, the Gold Coast is the place to be.

The G:link tram service—or The G, as the locals call it—has given the areas in and around Surfers Paradise an exhilarating new energy. With trams running every 10 minutes from Gold Coast University to the southern end of Broadbeach, there’s never been a better time to hit the town. Get ready to raise your glass to an evening of bar hopping using the light rail. 

The Gold Coast is home to some excellent drinking spots but there are few more quintessentially Australian than a surf lifesaving club. Start your bar crawl in the late afternoon at the Northcliffe Surf Life Saving Club which has its own tram stop. Chill out on the veranda and enjoy a cold brew—or two—as seagulls wheel overhead and swimmers take on the Gold Coast’s famous waves. Keep an eye on the sky so you don’t miss your next stop.  

Bavarian Bier Cafe
Plenty of beer—and bier—on tap at Bavarian Bier Cafe (Courtesy Bavarian Bier Cafe)

When the sun starts sinking towards the horizon, walk up the road to Q1 which is home to the Skypoint Observation Deck. This is one of the best spots on the coast to watch the sunset so buy tickets in advance to avoid the queue. After a stomach-dropping ride in one of Australia’s fastest lifts you will arrive at the Seventy7 Café + Bar which sits over 200 metres above that famous Surfers Paradise beach. Cocktails are a speciality with an interesting mix of classics and Queensland-inspired drinks. 

Most come here for the spectacular 360-degree view but people-watching provides even more entertainment. Groups of overseas tourists clamber over each to take sunset selfies, children stare wide-eyed at the streets below and a group of nervous adventurers head outside to do the twilight climb. It is tempting to stay longer and enjoy the show, but the bright lights and bars of Broadbeach beckon. 

This popular Gold Coast drinking and dining destination is only six minutes from Surfers Paradise by tram and draws a crowd every night of the week. Locals of all ages mix it up with out-of-town visitors and there is no cutoff age limit for enjoying a night out. Broadbeach has so many great drinking spots that it is tempting to try more than one. 

Kiyomi at The Star Gold Coast
Japanese flair at Kiyomi at The Star Gold Coast (Courtesy Kiyomi)

Sophisticated drinkers will appreciate Moo Moo, a hip steak restaurant and bar where over 50 wines by the glass provide ample excuse for drinkers to corral themselves at the bar. Gold Coast’s glitterati come here to see and be seen, so dress to impress.

Across the road at The Star Gold Coast, Kiyomi is a must for those who appreciate fine Japanese food and drinks and the theatre of fine dining. Begin your night at the bar with a Japanese-inspired cocktail, sake or top shelf whisky before moving to a private booth for dinner. 

For something more down to the earth there is the Bavarian Bier Cafe where European beers and rollicking good times go hand-in-hand. Outside tables are perfect for larger groups and to take advantage of the Gold Coast’s balmy weather. If you aren’t into beer, there are plenty of other options to slake your thirst. 

Aloha Bar and Dining
Fun times at Aloha Bar and Dining (Courtesy Aloha Bar and Dining)

A few doors down you will find Social Eating House, a bar-cum-restaurant where people tend to drop in for a drink and end up staying all night. Like the Observation Deck, there are spectacular people-watching opportunities here. Meals are served tapas-style, so it is an ideal spot to refuel after you have hit a few bars. Social tends to fill up fast, so book a table in advance or prepare to wait. 

For a Broadbeach drinking spot that is more fun than fancy, Aloha Bar and Dining is an irresistible tropical treat filled with Hawaiian leis and cocktails served in pineapples and tiki cups. It’s an Insta-worthy extravaganza with drinks that taste even better than they look.

If you still have your party pants on, catch the tram back towards Surfers Paradise and get off at Cypress Avenue. Stingray Lounge at QT Gold Coast celebrates the hedonistic glory days of Surfers Paradise when ‘70s colour schemes burned your retinas after a big night out. Choose from 50 in-house tequilas accompanied by tasty bar snacks with a Cal-Mex twist. Things heat up after 10pm which makes Stingray the perfect spot to finish your night out. 

A cocktail at Stingray Lounge
Finish your night with a cocktail at Stingray Lounge (Courtesy Stingray Lounge)

Riding the G

Visitors from Queensland can use their regular public transport go card on the G:link tram; paper tickets can also be purchased from machines on the platform. You can download the My G official G:link app but trams come so regularly that you probably won’t need it.