The Gold Coast is lined with beautiful beaches but in the most built-up areas, it can be a tad frenetic – swimmers, surfers, bodyboarders and sea kayakers muscle for some space in the ocean; sunbathers, walkers and sandcastle engineers all fight for their patch of the sand. Nobby Beach, on the other hand, is generally quieter. Fishing is popular here and, yes, you’ll still find families throwing frisbees and surfers searching for the best breaks but overall this is a less hectic option. Back from the beach, several cafés and bars have started to spring up, which means it’s easy to decamp here for the day. Recently revamped, the Yard Café (17 Lavarack Road) is a current hit with locals, serving up locally sourced produce and Allpress coffee. BSKT Café (4 Lavarack Rd) is also a hotspot, thanks to its focus on organic and gluten-free fare (and for those staying nearby, BSKT run regular yoga classes upstairs). If you are a beginner hoping to surf, check out our “Learn to surf” listing. 


Nobby Beach is in the suburb of Mermaid Beach, five kilometres south of Surfers Paradise. If you’re up for a long stroll, it is possible to walk here along the beachfront. Like many locales on the Gold Coast, a clutch of cool bars and eateries have opened here during the past years. Places to try include quirky watering hole The Cambus Wallace (Shop 4/2237 Gold Coast Highway, + 61 7 5575 3420), Sparrow Eating House (2/32 Lavarack Road, + 61 7 5575 3330) with its range of tasty share plates and Hellenika (2235 Gold Coast Hwy, +61 7 5572 8009) for its Greek-driven fare.  

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