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City of Gold Coast - Global surfing capital

Famous for its sun, surf and sand, the Gold Coast stretches along 57km of coastline. In less than a century, the city has evolved from a string of seaside villages to one of the most famous holiday destinations in the world. Much of that growth and succss has been build ton the Gold Coast’s reputation as the preferred destination for the world’s surfers.

In the 1950’s – 70’s a strong surfing industry was developing on the Gold Coast, and by 1977, the City was ready to take centre stage when it hosted the Stubbies Surf Classic at Burleigh Heads. This was the first event of the modern world surfing tour which was fittingly won by local surfing legend Michael Peterson.

Since this time, surfing has become a huge part of the lifestyle and economy of the Gold Coast. Our world-famous surf breaks continue to attract international surfers of all ages and skill levels, as well as regularly producing home-grown surfing world champions such as Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson and Stephanie Gilmore. The city continues to be the home of surfing heavyweights, world famous surfboard shapers, and regularly hosts national and international profesional surfing events. To view a complete history of surfing on the Gold Coast please visit the following site -

The Gold Coast has more active surfers per capita than anywhere else in the world. Not suprising we have

  • 57 Km of beaches
  • 3 National Surfing Reserves (Burleigh Heads, Currumbin and Snapper – Kirra)
  • 4 world class point breaks
  • over 500,000 residents
  • surf to suit all levels of experience
  • 35 beaches patrolled by year-round City of Gold Coast lifeguards
  • On average 10 million visitors a year to the city
  • Who spend $ 4 billion per year   

There is no better place than the Gold Coast to find a board or surfing gear. Hire a board, find an expert shaper who will craft the perfect board, experience a surf lesson at one of our surf schools, or check out the huge range of local surfing retailers who’ll get you kitted out whatever the conditions.

The City of Gold Coast Sport Plan highlights the sport of surfing as one of the city’s most strategically significant sports. As part of our Economic Development Strategy, the City will continue to attract surf businesses and surf tourism and events to the city to diversify our economic base, increase employment opportunities, nurture innovation, foster competitive business and increase international investment and export activities. 



The City of Gold Coast is interested in online marketing between countries, joint tourism promotion, collaborative projects between companies and R&D centres of the cities that belong to WSCN, and technological and market development.

The City is interested in promoting export and investment opportunities between the WSCN. The City of Gold Coast has an investment attraction program that is available to businesses wishing to establish a presence on the Gold Coast. Further information -

Our local surf businesses are also keen to explore export opportunities with the WSCN and the City assists these businesses to attend international trade shows and events to promote this level of trade. Further information -

The Gold Coast is interested in actions to economically promote the surf sector, such as supporting entrepreneurship, technological innovation of the industry, marketing and international positioning of the sector, training and regulation of beaches, as well as the promotion of sporting events and the professionalisation of surfing.



Innovation programs on the Gold Coast – The City of Gold Coast - protecting our Coast

What’s the Gold Coast without its coast? Although there’s much more to our city than its beaches, our stunning coastline gives our city its identity. We live and work along the coast, we play on the coast, our coastline protects us, and it supports a rich variety of coastal and marine wildlife.

The city’s coastline extends from Point Danger in the south to Jumpinpin at the northern end of South Stradbroke Island. History has shown that this iconic coastline is also a dynamic one. The sandy littoral zone - the area from shoreline to just beyond the wave breaker zone - is the city’s frontline against powerful wave action that is intensified during extreme weather events. Such wave action determines the shape and state of our beaches and coast.

The significant economic, social and environmental benefits and services provided by our coastal areas means that coastal management is a serious and important issue for Council and the community.

The City of Gold Coast has established a number of educational videos related to the surf and beach and can be viewed via this link -

Modifications to the coastal zone over time, including the construction of public and private infrastructure very close to the coastline, has exposed the city to significant risk from a dynamic and high energy ocean. These risks are compounded by the predicted impacts of climate change on the Gold Coast, where the coasts vulnerability has been observed during intense weather events through the 1960s to 1970s. An urbanised coastline also results in continual risk of pollution from hard rubbish and stormwater, both of which can have significant effects on water quality and wildlife.
The Council of the City of Gold Coast has been a leader in coastal management for more than 50 years, driven by the need to protect the city and its shoreline from the impacts of storms. Active management including beach nourishment, seawall construction, improving access to beaches, beach cleaning, dune restoration and sand bypassing all contribute to protecting the coastal environment.

Find out about the cities programs and activities here:

City of Gold Coast Universities and Research Organisations

  • Griffith University – Griffith Centre for Coastal Management

The Griffith Centre for Coastal Management, aims to develop broad research and training agendas for coastal management. Griffith works in partnership with the City of the Gold Coast to improve and develop new best practices. This research is highly relevant to the sustainable management of urban environments in coastal areas, particularly in the city of Gold Coast.


The Centre’s researchers are uniquely qualified in their respective fields and the major projects are grouped under five strategic research programs:

For further information: 


Tweed River Sand Bypass Project

The Tweed Sand Bypassing Project is a joint initiative of the New South Wales and Queensland State Governments. The project's objectives are to establish and maintain a safe, navigable entrance to the Tweed River and restore and maintain the coastal sand drift to the beaches on the southern Gold Coast of Queensland. 

The project periodically dredges sand that accumulates at the Tweed River entrance which is also transported to southern Gold Coast beaches. The system is designed to transport the natural quantities of sand that move northwards along the coast. More about the project.


Gold Coast Narrowneck Beach Artificial Reef

In a bid to protect one of the Coast's most valuable assets - our beaches - the Gold Coast City Council has implemented an award winning major coastal protection strategy.

The $9 million Northern Gold Coast Beach Protection Strategy identified the following objectives:

  • widen the beach and dunes along the Surfers Paradise Esplanade to increase the volume of sand within the storm buffer and provide additional public open space
  • improve surf quality at Narrowneck by the construction of a submerged reef to stabilise the nourished beaches


More than 1.1 million cubic meters of sand has been dredged from the Broadwater and deposited on Surfers Paradise beaches - 1.1 million cubic meters would fill a football field to a depth of 220 metres. The Narrowneck Artificial Reef is intended as an off-shore defence mechanism against beach erosion, but also aims to improve surfing conditions at Narrowneck Beach.

Complex mathematics and laboratory testing of combinations of tides, wave heights and direction were used to develop the reef to enhance surfing conditions.


For further information on this project -


City of Gold Coast support for innovation

The business and industry engagement team is part of the City of Gold Coast’s Economic Development branch. The team proactively works to develop a sustainable Gold Coast economy, strengthening our city’s business capabilities through business engagement and industry development initiatives.

The Gold Coast Innovation Ecosystem depicts the innovation hubs, events, research, investors and grants and meetups that are happening on the Gold Coast.

To view all the programs that the Economic Development team can assist with please visit this link and download the Business Services flyer:

The Gold Coast Innovation Ecosystem map can be seen below and shows the way that the city works to grow economic output using technology as a driver. The surf industry forms part of this ecosystem by ustilising programs and connecting to research within the pathways shown below.


Coastal Care Groups and initiatives



The Gold Coast Tourism industry – Sun, Rainforest, Sand and Surf

From some of Australia's best beaches, rainforests and waterways to world class theme parks, sporting venues, convention services, diverse events, cultural activities, hotels and resorts, our tourism assets provide an enviable lifestyle and a platform for growth.

Our sub-tropical climate, almost 300 days of sunshine annually and average water temperature of 22°C (71°F) offers year round comfort. Winters are mild and comfortable and summer maximum temperatures average around 29°C (83°F).

Tourism is a key driver in the local economy contributing almost one dollar in every five generated within the city. Our city offers the ideal location for your tourism venture. The diverse business and leisure tourism products attract domestic and international visitors year round, offsetting the seasonal peaks and troughs traditionally experienced by seaside destinations.

With 300 days of sunshine each year, warm blue water, and an average temperature of 25 degrees, the beaches of the Gold Coast are still its most famous attraction. The Gold Coast’s central beaches are all about action, in the lively quarters of Surfers Paradise, Main Beach, Broadbeach, and Burleigh. Locals and visitors are attracted by these popular ‘see and be seen’ beaches. The further south you go on the Gold Coast, the more space you find. Southern precincts such as Currumbin, Kirra and Coolangatta are idyllic coastal communities defined by their own individual stretches of sub-tropical coastline. From one of the most popular beachfronts to some of the laziest secluded coves, nowhere is the variety of Australia’s iconic beach culture celebrated like it is on the Gold Coast.



  • Largest concentration of themed attractions in the southern hemisphere
  • First convention centre in the world to achieve the Earth Check Gold Certification
  • Home to Surf World Gold Coast Museum
  • More than 12 million visitors annually
  • 22.4 million annual visitor nights
  • $4 billion in total visitor expenditure
  • $1.5 billion in value add to the local economy
  • 27,000 people employed
  • 151 hotels, motels and serviced apartments (13,500 rooms)
  • Key markets: Australia, China, New Zealand, United Kingdom, South East Asia, Europe, North America and Gulf countries

Gold Coast accommodation and attractions:

The Gold Coast is also home to various Surf Schools who provide experiences for beginners through to advanced on the beaches of the Gold Coast. These include:

  • Walkin on Water
  • Go Ride A Wave
  • Broadbeach Surf School
  • Godfathers of the Ocean Surf School
  • Surfing Services Australia
  • Gold Coast Surf Academy
  • 1st Wave Surfschool
  • Sunshine State Surfing School
  • Cheyne Horan School Of Surf
  • Get Wet Surf School 

For details visit:  



The Gold Coast surf industry contributes $3.3 billion to the city's economy annually and employs an estimated 21,000 people. The City works to attract and develop surf-related businesses through mentoring programs, grants, incentives and support towards international trade missions.

The Gold Coast surf industry is a significant contributor to the local economy. The industry is incredibly diverse including surfboard shaping, clothing and hardware design, surf schools, educators and surf media.

Surf businesses create local employment for a number of high-skill occupations including graphic designers, journalists, web designers, legal and finance professionals. This is in addition to the world class shapers and surf coaches that can be found on the Gold Coast.

Numerous surf businesses and organisations are headquartered on the Gold Coast some of which include:

  • Surfing Australia
  • Surfing Queensland
  • The Australasian HQ for the ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals)
  • Billabong
  • Rhythm 
  • Surfstitch 
  • Body Science (not purely surf related but do provide products to surf market) 


The Gold Coast is home to many iconic surf board shapers who help to mould the Gold Coast as a leading Surf City. You can view our shapers via this link - or


The Gold Coast is also home to various Surf Schools who provide experiences for beginners through to advanced on the beaches of the Gold Coast. These include:

  • Walkin on Water
  • Go Ride A Wave
  • Broadbeach Surf School
  • Godfathers of the Ocean Surf School
  • Surfing Services Australia
  • Gold Coast Surf Academy
  • 1st Wave Surfschool
  • Sunshine State Surfing School
  • Cheyne Horan School Of Surf
  • Get Wet Surf School

For details visit:






The City of Gold Coast has develop a comprehensive flipbook detailing how the City works with the Surf Industry to ensure the beaches are safe, the industry is activated and we can continue to be recognised as a leading surf city.

This flipbook is available to download here:

Surf safety is a key priority for the Gold Coast. Relevant information can be found via this link -

Surf Life Saving is more than saving lives on the beach. Surf Life Saving Australia aim to reach out to all Australians through education and community programs.

As Australia’s major water safety and rescue authority, SLS aim to teach all Australians about beach and water safety. We do this through public education campaigns on things such as rip currents, rockfishing, and multilingual surf safety.

Visit the Be Safe website for fact sheets and information on beach and surf safety.


Coastal Care Groups and initiatives



With our world famous beaches and surf breaks, the Gold Coast is home to various surf and beach events. To highlight our major events….

ASP Quiksilver Pro -

ASP Roxy Pro -

Surfing Queensland Eventsviewdetailshere:


Includes on the Gold Coast:

  • SUP Mum’s Stand up Paddleboard Program
  • 2014 Australian SUP Titles, Queensland
  • 2014 Original Source Australian Boardriders Battle - Gold Coast


Surfing Australia Events – view details here:


Includes on the Gold Coast:

  • 2014 Wahu Surfer Groms Comp - Gold Coast
  • Australian SUP Titles 2014 –Technical (4-8km) / Marathon (20km)
  • 17th Annual Single Fin Festival presented by Billabong
  • Original Source Australian Boardriders Battle
  • Subway Summer Surf Series 2014/2015


Other major beach related events on the Gold Coast:



The City of Gold Coast is home to various educational institutions offering courses related to surf, the ocean, sport and the environment.



WSCN CONTACT for City of Gold Coast


  • John Nielsen, President Gold Coast Surf City Inc.
  • E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Teléfono: (61) 0418 180485


  • Councilor Daphne McDonald
  • Gold Coast City Council Division 13,
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • 11th Avenue, Palm Beach Q 4221.
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