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Arts and Culture in Surfers Paradise - From Historic Sites to Modern Art

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Residents of the Gold Coast are the first to admit that the area has not traditionally been an arts hub. But for visitors with a taste for culture, a fresh crop of venues is now providing alternatives to the sun and surf - as long as you know where to look. From contemporary performance to visual art, there's a bit of everything on offer.

Museums In Surfers Paradise


The museums in and around Surfers Paradise are small, quirky, and often community-run. Don't expect the latest technology or well-stocked gift shops - these venues are all about humble charm. A trip to a local museum can be a great way to escape the heat and beach crowds for an hour or so - and with enthusiastic volunteers onsite, there are plenty of opportunities for conversation.


Yugambeh Museum Language and Heritage Research Centre


It may be open by appointment only, but this small museum is an essential stop for visitors with an interest in indigenous culture. The centre houses several informative exhibitions, alongside the region's most comprehensive collection of indigenous language documents.


2 Plantation Road, Beenleigh QLD 4207Tel: +61 7 3807 6155


Yugambeh Museum Language and Heritage Research Centre website


Surf World Gold Coast


This enlightening small museum - the only surfing museum in Queensland - puts an emphasis on the early days of the sport, with classic photography and a collection of vintage boards. Contemporary surfing icons are also represented.


35 Tomewin Street, Currumbin QLD 4223. Tel: +61 7 5525 6380


Surf World Gold Coast website

Galleries in Surfers Paradise


The most prominent visual arts venue in the region is the expansive Arts Centre Gold Coast, which houses the Gold Coast City Gallery as well as a theatre and cinema. But smaller venues are starting to appear too, appealing to a younger audience that wants to sample some contemporary culture in between trips to the beach.


Gold Coast City Gallery


With 3 temporary exhibition spaces, and an emphasis on contrasting forms of media, this gallery is reliably engaging whenever you happen to visit. It is also home to a collection of historical artworks documenting the development of the Gold Coast.


135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217. Tel: +61 7 5588 4067


Gold Coast City Gallery website


Urban Paradise


More than simply a gallery, this trendy space also acts as a social hub, with regular DJ performances and a graffiti lounge area. The venue is artist-run, and has been credited with strengthening the Gold Coast's young artistic community.


3221 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217. Tel: +61 423 122 189


Urban Paradise website


Discovering History


The various heritage sites in and around Surfers Paradise serve as a reminder that, just over 100 years ago, this area was completely uninhabited by white settlers. Of course, indigenous Australians had already been here for millennia - their stories are well worth seeking out.


Hinze Dam


This feat of engineering is impressive to look at, and also worth visiting for its state-of-the-art visitor information centre, which provides insight into the development of the region. There are also parks, barbecue facilities, and walking trails.


Advancetown Road, Advancetown QLD 4217. Tel: +61 7 5644 3019


Hinze Dam website


Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre


The family-friendly tours run out of this centre at Burleigh Heads provide insight into the historical significance of the area. You'll hear Dreamtime stories and learn about the ecological practices that have safeguarded the region's biodiversity since time immemorial.


1711 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads QLD 4220. Tel: +61 7 5525 5955


Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre website