Queensland’s Gold Coast has long been one of the most popular tourist destinations in Australia attracting over a staggering 11 million visitors annually.
As you can imagine, this makes for quite a bit of traffic congestion, busy restaurants and crowded beaches. Understandably, this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but putting the crowds aside, the Gold Coast has so much on offer that nearly every style of holiday maker is accommodated for. So if crowds aren’t your thing, there is an option.
Mermaid Waters is only 6 kilometres south of the centre of the Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise but the pace of life, traffic and crowds are quite different. While Surfers Paradise can attract those looking for a party (notably schoolies in November), Mermaid Waters is more suited to those looking for a relaxing beachside holiday. The extensive maze of man-made canals provide excellent opportunities for water sports including fishing, wind surfing, stand up paddle boarding and swimming. The beach is patrolled daily and the pristine white sand, long uncrowded stretches and excellent surf breaks make it an ideal place to spend a day.
Eateries in Mermaid Waters
There are some great restaurants in the area offering a range of cuisines including Italian, Chinese, Indian, Malaysian, Japanese, modern Australian, seafood, Thai and even Jamaican. A favourite with locals, Jamroc Jamaican Jerk Chicken is renowned for its spicy jerk chicken covered in hot sauce (not for the feint hearted), served with fries and coleslaw, but get there early as they tend to sell out of the chicken quite quickly. The Mermaid Waters restaurants are generally slightly cheaper than those in Surfers Paradise and are less likely to be booked out.
Discovering the local area
If shopping is your passion, there are some great boutiques and homewares stores to explore, or you can head into nearby Broadbeach, Pacific Fair Shopping Centre or Robina Town Centre. If you’re happy to brave the crowds, Surfers Paradise is also a shopping mecca.
The Gold Coast Hinterland to the west of Mermaid Waters provides a range of outdoor activities for visitors such as wine tasting, bird watching, bushwalking and eco tourism. Walking tracks cater to all levels of fitness and start at short walks of a only a couple of hundred metres, to the 54km Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk which takes three days to walk from beginning to end.