Top backpacker hangouts on the coast

Phoebe Lee | Travel Blogger

The Gold Coast is a melting pot of beautiful weather, stunning beaches and people from all walks of life. It is an amazing place to explore, with loads of fun things to do and see. Visiting the Gold Coast is also a chance to connect with and meet fellow travellers exploring this unforgettable part of the world. To help you find them, here's my list of the best places to meet other travellers on the Gold Coast.

Surfers Paradise Beach

The beaches in Queensland are beautiful, so it's no surprise that if you're drawn to them, other backpackers will be too. Get yourself down to Surfers Paradise Beach with a frisbee, volleyball, football or cricket set and you'll be making friends in no time.


Fisherman's Wharf Tavern is a Gold Coast institution. Lovingly referred to as 'Fisho's', this place absolutely goes off on a Sunday afternoon. It's a great place to grab a pint, listen to good music and meet fellow travellers. They also have ripper $7.99 meal deals on Monday and Tuesday nights, which is sure to be a draw card for other money-savvy backpackers.

At a surf school lesson

Great minds think alike! If you're thinking of trying out a surf school lesson there's bound to be at least a few other mad-keen backpackers in there too. At the very least, you'll learn how to surf and get to meet a few Aussie locals who are trying to embrace their ocean-loving roots.

Aquarius Backpackers events

The team at Aquarius Backpackers hosts a range of events throughout the week, including a Wii Game Night where you can flex your Mario Kart skills. There's also an organised trip to Bounce, the indoor trampoline park, as well as trivia and movie and pizza nights.

Food Truck Friday

Take yourself down to the Broadwater Parklands where the best food trucks on the Gold coast are gathering for Food Truck Friday. There's really delicious, affordable food and live entertainment, right on the water front. You can be sure it's going to attract other budget-savvy beach-loving travellers and could be the ideal place to bond over a taco or two.

Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets

Each Wednesday, Friday and Sunday night the Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets pop up with a huge stretch of some 120 market stalls. The Foreshore at Surfers plays the perfect host to these lively markets, bursting with musicians and locals selling great eats, jewellery, accessories, artworks, photographs, clothing and more. You're bound to meet other curious travellers looking for souvenirs or just to immerse themselves in Gold Coast life, so be sure to check it out.

Surfers Paradise Beergarden

The Surfers Paradise Tavern is home to the most famous Beergarden on the coast. Backpackers Night is on Tuesdays where they pump out great music, ice cold beers and they have a huge outdoor balcony which is the perfect place to soak in the beach air as the sun goes down. With themed music nights and regular events, it's a great place to meet backpackers and travellers.


Instagram-obsessed Aussies regularly organise Instameets on the Gold Coast. They're the perfect way to find the best photography spots and meet travelling photographers and Insta-savvy locals. To find out about them, follow @igersgoldcoast and @visitgoldcoast on Instagram.

Wanderlust - the travel tribe app

This free app, created on the Gold Coast, is a great way of connecting with other travellers. It uses GPS to find friends within a certain radius and allows travellers to post their photos and tag their new best friends. It has been developed for travel-lovers by travel-lovers.

Backpackers Big Night Out Tour

The Backpackers Big Night Out Tour is an awesome way to meet loads of other travellers and have a really fun night out on a budget. The tour takes you on a tour of four of the Gold Coast's hottest clubs and gives you free access to every venue, one free drink at each and $5.50 basics all night! The tour runs each Wednesday and Saturday night and there are prizes, a party bus and you get to meet a few hundred other backpackers from all over the world.

Phoebe Lee

Phoebe Lee

Travel Blogger

Phoebe Lee is a writer, award-winning blogger and travel lover, sharing helpful travel tips, reviews and honest insight for regular people. Just over a year ago she left her office job to follow her heart and take a chance on her dream of becoming a writer. Now, she writes and travels full-time and is always finding ways to have fun, see the world and capture the beauty of each destination she visits.

View her blog at

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