Surfers Paradise revitalisation

  • Project typeBusiness & economic development
  • Project value$40 million (funded for Stage 1A Cavill Mall)
  • Project scheduleStage one is expected to commence in 2025 with completion by 2027

Surfers Paradise is changing

It is time to rekindle our love of Surfers Paradise as a major event, dining, entertainment, tourist, and urban destination where more people choose to live, work, invest and spend time.

We're reimagining our key holiday playground to create a place where visitors and tourists will come to experience 'the place the locals go'. This includes the activation of Cavill Avenue throughout the day and night.

As the Gold Coast moves into a new era, Surfers Paradise must re-define itself to reinvigorate its strategic role and function, and its global image.


Over 7 decades, Surfers Paradise has broadened its appeal from the laid-back beachside attraction of the 1950s to today's vibrant, energetic and world-class destination offering great dining, five-star accommodation, luxury residences and a thriving night economy.

But community feedback in 2019 told us the image of this unique destination is 'tired' and 'underwhelming'.

We have taken this on board and developed plans for a revitalisation program, acknowledging the importance of the precinct to locals and the 13 million annual visitors to the Gold Coast.

The Surfers Paradise Revitalisation Concept Design is based on the concepts and ideas proposed in the Surfers Paradise Place Making Plan from 2019.

Central to this revitalisation project are the areas in and around Cavill Avenue, Cavill Mall and the Esplanade.

The concept design

The Surfers Paradise revitalisation concept design has been developed to guide the centre's transformation over the coming years. The plan aims to build a more connected community, providing modern public spaces and amenities to be enjoyed by everyone.

Community consultation in 2019 told us the most important improvements to be made were:

  • Family friendly
  • Pedestrian mobility
  • Public safety
  • Shade/street trees
  • Seating/meeting and active public spaces

In keeping with the great cities of the world, we want to revive Cavill Mall to reflect pedestrian friendly leafy boulevards which encourage strolling and relaxing. The vision for an expansive public realm for all to enjoy will help to amplify the experience in Surfers Paradise and renew our love for this iconic beachside tourist heart.

The concept design addresses the key areas of:

  • Atmosphere and public spaces
  • Tourism and recreation
  • Nightlife, entertainment and economy
  • Safety and amenity

Design principles

The Surfers Paradise Revitalisation Concept Design has 4 proposed design principles:

Grow the green by increasing canopy cover, creating green spaces and a subtropical connection along Cavill Avenue.

Supercharge the experience through an iconic waterplay plaza and pavilions for activation on The Esplanade, creating 'wow' moments and balancing day and night to create a 24/7 destination.

Open to all to encourage people to stay, celebrate the cultural diversity of the Gold Coast and promote family-orientated night-time activities.

Amplify brand 'Surfers' by embracing moments that are true to the Surfers Paradise spirit through memorable architecture and design and building on the success of HOTA to create a cultural experience.

Stage 1 includes:

  • Stage 1A – Cavill Mall renewal from The Esplanade to Surfers Boulevard. City has allocated $40 million for this stage over the next five years.
  • Stage 1B – Cavill Avenue – $17 million (unfunded), which aims to bring vitality back into Cavill Avenue by moving people through to the west of Cavill Mall.
  • Stage 1C – Central Esplanade, which includes headlands to frame Cavill Mall and create a waterplay area and pavilions for activation on The Esplanade – $33 million (unfunded).

Stage 2 includes:

  • The remainder of The Esplanade between the two roundabouts in front of the Soul building and Hanlan Street.

  • Community consultation will be undertaken in August/September this year to seek feedback on all stages of the project. This will help inform detailed design, decision making and funding for Stages 1B, 1C and Stage 2.