Breakfast on the Gold Coast beaches is a perfect way to kick start your day. If you’re holidaying here, one of the experiences that should be at the top of your list of things to do is to join the locals and enjoy a long leisurely breakfast right on the beachfront at one of the iconic Gold Coast surf clubs with the sand and surf almost touching your toes!
The Gold Coast in Queensland is all about the stunning white sand beaches, with the sun glistening on the sea and the surf constantly rolling in. You know you are on holiday on the Gold Coast when you are sitting on a deck in the sun in your T-shirt and shorts, watching the surf rolling in and tucking into your favourite breakfast. A surf club breakfast is a must-do on your Gold Coast Holiday.
But first, some history.
Surf lifesaving on the Gold Coast began in 1908. A Sydney dentist brought an old line and belt to Tweed Heads to form a lifesaving club. In 1909, the first recorded rescue using a lifesaving reel was performed in the surf off Greenmount when the lifesavers rescued four young women and a young man, who had been swept away by a rip.
Surf Life Saving Clubs (SLSC) are part of the Aussie beach lifestyle. There are eighteen surf clubs on The Gold Coast, so there’s bound to be one near you. Some are situated right on the water’s edge, and some might have a walkway or road between the club and the beach, but they all have great uninterrupted views over the beach. They are all very different in design and style.
The Aussies are experts at cooking a superb and tasty breakfast, and from north to south, here are some of our favourite beachfront surf clubs that we can recommend for that quintessentially Gold Coast experience of breakfast and brunch right on the beach. Head down at sunrise and watch the day unfold with a coffee and this view!
Southport SLSC – (Main Beach), Northernmost club on the beach
The northernmost on-the-beach surf club is Southport SLSC at Main Beach, generally the quieter end of the coast. It was formed in 1924 after three lives were lost when caught in an undertow at Main Beach, and the only lifelines available had been two pieces of rope from an anchored boat.
During World War II, over 90% of the club’s active members were in the fighting forces, so 16 and 17-year-olds from Brisbane kept the club going and stayed on after the war, hitchhiking their way back and forth between the Gold Coast and Brisbane. Since 1924 membership has grown from 20 to over 6,000.
The breakfast menu features eggs pretty much every way and a range of superfood smoothies.
Hot Tip: We strongly recommend the ‘Lifesavers Breakfast!’ which will keep you going all day
Where: Macarthur Parade, Main Beach,
When: 8am for the main cafe or 6-11am for Main Beach Pavilion Cafe with a slightly smaller menu
Surfers Paradise SLSC- in the heart of Surfers Paradise
The iconic Surfers Paradise SLSC was established in 1925 by Jim Cavill, who built the Surfers Paradise Hotel to help provide safe bathing for his hotel’s guests. It is directly across the road from the beach. Watch the world go by with a serve of smashed avo and feta in the Beachfront Bistro for a Gold Coast breakfast to remember.
Tip: Great choice for the sweet tooth with 2 types of pancakes and waffles on the menu.
Where: Cnr Hanlan St and The Esplanade Surfers Paradise
When: Open from 7am
BMD Northcliffe Surf Club
Just a little south of Surfers Paradise is the very popular BMD Northcliffe Surf Club with its stunning absolute beachfront location. It was established in 1947 as a volunteer lifesaving club. It has developed into one of Australia’s most competitive surf sports life-saving clubs and is home to a multi award-winning restaurant.
Tip: the menu here has some great healthy options including green breakfast bowls and chia pudding
Spend some time taking on the Tower 32 Big Breakfast – a hearty meal and perfect after a big night out!
Where: 51 Garfield Terrace, Surfers Paradise
When: Weekdays 7.30am – 10.30am / Sat & Sun 7am – 11.00am
Mermaid Beach A.E.M.E SLSC- on Millionaires Row
The Mermaid Beach Surf Club was founded in 1945 and is located on Hedges Avenue, known as ‘millionaires row.’ This is a street of very, very expensive beach houses and homes. No apartment buildings are allowed to be built here, and the one-way street is always busy with cyclists, walkers, skateboarders, and joggers.
The clubhouse is opposite the beach, and the restaurant up on the first floor has good views over the ocean. The menu features a good range of vegan options, including Asian style tofu scramble.
Where: 172 Hedges Avenue Mermaid Beach
When: Open for breakfast every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
North Burleigh SLSC
The first of two beachfront breakfast options for Burleigh
The very popular Burleigh Beach is lucky enough to have two excellent on-the-beachfront surf clubs. The one at the northern end of the beach is the North Burleigh SLSC. This beach area was initially known as ‘Little Burleigh’, and the club was started in the 1950s.
The breakfast menu features all the classic Aussie options, including a great bacon and egg roll and great coffee if you need to eat and run.
Where: 293 The Esplanade Miami
When: Breakfast – weekends 7-10am / brunch by the sea weekdays 8-10.30am
Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park SLSC
The other surf club is at the southern end of the beach. Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park SLSC has recently had an extensive $5 million refurbishment. Both clubs have great beachfront locations.
There are two options The Burleigh Beach Kiosk, which serves excellent coffee and great food, or head to the restaurant and order from the build your own breakfast options and a great breakfast hash.
Where: Corner Goodwin Terrace and Gold Coast Highway
When: 5.30am for the Kiosk, and the upstairs restaurant from 7am
Currumbin Beach Viking SLSC – Unique island location
The Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Club was established in 1919 and probably has the most sensational surf views of all the beachfront surf clubs. It is located right on Elephant Rock, and when the tide is in, you can’t get any closer to the surf without getting your feet wet. The club is often pounded by surf.
We recommend the Roasted Mushrooms on Sourdough for a delicious start to the day. Plenty of gluten free and vegan options for those who need them.
Where: 741 Pacific Parade, Currumbin
When: Weekday 7:30am-10:30am Weekends 7:30am-11:00am
Rainbow Bay SLSC, Coolangatta
Rainbow Bay SLSC is the most southern club on the Gold Coast coastline. It is one of Gold Coast’s only north-facing beaches and provides sheltered conditions for swimming. Rainbow Bay SLSC is very popular with surfers as it is near the world-famous surf breaks at Snapper Rocks and Duranbah.
It offers an excellent Breakfast buddha bowl and an extensive selection of Eggs Benedict for those poached eggs fans!
Where: 2 Snapper Rocks Rd, Coolangatta
When: Saturday and Sunday only from 8-10.30am
Entry to a surf club
Wherever you are staying on the Gold Coast, there will be a local surf club right on the beachfront near you. You don’t need to be a member to use the club’s facilities. You just need to show a photo ID such as a driving license or passport at reception.
If you intend to make several visits during your stay, it is well worth joining the club, as a year membership is usually only about $5 and will include discounts on your meals and drinks and weekly specials. Your membership will also give you access to other Gold Coast surf clubs.
What’s great about beach front breakfasts
The day starts really early on the Gold Coast. Even at 5 am you will see many people out taking their morning exercise- walking, jogging, surfing, paddleboarding, bike riding, skating, walking their dogs, doing a session with their personal trainer, or taking part in some of the free or low-cost yoga or Tai chi classes that the local council organize as part of their “Active and Healthy” program.
It’s fascinating for people watching, and it continues all morning. And as a real bonus, in the whale watching season, you might get to see some whales swimming by!
Other beachfront surf clubs open for lunch and dinner
Several beachfront surf clubs on the Gold Coast are not open for breakfast but serve great lunches and dinners.
- Kurrawa SLSC – with its 230-degree Broadbeach views.
- Nobbys Beach SLSC – 180-degree views from Surfers Paradise out to the Pacific Ocean and right down to Coolangatta.
- Palm Beach SLSC- Any closer and you’d be right in the surf. It has a great outdoor deck but unfortunately not open for breakfast.
- Tallebudgera SLSC (Club Talle) – At the northern end of the Palm Beach strip. Breakfast is only offered on Sundays
And further south are Tungan SLSC, Kirra Beach SLSC, and Coolangatta SLSC.
Enjoy your Gold Coast holiday with its sun sand and surf, and don’t forget to stroll into some of these fantastic surf clubs while you’re there to enjoy a tasty breakfast, lunch, or dinner right on the beachfront and served with efficient service spectacular views out over the ocean and the sand and surf almost in your toes!
About the Author: Maureen is a travel writer lucky enough to be living in New Zealand and has a great passion for travel. Since she became “empty nested” in the late 1990s, she has travelled and worked in over 70 countries! Now she writes articles to share her amazing experiences with other travellers in the hope of providing practical information to help them to prepare and plan for their travel trips.