While the Gold Coast is well known as a tourist destination for sun-seeking backpackers from Europe and families adorned in souvenir t-shirts bound for the theme parks, it is also a skate tourism hotspot.
The GC may take its chill vibes from the beach but there’s more to skateboarding on the coast than power slides and layback grinds. With a higher concentration of skateparks than any other Australian city—and no skimping on quality or variety—there’s something for every skater on the Gold Coast. In fact, there are so many places to skate in this city that a day is barely enough time to scratch the surface.
Don’t waste time scrolling the dark corners of the internet, we’ve got an itinerary to guide you to some of the best skateparks on the coast and the best places to fuel up along the way (because there’s nothing worse than a last minute dash to the golden arches when the hunger kicks in).
Welcome to the city of endless parks, friendly locals, tasty chow and all round good times.
2389 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
You’ve got a big day ahead of you so start it right! Head down to Alfred’s Diner in Mermaid Beach where the vibes are good, and the menu is even better with nothing over $15. The hole-in-the-wall-kitchen will serve you up a killer breakfast for you to enjoy in the grassy backyard seating area. The Alfred’s breakfast burrito is highly recommended and don’t forget your coffee—these guys serve up one of the most highly rated grinds on the coast.
80 Pacific Ave, Miami
A little further down the road you’ll find Pizzey Park, the biggest skate park on the Gold Coast and home of the world-renowned Death Bowl. Built in the 80’s, its 10ft of lumpy transition is not for the faint-hearted. Although it’s mostly a transition park, with enough bowls and quarters to keep you carving lines all afternoon, its recent makeover has seen the inclusion of more street obstacles including rails, a pole jam, and ledges of all heights. It’s a must-skate while you’re on the Gold Coast! If you can’t get enough of this park, head back when the sun goes down for a fun session with the locals under lights.
Film by Brett Lorenzo
2158 Gold Coast Hwy, Miami
Darkside Skateboards have been the Gold Coast’s go-to skate shop for almost 20 years. They stock the largest range of skate decks in Australia along with a huge range of hardware and clothing. But even if you’re not in the market for a new setup or fresh threads, stop past and check out their skate museum. It’s a cultural experience your parents would almost be proud of. You’ll be feeling nostalgic with original boards from the 60’s and a vintage sticker collection that would be the envy of any skate nerd.
1544 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach
It wouldn’t be an ideal day on the Gold Coast if you didn’t hit the beach. If you don’t feel like battling the waves, Tallebudgeera Creek is the perfect stop to trade sweaty for salty and get refreshed. Head to the North side of the creek for a bit of shade from the midday sun and less of a tourist crowd.
171 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
Get your hit of blues, booze and burgers with a side of rock-n-roll at Eddie’s Grub House. The menu is short and to the point with a well curated selection of American classics. This self-proclaimed “home for renegades and sweet little heart-breakers” is run by skaters and frequented by skaters, so you’ll be in good company.
Betty Diamond Park, Boyd Street, Tugun
Get back on your board and push through that food coma. Next stop is Tugun Skatepark, where you get two parks in one. The old transition park with rough crete is juxtaposed by the smooth new street plaza just meters away. Wait for a plane to fly over, hit the rail and shoot your best holiday snap yet. It’s the ABD photo that never gets old. Be warned, this park is a battlefield on a windy day. If the breeze picks up, try Coolangatta Skatepark instead.
Tugun Skatepark. Photo: Sarah Huston
16 Thrower Drive, Palm Beach
Too much of a good thing isn’t good, so it’s time to leave behind the perfect parks and meet the Gold Coast’s best DIY skatepark at Salk Oval. This old Mexican hat bowl has been around for about 22 years and holds a special place in the hearts of some of the local bowl-riders. Get those raw truck-to-concrete grinds on the noping or step it up a level on the DIY vert wall complete with pool coping. Hot tip: Bring mosquito repellent and a broom!
Shop 10, 31 Currcumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Waters
Just over the bridge and around the corner you’ll find Zipang, a casual Japanese diner run by local skater, Atsu. This place is a simple eatery by day, but when the sun goes down the tables and stools spill out into the car park and locals roll in for some authentic Japanese cuisine. It’s a no-frills epic feed that won’t disappoint. Make sure you book as this place is in high demand!
Pines Lane, Elanora
If all the other parks haven’t already taken it out of you, then this last stop probably will. Elanora Skatepark is home to Australia’s first full pipe and, with new lights recently installed, you can keep skating into the night (or at least till 10pm). In the shallow end it’s a mellow 8ft transition with metal coping but carve through the 25ft full pipe and you’ll find yourself 11ft deep in fun with pool coping that will make your trucks sing.
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