Magical Mermaid Beach is a beautiful near empty two-kilometre stretch of sand, bounded by Miami and Nobby's Beach to the south and busy Broadbeach to the north, which offers three pristine swimming areas patrolled by Mermaid Beach Life Saving Club (circa 1945).
Named for explorer John Oxley’s HMS Mermaid, the atmosphere and locals here are cruisy and laid-back, giving Mermaid Beach a seaside village vibe. Mermaid Beach is the place to go to enjoy a swim or surf without the crowds.
Lifeguard Towers 24 (at Seashell Avenue) and 25 (at Hilda Street) are patrolled from 8am to 5pm from November to April, while Tower 26 in front of the Surf Club is patrolled 8am to 5pm year round.
While the southern breaks of the World Surfing Reserve offer better waves, keen surfers cruise down to Heron Avenue’s uncrowded break (just south of Tower 24) where conditions are enhanced with a moderate swell and offshore winds. Beach fishing is also a very popular pastime along Mermaid Beach, especially favourable when there are rips across the inner bar.
Across the road from the Mermaid Beach Life Saving Club in Ken Mansbridge Park, you’ll find a delightful statue of a little mermaid basking in the sun with her arms outstretched. The park is named after a legendary lifesaver and offers a range of facilities for beach-goers, including outdoor showers, exercise equipment, beach volleyball courts and nets, barbeques and shaded picnic tables, public and disabled toilets, plus beach access points and platforms for wheelchairs, accessible beach matting and two Sandcruiser beach wheelchairs (adult and child size).
Tower 24 marks the beginning of grassy Mermaid Esplanade, where Nobby’s Albatross Avenue becomes Mermaid’s north-running Hedges Avenue, or 'millionaires row', famous for its sought-after beachfront real estate.
Mermaid does however offer a range of accommodation and an eclectic mix of dining options to suit most budgets. Mermaid Surf Life Saving Club is often heralded by locals as one of the Gold Coast’s best clubs, popular for its vast menu and extensive balcony overlooking Hedges Avenue and the Pacific Ocean.
Tucked away beneath the Mermaid Beach Surf Club, you’ll find another exquisite hole-in-the-wall refuelling stop called Rafiki By The Sea - Mermaid Beach’s newest smoothie bar, offering fantastic coffee and a must-try Pina Colada bowl. A five-minute walk down Ventura Road from the Surf Club will take you to the Bam Bam Bakehouse - an iconic Gold Coast destination, with a leafy café and bakery creating the perfect croissant, fresh pastries, epic meals and specialty coffee. In the area around Bam Bam, you can explore an eclectic array of dining options, from Asian cuisine to modern Australian.
By Michaela Lyons