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Gold Coast Australia So Much More Than Surfers Paradise
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Labrador Gold Coast

Ian Dipple Lagoon at Labrador near The Grand Hotel and Charis Seafoods
Ian Dipple Lagoon near The Grand Hotel and Charis Seafoods

Labrador is just north of Southport before you get to Runaway Bay.

The interesting part for visitors runs along the Broadwater foreshore and includes places to eat, places to stay and some natural attractions!

Marine Parade is one of the places on the Gold Coast that made me want to live here!

I love this area of the Gold Coast for ........

  • Fish and chips on the beach
  • Walking along the foreshore in the morning
  • Kids swimming in the lagoon
  • Pelicans on the lamposts & lunchtime pelican feeding frenzy
  • Casual dining in the restaurants and cafés

The Broadwater is good for young families with its little beaches, swimming enclosures, lagoon and calm water without the ocean surf.

Many broadwater activities can be accessed from Labrador boat ramp or jetties along Marine Parade.

A sealed pathway runs right along the foreshore from Biggera Waters all the way through to Main Beach, Surfers Paradise and beyond... all the way down to Coolangatta if you really want to go that far! You will find lots of locals enjoying this area for early morning walks, runs and bicycle rides.

There are some interesting eating options in the area:

  • Prime Australian beef at Cavs Steakhouse
  • Freshly cooked fish and chips on the beach at Charis Seafood Kiosk
  • Charlie's Pizzeria - thin crust pizzas YUM!
  • The Grand Restaurants - 360, Riviera, Kokonut Willys
  • The Aqua Building has a selection of restaurants and casual cafés
Panorama from Marine Parade Labrador
Panorama from Marine Parade Labrador with Aqua on the right

Local Labrador Information
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Attractions

Labrador is a great place to stay on the Gold Coast as it is quite central to many things.  No ocean beach, but there is the calm Broadwater.

If you stay on or near Marine Parade you can most likely walk to some of the great local restaurants. It's a very relaxed lifestyle for couples and families. Here are some of my personal favourites, but I have to say there are many here!

Pelicans at Labrador are fed every day at 1.30pm near Charis Seafood Market
Watch out for the pelicans
at Labrador!
They love to sit up high,
waiting for their fishy treats
from Charis Seafood Market
  • Aqua on Marine Parade – under the Aqua building you will find a variety of cafés, restaurants, Baskin Robbins 31 Flavours Ice Cream parlour as well as a real estate office, convenience store and beauty salon.
  • Cavs Steakhouse Restaurant - Open 7 days for lunch 12 noon to 2.30pm and dinner 6.00pm to 9.30pm.  Whether you stay in Labrador or not - Cav's is definitely worth a visit if you like your steak!
  • Cavs Butchery – fresh meat and selected deli items to stock your self-contained apartment! Open Monday to Saturday 9am to 6pm, Sundays and Public Holidays 9am to 3pm.  If you want to save a bit of money but savour the great Cav's food - drop into the butcher and pick up a steak or even their BBQ spare ribs.....  Even I can't ruin this great food.  Also have a selection of salads - so virtually a ready made meal.  Tuesdays and Fridays they make their amazing Steak Pies. Their rump sausages are a family favourite too!

As you can tell I love Cavs, I even wrote about it as a family friendly restaurant!

Getting around the Gold Coast when staying here is defitely easier if you hire a car and most apartments do have some off street parking, but check when booking.

If you prefer not to drive yourself, there are some public buses that go along Frank Street (one street inland from Marine Parade). You can select more direct transport options to the main Gold Coast attractions and theme parks, which you will probably find faster, easier and less frustrating ;-).

There have been quite a few roadworks in the area as they upgrade Brisbane Road, but they are hopefully coming towards their completion!

Here are a selection of attractions within the areas

  • The Grand Hotel & Restaurants - hotel (as in pub, public house or bar), holiday apartments and restaurants across the road from the beach and boat ramp. Very busy and popular at night, on the weekends and during the holidays.
  • Charis Seafood Market & Kiosk – open 7.30am Tuesday to Sunday, closed Mondays. Buy fresh seafood and prawns to cook yourself or get your selection of fish and chips cooked for you. Very popular on weekends and during the holidays.
  • Fishing Jetty - bring your rod or net and have a go! Becareful what you catch, some of the fish are spiny or poisonous! Better to take one of the fishing charters that also leave from this area.
  • Boat Ramp – meeting point for fishing charters (BKS Fishing), boat trips and jet-ski tours. 
  • Children’s playgrounds along the coastal strip some are covered and there is a large fenced and shaded one next to Charis and a flying fox further on...
  • Harley Park and Ian Dipple Swimming Lagoon – protected swimming lagoon. You won't find a lifeguard here or flags to swim in, but a popular spot for families.
  • Daily Pelican Feeding at 1.30pm – Harley Park next to Charis Seafoods. Check out my page of photos and a run down of what happens at feeding time!
  • Walking and Cycling Track along the foreshore
Restaurants at the Grand Hotel Labrador including 360, Riviera and Kokunut Willys
Restaurants under The Grand Hotel include 360, Riviera and Kokunut Willys

Labrador Information
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Accommodation

Labrador Accommodation Quick Links

Southport - Broadwater Accom

4½ Stars
The Grand Hotel
1 & 2 bedroom apartments

4 Stars
Sandcastles
Crystal Bay
1, 2 & 3 bedroom apartments
Blue Waters
2 & 3 bedroom apartments

3½ Stars
Champelli Palms
1 & 2 bedroom apartments
Pelican Cove
2 & 3 bedroom apartments
Broadwater Keys
Studio,1 & 2 bed apts
Limassol Motel
Motel style accomodation

Tourist Park
Southport
cabins

There are are range of accommodation options in Labrador, mostly apartment style with the higher rated and nicer ones (in my opinion) located along Marine Parade and some budget motels along Frank Street.

I am not including all accommodation in this area, just a selection which will give you a good range for this location.

Apartments

Blue Waters Apartments

Blue Waters Luxury Holiday Apartments are 4 star accommodation offering 2 and 3 bedroom apartments with air-conditioning.  Located on a very quiet part of Marine Parade at Labrador.  Approximately a 5 to 10 minute walk to Aqua Building Restaurants and lagoon.

Well positioned, low rise complex.  Not a bad spot to base yourself for a family holiday, if you prefer to be away from the hustle and bustle of the more touristy areas.


Sandcastles on the Broadwater

Sandcastles on the Broadwater is  4 star accommodation offering 1, 2 & 3 bedroom apartments with air-conditioning.

Located on the Gold Coast highway it has a has good facilities and located across the road from the Labrador lagoon and Harley Park, The Grand Hotel and easy walking distance to Aqua.

Sandcastles is a low rise or three storey walk up apartment set up, set around gardens and the pool. Apart from the resort pool which is heated in winter there is a spa, gym, games room and BBQs as well as an outdoor entertaining area.

Apartments are well appointed with some having their own private spa on the large balconies.

Click here for more information about Sandcastles on the Broadwater including more information, photos, rates, reviews and availability.


The Grand Hotel and Apartments at Labrador on the Gold Coast
The Grand Hotel and Apartments at Labrador
opposite the Ian Dipple Lagoon. Across road
from Charis Seafood Market and Kiosk and
short stroll to Aqua's dining choices.  
A great spot for a family vacation and
central to many attractions.

The Grand Hotel and Apartments

The Grand Hotel & Apartments in Labrador are 4½ star rated, 1 and 2 bedroom apartments. Great position, lagoon right out the front and restaurants, cafe and bar right underneath.  This a prime spot on Marine Parade at Labrador.

Apartments have balconies with shutters so can make almost another room! Facilities include heated pool and spa, BBQ, sauna, steam room, gym and games room. 

This is a personal favourite spot!

Click here for more information about The Grand Apartments including rates and availability.


Champelli Palms

Champelli Palms is rated 3½ star accommodation comprising of 1 and 2 bedroom apartments. It is located on the corner of Whiting Street and Frank Street (which is the main through road of the coastal part of Labrador), making it convenient for public transport. It is a short walk to the restaurants at Aqua, the broadwater, Harley's Park and Lagoon, Charis and The Grand Hotel.

Facilities include a pool and heated spa, BBQ and tropical style gardens and an onsite manager.


Crystal Bay Resort

Crystal Bay Resort are rated 4 star offering 1, 2 & 3 bedroom apartments with air-conditioning. Located on the quiet end of Marine Parade in Labrador.

We certainly enjoyed Crystal Bay when we stayed there several years ago. My only bad comment would be that the 3 bedroom apartment (and I think the 2 bedroom ones too) only have shutters that separate the small bedroom from the living space.

This can cause problems with kids sleeping! But hey, you are on holiday, so shouldn't be so much of a problem... Apart from that an excellent spot and the apartments were well appointed when we stayed there.

Facilities include temperature controlled pool, spa, suana, steam room, bbq and games room.


Broadwater Keys

Broadwater Keys Holiday Apartments are 3½ star accommodation with studio, 1 and 2 bedroom apartments. This is definitely a cheap and cheerful option. Located on Frank Street, it has a pool. Some rooms have airconditioning, some don't and some have kitchen facilities and laundry facilities, others don't but there is a communal Laundry in the complex.

Motels in Labrador

Limassol Motel

Limassol Motel in Labrador is a 3½ star rated motel. It is the nicest of the motels along Frank Street in my opinion. It is a great place to base yourself, there is a small pool, but not alot of outdoor area to spread out and enjoy. It is good location for getting around using public transport and walking to the local attractions in Labrador.

Tourist Parks - Cabins, Caravan and Camping Sites

Southport Tourist Park

Southport Tourist Park is located to the south end of Labardor on Frank Street. It does not have waterfront, however has a selection of cabins and basic resort facilities.

Local Information
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Golf Information

No Golf Courses in Labrador itself however, there are plenty of other Golf Courses within a 20 to 25 minutes drive including:

Name Suburb Travel time Extra Info
Luxury Golf Courses
Lakelands Golf Course Merrimac 25 mins Usually available for bookings at selected times Monday to Friday only.
Palm Meadows Golf Course Carrara 15 mins At Raddisson Resort
Royal Pines Resort Carrara 15 mins At Crowne Plaza Royal Pines Resort
The Colonial Robina 30 mins  
The Villa Nerang 20 mins Only takes groups - minimum 12 maximum 32.  Can play at night under lights.
Hope Island Resort Golf Course Hope Island 20 mins At Hope Island Resort - the only links course in the Gold Coast.
The Grand Golf Club Gilston 35 mins Very Exclusive - you'll have to know someone to get in here!
Sanctuary Cove Golf Resort Sanctuary Cove 25 mins Two courses - The Palms and The Pines
General Golf Courses
Arundel Hills Country Club Arundel 10 mins Members and Guests only.
Parkwood International Golf Club Parkwood 10 mins   
Emerald Lakes Golf Club Carrara 15 mins 9 holes under lights to 9.30pm each night.
Gold Coast Country Club Helensvale 15 mins  
Helensvale Golf Club Helensvale 15 mins  
Southport Golf Club Bundall 20 mins   
Gold Coast Burleigh Golf Club Miami 30 mins   
Robina Woods Golf Course Robina 30 mins   
Surfers Paradise Golf Club Clear Island Waters 30 mins   
The Glades Robina 30 mins Greg Norman designed course
9 Hole Courses
Lakeside Country Club Coombabah 15 mins  
Merrimac Golf Course Merrimac 25 mins This isn't a very exciting course - but is very affordable!

Labrador Information
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Beach Information

Labrador lagoon is a family friendly beach on the Gold Coast
Family friendly beach at Labrador.  

Labrador has beach frontage along Marine Parade.  The Ian Dipple Lagoon opposite The Grand Hotel offers safe enclosed swimming in the lagoon.  The beach here is great for the kids and parents with some shade and pretty good public toilets and shower. 

Other facilities near the lagoon include several covered playgrounds, lots of shade, free electric BBQ's, picnic tables, Charis Seafood Kiosk (so you can get your fish and chips and eat them on the beach), The Grand Hotel (where you can grab a cold drink or have a meal) and a short stroll to Aqua for Baskin & Robbins Ice-cream, more restaurants and cafes!

This is a popular beach where boaties and jet skiers will come and anchor. If you fancy getting on the water here, you can also sign up for a kayak and snorkelling tour that goes from the boat ramp and will take you out to WaveBreak Island and South Stradbroke Island to check out the marine life such as turtles, dolphins, stingrays and tropical fish.

You will need to book this tour ahead of time, as there are limited numbers. I have seen it go out quite frequently and it looks like fun and suitable for most ages and abilities, but check the details to work out if it is good for you.

The closest ocean surf beach is Main Beach about 10 minutes by car.

Local Information
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Travel Times

Approximate travel times by motor vehicle - please note travel times can be affected by many factors including traffic hazards and roadworks. These are just an indication.

5 minutes
Harbour Town – shopping, cinemas and cafes

10 minutes
Sea World – water and theme park 
Surfers Paradise – beaches, attractions, restaurants and entertainment
Main Beach – Tedder Avenue cafes and restaurants, Southport SLSC, Southport Yacht Club and ocean beach

20 minutes
Dreamworld & WhiteWater World – water and theme park
Movie World – theme park
Wet ‘n’ Wild – water theme park
Australian Outback Spectacular – entertainment
Broadbeach – beaches, restaurants and entertainment
Jupiters Casino – Entertainment and restaurants
Pacific Fair – shopping, cinemas, entertainment and cafes


25 minutes
Burleigh Heads – Surfing and beaches

40 minutes
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Gold Coast Airport at Bilinga
Coolangatta


1 hour 15 minutes
Brisbane Airport
Tropical Fruit World – Duranbah

2 hours 20 minutes
Australia Zoo – Beerwah, Sunshine Coast

Local Information
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Directions for Car Travel

For directions and other information I recommend you use Google Maps Australia. This will open in a new window, select the Get directions tab. Type in your starting point and where you want to go.  I find the format the easiest to use and follow.

Labrador Not Quite What You Are Looking For Your Gold Coast Holiday?

Labrador is a good suburb to base yourself if you prefer to be away from the hassle of Surfers Paradise. If you cannot find exactly what your are looking for but like the idea of being away from the main centres, then other Broadwater suburbs to consider include Runaway Bay and Southport.

If you prefer luxury hotels and larger resort style apartment complexes then try Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach or Main Beach.

For golfing holidays research Sanctuary Cove, Hope Island, Carrara or Robina.

When is the best time to visit?
That depends upon what you want to do, when you can come, your budget and what kind of weather you'd prefer! Check out my guide to the best time to visit the Gold Coast.




 

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