North of Surfers Paradise, the apartment towers are slightly less lofty and the pace eases up. Main Beach makes for a serene base if you’re here for views, beach time and generally taking it easy. Tedder Ave may no longer possess place-to-be cache, but it still has a pleasantly village-like atmosphere, with enjoyable eating options alongside its chichi shops.
Further north the Spit separates the Southport Broadwater from the Pacific Ocean, stretching 5km to almost meet South Stradbroke Island. Its southern end is home to Marina Mirage, another upmarket shopping and eating zone, along with Mariner's Cove, a base for aquatic activities.
The beach up here, backed as it is with dunes and native parkland, has a startling sublimity. It also has some very uncrowded surf breaks that deliver when nothing else does.