Always Swim Between the Flags!
The flags on the beach have been lined up to highlight the safest parts of the beach and are patrolled by lifesavers. If you do get into trouble or feel yourself being pulled out of your depth by a "rip" (underwater current), don't try to swim against the water you will only wear yourself out. Swim parallel to the beach and raise your hand to attract the attention of a lifesaver. They will come and get you to safety very quickly, so don’t panic. Australians are saddened to see tourists suffer, and sometimes drown, every year simply because they do not follow these simple guidelines. Make sure you don’t become one of these statistics. Surfers please stay outside the flags as these are ‘swimming only’ areas.
Scoolies and Toolies
Be aware that Schoolies lasts from mid November through to the first week of December, when the entire area is invaded by tens of thousands of 17-18 year-olds who have just finished high school and head to the beaches to let off steam and celebrate. It is a huge party, but if drunken teenagers aren't your scene then this is a time to avoid. Indeed it is probably advisable for any males who are not drunken teenagers to avoid the area - you may just find yourself facing allegations of being a "Toolie", or to put a finer point on it, somebody looking to take advantage of the younger, drunken women there.
Violence can erupt late at night and in the early hours of the morning, particularly from Thursday to Saturday. Areas to be careful to avoid include the nightclub precincts of Cavill Ave and Orchid Ave in Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach Mall in Broadbeach and Griffith St in Coolangatta.