The Top Address in Surfers Paradise

This is The Last Place You'd Expect to Find One of The World's Tallest Buildings

Surfers Paradise
••• Q1 notwithstanding, the entire skyline of Surfers Paradise is pretty surprising. sarahbaker via Flickr (Creative Commons)

When you think of the world's tallest buildings, your mind invariably wanders to Dubai, or Taipei, or Shanghai, for good reason. The last place you'd expect to find such a building is Australia, let alone a surf town along the mostly rural coast of Queensland.

Q1, perched over the shores of Surfers Paradise, is not only one of the tallest residential buildings in the world, but it's actually the second-tallest freestanding structure in the Southern Hemisphere. The tower also happens to be home to one of the highest-profile hotels in Surfers Paradise – pun very much intended.

Q1: Facts and Figures

On the surface, Q1 doesn't seem like it could be one of the world's tallest buildings, in any category. At a height of 322 meters (1,056 feet), it reaches just over half as high into the sky as Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building overall, and is significantly shorter than other huge buildings, such as Taipei 101 and the Shanghai World Financial Center.

Where Q1 stands out, worldwide this is, is not among buildings overall, but among residential buildings. When it opened in 2005, Q1 was actually the world's tallest residential building, a position that has now slipped to somewhere between third and sixth, depending on if you measure to the top of the structure or the top residential floor.

Q1 also stands out among tall buildings in the Southern Hemisphere. In fact, it's the second-tallest residential building south of the equator, beaten only by the Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand, who beats Q1 by just 6 meters, or about 18 feet.

Sky-High Amenities at Q1

Q1's height is what made it famous, but it's certainly not short on amenities either. Whether you own a place at Q1 or you stay in one of its hotels rooms and suites (more on those in a minute!), you can take advantage of a long list of amazing features, from several indoor and outdoor swimming pools, to fitness centers, to day spas that offer massage and aromatherapy treatments.

Not surprisingly, Q1 is also home to a sky bar, where you can not only enjoy 360º views of the Gold Coast and rugged interior Queensland, but a full range of beer, wine, cocktails and a large food menu to go with it. From here, you'll marvel not only at high how you are above the ground but at the wide array of other tall buildings in Surfers Paradise.

How to Stay at Q1

It's stunning to look up at Q1 from street level, but if you really want to get the whole picture – and take some amazing ones as well! – you need to make it your home in Surfers Paradise. The easiest way to do this is by simply booking a stay at Q1 Resort and Spa, the hotel that makes up a good number of the residences in the tower.

Another option for staying at Q1 is to scour Airbnb for rental properties in the tower, which frequently show up amid the hundreds of Surfers Paradise listings on the site. Even if you aren't hung up on its long list of height-related accolades, chances are your stay at the Q1 will measure up to your expectations.