In the land where the sun always shines and the water is just right, resides a collective of tattoo artists creating stunning works of art daily. This is the Gold Coast. From land to canal, and down the coastal shorelines are parlours for the aspiring tatt fiend and newbie alike.
Some studios are filled with a generational history. Others are taking their own spin on “tradition”. One thing’s for certain though, there are a lot of tattoo studios on the Gold Coast. It was quite a challenge narrowing down our favourites among a sea of very seasoned professionals. We found 9 spots across the area that will inspire you to get back into the chair once more. Keep scrolling to see our favourites (in no particular order).
1. Black Market Tattoo
Black Market Tattoo is an all-around premium studio. A collection of more than tattoo artists, Black Market’s two storeys also show a crew of experienced barbers and a streetwear store. A one-stop shop of creators who take their individual passions quite seriously.
Out of the 9 tattooists, each is trained in a very specific form. They are extremely accommodating first-timers, and have depth in their lineup to accommodate more specific requests. At the end of the day, their only focus is quality. For this reason, they prefer appointments over walk-ins so they can spend the right amount of time on your piece. That being said, walk-ins will definitely not be turned away.
Open late most days of the week.
2. Borderline Tattoos
Out in Burleigh Heads resides the professionals at Borderline Tattoos. Led by Tom Daysh and Jessicat, the duo provides warming hospitality and a medical-grade level of cleanliness within their studio. Before going independent, Tom apprenticed with the Gold Coast legendary Braniff Family. He then took over ownership of Borderline Tattoos after Paul Braniff’s unfortunate passing. Since then, he’s been carrying the Braniff tradition on through his own unique style.
Jessicat became an apprentice at Borderline, not long after her very first tattoo; at Borderline some 10 years ago! She is the studio’s official vegan tattoo artist, etching all her pieces in cruelty-free inks. She’s also well-versed in hand poke techniques.
Open every day of the week, Borderline welcomes all. If you want assurance that your tattoo is cruelty-free, make sure you book Jessicat.
3. Gold Coast Tattoos
This is where all legends begin. Gold Coast Tattoo, founded by the local legend Paul Braniff over 30 years ago, has grown to a collection of tattoo/piercing parlours across the Gold Coast. A tradition goes, the legend passed his skills on to his children, and the family business now operates under the Crossfire, SkinFX, and Gold Coast monikers.
Many local artists get their start in the game by training with members of the Braniff family. Artists working the family-owned studios go through a rigorous apprenticeship. As a result, Gold Coast Tattoo artists can work in a wider range of styles. And work them well at that.
They are the originals. They are the masters of the craft. Check the site for specific information on each location.
4. Phresh Ink
Founded by Josh Kuhne, Phresh Ink is a studio hosting 14 well-trained artists across over a dozen styles. Josh grew to season a professional over the last decade through extensive international experience; travelling the world and apprenticing along the way. He now has a team of some of the most technically-skilled artists on the Gold Coast.
Free consultations are done in the morning, and directly with the artist (not the receptionist). For custom designs, you will get paired with the best artist for the job. Open daily.
5. Good Vibrationz Tatatau
The name speaks for itself. Good Vibrationz Tatatau is all about the ambience. Family-owned and the first Polynesian tattoo parlour on the Gold Coast. This studio is home to masters in Polynesian, Tamoko, Realism, and Geometric styles.
Although this studio is more boutique than others on this list, the team outperforms when it comes to custom designs. The artists here have a true skill honed through years upon years of experience. Visit their socials to see what artist vibes with you. DM the artist or call the studio and the family would be more than happy to set up a free 30-minute consultation.
6. Alfred Street Tattoo
In the heart of Mermaid Beach is a studio that never sleeps. Alfred Street Tattoo is a 7-day establishment boasting a diverse lineup of 7 tattoo artists. Headed by the talented Melbourne-trained Edward Brockfield, this studio welcomes all types of tattoo enthusiasts of any style.
Although Alfred Street has a deep lineup of professionals, Melissa is the in-house cosmetic expert. Known nationally and internationally for her cosmetic brow skills, she frequently books out quickly and often!
Consultations are always available any day of the week. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are often the best route to go.
7. Serpents Ink
Serpents Ink is a Gold Coast staple. Family-owned, and open to people of all walks of life, Tej and Ali have created a welcoming tattoo experience.
The crew here specialise in blackwork, watercolour, fine line, and anime. And they will definitely entertain a custom piece outside of this realm; always up for something new!
Each month is a theme at Serpents Ink. Designs and promo pieces are created for the theme and offered to the public at a discounted price. Give them a follow to see what’s in store for the upcoming month. You might get the perfect piece without shelling out too much cash!
8. Hailey Blossom
Who knew something so painful, could be so delicate? Hailey Blossom walks the fine line between beauty and pain with their soft and trendy tattoo styles. Specialising in fine line and dot work, this female-owned studio is your go-to for minimalistic tattoos. The team here has the skill to capture all the little details; manipulating your skin into a canvas filled with creativity.
Fine line designs require the steadiest of hands, so this is what you’re after we suggest going to the experts at Hailey Blossom. Check the site to book. Closed Mondays.
9. Loco Tattoo
The top-rated Loco Tattoo rounds out our list of Gold Coast greats. This award-winning studio has a stable of artists that can accommodate any style you’re interested in. They also have a cosmetic tattoo technician on-site for any brow or lip work.
This friendly team is a casual crew, which means you are more than welcome to contact artists via DM or Email before going into the studio. A great studio for custom work, or anything your heart desires.
Over the years, the Gold Coast has transformed into a mini-mecca of tattoo culture. Young artists follow in the footsteps of local heroes, while simultaneously pushing the envelope with their own unique ideas. If you're looking for a new piece or new experience, any of the studios above will treat you well.For more artists and tattoo parlours in Queensland, check out our Brisbane list!