The Gold Coast is deservedly renowned for its 57 kilometres of unique and beautiful beaches and bright open foreshores, stretching from the southern end of Rainbow Bay to Couran Cove in the north. The Gold Coast’s sun-drenched beaches are a playground where you can swim, snorkel, surf, splash around or sunbake. Just like any community or neighbourhood, each enjoys its own style and personality while offering up barrels of revitalising fun.
There’s no shortage of fine, sandy gold beaches, nor a lack of ways to enjoy it. The Gold Coast’s central beaches are all about action, in the lively quarters of Surfers Paradise, Main Beach, Broadbeach, and Burleigh locals and visitors are attracted by the popular ‘see and be seen’ beaches. The further south you go on the Gold Coast, the more space you find. Southern precincts such as Currumbin, Kirra, and Coolangatta are idyllic coastal communities defined by their own individual stretches of sub-tropical coastline. From one of the most popular beachfronts to some of the laziest secluded coves, nowhere is the variety of Australia’s iconic beach culture celebrated like it is on the Gold Coast.
For surfers, the now-legendary ‘Superbank’ offers 2km of flawless surfing waves beginning at Snapper Rocks, the Gold Coast’s most famous point break and home to the first round of the ASP World Surfing Tour – the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro. As Australia’s most famous right hand barrel machine, Snapper and the ‘Superbank’ is where you’ll also catch a glimpse of some of the world’s best surfers, including Gold Coast locals and Surfing World Champions Stephanie Gilmore, Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson.
When you’ve caught your last wave of the day, head to one of the local Surf Life Saving Clubs (SLSC) located in prime position on most Gold Coast beaches. Visitors are very welcome to enjoy the superb view alongside delicious food, drink and entertainment.
The Gold Coast’s spectacular coastline and heritage–listed rainforests have always captured the playful imagination of holiday makers. These naturally diverse landscapes have been providing the perfect backdrop to encourage and motivate creative pursuits for decades. From infamous Pyjama Parties at the Beachcomber Motel, legendary rock gigs at the Tallebudgera Playroom and gold-bikini clad Meter Maids, the Gold Coast has always blossomed with an unashamed mix of glamour and beach-going fun. Sun, surf and sand helped foster the grand dame of fashion, Paula Stafford, who made Australian beach-goers say ‘ooh la la’ when she introduced them to the cheeky bikini in the 1950s. Meanwhile, hundreds flocked to ‘do the hokey pokey’ at Doug Roughton’s humble Greenmount kiosk where his souvenir song ‘It’s Hot in Brisbane but it’s Cool-angatta’ became the Southern Gold Coast’s first theme song.
While preserving the Gold Coast’s playful past, the City continues to evolve culturally in tune with exciting infrastructure developments. Niche creative hubs offer up unique platforms for established and grassroots local artists across music, film, dance, theatre, fashion, art and more. Places like 19 Karen at Mermaid Beach have made waves through exhibiting, nurturing and unearthing artists while Crown Studios at Burleigh caters for contemporary music, design and video art. The eye-catching Rabbit and Cocoon precinct behind Miami Beach is carving out its own vibrant culture sector for locals and visitors with 40 resident artists, its own radio station and monthly pocket-sized festivals.
Regular cultural and arts events take place at venues across the city. Choose from food and wine, music, literature, film festivals of nostalgic celebrations of the 1950s and ‘60s – the Gold Coast has an eclectic mix to suit all tastes. Try popular beach culture festival, Bleach, for a feast of contemporary live music and pop up art installations or for a healthy dose of nostalgia, Cooly Rocks On promises Rock ‘n’ roll, Rockabilly, Swing and over 1,000 hot rods. The annual Blues on Broadbeach festival promises smooth blues while Swell Sculpture brings the shores of Currumbin alive with colour and creativity with over 50 sculptures built by local, national and international artists.
There’s just something about the Gold Coast’s energising atmosphere that makes you want to get amongst it and have a great time. With unlimited things to see and do in the ultimate beach paradise, you’re in for some serious fun.
The warm climate and outdoor lifestyle are perfect for a 24/7 vibrant social scene with stylish lounge bars, surf clubs, pubs, coffee bars and alfresco restaurants. Experience happy days simply chilling out and listening to great live music or push your limits at the ultimate dance club.
Visit the casino or take in a show from an international extravaganza through to intimate local theatre production. And who could forget the shopping from premier waterfront shopping precincts to colourful arts and crafts markets.
As the saying goes, there’s never a dull moment on the Gold Coast. No matter your taste or budget, the City provides a one-of-a-kind day and night entertainment epicentre.
Food & Dining
The multicultural nature of the Gold Coast has brought about a deliciously successful food and wine industry, cultivating everything from soft-shell crabs and goat cheese to locally bred Wagyu beef and award-winning boutique wines.
Prominent chefs, restaurateurs and producers from the southern capitals and around the world have ensured locations such as Main Beach, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Coolangatta and the Hinterland remain highly regarded for their delectable choice of dining options. Similarly, relaxed beachside cafes, funky hole-in-the-wall bars and budget priced eateries are in abundance to ensure a taste to suit every style.
The Gold Coast’s geographic position, with pristine ocean to the east and fertile farm country to the west, means locals have particularly strong opinions on where the best seafood or steak can be found – all different, all great, and all dependent on whether they call the north of south part of their coastline home.
A trip to any one of the Gold Coast’s markets can mean a shopping bag full of local cheeses, pickles, jams, olives, smoked paté, fresh pineapples, home-made chocolate and fudge, organic vegetables, salad greens and much more. This continued availability of the freshest and tastiest local produce has seen Gold Coast restaurateurs become the biggest supporters of the markets, advocating the use of locally grown or sourced goods as a staple to the many gastronomic propositions available across tempting menus.
The popularity of the Gold Coast’s farmers markets, novelty food stalls and unique, niche production outlets are the perfect advertisement to represent the overriding quality of the City’s fresh food and produce. So too does the contrast of a metropolitan city, grounded by the simplicity of hinterland living make for an exciting excursion that tempts and satisfies the most discerning palette.
Hinterland & Nature
Escape to the natural wonders of the Gold Coast Hinterland and experience a sojourn to energise the body, mind and soul. Feel the revitalising freshness of cool mountain breezes while meandering along quiet country roads on the way to more than 100,000 hectares of National Parks and reserves. Ignite your inner adventurer’s spirit with miles of enchanting bushwalks through the rainforest, visiting waterfalls, canyons and valleys along the way. And activate your senses with nature-based adventures including hiking, horse riding, 4WD tours, hang gliding and abseiling, set in a place of natural beauty.
Just 30 minutes from the coast, the Hinterland is your invitation to relax in the great outdoors, wine, dine, and enjoy an adventure. Be taken in by the charm of boutique wineries and quaint villages with unique shops offering an abundance of locally produced food, arts and crafts. Gallery Walk at Tamborine Mountain is a must-do on any Hinterland visit. It’s a hub of activity packed with galleries and craft shops selling everything from fine art through to exotic lotions and potions, all with charming cafes, restaurants and coffee stops.
From the seclusion of mountain villas, guesthouses and rainforest retreats to back-to-nature simplicity of camping grounds, you’ll discover an escape to forget your cares and reconnect with yourself and nature. Experience the natural exhilaration of tree top walks to observe life in the rainforest canopy at close range. And for those seeking rejuvenation, relaxation and balance, the Gold Coast Hinterland is home to some of Australia’s leading luxury day spas and health retreats. The Gold Coast Hinterland truly has something for everyone – equally perfect for a romantic escape or a nature-based adventure for family and friends.
Shopping on the Gold Coast reflects it’s this easy, breezy, resort aesthetic. Markets, outlet malls, boutiques and high end designers all cater to the local love of colour. The two major shopping malls are at Broadbeach and Robina as well as smaller but equally dazzling retail precincts across the Gold Coast in areas including Main Beach, Surfers Paradise, Burleigh, Coolangatta, Labrador, and Sanctuary Cove.
This grand assortment of Gold Coast retail experiences will surely satisfy every taste in fashion. Surfers Paradise is one of Australia’s leading retail precincts with shopping until 9pm every night and hundreds of boutique, department or domestic stores to choose from. Tree-lined boulevards shade international names like Cartier, Prada, Gucci, Louis Vitton, Fendi, Bally Hermes, Paris and Salvatore Ferragamo. The awnings along the avenues are interspersed with fabulous local fashion and jewellery stores.
Robina Town Centre is fun for the whole family with a diverse range of shopping, entertainment and dining experiences to choose from. Having recently undergone a $300 million overhaul – making it the largest shopping centre in Queensland – Robina Town Centre is home to Myers and the Gold Coast’s only David Jones department store as more than 300 specialty stores.
Main Beach has long been a distinguished favourite for locals and visitors to the Gold Coast. Tedder Avenue is famous for its one-off, ultra trendy local boutiques and classy restaurants. Also in the Main Beach neighbourhood is the stylish Marina Mirage which features international and top Australian designer label clothing, complemented by a string of award-winning restaurants all overlooking the beautiful Broadwater.
For more thrills, spills and family fun visit one of the Gold Coast’s theme parks. Visitors of all ages and inclinations will encounter an array of exhilarating worlds brought together in Australia’s theme park capital.
Scream and splash your way into Dreamworld, home to the Big 8 Thrill rides. Take adrenalin to the limits with the Tower of Terror 2 – one of the world’s tallest and fastest thrill rides, the Giant Drop with a free fall from 28 storeys or The Claw where you’ll propelled 9 storeys high, swing up to 64km/h, all while spinning 360 degrees. Head next door for some water-powered WOW at WhiteWater World. Master The Wedgie power slide, hurtle down the B.R.O or simply lounge around in the Cave of Waves. Too much to conquer in just one day, Dreamworld and WhiteWater World are home to more than 40 rides and attractions.
Become lost in a world of fantasy and fun at Warner Bros. Movie World. Meet your favourite stars and super-heroes and experience the exhilaration of world-class adventure rides and movie attractions. Take in the live action stunt show, travel from 0 to 100km/h in two seconds on the Superman Escape or mix with the likes of Bugs Bunny, Batman and Wonder Woman.
For splashtacular fun you can’t go past Wet ‘n’ Wild Water World, an aquatic playground for the young and young-at-heart. Slip down slides and splash through gigantic pools. Get a thrill out of the Extreme H20 Zone with Kamikaze and the Tornado, or blast down rides like the Aqua Loop and Surf Rider. For an up-close encounter with aquatic creatures great and small visit Sea World and discover a world filled with marine life wonders like polar bears, sharks and dolphins.
It’s you’re ultimate playground for unlimited fun in one great location giving you the freedom to explore your playful side and let loose. Whether you want to laze in a wave pool, check out a stunt show or ride on giant rollercoaster, the Gold Coast’s range of theme parks ensures fun for the whole family.
View other features from this week’s issue of the newsletter here: