Hugging Queensland’s southeast coast for a whopping 70km, the City of the Gold Coast extends far past the borders of Surfers Paradise, its hedonistic coronary heart. Once famend for its tackiness, the “Goldie” has, forward of the Commonwealth Games, attained a stage of sophistication few anticipated of the town that birthed gold lamé bikini-clad Meter Maids. A raft of swanky new accommodations, together with The Darling, opened final month, the continued refurbishment of Hota, the town’s premier arts hub, and revamped eating and nightlife scenes are among the many highlights of a multibillion-dollar facelift. Despite this flurry of improvement, the vibe stays relaxed. With few must-sees past its dazzling seashores, the Gold Coast is a metropolis finest explored by your style buds – one seaside suburb at a time.
Jellurgal Cultural Centre, Burleigh Heads
Named after the Aboriginal phrase for the headland it sits on (often known as Burleigh Hill), Jellurgal presents the town’s most attention-grabbing – but most likely least-known – cultural expertise. The centre, free to enter, offers an perception into the Gold Coast’s conventional house owners, the Yugambeh individuals, and works by native artists are on the market. It’s effectively price reserving the Walkabout Tour (A$20, round £11), a 90-minute amble across the headland led by a Yugambeh information, who will level out conventional websites and share their tales. The Journey Tour, A$39, features a efficiency by the Yugambeh Aboriginal Dancers, who will likely be carry out in right now’s opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.
• Open Mon-Fri 8am-3pm, 1711 Gold Coast Highway, jellurgal.com.au
Gold Coast Food and wine tour
Photograph: Bevin Rijkaart
Until lately, consuming out on the Gold Coast was removed from a culinary journey. But now there are such a lot of nice locations to eat throughout the town – from high-end Japanese eating places to Cuban meals vehicles – that even locals flip to Karen Inglis-Turner, proprietor of Gold Coast Food & Wine Tours, to assist navigate the quickly evolving scene. Karen runs four-hour strolling excursions that embrace tastings at new and under-the-radar spots in Burleigh Heads (akin to tucked-away cafe Be Somewhere, which you’d be fortunate to search out until you have been in search of it), Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise. They are nice enjoyable, with loads of meals and drinks included. Karen additionally presents a hop-on, hop-off meals tour alongside the G:hyperlink, the town’s new gentle rail community.
• From A$129pp, Fridays and Saturdays, goldcoastfoodandwinetours.com.au
The Gold Coast has 57km of seashores, and this glowing blue creek separating Burleigh Heads from Palm Beach is without doubt one of the metropolis’s most scenic (and guarded) spots for a dip – there’s typically more room on the southern financial institution. Surf seekers could also be happier simply across the headland at Burleigh Beach, standard for its level break, nice views in the direction of the Surfers Paradise skyline, and cafes, bars and eating places simply steps from the sand. These embrace two of the Gold Coast’s 5 Good Food Guide 2018 “hatted” eating places – pan-Asian powerhouse Rick Shores and fantastic seafood restaurant the Fish House. Several surf faculties (together with the Cheyne Horan School of Surf) additionally function right here.
Miami Marketta, Miami
The balmy year-round local weather lends itself to Asian evening market-style eating, which is now embraced right here in lots of kinds. This warehouse conversion off the Gold Coast Highway opened as an arts venue in 2011, and has developed right into a thrice-weekly road meals fiesta, with as much as 30 worldwide meals distributors. Try a Japanese gyoza from Monkey Magic, adopted by a large lamington from Reid Street Kitchen (no relation to the author). There are additionally a number of bars, a handful of design boutiques and nice reside music. Such is the growing demand for efficiency areas on the coast that Marketta’s house owners are redeveloping the neighbouring property right into a soundproof venue with capability of 1,300.
• Wed 5-9pm, Sat 5-11pm, Sun Four-1pm, 23 Hillcrest Parade, miamimarketta.com
The Paddock Bakery, Miami
No longer merely a spot to choose up a meat pie and a loaf, the common-or-garden Australian bakery has gone haute lately. Few on the Gold Coast have nailed the pattern fairly just like the Paddock Bakery, and whereas there are newer gamers on the town now (together with sister venue Bam Bam Bakehouse in Mermaid Beach), this bakery-cafe in a superbly restored home stays a neighborhood favorite. Those in a rush order a flat white and one among its well-known croissants (which take three days to make) to go, however Paddock’s sit-down brunch menu and shady outside tables are very tempting.
• Daily 6.30am-3pm, 20 Hibiscus Haven, Miami, paddockbakery.com
Springbrook nationwide park
Twin Falls in Springbrook nationwide park. Photograph: Peter Unger/Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images
At weekends, many locals escape the town for the rainforests, waterfalls, wineries and lookout factors of the hinterland. Part of the Unesco-listed Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, Springbrook nationwide park is arguably its most lovely nook. The Twin Falls Circuit (4km, enable two hours) is standard, or the after-dark Natural Bridge Circuit (1km, one hour) takes guests to marvel at glowworms in a cave behind a shocking waterfall. The entrance to the park is about an hour’s drive south-west of Broadbeach.
• Free, entry at the moment by way of Pine Creek Road solely, npsr.qld.gov.au
Balter Brewing Company, Currumbin
It’s co-owned by three-time world champion surfer (and Gold Coast native) Mick Fanning, however this two-year-old craft brewery has earned its personal celeb standing. It debuted with a deliciously tropical XPA in 2016, and gained awards together with 10 prizes on the 2017 Australian International Beer Awards. Balter beers at the moment are on faucet everywhere in the nation, however there’s nothing like sampling a schooner (three-quarters of a pint, round A$7) on the supply. Balter’s large, exposed-brick HQ doubles as a brew bar at weekends, with reside music, meals vehicles and an informal, family-friendly vibe compensating for its location a five-minute drive inland.
• Brew bar Fri Three-9pm, Sat-Sun 1-8pm, 14 Traders Lane, balter.com.au
Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads
Blink and also you’ll miss this lane off the Gold Coast Highway which shares its identify with the dingy arcade-turned-hip-dining-complex that marks its entrance. With a pizzeria, pasta joint and rooftop bar, the Justin Lane Establishment is a vacation spot in itself (there’s additionally a barber, a hair salon and a surf store inside), however enterprise additional down the alley and also you’ll uncover three bars: Iku, a trendy yakatori and whisky bar; Lockwood, a suave speakeasy; and grungy pocket bar Nightjar. On the primary highway, easier-to-find Jimmy Wah’s (named after the watering gap in Good Morning, Vietnam) appears flash, however its splendidly gentle trendy Vietnamese small plates are very well-priced. Make one among them the A$9 tempura delicate shell crab banh mi (baguette).
La Costa Motel, Bilinga
Big accommodations are inclined to dominate the Gold Coast’s lodging scene, however an exception is that this small, attractively renovated 1950s motel on the southern tip of the town close to the New South Wales border. One block again from the sand and a five-minute drive from Cooloongatta’s well-known Kirra Beach (you’ll want to e-book a meal at sensible Kirra Point restaurant Baskk), La Costa is very handy for guests flying in or out of Gold Coast airport, which is simply throughout the freeway. Free airport transfers, breakfast and bike rental make it a very enticing possibility.
• Doubles from A$126 B&B, 127 Golden Four Drive, lacostamotel.com.au
The Island Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise
Proving that even Surfers Paradise – maybe best-known for booze-soaked college leaver events – is able to reinventing itself, the coral pink price range resort previously often called The Islander reopened final yr to appreciable fanfare following an in depth renovation. The Island’s 98 visitor rooms fuse relaxed coastal dwelling with a playful nod to the town’s 1960s heyday (custom-made retro-style furnishings, candy-striped pool umbrellas). Beyond its engaging pool, the Island has an awesome rooftop bar, a good Italian bistro, and the G:hyperlink stops proper out entrance.
• Doubles from A$179 B&B, 3128 Surfers Paradise Bvld, theislandgoldcoast.com.au
Etihad flies from Heathrow to Brisbane by way of Abu Dhabi from £720 (23 hours). From Brisbane, it’s about an hour by practice or shuttle bus to Surfers Paradise. The Gold Coast additionally has a world airport at Coolangatta.