The golden beaches, beautiful people and plush resorts at the Goldie are famous worldwide. Try catching some sun on the warm sand, sipping your favourite Chai blend with friends, having a luxe facial, or just dawdling along the water’s edge. Or for something a bit more adventurous, try learning to surf, scuba dive, or Jet Ski! To get you started, you can download our Insider's Guide to the Gold Coast (links below), or just read on for tips for vacationistas after the newest, hottest and most fun on the Gold Coast…
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1. Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast - great beach, good cafes nearby. North Burleigh Surf Lifesaving Club is exceptional for food, drink and great views of the beach. Need a map?
2. Greenmount & Kirra, Gold Coast - these beaches are also just great for diving and not crowded like the northern ones. Need a map for Greenmount or Kirra Beach?
3. Head to Hellenika, one of the newest hotspots on the Gold Coast that everyone is raving about. This trendy Greek restaurant is filling out on the weekends and the signature lamb shoulder dish is to-die-for.
1. Try Black Coffee Lyrics in Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast for good coffee, great pizza and great café-style food at a reasonable price.
2. The real hidden gem is Pancho's Mexican at Mudgeeraba, Gold Coast, Only locals know about this place as it's isolated. They accept cash only, but they’ve got seriously good Mexican food!
3. At Byron Bay, the 'Most Amazing Breakfast' award goes to Byron Beach Cafe on Lawson Street, right on Clarkes Beach - try the warm rice porridge with rhubarb and caramelised walnuts. Insanely good.
1. 20th Century Antiques and Collectibles, Gold Coast - has all sorts of hip & groovy things, plus there are 2 vintage clothing stores next door. Need a map?
2. Hang out at The Village Markets , open every first and third Sunday of the month, from 8am to 1pm for hip local designer wear, vintage clothing, hand-crafted jewellery and unique homewares.
3. Park yourself at the recently revamped mammoth Robina Town Centre , which boasts David Jones, Myer, Big W, Target, K Mart, Coles, 2 Woolworth’s Supermarkets, more than 300 specialty stores, a cinema, a 900-seat Food Atrium and a picturesque lake.
1. Try whale watching during migration season (May to November) – watch from anywhere along the beach or the Surf Lifesaving Clubs, or go out in a boat with one of the many whale watching operators.
2. Go snorkeling with Snorkel Safari Gold Coast at Cook Island to see green turtles all year round. In summer you’ll see leopard sharks, in winter grey nurse sharks, and all manner of amazing sea life…sometimes dolphins and when in season, whales.
3. Learn to surf at Gold Coast’s famous Surfers Paradise beach. Take lessons from former world champions.
4. Catch the sunrise on a hot air ballooning experience and soar over the majestic Gold Coast hinterland. Top your morning off with a glass of crisp, cold sparkling bubbles and a delicious hot breakfast.
1. Enjoy a cocktail by renowned mixologist Grant Collins at FIX lounge bar, located in the stunning new Hilton Surfers Paradise. Then head next door to Luke Mangan’s Salt grill restaurant for the taste of this celebrity chef’s delightful creations. Be spoiled too by Australia’s first beach concierge!
2. Sea Temple Surfers Paradise is luxury on the Gold Coast. This amazingly appointed 77 level tower is made up of elegant 2 and 3 bedroom apartments, with every apartment boasting spectacular uninterrupted ocean views. The much talked-about Seaduction Restaurant and Bar brings you even closer to the ocean with its magnificent ocean views from every table.
3. Boogie the night away at QT Gold Coast’s Stingray bar. Pop art meets industrial chic in one of the most popular bars on the Gold Coast. Sip on one of the 50 in-house tequilas or an exotic cocktail as you admire beautiful views of the ocean.
4. Sign up for a 4WD rainforest safari and head to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat in the Gold Coast hinterland for a huge dollop of outdoor adventure. Indulge in all manner of nature activities, from tree top canopy walks, getting up close with wildlife to night glow worm tours and flying foxing through the rainforest.
5. Go quaint at Mount Tamborine’s Gallery Walk with its charming shops and cafes. Drop by Polish Place (http://www.polishplace.com.au/), a lovely timber cottage perched on a cliff with an amazing view of the Great Dividing Range and serves authentic Polish fare and beer.