My first experience of the Gold Coast was a little similar to my first visit to Vietnam – we just didn’t gel! It took my third visit this weekend for me to get it though. After some digging around on Instagram and reading some local blogs I discovered the cool, fun and foodie hotspots of the Gold Coast. These are the places that gave me a new perspective on the Goldie.
Going Up – The Skypoint Observation Deck
For those that don’t know the Gold Coast is a coastal city in southeastern Queensland consisting of a collection of seaside resorts, riverside residences and hinterland homes that stretch along 56 kilometres of golden sands (hence the name, my friends!) The best way to get a perspective of the crazy scale and natural (and architectural) beauty of the Gold Coast is from above.
Skypoint Observation Deck is Australia’s highest coastal observation deck, situated 230 metres above Surfers Paradise in the Q1 building. You rise 77 floors in 42.7 seconds before being deposited at the 360 degree observation deck complete with Serenity Cafe. The views are a little like this:
General admission costs $24 per adult.
Eating Out – In Broadbeach and Beyond
This weekend we were based in Broadbeach, an 8 minute tram ride away from Surfers, where the food is ten times better. Top of my eating list was Elk Espresso, a cafe I’d read about in Tourism Queensland’s breakfast guide. The old surf club is now decked out like a ristuc woodland, complete with Elk motif on the wall. The decor is certainly different to most places on the Goldie but it’s the food I really want to shout about. My first brunch experience consisted of the most delicious brioche French toast with poached pears, berries, salted caramel and Chantilly cream – it was so good I insisted we go back the next day. The second dish to wow me was not mine (sadly). Justin won with his order of the grain free granola with passionfruit panna cotta. My eggs, bacon and avo were good but not half as pretty as his.
Elk’s sister property, Sparrow Eating House, at Nobby Beach (real name!) does a just as good weekend brunch. My eggs benedict with bacon and avo really rocked. A little closer to Surfers you’ll find great coffee, cakes and French toast at Bumbles Cafe overlooking the peaceful Budds Beach.
There’s a few good options for dinner back in Broadbeach. On Oracle Boulevard there’s a wealth of modern looking restaurants serving international cuisine. We enjoyed a great Mediterranean meal at Mecca Bah.
Spinning Around – At Movie World
A visit to the Gold Coast is really about embracing your inner child and I recommend you find yours at Movie World. The Warner Brothers theme park on the Gold Coast is a lot smaller than I imagined but this makes it totally manageable. We visited on a weekday so there weren’t many crowds at all and this meant we got to do the best roller coasts a couple of times. The stand out ride has to be the Superman Escape coaster – going from zero to 100km an hour in only two seconds is definitely a thrill. We also enjoyed the Hollywood Stunt Driver Show, complete with burning rubber and pyrotechnics!
Hanging Out – Burleigh Heads
After all that thrill-seeking the perfect place to do some chilling is at scenic Burleigh Heads. Unfortunately the weather was not on our side this weekend so I can’t show just how great the view of the Gold Coast is from here (check out Y Travel Blog’s Instagram account for that). The Burleigh Heads coastal walk is an easy, scenic stroll though and the headland is a perfect place for a picnic (or a wedding, as we witnessed on Sunday!).
The Golden Sands
And finally, the best place to get a great perspective of the Gold Coast is from a horizontal position on the golden sands. You are spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches in this part of Queensland, almost every road we went down ended in a good one. The active locals seem to love strolling the coastline, either from the footpath or down near the water’s edge. I had a great time joining them.
What’s your perspective of the Gold Coast? Does this post paint it differently?