Inside: Tick off those bucket list items ❯❯ p4
Swell Sculpture Festival ❯❯ p15
The Gold Coast romance edition The green behind the gold ❯❯ p6 In the lap of luxury ❯❯ p8
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2 I Travel Gold Coast romance edition
Insider's Guide to romance on the Gold Coast Day tripping, shopping, wining & dining â€Ś the choice is yours
ENDLESS NATURAL WONDERS: Currumbin Rock Pools are popular with locals and tourists â€Ś and free to visit. Take a picnic to enjoy on the grass after visiting the cascades and the large pool area. If you fancy stretching your legs, make your way along the
paved Ocean Walkway between Point Danger and Kirra Point. From Point Danger, you will often see dolphins out to sea and whales from May to October. On a fine day the views stretch from Surfers Paradise to Byron Bay. Kirra Point also has an observation point for whale watching.
Gold Coast Airport
Straight off the plane, straight on the beach
Travel Gold Coast romance edition I 3
Burleigh Heads National Park in the heart of the Gold Coast offers beach and rainforest walks and the chance to see whales in spring. The locals call South Stradbroke Island “South Straddie” and the sandy island is a great day trip destination for anyone who enjoys surfing, swimming or bushwalking. RICH TAPESTRY OF CAFES: Visitors love to find out the inside running on the best baristas. Here are a few local haunts from the Gold Coast’s main geographical areas. SURFERS PARADISE: Bumbles Café www.bumblescafe.com BROADBEACH: Elk Espresso www.foodgoldcoast.com.au/elk Vintage Espresso, Mermaid Beach www.foodgoldcoast.com.au/ vintage-espresso CURRUMBIN: The Beach Shack www.the-beachshack.com.au BURLEIGH HEADS: Canteen www.canteencoffee.com.au
SHOP ’TIL YOU DROP: Having the leisure time to shop on holiday often means you spot a bargain buy or that piece of clothing you’ve been searching for. The Gold Coast has some well-known shopping locations (Pacific Fair, Robina Town Centre and Harbourtown) but less well known is the diversity of shops and shopping experiences available. The Village Markets (www. thevillagemarketsgc.com.au) at Burleigh is the place to head for emerging designer and vintage fashion, homewares, art stalls, live music and gourmet food. For a relaxed shopping style and great cafes, include a visit to James Street Burleigh Heads. Marina Village Sanctuary Cove (www.sanctuarycove.com) and Marina Mirage (www. marinamirage.com.au) are perfect for upmarket shopping and dining, or if you want night-time market fare with a beach backdrop, try the Surfers Paradise Beach Front Markets (www.surfersparadise.com/ beachfront-markets). For more information about
arts & crafts coast markets, have a look at www.artandcraft.com.au VENUES AFTER DARK: You’ll enjoy the variety of places to eat and drink on the Gold Coast. Too many to choose from? Then try these: Described as a “foodie’s must”, Black Coffee Lyrics is at Surfers Paradise.www. blackcoffeelyrics.com For simple, authentic homestyle food head to Hellenika at Nobby Beach. www.hellenika.com.au. Chill Dining & Wine Bar on Tedder www.chillontedder. com.au is on Tedder St Precinct where you’ll thrive on the vibe during lunch and at night when groups of people arrive to dine out in style. For a romantic environment try the sophisticated atmosphere at the Sofitel’s Room 81 www.room81.com.au. Or pop in for a pizza at Justin Lane in Burleigh Heads www. justinlane.com.au. Want to mix with the best? Then take a cocktail mixing class at the Hilton’s Fix Bar.
4 I Travel Gold Coast romance edition
Hot Air Ballooning Gold Coast
Tick off those bucket list items
Sea World Whale Watching
The Gold Coast, home to more attractions than any other destination in the Southern Hemisphere Ticking off bucket list items doesn’t mean spending all your savings to travel to every far flung corner of the globe in the style of Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman in that so-funny movie The Bucket List. You can save time and money by doing it all at the Gold Coast, home to more attractions than any other destination in the Southern Hemisphere. Those events and experiences on your personal wish list can be ticked off closer to home than you imagine… May is the month for opera fans who will love every minute of the one of the world’s favourite operas, Mozart’s The Magic Flute
during Opera on the Beach, part of the Bleach Festival www.bleachfestival.com.au. If your list includes close encounters with whales, dolphins or sharks, again the Gold Coast can accommodate those wishes. Get up close and personal with a whale www.seaworldwhalewatch.com.au www.goldcoastadventures.com.au www.whalesinparadise.com.au. Say hello and interact with a dolphin or swim with sharks at Sea World. www.seaworld.com.au. If that’s still not enough excitement, more animal world encounters are waiting at
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary www.cws.org.au where you can feed a crocodile or hold a koala. Or head to Dreamworld to stroll with a tiger www.dreamworld. com.au. Leaving the animals behind, adrenalin surges will come easily driving a racing car www.v8superschool.com.au. But perhaps it’s then time to get closer to nature with the more romantic option of taking to skies in a hot air balloon ride www.hotairballooninggoldcoast. com.au or learning how to surf the waves www. gorideawave.com.au or www. bradholmessurfcoaching.com.
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6 I Travel Gold Coast romance edition
Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk
The green behind the gold Paul Davies heads inland from the Gold Coast for a change of pace
If the big buildings, busy beaches and endless sun of the Gold Coast are somehow taking their toll, then head for the hills – literally. Just 40 minutes from the beautiful bodies of Surfers you’ll find cultured, carefree Tamborine Mountain. Nestled amongst the cooler climes of native rainforest,
the “green behind the gold” is a trio of villages on a 28 square kilometre plateau 500 metres above sea level. Europeans, lured to this land by suave Aussies, adopted this table top mountain as their home away from home, resulting in fascinating spots to wine, dine and stay,
Travel Gold Coast romance edition I 7
Witches Fall Cottages
ranging from Polish restaurants to Swiss style cottages. Once you leave the burbs, farmland turns to rainforest for the path to the top where accommodation ranges from exclusive six-star luxury lodges to more affordable options. Songbirds Rainforest Retreat provides luxury accommodation with an award-winning restaurant where new head chef Steven Hibbard brings Japanese experience back to his home town to create a sophisticated JapaneseAustralian fusion. A vege patch and greenhouse out the back provide herbs and produce for his innovative dishes. My accommodation is in one of the Witches Fall Cottages, including spas and a massage service. The waterfall was named by the early settlers’ children, who believed witches lived near their eerie cascade. Part of
Tamborine Mountain National Park, the Witches Fall Circuit winds across the side of the mountain to a lookout. Running the three kilometre track is a great way to start the morning. Breakfast is delivered in a picnic basket – cold meats, cheeses, freshly baked bread, coffee, juice, yoghurt and fresh fruit – perfect for a relaxed morning meal in the private courtyards. Next is a stroll along Tamborine Mountain’s Gallery Walk, a street of art galleries, cafes and souvenir shops. From here I head south to Mount Tamborine village for a lesson at the Tamborine Cooking School. In the large kitchen of a stately old manor, former professional chef Terri Taylor teaches enthusiasts how to master a few French classics. Terri cooks seasonally, using her own and local produce in her recipes. Once
the course is over everyone sits at a large table with a captivating view to sample the creations and get to know their fellow budding chefs. Prawn and leek tartlets, mushroom pate and salade nicoise are served with wine from Witches Fall Winery, just across the road from my accommodation. Eating food you've just prepared from local produce and local wine from around corner – it doesn't get much more local than Mount Tamborine.
Origins Tamborine Mountain is in the Gold Coast Hinterland. The name has an Aboriginal origin and has nothing to do with the musical instrument. More information: www.tamborinemtncc.org.au
8 I Travel Gold Coast romance edition
In the lap of luxury Eat, stay and love everything about the Gold Coast and The Hinterland We all love to be pampered from time to time and when it comes to luxury, the Gold Coast is rich in options and diversity. As the property is located directly on the beach you may even want to consider taking the 50m stroll from the pool to the beach for a dip in the ocean. Stay by the beach: When you think of the Gold Coast, that beautiful 42km stretch of sandy beach immediately comes to mind. It makes sense that some of the best places to stay are close to the water. • Hilton Surfers Paradise is the epitome of modern styling and all of Surfer’s Paradise’s attractions are on your doorstep. www.hiltonsurfersparadise. com.au
• Peppers Broadbeach is rated the number one hotel in Australia on Trip Advisor. It soars high above its city skyline, with views to the Pacific Ocean and Gold Coast hinterland. www.peppers.com.au/ broadbeach • Palazzo Versace’s décor is decked out accordingly in Versace fabrics and linens, cutlery and crockery. The buzz is that U2, the Rolling Stones and Paris Hilton have all stayed here – just not all at the same time! www.palazzoversace.com.au • The views are exceptional and uninterrupted from the upper floors of the 77-level Soul Surfers Paradise, billed as an “icon of contemporary style”. www.peppers.com.au/soulsurfers-paradise
• Sheraton Mirage Resort & Spa Gold Coast boasts 3.4 hectares including pools, restaurants, bars, day spa and tennis courts. You may even want to consider leaving the grounds for a swim in the sea! www.sheratonmiragegoldcoast. com Stay in the Hinterland: The Hinterland offers a change of pace from the Gold Coast, but that certainly doesn’t mean scrimping on luxury. • The views from the balconies of the Binna Burra Sky Lodges are unrivalled, looking over Coomera and Numinbah Valleys. www.binnaburralodge.com.au • Soothe your soul and embrace healthy living at the
Travel Gold Coast romance edition I 9
Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat
Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, a luxury eco-tourism certified health retreat co-owned by movie star Hugh Jackman. www.gwinganna.com • Unwind, relax and enjoy quality time at Peppers Ruffles Lodge & Spa Gold Coast Hinterland where the ridgeline setting provides magnificent views. www.peppers.com.au/ruffleslodge • Embrace nature in this rainforest setting, relax with a spa bath on the balcony at O’Reilly’s Mountain Villas and enjoy the tree top walk. You’ll be charmed. www.oreillys.com.au Wining & dining: As the beaches of the Gold Coast and the rainforest of the Hinterland soothe the soul, delicious meals will nurture the body. Here are some great places to dine. • Dining or high tea in the opulent surroundings at Le Jardin restaurant Palazzo Versace www.palazzoversace.com.au • Little Truffle Dining Room and Bar offers three different styles
Oskars on Burleigh
of dining rooms … modern, classical or private. Ohh la la, the choice is yours. www.littletruffle.com.au • Oskars on Burleigh offers innovative, award-winning cuisine in a relaxed setting. www.oskars.com.au • With aromas that whet the appetite, presentation that captivates and flavours that delight, you’ll be singing the praises of The Hinterland’s award-winning Songbirds at
Mount Tamborine. www.songbirds.com.au • Moo Moo The Wine Bar + Grill is a steak house with a modern twist. Think modern décor and subtle lighting. Oh, and the steaks are pretty damn good, too! www.moomoorestaurant.com • Drink in the amazing views, an perhaps a cocktail or two at Seaduction Restaurant + Bar at Soul Surfers Paradise. www.seaduction.com.au
10 I Travel Gold Coast romance edition
The cuisine coast Paul Davies provides four culinary highlights of The Gold Coast Whether your taste buds are hankering for tempura king prawns at Tweed Heads or a Cuban beef sandwich in cosmopolitan Broadbeach, the Gold Coast has a wide selection of international cuisines on offer with many of its restaurants gaining deserved widespread attention. Decors have developed and menus matured to provide a much more lively experience than the old surf and turf with a schooner of yesteryear.
bellakai: 82 Marine Parade, Coolangatta
Next to the beach in Coolangatta, Bellakai is a charming spot to sit with a cold drink as you watch the illuminated highrises sparkle in the distance. The Seafood Tasting Plate is the restaurantâ€™s signature dish and, being this close to the ocean, you simply can't go wrong with kaimoana â€“ the tempura king prawns are seriously good. That said, Bellakai does serve a good steak and you can even choose between Aussie beef and kangaroo.
Travel Gold Coast romance edition I 11 the cuban: www.thecuban.com.au Broadbeach
SeaductiOn: www.seaduction.com.au 8 Esplanade, Surfers Paradise
vapianO: www.vapiano.com.au 8 Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise
With flavours inspired by Latin America, Spain and the Caribbean, The Cuban is a slice of Havana in Broadbeach. You’ll find it on the ground floor of the Oracle building, and it's the place to go for paellas and real Cuban coffee. I had a Cuban beef sandwich, naturally, but the stuffed red bell pepper, or Fidel's Missile, looks dangerous. If you were ever in need of a midafternoon mojito, this is where you would find it. Great staff, great atmosphere.
Run by British-born executive chef Steve Szabo, Seaduction hovers just above the Esplanade. This restaurant boasts numerous awards and an incredible menu. The clams are the most popular entree dish and the wagyu beef is succulent and stylishly presented, served with three mustards and a red wine jus. Dessert is as opulent as the hotel lobby, so don't skip it. The service is exceptional and the knowledgeable staff are adept at matching wine to your food.
A German-owned restaurant offering “subway style” Italian food in Australia. It's a little strange at first, but once you're familiar with it you realise why it's so popular. Personal chefs cook your pasta or pizza directly in front of you to your specifications. There's an impressive array of pasta types available, fresh herbs and a bit of showmanship to top it all off. My chicken fettuccine had just the right amount of chilli and went down well with a Stone and Wood pale ale, native to Byron Bay.
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12 I Travel Gold Coast romance edition
Take to the water A cruise will show you that the Gold Coast has lots to offer not only on land, but also at sea
Nothing beats the romance of being on the water with that special someone, especially when you have a beautiful backdrop like the Gold Coast. This romantic destination offers a great choice of on-the-water experiences from captaining your own vessel through to chartering a luxury yacht. Hire a boat from Duffy Down Under for a romantic evening cruising the Gold Coast waterways. You can watch the
twinkling lights of the high-rise buildings, from the water. And the boats are electric so thereâ€™s no noisy engine to distract you as you glide across the water. www.duffydownunder.com.au Perhaps a cruise is more to your liking. You can enjoy the high life cruising the Gold Coast waterways past impressive waterfront homes before stopping off at Marine Village Sanctuary Cove for a spot of retail therapy, wining and
Travel Gold Coast romance edition I 13
dining www.seaworldcruises. com.au/high-life-day-cruise. php. Or sample some island life by taking a cruise to Couran Cove on South Stradbroke Island www.seaworldcruises. com.au/nature-day-cruise.php or to McLarens Landing also on South Stradbroke Island, where you can enjoy the facilities and feed a wallaby. www. goldcoastadventures.com.au/ island-adventures Feeling decadent and wanting to splash out and indulge yourselves for some special memories of your trip together? Then think about chartering a luxury yacht or launch and live life like an A-lister. Gold Coast Luxury Cruises allow you to rent its 800 LE Mustang Sports
Cruiser by the hour, half day or book for a sunset or evening cruise www.goldcoastluxurycruises. com.au. The staff reckon that the waterways are possibly the Gold’s Coast’s finest attractions and promise to take you only to places where the water is flat and calm. Another option for living a lifestyle fit for a king is with Safari Yacht Charters and the classic 100 foot yacht Eagle One which has luxury cabins, an onboard Jacuzzi and barbecue. Trips include offshore cruising to see the coastline from a different perspective and calm water cruising. www.safaricharters.com.au Paddle boarding is another way to enjoy the stunning scenery while getting a bit
of exercise at the same time. It’s so peaceful gliding across the water, feeling at one with nature. You might even spot a dolphin or sea turtle! JM Stand Up Paddle promises “pure stoke in every stroke!” and offers lessons ranging from beginners to advanced, as well as fitness lessons and board hire on the clear waters of Currumbin or Tallebudgeera Creeks. www.jmsup.com Feeling more adventurous? Try a Jet Ski Safari with a choice of three speeds, fast, medium or slower, as you journey through narrow tidal passages, mangrove everglades and out on the ocean alongside the beaches. www.jetskisafaris.com.au
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Travel Gold Coast romance edition I 15
Swell Sculpture Festival
Celebrate good times With a little forward planning, you can tie in your visit with one of the Gold Coast’s popular festivals Time your stay on the Gold Coast to enjoy one of the many popular events and make your visit even more special. And the great thing is these events are free. Blues On Broadbeach: www.bluesonbroadbeach.com May 22 to 25 Blues On Broadbeach is the place to see some of the world’s best performers including New Zealand’s own Trinity Roots. It’s one of Australia’s iconic blues festivals and this year it runs from May 22 to 25 on outdoor stages, parks and other venues throughout the area, feeding on Broadbeach’s village-like atmosphere and relaxed ambience.
bleach: www.bleachfestival.com.au March 2015 Bleach is the premier arts festival on the Gold Coast, running over three weekends and drawing its inspiration from coastal culture. Offerings include live music, pop up art installations and exhibitions, outdoor film programmes, street parties and theatre. Cooly Rocks On: www.coolyrockson.com May 30 to June 9 Feeling nostalgic? Head to Cooly Rocks On, a 50s and 60s based nostalgia festival with more than 50 artists, 120 retro market stalls and 1000-plus hot rods, classic and custom vehicles.
Broadbeach Jazz Festival: www.broadbeachgc.com August 15 to 17 Relax and enjoy the vibe at the Broadbeach Jazz Festival which presents local and Australian jazz greats on a number of outdoor stages and venues. Swell Sculpture Festival: www.swellsculpture.com.au September 12 to 21 Swell Sculpture Festival has more than 50 artworks built by local, national and international artists along the coast at Currumbin Beach. Over 10 days, visitors can view the sculptures, enjoy twilight walks and artist talks, or take part in artist master classes.
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Published on May 5, 2014