It’s been a while since I’ve done a MUST-do in my home-town of the Gold Coast and since then a lot has been added to the growing tourism industry in my little beach oasis I call home!
Whether it’s your first time or fifteenth time, I’m sure there’s something in here you may not have discovered before
Come see the beauty of my city – The Gold Coast – through a local’s eyes!
My favourite thing to do when I get home after a long trip, is hike the Burleigh Hill walk with my family and catch up, get slightly out of breath and glare at the fittest people sprinting up it LOL – joking! Kind’ve. But most importantly, view the city from the top of the lookout point and breath in the fresh air!
A little locals tip, is if you don’t follow the same path you came up and when going down, veer to your right instead of left, you’ll end up at Tallebudgera Creek Beach, which honestly looks like a slice of untouched paradise, especially if you go early in the morning like this!If you’ve done the Burleigh Hill, I would also try the Burleigh to Miami walk, finishing at the top of the North-Burleigh aka Miami lookout there as well, which is truly stunning at sunset!
2. COOMBABAH LAKELANDS RESERVE
Even some of the newest locals have yet to explore this Kangaroo and Koala abundance of wetland. So many people pay a fortune for Currumbin Zoo, where yes, you can go and feed the Kangaroos by hand and hold the Koalas, but if you want to have a view of them in their natural habitat, or go walking the paths trying to spot Koalas in the Eucalyptus trees, this is the perfect spot!
They won’t let you get too close because they are wild and most the time have their young, but if for some reason they are letting you get close, you probably want to take a few steps back 😛
Of course, the number one thing we have to offer is our beaches. Most tourists head to Surfers Paradise, which I can’t understand why, in my opinion, it’s kind’ve our most un-beautiful if you ask me.
Kirra Beach would have to be one of my fave or Miami Beach as well near the rocks and also just past Main Beach outside the Sheraton Resort is a very nice secluded beach as well.
Usually the ones that aren’t smack bang in the major areas usually have the clearest water and the nicest sand, but generally you can walk from Surfers to Burleigh and find a nice untouched spot in the sand dunes to have some relaxing and secluded Gold Coast beach time!
Pro Tip: If you can make your way over to Wave Break, it’s like paradise on earth – Tipplers Tavern is where the rope swing is, but you need a boat or ski to get there.
Our number one dinner and show in the Gold Coast has to be Draculas! A cabaret show with an optional three-course meal to enjoy while servers dripping in fake blood scream your orders at you and everyone sings and dances the evening away.
Situated right next to the Casino, makes it an easy transition to carry on the energy at The Garden Bar or Nineteen for a bit of a boogie and dranks!
For show bookings visit: www.draculas.com.au
5. MT TAMBORINE/HINTERLAND
One of the most stunning features at our fingertips that even us locals don’t use as much as we should, would have to be Mt Tamborine and the Hinterland.
Mt Tamborine is excellent for wineries and waterfall walks as well as spending a few nights in the mountain on a little staycation. There’s even a peak where you can see both Brisbane and the Gold Coast!
The Hinterland has a range of national parks to explore. One of my favourites would be Springbrook with the Natural Bridge and Purlingbrook waterfalls – there’s so much nature to get lost in, you forget you’re a short drive away from the city!
6. SAILING THE BROADWATER
Obviously you can tell I’m a nature lover and a lot of my suggestions revolve around seeing the natural beauties the Gold Coast has to offer. But say you’re more of an entertainment lover mix.
Sailing in Paradise offers either joining a sunset cruise or hiring out the yacht for a private charter for the day and sailing around the Gold Coast broadwater, stopping at my FAVOURITE – wave break island, a literal island of paradise!
I sometimes need to pinch myself when I realise how lucky I am to call this paradise home! Plus a day out in the sun with you and your friends is ALWAYS a fun time!
For Bookings visit: sailinginparadise.com.au
7. THEME PARKS
Gold Coast is extremely popular for it’s theme parks, having worked as both a lifeguard at Wet’n’Wild and costume performer at Dreamworld in my youth, I can say I have severely tried and tested them all out!
It’s hard for me to pick a favourite, but there’s always deals on passes to hop between them.
Dreamworld probably has more thrilling rides, but, has recently uh dropped in reputation! Movieworld’s new Joker ride is pretty fun and the 3-day park pass is a pretty good deal.
Just don’t go smack in summer, I can’t tell you how many complaints we would get every day because of the long lines and it’s soooo hot and not every ride has shade.
With Pacific Fair Shopping Centre expanding, Gold Coast has become a pretty great shopping destination. There’s lots of cute boho shops around Nobby’s Beach and Burleigh as well if you want something more unique than the normal brands, but otherwise you can get very nicely lost in Pac Fair, finding everything you need.
Another unique spot filled with boutique shopping is Paradise Point, Coolangatta & Kirra and of course if you feel like making the trip down – beautiful Byron Bay!
Gold Coast food is to dieeeee for! My honest-to-G FAVOURITE thing about being home! Food is just so clean, making it so full of flavor and every time I come home, there seems to be a new hotspot opened up, making for constantly exciting venues to try!
I could easily go on for-ever – but instead I’ll just choose my fave three of each course for you to try! Breakfast is really hard, I actually just thought of 10 :/ – maybe a separate blog?
Background – I think it’s called the Avocado, but it has Beetroot cashew cheese spread, I add poached eggs and get it on Paleo bread – it’s sooo good
The Little Mermaid – The LM Croissant and I add smoked salmon! It’s very tasty! This is my local hang-out as well when I come home, it’s just such a beautiful environment to be in!
Alfred’s – The Mexican brekkie burrito here is so good!
Koi Broadbeach – it’s a bit pricey but the Salmon Poke Bowl is so nice for a light lunch
Hero Sushi at Pac Fair for a quick pick up – I love the red rice and their sushi always tastes so fresh
Rick Shores – If you really wanna dine I had one of the best lunches of my life at Rick Shores! The seafood is like no other and their Lobster crunch rolls could be had by the dozens!
Iyara Thai – my favourite food is Thai food and Iyara is very reasonably priced and excellently cooked.
To be honest most Thai restaurants in Gold Coast are great, Chang-Mai being a good chain, but I do find their food a bit too oily sometimes and there are better prices out there.
Etsu – this is my fave place to dine for a bit of upscale-dining! The sashimi is so fresh and the agedashi tofu is my fave! They have to die for fried haloumi as well – drooling!
Social House – the menu here is so detailed and intricate, although on the higher price, the food speaks for itself – the lamb has got to be one of the best slow cooked lamb I’ve ever tried and their appetizers are amazing!
10. DAY TRIPS
The Gold Coast has an excellent location when visiting Australia. Most people have to toss up between a few destinations on their Aussie trip, of course Sydney is always a must and then probably Cairns for the Great Barrier Reef – but opting for the Gold Coast can allow you day trips or overnight stays at many nearby must-visits of Australia, like…
– home to Tangalooma shipwrecks and wild dolphins
There are so many other islands that the Gold Coast offers day trips to as well that make up the southern-end of the whitsundays!
BONUS LOCALS THING TO DO IN GOLD COAST: PIZZEY PARK
I only just ventured here myself as a local and there were practically maybe 10 people I could spot here, who knew this little forest is no more than a 5min drive from my house! Definitely found some magic!
Well, now I’m homesick – congrats! Lol! I’m only teasing, but there is definitely a lot to see as a local would without being sucked into the touristy side of the Gold Coast!
Feel free to ask any questions below if you’re planning a visit and I will do my best to answer in time to give you the best insight into my home city!