Staycation Guide for the Perfect Gold Coast Weekend
Summer’s in full swing, and the Gold Coast is at its finest. This beachfront hotspot is known for many things, but being boring definitely isn’t one. It’s a favourite locale for weekend getaways, and planning a staycation in a fancy hotel is a must for those who live in the area. We’ve teamed up with Expedia Australia to find the perfect places for your holiday itinerary, from the craftiest cocktails to the best markets. Read on.
BSKT Café: What started as a healthy restaurant on Mermaid Beach has evolved into a global health food brand with its own onsite yoga studio. After your morning yoga class, refuel with a Navajo Native Breakfast, then grab some Veganola on your way out—this tasty snack will keep you going throughout the day.
Hellenika: Nobby Beach boasts some of the best cuisine on the Gold Coast, and Hellenika’s upscale spin on Greek fare is a must-try. The space is elegant yet understated, the menu is filled withdelectable options like vegetarian moussaka, spanakopita, and Athenian pasta, and the wine list provides the perfect afternoon treat.
The Fish House: Situated right on the coast of iconic Burleigh Heads Beach, this spot has become a world-class destination for unparalleled seafood entrees and exceptional service. The whole baby snapper is divine—pair it with a crisp white wine and you’ll be talking about your meal for months (maybe years) to come.
The Cambus Wallace: An indulgent seaside staycation calls for a fancy cocktail or three in just the right setting, and that setting is a dimly lit, dark wood galley that’s oozing with warm, sultry, rum-soaked vibes. Be sure to order the Maiden Voyage—it’ll transport you right into that ideal holiday mindset.
What is summer in the Gold Coast if not relishing miles of picturesque coastline? Grab your boardies or bikini and head to Burleigh Beach if you’re eager to catch some waves with the locals, or book surf lessons in Currumbin Beach. If you’re looking to get wet without the wild part, head to Tallebudgera Creek for stand-up paddle-boarding, kayaking, or swimming in the crisp, gentle waters of the estuary.
There’s heaps to see along the Gold Coast, so take it all in from high up above. You’ll find unmatched views atop the towering Sky Point Observation Deck or you can indulge in high tea—literally—at the Four Winds Revolving Restaurant.You’ll nibble on sweets while gazing down upon glittering beaches or city lights, depending on the time of day.
James Street in Burleigh Heads offers a laid-back coastal shopping experience that’s straight out of a seaside movie, with a quaint jumble of boutiques, eateries, bookstores, and more. The Pacific Fair Shopping Centre is one of the largest shopping centres in the area, offering more than 300 specialty stores, as well as a David Jonesand even a cinema.
If you’re looking for a discount shopper’s paradise, check out Carrara Markets, which comprise everything from kitschy homewares and crafts to fresh fruit and veggies. This appealing bazaar is the biggest permanent marketplace in Australia, so allow plenty of time to browse more than 400 stalls spanning 10 acres.
There’s no shortage of pampering and posh quarters in Gold Coast. Check out QT Gold Coast in Surfers Paradise—you’ll enjoy a rejuvenating full-service spa, two on-site restaurants, a poolside bar, and 24-hour room service.
For something special off the beaten path, head up to The Castle on Tamborine. This adults-only guest house is a respite in the heart of wine country, offering free breakfast and a full-service spa onsite, as well as private quarters—each room has its own plunge pool and fireplace, making it ideal for a romantic rendezvous.
We could all use a break from the madness of traffic and car hires, and Moreton Island delivers—this sand island has no roads. Unplug and soak in the champagne pools, then camp on the beach or spend the night at Tangalooma Island Resort.
Make time for a day trip to the Gold Coast Hinterland, where you can take walk along the rim of an ancient volcano, soaking up the beauty of waterfalls and natural swimming holes.