48 hours of beachin’ it in Burleigh Heads
Come for the surf. Stay for the one-of-a-kind shopping, top-notch food, trendy markets and Insta-snappin’ natural beauty.
Sitting pretty between Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta, Burleigh Heads is so much more than a hotspot for pumping breaks. It is a holiday destination in itself on the Gold Coast, with chic beach vibes coming in strong every which way you turn; from the window (of the many beachfront dining options) to the wall (of the designer and vintage shops peppered along James Street).
So how do you make the most of a weekend in Burleigh? We’ve got you covered with this 48-hour itinerary!
5pm: Have a sunset picnic
Make like a local and pop into James Street Deli – be snappy, they shut shop at 5:30pm – and pick up some gourmet cheeses, dips and wood-smoked kabana for a picnic at Burleigh Point Lookout (near the northern entrance to Burleigh Head National Park) to watch the sun set behind the Gold Coast coastline.
8pm: Now the weekend REALLY kicks off
Nothing says TGIF like cocktails and pizza, and there’s no better place in Burleigh than Justin Lane Pizzeria and Bar. With the weather starting to warm up – and the food sweats coming in strong from stuffing your faces with pizza – we recommend a round of pineapple and chilli margaritas for a welcome kick of freshness to the palate. Don’t forget to pop upstairs to Burleigh’s first rooftop bar; the skyline views are your just desserts.
9am: Breakfast done right
Duck into the Burleigh Arcade on James Street for breakfast at Social Brew Burleigh. The new cafe on the block is a hidden tropical oasis and has become a local’s favourite with its lively decor, iconic yellow Social Brew coffee cups and yummy food.
You can’t go past one of their fresh cold-pressed juices when ordering from the all-day breakfast menu. But if you need a caffeine hit to jump-start the morning, get their deconstructed iced coffee complete with lab flask and poison bottles filled with sweet syrup and definitely not poison. Obviously.
10am: Shop till you drop
*Warning: Guys, you might want to skip over this part and sneak in a surf check at this point.*
James Street is to Burleigh Heads what Chapel Street is to Melbourne; it’s the go-to shopping spot for a serious retail therapy fix.
While there’s everything from MINKPINK bikinis to Birkenstock leather sandals, if finding a pair of classic Levis or pink Guess overalls is your idea of Christmas coming early, head straight to the vintage heaven that is Miss Brown.
Travelling light? Pick up a quirky little keepsake (like an insanely cute furry fox or bunny) from Monsoon Homewares.
Another spot worth a mention is the small shopping nook inside the Old Burleigh Theatre Arcade on Goodwin Terrace, where you’ll find The Freedom State, LaPearl and Six Things.
Six Things is seriously one of the coolest pop culture shops we’ve ever laid eyes on. (And I may or may not have bought a ‘Kan-Yay’ postcard for $2. Score!) If you do decide to pop in, ask how they came up with the name. Hint: It has something to do with Alice in Wonderland.
1pm: Would you like fries with that?
What do you get when you combine three lads, the hopes and dreams of the perfect burger and a thirst for some quality craft beer? Ze Pickle at Burleigh Heads.
Tucking into their nacho-burger hybrid, the Pablo Escoburger, it becomes deliciously clear why their American-style burgers were voted the best on the Gold Coast for two years in a row.
3pm: Burleigh you beauty
Work off the burger bloat with a walk through Burleigh Head National Park. There’s the ocean-view circuit that takes you around the rocky headlands to Echo Beach, a waveless beach-goers sanctuary, or the rainforest circuit, which is a bit more of a workout (not by much) and has epic views of the south coast down to Coolangatta from Tumgun Lookout.
7pm: Street food binge
Nope, you’re not in the back streets of Barcelona or down a New York alleyway, but in the land Down Under at the hottest night markets on the Gold Coast.
The Miami Marketta has certainly set the bar high with their laneway-dining experience: enter live blues and flamenco music, hanging fairy lights, street foods from around the world, and most importantly, a designated dessert hall. Go hard or go home.
9am: To market to market
If you’re in town on the first or third Sunday of the month, grab brekkie to go at the Village Markets. Located at the backend of Burleigh Heads State School, you’ll find 100+ stalls of the most creative homewares and arts and crafts, plus a glorious selection of vintage clothing and accessories. So grab yourself an acai bowl or breakfast Weiner and get perusin’!
11am: Beach it
It wouldn’t be a trip to Burleigh if you didn’t catch some waves and rays at the main beach! But if sand and saltwater aren’t your thing, why not hire a cruiser and explore the beach(side) on two wheels.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite from paddling and peddling, grab some fish and chips from Fish Mongers, who have been serving Burleigh Heads locals since 1948, and wash it down with a fresh juice from the Burleigh Village Green Grocer next door. (FYI, there’s usually a lengthy lineup, but it’s worth it.)
4pm: Chillout Sunday sesh
Let’s be real here, Sunday afternoons are not something any of us look forward to. By now you’re starting to come down from the weekend high and feeling a little bummed knowing it’s all over… but is it really?
Finders Keepers Bar & Dining Lounge know how to end the weekend right with live acoustic tunes, tasty bar snacks, and cold drinks (hello Pimm’s jug and $5 Coronas) kicking off from 2:30pm. Cheers to the epic weekend that
was still is!