48 hours on the Gold Coast for fun-seekers
Big on surf, sun and sky-high rides, the Gold Coast is certainly no place for wallflowers.
This two-day itinerary is for those who like to live life outside their comfort zone – the people who always say yes to spontaneous escapes, leaps of faith, and second helpings of dessert.
5pm: Start at the top
What better way to start your weekend on the Gold Coast than by getting your bearings? Crane your neck skywards at Surfers Paradise and you won’t miss the Q1 Tower. Your journey begins at Level 77 (yes, begins!).
SkyPoint Climb is the highest external building climb in Australia, taking you to the tippy-top of the Q1 Spire. Suit up and embark on the Twilight Climb to see the city sparkle to life and the sun set over the hinterland.
The extra daring can walk on the edge of the stairs with nothing between them and the ground but 270 metres of air.
8pm–10pm: Dinner and drinks (in that order)
Once you’re back on solid ground, you’ve earned yourself a drink! Oh right… food first.
Finding somewhere to eat in ‘Surfers‘ is never an issue. Discerning diners should try Salt grill by Luke Mangan at the Hilton, or for something a little more low-key, Vapiano is the way to go (plus kids love seeing their pasta cooked right in front of them).
Now back to that drink. Having just scaled serious new heights, you deserve more than a standard spritzer. Head to FIX bar (also at the Hilton) and order yourself an edible cocktail that toes the line between art and science. Deconstructed mojito, anyone?
10am–3pm: Thrills and spills
Gold Coast family holiday? We hear you. It all comes down to those two little words: theme park.
It’s hard to play favourites, but you have to decide which Gold Coast theme park gets your vote, otherwise it might come down to an old-school bout of paper-scissors-rock.
If you’ve got a bit more time up your sleeve or are planning on a return trip within the month, you can always grab a seven-day or 21-day Holiday Pass for the trifecta: Movie World, Sea World and Wet’n’Wild.
*Theme Park Alternative*
Queues, crowds and blood-curdling screams not your scene? Consider taking the TreeTop Challenge at Mount Tamborine in the Gold Coast Hinterland or at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary at the coast’s southern end.
There are hundreds of zip lines, suspension bridges and ropes challenges webbed across acres of beautiful bushland at both locations. It really is an awesome alternative to the frenzy of the theme parks, so go on – let your inner Tarzan swing free!
6pm: Satisfy that burger urge
After a quick disco nap, it’s time for culinary thrill-seekers to get their fix. Make your way to Burleigh Heads at the southern end of the Gold Coast for the burger that will change your life (definitely not overselling it).
Garage-themed Ze Pickle knows its way around a bun. The 3AM comes highly recommended with wagyu beef, maple smoked bacon, fried cheese sticks, guac and oh-so-special sauce.
Only the most serious of stomachs dare try the cronut burger: wagyu patty, cheese, Nutella bacon and maple syrup on a cinnamon-dusted cronut. Then it’s time to roll home.
9am: How Bazaar
A hotel that comes with its own lolly bar! Where have you been all my life? QT Hotel exudes cool, but you don’t have to stay here to experience its best feature: the buffet breakfast at Bazaar.
Forget any preconceptions you might have about buffets; this is an award-winning ‘interactive marketplace’, with everything from glass bottles of strawberry milk to mini bircher pots, cold-cuts and mountains of flaky French pastries. Hello, heaven? Table for two, please.
11am: Step into the splash zone
With full bellies and recharged batteries, it’s time to cool off – Gold Coast style. Dozens of waterways ripple their way in from the ocean, creating a perfect setting to play with expensive water toys.
Jump on a jet ski safari and slither into the mangroves (strictly ‘gator-free territory) or out towards the sandy shores of South Stradbroke Island.
If you’d rather let someone else do the driving, take a leisurely jetboat ride at 80km per hour, with 360-degree spins and some pretty wild wave jumping included free of charge.
If you’ve always wanted to rip it up on a jet ski or take off with a water jet pack, this is your chance!
3pm: Go nuts before you go home
Food trends may come and go, but right now it’s all about the doughnut. Brisbane’s cult-like dessert peddler Doughnut Time has recently deemed the Gold Coast-worthy enough to stock their otherworldly creations.
Make your way to Mermaid Beach and grab a box (go on, you know you want to) packed with Nutella-filled, sour watermelon glazed, pretzel topped, Froot Loop encrusted goodness.
The answer you’re looking for is yes – this is what dreams are made of.
Feeling inspired? See these hot deals and book your next Queensland holiday.