Break a sweat on the Gold Coast with this fit traveller’s guide
Step aside, gymnasiums. Mother Nature’s calling.
A fit travel oasis lies 78km from Brisbane, with plenty of natural assets that encourage heart-pumping, sweat-dripping antics and will leave you throwing active anecdotes around like glitter. Welcome to the jungle… gym: The Gold Coast.
This city in transformation is set for the biggest sporting event this decade, the 2018 Commonwealth Games. And whether you’re pounding the pavement by the beach, strolling the rainforest or immersed in the big blue, we’re here to shred shed the 101 on a fit traveller’s dream Gold Coast escape.
WHERE TO GET YOUR AVO-CARDIO ON:
Wherever you wake, there’s a beach nearby, so get to it – there’s 57km of well-trod coastline to break a sweat on.
Whether running’s your rhythm of choice or you prefer a leisurely bike ride or morning stroll to the nearest coffee shop, you won’t be alone. Early-rising locals will be sharing those gratitude #feels as you marvel at the endless horizon of the ocean.
It’s a given those blue hues will lure you in, so hop on a stand-up paddleboard and drift along Tallebudgera Creek, a sheltered inlet nestled between Burleigh Heads and Palm Beach. Psst: Check out this epic walking trail while you’re there.
For those more ‘extreme’ than ‘stream’, catch a wave at Burleigh Point or Rainbow Bay, while beginners can learn to surf and hone new moves at smaller breaks like Currumbin Alley.
Step back from the shimmer of the foreshore and the Gold Coast shines just as elegantly. In the Hinterland, you’ll find lush foliage, graded hiking trails and an abundance of waterfalls to chase.
Traverse 54km (or part of) the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk that weaves through World Heritage-listed beauty of the Springbrook and Lamington National Parks, or explore lesser-known plateaus like the Purlingbrook or Killen Falls trails.
For spin class on a whole new level, grab your MTB and head for Mount Tamborine or the Nerang National Park and State Forest where the pros will hurtle through in the GC2018 Commonwealth Games Mountain Bike Cross Country events.
When the sunshine’s too fierce, head indoors to train in a world-class sporting venue like the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, with six pools and a new 50-metre, 10-lane competition pool, diving facilities and a fitness centre – home to the swimming and diving events at the GC2018 Commonwealth Games.
WHERE TO FEED YOUR APPLE-TITE:
Any reputable health professional blog will tell you that a nutritious diet is key to looking and feeling fit. With health and wellbeing instilled in the locals’ way of life, the Gold Coast isn’t short of dining options that call out to any fit traveller.
Say good morning to Mr Bengel in Palm Beach – their all-day menu has guilt-free delights like buckwheat banana pancakes with coconut yoghurt and berry compote, and a green bowl packed with kale, sautéed broccoli, quinoa, zucchini, avocado to make you stronger than Popeye.
Step into vegetarian heaven at Nude Sisters Whole Food Kitchen in Mermaid Beach where you can have your cake and eat it too – refined-sugar, gluten and dairy-free. Tuck into their all-day brekkie menu or a hearty lunch, with vegan nachos and the crowd-favourite veggie burger with a smokey quinoa black-bean patty.
Similarly, OG ‘soul food’ café Blendlove in Southport has been whipping up raw treats and wholesome smoothies for a few years now, including brekkie and lunch menus that cater to all food intolerances.
Long-time faves like Cardamom Pod in Broadbeach (and also Southport), Mandala Organic Arts and BSKT in Mermaid Beach still remain as delicious and nourishing as ever, while Greenhouse Canteen and Bar, now in Miami and Coolangatta, are serving up cruelty-free dishes on the daily. Read more about them over here.
WHERE TO RELIEVE YOUR ANXIE-TEA:
Ommmmm. Time to take mind over matter and start the day with a little bend and stretch. If you’re chasing a kick-ass barre pilates class, Essence of Living in Mermaid Beach is your go-to. Take a slower pace at Ritual Yoga and Pilates in Palm Beach or make like Margot Robbie and try a reformer class at The Pilates Pad in Nobby Beach.
Take that vinyasa and flow your way to the nearest day spa *cue relaxation music and herbal tea*. The Bath House by Greenhouse in Burleigh Heads, may not have the structure of a Roman Bath, but its homely vibe and Scandi-coastal décor will send you to a state of comfort faster than you can say “pampered”.
Opt for a 90-minute soak session where you can dip into a magnesium plunge pool, detoxify in a red cedar sauna room or their custom-built wet steam room, lay back in a hydrotherapy spa or kick it on the sun lounges. Of course, massages are on the menu and you can tuck into treats (bubbles included) from their Botanical Bar.
If you need a little ‘how to’ in the kitchen, retreat to the Currumbin Valley. Tenteram Fine Foods offer Balinese-inspired cooking classes for small groups, utilising their own all-natural cooking pastes and sauces (gluten, dairy and preservative free, with low sugar and sodium levels).
Owners Justin and Kay will give you the 411 on cooking a variety of dishes, and get your taste buds singing, in their gorgeous hinterland home and join you after class for a feast on the deck.
WHERE TO PULL YOUR GUNS OUT WHEN THE SUNS OUT:
With an average of 300 days of sunshine each year, and temperatures sitting in the 20s, it’s no wonder the Gold Coast is home to a raft of world-class events. Whether you’re going for gold or cheering from the sidelines, add some extra fitspo to your holiday plans by booking around these events:
- Swing into the Australian PGA Championship (20 November – 3 December 2017)
- Sprint your way to the Gold Coast Triathlon (25 February 2018)
- Get barreled at the Quicksilver and Roxy Pros (2018 dates TBC)
- Roll into the Australian Open Lawn Bowls (2018 dates TBC)
- Put your best foot forward at the Gold Coast Airport Marathon (30 June – 1 July 2018)
- Dive into the World Parachuting Championships (7-13 October 2018)
Bonus reps: Start training for these Queensland endurance events.
WHERE TO ROOT FOR THE STARS:
Work up a hand-clapping sweat and cheer on the stars of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. The second round of the ticket request phase will go live on November 20, so try your hand at nabbing tickets to these events.
Not feeling lucky? Head to Currumbin Beachfront to witness the FREE Race Walk events on Sunday, April 8 or the Road Cycling events from Currumbin Creek to Flat Rock Creek on Tuesday, April 10 and Saturday, April 14.
You can also check out the free Marathon event on Sunday, April 15 at the Southport Broadwater Parklands, where you can grab some fresh prawns from Charis Seafood and watch the action pass you by.