5 Gold Coast rooftop bars you need to be at

After a long day turns to a balmy night, it really is hard to beat the Gold Coast, day or night. And with the city transforming from a tourist mecca into a major player in the hospitality space over the past few years, there are now some seriously stylish open-air options for a drink or two when the sun goes down, aside from the nightclubs.

Taking advantage of the locals’ love of the outdoors, a good time and the glorious sub-tropical weather, savvy Gold Coast restaurateurs have jumped on the global rooftop bar trend and taken drinking on the Gold Coast to new heights.

Here’s our pick of the rooftop bars you need to be at for a tipple:

The Collective

There’s no denying Palm Beach is having a moment.

Once the poor cousin to Burleigh to the north and the idyllic seaside enclave of Currumbin at the south, ‘Palmy’ is now the suburb du jour with a plethora of bars, restaurants and cafes opening up in the southern suburb what seems like every week.

Located on the old Palm Beach post office site, The Collective – which features five separate restaurants and two bars – is one such venue and is so popular, there’s often a queue for a table.

Their buzzing industrial-inspired rooftop bar is certainly a must-do and is a scenic space to enjoy a drink – rosé sangria, anyone? – as the sun goes down.

The beauty of the Collective is you can order from any five of the restaurants – Italian, Mexican, Asian, American or modern Australian – and the staff will bring it all to your table – along with bevvies from the bar. We’ll drink to that!

Order: Balter XPA or an Avocado Margarita with puree, tequila, spiced rose water syrup and Licor 43 served with a paprika salt rim.
Where: 1128 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach.

Bar Hellenika


Photo by Hellenika via FB

One of the Gold Coast’s most loved restaurants, Hellenika, recently re-opened its doors to rave reviews following a three-month rebuild.

However, it’s the Greek eatery’s highly-anticipated rooftop space, Bar Hellenika, to be unveiled in December that will no doubt be the place to sip rosé in style.

Featuring a retractable roof, 10m-long wine cellar, private dining room for 30 to 40 people and a sumptuous mezze menu, this all-white rooftop bar is set to deliver a touch of Europe to beachside Nobby Beach.

Better yet, Bar Hellenika will be open for lunch and for late night dining until midnight. Yamas!

Order: Greek rosé.
Where: 2235 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach.

Justin’s Rooftop at Justin Lane

Justin Lane

Photo by Justin Lane via FB

This popular pizzeria and bar was one of the first venues on the Gold Coast to open a rooftop bar – and its popularity certainly hasn’t wavered.

Located a stone’s throw from the pumping point wave at Burleigh headland, Justin’s Rooftop is an ideal spot to enjoy a cocktail, good food and tunes as the sun goes down on a balmy night.

It does get exceptionally busy on weekends with the hot young hipsters coming out in droves, so ensure you get there early enough to grab a table and settle in for the night – and work your way through the cocktail menu.

Order: Passionfruit & Chilli Tommy’s with chilli-infused blanco tequila, passionfruit, agave and lime.
Where: 1708 – 1710 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

The Island Rooftop

Formerly The Islander resort, this rundown retro Surfers Paradise icon underwent a major facelift when it was transformed from a tired, two-star budget property into the Gold Coast’s freshest hotel.

The hotel is also home to the Island Rooftop, the Coast’s biggest rooftop bar and alfresco open-air patio.

Oozing vintage Californian style with chic couches, communal tables, lush plants and festoon lights, this hidden gem boasts views over Main Beach and is one inviting space for a tipple or two.

The Island Rooftop is known for its killer Sunday sessions with DJs and live music and those laidback, coastal vibes the Gold Coast is famous for.

Order: Signor Andy’s Negroni
Where: 3128 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise.

8th Avenue Terrace

Another newcomer to Palm Beach, this elevated dining space and bar continues to impress locals and tourists alike.

Located on the Gold Coast Highway, 8th Avenue Terrace is the brainchild of the talented crew behind Espresso Moto café at the other end of Palm Beach – and it won’t disappoint.

While not technically a ‘rooftop bar’ the open-air terrace bar area is a dreamy place to wine, dine and chat in unpretentious surroundings.

The food is delicious, the wine list is exceptional but it’s the impeccable service that has cemented 8th Avenue as one of the jewels of 4221.

Order: Beets by AJ with 18 Bulldog gin, Pimms, fig, ginger and apple liqueur, house-made beetroot, ginger and lemongrass cordial with a splash of coconut water.
Where: 31/1176 Gold Coast Highway | 8th Avenue Plaza, Palm Beach.

What’s your pick of rooftop bars on the Gold Coast? Share in the comments below.