Mini-break like Bollywood star, Parineeti, in Queensland
Cue the lights! Get ready for your close-up!
If you know how to make an entrance and can break into song at a moment’s notice, make like one of India’s most famous Bollywood actresses, Parineeti Chopra, and touch down in Queensland on your next holiday.
From the bright lights of Brisbane to the beaches and hinterland of the Gold Coast, this four-day mini-break itinerary is a super hit like Golmaal Again. (*Ahem, for the non-initiated: Parineeti’s latest blockbuster and one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time.)
When Parineeti arrived in Queensland, she headed straight for a date with Australia’s most endearing co-star of all time, the koala.
At Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, just like in Bollywood, you can go big or go home – this is Australia’s largest koala sanctuary and one of only a handful of spots where you can cuddle a koala and score the selfie to prove it, just like Parineeti did.
Keeping camera-ready means squeezing in some active adventures during your holiday. Brisbane’s comfortable climate and bike-friendly streets make it the perfect place for exploring outdoors.
Parineeti relied on the guys from Brisbane by Bicycle to learn all about Queensland’s capital like a local. Wistful stares into the distance while wearing a gorgeous dress are completely optional.
For dinner fit for a screen queen, dine al fresco, riverside, at Alchemy Restaurant & Bar. You’ll see sweeping views of the Story Bridge – lit up like a Christmas tree with different coloured lights (depending on the time of the year). The food is also a total blockbuster here. Whipped Goats Cheese with Zucchini Flowers and Truffle Honey, anyone?
P.S. If you want to get a closer look at the Story Bridge, you can join guided walks to the top or even abseil off the side with Story Bridge Climb.
Here in Queensland, our biggest stars are the ones who stop by on their 5000km journey from Antarctica each year and dance and play in the warm waters of the Gold Coast all the way up to Tropical North Queensland. It’s not quite Bollywood, but it’s a thrilling live-action show that’s unrivaled in the ocean.
Drive south from Brisbane to the shimmering coastline of Surfers Paradise to join a whale-watching cruise with Whales in Paradise. You’ll be able to get up close and personal with breaching humpback whales just like Parineeti who said on Instagram, it was a “DREAM COME TRUE!”
Sure, those Bollywood dance routines are gruelling to learn, but at Sea World, the marine life scene stealers range from leaping dolphins, cage diving with sharks, and sharing the ice with Antarctic penguins.
If you’re anything like Parineeti, you’ll be feeling ALL the feels. “I’ve found my happy place! Couldn’t control my emotions!” was the Insta caption on this pic.
Haven’t had enough water for one day? Head straight for the lagoon pool after you check in at Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa. Strap on a mask and snorkel and go face-first into the pool for one of the most pimping resort pool experiences known to man. (Or you could slip into a smoldering red dress instead! #nobiggie)
Tonight, fresher-than-fresh fish is on the menu at Etsu Izakaya in Mermaid Beach, and as Parineeti says, “Amazinggg sushi amazing people”. With its discreet entrance – there’s no sign so keep an eye out for a red lantern – and intimate interior, it’s tailor-made for movie stars.
If Parineeti can look this good learning to surf (even with an injured foot!), so can you. Slip on a rashie (that’s rash shirt in Australian slang), slide on your reflective sunglasses, and join a two-hour surfing lesson with Go Ride a Wave.
Even if you’ve never tried surfing before, they’ll have you standing before you know it (and not just on the sand).
After all the aqua antics of the past day and a half, it’s time to go green with a scenic drive into the Gold Coast Hinterland. The backstage of the Gold Coast’s famous beaches, this is where the locals go for craft liqueur tastings at the Tamborine Mountain Distillery and epic hikes in Springbrook National Park.
And hey, even superstars need a little digital detox now and then.
After a relaxing night back in your seaside pad, get above it all by taking the VIP lift to the floor of Q1 to the Skypoint Observation Deck. Warning: You’re going out on a limb here without a body double.
This is the SkyPoint Climb – Australia’s highest external building climb, 270m above ground level. You’ll get to wear a cute climbing suit. Your retinas (and adrenal glands!) will get to absorb the dizzying 360-degree views of the Gold Coast.
Time to take it easy. You’ll be wanting to be looking your best for your paparazzi shots as you depart tomorrow, of course, so book yourself in for a spot of pampering at one of these day spas.