Stopover Guide: 24 Hours On The Gold Coast

23 February 2017

The Goldie may have a reputation for bronzed bikini-clad babes and schoolies, but this coastal city offers up much more than the perfect spot to work on your tan. Sure the beaches serve up perfectly soft sand, and there are plenty of night clubs that keep some travellers on the dance floor well into the wee hours, but dig a little deeper and the Gold Coast will reveal a wealth of attractions that will easily provide 24-hours of fun for travellers of all types.

The exterior of the Fish House Restaurant The Fish House is fine dining with a decidedly laidback approach (Image: thefishhouse.com.au)

Where to Eat

Hidden around the bases of high rise hotels and beachfront apartments are eating spots serving up delicious flavours whether you're looking for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Quick, quality bites are easily found to allow you to fit as much sightseeing into a single day as possible, but if you'd like to slow things down with table service, you'll find plenty of that too. Casual and fine dining.

If you're based in Broadbeach, kick off the day with Elk Espresso. This hip and modern hangout does a fine breakfast, brunch and lunch menu, making it a top choice no matter when you get your day started. Go healthy with free range eggs on sourdough or Bircher Muesli, or indulge a little with menu items like the Summer Doughnut or potato hash with double smoked Byron Bay bacon.

Lunch with beach views is a must when you're visiting the Gold Coast, and there are plenty of restaurants that serve up delicious food and ocean panoramas. Mermaid Beach's Alfred's Diner is a great spot to kick back out of the sun while enjoying the views. Decidedly laid back, their lunch menu focuses on hotdogs, burritos and burgers (ideal if you'd prefer to get it to-go so you can spread out on the beach to enjoy your lunch).

For those that want to keep thing relaxed yet delicious for dinner, The Fish House at Burleigh Heads is definitely worth consideration. The atmosphere is laidback yet elegant, with stunning views over the ocean. And the menu is all about fresh seafood. In fact, it is printed anew each day with the date as proof of their commitment to serving only the freshest ingredients. 

The interior of a room at the Vibe Hotel Modern comfort is the name of the game at the Vibe Hotel Gold Coast

Where to Stay

Business travellers are spoilt for choice when it comes time to decide where to stay on the Gold Coast. From laidback Broadbeach to centre of the action Surfers Paradise, a swathe of high rise hotels fronts the coastline, offering comfortable accommodation with astounding views. If you want to be in the heart of it all, the Vibe Hotel Gold Coast is a prime choice. This 4-star hotel offers contemporary comfort and value for money – perfect for business travellers.

There are four different room configurations to choose from, allowing the flexibility to suit all group sizes. This includes interlocking, 2-bedroom apartments should you need the extra space. Each comes complete with a balcony offering city or ocean views, comfortable king or twin beds and a private ensuite.  Larger rooms even offer kitchenettes.

The hotel itself is also packed with a number of amenities to further ensure your comfort and convenience. This includes business services, on-site coin operated laundry, safety deposit box, car rental services, airport shuttles, currency exchange and conference facilities. Onsite dining is available at the Curve Cafe and the Pool Bar. The former is open daily for breakfast, while the latter offers breakfast, dinner, drinks, bar snacks and room service.

Surfers Paradise at dawn Surfers Paradise dazzles throughout the day, but getting there at dawn offers beautiful views and no crowds

Where to Play

Finding places to play on the Gold Coast is easily done. This is one laidback destination that is all about enjoying yourself. Kick things off with a morning stroll along one of the many beaches. if you're situated in Surfers, get to the golden sands in the morning to appreciate the beauty without many people around. If you're just looking for a picturesque spot to pull up a towel for an hour or two, Tallebudgera Creek is a nice choice. Or head to Kirra Beach if you're keen to catch a wave first thing in the morning.

If you're in the mood for a little culture, check out the collections at the Gold Coast City Gallery at The Arts Centre Gold Coast or stroll through the historic Logan Village Museum. There's Surf World Gold Coast (Queensland's only surf museum) or view indigenous art at Boomerang Art - Aboriginal Fine Art Gallery.

Once you've had your fill of exhibitions and collections, you can dabble in the Gold Coast's other favourite pastime, day spas. Depending on how luxurious you want to get, you'll have your pick of facilities dedicated to rest and rejuvenation. The Spa Q in Surfers is a great choice, or try the Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat for a fully immersive holistic experience.   

Finish your day off by getting to the SkyPoint Observation Deck to watch the sun set. Offering incredible 360 degree panoramas of the ocean and the city, this tower offers the best views in the city! 

Carlie Tucker

Travelling is for discovering the unexpected. From fantastic meals in ramshackle joints to stumbling upon a best kept secret, I love those fortuitous travel moments that couldn't be planned if I tried.
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