In T-minus two days, hordes of pasty folk will descend upon the shores of the sunny Gold Coast. The reason? The Big Aussie Reunion.
Our compadres at Flight Centre UK teamed up with Tourism Queensland to bridge the gap between our Commonwealth nations, with 10 lucky travellers chosen by the hit Brit TV show Surprise Surprise.
Long-lost rellies, long-distance lovers and long-term pen pals will reunite and warm our hearts in a week-long bonding session that culminates with a party on Australia Day.
While the itinerary is being finalised (or if you have some pommy house guests of your own), here are some helpful suggestions of things to do on the Gold Coast to spare delicate British skin from scorching.
Wait Impatiently For Happy Hour At Your Hotel
While most people fork out for an expensive nap, you can really get your money's worth out of a hotel room if you choose to stay in. It's the economical option when you think about it.
Most chain hotels come with classy bars nowadays for you to sit and sip the afternoon away, like Stingray Lounge at QT, FIX at the Hilton or TC's at the Sofitel. Better yet, take your sundowner in the privacy of a poolside bungalow at Jupiter's Hotel & Casino.
Wear A Onesie To The Theme Parks
A theme park is perhaps one of the only places you can get away with wearing a comical onesie – the others being children's parties and Comic-Con.
Not only will you blend in with the mascots at Movie World and Dreamworld and potentially gain behind-the-scenes access, you will protect your precious epidermis at the same time. You'll also embarrass your kids (triple bonus).
Channel Your Inner Cafe Hipster
Another great way to avoid the harsh UV is to source a cosy cafe with free wi-fi and listen to the entire Serial podcast while Instagramming shots of your coffee. #morningfeels
The Gold Coast is spilling over with hipster cafes these days, from BSKT near Nobby Beach to Paddock Bakery in Miami. Seal the deal and by wearing skinny jeans and a long-sleeve flannelette shirt, and be sure to question the bean origin of your cold-drip coffee.
Guarantee Personal Space With A Giant Hat
Okay, so you can't stay indoors forever when you're on the glittering Gold Coast. When you do decide to venture into the great outdoors, make sure you do so with some appropriate headgear: sunhats, fedoras, sombreros, Akubras, or whatever is at your disposal.
The Goldie has some delightful markets to wander, including the painfully trendy Village Markets in Burleigh and the organic growers market in Miami held every Sunday.
Wrap It With A Full-Body Spa Treatment
Beyond simply avoiding those damaging sunbeams, you should also take care of your supple exterior. Go coconuts at the much acclaimed Q1 Spa, or sooth mind as well as body with a hinterland detox at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat (Hugh Jackman's rumoured go-to sanctuary).
If you're desperate to actually look like you've just spent a week on the Goldie, a spray tan is actually the healthier choice. Just don't do a Ross and get four 'twos'.
Blend With The Undead At Dracula's
If you're fair of face, you will almost certainly blend in with the crowd at Dracula's. The cabaret restaurant is a Gold Coast institution and is way up there in terms of tack-factor.
Still, it's fun and the kids love the Saturday matinees. Vamp it up GC style with dinner and a show that combines music, comedy and burlesque theatre.
Let Local Kids Bury You In The Sand
It's time to face facts: you're going to want to go to the beach. You can only stare at that shimmering shoreline for so long.
Zinc your shnoz and surrender yourself to the young wildlings that roam the Gold Coast beaches, shovels and pails in hand.
There are around 21 beaches to choose from on the Goldie, the best known being Broadbeach, Burleigh Heads, Coolangatta, Main Beach and Surfers Paradise.
Become An Honorary Aussie And Slip, Slop, Slap
Any true blue Aussie will tell you the mantra of the beach is simple: slip, slop, slap. The message? Have fun outside, but don't get fried.
A boardshorts-wearing Sid the Seagull told us in 1980 that the best way to protect yourself against the sun's wrath is to slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat.
We listened, we learned, we laughed at the poor poached pommies who didn't grow up with guidance from a cartoon seagull.
Still searching for inspiration?
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