Pristine golden sands and aqua blue waters aren't the only drawcards for travellers flocking to the Gold Coast. With an array of things to do in the very heart of the Gold Coast that’s a little less hurried from the rest, unearth pure bliss on your next short or long trip away to Australia's favourite playground. Read on for your 2-day relaxed Main Beach and Surfers Paradise itinerary.
Embark on a bushwalk with an ocean view
Fancy a stroll? Begin your morning amongst hectares of lush vegetation and almost 3kms of shoreline on the Federation Walk Coastal Reserve. Starting at Philip Park, opposite the Sea World entrance car park, the natural path will lead you to the Seaway and to one of the best vantage points of Wave Break Island. Here you’ll also get sweeping views of the remarkable linear Gold Coast coastline that spans from Surfers Paradise to Coolangatta.
Many bird watchers flock to this area to get a glimpse of the thriving wildlife, with others adopting the area as their regular recreation trails for bike riding, running and even meditation. The round trip is 7kms, so you’ll be sure to have worked up an appetite for lunch upon return.
Taste local seafood
At just a few minutes’ walk up the road along Seaworld Drive, north of Palazzo Versace, stop dockside at Fishermen’s Co-Operative trawlers for the finest catch of the day. As one of the first developments on The Spit in the 70s, the Co-Op has long specialised in daily fresh (and cooked) king prawns, spanner and sand crabs and Balmain bugs. Pack a picnic and enjoy your lunch in the park or beachside back up towards the Seaway; it may just become your go-to afternoon takeaway spot.
Purchase fresh seafood courtesy of Fishermen’s Co-Operative. Image Credit: Destination Gold Coast
Shop ’til you drop
If you’re the type of holiday-goer that can’t miss out on a spot of shopping, then Harbour Town Premium Outlets is the next stop for you and your travelling party. Boasting more than 240 outlet stores with big-name brands, together with a dedicated dining pavilion that’s just over 12 months old, you’ll have a ball in the beautiful open-air, palm-lined precinct – with discounts aplenty.
Relax poolside or cruise the waterways
Wake up renewed and ready to take on another day on your Gold Coast adventure at the epitome of luxury and sophistication, Palazzo Versace. Opt for a buffet breakfast in the IL Barocco restaurant or enjoy your coffee (or morning mimosa - we won't judge!) beside the 65-metre lagoon pool in your very own private cabana. With views of the marina in the distance, watch the passing superyachts and boats glide by whilst hitting ultimate relaxation mode.
For a more adventure-filled afternoon on the water, set sail aboard a luxurious chartered catamaran with Sailing in Paradise, or in season (generally May to November) experience the natural beauty of migrating humpback whales with Sea World Cruises or Spirit of Gold Coast Whale Watching charters. All of which conveniently depart right next door from the Mariners Cove Marina, next to Marina Mirage.
After a relaxing morning by the water, head in for a late lunch at the award-winning Marina Restaurant at Southport Yacht Club. Catch stunning views of the club’s private 300 yacht marina whilst enjoying your Oysters Kilpatrick, Moreton Bay Bug Meat Linguini and a glass of local red wine.
Discover local markets
As late afternoon sky hues start to appear, jump in the car for a 6-minute drive or 30-minute walk into the popular (and aptly named) Surfers Paradise precinct. Coined as ‘Surfers’ by locals, this ever-evolving coastal area is a mecca for entertainment, beachside shopping, dining and modern bars.
Discover the Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets dotted along the foreshore at the end of Cavil Avenue every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday night from 5pm. With over 100 stalls from local artists on offer showcasing fashion, souvenirs, knick-knacks and locally grown produce, we guarantee you’ll be taking home more than just great memories.
Heading home from Surfers Paradise is a straight 1 to 1.5hour drive up the M1 Pacific Motorway to Brisbane Airport or a short 30-minute drive to Coolangatta Airport in the South.
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
Destination Gold Coast acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region.
We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout Southeast Queensland.