Local Love - More Ways to Play For Gold Coasters

Local Love - More Ways to Play For Gold Coasters

24 Aug 2022

How good is living on the Gold Coast? Not only do locals enjoy endless options for entertainment, nature-based activities, fine dining and some of the world's best beaches, but there are always new and exciting experiences popping up for us to explore. This month, there are plenty more ways for locals to play. Show some love to our city and get amongst all the goodness on offer including delicious new dining options, awesome playground upgrades and some truly epic events.



The Gold Coast has some incredible street art adorning its walls, stairwells, warehouses and buildings - they’re artworks that shape our city, neighbourhoods and creative culture. Art Roll Gold Coast allows you to explore over 75 of our best murals and street art by local and international artists on a self-guided tour on wheels. Strap on your skates or blades, take a stroll, grab your skateboard or bike or roll your wheelchair and embark on ART ROLL’s city-wide tour of the Gold Coast’s most colourful laneways, streets, neighbourhoods and landscapes while admiring some mind blowing murals.

Venture through lesser-known local streets, take an hour or two to explore your closest suburb, or experience the entire Gold Coast art trail over a few days. Round up the kids for a fun-filled day out or gather the crew and weave in stops at local cafes or craft breweries as you travel between murals. However you roll, be sure to take a selfie with your favourite mural or street art spot with the hashtag #letthegoodtimesroll. Find the Art Roll map and more info here.




For an easy, fun-filled and budget friendly day out with the kids, look no further than the insane new $5 million play attraction at Broadwater Parklands in Southport. This place was already a paradise for little people with the rockpools, splash zone and play equipment but they won’t believe their eyes when they see the new playground - it’s next level! A four-level spiral tower is the centrepiece, surrounded by slides, swings, trampolines, diggers, stepping stones, carousel and climbing equipment. There are sensory experiences waiting in the water and sand play area with carved sandstone, water pumps, mini weirs and water gates. And musical elements are mixed in - budding musicians can belt out a tune on the glockenspiel and there are little bells in the flooring that chime when a wheel chair rolls over them. Created for all ages and abilities this really is a playground for everyone. With shaded seating and tables, BBQs and toilet facilities nearby and lots of lush landscaping and lawns to spread a picnic blanket on, Broadwater Parklands is the perfect spot for parties, social gatherings and playdates. You could easily spend an entire day at this playground utopia. 


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Image: Gold Coast City Council



If amazing sculptures in nature are your thing, then Wonder Reef will be right up your alley. Our new $5 million attraction is an awesome new underwater playground for certified divers just a couple of kilometres out from Main Beach. Wonder Reef is the world’s first buoyant reef and offers a bucket list dive experience for SCUBA enthusiasts. Nine massive flute shaped sculptures hang suspended 22m above the ocean floor like an underwater hanging garden. Coral was transplanted onto the human made reef structures in December 2021, and the ever-evolving ecosystem has transformed a previously barren sea bed into 32,000 cubic metres of new reef habitat. Currently it’s inhabited by dozens of marine species including grouper, clown fish, crayfish and octopi and more marine life will make the Wonder Reef their home as the reef system develops.

This is a dive with a difference – completely unlike anything else on offer in the underwater world. Openings, ledges and swim throughs create an aquatic playground to explore and there’s even a landing platform where you can stop for a photo and pause to appreciate a new perspective on this incredible spectacle.

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There are plenty of people raving about the new rooftop bar in town. Surfers Paradise has scored a swanky new $2.5 million venue that locals will love to check out (and taste test!). We’re delighted to welcome Coast Beach Bar & Restaurant to the beachside restaurant round up - a spectacular spot to enjoy a cocktail (or whichever tipple takes your fancy) and sumptuous share plate dining cooked, with a selection of dishes cooked in a Spanish-style Josper charcoal oven for an incredible smoky flavour. Located on the first floor of Ocean by Meriton on The Esplanade, Coast features a sophisticated aesthetic and impeccable interior styling echoing the muted blue and green hues of the ocean, with opulent accents of brass, leather and marble. In the glamorous rooftop bar, mixologists work their magic behind a 14-metre long marble bar. For those who love the finer things in life, Coast is the most amazing spot to soak up the sun and sweeping ocean views as you sip your beverage before a decadent dinner. 


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Surfers Paradise just got a major glow up in the form of the Paradise Centre’s $40 million redevelopment. Boasting a beachfront position at the end of Cavill Ave, the centre’s brand new dining precinct brings a diverse mix of restaurants to the Surfer’s dining scene. It’s alfresco foodie heaven with many flavours and cuisines represented. New eateries include El Cantina, Wahlbergers, TGI Fridays. Save room for dessert because the selection of sweet treats will make it a very tough choice - the Gold Coast’s second ever Messina Gelato store among them. Plan plenty of time for a visit to Paradise Centre for the shopping and entertainment on offer. There’s some serious fun to be found at TimeZone, Holoverse Dinosaur World. 


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Nobody can deny the Gold Coast is a great place to grow up. The natural beauty, the sunshine and outdoor lifestyle…, and the plethora of amazing playgrounds scattered across the city. Local kids just got luckier because one of our favourite places to play - the Palm Beach Pirate Park, - has undergone al $1.4m upgrade. The pirate-themed playground still looks like a pirate ship and kids can climb over, under and around the hull. There are new features like rope bridges and ladders, swings, a flying fox, cannons, a cool crow’s nest and a super tube slide. Bring swimmers and towel because the gorgeous lagoon of Currumbin Creek estuary is tantalisingly close - good luck keeping your kids away from it. Stay caffeinated and well-fed at Dune Cafe which serves up quality coffee, snacks, meals and more just across the lawn. The spot absolutely gets the seal of approval from local little people.


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Image: Gold Coast City Council


The new addition to the Palm Beach dining scene is a real head turner. Appropriately named Palm Beach Avenue, this stunning new dining establishment is brought to you by the Ridgeway Group. The same hospitality aficionados who own Little Truffle and Bin 232. PBA, as locals have dubbed it, is a versatile venue. A cafe by day and restaurant at night, it’s in a prime position and if you nab an outdoor seat under the striped umbrellas, you’ll be in the right place to relax with a beer and watch the world go by. Inside, pink hues are offset by the green palm printed wallpaper that highlights velvety soft banquet seats and rattan chairs. A perfectly placed cherry blossom tree makes a pretty focal point. The mouth watering menu covers breakfast, lunch and dinner and everything from burgers and bug rolls to seafood pasta and more. We love the clever names on the kids menu (choose from dishes called I Don’t Want That and I’m Not Hungry) and bring your dog along too! PBA is pooch approved - there’s even a dedicated doggy menu for your furry friends.

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Kate Veling
Kate Veling

Travel writer, Kate Veling, came to the Gold Coast for six months and loved it so much she’s still here 20 years later. The laidback lifestyle suits her to a tee and as a mum of three, she knows all the best parks, swimming spots and kid-friendly fun to be had in her ‘hood. She’s often found getting amongst the thriving local arts and culture scene, dancing to live music or kicking back on the beach, but rest assured it’s all in the name of research.


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.