With the Queensland State Government announcing that the EKKA People’s Day has been moved to the Friday, and the Gold Coast show holiday moved to the same date, look no further than our ultimate guide for things to do this “People’s Long Weekend”. From eating and drinking, outdoor markets, water activities to the perfect place to rest your head, read on, fellow holidayers.
FIRST THINGS FIRST: WHERE TO STAY
Coming from the north, you’ll want to make sure you plan your accommodation ahead. Whether you prefer a seaside hotel (just minutes to the beach), an entire house for you and your crew or something a little different, we have you covered.
Starting in Southport, book into Sky Broadwater Apartments. With stunning views out over the Gold Coast Broadwater along with free onsite parking and easy access to the light rail, you can channel those resort vibes all weekend long. Stay 3 or more nights and save up to 40%. More on this here.
Moving south, both of our friends at VUE Broadbeach & Elite Holiday Homes* have a whopping 50% off (yes, you read that right) for bookings. VUE is a 5-minute walk in either direction from the beach, or the G:link light rail at the Florida Gardens station. Keep heading down the coastline, and if you’re after something that screams ‘LOOK AT ME’, well then you NEED to check out the retro and recently renovated Pink Hotel Coolangatta.
If hotels aren’t your thing, may we suggest a cabin at one of our many Gold Coast Tourist Parks? With camping currently unavailable (thanks to rigorous sanitary restrictions COVID-19), how about parking your caravan or motorhome in one of their powered sites? No house on wheels; no problems. Just book into one of their fully self-contained cabins, which we personally think are just as good!
NO CASH, NO WORRIES
If you’re a bit short on dollars right now, we completely feel you. We’re fortunate enough to have plenty of free things to do on the Gold Coast, and these are just a few of our faves. Head to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary for the twice-daily lorikeet feeding at 8am & 4pm, just in front of the Sanctuary Cafe. If you want to stick around to see more of the locals like ring-tailed lemurs, cotton-top tamarins and red pandas in the ‘Lost Valley’ precinct, tickets start from just $39.95.
For those that love a natural way to start or finish a day, marvel at our stunning winter sunrises and sunsets. At these top spots, or venture west to enjoy these seriously splash-worthy waterfalls. Away from large crowds and gatherings, soak up the sunshine with a picnic and playground for the kids at one of our public parks or feel the soft sands in between your toes at some of the Gold Coast’s iconic beaches. Our tips for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle include the stretch of sand in between Main Beach and Surfers Paradise, Mermaid Beach, North Burleigh, Palm Beach, Tugun and North Kirra.
For when the tummy starts to rumble or the little rascals become reckless, opt for takeaway fish and chips at Charis Seafoods along the Labrador Foreshore. Serving up some of the freshest seafood, enjoy the catch of the day in the nearby park (with a playground), or along the sands of Ian Dipple Lagoon. Make sure you time your visit for the daily pelican feeding at 1:30pm.
Continuing with the theme of outdoor dining, head to Commune in Burleigh Heads for breakfast, Garden Kitchen and Bar at The Star Gold Coast for lunch or Hideaway Kitchen & Bar in Broadbeach for an Asian-inspired feast at dinner. Read a full list of our outdoor dining recommendations here. Along with our tried and true favourites, experience some of our newest bars in eateries in 2020, like The Lucky Squire brewhouse, Boudoir social (think a bougie brunch) and an all-new gin distillery.
IT’S TIME TO PLAY…UP, IN AND AROUND
Plenty of our experiences with approved COVIDSafe plans in place, have increased their sanitisation efforts and are ensuring social distancing practices are strictly followed so you can enjoy an experience, safely. Relax in the comfort of your own car by heading along to the Yatala Drive-In and choose from a variety of session times. Movies on this weekend include Star Wars, The Notebook, Unhinged and Mammamia!
For the little ones, take them to see the ‘Mini Beasts’ exhibition at Robina Town Centre. Featuring an interactive Cicada, Neon Cuckoo Bee, Australian Swallowtail Butterfly and Australian Jumping Spider, these Mini Beasts spanning up to four metres high are completely free to view. Perhaps fun on our waterways is more up your alley? Bask in the sun as you cut laps on the Broadwater with a Surfers Paradise Jetski tour, or hop aboard a Sea World Cruises** whale watching tour to see these magnificent creatures pass through the ‘humpback highway’. After heading out just last week, we can confirm there are plenty of playful whales around to be seen!
TO MARKET, TO MARKET
A different kind of market for your Sunday, get along to Mo’s Desert Clubhouse in Burleigh for their ‘Desert Digs Vintage Markets’ from 2pm-5pm. Offering up some hundreds of pre-loved, vintage wears, this rummage is one not to miss.
GETTING AROUND THE GC
You might have a car, but with our linear, waterway-filled city, why bother driving when you can sail, scoot, ride or jump aboard light rail to explore? Back in action after ceasing operations, HOPO** Gold Coast Ferry Service is back on the water, transporting you to places like HOTA in Bundall, Surfers Paradise, Marina Mirage and Sea World. Tickets start from just $4, and ferries are wheelchair-friendly.
In Broadbeach, stop into Crooze Electric to rent an eBike or scooter and cruise along the foreshore in no time. Still in Broadbeach, if you’re without a car and want to head north, jump on the G:link light rail** with stops all the way up to Helensvale. The best value-for-money is a Go Explore card for just $10 a day.
*50% off Elite Holiday Homes for all of August, only.
**these experiences are accessible and wheelchair-friendly. Visit their websites for further information.
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