Taking a holiday isn’t indulgent. We see it as a very necessary form of self-care and stress relief. Whether your happy place is in the hinterland, on the water, deep in the rainforest or at a day spa, our dreamy destination offers endless opportunities for rest, recreation and relaxation. The trick is to holding on to that holiday feeling when you return to the real world. Here are some of the lushest locations for a bit of recreation and relaxation on the Gold Coast.
Situated on the fringe of World Heritage Listed Lamington National Park, Hazelwood Estate is a working wagyu farm, polo club and luxe country retreat. Three pavilions and 16 eco-friendly farm cabins dot 75 acres of fertile farmland, with the main lodge taking in serene views of rolling green hills and hinterland. Cabins feature cosy fires, luxe country vibes and private outdoor decks, perfectly positioned for a private getaway.
When it comes to cuisine, the Sunset Bar is the perfect place to sip cocktails or indulge in fine wines and, for dinner, trust the chef at The Paddock Restaurant. Expect a procession of plates creatively curated to feature fresh local produce. Take the chef’s tour of the on-site market garden, book in for a soul-soothing session at the spa, or pre-arrange a picnic lunch to take with you before spending some time in Lamington National Park.
Where: 422 Binna Burra Rd, Beechmont
Sanctuary Cove on the northern end of the Gold Coast is a master planned community which includes a 300-birth marina, three championship golf courses and the Marine Village – a resort precinct brimming with boutiques, cafes and some of the region’s most loved restaurants. With a common theme of “on the water” or “on the green”, residents buzz about in boats and buggies leading to Sanctuary Cove’s coastal luxe charm, but visitors are equally welcome to join in. Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove is the jewel in a sparkling crown, a 70-year young, 4.2 hectare prestige property. The resort features grand architecture, lush landscaping, a giant family-favourite lagoon beach pool and host of activities to appease every whim. With recently refreshed rooms and suites, relax in-room or spend the day at the spa, take a cruise on a luxury yacht or simply shop, dine and play your time away. Golf enthusiasts can swing into Australia’s most iconic courses with The Pines, The Palms and Links Hope Island golf courses just a buggy ride away. And for those that love coffee, try Queensland’s first “high coffee” experience, offering a twist on traditional high tea taken in the Fireplace’s French-inspired eatery overlooking fountain terrace.
Where: Masthead Way, Sanctuary Cove
O’REILLY’S RAINFOREST RETREAT
Get back to nature wandering amidst 20,000 hectares of this Gold Coast Hinterland haven where over 500 waterfalls, 160km of walking tracks and more than 250 unique species of plants and wildlife dwell. Nestled in World Heritage listed Lamington National Park, O’Reilly’s’ Rainforest Retreat is a Gold Coast icon. Choose from rainforest shrouded retreats, some with spas overlooking the view, or self-contained eco-villas. Dip in the pool, visit the renowned Lost World Spa for a nature-inspired treatment or enjoy a host of nature-based activities, including the Birds of Prey flight show and Wildlife Encounters. Or take a guided evening tour through the forest to see glow worms and other nocturnal native critters. Dining options range from casual cafés to the more traditional dining room with a host of memorabilia harking back to the beginning of the O’Reilly’s family connection to this special part of the world. This is relaxation Gold Coast style and you’ll come back down the mountain feeling deeply rejuvenated.
Where: 3582 Lamington National Park Rd, Canungra
SAILING IN PARADISE
There’s nothing more relaxing than setting sail to explore the sparkling Gold Coast Broadwater – except having a skipper to take care of everything so you can just settle in, sit back and cruise. Whether you prefer a sunset sojourn on the sea, a day cruise or island stop-over with family and friends, there are plenty of options for a sea-faring adventure. Sailing in Paradise have three beautiful catamarans in their fleet and they’re equipped with all the mod cons plus fun, friendly and professional crew, who will ensure your voyage is smooth sailing all the way. Picture yourself lazing on the trampoline style foredeck, cocktail in hand, enjoying unobstructed views of the Broadwater. The boats are fully licensed and can cater to your every need, but you can also BYO. There’s a sound system, eskies and a BBQ and even stand-up paddle boards and inflatables for island stop overs. Opt for the two-hour sunset and City Lights Cruise, where a complimentary glass of champagne is the perfect way to end the day. But if a full day to swim and snorkel at nearby Wave Break Island or bask on the deserted beaches of South Stradbroke Island sounds more your style, Sailing in Paradise is your perfect relaxation partner for a day on the sea.
Where: Marina Mirage, Sea World Dr, Main Beach
Bliss out and melt all tension from your body at Soak Bathhouse – a heavenly health and wellness haven in Mermaid Beach. Start with a simple soak session ($49 for 90 minutes) in the communal mineral baths, dip in and out of the hot spas and cold plunge pools, sweat it out in the sauna and steam room, or limber up with a yoga class in the custom-built Flowhouse studio. Massages and LED facials are on the menu here too, while memberships are a cost-effective option if you’re likely to be a repeat visitor (and we guarantee you will be).
Where: 2540 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
So if you’re feeling stressed out or have forgotten what it’s like to breathe easy and have some fun, head directly to the Gold Coast for some self-care and R&R – you deserve it!
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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.