Winter on the Gold Coast might be “mild” to some. Visitors from southern states laugh at locals who rug up when the temperature gets below 20ºC, but living in sunshine so much of the year means we really feel it when the mercury drops! This winter, we’re reaching for our Ugg boots (locally made of course) and looking for all the ways to warm up and keep cosy. Here’s a handful of suggestions to keep the good times going and the warm fuzzies flowing through the cooler months.
FIRE IT UP – CANUNGRA
If you’re an early riser, chances are you’ve spotted the flock of big balloons floating high above the Gold Coast on a winter’s morning. Hot air ballooning is one of our signature year-round experiences, but for a truly spectacular sunrise display, go in winter and watch red, pink and purple hues transform the sky at dawn. Expect an early wake up call, but it’s well worth it for the pay off – 360-degree views sweeping from the city to the sea and the rainforest, epic Insta-worthy photo opportunities and a delicious hot brekkie and glass of bubbles on landing.
GET A WARM GLOW FROM GLAMPING – LAMINGTON
If pitching a tent and rubbing two sticks together to make a fire isn’t so much your vibe, try some winter hinterland glamping instead. Set in the stunning foothills of Lamington National Park, Nightfall Camp is a pioneer of the luxury glamping movement here on the Coast. This luxe experience offers an indulgent outdoor getaway where literally everything is taken care of (and there’s not a portaloo in sight). Featuring all the mod-cons you could wish for, curl up with a book by the rotating fireplace inside your architecturally-inspired safari tent. Take a long soak in the vintage twin bathtubs overlooking the sprawling hinterland beyond, or enjoy a leisurely sleep-in in your king sized bed. They’ll even prepare all of your meals using locally sourced, organic produce, cooked over the fire and delivered straight to your door (or tent if you will). Now that’s our kinda’ camping!
LIKE A WARM HUG FOR YOUR FEET – MIAMI
Winter’s here, so slide your tootsies into a pair of authentic 100% Australian (or in this case, Gold Coast) made Ugg boots, and we promise you’ll never want to wear regular shoes again. UGG Since 1974 is a third-generation family owned and operated business, and the crew there will handcraft your boots right here in their Miami warehouse using only the finest (and warmest) Australian merino sheepskin and leather products (sustainably sourced of course). Hit the factory and browse modern designs, or put in a custom order with your fave colour-way, style and embellishments. The family biz also employs over 25 local staff, so your heart and wallet can feel happy knowing you’re supporting local, while giving your feet some TLC too. A little nugget of local knowledge: ask for a sneaky factory tour and watch the expert craftsmen in action.
WORK UP A SWEAT (NO GYM NEEDED!) – BURLEIGH
The thought of dragging our bodies out of those cozy beds on a cold winter’s morning to exercise sounds like torture. So why not do away with the arduous gym sesh, slip on your socks and try something a little more high-energy to get the blood pumping at Bounce Inc in Burleigh – Australia’s biggest indoor action adventure playground. With over 3000m2 of interconnected trampolines to flip, jump, leap and spring across, you’ll be having so much fun you’ll forget you’re actually exercising. Locals can take their bouncing experience to VIP status with a weekly membership, so bring the kids (or don’t!) and make this a winter workout resolution that you’ll actually want to stick to.
A STEAMY STAGE SHOW – BROADBEACH
Beyond the glittering lights of Broadbeach, up a moodily-lit stairwell, you’ll find one of the hottest entertainment destinations on the Coast: The Pink Flamingo Spiegelclub. This steamy stage show phenomenon has been pulling crowds since it launched in 2019; a heady mix of acrobats and aerials, comedy, singing, dance and some seriously show-stopping costumes. With five shows to choose from (running every day except Mondays and Wednesdays), slide into a velvet booth with your favourite drink and watch the spectacle unfold – it may just leave you a little hot under the collar!
WINTER WONDERLAND IN THE HINTERLAND – MOUNT TAMBORINE
Word is that we aren’t travelling too far from our own backyard for a while yet, so the clever team from Evergreen Festival are bringing a taste of Europe to you for one weekend only. Clear your calendars from 18th – 20th July, head for the hinterland and prepare to be transported to a European-style winter wonderland for this three-day festival. Set against a charming Mount Tamborine backdrop complete with whimsical festoon lighting, sip on mulled wine and sample locally-made wares from a line-up of market stalls. There’s also a collection of artisan workshops running daily with local craftsmen, from mosaic to jewellery up-cycling and clay sculpting. Upgrade your ticket to enjoy an immersive dining experience under the stars in a Scandi-style setting and choose from a regional testing platter or gourmet three course meal with wine pairings.
A TOASTY TIPPLE – MIAMI
There’s an easy way to warm up when the mercury drops, and we’ll preface this with an 18+ warning – an afternoon tipple at one of our local distilleries will have you thawing out in no time. Family owned and operated distillery Granddad Jack’s has quickly become a must-visit watering hole in Miami. You can take a distillery tour and sample three flagship gin varieties handcrafted onsite, participate in gin-making nights, or simply sip your favourite nip in the tasting room (FYI they also distil their own vodka, whiskey and liqueur). If rum is your poison of choice, pop over to Capricorn Distilling and check out this new small batch distillery. Their signature coffee, spiced and pineapple rums are a great starting point and will no doubt warm you from the inside out.
LUNCH BY THE FIRE -MOUNT TAMBORINE
Pack a puffer jacket and embrace the drop in temperature as you hit the hills for a leisurely long lunch. Wedged into an ancient volcanic escarpment at the top of Mount Tamborine, St Bernard’s Hotel is a true Gold Coast icon, drawing visitors from all over seeking a delicious lunch with a side of impressive views. This historic restaurant offers both alfresco and indoor dining rooms, complete with cozy fireplaces and heaters, while the seasonal menu will tempt all palates with succulent steaks, famous Guinness pies and other hearty options straight from the grill. Time your visit to coincide with its annual Christmas in July, which transforms the restaurant into a winter wonderland every Saturday of the month. And if you’re really feeling the chill, snuggle up to one of the three beautiful Saint Bernards who are the hotel’s mascots.
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