Nothing beats the smell of onions and bacon wafting through the air as you cook a barbecue lunch. Plus there's nothing more Australian than throwing a few snags on the barbie amongst family and friends by the beach or in a nice park setting.
Having a BBQ picnic is one of our favourite things to do as a family on our travels, or as a local, for a budget-friendly eating experience. Plus when you have young kids like us, it is far more relaxing than being cramped in a cafe and worrying about the kids getting restless or spilling things.
The Gold Coast has over 380 barbecues scattered along the beachfront, parks and reserves and the council does a great job of maintaining and cleaning these free gas BBQs for everyone to enjoy.
Next time you're on the Gold Coast, you ought to enjoy the outdoors a little more and take advantage of these great facilities.
To help out, here are 10 of my family's favourite BBQ spots:
1. Burleigh Point
This is my personal favourite spot on the Goldy for a BBQ. I'm biased, as it's my new local, but as far as ocean views and a chilled out vibe goes - it's hard to beat Burleigh Point!
There are gas BBQ facilities and picnic tables scattered along the headland - but sometimes we like to take a blanket, grab a spot on the grass and use our Webber. The kids play at the park; while we sit back and watch surfers carve up the waves at one of the best sunset locations on the coast.
Another great thing is you're quite close to town - in case you've forgotten any supplies.
2. Rainbow Bay
I love Rainbow Bay. In fact, doing the coastal walk from Coolangatta around to Snapper Rocks next to Rainbow Bay Surf club is one of our favourite family activities.
Rainbow Bay is Queensland's southernmost beach with Greenmount Hill as a backdrop. It's hugely popular for families to BBQ and picnic by the beach. The best part is staying around long enough in the afternoon to enjoy captivating views of the sun setting behind the Surfers Paradise skyline.
3. Tallebudgera Creek
Tallebudgera Creek is a scenic and tranquil spot to gather with friends and family for a BBQ breakfast or lunch. The creek is a calm spot for the little ones to have a swim. This spot is perfectly situated with Burleigh Heads National Park on one side and Palm Beach on the other.
There are BBQ and picnic tables, a small kids' playground and the sandy beach area to relax on. Or you can bring your kayak and stand up paddle-board and have a paddle on the tranquil waters.
4. Laguna Park, Palm Beach-Currumbin
I have only just discovered the existence of Laguna Park in the Palm Beach -Currumbin area, and by all reports we need to add it to this BBQ list! It is another great option in our local area.
The park overlooks a lake and features several barbecue and undercover picnic areas, a new amenities block, and one of the best kids' playgrounds on the Gold Coast.
It seems like a prime spot to throw a few snags on the barbie and let the kids run around.
5. Justin Park & Burleigh Esplanade
From Justin Park, you have million dollar views of beautiful Burleigh Beach and picnic tables on the grass area under the trees.
You're in the heart of everything there and each Sunday afternoon there is usually live drumming or other entertainment going on, or later in the day you could slip into the nearby surf club for a sneaky sunset beer.
Whilst we're talking Burleigh, all along The Esplanade up to North Burleigh there are BBQ and picnic table facilities and you'll see locals or holiday makers making the most of them each day.
6. Cascade Gardens, Broadbeach Waters
Just a minute's drive north of the heart of Broadbeach and on the opposite side of the Gold Coast Highway you'll find Cascade Gardens (turn left at St Kilda Ave).
It's like a calming oasis away from the hustle of Broadbeach with BBQs dotted along the canal and plenty of trees for shade, picnic tables and more. There's a large open grass area plus a well-equipped playground the kids will love.
7. Kurrawa (Pratten Park), Broadbeach
If you want to be right in the heart of Broadbeach then you can't go past Kurrawa Pratten Park on the beach directly south of Kurrawa Surf Club.
Pratten Park is a favourite with locals and holiday makers with excellent BBQ and picnic facilities, large open grass areas and one of the best playgrounds on the coast. When the kids are done with the interactive playground equipment you've got the beach right there!
8. Currumbin Rock Pools
Being a 15-minute drive from Currumbin Beach, this spot is a little off the beaten track but certainly a favourite with the locals. The rock pools offer an incredibly refreshing swim on a sunny day, and are perfect for a family day out with a BBQ on the grassy river bank.
There are picnic tables and toilets at close hand, and just another five minutes along Currumbin Creek Road is the Mount Cougal section of Springbrook National Park.
9. Palm Beach Parklands (Pirate Park)
Palm Beach Parklands, better known as the "Pirate Park" due to the themed playground, is one of the most popular family areas on the Gold Coast.
Be sure to make a date to barbecue there with friends and enjoy the view overlooking Currumbin Cove. The kids will just love the playground and you could start a game of cricket or touch footy on the grass.
There are onsite BBQ and toilet facilities and there's a nice little cafe if you're keen for a freshly brewed takeaway coffee.
10. Broadwater Parklands, Southport
A short drive north of Surfers Paradise brings you to Southport - another great BBQ spot.
Here you have a three-kilometre stretch of open parklands along the Broadwater foreshore which are perfect for family gatherings. Relax around the BBQ and picnic tables with lovely water views whilst your kids will be entertained for hours at the playground, swimming in the patrolled beach area, or splashing about at rock pools.
You've got the Rockpool Cafe on-site and Australia Fair Shopping Centre across the road to pick up last-minute supplies.
Are these spots too far away from where you're staying? Check out City of Gold Coast's barbecue map for all the great spots throughout the region.