Gold Coast's Best-kept Secrets
Planning a trip to the Gold Coast these holidays?
Of course, we don’t need to remind you to pack the bikinis, with the city’s endless stretches of sparkling coastline beckoning.
Yes, there are the adrenalin-pumping theme parks, chic shopping precincts and high-rise resorts synonymous with Surfers Paradise.
But savvy visitors will also delight in a thriving gourmet scene, magical natural attractions including cascading waterfalls and lush swathes of rainforest, and the relaxed village charm of the southern Gold Coast.
Here, we reveal some of the Gold Coast’s hidden gems, lying somewhere between the green and gold that has cemented this city as a favourite summer holiday playground for generations of Australian families and international visitors.
1. Tallebudgera Beach
Discover the Gold Coast’s “secret” beach, Echo Beach, located within the Burleigh Heads National Park at the northern side of Tallebudgera Creek. A magical swimming spot, this picture-perfect sheltered cove is also ideal for stand-up paddle boarding.
Across the bridge on the Palm Beach side, Tallebudgera Creek is a summer hotspot, with golden sands and a flagged swimming area. There is a playground and barbecue facilities, plus a hole-in-the-wall cafe by the legends behind Bam Bam Bakehouse serving up top-notch almond croissants and freshly baked muffins with your espresso.
2. Currumbin Beach
Turn off from the Gold Coast Highway to spend a lazy morning or afternoon at beautiful Currumbin, home to a laidback seaside culture unique to the southern suburbs.
Pack the boards and paddle out for a wave at the Alley – one of the Coast’s most family-friendly surf breaks, then stop in for lunch or a cooling Acai bowl at one of the cafes along Pacific Parade.
Just back from the beach, a visit to the iconic Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is a must to cuddle a koala, feed the kangaroos and even chuckle at the antics of the adorable lemurs in the Lost Valley attraction.
At the Currumbin Creek inlet, Palm Beach Parklands is home to the amazing Pirate Treasure Island Playground, offering adventure play for all ages, plus nearby calm waters for a dip, and great coffee from the Dune Café.
3. Tallebudgera Valley
Just minutes from bustling Burleigh Beach, you can almost still hear the ocean waves as you drive into the bush, passing horses and cows as the winding road gives way to expanses of emerald green and thick rainforest. Known locally as “Tally Valley”, this area has plenty to entice nature seekers, with charming bed-and-breakfast accommodation, yoga and spa retreats, horse riding, three golf courses and organic produce farms to discover as you head west towards Springbrook National Park.
We would love to welcome you to sample our famous scones at Teavine House, where you can enjoy high tea, Devonshire tea or lunch. Be sure to leave time to wander the grounds and snap a photo with the vintage stage coach!
4. Palm Beach Food and Farmers Market
Skip breakfast and arrive early for the iconic Palm Beach Food and Farmers Market, held every Saturday from 6am to 11.30am in the grounds of Palm Beach-Currumbin High School.
You will find scores of stallholders serving up all kinds of gourmet delights, from gluten-free doughnuts and cupcakes to German sausages and fresh juice, with seating under the trees and live music to accompany your morning feast.
The markets also host a burgeoning fresh produce section, with locally grown organic fruit and vegetables, meat, seafood and fresh flowers, plus an interesting array of artisan gifts and unique fashion by local makers.
5. Miami Marketta
Tucked away in the streets of the Gold Coast is Miami Marketta, a laneway dining experience that could be just as home in the back streets of Thailand, Barcelona or New York City. Open to the public every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, the Marketta hosts some 25 food vendors of all nationalities in the one space, as well as live music, a funky bar and smattering of indie boutiques. You could sample from Spain for your entree, before savouring spicy Thai cuisine straight from the wok, then finish up with a selection of indulgent French pastries.