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10 must-dos at the 2018 Gold Coast Show

For a whopping 112 years the Gold Coast Show has been a much-loved local event. From traditional wood chopping to prize cattle, bulk showbag choices and live tunes plus of course, all of the rides, there are plenty of reasons to get involved.

This year there are two locations for all the action, one for the rides, sideshow alley, showbags and wood chopping and one for all the animal-related activities. We highly recommend getting to both.

However, in the interest of keeping things short and sweet, here are 10 we think you’ll love.

Check out the light festival
So this is pretty exciting. A light festival, which is set to be unlike anything the Gold Coast has ever seen, will illuminate the sky every night of the show. How good. LuminoCITY will light it up in a world-class laser light show consisting of five different laser activations and with 20 spectacular light sculptures.
Where: Broadwater Parklands, Southport 

Catch Casey Barnes
Australia’s beloved son is playing a FREE SHOW on Friday night from 7.20om until 9pm. Take your picnic rug and round up the crew and get set to watch your mate bring the house down with his rockin’ vocals.
Where: Great Lawn, Broadwater, Southport

Hit up the beer and wine garden
Because it’s a garden with beer and wine. It’s called The Stockyard Beer and Wine Garden and it comes in the form of a rooftop bar, which is very telling of the Gold Coast’s hospo scene these days is it not. Go Gold Coast Show. Maybe hit it up after you’ve tested out the rides though. Your call.
Where: The Great Lawn, Broadwater Parklands, Southport

Ride a camel
If you’ve never had the pleasure of doing this before, trust us, it’s quite a good time. Camels have a very interesting way of getting up and down due to their weird body shapes and giant humps. Plus you get to sit in between said humps and the camels stroll along the beach so, romance. Or just a hilarious time if you have the kiddies.
Where: Broadwater Parklands, Southport

Go on rides all day long
Guys, all day rides. It’s like one big party complete with take home goodies at the end. Spend the day on as many spinning, dropping and stomach churning rides as you like. As people with not so strong stomachs, we will be frequenting the giant swing and the Ferris Wheel only.
Where: Broadwater Parklands, Southport

Buy all the showbags
One of the highlights of your childhood and ours was undoubtedly choosing a showbag (or two) from the great hall of goodies. As is the case with many of the best things in the world (wine), showbags have only improved with age so get in early to nab the best ones. Hubba Bubba and Dr Seuss for the win.
Where: Broadwater Parklands, Southport

Visit the farm animal nursery
Because baby animals of any kind are life. Cruise around with the little ones, snap a few pics and think yourself lucky to be alive. The nursery is open from 9am every day so there are lots of opportunities to pop in and get your fix throughout the weekend.
Where: Owen Park, Queen St, Southport

Eat tasty foods
There’s a HUGE array of food on offer at the show every year but 2018 has upped its game. All that roaming around is sure to make you hungry but you definitely won’t leave that way. Find food trucks at Owen Park and market-style outlets at Broadwater Parklands.
Where: Owen Park, Queen St, Southport and Broadwater Parklands, Southport

Try your luck at Sideshow Alley
You haven’t visited the show unless you’ve attempted to throw a ball into the mouth of a clown because you really want a giant stuffed toy. There’s even more games to try this year so make sure you schedule enough time to try them all. Or make your significant other do it for you.
Where: Broadwater Parklands, Southport

Marvel at the fireworks
No celebration is complete without them. Watch as the night sky is lit up with one of the Gold Coast’s most impressive firework displays of the year.
Where: Grab a spot at Broadwater Parklands for the best view

Festival 2018 day one events

It’s almost time guys. The Commonwealth Games and Festival 2018 are set to kick off next Wednesday March 4th and it feels like we’ve been waiting a lifetime.

The Festival schedule of entertainment is packed and opening night is sure to set the pace.

Here’s a rundown of what’s on Wednesday.

Main Stage, The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise

Yothu Yindi and the Treaty Project
Kicking off the Festival is this legendary act featuring original members of the band along with some very special guests. The crew will serve up some of their classic hits along as well as brand new material with an electronic twist. Stay for the screening of the Opening Ceremony, starting at 8pm on the Main Stage screen. When: From 7pm to 8pm.

The Cat Empire
Musical geniuses The Cat Empire will take the stage on Wednesday night bringing their many instruments and general love of life to the people. Suitable for the entire family, The Cat Empire are known for their happiness-filled dance tunes so make sure you don’t miss this one. When: From 10.30pm to 11pm

Queensland Music Stage, Surf Pde, Broadbeach

Amy Shark
Gold Coast local Amy Shark has taken the music world by storm of late, so it’s only fitting that she take the stage on opening night of the Commonwealth Games. Her soulful beats will be on display in Broadbeach and it might just be your only chance to catch the songstress for free. When: From 7pm to 8pm

Roundabout Stage, Broadbeach

RITE
A combination of physical theatre and acrobatics, RITE is an absolute must see. Running until Sunday the 8th of April, you’ll get a few opportunities but we hear it’s so good you might want to attend more than once. Performers will put their bodies on the line in a fierce display of physicality and power. Can’t wait for this one. When: Wednesday April 4th at 6.30pm and various afternoon/evening times until Sunday April 8th at 10.30pm.

Stay tuned for further Festival 2018 updates.

Words by Kirra Smith

4 unmissable events at the Gold Coast Film Festival

QT's The Green will screen the Legally Blonde (image supplied)
QT's The Green will screen Legally Blonde (image supplied)

We all love ourselves a bit of Netflix, right? Whether it’s getting tucked into a binge-worthy cliff-hanging series or a film of epic proportions, we love immersing ourselves in something to escape our everyday reality for that short moment in time. It’s no secret that the film industry here on the Gold Coast is going gangbusters and without any real sign of slowing down. So isn’t it apt — and exciting — that we have our very own snazzy film festival to get ourselves along to? The Gold Coast Film Festival is perhaps one of the best types of festivals to hit our shores. Just be sure to set your phone to silent!

Not only are there plenty of epic new films being screened throughout the festival, but there are also old favourites and some much-loved annual events to keep us all entertained. Over the last few years, we have seen some famous faces from screen and cinema pop up at these events — who knows; you might spot yourself a Hemsworth (swoon!)!

Set over 12 days from the Monday 12th April — Sunday 25th April, the festival will boast over 100 screenings, parties, panels, pop-up cinemas and more! Here are just four events we recommend you acquire yourself a bucket of popcorn and prepare to walk the red carpet for.

Legally Blonde 20th Anniversary Pink Party
Grab your girl gang and welcome sorority queen Elle Woods back to the screen for the (gasp) 20th anniversary of Legally Blonde. Follow Elle’s journey from queen bee to courthouse bombshell as the spunky freshman defies all stereotypes to rock it at Harvard Law School. Attendees are encouraged to rock their very best freshman fashion – pink is encouraged, obviously. Join the viewing on The Green at QT Gold Coast to delve into pink cocktails and courthouse munchies with your crew.
When: 6pm Saturday 24th April
Where: QT Gold Coast, 7 Staghorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Tickets are $35 and include ‘Bend and Schnapps’ cocktail (what a name?!) and a ‘Warner’s Weiner’ hotdog on arrival. Get yourselves tickets now here.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (image supplied)
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (image supplied)

Breakfast at Tiffany’s
An absolute classic in its own right, this morning screening is set to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the iconic love story. Re-live the romance, elegance and classic scenes from this delightful romantic comedy starring Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly, Manhattan’s elegant socialite. Put on your best dress and imagine you’re strutting the streets of downtown New York as you make your way down Griffith Street in Coolangatta to the cinemas. Often considered Hepburn’s most nuanced performance, this movie is a must if you haven’t seen it.
When: 10am Tuesday 20th April
Where: BCC Cinemas, Level 2, The Strand Shopping Centre, Coolangatta
Tickets are just $8, get yours here.

Sucker for Love — The Art of the Rom-Com
We all enjoy a romantic comedy, right? The perfect couple always somehow are pulled apart, and battle their way with comedic consequences back into each other’s arms — if only real life were that simple? SIGH. Ever wanted to know how writers and filmmakers come up with such scripts? Join the panel of successful filmmakers who will uncover how to make the screen sizzle. From the writing desk to the editing room, discover what it takes to make audiences fall in love with romance. Perfect for those with a budding interest in pursuing a career in the industry, or simply if watching the hunky guy go after his girl is your jam.
When: 5pm — 6pm Saturday 24th April or available to livestream
Where: Theatre 2, Home of the Arts (HOTA), Bundall
Tickets are free, register here.

Gold Coast Film Festival panel (image supplied)
Gold Coast Film Festival panel (image supplied)

Burleigh Brewery Cinema
Why not get yourself along to Burleigh Brewery to celebrate homegrown talent while sipping local craft beer? There are two nights of free films starring Aussie favourites on the Brewery’s outdoor screen (first night already sold out!), making it ideal for hanging out with your crew or snuggling up with a loved one. See the Gold Coast’s sweetheart and Oscar-nominee Margot Robbie on Thursday 22nd April in her performance as embattled figure skating champion Tonya Harding in ‘I, Tonya.’
When: Doors open at 6pm, screening starts at 7pm, Thursday 22nd April
Where: Burleigh Brewery, 2 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads
Tickets are free, but register here to reserve your spot.

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Burleigh Brewing (image supplied)
Burleigh Brewing (image supplied)

22 puppy-friendly places on the Gold Coast

Doggo at Palm Springs Burleigh (image supplied)
Doggo at Palm Springs Burleigh (image supplied)

Dogs are man’s best friend. There’s no disputing it and we don’t want to hear a word said against it.

But in all honesty, we doubt any of you locals out there are going to argue against this ethos — as it’s rather easy to see we utterly love our dogs here on the Gold Coast.

Did you know that on Tuesday the 23rd of March it’s National Puppy Day? An occasion to remember how much these guys bring to our lives in way of their cuteness and unconditional love. Because let’s face it — where would we be without them.

If they aren’t running at breakneck speed down the beach, pottering about in a body of water somewhere, or just drooling themselves into a comatose under the couch, there’s a good chance they can be found with their loving owner sharing a coffee and living their best life in one of our many great cafes.

Knowing which cafes are more receptive to your four-legged friend is sometimes a bit tricky. To alleviate the puzzlement, we’ve put together the finest and most convenient cafes where taking your pooch is most certainly welcomed.

Double Barrel Kitchen
Two locations mean double the doggie good times. Double Barrel Kitchen not only serves up delicious eats and plenty of good vibes, they also allow pups to join in the fun.
Where: Shop 4/64 Karbunya Street, Mermaid Waters and 1 The Concourse, Benowa

Ground N Sound
House-made cakes are one of the greatest things cafes can do. Wash that down with a cuppa, (or some wine if you like) a bit of live music, and your dog by your side and that’s pretty much the best time we reckon you can have. Do it at Ground N Sound.
Where: 6/23 Musgrave Avenue, Chirn Park

Le Vintage Boutique Cafe Puppy (image supplied)
Le Vintage Boutique Cafe Puppy (image supplied)

Papercup Coffee
The prettiest of spots, found in two locations Papercup Coffee has some stellar coffee and of course some delicious treats you can share with your furry mate. Perfect. Puppacino, anyone?
Where: 16 Frank Street, Labrador and 201 Ferry Road, Southport

Parc Bah Espresso
Opposite an awesome dog park, this Southport cafe welcomes your four-legged furry friend while you dine. There are even special doggie treats to keep your best friend occupied while you catch up with your human-friends.
Where: Shop 4/5, 19 Alicia Street, Southport

Cafe Catalina
Cafe Catalina is located along the picturesque shores of the Broadwater Parklands and is the absolute perfect way to end a walk of your furry friend around the parklands. Sit on the deck and watch as the world passes you by both on land and sea!
Where: Broadwater Parklands, 10/11 Gold Coast Highway, Southport

Roller Door Espresso
At the heart of it, this hole-in-the-wall nook is incredibly easy on the eyes. After you’ve managed to peel your gaze off all of the incredible interior goodness, it’s down to business with fine baked treats and welcome arms for you and your doggo.
Where: 2/85 Ashmore Road, Bundall

Palm Springs
What these guys don’t know about coffee isn’t worth knowing. With the freshest looking aesthetic around, this new Burleigh Heads hangout is a great place to bring your pooch grab a coffee and just watch the day drift by. Plus, with surroundings as good as this, how could you not want to do a quick photoshoot of your pup?
Where: 1878 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Wildflower Distillery & Bar is dog-friendly (image supplied)
Wildflower Distillery & Bar is dog-friendly (image supplied)

Wildflower Distillery
Seems every man and his dog is making craft spirits these days, and we couldn’t be more thankful for it if we tried. Wildflower is the place to round up your crew and go sample some great gins, and now fantastic vodka. Don’t forget to take your furry friend as well because they are made most welcome!
Where: 2/486 Scottsdale Drive, Varsity Lakes

Alfred’s Diner
Home to one of the Coast’s best breakfast burritos and all of the cool kids from Mermaid Beach this chilled garden space off the highway is a dog-friendly nirvana. Alfred’s Diner has also recently extended their trading hours, you can now even take the pup along with you for dinner! No more leaving them at home on date night!
Where: 2389 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

BSKT Cafe
BSKT Cafe makes taking your dog out for a date easy, as you won’t need to remember to pack water as they have plenty of dog bowls placed in the outside area. So you can sip on your favourite juice while your furry companion keeps hydrated too!
Where: 4 Lavarack Road, Nobby Beach

The Henchman
The big Miami beauty boasts plenty of space for all of your daily dose of tail wagging. Who knows what can happen when there are opportunities for your pooch to make new friends? Grab yourself some tasty eats and kick back in a hammock at The Henchman while the dogs have a play date.
Where: 8 Henchman Avenue, Miami

Paddock Bakery
Arguably one of the hottest breakfast spots on the Coast, Paddock Bakery is a stylish weatherboard cottage with a leafy garden that welcomes you and your four-legged friend any day of the week. Dippy eggs + doggos = good idea.
Where: 18 Hibiscus Haven, Miami

Paddock Bakery Puppy (image supplied)
Paddock Bakery Puppy (image supplied)

Lakeview Cafe
Lakeview Cafe is a hidden Burleigh Waters gem and an absolute favourite amongst the locals (not only humankind either). You can buy doggie treats and have your dog join you in the spacious outside area.
Where: 100 Burleigh Street, Burleigh Waters

Commune
Your favourite Burleigh local has a huge outside area with plenty of shade for you and your pup to enjoy. Weekend brekkies just got that much better!
Where: 1844 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Street Corner Espresso
The family-run lower Gold Coast Highway cafe has great food, great service and a spacious outside area that any dog will love to lie down and soak up the sun in. Sounds like paw-fection!
Where: 1/1840 Lower Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Espresso Moto
Tried and tested many a time, Espresso Moto is as pup-friendly as they come. There’s a bowl for doggo drinking water and, if you’ve got a very good boy (or girl) on your hands, they may be lucky enough to score a treat. Fun for everyone.
Where: 2/1389 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach or 1/88 Markeri Street, Mermaid Waters

Portside Coffee
Portside Coffee is an entire family-friendly cafe in Currumbin’s industrial area. When we say ‘entire family’ we mean your fur baby too. It’s an entirely outdoor area so there’s plenty of space so you can soak up some sunshine while you’re getting caffeinated.
Where: 42 Currumbin Ck Road, Currumbin Waters

The Salt Mill
Merely steps off the beach, this popular hole-in-the-wall has seating and will often have a congregation of dogs mingling with each other as their owners sip coffee and enjoy one of the coast’s best acai bowls. Once you’re done, slip onto the sand and take your puppy for a paddle!
Where: 785 Pacific Parade, Currumbin

Barefoot Barista (Image supplied)
Barefoot Barista (Image supplied)

Le Vintage Boutique Cafe
This VERY popular little spot found in beautiful Worongary is serving up some of the best coffee around. And they’re all about the doggo’s too. It’s a unique little spot, once you’ve found it, and one you’ll want to lock in to visit again.
Where: 1 Kurilpa Street, Worongary

Parkway Coffee
The newest of the bunch is Parkway Coffee, a sweet little garden hideaway by the gals at Third Base Coffee, Palm Beach. There’s great food, great coffee and the best thing of all, pups are of course welcome!
Where: Robina Quays, 16b, 361 Robina Parkway, Robina

South East Cafe & Bar
This southern extremity is bringing great food and even better coffee to the beachy back streets of Coolangatta. Better yet, when you’ve come off the sand and have salty hair swing by here for the best dog-friendly vibes.
229 Boundary Street, Coolangatta

Barefoot Barista
This laid-back Palm Beach institution dishes up amazing food and consistent quality coffee, best of all – they’d love you to bring your dog along.
Where: 15 Palm Beach Avenue, Palm Beach

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

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