Remember as a child when climbing to the top of things was the absolute greatest achievement possible? Well turns out, even as an adult, reaching (literal) new heights makes you feel like a million dollars.
So much so that Robina has recently acquired a brand new, state-of-the-art space so we Gold Coasters can climb things to our hearts’ content (but in air-con).
It’s called Alpine Indoor Climbing and it’s an extremely interesting (and aesthetically pleasing) venue designed for everyone from beginners to the advanced among us, to experience the challenging satisfaction of bouldering (with pretty coloured, faux boulders because, indoors).
Created by husband and wife team Jamie and Kirsty Booth along with Jamie’s brother Joe Booth, Alpine Indoor Climbing opened as the only climbing space on the Coast of its’ kind and let us tell you, it’s impressive.
The actual space itself was designed by an innovative German company by the name of Blocz and the process of creation is fascinating. Jamie and Kirsty created a model which was built and scanned in and over numerous months in design phase the project came to life.
And said project is a room with geometric shapes built onto the walls and brightly coloured boulder-like blocks (technical) placed on said shapes to resemble climbing an actual cliff face.
You can go straight up, up at an angle, upside down, any which way you please really, following tracks built at different grades. Which means you can practice on climbing walls the pros train on and yes, there are soft mats beneath to cushion you, should you fall (climbing back down is recommended of course).
Basically it’s the good time your younger self would have absolutely loved, but built for your adult self (strictly 10 years old plus) wanting both a challenge and a fun time.
Not to mention you can get coffee and have a chat with other climbers, many of whom can give you tips on becoming your very best climbing self.
If you haven’t climbed a boulder in quite some time (same), you can get a casual visit pass and then once you’re hooked, go for a 10-visit pass or a membership for six or 12 months or a no contract membership. And you will get hooked!
Alpine Indoor Climbing was built by climbers for both those who are already passionate about the sport and those who don’t yet know they are.
We highly recommend getting down to Robina to give it a go for yourself, you’re guaranteed to work up a sweat and probably have a laugh while you’re at it.
Plus, your inner child gets to feel like a million dollars and there’s nothing better than that.
LOCATION: 86 Robina Town Centre Drive, Robina
HOURS: 6am until 8.30pm Monday to Friday, 8am until 6pm Saturday and 10am until 6pm Sunday
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
STORY SPONSORED BY ALPINE INDOOR CLIMBING
If there’s one place on the Gold Coast where you can both shop up an absolute storm and wander amongst stunning natural parklands, it is Robina; a Gold Coast suburb set slightly back from the coastline and offering a huge variety of eats and experiences.
In honour of showcasing the Coast in all its’ unique glory, we’ve compiled a list of 15 reasons locals love Robina, so you too can experience all the fun there is to be had.
My French Pastries
A venue called My French Pastries needs no introduction but since they’re some of the most delicious pastries around, they get one anyway. Jen and Antonio Marchesi have created something really special here with French pastries made from scratch and taste absolutely divine. Think Key Lime Chantilly, Lemon Meringue, Blueberry and Chocolate tarts, all so very beautiful. There are also life-changing savoury goodies and you’ll want to sample everything.
Where: Robina Quays Shopping Centre, 5/361 Robina Parkway, Robina
Eddy + Wolff
The trendiest of the Robina bunch, Eddy + Wolff opened in early 2019 bringing exceptional, modern Asian eats to the people. It’s a sleek, 22-seat venue by the people who also offer the most delicious eats up north at Can Tho Kitchen and it’s an absolute must-try. The menu is made up of BBQ-style dishes, snacks, bigger plates and sides, all of which are designed to share and hail from Thao and Vien’s home country of Vietnam, China, Japan and Korea to name a few. The drinks list is tight and perfectly curated to match the food with a lemon sake you definitely need to try. One of your absolute faves.
Where: 44 Commerce Drive, Robina
A hidden gem that may just be the reason the term ‘hidden gem’ was coined, Cocotte Dining offers a fusion of French and Japanese cuisines and it is hands down some of the best food on the Coast. Found a little off the beaten track at Robina Quays, Cocotte are producing dishes like Slow Cooked Ox Tail and Beef Cheek with red wine, sake and miso stew and it is a melt-in-your-mouth dish if ever you’ve tasted one. An exceptional spot, get down there and sample their degustation menu.
Where: Shop 16A, 361 Robina Parkway, Robina
Foodie marketplace-style situations are one of life’s greatest gifts. So many edible options in one area, heavenly. The Kitchens is one of those market-style situations with an array of exceptional venues all within the one beautifully appointed area. Think tasty teppanyaki, big old burgers, a vegan foodie venue and even a craft beer bar also offering delicious eats. There is more choice than any one person needs and it is all of the high quality variety.
Where: Robina Town Centre, Robina
The famed German bier bar opened in Robina, much to the delight of locals, slinging giant pretzels, hotdogs and of course, an array of German biers. Not only that goodness, there’s also a ping pong table to hit a few rounds on, a sunlit courtyard and lots of drink and dining specials. Get in there for guaranteed good times.
Where: The Kitchens, Robina Town Centre, Robina
El Camino Cantina
A good time Mexi-joint opened up at Robina Town Centre bringing one of the most colour-filled interiors we’ve ever come across, a menu packed with family-friendly Mexi eats and frozen margaritas (the best thing). El Camino Cantina, The legendary venue is one of four Queensland restaurants and it’s known for neon signage, sweet sombreros and a time you won’t long forget. Gather the crew and get on it.
Where: Robina Town Centre, Robina Town Centre Drive, Robina
CBUS Super Stadium
Home of the Gold Coast’s beloved Titans, CBUS Super Stadium one of the best regional stadiums Australia and it’s ours, all ours. Not only do Gold Coasters spend their weekends cheering on the boys here but we’ve also been lucky enough to watch A-league and international football games, the Nitro Circus and the Rugby 7s as part of the Commonwealth Games. Yay CBUS bringing us all the sporting joy.
Where: Centreline Place, Robina
An old Robina favourite got quite the glow up late recently, transforming it into sleek new venue complete with a deck overlooking the water, a specialised kids area and plenty of good vibes. Robina Pavilion boasts a menu packed with epic eats from woodfired pizzas to stacked burgers and you can also get involved in the impressive cocktail menu featuring the one and only, Mr Consistent. It’s the perfect spot for sun-soaked afternoon sessions with the crew.
Where: 229 Ron Penhaligon Way, Robina
Robina Parkway Dog Park
Obviously one for the locals with hairy mates but if you’ve got one too, we highly recommend letting him or her have a crack at this place. There are all kinds of fun things for your doggo to explore including tunnels and hurdles and they’ll no doubt make a new friend or two in the process. If you don’t have a pooch, get down there to try and score a free pat anyway.
Where: Lot 21, Robina Parkway, Robina
Taboon Modern Middle Eastern Café
Middle Eastern is an absolute favourite, all spice-filled and flavoursome and some of the very best varieties of it can be found right here on the Gold Coast, in Robina conveniently. Taboon Modern Middle Eastern Café has been around for quite some time and the menu is one that must be sampled ASAP. Taboon is Arabic for stone oven and the cuisine draws influence from Marrakesh to Istanbul and Cairo to Beirut. Think authentic hummus, grilled skewers and slow-cooked Moroccan tagines. Everything is absolutely incredible and you must go today.
Where: Easy T Centre, 514 Christine Avenue, Robina
The newest of the bunch is Parkway Coffee by the clever gals who also created Third Base in Palmy. The newbie is similar in laidback, community vibes and is also serving up the same level of tasty brunch eats. Like their famous Egg and Bacon Turkish – a larger (and yummier) version of the B&E roll we all love so much. Pop in and spend some time in the garden devouring all of the goodies.
Where: Robina Quays, 16b, 361 Robina Parkway, Robina
If open spaces and all of the greenery, in the middle of a city no less, is your thing (yes please), Cheltenham Park is a lovely place to frequent. There are plenty of areas to run around with the kiddies or the dog, bushwalking tracks and big leafy trees to stretch out beneath with a picnic and your favourite people. It’s the perfect spot if you’re keen to escape the city but don’t feel like driving too far to find some greenery.
Where: Cheltenham Drive, Robina
Dark Fluid Espresso
A sweet, European-inspired coffee and brunch spot at the East T Centre in Robina bringing big, perfectly balanced flavours and some of the best coffee around. Owned by the husband and wife team who once brought us the very best deli goods at Robina Town Centre, this cafe is bursting with all your favourite breaky and lunch eats with a hint of that European flair you know and love. Plus there’s plenty of parking out front and lots of lovely, welcoming vibes inside. Love.
Where: Easy T Centre, 510 Christine Avenue, Robina
The Sporting Globe
The spacious, sports-themed bar and restaurant made a big splash on Robina Town Centre when it moved in late last year. Within The Sporting Globe there are 50 high definition screens including two, 5m2 screens and a nine-screen video wall, so there’s absolutely no way you’ll miss a second of any sporting action. They’re also serving up perfect sport-watching food, frosty beers and lots of fun. Can it be summer already please?
Where: The Promenade, Robina Town Centre, Robina
Alpine Indoor Climbing
Robina’s state-of-the-art climbing centre is a very good time if you’re looking for a new challenge or simply enjoy climbing things as an adult (same). Alpine Indoor Climbing opened last year and it’s become a favourite of both professional and beginner climbers since. There are varying levels of challenges and you can go across, or straight up, anyway you like really and there are cushioned pads underneath should you lose your grip. Good times.
Where: 86 Robina Town Centre Drive, Robina
Words by Kirra Smith
Feels like it’s been five minutes since the kids were on holidays and low and behold, the schools are letting them loose again. Sigh.
Keeping them occupied— and you sane — will need some carefully considered tact. But let’s face facts here: you are on the Gold Coast. That means beaches, shopping and theme parks on your doorstep that other people would vacation here for. Nevertheless, what happens when the kids are keen for something a bit more diverse to pass the time?
Never fear, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of some of our favourite things to do on the Gold Coast when school is out.
Level Up Arcade
The Arcade is the 80s and 90s incarnate. Found on the first floor of the Oasis Shopping Centre in Broadbeach, Level Up features 62 of the best games from this era. With Lane Master Bowling, pool table, 3D pong, limited edition pinballs, a classic arcade with 40 of your old school games, LA Lakers hoops, big buck hunter, Jurassic Park, down the clown, ring toss and plenty more. Worn out kids by the end of the day are guaranteed.
Where: The Oasis Shopping Centre, 75 Surf Parade, Broadbeach
With 60 minutes on the clock, you and the family are left in a mysterious room to solve puzzles, crack riddles, open locks and escape the madness. It’s a fast-paced hour where you will either come out with big old smiles on your faces — or in need of a big old glass of wine. It’s such a fun time either way though.
Where: 3177 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise
Ripley’s Believe it or Not
Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium is Surfers Paradise’s most unusual and far-fetched attraction. Found in Soul Boardwalk, Ripley’s offers sixteen individually themed galleries of unbelievable artifacts and interactive exhibits where you will come face to face with remarkable relics and rare treasures from around the world. Experience the weird and unbelievable, see shrunken heads, survive a walk through the spinning vortex tunnel, unusual artwork, and things that make you go eww. Get a discount here!
Where: Soul Boardwalk, Cavill Mall, Surfers Paradise
Found at the edge of Currumbin Creek, Currumbin Boatshed Bait and Tackle offers plenty of choices to ensure you and the kids get to have the best possible time on the water. They’ve got fishing gear, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, surfboards and much more. All are available for purchase or they also have hire options for kayaks, SUPs and fishing gear. Ever seen somebody on a SUP and thought you’d like to give it a go? Well, here’s your chance folks, as they offer regular SUP lessons for beginners!
Where: 1/2-4 Thrower Drive, Currumbin
It’s the perfect place for big and small kids alike. Spend some time choosing from over 1,000 different sweet treats, American brands like Hershey’s, Reese’s, Trolli, Twizzler and Cheeto’s, to your local favourites like Allen’s and Nestle. There’s also a wide variety of liquorice, rock candy and pick and mix sweets to choose from. From gobsmackers to chocolate fudge, you’re sure to find something to satiate your taste buds.
Where: Shop 1/3179 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise
What child doesn’t love a bit of mini-golf? None, as far as we know. Luckily, the Gold Coast is home to a collection of enjoyable putt-putt spots, and they are dotted throughout the city — so you could even make a day of it and visit several of them — should that be your kind of thing! Our favourites are King Tutts and Mini Golf in Surfers Paradise and Putt Putt Mermaid Beach.
Where: Various locations
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is a nature-based institution that’s been delighting families for the last 70 years. Check all your favourite Aussie animals, watch the bird show Wild Skies or wander through Lost Valley and gaze at some of the magical creatures that existed when Australia was part of the ancient supercontinent Gondwana. If you haven’t been before or it’s been a while, it’s about time you went and spent a fun day in Currumbin with some furry and feathered friends.
Where: 28 Tomewin Street, Currumbin
It’s an incredible journey through a world of illusion at Infinity. Think futuristic, maze-like world of wonder with unique rooms and sensory overloads that will have you laughing, jumping, and feeling as though you’re in a dream. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. Get an exclusive discount here!
Where: Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre, G31/3240 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise
It goes without saying the Coast’s theme parks are some of our biggest attractions for visitors. From Movie World with its themed rides, wandering movie stars and cartoon characters; to Dreamworld with its big thrill rides; Seaworld; with impressive sea creatures and mind-blowing live shows; Wet n Wild with all of the epic waterslides and a giant wave pool; Outback Spectacular with incredible special effects, a story of outback Australia and some absolutely beautiful animals. All SUCH a good time and the kids will be thrilled to be at any one of them.
Walkin on Water
Walkin On Water Surf School can be found at Greenmount Beach in Coolangatta and uses the town’s beautiful beaches to their full potential — which are the perfect places for all levels of surfer. These guys pride themselves on offering group and private lessons for all ages and surfing abilities, from the age of 4 right through to those in their 80’s. Greenmount is an amazing location for beginners and early intermediates, having a good amount of protection from southerly swells it is renowned, amongst others, as the ideal learn-to-surf location on the Gold Coast. Get $25 OFF here.
Where: Marine Parade, Coolangatta
Go for a picnic
Relaxation, good views and all of the food. It’s an almost free activity (you have to buy the food we’re afraid) and when choosing the right spot (maybe nearby a playground), can fill up a whole day. Check out our list of the best places to throw down a rug here.
For a real fun time hit up Broadwater Parklands in Southport. There’s a huge range of free activities including the rockpool water playground, giant bouncy pillow, BBQ areas, eats and a little train that fits big kids (you) and little ones.
Where: Marine Parade, Southport
Known as the Gold Coast’s favourite family-friendly nightspot for tasty street food, fun cocktails, boutique shopping and live bands, Miami Marketta is so so good. Save some coins and share a couple of tapas-style plates amongst the whole family. Oh, and make sure you check out the dessert area too.
Where: 23 Hillcrest Parade, Miami
Currumbin Rock Pools
If you’re looking for something more adventurous and exciting to do, Currumbin Rock Pools is just the ticket. The beautiful scenic drive through Currumbin Valley is enough of an attraction in itself, taking you straight to the natural swimming pool next to Currumbin Valley Primary School. In utter tranquillity, you may just want to cool down and splash in the water or enjoy some family time over a BBQ at the designated picnic area.
Where: Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Valley
Take the family and stroll along one of our many local markets on the coast. There’s everything from fresh locally grown produce to fashion, homewares, souvenirs, arts and crafts. Our top three favourite markets are Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets (4pm-9pm Wednesday, Friday & Sunday nights), The Village Markets Burleigh Heads (8am-1pm, 1st & 3rd Sundays) and Carrara Markets (7am-4pm every Saturday & Sunday). Check out the rest here.
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
Hiking. It’s an acquired taste but if walking long distances for the sheer joy of it floats your boat, where better to indulge than the picturesque Gold Coast. Particularly at the height of summer.
There are many places to trek around outside the comfort of your Netflix binge zone and here are five of them (from a literal walk in the park to the mother of all hiking adventures, in that order). Don’t forget water bottles and snacks.
Apple Tree Park Tracks
Sounds delightful doesn’t it. The park itself is actually a possible starting point for entry onto The Great Walk but allows your tired bones a bit of respite if 54km of walking is slightly out of your comfort zone (yes, hi). You can pretty much walk as far as you like, for as long as you like and then turn around and walk back for a picnic in the park. Take healthy foods so your walk doesn’t feel like it’s in vain.
Start: On Springbrook Rd next to the Springbrook Mountain Chalets
No doubt you’ve (at least) seen snaps of the stunning little spot that is Natural Bridge. A literal rock bridge in the middle of the rainforest complete with a sparkly waterfall and so much beautiful greenery and fresh air and relaxing wilderness noises. It’s a stunner and a fairly cruisy downhill walk to get there (bit slippery on the bridge so watch your step) and through the trees. Obvs it’s uphill on the way back but you won’t even notice you’ll be so chilled out. Make sure you’ve got a camera to capture the magic.
Start: Follow the signs towards Springbrook and then you will see signs for Natural Bridge on Natural Bridge Rd
South Stradbroke Island
Saying you’ve circumnavigated something is, quite frankly, a dream that’s always been somewhat unattainable. Until now. It’s possible to walk the entire way around South Straddy and, while it might take you awhile (it’s 21km long and 2.5km wide) it’s well worth it for the breathtaking views. Walking from the western side to the east will only take you around an hour so that’s quite relaxing. All the way around will take you at least a day so ensure you pack provisions. Once you’re done you should definitely stop in at McLarens Landing (the pub) because a hard earned thirst needs a big cold beer.
Start: Take the ferry from Hope Island and start your walk from wherever your little heart desires
Toolona Creek Circuit
Keen for a day of walking? Neither, but there are some folks who might be. To those people we say, get on board the Toolona Creek Circuit. The first part will take you to Picnic Rock and along the Toolona Creek to the falls. From there you can detour to the lookout for a rest and gaze lovingly out at the Tweed Valley, Mt Warning, Byron Bay and Straddy (hi hiking friends). Sounds chill enough except the entire track will probably take you around seven hours too. Prepare before you go and if it gets too much, turn yourself around and head home. Good luck.
Start: Head to Canungra and follow the signs to Lamington Plateau, Green Mountain Car Park aka O’Reillys.
The Great Walk
Go hard or go home right. This one’s a doozy and you might want to carve out a good chunk of time for the 54km trek. It’s best to start at Lamington National Park and finish at Springbrook and they say to allow three days to complete the walk (sheer joy remember). You’ll skirt around the rim of the Tweed Volcano and pass through the ancient lands of the Yugambeh people. Maybe put in a bit of practice with the walks below before you set out on this little adventure, it ain’t for the faint hearted. Take plenty water, camping gear and ensure you’re equipped for all weather possibilities.
Start: From the Pacific Motorway, take the Nerang exit (exit 69 from the north, exit 71 from the south) and follow the signs to Lamington National Park.
Words by Kirra Smith