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4 barefoot bowls spots on the Coast

Burleigh Bowls Club (image supplied)
Burleigh Bowls Club (image supplied)

If there is something more quintessentially Australian than getting into some barefoot bowls on a sunny afternoon, then we have never heard of it. Right here on the Gold Coast, this pastime has never been more at home; mixed with our relaxed lifestyle and incredible weather, bowls and the Gold Coast are simply made for one another.

Trends have changed, and bowls is no longer associated with just the elder portion of society (apart from the fact most of these folks are pretty good when it comes to hitting the greens), because why should they have all the fun!?  The slow-paced and uber sociable aspects of this game are what time off in the sunshine is all about: no rushing around required at all.

Here are four spots to spend an untroubled afternoon sipping drinks and enjoying some fine food — all with a dash of competition thrown in there for good measure!

Tugun Bowls Club (image supplied)
Tugun Bowls Club (image supplied)

Burleigh Heads Bowls Club
This is the place to gather your squad and spend an arvo when you find yourself in the bustling heartland of Burleigh Heads. Steeped in history dating back to 1937, the historic club has barefoot bowls available between 12pm – 5pm on Sunday afternoons for only $10 per person (Tuesday to Saturday, you can play after 5pm). Due to its insane popularity, there are two sessions – from 12pm to 2.30pm and 2.30pm to 5pm. Make sure you book! If you’ve never played barefoot bowls, don’t worry, they even have coaches to help get you started. Once you’ve worked up a hunger from all the action, the Village Green restaurant is right on hand seven days a week with a plethora of great dishes and specials.
Where: Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads

Tugun Bowls Club
Located on Kaleena Street, Tugun Bowls and Community Club is a club run by bowlers for bowlers, with the prettiest of manicured greens and good times aplenty. Perpetually bathed in glorious sunshine, why not enjoy a drink from the well-stocked bar or eat up a storm five days a week. Every Thursday, you’ll find 50% off the menu — so be sure to book ahead for a table as it gets busy!  Picnic by the Green is a lively barefoot bowls session kicking off at 2pm on Sundays with live entertainment and a selection of tasty street food at your disposal. All that is left is to insert you and your gang for $10 per rink.
Where: Kaleena St, Tugun

Broadbeach Bowls Club (image supplied)
Broadbeach Bowls Club (image supplied)

Broadbeach Bowls Club
The official home of the Commonwealth Games lawn bowls contingent, Broadbeach Bowls Club is just steps from the beach and offers a great way to spend an afternoon. Every Sunday from 9am – 9pm (the most extended barefoot session on the Coast), you and your squad — as well as 50+ others — can enjoy two hours of fun for only $10 per person. Choose between one of four championship-level greens — and let the games begin! The Matador Bistro is also home to a huge and inspired menu, with drool-worthy sections devoted to dishes from the grill, seafood platters, pizzas and more.
Where: 169 Surf Pde, Broadbeach

Club Musgrave Bowls
Tucked away in Southport, you’ll find this stellar venue of bowls and one of the oldest clubs on the entire Coast. Carefree barefoot bowls is available throughout the week across their fully shaded greens and is only $5 per person! So turn up, throw off your shoes, and you’re well on your way to having some serious fun! At heart, a community-driven club, there’s always entertainment going down across the weekend, raffles galore, and kids are made most welcome. Bistro 4215 is your go-to after you’ve hit the greens, for a refreshing bevvie and tasty tucker. It’s also worth noting, locals should plan ahead, as their courtesy bus can really make the afternoon hitting the green a breeze.
Where: 104 Musgrave Avenue, Southport

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Club Musgrave Bowls (image supplied)
Club Musgrave Bowls (image supplied)

12 Sunday session spots on the Gold Coast

Burleigh Pavilion (image supplied)
Burleigh Pavilion (image supplied)

What could be more Australian than spending a sunny Sunday afternoon with mates indulging in a slew of drinks and generally celebrating life? It’s a given right to live it up on a Sunday no matter what the week is!

Because if you’re going to that Monday morning performance review/toolbox meeting a little worse for wear, where do you go to stretch out the weekend just that little bit longer? We’ve rounded up the places that embrace Sunday frolics and are the perfect way to round out the week — or in the case of a long weekend: get things started!

Burleigh Pavilion
Very few places offer a better view and, therefore, a better Sunday session option than Burleigh Pavilion. Right on the ocean in the heart of bustling Burleigh Heads and offering both a sit down (The Tropic) and more casual menu paired with all of the lovely sips and buzzing atmosphere: there’s no way you’re not having a good time at ‘The Pav’.
Where: Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads

Cali Beach (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Cali Beach (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Cali Beach
If you haven’t seen the news of this multi-million-dollar entertainment precinct having only just opened in Surfers Paradise, can we ask what rock you have been living under? The rooftop venue is a behemoth day and night club with a multitude of seating options around several pools, and already has a stellar line-up of DJs such as Brooke Evers and Little Fritter organised for summer. All-day Sunday Sesh, here you come!
Where: 21a Elkhorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Mermaid Beach Tavern
One of the city’s best-loved taverns is back — and what a makeover it has had. From comfortable dining options and breakaway spaces you can hire, to a fully dedicated sports bar and a perpetually sunny back deck area. Whether you’re with a lively crowd or the kids, the space caters for everyone — and all tastes — with ease.
Where: 2500 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

Justin Lane Rooftop
Quite possibly the alfresco place to be, not only on a Sunday but any day of the week. The rooftop bar is the perfect spot to enjoy a sunny afternoon, lavishing your eyes with views of the Burleigh foreshore and stunning Gold Coast skyline. Oozing personality, this Burleigh Heads institution never disappoints!
Where: 1708-1710 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Justin Lane Rooftop (Image supplied)
Justin Lane Rooftop (Image supplied)

Fat Freddy’s
This venue takes care of your Sunday sessions with everything your heart could desire. Think imaginative and moreish cocktails, a delicious modernised American diner-style menu, beer towers and more than enough screens displaying every sport known to humankind. Get comfortable — you’re going nowhere.
Where: 50 Surf Parade, Broadbeach

Nineteen at The Star
After brunch comes the after-party, and that’s what’s up at the fanciest rooftop bar on the entire Gold CoastNineteen at The Star. Indulge in a boozy brunch on the restaurant side and then head over to the bar for kick-ons overlooking the city and the ocean. There’s a stunning drinks menu, and you get to dress up in your prettiest frock too.
Where: The Star Gold Coast, Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach

Surfers Pavilion
Arrive by boat or jet-ski and slip into an oasis of sublime food, decadent cocktail jugs and a generally all-round good time! Likely one of the most eye-catching openings of 2021, this diverse venue offers different experiences for everyone. Take things slowly with oysters and champagne on high tables or turn it up with on-tap frosé on the decking area. There’s also a regular ticketed Sunday Brunch Club — or is that too early for you?
Where: 30-34 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Surfers Pavilion at sunset (image supplied)
Surfers Pavilion at sunset (image supplied)

Fisherman’s Wharf Tavern
If you’re as old as us, you remember the good ol’ days of Fisho’s, well Sunday sessions are back. Nothing beats watching the sunset across the Broadwater, so Fisho’s is the perfect spot for a classic brew or cocktail and a nibble with friends. From 2pm-6pm there’s a live DJ on the deck with sax and bongo’s that are sure to inject some fun and entertainment into your Sunday. Of course, there’s always a tonne of sport on-screen to ensure you never miss your favourite team.
Where: Shop 40, 60-70 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach

Hidden in plain sight, Bo’teku in Coolangatta are not only serving up yummy eats and a smashing cocktail menu but live music on Sunday arvos — all whilst overlooking the ocean. Meander in after some time on the beach and settle in for an afternoon well spent.
Where: Shop 6, 110 Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Garden Kitchen & Bar
Wind down the weekend at Garden Kitchen & Bar, where lazy afternoons meet steamy nights. Think live tunes on the deck, flirty banter on the lawn, frosty drinks at the bar, and tasty bites from two different menus… all the ingredients for an A-grade Sunday session in our book.
Where: The Star Gold Coast, Casino Drive, Broadbeach

Garden Kitchen & Bar (image supplied)
Garden Kitchen & Bar (image supplied)

Tropic Vice
As if you needed any more encouragement to hit up Nobby Beach on a Sunday, and then this little number decided to come into our lives. This rooftop stunner has recently opened and, from the outlook, is primed to be a leading place to sip drinks and mingle in the afternoon sun. Backed by an incredible Floribbean/South American led menu and exclusive Champagne packages, Sundays have just been elevated a notch.
Where: Upstairs, 2215 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach

Surf Clubs
How could we create a list of Sunday sessions and not include our beloved surf clubs?! Look, we all have our favourites, and for the most part, they are all amazing places to grab frosty beers, tuck into some great and often modestly priced food, whilst enjoying a relaxed and uncomplicated atmosphere. And what about the views! There’s far too many to mention here, but everyone has their unique attraction and equate to being one of the best ways to spend a Sunday arvo.
Where: Multiple locations

Burleigh Hill
Want to keep it casual and not spend the big bucks? Head to Food Works in Burleigh’s James Street, stock up on cheese and crackers, pick up a bottle of wine and make your way to Burleigh Hill for a Sunday session Burleigh style. Simples!
Where: Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Life Saving Club (image supplied)
Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Life Saving Club (image supplied)

20 reasons locals love Burleigh Heads

Oh Burleigh you little beauty, what’s not to love right? Since the dawn of time (or the dawn of the GC at least) Burleigh has been one of the most-loved suburbs amongst a slew of strong contenders.

Sure, the beach is beautiful and James Street boasts all the best eats and acai bowls galore but it’s more than that, Burleigh has a soul of its own born of cruisy, barefoot, salty seabreeze vibes you simply won’t find anywhere else.

Gushing aside, here are 20 solid reasons why the locals love it and you should too (or else). And yes, we understand there are many more, hold your horses for list 2.0.

Restaurant Labart
The fine dining venue is only a couple of years old, but in that time has become one of the Gold Coast’s premier dining destinations. Tucked away on West Street, the five-star, seasonal produce-led restaurant is an absolute must-visit and your dining experience there is one you won’t long forget. The produce is sustainable and the wine list is filled with some of the most stunning natural wines in the world. The service is impeccable too, but in a fun, not-too-formal way. We LOVE.
Where: 2A/8 West Street, Burleigh Heads 

It’s the good time, slightly fancy Australiana bar of your dreams and it is perfectly at home in Burleigh Heads. Rosella’s very quickly became a firm local favourite when it opened last year and with both a drinks and food menu made up entirely of Australian produce, we are in love. There are cocktails made with Nutri Grain, some of the tastiest toasties around and all the very best Aussie beers. It’s refined, beautifully decked out and created by a couple of absolute legends. Love.
Where: 6/1734 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Mr Hizola’s
Yum, contemporary Cantonese food, we love you. Mr Hizola’s is dishing up the goods in the form of tasty share-style dishes and we are here for it. Particularly the sizzling steak dish that is all kinds of delicious and an array of epic cocktails to match. Mr Hizola’s is by the gang who brought you Hideaway Kitchen and Bar, Nightjar (see below), Bine, Soho Place and Nightcap, so it’s fair to say they know what’s up.
Where: 1730 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Hill
Well hasn’t this simple little piece of Mother Nature become a local legend. No matter the day of the week (but particularly Sunday arvos) “the hill” as it’s affectionately known is packed with picnic rugs, ball games and groups of revelers basking in the sunshine. Looking out over the ocean and with the city in the distance, it’s the perfect spot for a late afternoon lemonade or early morning coffee date with the crew. If you’re feeling energetic, take a stroll around the hill to Talle Creek for some Insta-worthy scenery.
Where: The south end of The Esplanade, Burleigh Heads

It’s the good old-fashioned party bar Burleigh has welcomed with open arms and there’s absolutely no doubt that all the best things go down behind Nightjar’s spray painted roller door. Inspired by wanderluster Sailor Jerry and with very few rules, the back alley bar is home to epic live jams, crazy cocktails and guaranteed good times.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads 

Iku Yakitori Bar
Yakitori translates to chicken on a stick, simple enough to describe, but much more intricate in nature. As for Iku, ask the crew when you stop in. Also found in Burleigh’s bustling back alley, Iku is even better than you’d imagine it to be. Skewers are the name of the game and no part of the chicken is left behind. There’s also veggo ones and some ridiculous edamame dip and plenty of tasty cocktails too.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads 

Jimmy Wahs
The stunning space offers incredible Vietnamese dishes inspired by Head Chef Jakes’ trip through Vietnam and a desire to eat some of the very best street food in the world every single day. Same. It’s a refined style of dining paired with mouthwatering cocktails and a sleek, paired back vibe. Jimmy Wahs is one of the Gold Coast’s most impressive eateries and we are big fans.
Where: 1724 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Sean Scott Boutique
Gold Coast local Sean Scott is a world-renowned surf and nature photographer and his gallery on James Street is filled with his stunning images and the coolest of clothing and accessories. The gallery has been open for five years and is the perfect spot to stop in for some creative inspo or grab yourself a piece of Sean’s incredible art. Read our interview with the man himself here.
Where: 21 James Street, Burleigh Heads

Rick Shores
Literally opening out onto the sand at Burleigh beach, Rick Shores is loved (not only locally) for its stunning sunset views and those tiny little taste sensations otherwise known as Bug Rolls. If you’ve never tasted one, you’ve been wasting your life, make a booking RIGHT NOW and order them all. Wash them down with one of Rick’s signature cocktails and you’re a bonafide Burleigh-ite.
Where: Shop 3, Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Bowls Club
A relaxing little beachside club loved by young and old alike, Burleigh Bowls has been around since 1937 and is certainly a prime piece of real estate these days. Barefoot Bowls roll on from 12 to 5pm every Sunday and it’s a measly $5 per person including coaching and bowls (AKA ball whipper snappers). Live music can be heard on Sunday arvos from 2 to 6pm. Get down and support your local while sipping on a schooner.
Where: Connor Street, Burleigh Heads

The Village Markets
Our beloved boutique fashion and lifestyle market, The Village Markets, is home to hundreds of local makers and has helped to launch the international careers of countless creatives. Head down for an early morning coffee and breakfast while wandering through the stalls until it’s time for lunch. Oh and there’s always live music if you need a breather. It’s the best way to spend a sunny Sunday
Where: Burleigh Heads State School, Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Baker
The baked goods that come out of this friendly little bakery are honestly something else. Owners Geoff and Lisa are passionate about baking and opened Burleigh Baker to provide us with the best tasting and most nutritious Artisan Sourdough and boy do they deliver. They use only the finest ingredients and the traditional process of fermentation. Do not buy bread anywhere else. You’re welcome.
Where: 13/50 James Street, Burleigh Heads

Freedom Float Centre
Floating in an enclosed tank of water may not seem like the most freedom-inducing activity in the world but trust us, it is. It’s the perfect place to experience the deepest of relaxation for the mind and body and literally involves floating weightlessly in a concentrated salt solution in a specially designed lightproof and soundproof pod. You’ll be shut off from the entire world. Sign us up!
Where: 105 West Burleigh Road, Burleigh Heads

Justin Lane Rooftop
Don your finest frock and rally up your girlfriends for a Sunday session and a spot of people watching on the roof at Justin Lane. With cocktails in hand and a balmy breeze blowing in through the windows, you need never go anywhere else again. After a few hours, pop downstairs for one of Justin’s famous pizzas and that’s your Sunday sorted.
Where: 1708 – 1710 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Pavilion
Absolute beachfront views and balmy ocean breezes aside, Burleigh Pavilion is a real treat. The interior is all pastel hues with greenery dotted throughout, two distinct sides including a sit down restaurant (The Tropic) and a more casual beach bar-style situation (The Terrace) for the best of both worlds. There are tasty eats on both sides and many a refreshing cocktail. Not to mention their new baked goods-filled van. Get involved in all of that.
Where: Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Pavilion (image supplied)
Burleigh Pavilion (image supplied)

Ze Pickle
The OG of giant, gourmet burgers, Ze Pickle’s Burleigh Heads store is all the best burgery things. Opened by friends Joey, Nathan and Aaron in 2012, the concept has spread around Australia and is now loved nationwide. Paired by your favourite local craft beer or a tipple of primo tequila and you’ve got yourself a good time.
Where: Corner Park Avenue and Connor Street, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Farmers Markets
Everyone’s favourite Saturday morning market adventure. Get up early, grab your basket and set out in search of fruit, veggies and of course, your first coffee of the weekend. These days the farmers market also boast locally made clothing and homewares, flowers, meat and seafood and delicious breaky and lunch options. There’s also live music and plenty of laughter floating around. Happy days.
Where: Burleigh Heads State School, Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

David Fleays Wildlife Park
Nestled in the heart of Burleigh Heads, David Fleay’s is a wildlife park with a difference. Stroll through the tranquil surroundings to experience some of Queensland’s most iconic natural habitats and meet the resident wildlife — all in just one day. Explore the park solo or join the dedicated Park Rangers at the daily wildlife shows.
Where: Corner of West Burleigh Road and Loman Lane in West Burleigh

Burleigh Brewing Co.
If there’s one thing Burleigh deserves (the big legend), it’s a brewery and Burleigh Brewing Co. certainly delivers. After opening in 2006, Burleigh Brewing Co. has produced nine delicious drops with delightful names such as ‘My Wife’s Bitter’ and ‘FIGJAM’ – perfectly Burleigh. Get a sixer for Netflix and chill or head into the brewery from Wednesday to Sunday afternoons to get amongst it. There’s live tunes too, what a combination.
Where: 2 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads

Lockwood Bar
A somewhat hidden little speakeasy in the heart of Burleigh Heads, Lockwood Bar specialise in all of the very best varieties of whiskey along with many a local tipple transformed into tasty cocktails. It’s a laidback, jazz bar kind of vibe, low lit, often with live music and once you’re inside, you likely won’t want to leave. We dig it.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads

Words by Kirra Smith

Burleigh Heads Bowls Club

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