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Burleigh’s iconic Surf Club gets a fancy facelift

Complete with a 3rd-floor pool!

Breakfast Hash & Disco Cauliflower with turmeric yoghurt, green chilli and pomegranate, Burleigh Surf Club (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Breakfast Hash & Disco Cauliflower with turmeric yoghurt, green chilli and pomegranate, Burleigh Surf Club (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Our surf clubs dotted along the Coast are historical hubs and important social pillars of the community. They’re the uncomplicated place where you can always find a cold beer with a spectacular view or an affordable meal any day of the week — and for this, we love them.

Keeping up with the way the Gold Coast has been reimaging itself has been a fast affair. One such club keen to not ignore this trend, but at the same time not lose their history or nostalgia of yesteryear, is Burleigh Surf Club. An extensive $5 million refurbishment has just been completed, and if you’re anything like us, you’re probably curious to see what has transpired within this iconic venue.

The entire dining and bar space has had a splash of sophistication added but nothing over the top. A dark backdrop highlights a new and impressive marble bar top highlighted by unique birdcage pendant lights, a subtle reference to the name “The Birdcage” given by locals of yesteryear due to women congregating on the higher floor, while men tended to meet downstairs in “The Crabpot”. The bar of course features twenty-plus beer taps showcasing local craft beers alongside other better-known favourites. Oh and should we mention they now sport a two-lane lap pool located on the 3rd floor available for members and nippers? — Yep, it’s a perfect excuse to sign up and actually enjoy exercising at the best spot on the Coast to get in a few laps.

On the dining level, cast your eyes around towards the rest of the venue, and you’re met with a modernised space with large ornamental light features, high tables and that million-dollar view we all know and love. Seriously Gold Coasters, when the sun is shining, and the Pacific Ocean is shimmering, we literally can’t think of a better vista to accompany some tasty food.

Burleigh Surf Club Bar (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Burleigh Surf Club Bar (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

So what is there on the menu?

New executive chef, Paul Macnish (who we must mention has actually had the pleasure of cooking for some of Europe’s most well-know royal families), is a man with a distinct vision in mind. He hasn’t completely reinvented the menu here (it’s ok everyone, a chicken parmi is still on the menu), but he has approached it with fresh eyes. Whilst ensuring the offering isn’t overly fancy, Paul has made the focus on dishes to be nothing short of fresh and tasty.

For breakfast, you have dishes such as the Breakfast Hash with fried halloumi, potato roast capsicum, crisp kale and topped with a poached egg, alongside a selection of freshly made smoothies such as the Detox, Reboot, or Energise, the perfect healthy drink to sip while you cast your eyes out over the beach.

With an aim to keep locals whilst also tempting a new crowd, the lunch and dinner menu speak volumes of this approach. Expect dishes like the Soba Noodle Salad with Crispy Salmon or the classic Chicken Caesar Salad which are both light and great for when the temperature rises. As for what to order after a long day spent at the beach, we suggest The Haloumi Burger or Prawn & Crab Linguine.

There’s also a selection of smaller dishes for those who might just want to graze from the Birdcage Bites menu, like the Falafel Plate, and naturally, a comprehensive yet well-thought-out kids menu. Aiming to please even the fussiest ones.

Two lane lap pool on the 3rd floor, Burleigh Surf Club (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Two lane lap pool on the 3rd floor, Burleigh Surf Club (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

With an incredible view, it’s wholly necessary for drinks to match. If you’re the type of person who likes themselves a cocktail — or five — then it’ll be music to your ears to learn there’s a spattering of classic drinks which won’t blow your budget. The majority of cocktails are $14 and served up with the handy assistance of the Gold Coast’s very own Mr. Consistent. Meaning you’re guaranteed the same great-tasting cocktail whether it’s 6pm on a Friday or noon on a Tuesday — don’t worry, we don’t judge.

And for you wine fans out there, the wine list has been carefully elevated to include some great Australian producers and even features a President’s Reserve List should you feel like splashing out for a bottle of something a little more refined. How does a magnum-sized bottle of Provence Rosé sound after a week at the office? — Yep, we are down!

By their own admission, the Club wants to retain its character but also keep up with the ever-changing face of Burleigh Heads. Ideally, sitting between a pub and somewhere a bit fancier, they want to make everyone who walks in the door feel incredibly welcome. After checking it out for ourselves, it’s safe to say they’ve made Burleigh Surf Club a place for everyone to enjoy — and dare we say, most likely your new Friday afternoon knock-off spot!

Where: 55 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
Hours: Monday-Friday 8am — late and Sat & Sun 7am — late

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Salmon Sashimi with soy, ginger and finger lime, Burleigh Surf Club (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Salmon Sashimi with soy, ginger and finger lime, Burleigh Surf Club (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

7 of the best surf clubs on the Gold Coast

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

Is there anything more quintessentially Queensland than finding yourself on the deck of one of our brilliant surf clubs, a cold libation within arm’s reach, a light breeze ruffling your hair, and unopposed vistas of the most golden sand and teal looking ocean before you? It sounds almost like a dream — but it’s not. It’s just what you can expect when you decide to visit any one of these outstanding and often iconic spots to take a load off your feet and enjoy some much-deserved drinks and eats.

Our coastline is dotted with surf clubs, so choosing one to stroll into off the beach shouldn’t be a hard choice. And quite frankly, it’s not. However, some simply rise to the top — the crème de la crème. Life’s too short for just good surf clubs; we insist you visit only the best surf clubs. Here’s our pick of these said fine establishments running from South to North.

Greenmount Beach Surf Club
The laidback vibes of Coolangatta are the best accompaniment to any day trip down south. Finding yourself at Greenmount Surf Club will give you unsurpassed views back along our coastline in a northerly direction taking in the splendour of cityscape blended in with pristine ocean and hinterland views. Grab a cold one, grab the famous Greenmount Seafood Basket, settle in, and don’t expect to be going anywhere anytime soon.
Where: Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Greenmount Beach (image supplied)
Greenmount Beach (image supplied)

Currumbin Beach Vikings SLSC
Blissful and removed Currumbin Beach is always a great spot to head to for some time on the sand. It’s also the suburb with one of the Coast’s most iconic surf clubs, which has sat alongside Elephant Rock for a little over a century and perched right above the Pacific Ocean. After a recent renovation, the venue is as welcoming as ever and invites you to take a seat and watch the tide roll in during the day — or come by of an evening to enjoy a mixed seafood taste plate and regular open mic nights.
Where: 741 Pacific Parade, Currumbin

Club Talle Surf Club
As far as Palm Beach goes these days, it’s quite the happening place to be. However, if you find yourself in this vibrant neighbourhood and desire a more tranquil and down-to-earth setting, this is your ultimate go-to. There’s always meal specials (but we’re a fan of the Wagyu Beef Burger), live entertainment, and promotions happening literally all the time; and if that wasn’t reason enough, let these guys take care of getting you to and from home with their courtesy bus running seven days a week.  
Where: 1505 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach

Mermaid Beach AEME Surf Club
Although located on the highly sought-after millionaire’s row of Hedges Avenue, this club ensures they are for everyone — this includes the little ones, with their very own playroom and Kids Eat Free Monday specials. For the bigger ones, the venue boasts daily food specials (come at me Tuesday Steak Night) — including their much-loved Sunday International Food Night with a selection of flavours from around the globe for just $19 — big screen live sports coverage, and regular trivia nights. More than enough reasons to visit — and keep visiting! 
Where: 172 Hedges Avenue, Mermaid Beach

Club Talle Exterior (image supplied)
Club Talle Exterior (image supplied)

Kurrawa Surf Club
Whether you’re a local or visitor, this multi-awarded venue is only steps off the sand, and we think it is the textbook place to grab food and drinks any time of the day. The fire-baked pizzas here are next-level with the dough even freshly made in-house! For whatever reason you find yourself in this energetic suburb, take the leisurely stroll to the beach and you’ll find there are certainly no wasted minutes when you visit Kurrawa Surf Club. Gazing out with a stupendous 230-degree ocean outlook, we think you’ll no doubt agree.
Where: Old Burleigh Road, Broadbeach

Surfers Paradise SLSC
The recent renovation to this 100-year surf club has only added to the allure of dropping in for a bite and sip. Sitting pride opposite the beach in the heart of Surfers Paradise, this is the prime spot to escape the hustle and bustle, experience some warm Queensland hospitality, and rub shoulders with some of the friendliest locals around. Beyond some incredible food (trust us, have the Outback Parma) and drinks, which rivals nearby restaurants and cafes, you’re spoilt with exceptional panoramas of the Pacific Ocean — one of the best spots on the Coast if you’re hankering for a glimpse of a whale or two this whale watching season.
Where: Corner of Hanlan Street & The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise

Southport Surf Life Saving Club
When is visiting Main Beach ever a bad idea? This often-quieter end of the coast gives you a blank canvas to enjoy your own stretch of sand — and an all-round fantastic surf club to visit as well. Open seven days for breakfast (we strongly recommend the Lifesavers Breakfast!), lunch, and dinner Southport SLSC provides you the opportunity to enjoy some time in the water soaking up a little sun, before towelling off and getting into any one of their top-notch dishes. An impeccable lunch scenario by anyone’s standards!
Where: Macarthur Parade, Main Beach

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Surfers Paradise SLSC (image supplied)
Surfers Paradise SLSC (image supplied)

Burleigh Heads Bowls Club

21 reasons locals love Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Hill (image courtesy of Destination Gold Coast)
Burleigh Hill (image courtesy of Destination Gold Coast)

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 (that Hill is iconic for a reason) 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, we’ve found the best of Burleigh so you don’t have to.

We say when in Burleigh do as the locals do, so here’s our guide to the best eats, bars, shopping spots and places to visit so you can see why the locals love it and you should too (or else).

Restaurant Labart by Andy Macpherson Studio (image supplied)
Restaurant Labart by Andy Macpherson Studio (image supplied)

Fine Dining
Restaurant Labart
The fine dining venue has become part of the fabric of Burleigh’s bustling heart, but it’s also 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 

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

Rick Shores Bug Roll, Burleigh (image by Mathilde Bouby)
Rick Shores Bug Roll, Burleigh (image by Mathilde Bouby)

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.
Where: 1730 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Jimmy Wahs
If you’re looking for fancy food but with the relaxed vibe that’s quintessentially Burleigh, look no further. The stunning space offers incredible Vietnamese dishes inspired by Head Chef Jake’s 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

Burleigh Town Hotel (image provided)
Burleigh Town Hotel (image provided)

Casuals Eats
Burleigh Town Hotel
If you haven’t seen this new reno, then where have you been? One of the best glow ups on the GC recently (in our humble opinion), Burleigh Town Hotel has nailed the pub-style menu and good vibes. The perfect place to set up for the arvo with your besties and the kids, there’s loads of space for the little ones to roam and plenty to keep them entertained while you kick back with a beverage in hand. Say less.
Where: Tsipura Drive, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Gelato Co
We’re softies for the sweet deliciousness that is gelato. Burleigh Gelato Co know how to deliver on flavours worth melting for, they’ve got all the classic Italian flavours you know and love along with their own signature specials. Guaranteed you’ll love them un-cone-ditionally.
Where: 9 Connor Street, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Gelato Co, Burleigh Heads (image supplied)
Burleigh Gelato Co, Burleigh Heads (image supplied)

Coffee Hangs
The guys behind Seadog know coffee. Starting as a humble little hole in the wall – literally – Seadog has become the go-to for a quick bite and a brew. And don’t worry, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you – you really are seeing double because you’ll find the crew on the bustling James Street or down the other end at the old faithful Burleigh Bowlo, perfect spot for a piccolo and park hangs.
Where: 8/50 James Street, Burleigh Heads and 1, Bowls Club, Connor Street, Burleigh Heads

Tarte Bakery & Cafe
There’s good reason this gem is heaving at all hours, the home of the iconic muffin top (IYKYK) and some of the best coffee in town, it’s not just locals who love it – you’ll find Gold Coasters and beyond flocking here for a taste of the goods. Come for a coffee and to get around their huge menu with something for everyone – literally, it’s impossible to not love something. Plus, we’re pretty sure it’s mandatory to leave with a pastry in tow – go on, you deserve it.
Where: 1748 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads

Tarte Bakery & Cafe, Burleigh Heads (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)
Tarte Bakery & Cafe, Burleigh Heads (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Social Brew
Social by name, social by nature – Social Brew is one of Burleigh’s best coffee hangouts whether you’re looking to catch up with the crew or a spot to work for the day, there’s a reason these guys have stood the test of time. A staple spot to visit in Burleigh for their signature iced coffee, come for the caffeine and stay for the bites.
Where: 34-36 James Street, 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

Paloma Wine Bar, Burleigh Heads (image supplied)
Paloma Wine Bar, Burleigh Heads (image supplied)

Something To Drink
Paloma Wine Bar
From the brains that brought us Labart is the one and only Paloma. This small but mighty wine bar has one of the largest selections of boutique wines (we mean, it is in the name) with some seriously epic eats to accompany. We can’t go past the steak frites – seriously, don’t sleep on this – and if you don’t know where to start on what to sip the expert team always nail the reccos. Pop a Pet Nat on your must-try for something a little bubbly or if you’re more of a red drinker, their signature chilled reds are the ultimate for a hot summer’s day.
Where: 12 James 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

Rosellas Bar, Burleigh (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)
Rosellas Bar, Burleigh (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)

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

Lockwood Bar
A somewhat hidden little speakeasy in the heart of Burleigh HeadsLockwood 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

Burleigh Brewing Co. (image supplied)
Burleigh Brewing Co. (image supplied)

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

Picnic at Burleigh, The Undercurrent (image supplied)
Picnic at Burleigh, The Undercurrent (image supplied)

Something To Do
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 or if you’re into hill and chill then order some takeaway and perch up on a picnic blanket to soak up the scenery.
Where: The south end of The Esplanade, 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

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

David Fleay 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

David Fleay Wildlife Park (image supplied)
David Fleay Wildlife Park (image supplied)

Shop With Us
James Street
If you’re in need of some retail therapy then James Street is the only place you need to go. The range of shopping has everything you need whether you’re looking for some new additions to your home from Maison & Maison or to update your wardrobe at Emte you’re guaranteed to leave suitably more stylish. If you’re looking for the perfect piece of art to dress your walls at work or home, Art Yarramunua is our pick for their incredible collection of indigenous art, expertly curated to celebrate the rich cultural history of Australia’s indigenous communities.
Where: James 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

The Village Markets, Burleigh (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)
The Village Markets, Burleigh (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)

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

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