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The 9 best Gold Coast spots to buy plants

Green Folk (image supplied)

Everybody loves plants. There’s something something comforting about being surrounded by them in your home, plus they look so very pretty and you can never have too many.

In the last little while, plant sales have surged (not a fact but probably a fact) because we all want the place we spend most of our time – and were locked in for a little while – to be as delightful as possible.

The Gold Coast is home to plenty of amazing spots to buy plants and because you probably need a few more, here they are.

Greenfolk
This little Burleigh Heads beauty is tucked away and filled with the most magical array of plants there are. From cacti to succulents, all of the indoor plants and a stunning range of pots, they have absolutely everything you need. We want it all.
Where: 2A, 1740 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads 

Spectrum Plants
Found at Wongawallan and Coomera, Spectrum Plants is a wholesale, family-run nursery that sells everything from succulents, cacti and houseplants to trees. It’s open to the public and very popular, get in there to find some gems.
Where: 69 Currey Road, Wongawallan and 161 Kriedeman Road, Upper Coomera

Pauls Plants
Found at Carrara Markets, Pauls Plants are open seven days and stock a huge range of indoor and outdoor plants at epic prices. Pop in to pick up some goodies and have a cruise around the rest of the markets while you’re there.
Where: Cnr Manchester Road and Gooding Drive, Carrara

Tamborine Palms
A wholesale palm tree farm, Tamborine Palms is where it’s at if you’re in need of a few large-scale backyard palms. From residential to commercial, they’ve got you covered for everything you might need and there’s a variety of species to choose from.
Where: 74 Hazel Road, Tamborine

Tamborine Palms (image supplied)

Instant Jungle Palms Nursery
Instant Jungle is a plant nursery based at Labrador with over two acres of palms, shrubs and exotic plants. They also specialise in water features, Bali huts, ceramic pots and statues. Wander up there for a magical experience.
Where: 111 Olsen Avenue, Labrador

Olive You
An entirely online store stocking beautiful olive trees, Olive You only opened recently and they are already killing it. Pickup is from Palm Beach and there are some absolute beauties on there, get in quick. Find them here.

The Hideaway Nursery
Found in the heart of Miami, the newest to the bunch is The Hideaway Nursery which stock the sweetest cacti and succulents in their garden emporium at affordable prices and you’re going to want to snap up every single one.
Where: 5 Peter Parade, Miami (check hours here)

Ross Evans Garden Centre
Found on a six acre site in Runaway Bay and established over 40 years ago, Ross Evans Garden Centre has it all. They grow over half of their own plants and import a huge range of pots and planters, so you can kit our your entire garden from the one spot. Quite relaxing to wander around in there too.
Where: 296 to 300 Oxley Drive, Runaway Bay

The Borrowed Nursery
Behind the lavendar roller door Mermaid’s beloved nursery is absolutely packed with goodies, every type of plant you could want, beautiful pots, dried flowers, art and books, all the best things. You can hire plants for events and the space itself can be hired too. Big fans.
Where: 42-44 Cronulla Avenue, Mermaid Beach

The Borrowed Nursery (image supplied)

The Craft Parlour

Is there anything better than making pretty art with your very own hands with like-minded ladies in an absolutely stunning space with a cup of tea and some organic treats to nibble on?

Don’t think so. Did you know that is an exact time you can have at Gold Coast gem The Craft Parlour, which has indeed been around for a few good time packed years now, but has recently moved to a new home at Lemana Lane in Miami.

Which is perfect because, as you may have noticed, there is A LOT of incredible things happening on Lemana Lane (Hotel Miami, Granddad Jacks and Heartfill) in Miami and The Craft Parlour is right at home there.

In case you’ve never had the pleasure, The Craft Parlour is the work of one Rachael Valentine who, not coincidentally, is one of the most love-filled (and loved) lasses on the Coast.

So much so, that she wanted to create a place where creatives could share their passion and skills and in turn, inspire others to awaken theirs.

Built on the premise of creating a community, connection and stepping outside your comfort zone, the space has become one of the Coast’s most adored spots for everything from macramé workshops to pottery and paint and sip classes to paper making.

So all of the things you love.

But back to the space itself (sorry got carried away).

As you’d expect from a gal who encourages creativity for a living, The Craft Parlour is a naturally-lit wonderland of woven wall hangings, shelves packed with coloured yarn, abundant greenery, vintage rugs and timber flooring that all comes together as the 70s beach shack of your dreams. But also probably better than anything you or I could dream up.

It’s a labour of love by Rachel and her partner Seb, jam-packed with soul and a place you will absolutely never want to leave.

If there’s ever been a place to encourage your inner creative to come out and play, it’s this one.

So, if you’re interested in sewing yourself a new frock, painting a resin art piece for your wall or even hosting a baby shower or hens do in a perfectly put together space, look no further than The Craft Parlour.

You might find yourself a new hobby, a new gal pal or simply just some time to kick back and create something pretty.

We’re in love and we think you will be too.

Yeah the Gold Coast.

LOCATION: 27 Lemana Lane, Miami
HOURS: Various, depending on workshops

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

10 of the best Gold Coast picnic spots

The times they are a-changing Gold Coasters (again, yes). We are now allowed to venture out of our homes with those we have been spending ALL OF THE TIME with for a picnic. How nice. While we’re still practicing all of the social distancing precautions, it’s good to be able to sit down somewhere that isn’t the backyard for a spot of cheese and biccies.

To celebrate that, here’s a list of 10 pretty spots to throw down a blanket on the Gold Coast.

Hinze Dam, Advancetown
This underrated hinterland destination will be your new favourite picnic spot. There are several parks that surround Hinze Dam, so take in the stunning scenery, sip on a cold glass of bubbly and generally enjoy the company of family and friends. There’s a BBQ area, kids playground and even a small cafe in case you need fresh supplies. Make sure if you’re taking the pooch to one of the designated areas, they’re kept on a leash to preserve the wildlife.

Cedar Creek Falls, Mt Tamborine
Mt Tamborine is picnic paradise and has more picnic areas than a year has days, Cedar Creek Falls being by far one of the best. Driving up the winding roads and taking in the scenic beauty is almost enough entertainment, but that’s not all. Cedar Creek Falls are located just metres from three waterfalls and countless walking tracks, making it the perfect place to spend your next Sunday.

Macintosh Island, Surfers Paradise
This little oasis nestled in Surfers Paradise (most commonly used for getting around the GC600 every year) is great for picnic dates of all sorts. The tranquil setting with cascading water running through the park is home to many birds, so don’t forget your stale bread. There’s also that super fun bridge previously built for the Indy in 2007.

Burleigh Hill

Gold Coast Regional Botanical Gardens, Benowa
Hard to believe that this beautiful little piece of paradise is just a mere 10 minute drive from Surfers Paradise. Take the whole family or soak up some solo serenity, it’s the perfect setting for both and anything in between. There’s even a butterfly garden for your gazing pleasure.

Cascade Gardens, Broadbeach
Cascade Gardens can be found between Surfers and Broadbeach and there are plenty of barbecue and undercover picnic shelters. This peaceful riverside sanctuary is the perfect date spot and with a huge area to run around, it’s also popular for families wanting to keep the kids entertained for hours (hopefully not on a date).

Ed Hardy Park, Miami
Next to North Burleigh Surf Club the park offers great people watching and a few BBQ areas perfect for that Sunday arvo picnic with the gang. Walk up Miami Hill and take in the views or have a sneaky swim in the ocean. There’s a takeaway bottle shop across the road if you need to stock up on sips.

Burleigh Hill, Burleigh
In unsurprising news, Burleigh Hill is probably the most popular picnic spot on the Coast. You can’t beat the Insta-worthy views overlooking the Surfers Paradise skyline. If you want to get a good spot on a Sunday get there early `cause the whole Gold Coast likes to unite here to see and be seen – at a safe distance obviously.

Tallebudgera Creek

Tallebudgera Creek, Tallebudgera
The battle between which side to choose continues. But no matter which is your go-to, Talle Creek won’t disappoint as favourite picnic spot. The calm creek waters are perfect for a little splash before devouring your mobile buffet. Beware the hungry bush turkeys!

Long Tan Park, Currumbin Valley
Not many people know about this pretty but somewhat hidden picnic spot in Currumbin Valley. It’s the perfect spot to get away, relax by the creek and pop in for a dip. There are no toilets or BBQ stations and uninhibited nature is purely the theme here, so go prepared. Drive along Currumbin Creek Road and take a right turn at Bains Road, the park is situated just over the bridge.

Kirra Lookout, Coolangatta
Kirra Lookout is the Burleigh Hill of Coolangatta, just not as busy and with more parking opportunities (we like the sound of that). You can either drive or walk up, but be warned, it’s quite steep, you’ll burn off your picnic before you make it to the top. Enjoy the view whilst nibbling on some crackers and sipping on an icy cold one, it’s pretty special!

Words by Kirra Smith

Kirra Lookout

9 Gold Coast restaurants with epic views

Glass Restaurant & Bar (image supplied)
Glass Restaurant & Bar (image supplied)

As it turns out folks, the Gold Coast is quite the good-looking city. With all of our green mountains and beguiling beaches, you’d expect venues to be taking full advantage of the glorious vistas we have on show. And guess what — there certainly are!

We’ve taken a good look around our city and put together a list of the very best places you can eat with your eyes. These spots in our opinion have the most impressive views across the Coast: so, you can both enjoy tasty eats and marvel at some magical views.

Eagle Heights Mountain Resort
The view alone is certainly something to write home about. Make your way up Mount Tamborine and treat yourself to lunch at Eagle Heights Mountain Resort. They do an exceptional feast and frosty cold beers. Best of all though? You can enjoy stunning views of the entire Gold Coast from up there, past the skyline and out to the ocean. It simply doesn’t get much better.
Where: 1683 Tamborine Oxenford Road, Mt Tamborine

Glass Dining & Lounge Bar
If your idea of a great eating experience is savouring delectable food whilst taking in a world-class view, then look no further. Part of the opulent and highly revered Marina Mirage complex, Glass is positioned perfectly to spoil your eyes with incredible views across the Main Beach Marina, Broadwater and beyond. (Providing the multi-million-dollar superyachts don’t get in your way!) Along with the incredible decor, the menu offers an array of culinary delights making it easy to see why so many celebrities have visited this restaurant in the past.
Where: Shop 27, 74 SeaWorld Drive, Main Beach

Surfers Pavilion
The newest venue to the Gold Coast’s dining and party scene is Surfers Pavilion in Surfers Paradise. Sitting pretty overlooking the Nerang River, nab yourself a spot on the deck and watch the boaties and jetskiers zoom past as you relax with a glass of frose or champagne and oysters. Their Sunday Sunset Sessions are already gaining momentum as the place to be to listen to some epic tunes and watch the sunset over the west.
Where: 30/34 Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise

Burleigh Pavilion, Burleigh Heads (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)
Burleigh Pavilion, Burleigh Heads (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)

Kurrawa SLSC
The recently revamped surf club in the heart of Broadbeach has long been loved for its laidback ocean side vibes — and the fact it’s found right on the sand with uninterrupted beach views — means it was a no-brainer to be added to our list. The kitchen does a great job of turning out some tasty eats, perfect for the family or just a relaxing Sunday arvo with your crew.
Where: Beachside, Old Burleigh Road, Broadbeach 

Rick Shores
Obviously. You’re practically dining in the ocean at this Burleigh Heads gem. Found right on the sand, one can expect to be so close to the sea, you can smell it but with exceptional service and incredible food it certainly is a giant step above the local surf club. For us, it doesn’t get much better than dining (and drinking obviously) at Rick Shores. Their share plate menu is filled with absolute taste sensations and the cocktails are always pure perfection.
Where: Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Pavilion 
Located in the very same building as Rick Shores, Burleigh Pavilion is double the fun with a sit-down dining venue – The Tropic – on one side and a more casual dining slash drinking style area – The Terrace – on the other. The Pav, as it’s affectionally known, is a firm favourite amongst both locals and visitors due to the top-notch people-watching potential, plus it’s possibly one of the greatest views on our coast.
Where: Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads

Rick Shores (image supplied)
Rick Shores (image supplied)

Las Palmas
Having only been open a matter of months this Palm Beach rooftop bar/eatery has already secured itself as an all-round revered place to visit. The wrap-around balcony and seating towards the back of the space are treated with extensive views of the beach. Turn the other way and you then find unhindered views out towards our gorgeous hinterland. We suggest you go by around magic hour and order yourself one of their amazing cocktails — and let the sky/ocean do their thing.
Where: 1099 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

Currumbin Beach Vikings SLSC
Makes sense that surf clubs have got the goods when it comes to highly rated views. Currumbin SLSC is perhaps the most iconic in our city, if not Australia. The vistas extend the entire coastline from Surfers to Tweed. Sitting right on the sand in one of our most sought-after suburbs with the ocean washing in underneath is quite special. Add to this great food, constant drinks specials and live music: Currumbin SLSC is the ace up your sleeve when you’re stuck thinking of somewhere to go.
Where: 741 Pacific Parade, Currumbin

Café dbar
It’s long been a favourite amongst locals and tourists, and quite frankly it’s not hard to see why. The two-storey space overlooking Duranbah Beach has a tucked-away loft space for eating in with views down the mesmerising Tweed Coast to Kingscliff. On-street level when the conditions are right — which they often are — you’ll witness some of the best surfers taking apart world-class waves just below you. Nature or surfing, you’ll be spoilt for choice here.
Where: 275 Boundary Street, Coolangatta

Words by Alex Mitcheson

Cafe dbar (image supplied)
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