With a resume as long as a flamingo’s legs and millions of followers on social media, Ellie Gonsalves is a face we are sure you have seen before. Having moved back to Australia just before COVID hit in 2020, Ellie has not slowed down her everyday hustle. We had the recent pleasure to chat to the Australian actress, model and global Wildlife Warriors Ambassador about her career to date and her newest role as the Ambassador of The Pink Flamingo on the Gold Coast.
When did you move back to Australia?
I moved back to Australia from LA on the 4th of March 2020, which was not long before the borders shut.
Tell us about your career to date.
I began full-time modelling in 2009, in 2010 I was named a global ambassador of the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors charity which was founded by Australian icons Steve and Terri Irwin. In the same year, I designed my own swimwear label which had two successful collections over two years! I then moved to America and since then have been fortunate enough to have been the face of multiple campaigns for Guess, L’Oreal Pro and Khloe Kardashian’s Good American brand. I also starred in a Super Bowl Commercial and was handpicked to star in Hollywood blockbuster ‘Fighting with my Family’ alongside Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. I co-produced and starred in my own award-winning dark comedy horror ‘Zebra’ and featured in the third season of the SBS Logie award-winning documentary ‘Filthy Rich & Homeless’. I have also combined my passion for health and fitness to launch my ‘Body By Ellie’ fitness program to my online community which I’m grateful to have reached thousands of women through! Over my career, I have been fortunate to have built a social media following of 5+ million across all of my platforms.
What’s your biggest career achievement?
It’s hard to pick, but it’s probably between starring in ‘Fighting with my Family’ and the Yellowtail Super Bowl commercial! They were both game changers for me and the best experiences of my career to date.
How did this partnership with The Pink Flamingo come about?
They reached out to me on Instagram and invited me along to their two shows Suave and La Teaze, I loved it so much we had a meeting and found so much synergy. I just love what The Pink Flamingo represents – it is a perfect match!
What excites you the most about being the Ambassador of The Pink Flamingo?
I’m just so beyond proud to represent a world-class venue that is all-inclusive and is about celebrating everyone. It doesn’t matter whether you’re straight or a part of the LGBTQIA+ community, a bus driver or a CEO, whatever you identify as and whoever you are, this establishment is not only accepting of everyone but celebrates us all. It’s the first of its kind in Australia, I’m yet to see anything else out there quite like The Pink Flamingo. From the moment you arrive at the front doors you’re greeted with a unique and aesthetically pleasing experience, service that’s just a button away the entire night, the most talented and beautiful performers, incredible cocktails and it also attracts the most electric audience! It’s a safe place for people to be who they are and enjoy a night of entertainment that is not offered anywhere else!
What part of the Suave show do you love the most and why?
The comedy, the aerial performances and the sexy Bridgerton theme (so on-trend). I just love the beautiful cast; they are INCREDIBLY talented (I have the best gig in the world)!
Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Café for breakfast: Little Mermaid
Coffee spot: BSKT Cafe
Restaurant for dinner: Rick Shores
Bar or pub for a drink: I am yet to find a better list of cocktails outside of The Pink Flamingo!
What do you typically do on your weekends?
I spend it with friends, my partner & dog Daisy. I also like riding bikes, being active, eating way too much food and usually we pop in for a show on the weekend at The Pink Flamingo with friends who haven’t seen it yet!
Broadbeach has long been regarded as one of our wining, dining and shopping. With a number of ‘stayers’ boasting staunch followers for many moons, sprinkled with a hearty helping of shiny new eats and drinks players, nothing can dull the sparkle of this burb’s A-grade entertainer status.
Here are precisely 17 reasons why locals – and Gold Coasters far and wide – love themselves a piece of our much-loved Broady.
Social Eating House + Bar
If you’re a foodie, this is your go-to. A modern Australian sensation, Social has more hats than a Milliner’s workshop. With Executive Chef Matthew Jefferson in charge, you’ll experience a carefully curated range of bar snacks, charcuterie, and small and large share plates, all featuring the finest Australian ingredients and paired to perfection. A meal here is worth.every.cent.
Where: 3 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach
The Star Gold Coast
If ever there was a reason to get a babysitter, it’s for a session at The Star. Between the live music and amazing food at the Garden Kitchen & Bar, award-winning Cantonese, Japanese and modern Australian cuisine at Uncle Su, Kiyomi, and Nineteen at The Star, authentic Italian eats at Cucina Vivo, the ultimate buffet experience at Harvest Buffet, a few bevvies at the new-look Atrium Bar and/or the Insta-fave rooftop lounge bar at Nineteen, who needs to go anywhere else?
Where: 1 Casino Drive, Broadbeach
Broadbeach Bowls Club
Nothing says a chilled GC arvo like a game of barefoot bowls with a brew in hand. Another enduring favourite amongst the local set here on the GC, Broadbeach Bowls Club never fails to deliver a feel-good time for young and old. They serve up big portions of all your go-to pub-grub meals and do a great canape package for a laid-back birthday or celebration.
Where: 169 Surf Parade, Broadbeach
Dracula’s Cabaret Restaurant
If you’re after a tried and tested, long-standing comedic cabaret, good ‘ole Dracs has been serving up frights, food and frivolity since we were all ankle-biters. Most people are sold when they hear there’s a ghost train alone, let alone the actual show (which changes every so often, so there’s always a reason to go back), banquet dinner…and shots in syringes!
Where: Hooker Boulevard, Broadbeach
Aloha Bar and Dining
This tropical hidden treasure is all fun vibes, good food and cracking good times. Popular for its hospo nights, taco Thursdays, karaoke nights, live music and pumping DJs, there’s always something going on here. The tapas always deliver the feels (bao buns…I die!!), the Cucumber and Jalapeno Margi is (too) easy to drink, and we never tire of the super cute fit-out.
Where: 18 Main Place, Broadbeach
Sofia’s Restaurant & Bar
With an impressive contemporary Coastal European menu, we are completely besotted with Sofia’s…and we’re not alone. A meal here is all about enjoying and sharing simple, delicious food with your favourite people – as it should be, and truly encapsulates the famous words ‘That’s Amore’. Also, you heard it here first but Sofia’s is on the move. Watch this space!
Where: The Oasis Shopping Centre, Victoria Avenue, Broadbeach
Have you ever seen this place anything but bulging at the seams? Aaaand of course you haven’t. Since its pre-migration days just up the road, it’s had an army of raving fans and yes, this obvs includes us. A hop, skip and a jump from the beach, the coffee is all-time, the seasonal menus are heavenly, and they even do a Boozy Bottomless Brunch. And sold.
Where: The Oasis Shopping Centre, 12 Victoria Avenue, Broadbeach
Blues on Broadbeach
So unlike our other listings, it may not be here 24/7 but it’s that much of a Broady icon that it would be criminal not to throw it a mention. As the name suggests, it brings us world-class blues and jazz music from locals and famous acts alike, performing across multiple venues over four unforgettable days. And it’s free, and sorry but when does that ever happen?
Where: Various Broadbeach venues
CHA CHA Japanese Restaurant
Gold Coasters have been CHA CHA bound for an authentic Japanese nosh-up which won’t break the bank for years, and that’s not about to change any time soon. The banquet menu is divine and every visit you’ll experience the same level of scrumptiousness. But the soy on the dim sum…it’s BYO and it’s hard to find an already affordable yet high-quality restaurant offering our 3 favourite letters. Score.
Where: 2705 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach
An everyday escape for locals, The Oasis is one of our numero uno shopping centres and for good reason. Not only some unique fashion boutiques live here, but the sheer number of amazing eateries is tres impressive. In addition to the ones we highlight in this article, we’re talking Mario’s, Madisons Café and Patisserie, Spice Kitchen and Bar, and The Broadbeach Tavern to name just a few. It’s a #OneStopShop.
Where: 75 Surf Parade, Broadbeach
Soho House Bar
Just look for the London-esk red phone box and you know good times await. An intimate, hidden gem-adorned in graffiti and jam-packed with peeps sipping and bopping along to the sweet sounds of live DJ’s, this joint is seriously cool. The cocktail list is l.i.t, the crew are super engaging, and they’ve even been known to host things like a Wild Flower Gin Masterclass. What’s not to love?
Where: Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach (between Queensland and Victoria Avenues)
You just know it’s destined for greatness with ‘Unicorn’ in the name. This Mediterranean seafood-infused newcomer has hit the ground running with its all-day menu goodness, and show-stopping cocktail menu that’s 20 options deep #hellofriend. You can’t help it but exhale as you settle into the relaxing blue and white-hued space, brimming with ocean murals and friendly smiles from the welcoming staff.
Where: Phoenician Resort, 24-26 Queensland Avenue, Broadbeach
No Name Lane
Okay, Blake Lively declared her caffeine hit from No Name Lane as “the best coffee of her life” and holy heck, if it’s good enough for Queen Blake… Better than any boujee on-trend Melbourne café, the coffee here has a cult following. The all-day breakfasts and gourmet lunches also go down a treat so if you haven’t been, remedy this immediately.
Where: The Oracle, Elizabeth Avenue, Broadbeach
Pacific Fair, oh how we love thee. Any time we want a new ensemble for, well, any occasion (retail therapy is real you know), we all beeline for Pac Fair. With every retailer you could possibly wish for, amazing food options and seriously THE most gorgeous shopping centre fit-out we’ve seen, there are luxe and lush coastal accents at every turn.
Where: Gold Coast Hwy and Hooker Blvd, Broadbeach
The Loose Moose
Specialising in “dirty food made clean”, there are always bums on seats in this Prohibition Tap and Grill House, one of the Gennari Group’s most popular establishments. The delish menu offers up the best of the best Canadian fare like ribs, wings, hot dogs and burgers, and is always ready for a crowd to #GetLooseAtTheMoose.
Where: The Oasis Shopping Centre, Broadbeach
The Pink Flamingo Spiegelclub
LBR, you had us at Spiegelclub. The Pink Flamingo has become a fave for locals, visitors and critics alike, with its four spectacular resident cabaret-style shows. Custom designed with a twist of swanky art-deco décor and inspired by the original 1920’s Spiegeltent and the NYC Cabaret Club district, it’s five-star luxury and entertainment not to be missed.
Where: Corner of Surf Parade & Victoria Avenue, Broadbeach
Kurrawa Surf Club
Ocean views don’t come any better than this. With legit THE most prime location, Kurrawa Surf Club has everything you’d want from a Surf Club…and more. With awesome regular members specials and fresh ingredients, there’s no such thing as a bad meal here. They host a trivia night and live music, and of course there’s the obligatory gaming lounge for those who like a flutter.
Where: Old Burleigh Road, Broadbeach
Words by Bianca Trathen.
It’s been a minute since we brought news from Broadbeach but what we have to share today will make up for that. You guessed it Gold Coasters, it’s a new eatery for the bustling suburb but not just any old eatery. It’s a sophisticated stunner that’s already amassed a horde of fans and you’re going to be one of them the minute you lay eyes on the place.
It’s called Sofia’s Restaurant & Bar and it’s the work of Henry Hunt whose foray into the restaurant owning business is an impressive one and we think you’re going to adore it as much as we do.
His hospitality rap sheet is filled with some of Sydney’s finest and when it came to creating the newbie, he wanted to offer something truly unique (which he has) where absolutely everything is made in-house.
Found at The Oasis Shopping Centre, where Bloke in a Bar once lived, Sofia’s is the epitome of sophistication fit out with fresh coastal whites, exposed brick and glossy black tiles. It’s an entirely outdoor dining situation (undercover) but with an open kitchen and beautifully appointed bar, you won’t be far from the action.
Let’s talk about the best part though and that friends, is the food. Former Head Chef of award winning The Fish House in Burleigh Heads, Damien Styles, is now the Head Chef at Sofia’s Restaurant & Bar in Broadbeach. Drawing on flavours from coastal European cuisine, Sofia’s is serving simple, fresh seafood and salumi.
Dishes like Grilled Marinated Artichokes, Fresh Figs and Vincotto and Kingfish Crudo with Blood Orange dressing grace the share menu and we can confirm that it’s all absolutely exceptional.
The Cheese and Salumi menu allows you to choose from an extensive range of high end goodies, there’s also fresh oysters, stunning pasta dishes and a mains menu filled with treats like Grilled Mooloolaba King Prawns (some the most incredible we’ve ever sampled) and a 700g Grilled Whole Baby Snapper.
To drink, you’ll have the pleasure of choosing from a VERY impressive wine menu (one of the best in Broady we think!) with drops from across the world. There are cocktails like a Sgroppino Italiana, a Limoncello Pisco Sour and a Barrell Aged Negroni (made in house) and you’ll be hard pressed to choose just one.
Of course there are beers, champagnes and a section of ‘celebration’ sips if you’re in need of something special.
All in all, Sofia’s is something very special and one you’re going to want to return to again and again.
See, well worth the wait for some Broadbeach news.
LOCATION: The Oasis Shopping Centre, Surf Pde, Broadbeach
HOURS: Monday to Sunday 6am until late
Words and photos by Kirra Smith