They will light up your world.
They will light up your world.
It seems life quotes and wisdoms are nearly everywhere we look these days; little pearly anecdotes come at us from almost every angle. And what better way to display them than bright and eye-catching neon signs at our favourite Gold Coast venues. You know the ones we’re talking about, oozing with funny wordplay and worthy of a selfie or five.
So, if you’re in the mood to hunt down and take in the Coast’s finest examples of neon signs and bask in all their fluorescent glory, we suggest you read on and take note. Can you be the first to get a picture with them all?
Plants and Me
Serving up an entirely plant-based innovative Japanese and Indian fusion menu right in the heart of Southport. Look no further for ultra-modern industrial chic mixed with all of the plants.
Where: 4/20 Scarborough St, Southport
Go for: Delicious vegan breakfasts.
Colourful smoothies, juices and bowls galore await you at this northern Gold Coast stunner. And if you happen to be a late riser, don’t stress. An all-day breakfast menu is sure to make you smile.
Where: Shop 6/37 Musgrave Ave, Labrador
Go for: Fresh, vibrant juices that will have you glowing.
The Lost Kingdom
Are you feeling like letting your hair down and going a little wild? Good. This venue is the perfect spot for all you Tarzan’s and Jane’s out there. Swing into The Lost Kingdom and party the night away in one of Surfers Paradise’s premium nightclubs.
Where: The Mark, 15 Orchid Ave, Surfers Paradise
Go for: VIP booths for you and your crew.
Spinning blinding tunes from the 80s, 90s, and 00s and creating an unbeatable atmosphere is precisely what these guys do to a tee. You’ll certainly work up a thirst with all the dancing you’ll be doing, so be sure to hydrate with one of their oversized cocktails!
Where: 3/15 Orchid Ave, Surfers Paradise
Go for: Blue Lagoon Fishbowl Cocktail
The Pink Poodle
Spanning back over six decades, this is one of the glitter strips original neon signs — and it still stands to this day! Although the attached motel was knocked down at the turn of the millennium, the new property owners decided to keep the heritage-listed sign as a respectful nod to the iconic days of yesteryear.
Where: Corner of Fern Street and Gold Coast Highway, Surfers Paradise
Go for: a photo with a Gold Coast icon.
Feed your inner pirate with lashings of tiki-inspired cocktails and dance off the calories long until the small hours. And it’s not just about the weekend either, with themed party nights spread out across pretty much every day of the week.
Where: D/19 Orchid Ave, Surfers Paradise
Go for: Hot DJ sets and regular prize giveaways.
This Broadbeach favourite carefully infuses Asian flavours with great night out vibes, and a cocktail offering any restaurant should be jealous of. Why wait until after dinner to start your night out — time is of the essence, people!
Shop 105/89 Surf Parade, Broadbeach
Go for: Indonesian Fritters with a War in the West cocktail.
If you’re the type of person where a love affair with anything dairy and sweet is only a bite away, then this is the place for you. Whether it’s a mid-afternoon chocolatey bite or a late-night sweet cocktail nightcap: Cowch has your sugary desires well and truly catered for.
Where: 1 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach
Go for: Crispy hot and fresh churros with chocolate sauce.
One of Mermaid Beach’s best mid-week go-to’s and weekend places of wonder; Bonita Bonita packs a tasty punch for a small-sized venue. Round up your hungry friends and get our lime squeezing fingers at the ready for endless tasty Mexicana eats.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
Go for: The most addictive Chile Con Queso known to man.
Looking more at home in a back alley in Osaka, this Mermaid Beach Japanese eatery is one of the best odes to the orient we have on our coastline. Edgy fun and always pumping out the freshest and most interesting of specials, Etsu is a consistent winner in the war of deliciousness.
Where: 2440 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
Go for: Expertly made cocktails and delectable specials plates.
When poke bowls came into our lives, we all knew things would never be the same. And riding along on that sentiment with only the best bowls around, Poke Poke makes choosing the most scrumptious and well-crafted bowls easy work. Slip in for a tropical atmosphere and the healthiest of lunches — should make up for all the tequila you had last night then.
Where: 2375 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
Go for: The Snap Her Up Bowl with fresh coconut cooked Snapper.
Quite possibly one of the best catch up spots for breakfast and lunch on the Gold Coast. Grab a table (strolling distance from the beach), then watch the world go by over delicious food and regular live music.
Where: 1a/2557 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
Go for: Book the entire venue after hours for your own private party.
Rock and roll has a firm home in Nobby Beach within the walls of Nightcap. Live music acts, naughty behaviour, and themed party nights are just the tip of the iceberg. Should you need a cure for post-weekend blues, their Hospo Mondays have something of legendary status and will fix you right up.
Where: 2245 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach
Go for: Drink spilling fun with foot-stomping live music.
Dreamy afternoons spent over margaritas and zesty Mexican food is something we can all agree on as nothing short of nirvana. Now throw in a sun-splashed balcony, drinks specials, and some mighty good Sunday session feels: Mexicali in a nutshell.
Where: Level 1/2223 Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach
Go for: Sun-soaked Sunday sessions with jugs of cocktails.
Your one-stop shop for all your creative needs. The fun-loving crew runs a photography/content/design studio and are the biggest advocators for anything Gold Coast. Make use of their co-working facilities and rub shoulders with some other like-minded freelancers, oh and they know how to throw a party!
Where: 1/49 Lemana Ln, Miami
Go for: A productive co-working day.
Eddy + Wolff
Polished concrete and uber-cool minimalistic surrounds welcome as you dine at this Robina haven of flavour. Enjoy a polished Asian fusion menu with heart and soul — oh, and one of the best-looking drinks lists around.
Where: 44 Commerce Dr, Robina
Go for: The Groove Thang cocktail.
Not just happy with being the best ramen bars in Sydney, RaRa Ramen joined the Burleigh eating scene a short while ago. Enjoy yourself the most down to earth and genuine ramen experience — with all the handmade noodles — this side of Tokyo and in the back lanes of the Gold Coast, no less!
Where: 21a/50 James St, Burleigh Heads
Go for: Next level Chicken Karaage .
The original on-trend place to load up on guilt-free pizza and pasta. Head here for on-point Italian flavours with friends and end up staying for the late-night shenanigans accompanied by regular DJ sets.
Where: 1708-1710 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
Go for: Sunday afternoons on their rooftop.
If jugs of colourful sangria with drool-worthy Mexican inspired share plates sounds like your idea of a good time, then we suggest you look no further. And with mid-week specials, there’s really no need to wait until the weekend for your margarita and burrito fix.
Where: 6/26 James St, Burleigh Heads
Go for: Weekday couples specials.
When you’re feeling like a good night out in Burleigh Heads, where are you gonna go? Nightjar! When this rock and roll dive bar peeled back its metal shutter four years ago, the back lanes of Burleigh would change forever. Hosting live music and catering for all your late-night needs, this is the place to find yourself if dancing with a drink in hand is your jam.
Where: 7a/1730 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
Go for: The wildest themed party nights.
Burleigh Bar and Bites
Do yourself a favour next time you find yourself pounding the pavement on James Street, drop into Burleigh Bar and Bites, pull up a chair and spoil yourself. Whether it’s freshly shucked oysters and a glass of bubbles or an Espresso Martini with Arancini Balls, this hole in the wall venue will make you not want to leave.
Where: 12 James St, Burleigh Heads
Go for: Cocktails and karaoke.
For a luxe vacation like no other on the southern Gold Coast, the fun-spirited Mysa Motel is the place to head. With gorgeous ethical styling throughout — and a magnesium pool you can’t not plunge into — these nostalgia-driven lodgings are the perfect place to rest your head and unwind.
Where: 1100 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach
Go for: The most Haute couture stay on the southern Gold Coast.
Let’s face it, keeping one’s Instagram ahead of the pack is often a full-time job. And when you live in one of the best cities, with a coastline that is nothing short of captivating (literally every day), then making sure you have the pictures that will make everyone envious is a priority. Whether your Instagram account has masses of die-hard fans eyeing up everything you do, or you simply like taking photos just for the sake of taking photos, what’s important here, is that you get THE shot!
Seeing as we are blessed with awesome places to eat and while away our best lives, then taking pictures whilst out and about is a smart move. We’re talking cafes, restaurants and bars where the aesthetics — and you combined — are a match made in heaven. So many to choose from though, right? Our research has taken the load off your shoulders as we have the most Insta-worthy brunch spots on the Gold Coast for you. Happy snapping!
Nineteen at The Star
Who hasn’t seen the pictures doing the rounds of people looking absolutely fabulous at Nineteen at The Star? If you haven’t, we suggest you Google some: stat! Besides the amazing views across Broadbeach at over 200 feet with unrestricted panoramas, the sophisticated setting both in the restaurant and bar provides ample opportunity to capture yourself with a sprinkling of luxury. While you’re at it, treat yo self ever to something decadent from Executive Chef Uday Huja‘s Sunday Brunch menu. May we suggest the Eggs Benedict with Dill Ocean Trout or Ham, Poached Eggs and Brown Butter Hollandaise matched with a Champagne Brunch 2 hour beverage package? Insta-game officially leveled up.
Where: The Darling at The Star, Casino Drive, Broadbeach
With arguably one of the best views of the Gold Coast coastline, The Tropic was a no-brainer for this list. But it’s not all about those unbelievable pastel hue sunsets, oh no. Inside, the restaurant gives off a luxe Miami yacht club vibe with an overall neutral theme vibrantly juxtaposed with colour from plants, chairs, and even the plates. Did we mention the food is next level? We suggest it’s time to round up the girls and clear your calendar for the last Saturday of every month for The Tropic’s Brunch – it’s one you won’t regret! (Not that anyone has ever regretted a Brunch!)
Where: 43 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
The drive out here alone will have you pulling over several times to snap away. However, upon arrival you’ll be treated to one of the Northern River’s most scenic and tucked away dining gems. The cute whitewash colonial-style building is just adorable with grassy paddocks and a gurgling stream that lead your eyes to escarpments around Mount Warning. Do brunch your way when you pre order Mavis’s Kitchen Picnic Hamper filled with cheeses, a charcuterie selection, seasonal dips, cake of the day, freshly baked vegetable frittata and more. If you stay onsite, they’ll even throw in the picnic rug so you can cozy up by the nearby dam and enjoy the simple sound of nature…. Bliss!
Where: 64 Mount Warning Road, Mount Warning, NSW
Saltwater at Currumbin
Our creeks and waterways around the Gold Coast are often overlooked or even worse, completely forgotten as we go about our everyday lives. One stretch of water that deserves your attention any day of the week is Currumbin Creek. Saltwater at Currumbin entirely takes advantage of its waterside location and gives you endless dabbled light and beautiful colours of blue to play around with. It’s impossible to take a bad photo here. Couple that backdrop with a lazy Sunday spent enjoying a Berry Bircher Museli or Eggs Benedict and you’re onto a winner!
Where:2/4 Thrower Drive, Currumbin
If clean white lines, cacti and Cali-vibes raise your heart rate, then we suggest you schedule a post with a pic from this North Burleigh newbie. Based on a unique southern Californian aesthetic mashed with our very own sub-tropical climate, the interior (and exterior) are full of epic chances for you to strike a pose. Also, doggos are most welcome to join you! So get a snap with your floof, grab your Salsa Scrambled Eggs and a margarita too (because yes they serve morning margis!).
Where: 1878 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
South East Espresso
Way down in Coolangatta, this under-the-radar backstreet café is the perfect location after a beach swim or your ritual easy-Sunday-morning Ham Hock Smashed Avo. The warm saffron rendered walls are the perfect backdrop for your best linen attire with contrast minimalistic shades of grey. If you take a seat on their pavement side leather cushioned bench, prepare to make friends with a legion of four-legged friends. Don’t worry; they shouldn’t mind one bit making a guest appearance on your story.
Where: 229 Boundary Street, Coolangatta
When an uber-cool mid-century fit-out combines with incredible coffee art, the result is Highline in Palm Beach. A firm favourite with the locals and for good reason. All of the dishes here are put together with a strong ethos that you also eat with your eyes. Add in some polished concrete flooring and all the toasty coloured wood features, and your brunch-time snap is destined to be a crowd-pleaser. Because who wouldn’t want a 3 cheese, wild mushroom, chive Jaffle pictured in a more perfect setting?
Where: 5/10 Palm Beach Avenue, Palm Beach
When the Gold Coast first laid eyes on this angelic Mermaid Beach all-vegetarian brunch spot, we’re sure there was a collective swoon moment. The textured white exterior walls alone would typically be enough to have our phones out and ready for a sneaky snap. However, the true treasure is inside when you lay eyes on the sweetest-looking backlit booths with arched ceilings and hanging plants. If you are lucky enough to secure the booth, do yourself a favour and cement it in the form of an insta-post accompanied with your Lemon Ricotta Fluffy Pancakes with house tumeric vanilla custard, passionfruit reduction, berries and herbs.
Where: 2/42 Alfred Street, Mermaid Beach
We think we’re correct to state that Paddock is one of the Gold Coasts’ most tagged eats/drinks hotspots to date. Period. So, what makes it so unique? It could be the quaint English-style garden exterior, or the original vintage Queenslander converted main building, maybe it’s the iconic Dippy Eggs or their ridiculously good-looking baked goods (shout out to their Almond Croissants) which are often only just out the oven? But, you know what, we think it’s all of them!
Where: 20 Hibiscus Haven, Burleigh Heads
Want to see more insta-worthy spots? Follow Inside Gold Coast on Instagram here!
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
If your Insta game’s not strong, are you even a Gold Coaster? With a herd of Insta-worthy spots across our stunning city, there’s no excuse for not rocking an A-lister Instagram account.
To make life easier and ensure you’re the envy of all your mates, here are our list of local Insta-worthy spots.
Surfers Paradise Sign
It’s on every Gold Coast tourists’ bucket list and makes the perfect background for a ‘look where I am’ pic. The Surfers Paradise sign is located right where bustling Cavill Ave meets the beach. Try to make it for sunrise (whether you get up, or stay up, we won’t judge!).
Where: The top of Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Springbrook National Park offers you a couple of great Insta pic locations, the most beautiful and unique being the Natural Bridge rock arch. When you get the right angle and the light hits the water running through the cave, it’s a guaranteed winner! So make sure your battery is fully charged and get ready for a rainforest adventure (watch out for the cave dwelling bats!).
Where: Springbrook National Park, Numinbah Road
It’s a fitness junkie’s kryptonite but the top of the hill also gives you great views of Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta. You may snap some great pics during the day, but we urge you to make the effort and go during sunrise or sunset – it’s mind blowing and no filter necessary.
Where: The southern end of Miami
It’s safe to say that we’ve all snapped shots on Burleigh Hill at some point. A sweet location with balmy breezes and picture-perfect views of Surfers Paradise’ skyline. If you’re lucky enough, you might even spy a whale breaching!
Where: Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
If taken from the right angle, a picture at Talle Creek can easily be mistaken for a beach in Thailand or the Caribbean (but it’s on the Coast and that’s even better). The calm waters and palm trees are nothing short of #paradise!
Where: Awoonga Avenue, Burleigh Heads (northside) and Murlong Crescent, Palm Beach (southside)
There is not just one but two huge rocks at Currumbin Beach and they’re the perfect natural objects for your next Instagram pic! Who doesn’t love a great scenic shot of the deep blue sea? Hot tip: Visit during Swell Sculpture Festival (held in September) and take pictures of the abstract outdoor sculpture gallery against the ocean.
Where: Currumbin Beach, Currumbin
With so many waterfalls and rock pools to choose from, it’s not easy to decide which ones to visit. You should probably just go see them all, but we’ve created a list of our faves right here.
Where: Various locations
Don’t forget to tag us in your pics using #insidegoldcoast and @insidegoldcoast.
If you’ve done any travelling overseas — or taken a casual stroll through the back lanes of Melbourne — you might have noticed a culture of street art and murals that simply leave you in awe. Not one to be far behind, the Gold Coast has been creating urban-based pieces of art at an impressive pace for the last several years, further confirming our slow burn and steady rise as a hub of culture in the land down under.
You may pass by these pieces without noticing them, or worse, not even know of their existence. And for the sake of the hard work and talent that has gone into them, we think that would be an utter travesty. And as our art scene is only going in one direction (up), we thought it fitting to give you the lowdown on the city’s most notable and impressive pieces of outside/mural art! (listed from north to south).
Water Walls Project — Hope Island
As part of an installation for the Commonwealth Games, Creative Road commissioned local favourite Kiel Tillman (and others) to create some street art on bare spots across the Coast as a legacy to the games, with exceptional results. This piece is an impressive bird painted on the side of an unassuming little building facing the road — therefore, it’s unlikely you’ll miss it.
Where: Oxenford Southport Road & Pendraat Parade, Hope Island
Abbott Park, Parkwood
The Gold Coast City Council commissioned local artist Fiona Hutchinson-Mackenzie to create a community art mural in Abbott Park. Unfortunately, the drive behind it was mostly to deter vandalism. However, good things can come from bad. The beautiful, brightly coloured piece depicts the Surfers Paradise skyline and a little basketball action to boot.
Where: Abbott Park, Parkwood
Golden Walls — Ichiban Lane + Davison Lane Southport
You may have ventured past these dreamlike alleys in the Southport CBD and wondered how on earth it’s possible to paint something so good. Well, get this, some of the work was completed in one day and completely improvised — yes, you read that correctly. The artists behind the alley art are world-renowned Brisbane artist SOFLES and Lachlan Hansen – an artist of 40/40 Creative on the Coast. If you’re in the area, we say treat your eyeballs to some clever artwork hinged on depicting Asian cultures within the community.
Where: Off Scarborough Street, and Davison Lane, Southport
Created by Melbourne-based artist Mike Makatron, the pieces were commissioned to brighten up the cultural precinct, and what a great job he did of it! When you go to check out the newly opened Gallery — as if that isn’t enough — be sure to seek out these two outbuildings. They are a feast for the eyes with so many colourful aspects that you can expect to lose some serious time gazing up at them.
Where: HOTA, 135 Bundall Road, Bundall
Mexicali, Nobby Beach
No doubt you’ve spied this pretty piece on your travels to Nobby Beach on a margarita fuelled odyssey of fun. Designed and painted by local legend Luke Day, the colourful creation has quickly become a favourite Instagram opportunity for, well, pretty much everyone with a phone. In enchanting hues of pink and blue, it’s so Gold Coast, it hurts!
Where:1/2223 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach
AWOL Brewery, Burleigh Heads
The innovative crew behind Black Hops are right back at it again with their sister project, AWOL Brewery. With inventive work taking place inside, there was a call to ensure their space looked the goods inside and out. Kiel Tillman was naturally brought in to create some funky and unprecedented illustrative work — be sure to check it out, and don’t forget to grab a beer!
Where: AWOL, 4 Hibiscus Haven, Burleigh Heads
Tugun Fruit Market, Tugun
Does this man ever stop? He’s created countless cool projects over the years, but this one we feel is the jewel in the crown of Kiel Tillman’s talents. The Welcome to the Gold Coast mural painted onto the side of Tugun Super Market is nearly impossible to miss, and for those who have just touched down in the sunshine state: what an entrance!
Where: 499 Gold Coast Highway, Tugun
Southern Cross University, Bilinga
Involving over 50 litres of paint and taking over a month to create this incredible ten storey high artwork is quite an artistic achievement. Created by Guido van Helten, a Brisbane-raised artist, the piece depicts an ultra-realistic-looking man and a woman looking back toward the campus. Taking it in makes you wonder how somebody could paint something so realistic, while at the same time not being able to see the bigger picture (literally).
Where: Gold Coast Airport, Terminal Drive, Bilinga
The Pink Hotel, Coolangatta
The bracing sight of The Pink Hotel in Coolangatta is a somewhat (welcome) sensory overload by anyone’s standard. Like many, we were excited when the dilapidated corner building was given an entirely new lease of life nearly three years back. Part of that is the ever-changing mural wall on the north-facing side closet to the beach. The artwork has recently undergone a new design in conjunction with Stone & Wood and artist Jamie Peters (AKA @poongoat) – but keep your eyes peeled because it won’t take too long for it to change again!
Where: 171 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
Words by Alex Mitcheson.