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9 January long weekend events on the Gold Coast

Say hooroo to work and g'day to the Australia Day long weekend.

The Yot Club (image supplied)
The Yot Club (image supplied)

Get ready for a January long weekend brimming with events! From boat parties to seafood BBQs and official Australia Day celebrations, we’ve done the hard yards and scoped out all the happenings up for grabs. With a plethora of experiences on offer, grab your sunnies and cross your fingers and toes for a sun-soaked extravaganza!

THE YOT Club
A day on the water is always a good idea. Make it a banger by heading out on the YOT for a Beach Party from 12pm for a 4 hour stint with tunes by the hottest DJs! Sip on refreshing cocktails and settle in for an arvo on the deep blue. Tickets are limited, so get booking.
Where: Cruising from Mariners Cove, 60 Seaworld Dr, Main Beach

Southport Sharks
Round up the fam and head to Sharks for a long weekend full of fun! From 5pm Friday there’s a free reptile show for the ankle-biters along with face painting and balloons on both Friday and Sunday from 6 pm. Enjoy the tunes of Aussie Rock tribute bands on both Friday and Saturday nights. Treat yourself to some quality tucker with a delectable feast at Frenzy’s, featuring a prawn & BBQ buffet dinner showcasing Aussie classics such as sausages, steak, roast, and, of course, Pavlova & Lamingtons. What a ripper!
Where: Southport Sharks, Olsen Ave &, Musgrave Ave, Southport

Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)
Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)

Kirra Beach House
Get ready to vibe at the newly opened Kirra Beach House Stace Cadet bringing the tunes this January long weekend! Experience the ultimate golden hour session with Stace Cadet’s contagious beats and high-energy vibes against the backdrop of Kirra Beach. Kick off the fun at 11 am as usual, but the real party (ticketed) starts at 3 pm! Book now so you don’t miss out. Need a little extra incentive? The first 100 tickets are only $20.
Where: Level 1, 2 Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Surfers Pavilion
Aptly positioned on the waterfront with substantial mooring the Surfers Pavilion is hosting the biggest waterfront Australia Day bash on the GC. Immerse yourself in the excitement with DJ Regard’s electrifying beats, breathtaking waterfront vistas, and heart-pounding Standup Jetski and Jetpack Entertainment. Want to stay out on the water? You can pick up a takeaway and cruise away. Or settle in for an epic day sesh. Entry is free. Yew!
Where: 30-34 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise 

Surfers Pavilion Marina (image supplied)
Surfers Pavilion Marina (image supplied)

Cavill Hotel
Get ready for an epic Australian celebration at Cavill Hotel. Experience Australia Day in true Aussie Bogan fashion with the Bogan Olympics starting at 1pm. The event is free to enter, and DJs will be spinning Aussie classics all afternoon.

Once the Bogan Olympics wrap up, treat yourself to dinner and drinks, and join the fun with our all-Aussie Bogan Bingo starting at 7pm. Don’t miss out on the laughs, the games, and the good vibes
Where: 46 Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise

The Cavill, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)
The Cavill, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)

The Miami
The Miami has your Australia Day sorted with live tunes, a Charity BBQ, thong throwing competition and meat raffles. Crack out your Havaianas or Big Dub special pluggers and gear up for a day of top-notch tomfoolery. And guess what? The fun doesn’t stop on Friday – stay for the Hottest 100 listening party on Saturday and live music on Sunday.
Where: 2043-2047, 2047 Gold Coast Hwy, Miami

City of Gold Coast
The HOTA Outdoor Stage and Parklands are home to this year’s City of Gold Coast’s official Australia Day celebrations. Starting at 4pm, this alcohol-free, family friendly, free event will line your tummies with grub from an assortment of delicious food trucks, then wow you with a spectacular fireworks finale around 7.50pm. There’ll be plenty of free kids’ activities and a live and local music line-up on the HOTA Outdoor Stage. Sounds like a bonza afternoon.
Where: HOTA, Home of the Arts, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise

2024 Australia Day Celebrations (image supplied by City of Gold Coast)
Australia Day Celebrations (image supplied by City of Gold Coast)

Robina Pavilion
Grab the fam, your mates and your best friend (doggos are welcome too!) and head along to Robina Pav for live entertainment from JJ & the Radio Souls from 1-5pm on Friday. The bar is open from 10am. Let the good times roll.
Where: 229 Ron Penhaligon Way, Robina

The Yard
Get ready for the ultimate music and craft beer bash at The Yard for the Official Beer Co. Hottest 100 Countdown – a day-long Triple J tunes extravaganza. With all-day activities, from friendly games to sunshine lounging, there’s something for everyone. Join the celebration of the music that defined 2023
Where: 2389 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

Words by Belinda Symons.

Margarita Pizza, The Yard, Mermaid Beach (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
Margarita Pizza, The Yard, Mermaid Beach (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

Kirra’s new beachfront darling is here

Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)
Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)

It’s a whole new era for Kirra – as the hotly anticipated Kirra Beach House, slinks into town bringing chic sips, cabana chills and rooftop revelling to the formerly not-much-happenining Marine Parade precinct, and totally transforming the southern social scene as we know it.

And let’s all just try to maintain an orderly fashion here.. thankfully, there’s plenty here to go round.

Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)
Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)

Like, 1200 whole sqm of it – the mammoth, terrace-studded stunner is fully prepared for the inevitable inundation as we all clamour to get a glimpse of the dreamy new venue, equipped with multiple indoor and alfresco areas, wine and cocktail bars (three, to be exact!) and high-end event spaces.

Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)
Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)

The kitchen, meanwhile, brings the likes of raw and cooked seafood platters, succulent steaks and signature burgers to Kirra’s picturesque beachfront – slinging perfectly crisped pizzas out of the Marina Forni pizza oven daily.

And did we mention the uninterrupted ocean views from every angle?

The new standard for a spectacular summer has well and truly been set here, guys.

Dave Galvin at Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)

Our jaws may be on the floor, but we’re not at all surprised – after all, the new concept was pioneered by local hospo trailblazer, Dave Galvin, an undertaking a mere four years in the making.

The SITE Hospitality owner/operator has been working tirelessly to deliver us not one, but two bar-raising venues this year alone – already blessing us with Broadbeach show-stopper, kost a few months back (and before that Mozza Mozza, Bird Royale and Crafty’s Sports Bar).

Somebody stop him (but don’t, actually, keep ’em coming Dave).

And frankly, we just have one question.. when doth the man sleep?

Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)
Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)

When it comes to new venues, often the phrase ‘game changing’ often gets bandied about rather liberally (guilty) – but Kirra Beach House is truly unlike anything we’ve seen this far south, the breathtaking venue putting the seaside village on the map as a destination for elevated dining and drinking.

Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)
Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)

And we do mean elevated in all senses of the word – the new venue sits atop it’s more casual counterpart, the newly unveiled and fresh-faced Kirra Beach Hotel one level below.

The new additions signify a whole new chapter for the suburb’s seaside promenade that comes courtesy of the KTQ Group’s multi-stage Kirra Point Project.

Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)
Champagne Pina Colada and Spicy Watermelon Margarita, Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)

“The venue will have a beach club atmosphere about it, with great music, mesmerising panoramic views of Kirra, Mediterranean-style food using the incredible local produce we have on our doorstep, a world-class drinks list and, of course, great service” says Dave.

And really, did anyone expect anything less?

Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)
Food at Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)

The kitchen of Kirra’s darling new destination is led by head chef Drew Wilson, curating a Mediterranean-style grazing menu that is both flavour-packed and true to the laidback, coastal location.

It features a contemporary mix of dishes such as Kingfish crudo with citrus vinaigrette, chive oil and floral salt… or perhaps the summery ‘burrata with yellow peach, aged balsamic and smoked salt’ to woo the cheese fans.

Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)
Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)

Bars Manager, Kaden Pool invites us to ‘dive in’ to a delectable menu of resort-style cocktails, the type that scratch that nostalgia itch in all the right places.

Such as ‘BahamasChampagne Piña coladas and ‘Cancunspicy watermelon margaritas, made for summer sunsets and crafted to make you feel like you’re on holiday…

Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)
Food at Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)

Wait, we’re pretty sure we might be. Or dreaming. Who could say for sure. We might need to get around a few spicy melon margs to determine, first.

Where: Level 1, 2 Marine Parade, Coolangatta
When: Sunday to Thursday 11am–l
ate, Friday & Saturday: 11am–1am

Words by Kellie Leader.

Champagne Pina Colada, Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)
Champagne Pina Colada, Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)

12 of the best BBQ spots on the Gold Coast

South Stradbroke (image supplied)
South Stradbroke (image supplied)

Is it just us, or does Gold Coast life go perfectly with a barbie? And no, we’re not referring to the plastic blonde haired variety (also, we kind of are…), but rather the beer in one hand, snag in the other kind. With over 380 public BBQs in our region, that’s one for precisely every day of the year + 15 days and challenge accepted!

Here are 12 idyllic spots to meet your mates for a BBQ, outside of your very own back yard of course! Let’s take it from the north….

Tipplers
If you grew up on the GC, you’ve heard many-a-story about this place! The iconic Tipplers now offers a super relaxed atmosphere, epic camping, a fab café (#cocktailoclock), a playground, and of course, BBQ’s! Frolic on the sand, set up some beach cricket and eat BBQ tucker till your heart’s content. Find a friend with a boat or book a ferry and check.it.out!
Where: South Stradbroke Island

Bim’bimba Park
This five-hectare $7.5 million super park is a national award-winner. A destination in itself, they’ve thrown everything but the kitchen sink at this one. We’re talking shaded BBQ and picnic areas, an outdoor amphitheatre, an amazing playground, basketball half-court, skate ramps, outdoor table tennis, and three kilometres of walking and cycle paths. If you want a BBQ with no risk of boredom, Bim’bimba Park is a sure thang.
Where: Gainsborough Drive, Pimpama

Paradise Point, Ephraim Island and Sovereign Island (image courtesy of Destination Gold Coast)
Paradise Point, Ephraim Island and Sovereign Island (image courtesy of Destination Gold Coast)

Paradise Point Parklands
Anyone on the north side knows it well. It has something for everyone and selling points galore, with amazing views of the Broadwater topping the list. In addition to the sweet BBQ and picnic facilities, the epic playground areas are first class making it a family fave. Extending all the way along the esplanade, enjoy a scoot or a stroll along the picturesque walkway hugging the shoreline. Bliss.
Where: The Esplanade, Paradise Point

Hollindale Park
Home to the Main Beach Pavilion, Hollindale Park boasts beautiful grassy areas and lots of shade for long lunches – BBQ style! Right by the ocean, the sea breezes scream summer, and the views never fail to woo a crowd. With barbecues, picnic tables, picnic shelters and gazebo’s, there’s plenty of real estate, and the playground areas will keep the ankle biters entertained #happywifekidshappylife.
Where: MacArthur Parade, Main Beach

Aerial view of Broadwater Parklands, Australia Fair and Southport central business district (image supplied)
Aerial view of Broadwater Parklands, Australia Fair and Southport central business district (image supplied)

Broadwater Parklands
This spectacular precinct occupying three kilometres of vast natural beauty and exquisite Broadwater views has it all. There are busier areas if you’re after a Barbie with a vibe, or more private spots for intimate barbie feels. Pack your togs and take a dip in the netted swimming area, and let the kids rip on the jumping pillow, in the playgrounds, rockpools, and the interactive GC Aqua Park. It’s a ten out of ten.
Where: Marine Parade, Southport

Cascade Gardens
If chilled leafy BBQs by the river are your jam, Cascade Gardens nails the brief. With multiple BBQ and picnic areas, it’s a beautiful spot for a low-key, uber-relaxed barbie. Take a nature walk to burn off some snags and coleslaw, and let the mini-me’s run free in the playground. It’s also home to the Rotary Kokoda Memorial Wall and the Queensland Korean War Memorial to add a little history #lestweforget.
Where: Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach

Pratten Park via Gold Coast City Council
Pratten Park via Gold Coast City Council

Kurrawa Pratten Park
Want a beachside BBQ spot with a side of large grassy areas to kick the footy? Same, and Kurrawa Pratten Park was born for this. It boasts a fully fenced playground promoting interactive play, pedal-powered monorail and G.I.A.N.T slides. Take a dip in the ocean before moving your posse over the road for a post barbie beverage at one of Broady’s many watering holes.
Where: Old Burleigh Road, Broadbeach

Evandale Park, HOTA
HOTA, how we love thee. In addition to culture in spades, you bring us Evandale Park. With plenty of BBQ and picnic tables with stunning Nerang River views, you’re sure to find a spot surrounded by beautiful towering greenery and a gated playground. There’s even an enclosed swimming, perfect for those balmy summer barbies. Hot tip: Go on a Sunday AM for some pre-BBQ fun at the HOTA Markets.
Where: Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise

HOTA Exterior, Evandale Lake (image supplied)
HOTA Exterior, Evandale Lake (image supplied)

Mick Schamburg Park
Offering spectacular views from the north to the south, this ever-popular BBQ spot set atop Miami Headland is a showstopper. There are barbecues and picnic tables for your spread, and a playground next door for the kiddos to burn off some energy (yassss!). It’s ideal for catching up with your mates over a snag or ten, and reminding us how lucky we are to live in such a stellar part of the world.
Where: Kelly Avenue, Miami

Queen Elizabeth Park
Sandwiched between the foreshore of Greenmount Beach and Coolangatta’s retail and dining precinct, Queen Elizabeth Park is a local fave. There are lots of BBQs scattered throughout, with large green spaces, beautiful beach, and playground areas for the littlies. The infamous Greenmount Headland serves as a stunning backdrop, and don’t forget to pack the cricket set, skateboard and footy to up the fun factor.
Where: Marine Parade, Coolangatta

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

Laguna Park
A GC BBQ spot list would not be complete without this one. Kids legit go cray for the iconic pirate ship, slides, rockers, and pedal-powered monorail, all enclosed in a fully fenced area easily visible from the BBQ areas. Always choccas, Laguna Park overlooks a lake, and you can even bring your pooch to romp in the off-leash exercise area. Time your barbie with live music in the park…and happy days!
Where: Laguna Avenue, Palm Beach

Winders Park
If you fancy a pre or post BBQ kayak or stand-up paddle, Winders is a water sports fan’s utopia. Set alongside Currumbin Creek, take your pick from the many shaded picnic tables and barbie spots and let the kids run amok in the little playgrounds. There’s even a boat ramp in the park, so feel free to BYO vessel to lunch #boatsboatsboats.
Where:  Duringan Street, Currumbin

Words by Bianca Trathen.

10 of the best Gold Coast picnic spots

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

On the Gold Coast we are blessed with pretty spectacular weather year-round, which means picnics are high on the agenda. Thankfully we have no shortage of pretty spots to throw down a blanket for a spot of cheese and biccies with friends.

Here’s a list of 10 of our favourites.

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 a picnicker’s 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.

Cedar Creek Falls (image supplied)
Cedar Creek Falls (image supplied)

Macintosh Island, Surfers Paradise
This little oasis nestled in Surfers Paradise (most commonly used for getting around the GC500 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 (including peacocks), so don’t forget your stale bread. There’s also that super fun bridge previously built for the Indy in 2007.

Gold Coast Regional Botanic 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.

Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens, Benowa (image supplied)
Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens, Benowa (image supplied)

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).

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.

Picnic on Burleigh Hill (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)
Picnic on Burleigh Hill (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)

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.

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!

Tallebudgera Creek (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)
Tallebudgera Creek (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)

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.

Picnic (image via Unsplash)
Picnic (image via Unsplash)
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