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7 beloved Gold Coast bookstores

Top shelf spots to indulge your inner bookworm.

Library of books (image supplied)

We know it’s very 2022 to view our fave mags online, catch the latest headlines (spoiler alert – they’re all about Covid…), and read a book on a kindle. But, what if we dream of ditching the kindle (another spoiler alert – we’re chucking our kindles!) because we crave the good ‘ole days when we held an actual book. Remember the texture of the pages? The satisfaction of bulking out your bookcase with a sweet new read and of course, the unmistakable book smell – which sounds mildly creepy but if you know you know.

And we are super proud to say print is still living it large on the GC and these much loved, thriving bookstores are living proof! 

Ahhh BOOK FACE why are you so awesome?! Carrying books spanning all the genres, they also have a curated selection of rare books for sale. The Pac Fair Book Club is held at the Cafe, where on the first Thursday of each month a small group gathers to discuss contemporary novels. It also hosts a book exchange program, where members of the community exchange pre-loved books for free. BOOK FACE showcases local authors and artists in-store on a commission basis and exhibits independent work that may not be accessible at larger book stores. Kudos!
Where: Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, Shop 1622 Cnr Sunshine and, Hooker Blvd, Broadbeach

Woman reading (image supplied)

Under the Greenwood Tree Bookshop and Artspace
Those who enjoy a little day trip to our beautiful Tambo would be all over this precious gem-like salt on the rim of a margi glass. Under the Greenwood Tree is a small independent bookshop and art gallery overflowing from floor to ceiling with book goodness. Run by the lovely Janene Gardner, she welcomes new reads on a weekly basis, including new releases, best sellers and everything in between. With Australian art and craft also on her shelves, this place will have you smiling ear to ear.
Where: 92 Main Western Rd, Tamborine Mountain

Books Etc
Looking for darn dirt-cheap bargain book buys? Your search is over folks – Books Etc is the one for you! With several stores on the GC and up the road in BrisVegas, they’ve got your next cheap and cheerful gift covered. Stocking multiple genres, you’ll get bang for your buck with beautiful quality reads and some seriously great titles. Insider tip: if you see something you like, nab it because chances are it will be goneski next time you’re passing by.
Where: Broadbeach, Helensvale, Coolangatta, Elanora

Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

Antique & Collectors Books
Looking for a title you just cannot find for love nor money? Given up hope because all the book stores (and Professor Google) are telling you it’s not in production anymore? Before you concede defeat, check with the gurus at Antique & Collector’s Books. They stock over 500,000 books ranging from antiquarian to modern-day literature. Specialising in “out of print” and antiquarian books, they’ve racked up 40 years’ experience in bookselling. Eat your heart out, Prof Google!
Where: 162 Scarborough St, Southport

QBD Books
When you think of bookstores, 3 letters will inevitably come to mind: QBD. With literally millions of titles available across all genres, this Aussie-owned and operated powerhouse always gets a thumbs up from us. Boasting an epic online store, one helluva loyalty program and super helpful staff at every location, you never need to travel far to find your closest branch. It’s a bonafide staple stop on a bookworm’s day out.
Where: Coomera, Runaway Bay, Southport, Broadbeach, Robina

Woman reading book in bed (image supplied)

Big B Books
If you love books old and new, you know about this place. Tucked away in one of Burleigh’s little alleyways, whatever genre it is you’re searching for, Big B delivers! The team are self-confessed (and damn proud) bookworms who personally select each and every title on their shelves. Mind-body-spirit specialists who are passionate about their ‘trade,’ they’ll relish the opportunity to help you choose your next read. Hot tip: be sure to keep your eye on the store’s events page for readings, launches and signings!
Where: Shop 16, Big B Arcade, James Street, Burleigh Heads

Bundle O’Books
Nothing quite beats losing yourself in a good book, and you’ll do exactly that at Cooly’s second-hand books haven, Bundle O’Books. Choccas with every genre you can think of, here you can buy or exchange your preloved reads, and there’s every chance you’ll find that elusive title you’ve been scouring book shops and the internet for. Winning!
Where: 116 Griffith St, Coolangatta

Words by Bianca Trathen.

Briony Benjamin

Briony Benjamin (image by Anne-Carolien Köhler of Chasing Studio)
Briony Benjamin (image by Anne-Carolien Köhler of Chasing Studio)

I think we can all say that lately, while we try to live our day to day lives as normal as can be, life has been tough – COVID has certainly sent the world into a tizzy. One book that we could all take a page from is ‘Life Is Tough But So Are You’, written by Briony Benjamin. Aside from being the author of this book and a Gold Coast local, she has a long resume of achievements particularly in the viral video space at Mamamia. Add to this, Briony is a Stage 4 Lymphoma survivor. We found out a bit more about Briony ahead of her official book launch (Tuesday 3rd August 2021), and what exactly she loves about the Gold Coast.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
My family moved to the Coast when I was one and has been based on the Coast for the past 34 years. I’ve loved growing up in the hinterland of the Gold Coast, it’s a magical place to be a kid. Our family ran a local vet hospital in Mudgeeraba so I worked there growing up. It was always a lot of fun and we would collect a lot of orphan animals in the process. A child’s dream.

Life Is Tough, But So Are You book (image by Anne-Carolien Köhler of Chasing Studio)
Life Is Tough, But So Are You book (image by Anne-Carolien Köhler of Chasing Studio)

Tell us a bit about yourself.
After going to school on the Gold Coast, I ventured overseas for my ‘gap year.’ I worked and lived in a place called Giggleswick, England and worked at the Giggleswick School, it was the most fantastic year (it was basically Hogwarts). Then I came back and completed a Commerce Degree, decided I didn’t want to be an accountant and so enrolled instead in a Film Degree. After the three year degree, I moved to the big smoke to embark on a career in that industry and haven’t looked back. I loved creating short-form video that has an important message at it’s core and has the power to connect with people all over the world. That became my number one passion.

What do you love the most about being a Viral Video Producer?
There is nothing like the thrill of watching a video go viral. It’s seriously fun creating something that goes out into the world and touches millions of people. Whether it gives them a laugh, makes them feel something, helps them to feel less alone, or gets an important message through in an engaging and entertaining way. I just love it.

Can you tell us why you decided to turn the camera on yourself to document your life changing experience?
When I was first diagnosed with Stage 4 Lymphoma I didn’t know what was going to happen to me, I certainly hoped I’d survive and come out the other side, but I suppose you just don’t know. Encouraged by some friends, I started filming the journey. It was a nice distraction from what I was going through and in a way meant I could still ‘work.’ It was also quite therapeutic to get my thoughts down on video as I went and it helped me navigate the whole wild time.

Briony Benjamin (image by Anne-Carolien Köhler of Chasing Studio)
Briony Benjamin (image by Anne-Carolien Köhler of Chasing Studio)

So ahead of the launch of your first ever book, can you explain how it went from an idea to a published book?
I created a video out of my experience called ‘Life Is Tough But So Are You.’ When it went out into the world, it went viral and touched so many people. I had some amazing comments from people who said it had moved them and touched them in so many ways. One lady said she’d reached out to her mother who she hadn’t spoken to in years because it made her see how futile and petty their fight had been and this is the one life she gets. Other cancer patients reached out and said how it had given them such a lift and reminded them to just keep going. One of the people that saw this video was my publisher at Murdoch Books. They reached out and were interested to turn the heart and soul of the video into a helpful guidebook for anyone navigating a tough time.

If you could give anyone one bit of advice, what would it be?
It’s so hard to boil it down into one piece of advice, but if I had to, I would say that this is your one precious crack at this life. We spend so much time consumed in trivial, unimportant things like what we look like and what people think of us and none of it really matters. You need to live a life of which you are proud. So don’t wait, start now. Be bold with your life, enjoy each day, surround yourself with excellent energy; the people who love you and lift you up and find something to do with your life that really matters.

Briony Benjamin (image supplied)
Briony Benjamin (image supplied)

How can someone grab a copy of ‘Life Is Tough But So Are You’?
You can find my book at all good booksellers if you have a favourite local bookstore try to support them, as they are doing it tough right now in COVID.

What are your Gold Coast favourites…
Café: If you’re looking for something in the hinterland, I love the Tea Topia Tea salon in a beautiful old Queenslander. And if I’m near the Coast, I adore Tarte in Burleigh – those pastries… wow!
Coffee spot: Millers Espresso in Mudgeeraba do a fantastic coffee!
Restaurant: The Wine Barrel in Mudgeeraba – this little restaurant punches well above it’s weight and I love going on the night they have a live harpist. Dreamy.

How do you choose to spend your weekends?
I love doing the Burleigh headland walk on a Saturday morning, I feel so grateful to whoever had the vision to set aside that land and create a National Park. It’s one of the most stunning parts of the Coast to me. I then love to go to Tarte, wandering up James St and browsing some of the beautiful little shops. Then coming back to Mudgeeraba, sitting in the garden and reading the paper, that is a Saturday morning well spent for me! I also love a wander through 19 Karen Gallery in Miami and The Borrowed Nursery for some more plants or pots to add to my collection. The Coast really has so much to offer and it’s been amazing to watch the transition having lived here all my life. We certainly didn’t have the amazing array of coffee shops and restaurants in the 90’s that we have now!

13 mind-boggling Gold Coast trivia nights

Trivia Nights (image from Unsplash)
Trivia Nights (image from Unsplash)

So it’s the end of the day and you’re spent. All you want to do is chill on the couch with a chardy and Outer Banks, until you realise it’s Trivia Night at your local and just like that, the Kooks and Pogues are dead to you.

Not only is trivia next level entertaining, but it’s cheap as chips (if not free) and you get to think of a hilariously inappropriate name for your team. Here are 13 local spots to test your knowledge and expand your useless facts repertoire across the Gold Coast (from North to South):

The Park Coomera
This is no ordinary trivia folks, it’s the biggest on the GC and the most interactive in the country! Infusion Gameshow combines all your favourite TV game shows and high-tech alert – you use your smartphone to answer the questions. Happening every Wednesday and great for families, be there at 6.30pm for a 7pm start. Don’t forget to ask about your exclusive team membership card with a host of cracking good deals. Online registration is essential.
Where: Top Floor Westfield Shopping Centre Coomera, 103 Foxwell Road

People playing trivia (image supplied Unsplash)

The Parkwood Tavern
Try out your trivia skills at the Parkwood Tavern Quiz Night Mondays from 7pm. Always arrive with plenty of time up your sleeve to register (from 6.30pm), and grab a pre-game feed (and a tipple) to fuel your brain! Call in the posse for a hoot of a night, with some impressive prizes ripe for the taking.
Where: Corner of Olsen and Wintergreen Drives, Parkwood

Southport Sharks
Themed trivia at Sharks is the shiz, coming in hot on the first Wednesday of every month and centred around the best of pop culture. Take a trip down memory lane and battle it out for great prizes, with themes like Harry Potter, Gossip Girl (#XOXO), Stranger Things and Love Actually. Registration is from 7pm and lift off from 7.30pm. Bring it on, and we srsly dare you to come up against us on Gossip Girl night….
Where: Olsen & Musgrave Avenues, Southport

Last Night on Earth
If it was indeed our last night on earth, we’d want to make it a ripsnorter so naturally (or supernaturally…), we’d head into the GC CBD for Last Trivia on Earth! Starting at 7.30pm on Wednesdays, hump day never looked so fun! Go your hardest with questions on pop culture, music, general knowledge, movies, and in their very own words ‘’random sh#t”. Entry is $10 and your first drink is free (yay), plus there’s live music to set the tone.
Where: 50B Nerang Street, Southport

The Sporting Globe (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)
The Sporting Globe (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)

The Sporting Globe Bar & Grill
There’s more than just watching sport and drinking beer at The Sporting Globe, like playing trivia and drinking beer! With a different theme each month and blockbuster prizes to be won, Robina Town Centre’s fave sports bar has rebuilt, rewritten, and reformatted their trivia decks for a bigger, better trivia experience. Doors open at 6.30pm and this month, it’s all about Marvel so note to self; pick the kids’ brains beforehand. Grab a feed and some refreshments and don’t forget to book in advance.
Where: Robina Town Centre, Robina Town Centre Drive, Robina

The Bavarian, Robina
Another one hosting a free themed trivia night each month is Robina TC’s The Bavarian. If you know your Baratheons from your Targaryens, gear up for this month’s instalment; Game of Thrones, alongside a feast of fine fare and wicked drinks from 7pm until 9pm on Friday 17th March. There’s a $100 first place bounty and $50 for second so grab a schnitty, a stein and your squad. Oh and PS – The Bavarian also holds a smaller 1 cent wings and trivia night every Thursday!
Where: Robina Town Centre, Robina Town Centre Drive, Robina

Chameleon Lounge Bar & Restaurant
If dragalicious trivia is your jam, get on down to Chameleon for Tuesday Drag Trivia! Hosted by the hilarious hostess with the mostess, Justine Kase, it’s feisty, fabulous, and FREE! Kicking off at 7pm, tuck into $4 Asian fusion tacos. Yas queens!
Where: 97 Surf Parade, Broadbeach

Bine Bar & Dining (image supplied)
Bine Bar & Dining (image supplied)

Mermaid Beach Bowls Club
The home of the Mermaid Beach Bowls Club presents Thursday Trivia Nights so gather the gang and get competitive! Whether you have a big or a small crew, prepare for battle and stand to win some srsly cool prizes. It’s free to play and while you’re there, seize the moment and enjoy family-friendly meals at D’Agostino’s Bistro.
Where: 9 Markeri Street, Mermaid Beach

Bine Bar & Dining
There’s only one thing better than Tuesday night trivia and that’s Taco Tuesday Night Trivia at Bine! Enjoy $5 tacos all night and this alone has us all kinds of sold. It’ll set you back $15 per team (max of six per team), which you’ll hopefully recoup – if you’re cluey enough – with the CASH prizes #kaching! Be there or be square at 6.45pm latest for a 7pm start.
Where: 1/28 Chairlift Avenue, Miami

Precinct Brewing Co. entrance (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)
Precinct Brewing Co. entrance (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Precinct Brewing Co
With a name like Tipsy Trivia (also known as Smarty Pants Trivia), Sign.Us.Up! Hosted by the infamous Marty, flex your knowledge every Tuesday night at 7pm. You can have up to six peeps in your team (cost is $15 per team) and you can wrap your laughing gear around $20 pizzas all night long. Top that!
Where: 17 Christine Avenue, Miami

Burleigh Town Hotel
Don your thinking caps and get down to Burleigh Town Hotel for Tuesday Trivia Night featuring Funky Bunch, and now we can’t stop thinking about Marky Mark #goodvibrations. Entry will cost you nix and there are epic prizes up for grabs (translation; be strategic and round up your smartest mates!).
Where: Tsipura Drive, Burleigh Heads

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

Currumbin RSL
At Currumbin RSL, Thursday nights mean free trivia with a host of awesome prizes to be won. If you don’t take home any loot, nothing is lost and everything is gained, as it’s not just a guaranteed good time but it’s also Thursday steak night! Devour a 200g rump, house salad, fries and and your choice of sauce for just $18 bucks. Rego is from 6:30pm for a 7pm start and no need to book – just rock up!
Where: 165 Duringan St, Currumbin

Salty Fox
What’s better than a rooftop bar you ask, and that would be a rooftop bar where you can play trivia! Put your game face on, bring your competitive spirit and put your general knowledge to the test every Wednesday night from 6.30pm until 9pm. Our hot tip; arrive a bit earlier to take advantage of happy hour specials between 3pm and 6pm #cheers.
Where: Rooftop, Rydges Gold Coast Airport, Terminal Drive, Bilinga

 Words by Bianca Trathen.

Currumbin RSL (image supplied)
Currumbin RSL (image supplied)

A cult flavour-ite opens on Currumbin Creek

Tarte Beach House, Currumbin Creek (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
Selection of pastries at Tarte Beach House, Currumbin Creek (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

Well well well, what do we have here?

If it isn’t our mate Currumbin collecting trendy new haunts like they don’t already have dibs on the coolest creek in the whole of the GC.

Tarte Beach House, Currumbin Creek (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
Tarte Beach House, Currumbin Creek (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

It’s okay though, we’re not mad about it, because in case you haven’t caught the hottest news in town, a cult-flavourite on the GC scene has branched out to bring us a BRAND NEW VENUE (and yes we feel the shouty caps are warranted, as will anyone who has tasted one of their mouth-watering pastries) because we are talking about our beloved, one and only Tarte Bakery here.

Tarte Beach House, Currumbin Creek (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
Steak 'N' Frites Sandwich, Tarte Beach House, Currumbin Creek (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

We are so bready for the great Tarte takeover, with Currumbin officially welcoming its sister venue Tarte Beach House this week and, while we want to say it’s every bit as good as you’d expect – it’s not.

It’s even better (how is that even possible?!)

Tarte Beach House, Currumbin Creek (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
Tarte Beach House, Currumbin Creek (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

Taking up residence under the palms lazily swaying by the picturesque Currumbin Creek foreshore, this Hamptons meets Parisian style stunner ticks all the boxes – and with owner and culinary mastermind Chloe Watts at the helm, we certainly don’t think this new venue will be living in the shadow of its big sister for long.

Tarte Beach House, Currumbin Creek (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
Hot Cakes, Tarte Beach House, Currumbin Creek (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

Somewhere between her duties as #supermum and running one of the GC’s most popular artisan bakeries, Chloe apparently manages to squeeze in the odd The Block binge, because the new Tarte Beach House beach shack glow up was a reno of epic proportions.

She well and truly uncovered the true potential of this creekside gem, which has been treated to a full facade makeover with some stunning new joinery to frame those knockout views.

Tarte Beach House, Currumbin Creek (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
Tarte Beach House, Currumbin Creek (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

Also of note are the painstakingly sourced vintage fixtures, with tables, counters and beach umbrellas turned lamp shades direct from France clocking in at a mere century old #oohlala.

Complete with chic monochrome checkerboard floors and elegant brass fixtures to round out the whole elevated space, it’s no longer just the glistening outlook that’s insta-worthy.

Tarte Beach House, Currumbin Creek (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
Parisian Hot Chocolate and Creme Brulee, Tarte Beach House, Currumbin Creek (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

No how matter how ‘in’, the mullet may claim to be, we are loathe to use such a term to describe the ‘party in the bottom, business in the top’ functionality of this gorg new multi-level space (but we did it anyway).

Tarte Beach House, Currumbin Creek (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
Downstairs at Tarte Beach House, Currumbin Creek (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

Downstairs has been designed to be the more casual of the two spaces, welcoming us to saunter in post-dip and pull up stumps, or perhaps grab a New York style bagel (or any of your usual Tarte flaky faves) to-go #we’rejusthereforthecruellers.

Tarte Beach House, Currumbin Creek (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
Lobster Roll, Tarte Beach House, Currumbin Creek (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

Upstairs boasts the more formal style restaurant, which of course is fully licensed (which means Tarte cocktails, huzzah!).

Coupled with all-day faves such as Chilli eggs – Crispy ‘fried’ eggs, sauteed asparagus and broccolini with Aunty TT’s crispy chilli and fresh shallots on white sourdough and slightly more boujee brunch options such as the Lobster Roll made with Southern rock lobster in hot butter, celery, chives and lettuce served in a toasted housemade brioche. Shut up and take all our money!

Tarte Beach House, Currumbin Creek (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
Pastry cabinet at Tarte Beach House, Currumbin Creek (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

With plans to eventually extend the Tarte Beach House offering to arvos and evenings, Europe called and said we should definitely stay home for creek hangs this summer.

Tarte Beach House, Currumbin Creek (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
Tarte Beach House, Currumbin Creek (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

When: 6.30am-3pm Monday – Thursday, 6.30am-5pm Friday – Sunday
Where: 2 Thrower Dr, Currumbin

Words by Kellie Leader
Images by Carly King

Tarte Beach House, Currumbin Creek (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
Tarte Beach House, Currumbin Creek (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
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