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Brr, it’s cold in here, must be some IceBar in the atmosphere

Surfers just scored the coolest new bar.

The bar at IceBar Surfers Paradise (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)
The bar at IceBar Surfers Paradise (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)

Bit chilly, innit? – said absolutely no Gold Coaster in February, ever. That is, until the ‘brrrrand’ new and incredibly cool experience, IceBar Surfers swanned into town – an immersive, winter wonderland themed bar made entirely of ice!

Cocktails at IceBar Surfers Paradise (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)
Cocktails at IceBar Surfers Paradise (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)

Serving ice-cold sips and sub-zero ambience, year-round – the Gold Coast’s new glacial-inspired watering hole is quite literally set to become one of the coolest destinations this far south of the equator. Constructed with a whopping 44 tonnes of ice, the bar has forgone the furniture entirely, inviting you to rug up and chillax amongst the array of frosty, hand-carved fixtures – from the bar right down to the chairs…. A butt-clench-inducing concept indeed, if it weren’t for the toasty winter garb they kindly also include #PraiseBe.

IceBar Surfers Paradise (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)
Coats and Uggs at IceBar Surfers Paradise (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)

Rivalling the higher end of Antarctica’s averages, the bar’s rather brisk -10°C ambient temps often offer an ‘ice’-watering 45 degree difference between the inside and out. Punters can choose to instantaneously cool off with their choice of shot (which come served in actual ice glasses) chilled cocktails, or mocktails… which brings a whole new meaning to drinks served ‘on ice’.

Cocktails at IceBar (image supplied)
Cocktails at IceBar (image supplied)

Though the interactive IceBar encounter isn’t strictly an adults-only expedition. Accompanied mini me’s are also welcome to tag along for their share of icy shenanigans, with a selection of frosty-themed fun and games – such as an air arctic hockey table – for the young and young at heart to try their hand at.

Ice hockey at IceBar Surfers Paradise (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)
Ice hockey at IceBar Surfers Paradise (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)

Only the second of its kind in Aus, the Surfer’s iteration is a sequel to Melbourne’s OG IceBar experience, which has been putting the the ‘nip’ in nippy for some 17 years now. Like all the best ideas, the inspiration to expand the igloo-vibing concept from down south came to the owners over a couple’a cold ones. As fate would have it, the owners saw the light spied the ‘for lease’ sign, after venturing by Surfers to wet their whistles (obviously) whilst in town for a tourism conference.

Cocktails at IceBar Surfers Paradise (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)
Cocktails at IceBar Surfers Paradise (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)

For this crew of ‘chill’ seeking entrepreneurs (that officially trade under the warm-and-fuzzy moniker of Three Polar Bears & A Penguin, might we add) the location proved too enticing an opportunity to expand their icecapades – just footsteps from the tram stop and surrounded by fellow recreation stalwarts in Surfer’s heaving heart.

And just quietly – while we will always have a soft spot for the incredible array of attractions this grand city of ours is known for – when a new contender appears combining a novel experience for all ages with one of our favourite pastimes – sipping cocktails, it’s guaranteed to earn itself anything but a frosty reception.

Cocktails at IceBar Surfers Paradise (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)
Cocktails at IceBar Surfers Paradise (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)

The unforgettable sip session lasts for 45 minutes, which begins by donning the provided arctic gear, before stepping inside to be greeted by the glacial conditions. Surrounded by 130kg slabs of wall-to-wall ice, soak in the enchanting, surf-themed ice sculptures, which took the expert carving crew almost two (frostbite-inducing, no doubt) weeks to complete.

Colour us impressed, but it’s time we addressed the woolly mammoth in the room – the sips! The drinks menu is split into a compact selection of classic and winter-themed signature cocktails – such as the espresso-infused Snowstorm and the delightful Northern Lights made with gin, peach schnapps and pea flower. Which we will happily throw down like ‘snow’ body’s business.

Games at IceBar Surfers Paradise (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)
Games and a Shark ice sculpture at IceBar Surfers Paradise (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)

Surfer’s newest must-do is open 11–11 daily, meaning we can now swing by and blast-chill ourselves with the most refreshing margs in town and a few face-numbing rounds of Connect Four anytime the hankering/urge to escape the humidity hits. Which, basically sounds like paradise anytime from about October onwards, no?

Head here for a sneaky little discount code.

Where: Cavill Lane, 3113 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise
When: 7 days, 11am–11pm
Website: icebaraustralia.com.au
Instagram: @icebaraus

Words by Kellie Leader.

IceBar Surfers Paradise (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)
Exterior of IceBar Surfers Paradise (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)

11 family-friendly restaurants in Surfers Paradise

Little Girl eating pizza (stock image)

Hoisting the kidlets into the back of the car to grab a feed can be a varied experience. And by varied, we mean #traumatic. But not at these Surfers Paradise restaurants which are tried and tested by many-a-small person, with a double thumbs-up both from kids and therefore, parentals.

Here’s our rundown on the glitter strip places to take the rug rats for a tanty/whinge-free meal.

If there’s one thing that’ll delight the kids (and the big kids), it’s teppanyaki! Situated in JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa, Misono’s teppan experience brings an inescapable energy and thrill from the highly skilled teppan chef’s intricate knife work and interactive theatrics. Make sure you have your smart phones at the ready to capture every catch….or not (spillage is part of the fun). There’s also a live sushi bar to discover and psst mum and dad – there’s even a sneaky whisky bar for ‘ron!
Where: JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa, 158 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise


Misono, JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa (image supplied)
Misono, JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa (image supplied)

Designed with good times in mind, the kids will go wild for Wahlburgers! The burger chain and sports bar baby of Hollywood superstars ‘Marky’ Mark, Donny, and the wider Wahlburg clan, expect high-quality, simple, down to earth eats! In addition to burgers there’s breakfast, salads, loaded sides, wings, calamari, dessert, shakes and spiders and so much more. It’ll give the whole family Good Vibrations!
Where: Paradise Centre, 2 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

TGI Fridays
Tasty American Burgers, good friends and good times. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, it’s always a recipe for smiley faces. Serving up your all your fave dishes from the US of A right off the grill, we’re talking starters to share, wings, fresh mex, burgers, wraps, salads, ribs, steaks, desserts and a cracking kid’s menu. I mean, who wouldn’t want to go to a place where it’s always Friday?
Where: Paradise Centre, 2 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

TGI Fridays, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)
TGI Fridays, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)

Kids will love the Victorian-era décor, friendly service and most importantly, wide variety of all the chow our small people dream of. The usual suspects like woodfired pizzas, loaded chips, burgers, steaks and ribs etc all make an appearance on the menu, plus there’s a kiddywinkle menu suitable for those up to 16. They’ll go loco for the supershakes and if you’re in a rush (isn’t EVERY parent), you can skip the queue and order via the app! Genius.
Where: 3113 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Longboards Laidback Eatery and Bar
If the kids are hungry, do not pass go, do not collect $200 – go to Longboards. One thing’s for sure, both you and your ankle-biters will leave choccas (no other meals required). The burgers here are legendary and dad, if you wanna impress the fam, give the 30 minute Phat Bastard Challenge a crack for your chance to win a $150 tab prize. There’s a kids menu to boot, plus $3 play packs to keep them entertained. Sold!
Where: Q1 Resort & Spa, Corner of Hamilton Avenue & Northcliffe Terrace, Surfers Paradise

El Camino Cantina, Paradise Centre, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)
El Camino Cantina, Paradise Centre, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)

El Camino Cantina
Mexican is the new Maccas in terms of universal appeal for kids, and El Camino is forever Mexcellent. Slinging tacos, nachos, loaded nachos, fajitas, wings and sombrero-filled party vibes, there’ll be no whinging whatsoever from the small folk. Head on down for $2 Taco Tuesdays, 10-cent Wing Wednesdays and half-price Fajita Thursdays. How spec-taco-ular!
Where: 2 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

BMD Northcliffe SLSC (image provided by Destination Gold Coast)
BMD Northcliffe SLSC (image provided by Destination Gold Coast)

BMD Northcliffe Surf Club
Ok, so we all know kids love surf clubs – especially award-winners like BMD Northcliffe. For a start, it’s absolute beachfront making a pre or post-meal dip super duper easy. There’s plenty of room in the spacious restaurant, filled with sunlight by day and boasting a magical outlook by night, a stunning deck, and one of the best surf club menus you’ll ever find. All Little Nipper meals come with a small soft drink and a gelato. Winning!
Where: 51 Garfield Terrace, Surfers Paradise

Vapiano Restaurant (image provided by Destination Gold Coast)
Vapiano Restaurant (image provided by Destination Gold Coast)

Vapiano is Italian for kid-foody-heaven and whilst that’s a fib, it still rings true. We dare you to find a kiddo (and parent for that matter…#Don’tTellThePT) who doesn’t love a meaty, hearty pasta or a palette-pleasing pizza and yeah, nah, it’s not possible. Choose from the kids’ menu or the standard menu for small people with a BIG appetite! This is no impasta friends.
Where: Soul Boardwalk, Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Hogs Breath Café
The very pinnacle of family-orientated eating venues has to be the original and much-loved Hogs Breath Café. You’ll find consistently yummy and unassuming food served up in a friendly atmosphere, setting the benchmark high for other family restaurants to follow. Your little ones will be loving life with their own (sizeable) Hogster’s Kids Menu, which offers uncompromised value for money as each dish comes with its own drink and even dessert. Sorted!
Where: Soul, Building T2/9 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Hogs Breath Restaurant (image supplied)
Hogs Breath Restaurant (image supplied)

Crazy Cat Café
This cute setup is the purrfect place to drop by for an afternoon pit stop and, of course, to mingle with some feline friends. Apart from a mob of the friendliest cats you ever did meet, the hefty café style menu offers a host of appetising treats to boot. Worth noting is the venue’s setup which also has a separate section for those who want to witness the cats at paw’s length – a great option for the kiddies who need a slow introduction to the furry ones.
Where: 3131 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Pancakes on the Rocks
There is no mistaking; pancakes are a good time, every time, particularly when they’re being pumped out of specialty restaurant, Pancakes on the Rocks. Based in the heart of Surfers Paradise, they are a dead-set family vibe. All about family dining, you can’t go wrong with the obvs (pancakes), plus there are pizzas, salads, crepes, and the now famous beef and pork ribs. Littlies will adore this joint. Cross our hearts.
Where: 31 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise

Words by Bianca Trathen.

Kids Pancakes at Pancakes on the Rocks (image supplied)
Kids Pancakes at Pancakes on the Rocks (image supplied)

9 reasons locals love Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise Beach - Photo by Will O (Image from Unsplash)
Surfers Paradise Beach - Photo by Will O (Image from Unsplash)

Ah, Surfers Paradise. The jewel in the crown that is our fair city. The place visitors first picture in their minds and have done for the last several decades. While it is the most tourist-dense part of our Coast, what is it local’s love about it? Here we fill you in on the six best reasons locals love Surfers Paradise.

Belt out karaoke at Tune Up
The definition of karaoke, Tune Up is THE place to test out your vocal cords after you’ve had a few cocktails at bar instution The Avenue or a few schooners of ale from House of Brews. It’s an intimate environment that feels much like a house party where you can choose to mingle with everyone in the main bar or take up residence in your own little private room and sing your heart out. Count us in!
Where: Level 1, 23 Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise (above Gold Coast Real Estate)

Have a Guinness at the D’Arcy Arms
Wet your whistle with a pint of Guinness at D’Arcy Arms where the historic first Guinness keg was brewed in Queensland (and arguably Australia), tapped onsite in 1988. This locals’ Irish pub fave offers a welcome change of pace if you want to take things slow, keep warm by the fireplace or if last night happened to get the better of you. There’s always great home-style food to be had, live music and a few friendly faces with some good craic.
Where: 2923 Gold Coast Highway, Surfers Paradise

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

Have a luxe afternoon at Surfers Pavilion
Aptly positioned with ceaseless waterfront views and boasting a substantial mooring site of 400sq metres, means if locals would like to arrive GC-style by boat or jet ski — so be it! Setting and glam aside though, the new arrival is perfect for enjoying our fantastic year-round weather with an outside frosé bar, and for those with a discerning palette, a dedicated oyster and Champagne station keeps the crowd more than occupied.
Where: 30-34 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise 

Hit 9 pins at Strike Bowling
Prepare to lose a few hours when you step into this space which is a literal smorgasbord of entertaining activities and feast for the senses. The highlight is the 10-lane glow in the dark bowling alley where competitive urges can be settled with groups big and small. But, it doesn’t stop there either. If you fancy further fun, then a 15-person karaoke room, cocktail bar, two escape rooms, and pool tables should do it.
Where: Circle on Cavill, Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Sip cocktails on The Island Rooftop Bar
Rooftop bars are one of the greatest things that ever happened to the Gold Coast. Period. Now, take this sentiment and couple it with this — the Gold Coast’s largest open-air rooftop bar — and voila, you have one of the best places to drink delectable cocktails, watch live music, and live your best life at the stream of ever-changing events (drag queen brunch anyone?). You are promised great times and vibes when you head to The Island.
Where: 3128 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

The Island Rooftop (image supplied)
The Island Rooftop (image supplied)

Grab breaky at Cuppa on 41
If you find yourself in Surfers Paradise before the afternoon, then you need to head to Cuppa on 41 to energise yourself for the day — as well as for all the other inclusions on this list! The café is an excellent concept that allows local underprivileged youth to become experienced in hospitality, and coincidentally isn’t so hard on your pocket either! Our pick is the Bauernomelett, a German-style omelette straight out of heaven. You’ll leave with a satisfied belly and knowing you have contributed to a change in a Gold Coasters future.
Where: 41 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Indulge at Alfrescos Italian Restaurant
Creating picture-perfect pasta and pizza for the last 25 years, you might say what Alfrescos doesn’t know about Italian food and ambience isn’t worth knowing — and you’d be right! This charming family-owned and run restaurant has stood the test of time with locals and continually returning for great Italian classics and drinks to match. If you haven’t been in a little while, be sure to change that, the venue underwent a slight facelift late last year and is looking as enchanting as ever.
Where: 3/3018 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Retro's Surfers Paradise (image supplied)
Retro's Surfers Paradise (image supplied)

Boogie on down at Retro’s
When it comes to having a boogie along to cheeky tunes of yesteryear, you no longer have to hide in your bathroom in your towel to do so. All the locals know that Retro’s is the ultimate answer to having a fun night out and dancing the night away to the music you grew up with. With themed nights and drinks specials coming at you from all angles, you are destined to have a good time no matter what day of the week it is at this hotbed of a disco.
Where: 3 — 15 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Take in the view at Surfers Paradise Surf Life Saving Club
After a swish refurbishment, this 100-year-old surf club is the faultless place to go for an ice-cold beer for a spot of people watching, seamless views across the Pacific Ocean and to chat to a local. The family-friendly atmosphere is full of locals after their early morning beach walk tucking into a big brekky (but they’re also open for lunch and dinner too!) — a great option straight off the sand and when you feel the need to escape the crowds with some uber-friendly Queensland hospitality.
where: Corner of Hanlan Street & The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Surfers Paradise Life Saving Club (image supplied)
Surfers Paradise Life Saving Club (image supplied)

Saturdays are for spritzes

Spritz Saturdays, Nineteen at The Star, Broadbeach (image supplied)
Spritz Saturdays, Nineteen at The Star, Broadbeach (image supplied)

Ah, Saturday afternoons – that magical sweet spot where we’ve clocked off from the week, dealt with the most pressing commitments and chill mode can officially begin… ideally with an ice-cold spritz in hand.

While we’re compiling our wish lists throw in a grazing platter with all the trimmings, and some million dollar views. To this, The Star Gold Coast crew says ‘say no more’ and hands us Spritz Saturdays at Nineteen At The Star. Daydream no longer, friends – the ultimate way to get into the swing of this weekend business really does exist and it’s tantalisingly within reach.

Nineteen at The Star poolside (image supplied)
Nineteen at The Star poolside (image supplied)

For a surefire way to blitz your Saturday simply assemble one (or more) of your partners in dine and saunter over to one of the best rooftops on the Gold Coast to sip and graze the afternoon away. Did we mention it’s only $79pp from 4.00pm to 7:00pm? And it’s on every Saturday. Time to fire up the group chat.

As if we needed convincing to bust out our resort-vibing frocks and breeziest linen ensembles add in the prospect of balmy afternoons spent slurping back oysters and charcuterie and we have the sudden urge to skedaddle on over faster than you can say ‘one Elderflower & Mint Spritz, please’.

Spritz Saturdays, Nineteen at The Star, Broadbeach (image supplied)
Spritz Saturdays, Nineteen at The Star, Broadbeach (image supplied)

Of course, if you like to keep it classic, there’s also Aperol Spritz and a summery Strawberry Spritz equally poised for sipping as the sun sinks low. With drinks sorted, all that stands between you and zero cares in the world is… well, not a whole lot, because the share menu is yet to enter the equation and it comes bearing cheese #sold.

Along with a stellar Cheese and House cured olives selection, the fully stacked share spread includes two mushroom and gruyère cheese stuffed Arancini balls and freshly shucked oysters each. The Arancini balls certainly won’t be the only thing stuffed once this feast is through because there’s still the Charcuterie plate with toasted sourdough and French Fries w Garlic Aioli coming in hot.

Spritz Saturdays, Nineteen at The Star, Broadbeach (image supplied)
Spritz Saturdays, Nineteen at The Star, Broadbeach (image supplied)

All of which is enjoyed whilst kicking back poolside, surrounded by the sweeping views and supreme luxury of Level 19 of The Darling…. yep – put a fork in us, we’re done. If that’s not peak ‘weekend done right’ material, we don’t know what is.

Going down each and every Saturday, the one and only catch is that bookings are essential, so gather your crew and plan accordingly, y’all.

Spritz Saturdays, Nineteen at The Star, Broadbeach (image supplied)
Spritz Saturdays, Nineteen at The Star, Broadbeach (image supplied)

Whether you’re due for a catch up with a bestie, a spectacular sundowner sesh with the whole gang, or a romantic rooftop rendezvous with your other half – plan ahead and reap the rewards of a Saturday very well spent. We can smell the chill vibes already.

Where: The Star Gold Coast, 1 Casino Drive, Broadbeach
When: 4.00pm to 7:00pm, every Saturday

Words by Kellie Leader.


The Star practises the responsible service of alcohol. Guests must be 18 years or over to enter the casino. BET WITH YOUR HEAD, NOT OVER IT. Gambling Helpline 1800 858 858.

Nineteen at The Star, Broadbeach (image supplied)
Nineteen at The Star, Broadbeach (image supplied)
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