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9 Insta-worthy brunch spots on the Gold Coast

Eggs Benedict, Dill Ocean Trout, Poached Eggs, Brown Butter Hollandaise at Nineteen at The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)
Eggs Benedict, Dill Ocean Trout, Poached Eggs, Brown Butter Hollandaise at Nineteen at The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)

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

The Tropic Brunch (image supplied)
The Tropic Brunch (image supplied)

The Tropic
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

Mavis’s Kitchen
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

Palm Springs Cafe (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)
Palm Springs Cafe (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Palm Springs
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

Highline
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

Highline (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)
Highline (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)

Milkman’s Daughter
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

Paddock Bakery
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.

Paddock Bakery (image supplied)
Paddock Bakery (image supplied)

11 next-level Gold Coast rooftop bars

The Exhibitionist Bar (image supplied)
The Exhibitionist Bar (image supplied)

If Queensland weather doesn’t shout rooftop bars at you in a high-pitched squeal, we don’t know what will. Our climate, coupled with the amazing hospitality scene here in our city, means these open-air meccas of good times and delicious libations are the prime place to find yourself — any time of the year! It’s all about drinks in the sunshine and snapping selfies with picturesque backgrounds for Insta-bragging purposes. 

So, in honour of bars in high places, here are 11 next-level rooftop bars you should make it a priority to visit this weekend — and next weekend, and the weekend after…

The Exhibitionist Bar
When HOTA opened its brand new state of the art gallery building last year (the biggest outside a capital city, by the way), we all knew the art scene was about to go up a level or two. What we didn’t realise was that a sublimely positioned rooftop bar was a part of the deal also. The highly talented Tom Angel heads up a bar and creative cocktail list, which is a seriously good spot for a sundowner — and the ideal place to take out of towners!
Where: Level 5/135 Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise

Clockwise: Kingfish ceviche, Creamy coconut rice with dulche de leche and Patacones with black beans at Tropic Vice (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Clockwise: Kingfish ceviche, Creamy coconut rice with dulche de leche and Patacones with black beans at Tropic Vice (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Tropic Vice
Glitzy, glamorous, and generally a wonderful time all around, Tropic Vice was the rooftop bar Nobby Beach was yearning for, and it came to fruition in 2021. The ideal spot for a weekend catch up, a mid-week cheeky cocktail, or an epic bottomless brunch every Sunday. Do yourself a favour: find yourself here sipping a cocktail whilst drinking in the gorgeous hinterland view.
Where: 2215 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

The Island Rooftop
Find the Gold Coast’s largest open air and much-loved rooftop bar perched on top of the The Island in Surfers ParadiseThe Island Rooftop is part nightclub, part bar, part live music venue, and all the parts are a fun time no matter the day of the week. Head there for the epic weekend Grazy Days lunch or just to feel like you’re on Island time.
Where: 3128 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise

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

Nineteen at The Star
The fanciest of the bunch is undoubtedly Nineteen at The Star, complete with velvet booth-style seating, an infinity pool and ocean views for days. Found atop the The Star Gold Coast’s The Darling, Nineteen is the perfect place for people-watching, dressing up and sipping on fancy tipples while dancing the night away. Oh and be sure to take a snap on the runway that stretches out in the pool!
Where: The Darling, Gold Coast Hwy, Broadbeach 

Frida Sol
The Palm Beach Mexi restaurant doubles as a rooftop bar with views out to the ocean and lots of salty ocean breezes. The eats are fresh and flavoursome, and there’s many a margarita on the list to soothe that sweltering summer humidity we’re currently experiencing. Get into Frida Sol.
Where: 1176 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach

Mr PP's Deli & Rooftop Bar (Image: © 2017 Inside Gold Coast)
Mr PP's Deli & Rooftop Bar (Image: © 2017 Inside Gold Coast)

Mr PP’s Deli & Rooftop Bar
A game-changer in Southport’s food and beverage scene was Mr PP’s, a deli and rooftop bar boasting city views and plenty of good vibes in the century-old postal building. There is a generous menu full of pizzas, tapas and charcuterie boards and this, folks, is the reason we love rooftop bars. Plus cocktails and local tipples, of which there are many at Mr PP’s. Live music on Sundays too.
Where: 43 Nerang St, Southport

The Collective
Everyone’s favourite multi-restaurant establishment, The Collective also boasts a sweet rooftop bar with some epic cocktails for your sipping pleasure. You can also order eats from one of the five menus on offer and watch the sunset over the ocean while you’re at it. We HIGHLY recommend.
Where: 1128 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach

Justin Lane (image supplied)
Justin Lane (image supplied)

Justin Lane
A much-loved favourite and the Gold Coast’s first official rooftop bar, Justin Lane is still one of the most popular rooftop’s since it’s opening in 2011. The space is intimate with booth-style seating overlooking Burleigh and plenty of cocktails to tickle your fancy. Downstairs is all the delicious pizza you could possibly need, so fill up on that, then head upstairs to mingle with the gang.
Where: 1708-1710 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads

Last Night on Earth
Pretty sure that if it were, in fact, your last night on Earth, you would want to spend it at a sweet rooftop bar with bulk cocktails at the ready. Which maybe isn’t the point of Southport’s Last Night on Earth but a good intro nonetheless. Last Night on Earth is the work of local legend Arran Wollams and his crew; it’s a somewhat underworld themed rooftop bar in the heart of Southport offering good times aplenty. It’s a dive bar, but not as you know it. Check it out.
Where: 50b Nerang St, Southport 

 

Moxy's Rooftop Bar (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)
Moxy's Rooftop Bar (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)

Moxy’s Rooftop Bar
This rooftop bar located down in southerly Coolangatta has beautiful glimpses of the ocean, lots of live music and an impressive cocktail menu that’ll keep you coming back for more. Whilst they may not do eats, you can order from the Mexican joint downstairs, and we’re fairly sure there’s nothing that pairs better than bulk cocktails and tacos. Always lively and worth the trip down the Coast.
Where: 2/152 Griffith St, Coolangatta

Aviary Rooftop Bar
Perched atop Mantra on Sharks, Aviary Rooftop Bar’s views are as stunning as their extensive drinks list. With 180 degree views over the Surfers Paradise skyline and the ocean, it’s the perfect place for an after work beverage or Sunday arvo session with the crew. Ohh and don’t even get us started on their authentic Italian pizza’s, and tapas… if you know, you know.
Where: Mantra at Sharks, Melia Ct, Southport (next to Southport Sharks)

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

9 local Insta-worthy spots

Image by Art-work Agency

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 enviable Instagram account and we’ve got a bit more time on our hands these days so why not right?

To make life easier and ensure you’re the envy of all your mates, here are nine 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

Natural Bridge
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 (follow it for 28km)

The Borrowed Nursery
Never before has a plant nursery gained such a cult-like following so quickly (or perhaps ever). The Borrowed Nursery in Mermaid Beach draws plant lovers and photographers in droves due to its Instagram famous pastel purple wall and bespoke greenery. The stunning space also hosts workshops but if that’s not your jam at least pop in for some healthy retail therapy and an Insta-snap.
Where: 42-44 Cronulla Ave, Mermaid Beach

Miami Hill
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

Natural Bridge, Springbrook National Park (image supplied)
Natural Bridge, Springbrook National Park (image supplied)

Burleigh Hill
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

Tallebudgera Creek
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)

Elephant Rock
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

Waterfalls
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

Mexicali
No doubt you’ve noticed the prettiest wall on the Coast beneath Nobby’s fave Mexicali. It’s pink and blue and perfectly Insta-worthy and if you haven’t got a snap in front of it, you better hot foot it down there right now.
Where: Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach 

Don’t forget to tag us in your pics using #insidegoldcoast

Words by Kirra Smith

Mexicali

10 epic Gold Coast street art murals

Water Walls Project mural by Kiel Tillman (image supplied)
Water Walls Project mural by Kiel Tillman (image supplied)

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

HOTA Exterior (image supplied)
HOTA Exterior (image supplied)

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

HOTA, Bundall
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 External Mural (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
AWOL external mural by Kiel Tillman (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

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

Feros Care “Grow Bold” Mural, Tugun
The story behind this huge 40m long wall will leave you speechless. The pop-art creation was enlisted by Feros Care and designed and painted by a young boy with autism, Jet, and his hero, renowned Bondi street artist Teazer. Before Jet met Teazer, he hadn’t left the house for more than 18 months. With the help of Teazer, Jet was able to work on something that empowered him to “Grow Bold.”
Where: Corner of Coolangatta Road and Boyd Street (adjacent to the Tugun Community Village Hall), Tugun

L-R: Davey McElvenny (aka Teazer), Jet Tiplady-Aldertona and Tarnya Sim in front of the Feros Care Grow Bold mural (image supplied)

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.

The Pink Hotel exterior (Photo by @sydneygirl63)
The Pink Hotel exterior (Photo by @sydneygirl63)
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