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Cheers to the (long) freaking weekend!

Aperitivo delights, soulful beats, and star-studded comedy at The Star Gold Coast.

Cin Cin, Cucina Vivo, The Star (image supplied)
Cin Cin, Cucina Vivo, The Star (image supplied)

It’s almost long weekend time and this can only mean one thing; entertainment-a-plenty awaits at the GC’s OG home of good times, The Star Gold Coast. Whether you’re into Euro-inspired swoony sips and blissful bites, live soulful sounds, or snort-inducing lols, The Star is the yin to your yang, the sav to your blanc, and (#SpoilerAlert) – the Jim to your eon.

Cin Cin at Cucina Vivo
Do you take your long weekend served with a side of Euro vibes? If so run, don’t walk, to Cin Cin at the Italian stallion of dining, Cucina Vivo.

Round up your faves and head out to the restaurant’s breezy terrace balcony and live your best glamourous poolside life (sidenote, no filters needed here). Think zesty spirtzers, vibrant cocktails and nosh so good, you’ll wish you donned your go-go-gadget waistline set instead of that belly-baring cut-out frock.

And bonus incoming – Cin Cin runs all the way until 31st January, Wednesday to Sunday, so you can aperitivo-it-up from 5pm until late on repeat. Magnifico! No bookings required.

Cucina Vivo, The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)
Pizza at Cucina Vivo, The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)

Lisa Hunt on The Lawn
If you’re all like, “Hey Alexa, play Lisa Hunt”, then level up and see this soulful tune slinging supernova in the flesh. Fans of headline entertainment on The Lawn at Garden Kitchen & Bar know that this American-born Byron Bay based dynamo never fails to raise the roof and get the crowd riding the soul train.

Lisa’s musical journey is steeped in the rich tapestry of American African gospel goodness where the seeds of her sensational singing career were sewn. Bringing the very best of Motown, soul, funk, and disco, she’s even been described as “A true force of nature” by the one and only Fuasto Pirito #props.

Reading like the who’s who of music royalty, she’s worked her musical magic with Pavarotti, James Brown, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Jimmy Barnes, and Midnight Oil. Catch Lisa on Friday 26th January from 5:30pm – 8:30pm…and again (coz it’s Lisa Brown ya’ll), on Friday 2nd February. Entry is free!

Lisa Hunt, Live on the Lawn, The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)
Lisa Hunt, Live on the Lawn, The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)

Jimeon at The Theatre
“Who’s your man”? Jimeon, that’s who! On Saturday, January 27th, get ready to laugh your leg off when the man, the myth, the legend Jimeoin brings his side-splittingly funny show, ‘Who’s Your Man?!’ to The Star Gold Coast’s theatre.

Recognised as one of the top stand-up comedians globally, Jimeoin will take you on a journey exploring life’s most random anomalies and answering the questions you never knew you’d asked. Why do dogs bark around 6pm, and why the heck do we have a little toe – you know, the big issues in life. And LBH, Jimeon’s facial expressions alone are reason enough to add tickets to your cart yesterday.

Live on The Lawn at Garden Kitchen & Bar, The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)
Live on The Lawn at Garden Kitchen & Bar, The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)

Critics rave about this must-see show, with See Do Eat proclaiming Jimeoin as a “fantastic performer” and the Manchester Evening News echoing our sentiments declaring he had the crowd “gripped to his every facial expression.” Doors open at 7pm and tickets start from $59.90.

For more information on any of these unmissable long weekend activations or to book tickets to Jimeon, click here.

Where: The Star Gold Coast, 1 Casino Drive, Broadbeach
When: Various activations Friday 26th January – Friday 2nd February

Words by Bianca Trathen.


The Star practises the responsible service of alcohol.

Live on The Lawn at Garden Kitchen & Bar, The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)
Live on The Lawn at Garden Kitchen & Bar, The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)

Say Cin Cin to sunny days

Cucina Vivo, The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)
Cucina Vivo, The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)

Sure, we are blessed with some seriously stunning beaches – but for some reason, summer just feels infinitely more glamorous when it’s done euro-style.  Well, we can all officially lean in to those daydreams of sun-drenched days spent by the Italian coastline – because our taste of European summer is well within reach.

For those of us pre-occupied with thoughts of romantic, Riviera-side spritzer sessions, a glorious summer awaits at The Star Gold Coast – or more specifically, apertivo afternoons at Cucina Vivo. Say Cin Cin to summertime at a venue that packs Portofino-vibes by the ‘spritz’ load, as The Star’s resident Italian darling welcomes us on to its open air, citrus-themed terrace to sip our way through those balmy afternoons (and nibble, lbh – we’re only human, Buffalo Mozzarella and Arancini come at us).

Arancini Balls, Cucina Vivo, The Star (image supplied)
Arancini Balls, Cucina Vivo, The Star (image supplied)

Come 5pm, Wednesday–Sunday throughout summer, we can live out our jet setting fantasies in a far more wallet-friendly fashion – perched under the peach-toned ‘brollys and overlooking the sparkling swimming pool and palms swaying lazily beyond, whilst you get amongst the sparkling yourself, should you so wish. And all without ever leaving Broadbeach, might we add. Prepare to quench those 40-degree-day sized thirsts with your choice of Amalfi inspired cocktails, like the Sip of Summer, Bombay Citron Pressé, Elderflower, soda and mint or the Hour of Sour, Bombay Sapphire, Aperol & Peach Bitters.

Cin Cin, Cucina Vivo, The Star (image supplied)
Cin Cin, Cucina Vivo, The Star (image supplied)

Located outside the Cucina Vivo restaurant, the balcony bar, overlooking The Star Grand pool, is open across summer for our basking pleasure. Luckily, the Cucina Vivo kitchen will be keeping us inexplicably well-fed, with a selection of delicious small plates on offer. We suggest the Cucina Vivo Bruschetta, ciabatta, heirloom tomato, basil, buffalo mozzarella and aged balsamic or Calamari, semolina coated Loligo squid, dill aioli and lemon cheek. Choose three small plates for $50 and graze the day (or afternoon) away.

Cin Cin at Cucina Vivo, The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)
Cin Cin at Cucina Vivo, The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)

It’s also walk-in’s only, making this the perfect proposition when firing off spontaneous group-texts as 5pm approaches. With the citrus-vibing sip squad assembled, the only thing left to do is ‘sip’ back, relax with ice-cold refreshing Bombay cocktails and nosh your way through some downright delicious Italian bites. And don’t skip dessert. We’re vibing the Panacotta alla Fragola Vaniglia, vanilla panna cotta with macerated strawberries and biscotti.

Outdoor dining area of Cucina Vivo Italian Restaurant at The Star (image supplied)
Outdoor dining area of Cucina Vivo Italian Restaurant at The Star (image supplied)

The summer-exclusive Cin Cin at Cucina Vivo sip-portunity is all a part of The Star Gold Coast’s ‘Funner Summer’ service, aka the slew of summertime festivities to make it one to remember. So, if you tire of apertif-studded hangs in the sunshine (we crack ourselves up – #notpossible), check out the many other free-entry activations on offer.

Did we just find our very refreshing new summer ritual? Fun in the sun is calling… and it tastes a suspiciously like pizza and sun-soaked, poolside spritzer sessions.

Where: The Star Gold Coast, 1 Casino Drive, Broadbeach
When: 1 December 2023 – 31 January 2024, 5pm until late

Words by Kellie Leader.


The Star practises the responsible service of alcohol.

10 things to do this Gold Coast long weekend

Burleigh Hill Picnic (Image: © 2020 The Undercurrent)
Burleigh Hill Picnic (Image: © 2020 The Undercurrent)

Get excited Gold Coasters, we’ve got a long weekend and you know what that means, bulk relaxation. It’s a time for spending time with pals, lazing in the sunshine and generally doing as many fun activities as you can.

Here’s a few ideas we’ve come up with to get you started.

Have a picnic
Long weekends are the perfect time for picnics. Grab your friends, family, lover or all of the above, grab some tipples if that’s your jam, pack your bags and enjoy your cheese and crackers in a park, lakeside or at the beach. Here’s a list of our top spots for doing just that.

Find a new beach
As a passionate local, you probably spend quite a lot of time at the beach. Same. It doesn’t even matter that it’s winter on the Gold Coast. This long weekend we recommend mixing it up a little, ditching your local stretch of sand and checking out one of these swimming spots instead.
– Tallebudgera Creek, Ocean Parade – It’s not the crowded stretch of Tallebudgera Creek you’d usually frequent. This hidden piece of paradise is located along Ocean Pde on the northern side and offers the same beautiful views with a slightly more secluded vibe.
– Surfers Paradise – an absolute must-go spot for tourists, but rarely frequented by locals. This spot is of course a pristine piece of real estate with plenty of room to spread out a towel, beach umbrella and play with the kids, which makes it a popular destination for families. Just sit back, relax and enjoy this primo spot, then go for a stroll in Cavill Ave to support our local dining scene.
– Tugun Beach – if you’re looking for a serene stretch of beach almost all to yourself head on down to Tugun/ Bilinga beach. These often overlooked suburbs boast a variety of cafes and sweet eateries for that post-dip feast.

Surfers Paradise at the steps down to the beach at dawn (Image: © 2020 Destination Gold Coast)
Surfers Paradise at the steps down to the beach at dawn (Image: © 2020 Destination Gold Coast)

Go for a bike ride
Explore our beautiful beachside paradise on two wheels. Whether you want to make it a family outing and try out all the coffee spots in Burleigh or just add some booze and make it a pub crawl. The world is your oyster. Here’s a little track we like to take.

Eat at all the new spots
It’d obviously take a little longer than an extended weekend to try out all the trendy restaurants, cafes and bars on the Coast with newbies opening on a weekly basis. But you’ve gotta start somewhere and we’ve got you covered with this list of everything that opened in the last couple of months.

Take a day trip
If you feel like getting out of the city for a sec, we feel you. The Gold Coast’s World Heritage listed Hinterland is the perfect destination for the whole family and it will only take you about 40 minutes to get there. You can go hiking, horseback riding, explore the rainforest or chase some stunning waterfalls. Mt Tamborine is also an epic spot to visit if you want to have some lunch and cruise around the shops. Check out everything we love up there here.

Be a tourist
When was the last time you’ve been to Surfers Paradise during the day? We thought so, but you might be surprised, there are SO MANY fun things to do up there these days including plenty of good restaurants and heaps of activities the kids (and you) will love. Get the fam together and be a tourist for a day.

Broadbeach Bowls Club (Image: © 2020 Broadbeach Bowls Club)

Play barefoot bowls
One of our favourite long weekend past time activities, sunny afternoons spend with mates playing barefoot bowls. No white uniform required, the club will sort you out with a beer in one hand and ball in the other. See the best barefoot bowls spots here.

Learn to surf
If you’re not already a pro on the board it’s time to get out in the water and learn how to surf and what better time to do that than on a long weekend. The water is even warmish right now? Simply hire a board and give it a whirl yourself at one of these local surf spots.

Check out the local arts scene
You don’t have to leave the Coast to experience amazing art. Our art scene is bursting with creativity and bigger and better than ever before. Here are the Gold Coast galleries you should absolutely add to your list this long weekend and here’s some local murals you might like to check out too.

Visit a winery/brewery
The Gold Coast Hinterland not only boasts stunning natural wonders, it’s also home to several world-class wineries, all of which are only 45 minutes drive away. How good. There are winery tours or you can simply choose a designated driver and head up to taste a few of your favourites. Down on the Coast there are many a sweet brewery you can/should also frequent. Find those here.

That should fill up your weekend Gold Coasters, enjoy!

Words by Kirra Smith

19 Karen Contemporary Artspace (Image: © 2020 Destination Gold Coast)

The 2022 Annual Bar & Distillery Round Up

Local, Burleigh (image supplied)
Local, Burleigh (image supplied)

After slugging it out at work all week, there’s not much that could persuade us to skip a night in with takeaway and ‘Pamela, a Love Story’. Unless of course your crew are heading to a new bar or distillery, by which case it’s hoo-roo jim-jams and hello LBD.

2022 was certainly a year for epic sips spots and we challenge you to say that after a few chardys. We’ve penned the holy grail of last year’s newest power players on the GC watering hole scene, so grab your Berocca and get ready to experience 15 of the best.

Malibu Racquet Club, Bureigh Heads (image supplied)
Malibu Racquet Club, Bureigh Heads (image supplied)


The Malibu Racquet Club
Get ‘served’ like a VIP at this mid-century Southern Cali inspired A-lister. Perfect for a sunset sip, pre-dinner drink and/or sophisticated Modern Australian meal, guests can sit outside and enjoy the beautiful southern GC breezes, park inside at a table or private booth, or simply pull up a pew at the bar. Become a member and unlock a VVIP menu, with bottles ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 #A-ListerFeels.
Where: 1740 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Sip on a specially crafted artisan cocktail as you admire classic and contemporary works (#HiSlimAaarons) at FINEPRINTCO Art Bar. Expertly fusing a gallery space with a private bar, its vibrant yet restrained aesthetic allows guests to appreciate the art and the elegance of the venue design. Also the perfect option for unique and customised private events. Do.Not.Miss.
Where: Brickworks, Shop 302, 107 Ferry Road, Southport

FINEPRINTCO Art Bar, Southport (image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
FINEPRINTCO Art Bar, Southport (image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Imagine a modern, lush, insta-worthy upmarket pub with a blend of classic and refined lunch and dinner options, late night drinks, and even a breakfast menu #NotYourAveragePub. Nailing contemporary pub-grub and a coastal industrial chic aesthetic, it also houses Burleigh’s only beer garden and a tinnie bar #NuffSaid.
Where: 1744 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

La Luna Beach Club
The newest addition to arguably THE hottest (or coolest…) venue in town is La Luna Beach Club, Australia’s very first floating beach club. Modelled on life aboard a luxury yacht, imagine a sparking Mediterranean pool complete with sun lounges, plush day beds, and private cabanas. Take a dip, order a cocktail, rejuvenate, and luxuriate, before enjoying a selection of carefully curated European eats at the Beach Club’s exclusive MĀRE restaurant.
Where: Pool Pontoon, Marina Mirage, 74 Sea World Drive, Main Beach

La Luna Beach Club, Main Beach (image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
La Luna Beach Club, Main Beach (image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

The Beverly
Taking over from our fave of yester-year (Melba’s – upstairs), you’ll find this luxe venue thrusting us straight into the LA limelight. Paying homage to the chic coolness that oozes from the bars, clubs, and venues from La La Land, everything from the rich green, blush pink and gold-hued fit out, inane cocktails, live music, and ‘that’ baby grand piano are on point. Joey Lamattina, you’ve done it again #props.
Where: 46 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Little Vine Room
Vine means wine which means LET’S GO! An intimate space decked out in delicious deep green and apricot hues, we are fangirling hard for this place. Work your way through the beverage list curated by esteemed cocktail kween and local icon Breeana Erica, and enjoy gourmet Toasties, Jaffles, Cheese and Charcuterie Plates. Perfect for a girly catch up, drinks with your other half, or a private function to remember.
Where: 27-31 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Waters

Fu Manchu Oriental Bar (image supplied)
Fu Manchu Oriental Bar (image supplied)

Fu Manchu Oriental Kitchen
Think oriental opulence meets British colonial plantation vibes…with a ten outta ten sips and eats experience. Recently undergoing a reno to inject more femininity and warmth, the new black London shopfront welcomes you into the cosy Fu Bar. Upstairs you’ll find a breathtaking a la carte dining area, an intimate private dining space, and a functions area. With chandeliers, a tropical jungle-esk wall mural, leafy ceilings, and exotic wallpapers, it’s Chevron’s best kept secret.
Where: 2/44 Thomas Drive, Chevron Island

Oozing sophisticated cool with its New York basement feels, ‘it girl’ curves, and luxer than luxe accents, Metabar is an eats, drinks and events spot like no other. There’s indoor and outdoor dining for tapas share plates and pizza, an exclusive private mezzanine space, and luxury booth dining. The beverages are off the charts, plus there’s an area dedicated purely to live music, the secret sauce positioning Metabar as one of our region’s fiercest venues.
Where: 64 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Cloud Miner & Moon Shot, Metabar Coolangatta (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Cloud Miner & Moon Shot, Metabar Coolangatta (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)


White Oat Distillery
Helping reinvent the once sleepier end of the Coast is Biggera Waters’ White Oat Distillery. Pumping out top-notch gins like a boss, the ‘Covid baby’ of three GC mates has quickly become a destination in itself. With award-winning distiller Tudor Duxbury’s fresh take on classic tastes, an on-fleek fit-out, and ‘wise but cool with a hint of old school’ vibe, it’s a must-visit.
Where: 13-14, 211 Brisbane Road, Biggera Waters

White Oat Distillery, Interior (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
White Oat Distillery, Interior (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Cauldron Distillery
This 18-acre working distillery is the darling of the Scenic Rim, featuring an established vineyard, lush rolling green meadows and a Prohibition style gin and cocktail bar. Earning a nod in Lonely Planet’s top ten destinations to visit in 2022, you won’t just fine amazing gins and Queensland inspired craft bevvies, but also mouth-watering Modern Australian tapas with native ingredients. Or keep it simple with a BYO picnic rug amongst the vineyards and complimentary lawn games.
Where: Cauldron Distillery, 89 Cauldron Estate, 123 Hartley Road, Tamborine Mountain

Winchester Distillery
Available for functions only and the ultimate IYKYK, this speakeasy distillery tucked away in the burbs nails the intimate, moody, industrial vibe. Accommodating up to 120 bods, if offers exclusive access to phenomenal small batch artisanal liquors and liqueurs. Producing spirits by hand (even the ethyl alcohol, flavours, colours and most of their tinctures), you won’t find their booze anywhere else. Trust you gintuition and check it out.
Where: 38 Kendor Street, Arundel

Burleigh Barrels Brewery, interior (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Burleigh Barrels Brewery, interior (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Burleigh Barrels
Made for and by the locals in the heart of Burleigh, this 2022 newcomer achieved cult status at the speed of light. Just a 10-minute walk from bustling James Street, hook yourself up with crisp lagers, caramel amber ales and ladies, if you’re all about a vino or cocktail (duh), there’s plenty of those. Also a smokehouse (drool), the flavours in their food are ‘pitcher’ perfect.
Where: 3-4/105 West Burleigh Road, Burleigh Heads

Two Mates Taphouse
With a name like Two Mates Taphouse, you just know the place is going to be a big, warm, amber ale-infused hug…and you’d be bang on the money. Brother venue to the Lismore Two Mates Taphouse, it was born from a love of families, mateship, and bringing communities together. The vibe is welcoming, approachable and relaxed, and it even boasts a fully operational kitchen #NoFoodTrucksHere.
Where: 2/235 Varsity Parade, Varsity Lakes

Two Mates Taphouse, Varsity Lakes (image: ©2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Two Mates Taphouse, Varsity Lakes (image: ©2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Hound & Stag Brewing Co.
The latest in a string of venues fostering the northern GC’s long awaited coming-of-age has just opened across the road from Harbour Town – and it’s a clanger! Hound & Stag Brewing Co is its name and if you’re a fan of the almighty amber ale (or any other boozy beverage), a top-notch feed and a bloody good time, this one’s for you.
Where: 13 Wrights Place, Arundel

Hound & Stag Brewing Co, Arundel (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Hound & Stag Brewing Co, Arundel (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Straddie Brewing Co
Just across the water, you’ll find this three-level architecturally designed showstopper. The ground floor welcomes you with double-height glass windows and the awe-inspiring brewery. Up the stairs you’ll find a 90-seat taproom with eye-popping art installations, and the top deck featuring panoramic views of the BrisVegas CBD skyline, the Glasshouse Mountains, and the stunning Redlands Coast #ShowUsYourSunsets. Plus there’s a menu with plenty of fancy local seafood inspired sharesies.
Where: 5 Junner Street, Dunwich, North Stradbroke Island

Words by Bianca Trathen.

Straddie Brewing Co., North Stradbroke Island (image supplied)
Straddie Brewing Co., North Stradbroke Island (image supplied)
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