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The 12 best old school pubs on the Gold Coast

The Wallaby Hotel (image supplied)

There are very few things better in this life than an icy cold schooner (or wine if you must) at a pub that still looks like it did when it was built.

Think all wood everything, fireplaces, that smell that seeps into the carpet and can never be removed, walls vibrating with epic stories, huge pub feeds and good times always.

In honour of this, we’ve put together a list of all the old school pubs on the Gold Coast so you can dressed up in absolutely anything you please and head in for a pub meal the size of your head.

Bearded Dragon Hotel
Tamborine’s favourite pub in the paddock offers an all day casual dining menu until late, chefs blackboard specials, burgers, steaks, snacks, coffees and of course, alcoholic beverages. There’s live music on weekends and always plenty of smiling faces to meet.
Where: 2-22 Tamborine Mountain Road, Mt Tamborine

The Wallaby Hotel
Established in 1883, The Wallaby Hotel is renowned as a place for cold beer, live rock, warm smiles and lasting memories. Recently The Wallaby was lovingly refurbished to stand proudly once more within the Mudgeeraba community. It’s much-loved Gold Coast and the food is always delicious. Head in for a guaranteed good time.
Where: 45 Railway Street, Mudgeeraba

Merimac Tavern
The Merrimac Tavern is pretty much always packed with revellers and that’s because you can do all your favourite things there – eat, drink and be merry. On Friday’s it’s parmy and trivia night so gather the crew and get down there for a laugh.
Where: Gooding Drive, Merrimac 

Fox & Hounds
Transported all the way from Royal Tunbridge Wells. The Fox & Hounds is the only pub in Australia that is truly British from the ales to the cuisine. There are MANY a British ale to be sampled and delights (maybe) like Haggis which yes, is Scottish but must be mentioned. If you’re after something different in an old-school pub setting, look no further.
Where: 7 Elevation Drive, Wongawallan

Cecil Hotel (image supplied)

Woodchoppers BBQ Smoke & Grill
Family owned since 1995, Woodchoppers Inn recently opened its new BBQ SMOKE & GRILL restaurant. They take the techniques and skills that make the North American BBQ world famous and infuse classic Australian flavours to create a distinctly local BBQ experience. From seafood to poultry, vegetables to game and meats a plenty, the art of BBQ opens up a world of dishes just waiting to hit the table. It’s all very good, we know because we sampled the lot.
Where: 64 Railway Street, Mudgeeraba

D’arcy Arms
An old school Irish pub to be sure. The D’arcy Arms is an institution, you’ll feel like you’re a world away, but right at home. The bar features a county Ireland feel including the historic first Guinness keg brewed in Queensland, tapped at the D’arcy Arms opening on 8th August 1988. There’s always live music on offer and plenty of Irish eats to fill your belly. After a pint or two of Guinness that is.
Where: 2923 Gold Coast Highway, Surfers Paradise

Cecil Hotel
Offering up a great atmosphere to meet up for meal, drink or just a quiet chat and found in the heart of Southport, The Cecil Hotel is the place to be. The art deco hotel first built in 1907 shows all the live sporting action, host parties for big events and always draw a crowd looking for a fun time. Their woodfired pizza is the goods too.
Where: 42 Nerang Street, Southport

Eagle Heights Hotel
Eagle Heights Hotel offers a relaxed, family friendly atmosphere boasting arguably the very best view of the Gold Coast from the spacious Beer Garden. The Bistro serves up tasty eats and there’s live music on Sunday’s to have a bop too. Do yourself a favour and head up to Eagle Heights Hotel, don’t forget your camera. Fun fact… it was originally built by none other than Mel Gibson.
Where: 1683 Tamborine-Oxenford Road, Mt Tamborine

D'arcy Arms (image supplied)

Canungra Hotel
An absolute stunner, you won’t miss the Canungra Hotel if you’re passing through. Sit outside on the deck and watch the world go by while sinking a few schooners, downing a tasty dish and listening to live entertainment from the bar (Friday nights). There’s raffles on Sundays and you can even stay the night should you “accidentally” have a few too many.
Where: 18 Kidston Street, Canungra

Jacobs Well Bayside Tavern
They call it ‘the best little pub in the canefields’ and it’s easy to see why. They’ve got epic pizzas, eats like Smoked Brisket Burgers and a Fat Ass Chicken Parmi and of course, all the sips you could want to go along with them. Fancy desserts too.
Where: 1170 Pimpama-Jacobs Well Road, Jacobs Well

Oxenford Tavern
Oxenford’s authentic Tavern and Bistro offers great food at great value. There’s pub meals and all of the sports on TV, found within a spacious venue complete with polished wooden floors and a huge outdoor deck. We’re big fans of the Loaded Schnitty Burger for obvious reasons.
Where: 179 Old Pacific Highway, Oxenford

Advancetown Hotel
Looking for good, old fashioned country hospitality? The Advancetown Hotel is your Hinterland destination for delicious food, entertainment for the whole family and first-class everything. Enjoy live music each Sunday afternoon and join in the fun every Friday night when the team host the best in local karaoke talent. There’s a children’s play area and undercover outdoor dining allow you to enjoy the atmosphere while the kids have some fun. It’s win-win.
Where: 402 Nerang-Murwillumbah Road, Advancetown

Words by Kirra Smith

Canungra Hotel (image supplied)

Paradise Country

Idyllic, country-style cafe opens in leafy Bonogin

The Hunted Cafe counter (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Everybody loves the feeling of a big, warm hug right? Now more than ever. Well Gold Coasters, that’s exactly the feeling you’re going to get when setting foot inside Bonogin newbie The Hunted Cafe.

If you’ve not yet had the pleasure of venturing out to the Bonogin area, you’re in for quite a treat (more than one treat actually).

It’s quiet, leafy and probably the most relaxing place on the entire Gold Coast. So beautiful in fact that, like us, you feel the need to head straight home afterwards, pack up your things and move there.

The Hunted Cafe outdoor seating (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Particularly because as mentioned, The Hunted Cafe opened there recently and it’s perfectly at home amongst the laidback, country vibes in a stunning garden setting and with wooden accents throughout. A big open window looks out onto the road and the bush beyond.

Out to the side there’s a garden area with tables under the trees and a big grassy spot for the little ones to run around.

Owners Emma and Kane Mutkins plan to have some nighttime events down the track too, think live music and something along the lines of pizza or slow cooked brisket to eat.


Smashed Avo, The Hunted Cafe (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Now though, the menu is of the brunch variety and includes homestyle dishes everyone will love.

Think Sweet Corn and Zucchini Fritters, Chilli Scrambled Eggs and Buttermilk Waffles.

If you’re after more of a lunchtime dish, there’s Poppy’s Burger, which is Emma’s Dad’s recipe, Seasonal Soup and a Pulled Pork Sandwich to name a few goodies.

To drink, there’s beloved Social Espresso Coffee plus Milkshakes, Smoothies and Super Smoothies in Açai and Pina Colada flavour – because Emma’s Mum loves Pina Coladas and same.

Sweet Corn + Zucchini Fritter, The Hunted Cafe (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Takeaway-wise there’s wraps plus Fuel Bakehouse Cruffins and Doughnuts and Emma’s own Brownies and Caramel Slice.

Kane makes the sourdough crumpets and how good is a cafe the whole family is involved in?

The Hunted Cafe is also a corner store, so you can grab milk and bread while you’re there.

There’s also locally made candles by Tara McDonald and dried flowers by Mother and Daughter team Magnolia Lane.

The Hunted Cafe interior (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

It’s just delightful all round honestly. Oh and it’s called The Hunted Cafe because you have to hunt to find it, what a treat. 

If you’re in the mood for some relaxed brunch time away from the hustle of the city with bulk community vibes and delicious eats, The Hunted Cafe is your new favourite spot. Ours too.

Seeya there for some fresh air.

LOCATION: 555 Bonogin Rd, Bonogin
HOURS: Monday to Friday 6.30am to 6pm (kitchen closes at 2.30pm), Saturday and Sunday 7am to 3pm

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

The Hunted Cafe coffee (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

8 reasons locals love Mudgeeraba

Anekawa (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)
Anekawa (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

It’s the Gold Coast suburb with a unique feel; somewhere between a rural farm town and quaint historic village. And although Mudgeeraba seems forever away for some, especially from the hustle and bustle of the beachside ‘burbs, when it comes to it, this secluded corner of our city is much closer than you think.

Once you pull up and stick the handbrake on, the tree-lined streets and cruisy locals ensure welcoming laidback vibes are everywhere you look. Throw in some tasty eats, a bit of history and a few drinks and well, you’ve got yourself a winner.

We’ve studied Mudgeeraba closely to round up the eight things locals love about their locale. Because, quite frankly, we’re pretty sure you’re gonna love ‘em too.

Anekawa Japanese
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it till we’re blue in the face, Japanese cuisine is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy. Anekawa was created by Japanese chef Koki Anekawa (ex Rick Shores), who set out to marry traditional cooking techniques with ethically sourced local and Australian produce. The whole food and service of this place are utterly polished. Dishes include bonito-crusted bamboo shoots with lemon aspen and sansho salt, as well as pan-fried ocean trout with green-pepper kosho. The drinks list is a play by play of carefully considered whiskies and minimal intervention wines — pre-order your Uber home right away.
Where: Corner of Swan Lane & Railway Street, Mudgeeraba

Skirmish Gold Coast
What could be more fun than firing high-velocity balls of paint at your mates while they squeal and run away? Nothing at all is what. You can have exactly that good time in Mudgeeraba and seriously, what are you waiting for? Grab your ‘friends’ and go book right now. Pleasure and pain await.
Where: 42 John Rodgers Road, Mudgeeraba

The Oak Cafe (Image: © 2018 Inside Gold Coast)

The Oak Café
With some ultra-cool interior vibes, The Oak Café is cooking up all of the delicious, nutritious goods (including some EPIC cakes and cookies). Their approach is with a healthy spin, as you may have seen in our previous story, we ate one of the best breakfasts ever there, so we implore you not to miss this one. Great place to pit stop if you’re adventuring off into the hinterland also.
Where: 19 Robert Street, Mudgeeraba

The Wine Barrel
The name says it all really and as you well know, anything to do with wine and you’ve got our attention. Not only is there quite the selection of tasty tipples, but there are also many tapas dishes like Mexican style pulled pork spring rolls with jalapeno salsa and popcorn panna cotta for those with a sweet tooth. Yep. The high tables are old redundant wine barrels — so that’s fun!
Where: 59 Railway Street, Mudgeeraba

Earth and Skin
Stop by organic beauty spa, Earth & Skin and trust us, your body will thank you later. The spa is a delight, comprising itself of a stunning Queenslander-style cottage at the entrance to Mudgeeraba: let it be the first or last thing you do — but be sure you pay a visit! Offering a range of blissful and rounded treatments including organic facials, sugaring, eyebrow shaping, eco spray tans and a whole lot more.
Where: 2 Regency Place, Mudgeeraba

Woodchoppers Inn (image supplied)
Woodchoppers Inn (image supplied)

Woodchoppers Inn
If smoked meats are your thing, look no further than the Woodchoppers Inn. With a state-of-the-art meat smoker machine — which would impress NASA — they end up creating the most mouth-watering flavours in the form of tender and moreish meats. Think 12 hour cooked pulled pork burgers and ribs that’d make any vegan think twice.
Where: 64 Railway Street, Mudgeeraba

Bon appa’Tea
Formerly Tea Topia, this place is so beyond pretty you’ll be asking yourself why you’ve never been before. Found in another big old Queenslander under the mountain, Bon appa’Tea offers one of the most delightful High Teas you’ve ever seen, so good you might think you’re been whisked off to the jolly old England. Cast your eyes outside though, and all the surrounding beautiful sub-tropical greenery will no doubt bring you back to your senses
Where: 7 Johns Road, Mudgeeraba

The Barn
The Barn at Mudgeeraba is the casual yet rustic venue you just have to experience for yourself. Hidden away at the base of Springbrook National Park, you’ll come across the welcoming little barn at first and think you’ve taken a wrong turn. But you haven’t — this is it! An outdoor deck and beer garden sit right beside native bush meaning you can take in all that serenity, whilst enjoying some incredible paddock to plate inspired dishes with a peppering of Italian influence. Should you opt to bring the kids, don’t worry, there’s a baby animal pen with a brigade of friendly goats, ducks and chickens for them to make friends with.
Where: 5 Boomerang Road, Mudgeeraba

Words by Alex Mitcheson

The Barn baby animal pen (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)
The Barn baby animal pen (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)
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