Catch her in action at this weekend's SUP state titles.
Catch her in action at this weekend's SUP state titles.
Coming off the back of an exceptional 2016, local lass Shakira Westdorp is keen to do it all again this year.
We chat with the World Champion ahead of this weekend’s SUP State Surfing Titles to find out what tricks she has up her sleeve.
How do you feel about competing in your hometown this weekend?
It’s nice to compete at home. We’re lucky to have good waves here and it’s great that friends and family can come and watch.
The event location has yet to be decided, are there any local waves you prefer to surf?
The Alley is always pretty good for a SUP but I have been surfing over the border a lot lately and finding some fun uncrowded waves.
How do you think you’ll go this weekend?
I’m hoping to have a win. That’s always the goal, but there are a few young girls that just keep getting better and better that are hungry for a win. You can’t afford to make many mistakes.
Last year you took out gold at the Fiji ISA World Championships, how is this year shaping up compared that?
Yeah last year was pretty special. Hard work finally paid off. This year has been a bit of a slow start. I took some time off the SUP after Fiji and have found it hard to get motivated to get back on it. I think the internal pressure of last year finally got to me. I’ve been back on the SUP the last couple of weeks now and slowly getting the fire back.
How did you get into SUP surfing and what do you love most about it?
Some friends made one after visiting Hawaii 10 or so years ago and we all took turns on it over summer and had a ball. It was a pretty heavy massive board (nothing like what we ride today) but we all just had so much fun and the passion just went from there. I love the challenge, you can go anywhere (surf, lake, rivers) its taken me all over the world and I’ve met some amazing people along the way.
What do you have on for the rest of the year?
I’m off to WA on Wednesday for a comp at Rottnest Island. The swell looks pretty solid at this stage. It’s an awesome event, probably my favorite of the year. ISA world titles in Denmark, then an event in New York, back home for the Aussie titles then off to the Canary Islands for the last event in December.
Your favourite piece of life advice? Never give up!
You’re not a Gold Coast local if you haven’t… Skydived onto Coolangatta Beach
Being a Gold Coast local we have to ask for your favourites…
Restaurant: Too many good ones. I love going to different ones all the time.
Bar: Balter Brewery
Coffee Shop: Metro coffee, Broadbeach
Surfers Paradise is the heart of the Gold Coast, loved by locals and a stark reminder of a youth well spent for locals.
If you’re short on time but still keen to experience the magic of this tourist hub, never fear; here’s a guide to spending 24 action packed hours in Surfers Paradise.
Early morning: Rise with the sun for a walk along one of Australia’s most famous beaches. It’s the quietest time of day in Surfers but the active wear will be out in full force. A magnificent sunrise will ignite you for the day ahead.
Breakfast: Sandbar on the Esplanade has long been a visitor’s favourite and with a recent renovation, it’s now a favourite with the locals too. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy your first coffee of the day, a smoothie bowl or an omelette with a side of lamb sausage (Aussie, Aussie, Aussie) while overlooking the beach.
Where: 52 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise (on the corner of Elkhorn Avenue)
Mid-morning: After letting your breakfast settle, relax with a Surfers Paradise River Cruise. The cruise travels through the waterways at a leisurely pace while the Captain points out interesting sights and celebrity homes along the way. Morning tea is served and can be enjoyed on the sunlit deck overlooking the skyline.
Where: 63 Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise (next to the Tiki statue)
Lunch: You’ll be famished after a morning on the water so head down to Betty’s Burgers & Concrete Co. for a mouth-watering burger and their famous concrete desserts. You’ll be hard pressed to stop eating but don’t forget you’ve got an afternoon of activities ahead!
Where: Chevron Renaissance12-14/3240 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise
Early afternoon: Surfers Paradise has a huge variety of shops to wander through from high end to highly touristy. You could easily lose hours (and dollars) in Cavill Mall alone.
If you’re keen for more activities there’s also Timezone, Infinity – a mind-blowing maze adventure, the Wax Museum – where you’ll come face to face with Johnny Depp, Kylie Minogue and the Dalai Lama and Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditorium – offering 16 themed galleries filled with unbelievable artefacts and interactive exhibits. Perhaps a spot of mini golf at King Tutt’s Putt Putt.
Late afternoon: Get a birds eye view of the Gold Coast from 240 metres in the air at SkyPoint Observation Deck. Relax and enjoy afternoon tea (or a sneaky cocktail) while marveling at 360 degree views of the Coast from the ocean to the hinterland. Hot tip: Head up just before sunset to see the dazzling lights of Surfers come on.
Where: Q1, 9 Hamilton Ave, Surfers Paradise
Dinner: After a long day of activities, you’ll appreciate a relaxed dinner. Take a stroll across the bridge to the little village community of Chevron Island. Treat yourself to a takeaway pizza from Arlo’s Pizzeria and perch yourself in the park overlooking the Broadwater.
Where: Shop 2, 46-50 Thomas Drive, Chevron Island
After dinner: For a sweet treat don’t miss grabbing a gelato from local favourite Yum Gelato before you hit the hay or, if you’re a night owl and you’ve come to see the Surfers Paradise spectacle that is Orchid Avenue, dance the night away in one of the many bars located in and around Surfers Paradise.
Start at the local’s favourite Melba’s for drink in this open air bar before wandering up to the newly renovated The Avenue for a stint of live music. As every good bar crawl progresses, you can’t miss the Gold Coast’s super club Shooters. Have a bit of a jive at locally-loved bar Elsewhere (with a colour changing disco dance floor), before settling in at late night venue The Bedroom before calling it a night (or an early morning if you gave it a good go).
Don’t forget your kebab on the way home, hold the onion.
So there you have it, one of many ways to spend 24 hours in Surfers Paradise. Keep an eye out for more plus Inside Gold Coast’s ongoing suburb spotlights.
Words by Kirra Smith.
Best known for a pumping, world-renowned surf break and ever-present chill vibes, there’s so much more to Kirra than just waves and a pristine stretch of sand (although that’s motivation enough for us).
Here are 12 reasons why Kirra locals ain’t budging for love nor money, and why the wider GC community can’t get enough of this thriving yet mellow footwear-optional ‘burb.
Who doesn’t love a luxurious homewares store that’s also a patisserie café, and the answer is a unanimous NOBODY. In its beautiful new location, Cotton Living showcases stunning handmade furniture and timeless accessories to make every room in your abode sing. Everything is Insta-worthy with a focus on natural colours and textures, plus you can grab a croissant with your cushion and #WhatsNotToLove. This luxurious space right by the beach is family-owned and the obvs choice for your next coffee date with the gals.
Where: 1 Lord Street, Coolangatta
Once a humble Pizza Hut (and the hottest piece of real estate going around), the iconic and heritage listed beachside Kirra Pavilion has been reincarnated! Founded by local restaurateur royalty Jarrod Kyle and TJ Cianci, Siblings is a modern Australian brunch and dinner showstopper, dripping with 1950’s Miami beach vibes goodness. The menu is infused with fresh seafood and share-plates a-plenty and don’t even get us started on the cocktails! You haven’t lived till you’ve been.
Where: 15 Marine Parade, Kirra
From the brilliant mind that brought us Project Tokyo comes an all new, sandy-shore-dwelling, Mexican fusion dining experience and yep, that was a mouthful. Speaking of mouthfuls, you’ve never tasted better modern Mexican fare, with fresh, delicious dishes infused with dashes of distinct oriental flavours and srsly, the tongue-twisters are coming in hot today. The fit out is bright but totally on-fleek, just how we like our Mexi restaurant and taquerias.
Where: 74 Musgrave Street, Coolangatta
Famous for an overflowing dessert cabinet including, you guessed it, tasty tiramisu, this little gem has become an institution in the beachside suburb. Not only loved for their clever name, Kirramisu serves up a bangin’ breakfast and lunch menu, fresh juices and smoothies, all with a side of multi-million-dollar sparkling ocean views. It’s the little place with the big soul.
Where: 28 Musgrave Street, Kirra
Speaking of institutions, Kirra Surf is a must-visit when cruising into this salty (good salty) seaside suburb. Their range of surfing products and apparel is unrivalled, the staff are super friendly, and there’s always at least (twenty)two things you’ll want to take home with you. Ladies, pop in for a visit and marvel at the larger-than-life posters of your fave easy-on-the-eyes surfer boys. You’re welcome.
Where: 8 Creek Street, Kirra
Bread and Butter
From Spanish tapas, stone baked pizzas, handmade gnocchi to cocktails and a large selection of wine and beer, you’re in for a treat at this Kirra icon. A lively space where the good times always roll, take a seat on the terrace and soak up the delightful ocean breezes and beach views. With $20 pick-up pizzas and $25 gnocchi and pasta until 6pm, it won’t break the bank which is the icing on the cake (or the butter on the bread).
Where: 76 Musgrave St, Kirra
Kirra Beach Bakery
A visit to Kirra isn’t complete without hitting up the local bakery and this is a fact. Whether you’re in need of a post-surf pie, sausage roll, quiche or pastie, a healthy salad or sandwich for the road, or some pre-dinner cake, slice or a sweet treat (don’t judge), Kirra Beach Bakery is the place. Get down there early in the morning for fresh-out-of-the-oven bread and enjoy a slice or two with the local ‘gulls while watching the sunrise. Best.
Where: 100 Musgrave Street, Kirra
The poke bowl phenomenon has taken the Gold Coast by storm and why wouldn’t it. Originating in Hawaii, poke bowls are made up of protein and salad combinations artfully arranged in bowls and perfect for both consuming and Instagram snaps. Of the signature bowls, we’re all about the Karaage Chicken with edamame, carrot, corn, sweet chilli mayo and lotus root chips. Satisfying and healthy, the entire menu is preservative free and all seafood is sustainably sourced. How good!
Where: 48 Musgrave Street, Kirra
Kirra Surf Life Saving Club
Located right on the beach, this old boy has been around longer than you (est. 1916) and is a firm fave amongst all Gold Coasters. It’s the perfect spot for an afternoon cold one overlooking the ocean or an affordable dinner with the crew. Sit yourself on the deck and let that balmy sea breeze take you to your happiest place.
Where: 15 Marine Parade, Kirra
Kirra Hill Lookout
Where better to feast your eyes on the world-famous Kirra beach! Trek to the top of the headland and prepare to be wowed by views from Main Beach to Snapper Rocks and everywhere in between. Pack a picnic or fire up the barbie (you’ve earned it after that walk), and thank your lucky stars you get to live in the best place on Earth. No bias, just #truth.
Where: It’s on the big hill, you won’t miss it!
Gold Coast Skydive
Jumping out of a plane is all kinds of a fun time, and jumping out of a plane and landing on Kirra Beach, even better. The good folks at Gold Coast Skydive are based in Kirra and once you’re out of that plane hurtling toward the sand, Kirra is exactly where you’ll land. After that adrenaline rush you might want to calm yourself with a beer or two. Luckily, the surf club is right there to assist.
Where: 1/78 Musgrave Street, Kirra
Kirra Beach Pavilion
While driving around the headland, you may have noticed the cute little shelter overlooking the ocean. It’s a great place to hide from the scorching sun, and has certainly seen a lot over its lifetime – more than a century to be precise. Early photos of Kirra Beach show the shelter in place by around 1916 and we love ourselves some GC history. The Kirra Shelter Shed makes for a great viewing platform and is the perfect spot to watch whales frolic out in the big blue.
Words by Bianca Trathen.