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Smokin’ new Steampunk cocktails

If you haven’t ridden the escalator into the heavenly Surfers space that is Steampunk, you’re missing out on not only smoky, creative cocktails but a fantasy-fuelled adventure back in time.

With industrial machinery, copper accents and old school gadgets placed throughout, Steampunk is the perfect visual representation of the (not actually real) Victorian era subgenre after which it’s named.

Anywho the crew, who made the trek from Tassie to hydrate you with magical and mesmerising cocktails, have just introduced a slew of newbies and it’s worth the trek to Surfers to give them a try.

The Foolish Howler is a party in your mouth with Jägermeister, Strawberry, lemon, honey comb, pineapple juice and red liquorish. It’s a smokin’, rainbow sprinkle delight and the perfect tipple to treat yo’self.

The Brass Vengeance has Hendricks Gin, Maraschino, Blueberries, pineapple and Lime and it’s served in an upside down golden pineapple so you’re pretty much guaranteed a good time.

The Pavlowhip is everyone’s favourite Christmas dessert in a tasty tipple with Absolute Vanilla, Licor 43, lemon juice, strawberry, passionfruit and toasted froth (because life’s too short for un-toasted froth).

The Cog Slapper is vodka, sour apple, midori, candy and a little extra sourness topped with a scorched marshmallow and bringing all your sweet, pink cocktail dreams to life.

‘Tis the season. Smoke ’em up ladies.

LOCATION: L1 3113 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise
HOURS: 11.30am to 1am every day

Words by Kirra Smith.

Steampunk

Featuring gadgets, industrial machinery, mechanical horses and exposed copper, all specially sourced and imported, Surfers Paradise’ latest bar and restaurant is the perfect visual representation of the genre after which it’s named.

Steampunk refers to a fantasy subgenre in which those living in the Victorian era imagined their lives to be. It’s all about mixing old and new: fusing the usability of modern technology with the design aesthetic and philosophy of the Victorian age.

Hailing from Tasmania, owner Grant Rodgers has plenty of experience working in historical venues and made the move to the Gold Coast to open Steampunk, the first restaurant of its kind in Australia, after seeing an opportunity for something unique.

The menu is unlike anything else around including share plates of Scorched Bugs with corn and chilli salsa to Crab and Corn Arancinci with smoked paprika aioli and Topped Mini Fillet Steaks (three ways).

If you’re more of a solo eater try the Chilli Salt Local Cuttlefish Thai Salad or House Gnocchi with Haloumi, spinach, tomatoes and fried sage.

The cocktail list is divided into tantalising sections, there’s Toothsome, Sourish, Perplexing, Enchanting and Mind Altering – don’t go past The Enigma made with Makers Mark bourbon, orange and salt or the Juicy Bruiser – Absolut Vodka with Passionfruit juice, lime, Prosecco and a little surprise on presentation.

Offering all day eats and an exciting cocktails menu, Steampunk is the Surfers Paradise anti-nightclub – a place to enjoy some drinks and a bite to eat without having to be involved in the frantic pace of neighboring venues.

HOURS: 11am until late daily.

LOCATION: 3113 Surfers Paradise Bvld (opposite Billabong), Surfers Paradise.

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

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)

A first timers guide to 24 hours in Surfers Paradise

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.

King Tutts Putt Putt (image supplied)
King Tutts Putt Putt (image supplied)

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.

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