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Largest GC Rooftop Bar: The Island Rooftop

Gold Coast's largest roof top bar.

Rooftop in Paradise

The largest rooftop bar on the Gold Coast has opened! The Island Rooftop takes full advantage of Gold Coast’s blue skies, green palms and pastel high rises.

Fashioned on vintage California, The Island Rooftop is located in the 1960’s Surfers Paradise icon, Island Resort (previously Islander Resort) which is currently in the midst of a massive refurbishment, with room bookings anticipated to be available by March 2017.

Lush greenery, ocean glimpses, chilled tunes, couches, communal tables and a long bar made from marble, your rooftop essentials are covered. Throw in the high-rise surroundings and the Gold Coast’s forever pleasing weather and you’ve now found a new home for your summer antics (autumn, winter and spring too).

The perfect thing to do in the Gold Coast for those lunch time drinks that go long into the afternoon; you will be able enjoy Mediterranean and modern Caribbean influenced tapas accompanied by some impressive cocktails. The Island Cup (to share.. who’s to say you can’t enjoy one to yourself) concocted with Beefeater gin, elderflower cordial, red grapes, pressed green apple, lemon, mint and soda. Or perhaps the Island Colada, appropriately served in a coconut with Havana 3yo, freshly pressed pineapple, coconut water, coco lopes and coconut sugar blended together.. all the antioxidants.

Bringing back the Sunset Strip vibes to Surfers Paradise, the large and spacious rooftop bar is set to host big name live music events and DJ’s. The expertise of the Katarzyna Group (owners of the likes of Cloudland, Family and Birdees in Brisbane) is a sure sign that The Island Rooftop is going to be a destination venue high on the must do list. And for all the “insiders” out there, there’s even talks of a penthouse nightclub to go on top of the Island!

Rooftop bar, penthouse nightclub, ocean glimpses …The Island is going to leave you saying one thing… welcome to paradise.

3128 Surfers Paradise Boulevard.

Open Wednesday – Sunday 3pm – late


By Amy Merridan

11 of the best local gin cocktails

Granddad Jacks' Seymour Street via @shark4chipdrink
Granddad Jacks' Seymour Street via @shark4chipdrink

On June 13th each year we raise a glass to World Gin Day and the spirit that has certainly had its come up over the last little while. The Gold Coast boasts our very own gin distillery plus a host of bars making magic with local gins. All of which you won’t be surprised to learn we’re big fans of.

In honour of that, here are the best spots to get your gin fix on the Gold Coast this World Gin Day (or anyday for that matter). Happy sipping.

Tamborine Mountain Distillery
Tucked away on Mount Tamborine is one of Australia’s smallest and most unique distilleries with over 280 International Awards. Their gold medal award winning gin is the Lilly Pilly Gin, a pot still gin using botanicals such as Australian Lilly Pilly (Riberry), Juniper, Angelica root, Orris root, Citrus peel, Caraway, Coriander, Aniseed Myrtle, Elderflower, Mistletoe, Passionflower, Shepherd’s Purse and more. The best part about it, it’s got a delightful pink hue.
Where: 87-91 Beacon Road, North Tamborine

The Island Rooftop
It’s always a good time on the rooftop in Surfers Paradise, overlooking the city and with guaranteed good vibes. While all the sips are sweet, our recommendation is the Clover Leaf made with Beefeater gin, raspberry, lemon and egg white, so good.
Where: 3128 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Aloha Bar & Dining
How does a Saturn Juniper Uranus sound? Cool right. That’s exactly what you should order at Broady’s most colourful alleyway bar, Aloha Bar & Dining. It’s got Four Pillars gin, sloe gin, orgeat, passionfruit, lime and rosemary and it’s out of this world. The bar itself is decked out in full colour, with hidden rooms and moody, good time vibes aplenty. Follow the music down the alley and you’ll find yourself in a magical world of tiki goodness.
Where: 18 Main Place, Broadbeach

Number One and Two, Fig & Frankies
Number One and Two, Fig & Frankies

Fig & Frankies
Another delightful Broadbeach bar dedicated to exceptional sips and very good times is Fig & Frankies, also newish on the scene and also very well-loved amongst Gold Coast locals. Their cocktail list is tight and filled with delights made up of local spirits and you’ll want to try them all. Drinks are numbered rather than named and each is absolute perfection to be honest. We particularly loved Number One (aptly named) because it is made up of MAC by Brookies, clarified green apple and house lemonade and we cannot overstate tasty enough. Gather the crew and sip up a storm. 
Where: 4/2707 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach

Roosevelt Lounge
A must-visit cocktail bar in Broadbeach, Roosevelt Lounge is one of the city’s sexiest spots for a cocktail, capturing the seductive style and glamour of decadent New York. For World Gin Day try the Down the Rabbit Hole Signature Cocktail made up of Ink gin, in-house chimmer liqueur (pink moscato, pisco, peach & orange blossom), blueberry vinegar, citric acid and life of cha crystal tea. Delightfully served in a tea pot, this cocktail is an Instagram dream.
Where: 75 Surf Parade, Broadbeach

Granddad Jacks
The Gold Coast’s first gin distillery Granddad Jacks are, quite obviously king when it comes to gin cocktails (and gin in general). Our number one on their list is the Seymour Street with their very own Greenhouse Gin plus Eucalyptus and fresh lime juice because it’s the ultimate in Aussie-inspired freshness and it tastes top notch too. Love your work mates.
Where: 45 Lemana Lane, Miami

Rosella’s Bar
Oh Rosella’s, little love of our lives. A refined Australiana bar in the heart of Burleigh Heads, Rosella’s is bringing all Aussie eats and tipples to the very appreciative people. On a list of cocktails that will 100% improve your life (especially the Pet Nat Slushie – love you) but for the purposes of this article let’s chat about the Kylie Minogue Martini with Vickers Gin from Beenleigh Distillery no less, vodka, elderflower, verjus and pink peppercorn. It’ll have you spinning around in no time.
Where: 6/1743 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Kylie Minogue Martini
Kylie Minogue Martini

Lockwood Bar
Tucked away down Justin Lane behind a red velvet curtain is Lockwood Bar. They a serving up a sexy sip titled Brookie’s Aviation which fuses Brookie’s Dry Gin, lemon juice, Tempus Fugit liqueur de violette and Luxado Maraschino liqueur. Topped off with a maraschino cherry, you know it’s a goodie.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads

An intimate little space down Palmy way is Suga, a cocktail and rum bar open until late and serving up cocktails that are quite unlike anything you’ve sipped before. On World Gin Day we recommend a Gin Lippy with Larrikin Gin, citrus syrup, housemade lemonade and a whole lots of tastiness. A very tasty tipple indeed. Pop on in for a few of those this weekend.
Where: 1142 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

The Collective Palm Beach
The Rooftop Bar at The Collective Palm Beach is a gin-lovers paradise with beloved gin-based cocktails including the Rose Hip Martini with Poor Toms Gin, hibiscus syrup, lime and grapefruit and the Unnamed Sympathy served Tiki-style with macadamia-infused Nobel Cut Gin, Bushfire Botanic Australis Gin and pine-lime allspice. Both of which are tried and tested by us and both of which are really very delicious.
Where: 1128 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

Saint Helen’s Kitchen + Bar
If sipping cocktails seaside is your thing (and we know it is), you’ll love Saint Helens Kitchen + Bar signature slurp The Gin Thruster. It’s got gin, blueberry and tonic. It’s bright, refreshing and super Insta-worthy – if it lasts that long.
Where: Shop 2/78 Musgrave Street, Kirra

Words by Kirra Smith

10 Gold Coast bars if you like Piña Coladas

Pina Colada (Photo by Vitor Pinto on Unsplash)
Pina Colada (Photo by Vitor Pinto on Unsplash)

What comes to mind when you think of the humble Piña Colada? Tropical getaways lazing by a pool with a balmy sea breeze rustling through the palm fronds most likely spring to mind. And the vast majority of people will probably agree with you.

The cocktail is a favourite worldwide and has origins in 1950s Puerto Rico, hence the tropical flavours and name. If you do love Piña Coladas (but not getting caught in the rain), you should be excited to learn next month celebrates a day dedicated to the drink on Saturday 10th of July. Because all the best things deserve a day wholly devoted to them, right?

In honour of such an exciting occasion, our list highlights the bars where you can celebrate in fabulous fashion and give thanks to these lush-styled drinks from the Caribbean.

If you haven’t found yourself sipping tiki-style libations in this back-alley Broadbeach haunt, then quite frankly, where have you been? When it comes to slinging the best drinks with a sprinkling of fun, you won’t find anywhere else that does it quite like these guys. There is always something going on here, so grab your best Hawaiian shirt and let Aloha take care of the rest.
Where: 18 Main Place, Broadbeach

Café Catalina
Right on the water’s edge in the Broadwater Parklands, Café Catalina has steadily become a crowd favourite due to its stunning water views and modern menu. We all know what goes best with water views, don’t we? That’s right, a sweet, sweet Piña Colada, of course. The café is famously pooch-friendly, so grab your furry mate and settle in for a couple of cocktails.
Where: 10/11 Broadwater Parklands, Southport

Aloha Bar and Dining (image supplied)
Aloha Bar and Dining (image supplied)

The Island Rooftop Bar
Surfers Paradise’s largest rooftop bar is a favourite for any sunny Sunday sessions. The Island Colada fits this bustling and subtropical scene to a tee, constructed with love — including pineapple juice, coconut cream and Havana Charta — meaning it’s a traditional-style Piña Colada with some extra island vibes thrown in to get you and the party started.
Where: The Island, Corner of Surfers Paradise Boulevard and Beach Road, Surfers Paradise

This relative newcomer to the Burleigh Heads bar scene is already garnering the right kind of attention for innovative signature drinks; the like of which you can sip and discuss with a friend/colleague/tinder date for hours with ease. The Pav is Mine is a clever adaptation of the classic Piña Colada that deserves to be tried, and as it’s a vegan-made cocktail, there are absolutely no excuses!
Where: 4/57 James Street, Burleigh Heads

Taboo Tiki
The tiki sensations are intense with this one — and that’s putting it lightly. With an upbeat setting and consistent line-ups of quality D.J.s, we suggest you pencil in this Surfers Paradise venue for celebrating international Piña Colada Day come next month. If you can’t wait that long, be sure to head along to one of their many party nights from Thursday through to Sunday to get a taste of the action.
Where: 19 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Taboo Tiki (image supplied)
Taboo Tiki (image supplied)

When the words dessert and cocktail can be found in close proximity to one another, you know things are looking up. So, when Cowch opens a flagship venue in The Oracle Broadbeach next week, you can expect sweet and alcoholic things to collide in an udderly (pardon the pun) delish way. The Hoola Girl is a whipped cream and lollipop garnished version of the Puerto Rican classic you simply must try.
Where: 1 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach

Sticky Rice
The original naughty but nice excuse for a mid-week tipple or two: if Sticky Rice can’t get you out of the house for some next-level Thai cuisine accompanied by some seriously delish cocktails, nothing or no one can. The Pina Coladyboy (Dark Rum, Malibu, blended with fresh pineapple, coconut cream, lime & orgeat) is at the top of their cocktail list for a reason. Turn up the chilli in your Duck Red Curry and mellow out with the pick of the tropical cocktails.
Where: Shop 7, 443 Golden Four Drive, Tugun

Finding yourself amid a shopping frenzy can not only be a hit to your bank balance but a trigger for an unquenchable thirst, the type that can only be satisfied with some top-notch cocktails, of course. Crafty’s is the optimum spot to lighten the load and get your lips around a tasty little Piña Colada. Their take, The G.O.A.T., has lashings of pineapple-infused rum and should make the second half of your shopping spree a breeze.
Where: Harbour Town Eats, Biggera Waters

Piña Coladas Cocktail (Photo by Garett Mizunaka on Unsplash)
Piña Coladas Cocktail (Photo by Garett Mizunaka on Unsplash)

Edgewater Dining & Lounge
The attention to detail taken by this venue with their drinks offering is nothing short of remarkable. The drinks list is titled, Liquid Journey and from cover to cover, you can see this Isle of Capri restaurant has placed great emphasis on having great food and the drinks to match. Their signature Pirate on the Beach takes the modest classic and completely revamps it with deluxe inclusions of Fireball, Amaretto, and nutmeg.
Where: Shop 3 G7, Capri on Via Roma, Surfers Paradise

Ms. Margots
If you find yourself on the shiny side of town and think a couple of sophisticated cocktails are in order, then you need to consider Ms. Margots at The Hilton Surfers Paradise. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner; the venue has you covered for when you feel like pushing the boat out a little. As Piña Coladas come, the house version is aptly named Beach Blonde Jenny and twists the original with the addition of macadamia nut liqueur and cacao: thus, you have a delicious drink that is also health-conscious. Ingenious stuff!
Where: The Hilton, 6 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Ms Margot's interior, Hilton Surfers Paradise (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)
Ms Margot's interior, Hilton Surfers Paradise (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

The Best Gold Coast Openings of 2016

2016 has been an eventful year to say the least. With a lot of negative news from David Bowie, Prince, George Michael and Carrie Fisher passing away to Donald Trump as the new President of the United States.

Buuuut on a positive note, the Gold Coast has experienced the biggest invasion of new eateries, cafes and bars yet. Which ones made our list of the best openings of 2016?

Here’s some of our favourite openings of 2016:


Swannie’s is the perfect spot for business meet-ups, casual lunch or Friday arvo knock-off drinks.
Read our blog here!
34 Nerang Street, Southport

Surfers Paradise

Latitude 28
Dangling light fixtures made of rope, light wood tables, a killer teal-blue bar and plenty of architectural detail makes Latitude 28 an impressive date night spot. 
Read our blog here!
Paradise Centre, Cavill Avenue Mall Surfers Paradise

The first pour your own beer bar (PYO) on the Gold Coast.
Read our blog here!
Tenancy 2, The Mark Building 3- 3/15 Orchid Ave, Surfers Paradise

The Island Rooftop
The largest rooftop bar on the Gold Coast opened! The Island Rooftop takes full advantage of Gold Coast’s blue skies, green palms and pastel high rises.
Read our blog here!
3128 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

California Cantina
California Taco’s sister restaurant in the heart of the Gold Coast.
Read our blog here!
Capri on Via Roma, 15 Via Roma, Isle of Capri

Chevron Island

Fu Manchu
Fu Manchu mixes seductive décor with succulent European and Asian flavours for a night diner’s won’t forget.
Read our blog here!
44 Thomas Dr, Chevron Island

Ravens Lounge Bar
A  diverse space, somewhere everyone is welcome, where the girls can let their hair down and the boys can play jenga.
Read our blog here!
49 Thomas Dr, Surfers Paradise


Garden Kitchen and Bar
One of the Gold Coats’s new favourite hangouts at Jupiters Casino. High ceilings, grand floral displays, soft soothing colours and live music make it the perfect spot to Sunday sesh. 
Read our blog here!
Jupiters Casino, Broadbeach Island, Broadbeach

Hatch & Co
With its great location (the corner of the Oasis building and across from the Broadbeach park) it’s the perfect spot to pop in for a drink while you are out and around Broadbeach.                                     
Read our blog here!
75 Surf Parade, Broadbeach

Bin 89
It’s perfect for date night, a catch-up with friends, or even a drink alone at the bar. (Get A Kracken Good Time!!!) You’re going to love it.
Read our blog here!
Shop 105, 89-91 Surf Parade, Broadbeach

Pacific Fair
The new Pacific Fair is nothing short of mind blowing! With so many new food outlets your spoilt for choice. Some you have to try are Lello Lello, Cowch and Rivea.
Pacific Fair, Hooker Blvd, Broadbeach

The Loose Moose
The Loose Moose is centrally located under the Oasis, next to Hatch & Co.  and offers a seriously sophisticated setting.
Read our blog here!
75 Surf Parade, Broadbeach

Society of Florida 
Society of Florida is fully licensed (hello Sunday brunch) and has a pretty impressive selection of native beer, wine and spirits.
Read our blog here!
1 Naranga Avenue, Florida Gardens 

NXT Door
Situated directly next door to Grocer and Grind, diners get to sit back at the bar, on the lounge or amongst the communal tables in a sensual, industrial-luxe environment and enjoy everything super food.
Read our blog here!
1/1 Sunshine Blvd, Broadbeach

Mermaid Beach

Apres Surf
Vintage decor, laid back staff and ridiculously good food plus great deals and specials on all week!
Read our blog here!
2376 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Lush Coffee Lounge
Lush Coffee Lounge, adjacent to Lush Hair and Beauty has good coffee, tasty treats, and an optical illusion view that will take you a million miles away.
Read our blog here!
2570 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

Little Mermaid
Out with the old and in with the new! With no trace of the old K-bar and Meze in sight, the newly renovated space, Little Mermaid brings a bright and beachy eatery to Mermaid Beach.
Read our blog here!
1a/2557 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Ballboy Meatballs          
This funky little joint is eye catching and an Instagrammers dream come true! The philosophy behind Ball Boy is do one thing and do it well. This one thing is meatballs, and yes, they are done well, (beef, pork, chicken and vegetarian all done well).
Read our blog here!
1/2475 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Finger and Bones
A passion for food, teachings from renowned chef Jamie Oliver and a love for sunshine, the Gold Coast was lucky enough to become the new home for Leigh and Dennis Duncanson’s cafe. Diners can choose from a fresh and homely menu that is changed every month.
Read our blog here!
2364 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach


Fire Cue Bar & Grill
A tapas bar which offers Latin American, Mexican, Spanish and Argentinean inspired food, zesty cocktails, tap beers from Gold Coast locals and smooth tunes.
Read our blog here!
2243 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Unlike its airy Broadbeach brother Gemelli, Gemellini is a small intimate space serving up Italian favourites. Some may say they make the best pizza on the Coast.
Read our blog here!
2/2247 Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach

Miami/ Robina

The Kitchens
Robina Town Centre’s foody playground ‘The Kitchens’ is home to over 28 restaurants for you to discover – wanna know who? Read our blog here!
Robina Town Centre Drive, Robina

Double Barrel Kitchen
This once Greek restaurant was transformed into a smoking new hotspot. Utilizing dark recycled timber, large custom windows, handpicked pendant lights and fresh flowers. An intimate space any creature of comfort would be happy to cosy up in.
Read our blog here!
Shop 4 Waterway Shopping Village, Cnr Karbunya Street & Sunshine Blvd, Mermaid Waters


Jimmy Wahs
Choose between bar seating, a table or opt for a street view at the large, open picture window. The decor is clean and simplistic leaving a giant portrait of Jimmy Wah to steal the spotlight.
Read our blog here!
1724 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads 

Salvador Deli
Lower Gold Coast Highway has welcomed its newest edition, Salvador Deli, a one stop Mediterranean deli shop and restaurant and best of all – byo!
Read our blog here!
1848 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads

Palm Beach/ Tugun

8th Ave Terrace
Palm Beach rooftop dining at its best. 8th Ave have kept it simple with menu choices and gone above and beyond when it comes to quality.
Read our blog here!
1176 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach

Astro turf, red, terracotta bricks, hanging pot plants and timber floors… if it was outside, the team at Wildernis have brought it in.
Read our blog here!
1166 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach

Balboa Italian Restaurant
If it’s not the mouth-watering Italian cuisine and the delicious cocktails, it’s at the very least the phenomenal fit-out, the glamorous chandelier or the bright red Vespa that will leave you speechless.
Read our blog here!
1069 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach

The Collective
Five kitchens, a breathtaking rooftop bar and more greenery than Mount Tamborine. No taste bud will be left unsatisfied, The Collective Palm Beach has opened its doors on Boxing Day 2016 and with a sold out New Year’s Eve party, the good times will keep on rolling well into the New Year.
Read our blog here!
1128 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach

Backbone Bar
What do you get when you put together two guys with a love of beer and Asian cuisine? You get something with a bit of Backbone, an Asian tapas bar fit for friends, family and good times. 
Read our blog here!
12/489 Gold Coast Hwy, Tugun


Eddie’s Grub House
Cooly’s go-to place for finger lickin’ fried chicken, burgers and whiskey.
Read our blog here!
171 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Poboy Cajun and Creole
Josh and Brock Clapin have taken their knowledge of Southern Cajun and Creole cooking and applied it to their modest southern kitchen down in Cooly. If you’ve never pinched a tail and sucked a head, get your mind out of the gutter and get down to Poboy’s.
Read our blog here!
12/110 Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Kirrabelle Kitchen & Alley Bar
An old classic has been revitalised, The Coolangatta Sands Hotel has said goodbye to its darker days and welcomed a fresh coat of crisp white paint, a fully renovated restaurant and a completely restyled menu.
Read our blog here!
Cnr Griffith & McLean Sts, Coolangatta

By Louisa von Ingelheim

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