First of all, yes we are experts and second of all, there’s nothing wrong with consuming an entire packet of Tim Tams while binging on Gossip Girl for the fifteenth night in a row (Mum said so).
But in case that’s not your jam (insert eye roll), and because we’re keen to widen our circle of single lady pals, here are a few things to do on the Gold Coast if you’re sans a significant other.
Dance, dance, dance
Not only is channeling your inner Beyoncé a fun way to work off those pesky Tim Tam calories, it also boosts the feel good vibes and gives you the perfect excuse to down an extra margarita or two (because seeya inhibitions). We recommend Retros Cocktail Lounge in Surfers for the old school beats and spacious d-floor.
Try all the foods
No, not Tim Tams (unless Cold Rock is involved then by all means). There’s something liberating about eating out alone and, with the ridiculous amount of five-star restaurants on the Coast, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you stay at home and order UberEATS every night. We recommend starting with Burleigh because a. good-looking people watching and b. Rosella’s, Iku, Nightjar, Jimmy Wah’s, Rabbath, Rick Shores, Lockwood Bar, etc.
Spa days are the ultimate single gal good time. Go solo or grab your girl gang and make a day of it. There are plenty of places to indulge on the Coast from escape-for-a-week retreats like Gwinganna to the sophisticated, Moroccan chic vibes of The Bathhouse for massages and magnesium baths. Smooth skin and super chill vibes await.
Making stuff is a good time. Unless it’s an intricate recipe that takes four hours to create, only to be devoured within four minutes. Anywho, crafts and the like are fun. The Craft Parlour in Miami run MANY workshops like intro to ceramics, macramé weaving, watercolour 101, all the creative things. Plenty of people sign up solo so we suggest you do the same and make a few new friends while you’re there.
Shop up a storm
Retail therapy is a thing y’all (experts on this topic too). Not that any of us need therapy (right!?) but new clothes are always a good idea and you’re gonna need ‘em for the dancing and the eating out solo. Pacific Fair is our pick for a splurge and Harbour Town Outlet Shopping Centre on a budget, unless you’re more of an online shopper then we definitely recommend supporting the many local brands around these parts.
Or die trying. After you’ve bought all the pretty activewear, you might want to take up a new active hobby. How about hiking? Fresh air and fitness, it’s a combination for the ages. OR, join a random touch football team and expand your social circle while getting fit and having a good old laugh at how unfit you’ve become thanks to the irresistible allure of Netflix and Tim Tams.
Put a fork in us, we’re done. Admittedly, all that sounds pretty tiring, anyone got any good Netflix recommendations?
Words by Kirra Smith.
Hiking. It’s an acquired taste but if walking long distances for the sheer joy of it floats your boat, where better to indulge than the picturesque Gold Coast. Particularly at the height of summer.
There are many places to trek around outside the comfort of your Netflix binge zone and here are five of them (from a literal walk in the park to the mother of all hiking adventures, in that order). Don’t forget water bottles and snacks.
Apple Tree Park Tracks
Sounds delightful doesn’t it. The park itself is actually a possible starting point for entry onto The Great Walk but allows your tired bones a bit of respite if 54km of walking is slightly out of your comfort zone (yes, hi). You can pretty much walk as far as you like, for as long as you like and then turn around and walk back for a picnic in the park. Take healthy foods so your walk doesn’t feel like it’s in vain.
Start: On Springbrook Rd next to the Springbrook Mountain Chalets
No doubt you’ve (at least) seen snaps of the stunning little spot that is Natural Bridge. A literal rock bridge in the middle of the rainforest complete with a sparkly waterfall and so much beautiful greenery and fresh air and relaxing wilderness noises. It’s a stunner and a fairly cruisy downhill walk to get there (bit slippery on the bridge so watch your step) and through the trees. Obvs it’s uphill on the way back but you won’t even notice you’ll be so chilled out. Make sure you’ve got a camera to capture the magic.
Start: Follow the signs towards Springbrook and then you will see signs for Natural Bridge on Natural Bridge Rd
South Stradbroke Island
Saying you’ve circumnavigated something is, quite frankly, a dream that’s always been somewhat unattainable. Until now. It’s possible to walk the entire way around South Straddy and, while it might take you awhile (it’s 21km long and 2.5km wide) it’s well worth it for the breathtaking views. Walking from the western side to the east will only take you around an hour so that’s quite relaxing. All the way around will take you at least a day so ensure you pack provisions. Once you’re done you should definitely stop in at McLarens Landing (the pub) because a hard earned thirst needs a big cold beer.
Start: Take the ferry from Hope Island and start your walk from wherever your little heart desires
Toolona Creek Circuit
Keen for a day of walking? Neither, but there are some folks who might be. To those people we say, get on board the Toolona Creek Circuit. The first part will take you to Picnic Rock and along the Toolona Creek to the falls. From there you can detour to the lookout for a rest and gaze lovingly out at the Tweed Valley, Mt Warning, Byron Bay and Straddy (hi hiking friends). Sounds chill enough except the entire track will probably take you around seven hours too. Prepare before you go and if it gets too much, turn yourself around and head home. Good luck.
Start: Head to Canungra and follow the signs to Lamington Plateau, Green Mountain Car Park aka O’Reillys.
The Great Walk
Go hard or go home right. This one’s a doozy and you might want to carve out a good chunk of time for the 54km trek. It’s best to start at Lamington National Park and finish at Springbrook and they say to allow three days to complete the walk (sheer joy remember). You’ll skirt around the rim of the Tweed Volcano and pass through the ancient lands of the Yugambeh people. Maybe put in a bit of practice with the walks below before you set out on this little adventure, it ain’t for the faint hearted. Take plenty water, camping gear and ensure you’re equipped for all weather possibilities.
Start: From the Pacific Motorway, take the Nerang exit (exit 69 from the north, exit 71 from the south) and follow the signs to Lamington National Park.
Words by Kirra Smith
The world is in quite the state of flux at the moment, we’re being encouraged to stay home so as not to spread the risk of infection which of course means, local businesses may start to struggle. Where possible though, we should still be supporting them wherever possible and a good way to do that is by using online layby service Afterpay.
If you’re not familiar, Afterpay allows you to pay off your purchases over several weeks but get your goods straight away and we’re a little bit obsessed to be honest. In the interest of supporting the many clever, local makers around these parts and because of the world we currently find ourselves in, here are 10 Gold Coast brands offering Afterpay and may the self-control be with you. Happy shopping.
Duke The Label
Activewear for women of all shapes and sizes is our kind of activewear! With a mantra of ‘accept yourself, love yourself, keep moving forward’ the business is all about empowering and encouraging women and in beautiful, comfortable clothing no less. Best of all you can stock up because, Afterpay. Plus we could all use some time out in nature at the moment.
Living local and proud of it. The Undercurrent are in the business of tee shirts representing 10 local suburbs from Surfers to Cooly. Each tee is printed with a sweet graphic representing historical aspects of the area and designed by a local artist. It’s the perfect gift for anyone passionate about being a Coastie and visitors who might need a little nudge #palmyforlife.
If we have to stay home, we may as well be surrounded by beautiful, comfortable things right? Moss Living offers exactly that in the form of luxuriously, cosy clothing, beautiful linen sheets and quilt covers and pillow slips and all the things and it’s all absolutely stunning. If you’re in the market for some goodies, look no further than this stunning brand.
Drift Candle. Co
Okay so again if we’re staying home, home can at least smell good right? Drift Candle Co. has us covered for that with their collection of absolutely DIVINE candles including flavours like The Hinterland (pure magic and perfect for stay at home days) and Coconut and Tahitian Lime for a bit of uplifting goodness. We’re in love with all of them.
Husband and wife team Ash and Dean Butt know what’s up when it comes to silver jewels. They hand make chunky rings of the signet and gemstone variety and pendants with cute little designs like cactuses, palm trees and peace signs. Some of us around these parts may have hands stacked with their pieces. Get some for the coolest cat in your life.
Well haven’t Valley developed a cult following over the last few years. Another husband and wife team absolutely killing it, Michael and Tenielle Crawley have created an iconic brand with the coolest of eyewear. Their shades can be seen covering the eyeballs of your boy Chris Hemsworth and many other noteworthy celebs. Buy these fellas for someone who ain’t afraid to be noticed.
Bohemian luxe fashion has taken over the world, fact. There are a couple of Aussie brands leading the charge and one such brand is our very own Mahiya Leather. Either online or instore you can nab yourself leather handbags and wallets as well as an array of floaty floral frocks and the like. Because you deserve pretty things now more than ever.
Cedar & Stone Botanical
Plant based skincare has become quite the thing amongst the growing number of people passionate about both the planet and the products they put into their bodies. The Cedar & Stone gals are firm believers in ditching the chemicals and their range of skincare, teas and mists both smell delightful and work wonders. Choose these if you care about healthy living.
Olas Supply Co.
Born from a love of travel and adventure, Olas Supply Co. offer mens, womens and kids shirts, tees and overalls in casual, comfortable and cool-as-a-cucumber styles. Established in the last couple of years, Olas quickly became a fave amongst locals in search of the good life. Grab some threads for when you’re stuck at home but still want to look fab.
Words by Kirra Smith.