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10 unique Gold Coast exercise classes to try

Shake up that boring old routine.

Retro Fit (image supplied)
Retro Fit (image supplied)

Feeling a little ho-hum over your usual sweat sesh rotation? Or maybe your rickety rig has been feeling less like a temple and more like a ‘fixer upper’ of late?

Whether you revel in any reason to get the ole’ bod moving, or the thought of exercise bores you to your very core – having some exciting new options to throw in your trusty repertoire can never be a bad thing. So without further ado, here are 10 unique exercise experiences on the GC to try your hand at. Because, y’know, variety is the spice of life, and all that.

Retro Fit
Sweatbands, sweaty bods and lairy leg warmers as far as the eye can see – no, you have not stepped back to a simpler time when Aerobics Oz Style dominated our pre-dawn tele viewing (#NostalgiaAlert). We are, in actual fact, referring to Retro Fit, an assortment of 80’s themed aerobics sessions where you get to strut your stuff to all your favourite bygone bangers… so basically, the most fun one can have while working out. Held at The Junction in Burleigh Heads, there’s different types of sessions going down several times a week, so there’s really no excuse not to get down and… get physical [gyrating intensifies].
Where: 14 Junction Rd, Burleigh Heads

Dancing and movement (image via UnSplash)
Dancing in the dark (image via UnSplash)

Lights Out and Dance
For the rhythmically challenged among us; if the chance get your groove on under the cover of pitch black darkness sounds a dream, get on down to Lights Out and Dance and ‘dance like nobody’s watching’ (literally). Get those endorphins flowing while you lose yourself to some sweet dance beats in what is basically the most unintimidating group setting you can get. The intuitive-style sessions are held in a dark room so you can work up a sweat shaking what your mama gave you without a care in the world; and have stacks of fun in the process. Post-workout glow, incoming!
Where: Broadbeach Cultural Centre, Hooker Blvd &, Sunshine Blvd, Broadbeach Waters and Runaway Bay Youth Centre, 379 Oxley Drive, Runaway Bay

Puppy Yoga by Karmably (image by Karmably)
Puppy Yoga by Karmably (image by Karmably)

Puppy Yoga
No, we haven’t gone barking mad – Puppy Yoga is very much a thing… and yes, it’s exactly as amazing as it sounds. Picture down-dogging ’til hearts content, whilst being overrun by a sea of cute puppies! Hosted by the mindful fun and animal snuggle purveyors at Karmably, there’s various, oxytocin-boosting pop up dates held at Flow St8 throughout the year. Plus, we get to feel extra good knowing we’re helping socialise the pint-sized participants while we get our sweat on! Yep… it’s paw-ficial the perfect workout really does exist.
Where: Flow St8, 10 Fifth Ave, Palm Beach

Unfit Run Club, gold Coast (image supplied)
Unfit Run Club, gold Coast (image supplied)

Run Clubs
If your typical cardio rotation consists only of running away from your problems and jumping to conclusions, the various iterations of social run clubs that call the GC home will make a runner out of you yet. If you’re looking for a supportive environment where you can slide on in at snails pace without so much as a second glance, Parkrun is a perennial fave. With community events held weekly from Coomera through to Kirra, participants are welcome to walk, jog, run, or simply spectate. Or for a little extra incentive; we’d recommend checking out clubs that strategically plan their routes around our fine assortment of local watering holes, such as Unfit Run Club and Good Good Running.
Where: Assorted clubs/locations across the Gold Coast

Aerial Yoga, Hapy Studio (image supplied)
Aerial Yoga, Hapy Studio (image supplied)

Aerial yoga
If you’ve seen one tree pose, you’ve seen them all, right? Well, not necessarily… If you’re looking to shake up your usual stretch-and-breath sesh, Aerial yoga is where its at! Experience yoga from a whole new perspective, with an invigorating workout that involves performing poses gracefully suspended from a mix of hammock, silk and ring style contraptions. And the best part? You don’t even need to be a card-carrying yogi to get in on the fun! A variety of beginners classes mean people of all ages and abilities can learn the moves ‘on the fly’. Go on, why not give it a whirl!?
Where: Hapy Studio, 9/5 Traders Way, Currumbin

Therapy Fitness, Miami (image supplied)
Therapy Fitness, Miami (image supplied)

Therapy Fitness
When it comes to changing up the same ol’ workout grind, spin is hardly a revolutionary (geddit, heh) concept – but hear us out, because what we’re proposing is anything but your typical cycle class. At Therapy, Mermaid’s multi sensory fitness studio, the immersive ‘therapy’ sessions are all about boosting mental as well as physical wellbeing… and who doesn’t love a to-do list two-fer?! Combining music and movement, each of the fully integrated studio spaces have been optimised to get both the mind and the bod feeling fab. You’ll be glowing from the inside out in no time.
Where: Cnr Markeri St &, Southport Burleigh Rd Q Super Centre, Shop D2/D3, Mermaid Waters

Pound Fitness (image supplied)
Pound Fitness (image supplied)

Pound Fitness
Alright so remove any expectations you might have about what this entails and get excited for an extra fun time… because this workout ROCKS. Get ready to bliss out with ‘ya sticks out – fluro green drumsticks – that is, with the exhilarating full-body cardio jam session known simply as Pound. A rockstar-worthy workout that combines sweet beats with pilates inspired strength training and the sweat-dripping fun of drumming. What a time. Now this is the kind of exercise we could really ‘drum up’ some enthusiasm for! *ba dum tiss*.
Where: Various locations across the GC

Pole Dancing (image supplied)
Pole Dancing (image from unsplash)

Pole dancing
Does the thought of yet another yoga or pilates sesh low-key have you yawning? Why not step it up a notch and have a pole lot of fun challenging and contorting your core in ways you never even knew possible! Even if you’re not typically the flexy type; the pros behind some of our local studios promise there’s no previous experience or even coordination pre-requisites to give it a go! So really, we’ve got nothing to lose, and a whole lot of flexibility, and strength to gain. Sounds pretty badass to us.
Where: GCPOLEFIT, 87 Griffith St, Coolangatta and Rokh Fit Studio, Unit 2/19 Township Dr, Burleigh Heads

Cold Nips, gold Coast (image supplied)
Cold Nips, gold Coast (image supplied)

Cold Nips
What the heck is Cold Nips you ask? Well, basically, it’s a club dedicated to the art of starting your day with a nippy sunrise dip, that’s what. Promoting wellbeing and positive mental health, the national wellness initiative is all about finding joy and discomfort while connecting with like-minded peeps in nature, and how can you argue with a mood-boosting ritual like that? And to ensure they’re always keeping things fresh, each week’s mystery beach location is only revealed the Sunday night before.
Where: Locations vary weekly, check socials for deets.

NBHD HOT, Mermaid Beach (image supplied)
NBHD HOT, Mermaid Beach (image supplied)

If you’re in the mood to be challenged by more of a slow burn style workout – never fear GC, we gotchu… or at least, the Coast’s first infrared hot room does. Do not let the low impact movements and stretch-based routines deceive you – with German made infrared heating panels designed to heat your body from the inside out, a NBHD (or neighbourhood training) sesh will have you sculpting, strengthening and sweating like never before.
Where: 2582 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

Words by Kellie Leader.

10 of the best Gold Coast picnic spots

Picnic at Burleigh, The Undercurrent (image supplied)
Picnic at Burleigh, The Undercurrent (image supplied)

On the Gold Coast we are blessed with pretty spectacular weather year-round, which means picnics are high on the agenda. Thankfully we have no shortage of pretty spots to throw down a blanket for a spot of cheese and biccies with friends.

Here’s a list of 10 of our favourites.

Hinze Dam, Advancetown
This underrated hinterland destination will be your new favourite picnic spot. There are several parks that surround Hinze Dam, so take in the stunning scenery, sip on a cold glass of bubbly and generally enjoy the company of family and friends. There’s a BBQ area, kids playground and even a small cafe in case you need fresh supplies. Make sure if you’re taking the pooch to one of the designated areas, they’re kept on a leash to preserve the wildlife.

Hinze Dam (image via City of Gold Coast)
Hinze Dam (image via City of Gold Coast)

Cedar Creek Falls, Mt Tamborine
Mt Tamborine is a picnicker’s paradise and has more picnic areas than a year has days, Cedar Creek Falls being by far one of the best. Driving up the winding roads and taking in the scenic beauty is almost enough entertainment, but that’s not all. Cedar Creek Falls are located just metres from three waterfalls and countless walking tracks, making it the perfect place to spend your next Sunday.

Cedar Creek Falls (image supplied)
Cedar Creek Falls (image supplied)

Macintosh Island, Surfers Paradise
This little oasis nestled in Surfers Paradise (most commonly used for getting around the GC500 every year) is great for picnic dates of all sorts. The tranquil setting with cascading water running through the park is home to many birds (including peacocks), so don’t forget your stale bread. There’s also that super fun bridge previously built for the Indy in 2007.

Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens, Benowa
Hard to believe that this beautiful little piece of paradise is just a mere 10 minute drive from Surfers Paradise. Take the whole family or soak up some solo serenity, it’s the perfect setting for both and anything in between. There’s even a butterfly garden for your gazing pleasure.

Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens, Benowa (image supplied)
Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens, Benowa (image supplied)

Cascade Gardens, Broadbeach
Cascade Gardens can be found between Surfers and Broadbeach and there are plenty of barbecue and undercover picnic shelters. This peaceful riverside sanctuary is the perfect date spot and with a huge area to run around, it’s also popular for families wanting to keep the kids entertained for hours (hopefully not on a date).

Burleigh Hill, Burleigh
In unsurprising news, Burleigh Hill is probably the most popular picnic spot on the Coast. You can’t beat the Insta-worthy views overlooking the Surfers Paradise skyline. If you want to get a good spot on a Sunday get there early `cause the whole Gold Coast likes to unite here to see and be seen.

Picnic on Burleigh Hill (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)
Picnic on Burleigh Hill (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)

Ed Hardy Park, Miami
Next to North Burleigh Surf Club the park offers great people watching and a few BBQ areas perfect for that Sunday arvo picnic with the gang. Walk up Miami Hill and take in the views or have a sneaky swim in the ocean. There’s a takeaway bottle shop across the road if you need to stock up on sips.

Tallebudgera Creek, Tallebudgera
The battle between which side to choose continues. But no matter which is your go-to, Talle Creek won’t disappoint as favourite picnic spot. The calm creek waters are perfect for a little splash before devouring your mobile buffet. Beware the hungry bush turkeys!

Tallebudgera Creek (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)
Tallebudgera Creek (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)

Long Tan Park, Currumbin Valley
Not many people know about this pretty but somewhat hidden picnic spot in Currumbin Valley. It’s the perfect spot to get away, relax by the creek and pop in for a dip. There are no toilets or BBQ stations and uninhibited nature is purely the theme here, so go prepared. Drive along Currumbin Creek Road and take a right turn at Bains Road, the park is situated just over the bridge.

Kirra Lookout, Coolangatta
Kirra Lookout is the Burleigh Hill of Coolangatta, just not as busy and with more parking opportunities (we like the sound of that). You can either drive or walk up, but be warned, it’s quite steep, you’ll burn off your picnic before you make it to the top. Enjoy the view whilst nibbling on some crackers and sipping on an icy cold one, it’s pretty special!

Picnic (image via Unsplash)
Picnic (image via Unsplash)

5 Gold Coast hikes to get your blood pumping

Natural Bridge

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

Natural Bridge
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

Springbrook National Park (image by Sebastian Hans, unsplash)
Springbrook National Park (image by Sebastian Hans, unsplash)

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

South Stradbroke Island

Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk

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