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BIG things are happening in Southport

Monster Hot Wheels at Monster Machinery Day (image supplied)
Monster Hot Wheels at Monster Machinery Day (image supplied)

City of Gold Coast is pulling out all the free entertainment stops, and we’re Here.For.It! With two epic activations you need to put in your calendar stat, this confirms what we already knew – that we live in THE best place in Australia. But let’s not be coy because when we say Australia, we really mean the whole wide world.

CBD Sundown: Twilight Markets
No we’re not referring to really good looking vampires, we mean actual twilight – as in the soft, glowing light right before sunset. Just add a CBD location (Southport) and markets, complete with unique finds, delicious vegan eats and live entertainment, and it’s a winner winner (vegan) chicken dinner.

CBD Sundown: Twilight Markets (image supplied)
CBD Sundown: Twilight Markets (image supplied)

May’s CBD Sundown: Twilight Markets are penned for Friday 27th and this is your opportunity for a nosh up with the freshest and best vegan chook, beef and bacon courtesy of Queensland Vegan Markets. The perfect event for those wanting to give cruelty-free food a crack and learn the A to Z of veganism, whilst snapping up a bargain at a suitcase rummage. If you’ve not experienced this phenomenon, vendors bring a suitcase (or two) stuffed to the brim with treats and treasures. Selling all the things from vibrant vintage, artwork, bric-a-brac, clothing, books and jewellery to hand-made goods, shoes, records, cards and more, you may need a suitcase of your own to cart all your finds back to the car/the G. Think of it as a line-up of suitcase-sized op shops, and get ready to pop some serious tags #ImmaTakeYourGrandpasStyle. You can even bring your pooch!

So go and immerse yourself in the surprise and delight of creative pop-ups, live art, musicians, performers and local food and bars showcasing their talents. And we just gotta say, we love that culture is the GC’s new middle name! Find out more about the event here.
Where: 3 – 36 Nerang Street, Southport
When: 5pm to 9pm Friday 27th May (and last Friday of each month)

Pippas Pantry at CBD Sundown: Twilight Markets (image supplied)
Pippas Pantry at CBD Sundown: Twilight Markets (image supplied)

City of Gold Coast’s Monster Machinery Day
Calling all families on the hunt for something wheely great to entertain the ankle biters. Not only will the littlies have truckloads of fun, they’ll also be really tyre-d afterwards and isn’t that always the end goal? City of Gold Coast’s free Monster Machinery Day is back on Sunday 29th May at Broadwater Parklands and as a motor of fact, the big kids will love it just as much!

Now in its 18th year and supported by 102.9 Hot Tomato, this family friendly affair continues to be one of the Coast’s most popular annual events. In addition to giving the mini-me’s a truly memorable experience getting up close and personal with everything that digs, scoops, cleans and beeps, it also allows locals to see the fleet of machinery transforming and maintaining our city.

Little Fireman at Monster Machinery Day (image supplied)
Little Fireman at Monster Machinery Day (image supplied)

Inviting all attendees, big and small, to imagine themselves as a landscaper, lifeguard (sans Baywatch style slow-mo rescue run), beach cleaner, construction worker or dune protector, it’s tow-riffic fun. There are over 40 city vehicles on display, including excavators, tip trucks, road sweepers, beach tractors and even a flood boat, and literally every kid just spontaneously combusted with excitement.

There’s also a lot of free activities on offer, like live machinery demonstrations, a Hot Wheels display, a sustainability workshop, and the eternal kid crowd pleaser; a giant sand pit. Your all-time fave trucks – food trucks – will be there cooking up a storm to give you and your little diggers energy all day long. So gear up folks because it’s set to be one helluva ride!

Where: Broadwater Parklands Southern Lawn, Marine Parade, Southport
When: 9am to 3pm Sunday 29th May

Words by Bianca Trathen


Monster Machinery Day (image supplied)
Monster Machinery Day (image supplied)

As the sun sets, the good times start

CBD Sundown (image supplied)
CBD Sundown (image supplied)

Somebody once said that everything is more fun when the sun sets. Okay nobody officially said those exact words but whatever, it’s totally true and we love coining new phrases. We also love helping our beautiful city show off its assets and step it up a notch in the arts, culture and entertainment space because when these three things are mulled together, it’s a recipe for something truly spesh. We’re clearly vibing with City of Gold Coast on this as these prolific forward-thinkers have launched the experience-rich CDB Sundown activation series. If you haven’t heard, it’s a new event concept showcasing our CBD (Southport) live music venues and forgotten spaces where folk from near and far can immerse themselves in creative pop-ups, live art, musicians, performers and local food and bars. Held on the last Friday of the month (weather permitting of course), this is a game-changing initiative and in case you hadn’t picked it, we’re in fist-pump mode.

Here’s a little snapshot of what you can expect over the coming few weeks… 

CBD Sundown: Laneway Cabaret (image supplied)
CBD Sundown: Laneway Cabaret (image supplied)

CBD Sundown: Laneway Cabaret
Okay so it’s had a couple of false starts (cheers weather gods – nawt), but third time’s a charm and next Friday night 29th April, Laneway Cabaret is coming in hawt. Speaking of, who doesn’t get a little bit heated at the mere mention of a cabaret coz even the family friendly variety (like this one) offer all kinds of awe-inspiring awesomeness. With aerialists, acrobatics, juggling, roving performers and local DJ’s, what’s not to love and yes, this is a rhetorical question.

With three different cabaret show times to choose from at 6:20pm, 7:20pm and 8:20pm, heck why not go to all of them because once again, third times a charm!

For more info, search CBD Sundown: Laneway Cabaret on Facebook.

CBD Sundown: Laneway Cabaret (image supplied)
CBD Sundown: Laneway Cabaret (image supplied)

CBD Sundown: Twilight Markets
Twilight. Markets. Name a better duo. We’ll wait.

CBD Sundown’s Twilight Markets scheduled for Friday 27th May will be extra, well, extra, because Queensland Vegan Markets will be on deck bringing in a drool-worthy variety of vegan chow and cruelty-free shopping. Also making a very welcome appearance will be @ishouldcocoicecream, serving up Soft Serve Ice Cream in a cone with Biscoff Spread and Biscoff Sauce (worth every last calorie). #sorrynotsorry

@grassfedplantbased will also be on standby with Loaded Curly Fries with a mix of vEEF (vegetarian beef for those playing along), chick’en, vegetarian bacon and vegan cheese topped with aioli, sriracha aioli and BBQ sauce and again we repeat, worth the calories. Wash it all down with a refreshing iced tea from @icedteaco, and grab a cupcake or 10 from @pippas.pantry for the road.

Pippas Pantry at CBD Sundown: Twilight Markets (image supplied)
Pippas Pantry at CBD Sundown: Twilight Markets (image supplied)

There’ll also be live music, entertainment, and op-shoppers listen up because there’s a cracker of a suitcase rummage for you to hunt for clothing, books, bric-a-brac, artwork…the list goes on. If you’ve recently done some spring cleaning and would like to sell your own wares, book your space at suitcaserummage.com.au/queensland

Plus, the best part potentially… doggos are welcome! So, BYO pooch!

There is also a CBD Sundown event planned for Friday 24th June; so watch this space because we’ll fill you in on all the need-to-know deets when they arise!

Entry to CBD Sundown events is completely free so you’ll have moolah come 9pm to explore the CBD’s fave watering holes and eats joints, like Mr PP’s Deli & Rooftop Bar, Vinnie’s Dive Bar, Last Night on Earth, Hello K-Pop Karaoke, Cecil Hotel, CBD Live and Pacific Hotel. Cheers to that! Also, getting there is a cinch as you can catch the G:Link every 15 minutes to Southport Station.

CBD Sundown: Twilight Markets (image supplied)
CBD Sundown: Twilight Markets (image supplied)

So what are you waiting for? Call in your clan and block off Friday nights because us GC folk love a good homegrown event, and the CBD Sundown activations are what our multi-faceted city is all about.

CBD Sundown: Laneway Cabaret | Where: 15 Regent Lane, Southport
When: 6pm to 9pm, Friday 29th April

CBD Sundown: Twilight Markets | Where: 3 – 36 Nerang Street, Southport
When: 5pm – 9pm Friday 27th May

Words by Bianca Trathen.


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.

14 reasons locals love Southport

Mr PP's Deli & Rooftop Bar (Image: © 2017 Inside Gold Coast)
Mr PP's Deli & Rooftop Bar (Image: © 2017 Inside Gold Coast)

It may be home to the Gold Coast’s bustling business district but Southport can also boast a huge array of incredible eateries, culture and general good times.

We’ve rounded up 15 things locals love about the place and we reckon you might enjoy them too.

In no particular order, enjoy.

Southport Sharks
There is many a good time to be had at Southport Sharks including dining at one of the delicious dish-packed restaurants, drinking at Aviary Rooftop Bar overlooking the city, joining in on one of their classes at the Health + Fitness Centre or getting involved in one of their many good time events. The possibilities are endless. It’s the perfect spot for a family event or take the crew for a Sunday afternoon session. Happy days no matter what.
Where: Olsen Avenue and Musgrave Avenue, Southport

Southport Yacht Club
Waterfront dining is the name of the game at Southport Yacht Club with two venues to choose from and stunning scenes from whichever you choose. You’re also welcome to just sit back and kick up your heels with a cold beverage or two while gazing lovingly at one of the many beautiful yachts in the marina. It’s one of the Coast’s best locations and you’re guaranteed to have a good time.
Where: 1 MacArthur Parade, Main Beach

Zero Latency
Zero Latency is a free-roam, virtual reality experience like no other. With up to eight players per game, you’ll have the BEST time fighting zombies, exploring mystical places and challenging your friends on space stations. All you need to do is put on the VR headset, strap into the backpack and pickup the controller. Get 10% off here. It really is so good.
Where: 34 Smith Street, Southport

Panezski Distillery
The Coast’s first vodka distillery opened in Southport a few short months ago and what a treat. The family-owned business are whipping up three types of vodka, two types of gin and even a couple of beers on the premises and you can pop in to grab a bottle to go, or you can sit down and enjoy a cocktail and a charcuterie board and spend a bit of time. Very cool. 
Where: Unit 7/55 Bailey Crescent, Southport

Vinnies Dive
Who doesn’t love a good dive bar. Particularly one that doubles as a live music venue and has a huge range of your favourite beers on offer (and some you may not have heard of). Head in there to discover some new music from both local and interstate bands and if you’re in the mood for a party, which we know you are, you can hire the space out for your next one.
Where: 44A Nerang Street, Southport 

Boudoir Lounge interior (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Mr PP’s Deli & Rooftop Bar 
On the ground floor of the building you’ll find the deli section of the establishment, with an array of delicious meats and cheeses that will be brought together in platter form for your feasting pleasure. Upstairs, the rooftop bar boasts tasty cocktails, even more delicious eats and views across the city. It’s a real good time.
Where: 43 Nerang Street, Southport

Randy Wallhole
To put it bluntly, you haven’t lived until you’ve tasted a Randy Wallhole bagel. There are eight flavours to choose from which means you have multiple per day if you so choose. Go for the Pulled Bas first up, it’s got Smokey BBQ pulled beef, peri mayo and apple slaw. Wash it down with some of the best coffee on the Coast and be on your merry way.
Where: 4/21 Nind Street, Southport 

Boudoir Lounge
A newbie amongst the Southport bunch, Boudoir Lounge is the very best spot for a tasty brunch with the girls or simply a few cocktails after work. Found on Como Crescent, it quickly became the go to spot for those looking for some delicious eats, in a sweet setting and with unique sips of course. Inside there’s also a hair and beauty bar so you can get fabulous before you head out on the town. Perfect.
Where: 410/1 Como Crescent, Southport

Broadwater Parklands
Whether you’re four or 40, theres tons of fun to be had at Broadwater Parklands. For starters, you can sit and stare out at the yachts you’ll never set foot on. Then, there’s the bouncy pillow (maybe don’t go on there without a child), a kiddies train, a water playground and weekly events from theatre shows to foodie markets. See, fun.
Where: Marine Parade, Southport

D Point Ten
Oh donuts, how we love you. D Point Ten can be found on Stevens Street and, in keeping with the general donut vibe, is a little hole in the wall space pumping out the freshest of donuts we may have ever excitedly shoved into our greedy mouths. In all the best flavours no less. Go the Ferrero Rocher for sure.
Where: 6/1 Stevens Street, Southport

Cardamon Pod
The delightful folk at Cardamon Pod are serving up delightful dishes with a focus on clean eating but of the prettiest variety. They offer vegan and gluten free options for breakfast and lunch with a side of organic coffee and vegan desserts. All very delicious and it’s very hard to stop at just one thing or not to post on your Instagram.
Where: Brickworks Centre, 3/3 Brolga Avenue, Southport

Panezski Artisan Distillery (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Gold Coast Aquatic Centre
Southport’s centre of swimming is something for all of us to be proud of. It’s as pretty as a collection of swimming pools can be and, as it was home to all the Commonwealth Games water activities, it’s world class. The architecture is sleek and there’s a training room featuring pits filled with foam for the divers to practice in.
Where: Marine Parade, Southport 

Escape Hunt
Imagine being wrongly accused of murder, chained to a wall and having to rely on your friends’ detective skills to free you. Who you gonna call? Welcome to Escape Hunt, Southport’s brain bending game guaranteed to test your problem solving skills like they’ve never been tested before. There’s a few scenarios you might be faced with, all of which involve solving a mystery with a set of intricate clues. It’s the most fun you can have inside a locked room. Make sure to take your smart friends. Grab 10% off here.
Where: 2/162 Scarborough Street, Southport

Brickworks Centre
Where to start. There are SO many excellent places to peruse at the Brickworks starting with Ferry Rd Market where you can nab yourself everything from beautiful flowers to the freshest breads, seafood and fruit and veggies galore. God it’s good. Within the Centre, there’s also stunning homewares, fashion and design stores and health and beauty services. Oh, there’s also always some really cool events.
Where: Ferry Road, Southport 

Words by Kirra Smith

Southport Aquatic Centre (Image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)
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