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Woodchoppers Inn

Nestled in the serene, across-the-highway township of Mudgeeraba is Woodchoppers Inn, a pub-style restaurant now serving a menu packed with smoked BBQ-style meats in distinctly Australian flavours.

Having spent months perfecting the art of smoking a variety of meats owners Sam and Steve were ready to bring an entirely new menu to their customers.

Slow cooked 12-hour lamb, melt in your mouth beef brisket, pork ribs with homemade lemon myrtle BBQ sauce and smoked sausage with a crispy skin are just a few of the meaty treats you have to try at Woodchoppers Inn.

The new menu is perfectly suited to the old Queenslander building which is filled with old school bar memorabilia and screams classic Aussie charm.

Now serving a variety of local craft beer, purposely selected to compliment particular flavours within the meats, Woodchoppers Inn has adapted to Gold Coast foodies demands making the (actually very short) trip across the highway even more worthwhile.

Woodchoppers Inn has been in Steve’s family for over 15 years and if you manage to draw the ex-Accountant into a conversation about his meat smoker, expect to be inspired by his knowledge and passion.

If you’re after an authentic, country-style experience and a relaxed, charming atmosphere, look no further than Woodchoppers Inn, which from now on will be known as Mudgeeraba’s not-so-hidden secret.

HOURS: Monday to Saturday from 12pm to 10pm and Sunday from 12pm to 9pm.

LOCATION: 64 Railway Street, Mudgeeraba.

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

Five ways to escape the Gold Coast this weekend

Springbrook National Park Hiking Trail close up of waterfall (image supplied)
Springbrook National Park Hiking Trail close up of waterfall (image supplied)

It’s been a long few months and although of course we are lucky to live in paradise, the escapism feels are real at this point in time.

Excitingly, we’re allowed to venture out of this city of ours from now on and even more excitingly, we don’t actually have to venture very far to experience something completely different from the norm.

And here are five ways to do exactly that.

Cruise around Springbrook National Park
Take a drive through Springbrook National Park for an ample fill of dreamy views, winding roads and fresh country air. If you head toward Purlingbrook Falls, at the top of Mt Cougal National Park, you’ll find Dancing Waters Café, the cutest little cottage overlooking the rainforest where you can enjoy a wholesome, healthy lunch or some cake and a steaming cup of coffee. The Purlingbrook Falls lookout is right next door for your token road trip snaps and if (read: when) you fall in love with the place stay overnight in the cosy cottage accommodation (there’s a claw foot bathtub for ultimate chill time).
Where: Dancing Waters Café, 33 Forestry Road, Springbrook

Soak up the serenity at Spiral Beach
Just past Duranbah Beach, Spiral is somewhat of a locals’ secret making it the perfect spot to enjoy some solitude. No matter the season, there is usually some sun to be had so pack up your umbrella, a good book and your best do-nothing vibes and prepare for sweet serenity. Spiral Beach is also the perfect place for snorkeling around these parts due to the abundance of colourful coral and magical marine life. Get in quick before the water gets too chilly.
Where: Around the Corner from D’bah Beach, near Coolangatta (see, secretive)

Mount a steed at Gold Coast Equestrian Centre
There’s something so peaceful about sitting atop a horse with the wind in your hair and a world of adventure at your fingertips. The Gold Coast Equestrian Centre is the perfect place to experience exactly that whether you’re a beginner or simply in need of an activity where all you have to do is sit back and be carted around. Located in Guanaba, just 15 minutes from Helensvale Shopping Centre, the property is 50 acres of beautiful bushland and offers trail rides along the river and an Olympic-sized dressage area for those who know what they’re doing.
Where: 212 Stewart Road, Guanaba

Have a beer at The Wallaby Hotel
The Wallaby Hotel in Mudgeeraba, is one of Queensland’s oldest and most rustic hotels. Heritage listed, it opened in 1884 and was a watering hole for both horses and patrons and became the centerpiece for the Mudgeeraba township. Today, it’s the perfect place to escape the city for an afternoon coldie, a spot of live music and delicious pub-style eats. Bonus; if you find you’re having too good a time to come home, you can always stay the night.
Where: 45 Railway Street, Mudgeeraba

Hike the Witches Chase Track at Mt Tamborine
For those with energy to spare after a long working week, the Witches Chase track is for you. It’s a moderately difficult track that’s about a two hour round trip. The track descends through rainforest to Witches Falls and continues along the cliff to Witches Chase, passing big, beautiful red cedar trees and through the eucalypt forest and of course, there’s plenty of wildlife to keep an eye out for. You’ll be famished once you’ve made it back so pack a picnic or some BBQ supplies and put your feet up and relax for awhile before you head home.
Where: The Witches Chase Track starts from the picnic area on Main Western Road, Mt Tamborine

Words by Kirra Smith

Witches Chase by Aussie Bushwalking

Shop at the best Friday, Saturday & Sunday Gold Coast markets

The Village Markets (image supplied)
The Village Markets (image supplied)

Ah markets, how we love thee. Whether it’s something to eat, something a little left of centre, something handy (like a carry-cooler-bag which fits 2 bottles of wine), something crafty, something to wear or something for the abode, you’ll find it. There’s something (or many somethings…) for everyone and best of all, you’re supporting local – and isn’t that what it’s all about!

Here is a who’s who list of our fabulous local weekday and Saturday and Sunday markets here on our beloved Gold Coast.

The Village Markets
An award-winning platform for small creative businesses, The Village Markets host curated markets encouraging collaboration, creativity and good vibes. With clothing from the coolest designers, jewellery and accessories, homewares, rack sales and amazing food, these markets are run like a well-oiled machine. In their 14th year (we still remember the very first…and this makes us feel old), our advice is you’ll blow your dosh every time, so maybe don’t tell hubby where you’re going. Or hide the receipts…
Where: Burleigh Heads Primary School, Burleigh Heads
When: 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month, 8am to 1pm

Farmers Markets around the lake at HOTA, Home of the Arts (image supplied)
Farmers Markets around the lake at HOTA, Home of the Arts (image supplied)

HOTA Farmers & Artisan Markets
The HOTA Markets have quickly become one of the Gold Coast’s numbero uno community markets. They’re passionate about local farmers, makers, bakers and growers, with in-season farm-fresh produce, delicious artisan foods, boutique fashion, handcrafted wears and live music. Nestled against the backdrop of Evendale Lake and the stunning HOTA landscape, the kids can take a dip while you sit back and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere. Bliss!
Where: HOTA, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
When: Every Sunday 6am to 11.30am

Farmers’ Markets
There’s options aplenty when it comes to famers’ markets around the Coast to source your fruit, veggies, locally made goods, plants and of course, brekky and caffeine. Supporting local farmers with both organic and conventional produce, you’ll get the feel-good factor as well as the taste-good factor! A ritual for many locals on weekends, it sure beats hitting the mainstream grocery retailers. Plus, the best thing is, you’re spoilt for choice with a number of different locations to hit up.
Where & When: Helensvale State High School – every Saturday from 6am to 11am at 243 Discovery Drive, Helensvale; Marina Mirage Farmers’ Markets – every Saturday from 6.30am to 12pm at Marina Mirage, 74 Seaworld Dr, Main Beach; Palm Beach Currumbin High School – every Saturday morning from 6am – 11.30am at PBC, Thrower Drive, Palm Beach; Burleigh Farmers Markets – every Saturday morning from 7am to 12 noon at Burleigh Heads State School, Cnr West Burleigh Rd &, Lower Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads.

Carrara Markets (image supplied)
Carrara Markets (image supplied)

Carrara Markets
Still the biggest market in Oz, Carrara Markets house over 300 stalls. Discount shopping at its best, there is literally nothing you can’t find from fresh produce, fashion, homewares, pots, plants, bric a brac, cars, souvenirs, arts and crafts and everything in between. Perfect for the family, there’s buskers, pony rides, a baby animal farm, bungy trampolines, mini golf, face painters, and even a new walk-in Butterfly House.
Where: Gooding Drive, Carrara
When: Every Saturday and Sunday, 7am to 3pm

Emerald Lakes Gourmet Food and Craft Markets
Feeling a bit fancy? Described as a complete alfresco gourmet shopping experience with an international ambience, head to Emerald Lakes for some of our region’s best street food and fresh produce. There’s Australian seafood, grain fed and hormone free meats, free range eggs and homebaked goodies, plus stock up on gorgeous candles, melts and a myriad of unique crafts, all handmade with love. Aww.
Where: Emerald Lakes Complex, The Boulevard, Carrara
When: Every Thursday, 3pm to 7pm

Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets (image supplied)
Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets (image supplied)

Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets
No prizes for guessing where these markets are located. Mere footsteps from the sand, they’ve been an iconic Gold Coast shopping and cultural experience since the mid-90s. Featuring artisan and traditional Aussie goods, fresh produce, gourmet provisions, handmade wares and more, they showcase our best growers, makers, characters and creators. When you’re done, Surfers’ melting pot of restaurants and bars are a hop, skip and a jump over the road.
Where: The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise
When: Every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights, 4pm to 9pm

Gold Coast Art & Craft Sunday Markets
Lining the beachfront at four beautiful GC locations (Broadbeach, Coolangatta, Burleigh Heads and now Paradise Point), these markets have been a local fave for over three decades. Whether you’re shopping for gifts, souvenirs, art, craft, the ingenious or the weird and the wonderful, it’s here. A-buzz with atmosphere, there are over 150 stalls showcasing original Australian-made products, fresh produce, yummy food and live entertainment.
Where & When: Kurrawa Park – The first and third Sunday of every month from 8am to 2pm at 155 Old Burleigh Road, Broadbeach; Queen Elizabeth Park – The second and fourth Sunday of every month from 8am to 2pm at 60 Marine Parade, Coolangatta; Justin Park – The last Sunday of every month from 8am to 2pm at Burleigh Heads; Esplanade North Park – The fourth Sunday of every month from 8am to 2pm at Paradise Point.

Gold Coast Arts & Craft Sunday Market (image supplied)
Gold Coast Arts & Craft Sunday Market (image supplied)

The Sanctuary Markets
On The Village Green at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, you’ll find these popular markets. A nod to the GC’s multi-culturalism with local and international foods plus cool arts and crafts, you’ll also be wowed by our best homegrown entertainers. The venue is fully licensed (translation: let’s wine), featuring craft beers exclusively from Burleigh Brewing Co, and vinos courtesy of Sirromet Wines.
Where: On The Village Green, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, 28 Tomewin Street, Currumbin
When: Every Friday, 4pm-9pm

The Organic Gold Coast Farmers Market 
Every Sunday morning you can get your fill of organic, spray-free fruit, veggies, ready-made eats (we’re all about easy eats), organic cosmetics, organic clothing…basically, if it’s organic and it exists, it’s here! It’s the perfect place to spend a sunny Sunday morning and load up your basket with treats that will not only make you feel good, but help the planet too!
Where: Merrimac State High School, 3 Dunlop Ct, Mermaid Waters
When: Every Sunday, 6am to 11.30am

Hide & Seek Children's Market (image supplied)
Hide & Seek Children's Market (image supplied)

Hide & Seek Children’s Market
Housing unique creations that are skilfully hand-crafted or designed by artistic and independent locals, these markets celebrate our mini-me’s with clothing, accessories, toys, décor, furnishings and more. Bop along to all-day live music, grab some bites from local food trucks, and wear the kids out with a range of activities. If you love on-trend goodies, rare finds and spoiling your little loves, you won’t be disappointed.
Where & When: Elanora State High School – The Fourth Saturday of every month from 9am to 1pm – at 261 Nineteenth Avenue, Elanora; Robina High School – Third or fourth Sunday of every month (check website) from 8am to 1pm at 1 Investigator Dr, Robina.

Miami Marketta
There’s only one thing better than a market and that’s a vibin’ night market. A laneway dining experience with food vendors of all nationalities in the one space, take your entree from Spain, your main from Thailand and sweets from France. How multi-cultural of you! With farshon (fashion – but we just like saying FARSHON) and accessories from local designers, these markets have cool factor for days.
Where: 23 Hillcrest Parade, Miami
When: Wednesday, Friday & Saturday, 5pm -10pm

Words by Bianca Trathen

Guests enjoying the communal seating area at Miami Marketta (image courtesy of Destination Gold Coast)
Guests enjoying the communal seating area at Miami Marketta (image courtesy of Destination Gold Coast)

The Verandah Bar

Whiskey, known as the Gentlemen’s Drink, has flown under the radar somewhat when it comes to beverages of choice, particularly amongst Gold Coasters. All that is about to change though, thanks to InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort’s The Verandah Bar.

Having recently been extended to overlook the hotel’s beautifully manicured gardens and luxurious lagoon, The Verandah Bar is elegant, understated and the perfect place to enjoy a Gentlemen’s Drink or two.

The bar itself is made with dark timber and complimented by grey hued, comfort-first lounge chairs and scattered greenery giving it a sophisticated but laidback feel. For those chilly winter nights, a fireplace crackles invitingly in the corner.

Home to over 50 varieties of whiskey, The Verandah Bar’s collection covers the worlds most coveted regions from Scotland to Ireland, America to Japan, and of course, the land down under.

Housing a cellar of rare Japanese whiskey, The Verandah Bar boasts two of Japan’s most renowned drops, the Yamazaki 18 year old and the Hakushu 18 year old along with Sullivans Cove whiskey, hailing from Tasmania and a 1989 Old Putney Vintage from Scotland.

If you’ve never tasted whiskey, this is the place to do it. Smooth and filled with unique flavours, each one is more intriguing than the last.

Of course, once you’re done with all the whiskey, there’s an extensive and impressive cocktail menu to move onto.

The Verandah Bar also offers plates and a full lunch and dinner menu to indulge in if you find yourself unable to drag yourself away from the view.

HOURS: Open 7 days from 12pm

LOCATION: InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort, Manor Circle, Sanctuary Cove

Words by Kirra Smith

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