Hidden gems to explore this weekend on the Gold Coast

Hidden gems to explore this weekend on the Gold Coast

There are a ton of hidden gems on the Gold Coast waiting for you to explore them this weekend.

Spending time at the the Gold Coast doesn’t always have to be about the prestige beaches and thrill-seeking theme parks. Whether you are a foodie at heart, love climbing to mountain tops, or are pining for a touch of culture and art, the Gold Coast really does have it all. Here are a few places that locals like to go, eat, and stay at the Gold Coast:


Things to do:

The Village Markets

Photo credits: The Village Markets

Perfect for a lazy Sunday morning, The Village Markets are a great place to wander around and see what local business have to offer. Soak in the laid-back atmosphere, while browsing through trendy homewares, fashion boutiques, and handcrafted furniture stalls. The market has loads more to offer than shopping; it’s also a top place to hang out and listen to live music, and grab something to eat from the gourmet food trucks.

Where: Burleigh Heads State School Oval
When:  8:30am-1:00pm, the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the Month


Moran Falls

Jump in the car and take a quick road trip to Morans Falls, in Lamington National Park. It is just an hour and half drive from the center of the Gold Coast, but when you get there, you will feel like you’re worlds away from the bustling city.

Venture through the lush tropical rainforest to the magical sound of rolling water and songbirds, and the first thing you will come across is the Morans Falls lookout, overlooking the cascading waterfall. If you keep following the track lined with mossy rocks, you will reach an opening at the top of the waterfall overlooking an incredible view of the Main Range Mountains. It’s only a 4.6km return walk to Morans Falls, making it an ideal trip for inexperienced hikers.

Where: Moran Creek rd, Fairyland (1km before O’Reilly’s car park)


Places To Eat


Marketta Street Food

Photo credit: Marketta Street Food

Marketta Street Food is a vibrant night market, hosting local food stalls that have a range of exciting international cuisines such as; Japanese, Mexican, and Greek. Not only a place to be adventurous and try out different foods, there is also live music, fashion and artists stalls.

The lively atmosphere, graffiti art, and designer drinks is a cultural overload, and will have you feeling as if you’ve wandered 1,709km to Melbourne. The night market has been so popular that it went from hosting one night a week to three.

Where: 23 Hillcrest Parade, Miami
When: 5:00pm – 9:00pm, Wednesday
5:00pm – 11:00pm, Fridays
4:00pm – 11:00pm, Saturdays


BMD Northcliff Surf Club

Photo credit: BMD Northcliff Surf Club

You can’t beat the classic fish and chips on the beach, but you can go a step further and guarantee yourself a sand free eating experience. BMD Northcliff Surf Club boasts spectacular beachfront views, as well as an award winning restaurant. You will find all the Aussie favorites on the menu, so grab yourself a chicken parmigiana, burger, or fresh seafood.

The Surf Club is not for profit, so all revenue goes towards education and equipment for volunteer lifesavers of the club, making it a great way to help out the local community.

Where: Cnr Garfield Terrace & Thornton Street, Surfers Paradise
When: Breakfast, 7.00am – 11.30am
Lunch, 12.00pm – 2.30pm
Dinner, 5.00pm – 9.00pm


Daark Espresso

Photo credits: Daark Espresso

Daark Espresso is an ideal breakfast spot for coffee lovers and brunch enthusiasts, with its specialty coffee, cold pressed juices, and Instagram worthy meals. On the menu you will find popular breakfast meals, such French Toast but with a wholly delicious twist; stuffed with cream cheese and apricot compote with a side of yogurt, fruit and toasted almonds. Or just pop in for a coffee to see why its a popular spot for locals, and regulars willing to travel the extra mile.

Where: 42 Musgrave Avenue, Labrador
When: Breakfast, 6:30 – 11:54
Lunch, 12:00 – 2:30


Places To Stay


QT Hotel

Photo credit: QT Hotel

If you’re looking for a special hotel among the trove of options that the Gold Coast has to offer, the QT is a standout. The 5 star luxury hotel takes accommodation to another level with its quirky decor that is super sleek and modern, yet colorful and funky.

This designer hotel is in a central location, just a 5 minute walk to the beach, and 10 minute walk to Pacific Fair Shopping Centre. The QT features, a fine dining restaurant, outdoor pool, spa, tennis court, and every room has a balcony with ocean views.

Where: 7 Staghorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Cost: Based on rates for a standard room, from $181-$514 a night
For more information visit: www.qthotelsandresorts.com  


Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat

Photo credit: Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat

When you think of a weekend at the Gold Coast, secluded and quite aren’t the first things that come to mind, although this award winning luxury hotel is the perfect getaway to unwind from the daily pressures of life. Gwingannas villas, suites, and heritage homes are nestled in the hinterlands on 200 hectors of bushland, with views of the rolling hills, cityscape, and the ocean. Guest can enjoy activities such as bush walking, yoga, and wellness seminars, as well the retreat facilities; swimming pools, gymnasium, spa, and relaxation areas.

As the retreat has a strong focus on healthy living there are a few rules that some may find uncomfortable. There are restrictions on electronic devices, cigarettes, alcohol, and even the humble caffeinated beverages, but it’s sure to have a positive impact on you mind, body, and soul. If it is good enough for regular guests such as Hugh Jackman (who is a part owner), it must work, right?

Where: 192 Syndicate Rd, Tallebudgera
Cost: 2 night packages start at $1,045
For more information on what packages include visit: www.gwinganna.com

Peta McEachern

About Peta McEachern

If Peta isn’t spending time with her dog (treating her as if she were a small child), she’s out hiking basking in solitude, hunting down delicious food, or sleeping… because everyone likes a happy camper.