For better or worse, if you graduated from high school in Australia chances are very high that you have been to the Gold Coast at least once in your life. OrJust a small heads up in case you didn’t already realise but you totes did it wrong. This is why you need to go back to the iconic beachside area now you’re all mature and things.

1. The Food

I don’t know about you, but it wasn’t until the last few years that I realised good food is WORTH budgeting into your travel allowance. Maybe that’s because I’m vegetarian and I had to wait for the blessed hipsters to become a thing and give me delish options/any options that weren’t salad or something stuffed with cheese and spinach. But it was also because my job as a waitress really just covered more of a Maccas diet.

But as most of you probably worked out before, that’s a huge waste of your tastebuds. Especially in a place like the Gold Coast that’ll serve you up just about any cuisine your heart desires in every setting from fine dining like – Nero Dining – to casual snacking – like Paddock Bakery with their Nutella doughnut sandwich.

You can find a longer list of can’t miss restaurants here.

2. The Beaches

I know, I know, you’ve seen the beaches. The main ones anyway. But we both know you weren’t paying any attention, either because you were too young, or because you partied too hard. Go back guys, you missed out then.

There are water sports galore, including surf lessons. There are hidden gems for those willing to find them. There are beaches that are super close to a delish cocktail once you’re done.

3. The Markets

Who doesn’t love some locally sourced art and/or food? Gold Coast reps a whole bunch that really kick it up a notch. Seriously, If you wanted you could get away with never shopping a conventional store again.

The Village Markets in Burleigh are held in particularly high esteem, showing off fashion by local and emerging designers, vintage clothing, handcrafted furniture, unique art and more. I.e. The type of stuff I absolutely froth. Plus live music and a bunch of food trucks. Fresh food lovers have to get along to Turf Club Farmers’ Markets at Bundall for the community feels and local produce.

4. The Breweries

This is not drinking like young you drank. This is sophisticated, learning to appreciate the process and taste drinking. The Gold Coast has a bunch of local breweries that are worth the trip on their own, but definitely make a fine end to a day spent in the sun.

There’s Black Hops in Burleigh Heads which was actually voted Australia’s Champion Small Brewery in 2018. Then there’s the home of surf champ Mick Fanning’s (and more) Balter XPABalter Brewing in Currumbin. Trust me, this is just scratching the surface of craft beer.

5. The Bushwalks

Nature guys, nature. It might not be part of the Daintree, but there’s still plenty of rainforest (and coastal) views to be taken in. People particularly love the easy hike of the Natural Bridge Circuit in Springbrook National Park, possibly for the ‘Gram. There’s a bunch more bushwalks in there ranging from easy t pretty decent.

If you like your hikes on the harder side, you can also try out the Toolona Creek Circuit at Lamington National park. It’ll take you a solid five to six hours but it’s a beaut and the name is just adorbs.

Clocked Off BoilerPlate

Image: iStock Images / [DarrenTierney]