With so many great sunrise and sunset vantage points on the Gold Coast, the only difficulty is working out where, precisely, to start the perfect day. The best bet in this destination is to let the weather conditions dictate your decision as there’s an ideal sport for any scenario.
Wake up at Palazzo Versace and head for sunrise at The Spit where the first surfers are making their appearance, just as the last blush of seafood trawlers return through the Gold Coast seaway with last night’s catch. Sit on the seaway wall and enjoy the cool quiet.
Drive to Broadbeach and Elk Espresso for a dirty chai and some hearty, spicy breakfast nachos. Watch the cool crowd fill this cavern with chatter and read the Gold Coast Bulletin before hitting the road, west towards Nerang and up to Lamington National Park.
Choose from one of the many walking circuits at Lamington National Park before the heat of the day, and the crowds, set in. Admire the black land mullet which calls Lamington home and take a wander along the Treetops Walk before heading back down the mountain.
Drive south east until you hit Currumbin Creek and grab a coffee at the laidback Currumbin Boatshed before hiring a kayak or SUP from Currumbin Bait and Tackle. Take your time and enjoy this waterway which is only accessible to non-motorised water craft and is flanked by mangroves.
Arrive at Point Danger in time for lunch. High on the hill sits Café D’Bar which specialises in affordable seafood and great fresh juices. Admire the eclectic art in this establishment before sitting on the hill and watching the surfers below at Duranbah Beach.
If inspiration hits you could head further south to Byron Bay for a surf or just down the hill to Snapper Rocks where the likes of Mick Fanning likes to hang ten. Spend the afternoon strolling along Coolangatta with its coffee shops and antique stores.
Head back north towards Burleigh Heads. Time permitting take the ocean view circuit in Burleigh National Park. Stop at the bottle shop and grab a stubbie of the local Burleigh Brew. Sip on the 28 Pale Ale and watch the sunset from Burleigh Hill.
At the foot of the hill sits two great dining options: Oskars, which overlooks Burleigh Beach, or The Fish House, just across the road. Whichever way you go, both offer fresh local seafood, inspired drinks menus and some of the best service on the Gold Coast.
End the evening at Gold Coast institution Melbas on the Park. Serving cocktails to the Surfers Paradise set since 1981, it’s hard to go wrong with a post-dinner drink here. Take a stroll along Cavill Mall and slip your shoes off and into the sands of Surfers Paradise beach before heading home.