Drive south for about an hour along the M1 from Brisbane, and you’ll arrive at one of the best stretches of coast in Queensland - if not Australia.
From Burleigh Heads to Coolangatta, the waves roll in on cue and life looks precisely like the opening scenes of a movie. Or at least a very luxe travel brochure.
The number of board riders out in the ocean lays testament to the quality of surf in this area. And if you open any business Instagram site from Queensland's Gold Coast, prepare to be held social media prisoner for the next few hours.
The colour of the water draws you in, and you can almost feel the sun on your shoulders and taste the salt in the air. And if that’s just the photos, you can imagine what real life on the southern end of the Gold Coast has in wait for you.
But this part of ‘The Goldie’ offers much more than just amazing beaches and surfable waves. There’s also sensational food and coffee, retail shopping, and an Australian wildlife story that might break your heart. But we can all help it to have a happy ending.
While we’re here let’s look at a few of my fave places!
Rick Shores is a recipe for success. You know those days you have at the coast when the ocean has that super calming effect on you? Hours can go by, and you’re in a meditative state but still completely aware of your surrounds.
Rick Shores is that exactly, but with the best pan-Asian flavoured food and the most incredible cocktails.
I never drive past this group of cafes and shops when I’m down this way. Located in Currumbin, the red brick eco-friendly building looks like it's been there forever. But it was purpose-built after the owners purchased the land in 2014.
They had a dream to create a mixed-use commercial building with great food and shopping. And that vision has undoubtedly been achieved. With overflowing greenery from gardens on the roof and a central courtyard that overlooks landscaped lawns and the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Cornerstone Stores is a destination experience.
Stable Coffee and Kitchen
Reflecting a healthy coastal lifestyle and focusing on specialty coffee, Stable is a must-do. Their menu changes seasonally to feature local produce, including Australian seafood and organic meats.
Quince Fromagerie Cellar
If you love cheese and wine, welcome to my happy place. Quince Fromagerie Cellar specialises in French, Italian and Spanish cuisines. They have absolutely everything you need for the perfect picnic or if you feel like a wine and cheese afternoon. Or morning. Or anytime, really.
Prae is beautiful and filled with activewear, wellness, lifestyle and beauty products. I am instantly relaxed, just wandering around inside this store.
These guys do a fantastic job, and the sheer number of animals that visit their hospital is incredible. In 2019 they saw over 12,000 animals!
With the severe drought and then the bushfires, the hospital grew to be one of the busiest wildlife hospitals in the world. If you have time, visit and see their work for yourself – it’s admirable.
As I said earlier, what our wildlife has recently gone through is heartbreaking. But the Currumbin Sanctuary Wildlife Hospital works hard to give as many animals as possible their best chance at a happy outcome.
Right now, the hospital can use our help. There are quite a few ways you can make a difference, check out the link to their website here: