During my 2-year “working holiday” trip to Australia, the Gold Coast Coast served as my home away from home. Staying with an Aussie friend, I soon found myself embracing local life on the Gold Coast—a sunny nirvana of beaches and hinterlands far removed from my former London hangouts.
My newfound Aussie mates didn’t just introduce me to Friday-night beach parties and break-of-dawn surf sessions—they also initiated me into the Gold Coast foodie scene and introduced me to the delights of all-day brunch, oceanside eateries, and artisan food markets. Now it’s my turn to pass on the favor. Get ready for a fusion of international flavors, fresh-from-the-ocean seafood, and farm-to-table dishes with this 3-day foodie itinerary.
With more than 300 sunny days per year, you’ll need a hat and sunscreen year-round.
If you only have time for one thing, make it a street food feast at the Miami Marketta night market.
Your Gold Coast day is about sightseeing and snacking, starting with a morning cruise with an Aussie breakfast around Surfers Paradise. Then, hop on the G:link tram to explore the Gold Coast’s main beach resorts—you can reach Main Beach, Broadbeach, and Miami Beach in less than 10 minutes.
Swing by Pacific Fair shopping mall in Broadbeach and try Betty’s Burgers and the Instagrammable dessert bar, Cowch, for waffles with all the toppings. Take a coastal walk and try some beach water sports before filling up on street food at Miami Marketta night market (Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights).
The Gold Coast hinterlands provide an idyllic backdrop for a foodie adventure, and the road to Mount Tamborine National Park is peppered with artisan food producers, farm-to-table restaurants, and boutique wineries. Join a tour or hire a driver, stopping to get caffeinated at Tamborine Mountain Coffee Plantation, sample cheeses at Towri Sheep Cheeses, and try homemade fudge from Granny Macs (the caramel macadamia gets my vote).
Hampton Estate Winery and Cedar Creek Estate Winery are top choices for a wine-tasting lunch or head to the Sirromet Winery in Mount Cotton. Later, check out some Gold Coast craft beer bars and breweries.
Gold Coast weekend mornings are best at the market, and the Burleigh Farmers Market, Palm Beach Farmers Market, and Carrara Markets all burst with food and produce. (On the last Sunday of the month, try Burleigh Heads Market). Snag an ocean-view table at Rick Shores in Burleigh Heads for seafood (order the Moreton Bay bug rolls); then indulge at Paddock Bakery.
From Burleigh, drive 30 minutes to Tropical Fruit World for a fruit plantation guided tour to include tastes of tropical fruits and unusual Aussie bush tucker. Back at Broadbeach, save space for a dinner date at Dracula’s Cabaret Restaurant.