Being born and raised on the Northern Rivers of New South Wales and having lived on Queensland’s Gold Coast for a quarter of my life, I was quite excited to be able to share what has been my home and its secrets and stories with some of our retail partners in Victoria and Tasmania on a recent visit to escape their cold.
The “Goldy” means many different things to many different people. To the younger generation – fast fun at theme parks, beaches, nightlife and shopping. To the older generation – its sun, relaxation, good food and great company among friends. The Gold Coast really is a 24 hour a day “experience” destination that has something for everyone.
Beautiful Kingscliff and Byron Bay conjure up images of uncrowded beaches and laid back alternate lifestyles – the area really has a magic of its own. Known as just “Byron” to locals, its a mecca for the those that just want to get away and forget whatever stresses them in their day to day.
Meeting the others at Coolangatta Airport, we headed north to the glitz and glam of Surfers Paradise. After checking in at the beautiful Hilton Hotel, a visit to our namesake (but no relation) the “Infinity Experience” was in order and soon had us laughing, screaming and “wow”ing at each other through maze like illusions and special effects. Just hilarious!
After a relaxed dinner and checking out the night markets on the Esplanade, we were off to bed early to make the most of the next day. Sunrise saw us boarding Whales In Paradise’s luxury catamaran to go searching for the migratory Humpback whale. These beauties come in close to the coast and we weren’t disappointed with a close encounter with a mum and her day old calf.
Our group then threw any fears of heights to the wind and ascended the Skypoint Climb above the Observation deck on the Q1 building in Surfers. From the platform 270m above sea level, you can see north to the skyline of Brisbane (some 80 km away) and south to Mount Warning near Murwillumbah NSW. The climb team are serious about safety, but also serious about enjoying the experience at Skypoint. We had some Nervous Nellies at the beginning, but by the end they were grinning from ear
That evening we were off to a real institution on the Gold Coast, Draculas Cabaret Restaurant! Over 30 years of continued success, “Dracs” was one of the highlights for the group on this trip. Great entertainment, great service and so many laughs, this is a must for a fun night. Our Gold Coast Taxis driver even played “Time Warp” from the Rocky Horror Show on the short drive there – just awesome!
The following day had us heading south to Kingscliff just south of Tweed Heads. Arriving at Salt Village, home to Peppers and Mantra Salt, we set about familiarising ourselves with the various accomodation types. Situated on absolute beachfront, this quiet setting is a home away from home.
With some free time on our last day, we took the crew south to Byron Bay to show them what puts this place on the map. Beautiful scenery, laid back lifestyle, great eats and alternative shops help the guys round off a busy but fun trip.
Whilst on the journey we were able to visit the following properties:
QT Gold Coast – 5 star
Quirky and inspiring, this hotel attracts couples and families alike for its central location and designer like experience. Very unconventional!
Soul Surfers Paradise – 5 star
Modern and central, this hotel has something for the discerning traveller. High standards in service will keep the most discerning traveller content.
Hilton Surfers Paradise – 5 star
Well located on Orchid Avenue, this high end property is unique in having both hotel rooms and self contained apartments. The Hilton brand is well represented here.
Mantra Circle on Cavill – 4.5 star
As the name suggests, located on Cavill Mall, you cant get any closer to all Surfers has to offer. Spa apartments are self contained and add that little extra something to that romantic getaway
Peppers Broadbeach – 5 star
Dubai-esq architecture lends the impression of high standard service and self contained accommodation, and its backed up by the team onsite at Peppers. A huge private home theatre is free to book out with your favourite DVDs or something from their library.
Sofitel Broadbeach – 5 star
Sofitel luxury located over the Oasis Shopping Centre and well known culinary delights of the Broadbeach Mall and surrounds. Ideal for the couple looking to indulge in some “us-time” they can look no further than this Parisienne beauty.
Peppers Bale Salt – 5 star
Large 2 and 3 bedroom apartments, modern and self contained, Bale (pronounced Bah-ley) has an air of tranquility and privacy as well as functionality. More for the discerning client, this high end property will impress.
Peppers Salt Resort and Spa – 4.5 star
While the time away in their lagoon pool, or indulge yourself in their world class day spa. Peppers Salt Resort and Spa is the ideal spot to base yourself to explore the beauty and wonder of the Northern Rivers.
Mantra on Salt – 4 star
The beach home away from home, Mantra on Salt covers all bases. From hotel rooms, to self contained accommodation, this is a place for couples and families. A great pool, direct access to the beach and that North Coast lifestyle really is a winner to get away from it all.