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Your guide to the northern Gold Coast

Charntel Cleveland | March 11, 2022

The northern Gold Coast, which spans Yatala to Helensvale, is packed with a wide variety of things to see and do.

If you’re seeking a little northern exposure, check out these highlights.

 

RESTAURANTS, PUBS AND CAFES

Harrigan’s Calypso Bay
Perched on the foreshore of Moreton Bay, Harrigan’s at Jacobs Well offers family-friendly dining with sweeping views of the Broadwater and Bay. The venue also offers live entertainment, as well as lush gardens ideal for weddings, functions and luxury picnics.

Black Hops II
An extension of the original Black Hops brewery at Burleigh, the Black Hops II taproom at Biggera Waters is open Wednesday to Sunday. A full-scale production brewery, the venue has 16 beers on tap, is family and dog friendly, and hosts food trucks every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Panezski Artisan Distillery
At Panezski Artisan Distillery, you can experience a slice of Polish history without leaving the Gold Coast. Producing small-batch vodka, the distillery at Molendinar includes a boutique 1920s-themed tasting room where it hosts regular cocktail and vodka appreciation nights. If you would like the distillery to host an event of your own, the venue can hold up to 60 people.

The Wattle Hotel
A community-minded venue in the heart of Coomera, The Wattle Hotel is a contemporary pub that anyone would be stoked to call their local. The Wattle has something for everyone, with casual yet classy dining, a large kids play area, public bar and sports bar, plus function spaces. There are also weekly events, such as Trivia Tuesdays and Thursday Quiz Nights. The bistro menu contains all the pub classics as well as vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.

Sanctuary Cove Dining
Unsure what or where to eat? Take a trip to Sanctuary Cove, where you’ll be spoiled for choice. The precinct is home to an array of waterfront cafes, bars and restaurants, with cuisines spanning Thai, Italian, Chinese and modern Australian. For something a little more casual, takeaway options include burgers, sushi, coffee and gelato—all ideal for enjoying on a stroll around the marina.

Black Hops II
Image: Supplied

Panezski Artisan Distillery
Image: Supplied

Harrigan’s Calypso Bay
Image: @harrihans_calypsobay

FUN FAMILY OUTINGS

Yatala Drive-In
Cruise into some nostalgic fun at Yatala Drive-In, where you can catch the latest flicks on the big screen from the comfort of your car. Bring your appetite to the venue’s ‘50s-style American diner—complete with Cadillac couches and rock ‘n’ roll tunes—and tuck into a range of burgers, hot dogs, drinks and desserts. There’s also a selection of snacks to help make sure your drive-in movie night is a total blast.

Gold Coast Motor Museum
Speaking of nostalgia, you can check out an array of vehicles from yesteryear at the Gold Coast Motor Museum. Spanning 12 acres at Coomera, the museum houses dozens of lovingly restored cars and bikes that date from 1900 to 1988. When you need to refuel, Stanley’s Restaurant offers breakfast and lunch, plus dinner on Friday and Saturday nights.

Tipplers
Take a trip to Tipplers at South Stradbroke Island, where you can enjoy camping, fishing, boating, bush or beach walking and wildlife watching. For day-trippers, Tipplers Café offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus a wine list and cocktail menu. For campers, a handy kiosk next door stocks anything you may need while you’re away. To get to Tipplers, you can make your own way or catch the Tipplers ferry that departs from Jacobs Well or Runaway Bay Shopping Village.

Gold Coast Equestrian Centre
Explore a slice of the Hinterland on horseback at Gold Coast Equestrian Centre, Clagiraba, where you can take a relaxing trail ride beside the property’s creek. A professional horse-riding school, Gold Coast Equestrian Centre also offers private or group lessons, as well as horsemanship programs. If the weather turns on the day of your booking, the Centre will move your lesson to its undercover equestrian arena.

 

GET ACTIVE

Gold Coast Wake Park
Hit the water at Gold Coast Wake Park, Oxenford, where you can try knee-boarding, wake-boarding and water-skiing. Whether you’re a first-timer or an old pro, Gold Coast Wake Park has options for everyone. For those who don’t want to get wet, there’s even a licenced cafe on site where you can watch all the on-water action with a drink in hand.

Runaway Bay Sports Precinct
Feeling sporty? Head to Runaway Bay Sports Precinct, which hosts an array of sporting grounds, courts and clubs. The West precinct houses Runaway Bay Indoor Stadium, synthetic fields, sports ovals, netball courts and cycle track, as well as an off-leash dog exercise area. The East precinct houses rugby league and soccer fields plus athletic tracks and ovals. The adjacent Gold Coast Performance Centre has an open-air gym, pools, track and field area, beach volleyball, hockey pitch, saunas and spa.

Damien Leeding Park
Surrounding Regatta Waters Lake at Oxenford, Damien Leeding Park is the perfect place to get some fresh air and exercise, and enjoy the Gold Coast’s enviable weather. Exercise buffs will delight in the fitness stations scattered around the park, while the lake is ideal for water sports including kayaking, sailing and rowing. A walking track around the lake provides a picturesque route for a daily walk or run and a generous off-leash dog exercise area will have your hound’s tail wagging.

Gold Coast Motor Museum
Image: Supplied

Yatala Drive-In
Image: Supplied

Gold Coast Performance Centre
Image: Supplied

PARKS AND PICNIC AREAS

Parklake Park, Maudsland
Tucked just behind Pacific Pines, Parklake Park at Maudsland is not your typical suburban park. The playground features an array of play areas and interactive equipment, including a flying fox, a treehouse fort, tunnels, rope bridges and spinning poles, as well as traditional swings, slides and see-saws. There’s also a tonne of green space and pram-friendly paths that are perfect for a meander around the park.

Paradise Point Parklands
One of the Gold Coast’s most picturesque parks, Paradise Point Parklands overlooks the beautiful Broadwater. Let the kids burn off some energy on the large playground while you kick back and enjoy the serenity. The park’s boardwalk and pathways are ideal for a stroll and there’s an expansive dog exercise area for your four-legged family members. If you’re looking to make a meal of your outdoor adventure, there are plenty of picnic shelters, tables, benches and barbecues throughout the park, as well as cafes and takeaway shops just across the road.

Charis Seafoods
A Gold Coast icon, Charis Seafoods at Harley Park on the Broadwater has been serving up ocean-fresh delights for decades. Enjoy legendary fish and chips overlooking the lagoon while the kids swim or play in the park. Stay for the pelican feeding at 1.30pm daily, when pods of these big, beautiful birds gather for their share of Charis Seafoods’ fare.

Coombabah Lakelands Conservation Area
If you’re looking to bask in natural beauty, it’s hard to beat a visit to Coombabah Lakelands. The park’s flat terrain and dedicated tracks make it an ideal destination for bushwalking and mountain bike riding. The conservation area comprises a variety of habitats, including wetlands, mangroves, eucalypt forests and salt marshes, and is home to an array of wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for kangaroos, koalas, flying foxes and dozens of different bird species.

 

MARKETS

Helensvale Farmers Market
Held every Saturday from 6am to 11am at Helensvale State High School, Helensvale Farmers Market features locally grown and organic produce. You will also find gourmet goodies, fresh seafood, cured meats, baked treats, plants and fresh-cut flowers, plus lovingly handcrafted items for sale. There’s also hot coffee and a variety of food trucks, so bring your cravings as well as your reusable bags. Dogs are also welcome.

 

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Charis Seafoods
Image: Supplied

Gold Coast Wake Park
Image: Supplied

Coombabah Reserve.
Image: Anna Bandini