48 hours on the Southern Gold Coast

Once known for its glitter strip, theme parks and Schoolies celebration, the GC has grown up.

 To say the culinary, retail, arts, live music and creative scenes at the Southern Gold Coast are thriving is an understatement.

Aside from their picture-perfect beaches, the hip locales of Nobby Beach, Miami, Burleigh and Palm Beach are now packed full of co-working spaces, breweries, cafes, small bars, boutiques and restaurants to rival those in Sydney and Melbourne.

For those planning a little jaunt to the surf city, here is our locals’ guide to the best of the Southern Gold Coast..

The village markets
The Village Markets (Credit: Soda Photography)


The Village Markets

Hailed as one of the best designer markets in Australia, The Village Markets was the launchpad for international labels like Peony, Zulu & Zephyr and Cleopatra’s Bling.

Held on the first and third Sunday of every month, TVM is the place to go for emerging designer fashion, accessories, ceramics, art and homewares.

There are also food trucks, coffee and live tunes provided by a stellar line up of talented local musicians. In fact, both Ziggy Alberts and Tones and I rocked TVM before they shot to fame. 

Where: Burleigh Heads State School, Burleigh Heads 8.30 – 1pm.

Echo Beach
The beautiful Echo Beach (Credit: Natalie McComas)

Echo Beach

Beach lovers are spoilt for choice with 57km of pristine surf beaches to enjoy.

For a more sheltered swim, take a dip at Echo Beach.

Located within the Burleigh Heads National Park at the northern side of Tallebudgera Creek, this scenic, sheltered spot is a tranquil place for swimming, SUPing, exploring and a cheeky Instagram snap.

Where: The Burleigh Heads National Park side of Tallebudgera Creek

Pacific Fair


Previously, Gold Coasters had to visit southern states for a serious fashion fix.

The city is now a serious shopping hub with a mix of global brands including Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Givenchy, international chains like Zara and H&M, Australian designer faves like Zimmermann, Scanlan Theodore and Aje and a host of independent boutiques.

For a serious shopping marathon, head to Pacific Fair for all of the big names.

Burleigh’s James Street precinct is a must for a charming village atmosphere and boutique shopping. Visit Sean Scott boutique for Zulu & Zephyr and local brand-turned-international success story, Valley Eyewear while at Freedom State, shop Spell and Kivari.

Burleigh bar, Rosella’s (Credit: Kirra Smith)


Beer lovers should head to Balter Brewing Company at Currumbin, Miami’s Lost Palms and Burleigh Brewing for top-notch craft beer and good vibes.

For a post-beach beer or glass of rose, Burleigh Pavilion is the spot, while Australiana-themed Rosella’s has tongue-in-cheek classics like jaffles and prawn cocktails on the menu, as well as  creative cocktails and attentive staff.

For a late-night tipple, ask a local to guide you to the speakeasy-style, Lockwood.

Those who prefer more dimly-lit, character-filled spaces will love The Scottish Prince at Palm Beach, where you can choose from 200-plus whiskeys and listen to live blues.

QT Gold Coast
The reimagined pool landscape at QT Gold Coast


Those who enjoy the luxuries of an upscale hotel as well as the space and comforts of home will adore the Coast’s newest boutique accommodation offering, The Halliday. An exclusive collection of private residences, including Elder 1 at Burleigh and William and Hilda at Mermaid Beach, these elevated beach houses are beautifully appointed with stylish homewares and luxurious linen and amenities.

For those who prefer a hotel stay, there are some premium options at the northern end of the Coast such as sentimental favourite QT Gold Coast – which has a refurbished pool landscape and 16 killer new suites.

Pre-dinner drinks at Labart


Beachfront Rick Shores is famous for Moreton Bay bug rolls but, to be honest, everything is sublime.

Restaurant Labart, owned by former head chef of Sydney’s Monopole and Cirrus Dining, Alex Munoz Labart, is also a must-do dining experience. 

For the best pizzas on the Gold Coast and good vibes, Burleigh’s Justin Lane always delivers, while the neighourhood’s hottest newcomer, Light Years, has locals raving about the zesty, flavoursome fare, signature cocktails and pastel-hued interiors.

For a more casual bite, street food destination Miami Marketta is always a fun night out. This lively laneway dining experience has 25 food vendors serving cuisine from all over the world, plus live music and two bars.

Miami marketta
Miami Marketta

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