If you want to escape to somewhere warmer in winter, then I suggest a weekend away in the beautiful Gold Coast. It is just over 2 hours flight direct from Adelaide. Jetstar airlines always has some special deals going. One thing to bear in mind is with the cheaper airlines, they do weigh your luggage, and by this I mean your hand carry. There is a limit of 7 kg, so if you think you are going to exceed 7 kg hand luggage, then I suggest you buy extra luggage when purchasing airfares. They are pretty strict and they will make you check your hand luggage in at the time you board. You could be the first to line up to board but be the last to get on the plane because of your 'heavy' hand luggage. That could be very annoying.
If you love the beach I recommend staying at Broadbeach. Why pay double and stay at Surfers Paradise? It is literally within 4 km and you can easily run along the beach to get from one to the other. There are so many things to do in GC, and definitely many restaurants to dine at. I was lucky that I went to a few which I am going to share with you all.
Yellowfin Seafood Restaurant
We arrived just after mid day and had a stroll down Broadbeach, there was a sign at the front of the restaurant which said 40 % off all food. We were hungry so we walked in. Yes you heard me everything was 40 % off. We had the seafood platter, all the seafood was locally sourced. There was Moreton Bay bugs, QLD sand crab, Hervey Bay scallops, pacific plate oysters, king prawns, smoked salmon which was made in house, NZ clams, calamari, salads, beer battered chips. We just sat outside and enjoyed the platter under the sun whilst sipping on glasses of white wine.
Visit Yellowfin Seafood Restaurant - 6/20 Queensland Avenue, Broadbeach, QLD 4218 - (07) 5504 5535
Oliver Brown Chocolate Cafe
We walked down to Surfers Paradise and enjoyed a nice dark chocolate at Oliver Brown Chocolate Cafe. It was literally the best dark hot chocolate I have had in a very very long time. There was also other items on the menu to choose from, but this one stood out.
Visit Oliver Brown Chocolate Cafe - Soul Boardwalk, T1/13a/4 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217 - (07) 5526 8813
Kiyomi - Jupiter Casino
For those of you who know me, I love my Japanese food. I consider myself very lucky, when it comes to Japanese food, Gold Coast has a lot to offer. Kiyomi has been one restaurant that I have wanted to try. It is situated inside the Gold Coast Casino - Jupiter's. This restaurant requires booking as I guarantee you, they still take bookings at 9:30 pm as it is that busy. The service was absolutely superb throughout the night, friendly and attentive. The theme and the use of different plates and glasswares matched the settings of the restaurant. We opted for the degustation menu with matching wines and I don't think I can fault anything. It was definitely an experience.
We were offered cherry rose tea on arrival. Refreshing and sweet. 7 course degustation menu followed. Each with matching wine or sake. Each course was delicate and everything had attention to detail. My favourite was the Moreton bay bug. The batter was soft and not doughy and the sambal mayo was just devine! If you are there for a special occasion, Kiyomi will be more than happy to put something special for you like they did for us. A degustation menu beautifully executed!
Visit Kiyomi - Jupiter Casino, Broadbeach Island, Broadbeach, QLD 4218 - (07) 5592 8100 (
Tropical Fruit World
If you want to go for a drive down the highway, in fact this is on the way to Sydney. You could always drop by the Tropical Fruit World and get some tasty fruit, freshly picked off the tree to eat. For us, our favourite was the custard apple and dragonfruit. The flesh of the dragonfruit is red, it is certainly something that we can't get in South Australia. We were told to squeeze some lime or passionfruit to enhance the gorgeous tropical flavours!
Visit Tropical Fruit World - 29 Duranbah Road, Duranbah, NSW 2487 - (02) 6677 7222
If you want to sit down and enjoy a cup of dark hot chocolate like me then Max Brenner is for you. They have a lot of chocolate items on the menu, you can even make your own hot chocolate, or if you fancy a dessert pizza. It is also the way to go. Strawberries with dark chocolate is one of my favourite, fresh strawberries dipped into some dark chocolate! I felt like I was in chocolate heaven.
Visit Max Brenner - Shop E111 & E112,3 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach, Broadbeach QLD 4218 - (07) 5592 0220
Located metres away from the beach is ELK espresso, it doesn't matter which days you go it is always busy. There is always a line up outside if you go on weekend. Customers are already sitting outside absorbing the beautiful sunshine. They have a range of breakfasts/ brunch items available. The staff there are very energetic and friendly, it is certainly a casual and lay back place for some decent breakfasts. The prices are very reasonable too.
Visit ELK Espresso - 16 Chelsea Avenue, Broadbeach, QLD 4218 - (07) 5592 2888
Sea World Whale Watch
Apart from the famous worlds at the Gold Coast, what else is there that is a must do in Gold Coast? Well I think it would be whale watch down at Sea World. Imagine getting taken out to sea on a multi million luxurious boat to watch whales? In fact it's the best whale watching boat in the world as we all got told. Big TV screen on each deck with up to date GPS to tell us exactly where we are. I certainly had a very close encounter with these giant mammals at sea. They do offer a combo ticket which allows you to visit to Sea World also. You do not have to do both activities on the same day, in fact it is probably better to come back and make the most of Sea World on another day.
Seaworld Whale Watch - 130 Seaworld Dr, Main Beach QLD 4215 - (07) 5591 6061
If you have been to ELK espresso and Metro Coffee at Broadbeach, then I think you have breakfasts covered. I could smell the coffee from across the street, they do offer the most amazing bacon and egg rolls. Not to mention the acai bowl, all the goodness in that bowl!
Visit Metro Coffee - 163 Surf Parade, Broadbeach, QLD 4218 - (07) 5570 2170
Robina Yum Cha Cuisine
Pacific Fair and Robina are two big shopping centres in the Gold Coast. In fact Robina is way bigger, so big that I almost got lost. It has everything there and you could easily spend a day there no problems. There is a Yum Cha restaurant on the promenade. I wouldn't say the service was the best but the food there was pretty good. It is very similar to the Yum Cha in Hong Kong. The price is not expensive either.
Visit Yum Cha Cuisine Robina - Robina Town Centre, Lido Promenade, Robina QLD 423 - (07) 5580 8181
Donto Sapporo Japanese Restaurant
I couldn't leave Gold Coast without having Japanese cuisine one more time. This one was very close to our apartment, in fact it was within walking distance. The owner tells me that they have been opened for 25 years. Now to me that is a very long time. The moment we walked into the restaurant, it reminded me of Japan instantly. All the staff were very friendly and professional. We opted for the set dinners to share, however the owner recommended another set to try. It was the blue fin tuna festival and there was a promotion going. We were so glad that we did. In fact it was the best Japanese dish we have had.
The sapporo set dinner course consisted of miso soup, chawanmushi which is a Japanese type of egg custard served hot. Sashimi, grilled prawn, tempura, teriyaki chicken and rice together with green tea ice-cream for dessert. The servings were quite generous. The good thing about this restaurant is that you can order different dinner sets to share, there is no minimum person order. I do not know of many restaurants that will give you this option.
The best part of the night was the plate of Toro. Toro is blue fin tuna which is in season in the winter months. We were quite lucky as we came at the right time. The tuna came from Port Lincoln which is very close to us, i.e. South Australia. The Toro was served as slices of sashimi and also in sushi rolls. The pinkness of the meat means that it is quite close to the belly, a little more fatty than our normal tuna. That is what gives us the 'melt in your mouth' feeling. You cannot eat this anywhere in Adelaide. All the tuna sashimi I have seen in Adelaide are red, which means that they are yellow fin tuna and are less expensive. Sashimi was gastronomical. We were so glad that we ordered that platter to share. The owner tells us that blue fin tuna is not a common fish that is used for sashimi in Australia as they all get packed/ exported to Japan and so they are frozen on ice. This blue fin tuna is just about as fresh as you can get it. It is definitely something that you cannot buy in Adelaide and I strongly recommend Donto Sapporo if you love your Japanese sashimi.
Visit Donto Sapporo Japanese Restaurant - 2763 Gold Coast Hwy, Broadbeach QLD 4218 - (07) 5539 9933