The Southern Gold Coast boasts a relaxed, village vibe that draws visitors to its national parks, quieter beaches, bohemian boutiques and a trendy plant-based cafe scene.
While Central Gold Coast is the life of the party, Southern Gold Coast is more laidback. It includes suburbs such as Miami, Burleigh Heads, Robina and Coolangatta.
The food scene leans towards healthy, organic meals served in quirky cafes with a community vibe. Head to Raw Energy in Coolangatta for raw dishes and smoothies, DokoDemo V for an all-vegan menu, the Pocket in Burleigh Heads for Middle Eastern share plates or local favourite Commune for organic eats and good times.
Soulbowl and Govindas in Burleigh Heads each serve up healthy meals, or you can indulge your tastebuds at award-winning Paddock Bakery in Miami, with wood-fired sourdoughs, organic produce and sugar-dusted pastries. Miami Marketta draws big crowds every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night. It’s a feast for the senses, with multicultural street food, a chilled atmosphere and live tunes.
Shopping on the Southern Gold Coast is a balance of mainstream and individual style. Head to Stocklands Burleigh Heads, The Pines Elanora or Robina Town Centre for big name brands and supermarkets chains, or check out Earth Markets for cheap fruit and vegetables in bulk.
Stroll down lively James Street in Burleigh Heads for cafes, bakeries, surf shops and independent boutiques. Or support local designers at The Village Markets, which showcase beach-bohemian fashion and accessories, homewares and handmade gifts. Don’t forget to hunt for bargains at the Rack Sale, with preloved clothing from as little as $10.
When the sun goes down, The Collective in Palm Beach draws a fun, young crowd for sunset cocktails and mountain views. Grab a pizza from Slice Pizzeria in Burleigh Heads, open until 11.30pm Fridays and Saturdays. Nearby Oh My, Waffle serves up late-night dessert, while Timezone at Coolangatta will let you play arcade games until 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
Head to Nightjar in Burleigh Heads for live music and everyday happy hours in a casual back-alley dive bar. Or go for cheap drinks, burgers and live rock shows at the iconic Coolangatta Hotel and Eddie’s Grub House.
For adventurers, take a trek through Springbrook National Park and Burleigh Head National Park, or swim in the Currumbin Rock Pools. Sports-lovers can head to the Cbus Stadium in Robina to watch regular National Rugby League (NRL) games alongside 27,400 other spectators.
Burgster in Palm Beach has food and drink deals nearly every night, including $1 wings and $10 margaritas on Wednesdays, and $5 tacos and cheap beer on Tuesdays.
Pizzey Park is a major sports and recreation hub in Miami. The sprawling grounds offer a wide range of sports including rugby league, soccer, swimming, netball, gymnastics, athletics and more. There’s also a tennis court, skate/BMX park and dog-walking track weaving around a picturesque lake, woodlands and canals with picnic areas.
There are numerous medical centres scattered throughout the Southern Gold Coast including SmartClinics in Burleigh Heads, Robina Town Medical Centre and the Coolangatta Medical Centre. The Gold Coast After Hours Doctor is also located in the Palm Beach Specialist Centre. It’s open seven days a week and is available for house calls. Robina Hospital is located right next to the train station for easy public transport access.
Community centres are located across the Southern Gold Coast, including Burleigh Heads, Elanora, Robina, Varsity Lakes, Palm Beach and Tugun. They’re great spots for community-based events, fitness groups, classes and workshops. Libraries are also fantastic places to learn, and most have extensive foreign language sections and spacious study areas. They’re also perfect for group learning activities, with branches in Burleigh Heads, Elanora, Robina and Coolangatta holding regular English Conversation Circles.
For places of worship, Hope Church in Varsity Lakes has a strong multicultural community with over 50 different nationalities attending. Their Christian sermons are fun and uplifting with prayer and gospel music.
The Southern Gold Coast is a haven for outdoor adventures with its breathtaking national parks and ancient rainforests. Explore Springbrook National Park and hike down to the Natural Bridge – a rock arch formed by a thundering waterfall over thousands of years. Glow worms and bats live in the cave below; take a guided night-time tour for a truly magical experience.
Get up close and personal with the Gold Coast’s unique wildlife. For $29, you can cuddle a koala at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Or, embrace nature for free at the Burleigh Head National Park. The Oceanview Walk offers an easy stroll past ancient volcanic rocks, tangled bushland and dazzling views of the ocean and city skyline. The path winds around to secluded Echo Beach, a local favourite tucked away from the crowds, and on to Tallebudgera Creek where you can go kayaking. In Coolangatta, grab a board and surf some epic waves at the world-famous Snapper Rocks.
For indoor adventures, get in touch with your creative side and take a workshop at the popular Craft Parlour in Miami. Nestled in the trendy Lemana Lane, the studio hosts a huge variety of three-hour workshops on anything from painting to jewellery making and sewing.