With an average of 300 days of sunshine a year—a scorching summer, delightful autumn, mild winter and stunning spring—it’s no wonder we love to wine and dine in the great outdoors.
Alfresco is our signature style, so we’ve rounded up the best spots on the Gold Coast to eat, drink, breathe in the fresh air and bask in the sunshine.
Here are the best rooftop bars on the Gold Coast.
The Island Rooftop
Plonked in the middle of Surfers Paradise atop a boutique hotel, The Island Rooftop is a drop of nectar amidst the glitter strip. It’s a setting that resembles Hawaiian luxe and New York sophistication with a killer cocktail list. This might just be your new island haven that you’ll never want to leave. You actually don’t have to, book a room at The Island and make it a staycation!
Justin Lane Rooftop
As if the truffle oil and chilli margaritas weren’t enough to drag us back time and time again, Justin Lane went ahead and graced us with a rooftop bar. Complete with a misting system for the summer months and DJ booth, this special Italian rooftop has your Sunday afternoon sorted. If you're looking for one of the very best rooftop bars on the Gold Coast, you've found it.
Burleigh Pavilion, the Coast’s first beach club, was always going to be a game changer for locals and visitors alike, but one step inside and you’ll agree it lives up to the hype. Boasting sweeping views of Burleigh Beach and north to Surfers Paradise’s iconic skyline, plus enough room for 600 people, beachside cocktails just got a whole lot better. Design wise, it’s an Instagram dream. Think terrazzo tables, fairy lights, exposed timber rafters, four-metre ceiling heights, splashes of pastel pink and lots of crisp white, makes Burleigh Pavilion a standout among the coolest Gold Coast rooftop bars for drinks in the sunshine.
The Collective Rooftop
All hail The Collective and the genius idea to combine five different restaurants under one (retractable) roof. Open for lunch and dinner seven days, there is plenty of time to get cosy on their sunny rooftop and sip on colourful cocktails; because it’s always a good idea to extend that boozy brunch well into the afternoon.
Nineteen At The Star
Ladies, don your kaftan and get your puckered up pout ready and gents, dig out that collared shirt, ready for some freshly-shucked oysters. Nineteen at the Star is here to remind us of the Gold Coast’s glitzy heritage. Complete with floating VIP booths, day beds and an infinity pool, you’ll feel both literally and figuratively sky high sitting here on the 19th level.
Moxy’s Rooftop Bar
Moxy’s Rooftop Bar is the latest addition to the Gold Coast’s rooftop bar scene. Creating a space that fits nicely between a thumping nightclub and a formal restaurant, it’s a place to come together, enjoy some drinks, have a nibble, and take in live music and DJ sets. Located on Griffith Street, it’s an easy walk from the sands of Coolangatta Beach (post-surf beer, anyone?).
Inspired by Mexico and the legendary Frida Khalo, this Palm Beach outdoor bar is the perfect place to enjoy a taco and margarita in the sunshine. With tiki-style umbrellas, amble outdoor seating and a delicious cocktail list with delights like the Mama Cass (vodka, passionfruit, pineapple juice, elderflower liqueur and mint) and the Troppo Locco (strawberries, vodka, citrus and lemonade) you can't go wrong at Frida Sol.
Gotham Grill And Rooftop
Answering the prayers of the northern Gold Coast is the Gotham Grill Rooftop found in Runaway Bay. Serving up a range of menu items from steaks and pizzas to decadent desserts like frozen Nutella mousse, it’s a gem of a find with ocean views and the prettiest fit-out in the neighbourhood.
Mr P.P’s Deli And Rooftop
Mr P.P.’s serves a collection of cocktails on their rooftop that scream summer. If you’re after something refreshing, opt for The Seaside—vodka, soho lychee and passionfruit. More of a fruity drinker? Then the Summer Lovin is for you—Bacardi Blanca, Malibu, lime, pineapple, agave and egg white. This multi-level venue is the perfect spot to watch the summer sun go down behind Southport’s impressive skyline and is a buzzing Gold Coast rooftop bar if you find yourself on the northern end of town.
Surfers Paradise Beer Garden
Re-opening after a multi-million-dollar renovation, Surfers Paradise Beer Garden is taking full advantage of its prime location. From the retractable roof inviting the gorgeous sunshine and salty breezes to come flooding inside, to the on-trend white and wood paneling, nautical accents, festoon lights and picnic tables donning umbrellas, you’ll love this Gold Coast rooftop bar. The Birdwatchers Bar lives on via a wraparound deck, with sinkable couches and tables overlooking the palm trees and Cavill Avenue—the perfect position for people-watching.
Aviary Rooftop Bar
Another top choice for northerners among the best Gold Coast rooftop bars to hit, The Aviary hosts a Sunday soiree from 2pm every week. Listen to live acoustics while enjoying sweeping views of the skyline and inhaling a wood-fired pizza. If you’re trying to keep it clean(ish), opt for one of their healthier cocktails made with kombucha.
Made your way around the best rooftop bars on the Gold Coast? You might want to plan your way around the Gold Coast’s best cafes for breakfast next.
Image credit: Kaitlin Maree and Hayley Williamson for Urban List