Laters, summer. We mean, if two weeks of rain counts as an acceptable farewell party in the ‘sunshine state’ (rolls eyes). Here comes autumn and it’s fo’ sho’ the biggest month we’ve had for 2018!
There’s a bunch of festivals, a sneaky long weekend and an unusually high amount of heat-themed happenings. But, who’s complaining? We’re in for a pretty bangin’ month ahead and we’re marching all the way into each of these events. Get it, guys? …Guys?
Here are our top picks for things to do on the Gold Coast this March!
Mojo Burning Band Comp
Brisbane’s Mojo Burning is teaming with Gold Coast’s own Beats Cartel to bring a whole lotta blues, roots and rock to our ‘hood with their band comp! And good news everybody, entry is free! Two heats will be held at Parkwood Tavern (go on, relive your #grifftafe days) and see the likes of Fly Agaric, Hot Reno and Handful of Helmet taking to the stage, to name a few. The tippy-top two performers from each heat will mosh all the way to the final for the decider round. Then, the top dogs will pocket $1,000 cash and a spot at Mojo Burning Fest in April. Show us your horns, the heat is on.
When: Thursday 1 and 15 March; 8pm
Where: Parkwood Tavern, 3 Wintergreen Drive, Parkwood
Golden Moon Festival At Burleigh Hill
Sometimes you just wanna get Zen. You feeling me, man? Unwind with a relaxing moon-kissed night on Burleigh Hill at Golden Moon Fest. Where singing meets meditation, dance and community; why not mix up your Friday arvo with a visit to the Gold Coast’s most famously celebrated hill? Hanging out in Burls and unwinding after a big week is a tough gig. But someone’s gotta do it. Cartwheel your way down to one of the most spiritual things to do on the Gold Coast this March.
When: Friday 2 March; 6pm to 9pm
Where: Burleigh Hill, The Esplanade, Burleigh Heads
Morris Art Prize Exhibit At Cararra Markets
The inaugural Morris Art Prize Exhibit welcomes us GCers into Carrara Markets for a pretty spesh event. Over 200 artworks will turn the sometimes cat-fest-host-sometimes-arvo-market spot into an impressively modern art gallery. This year’s theme is Brisbane to Byron, so expect some familiar spots to gush all over.
When: Saturday 3 to Sunday 11 March; 9am to 4pm daily
Where: Carrara Markets, Manchester Road, Carrara
Chinderah Chilli Fest
Chinderah is quickly turning into the hip hop happening place to be and the Childerah Chilli Fest is about to set March on fire, yet again! Donating all proceeds to local charities, head along for one heated arvo of tasties. Boasting an assortment of food trucks serving up their spiciest dishes, as well as chilli sauce, chutney, plant and seed stalls; this one’s not for the faint hearted. And yes, of course there will be chilli eating competitions! So pocket a milk or two and get fired up for one of the hottest things to do on the Gold Coast this March.
When: Saturday 3 March; 12pm to 6pm
Where: Cudgen Leagues Club, 3 Wommin Bay Road, Cudgen
Cost: $1 entry with monies raised going to the local SES and Scouts ($20 to enter chilli eating competitions, seats limited)
Wine Machine Music Fest At O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards
Never heard of Wine Machine? Then prepare to have your mind blown. These guys are a time-travelling music festival that have been kicking it since 2011. Celebrating all things vino, this year marks the second national tour of Wine Machine Music Fest and this time they’re bringing along a whole ice bucket of acts. Sneaky Sound System, Hot Dub Time Machine, Touch Sensitive and the whole thing will be hosted by triple J’s own Tom Tilley. Make a day of your trip to O’Reilly’s Winery, get your (ahem) daily fruit intake and get ready for a big one.
When: Saturday 3 March; 3pm to 10pm
Where: O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards, 852 Lamington National Park Road, Canungra
Cost: From $69 to $135 ($25 additional for bus tickets) via booking website
Moto Social Custom Bike Show’n’Shine At Sandbar
Start your engines, this year’s Moto Social custom bike show’n’shine at Surfers Paradise’s Sandbar is revving up to be a big one. We’re not talking badass bikies, these guys are rad and a new-age of effortlessly hip Gold Coast moto cruisers. With cash prizes spilling from the front pockets of many leather clab men, you’ll want to come and see what all the fuss is about. Have your say by voting for your fave motorbike, get jiggy with live tunes and then ride off into the sunset with your newly loved-up biker on your arm. A serious moto rider? Join the morning social ride from Currumbin’s Iron & Resin and enter your custom bike for ultimate bragging opportunities.
When: Sunday 4 March 4; 10am to 3pm (plus 8am morning ride from Iron & Resin)
Where: Sandbar, 52 Esplanade, Surfers Paradise
Cost: Free to ogle
Ocean Film Fest At Home Of The Arts
The Gold Coast Arts Centre has recently undergone a full blown make over to reveal its new identity as HOTA (Home of the Arts), so what better way to check it out than by nestling in for Ocean Film Fest? There’s a whole lot going on under the sea, and we only have to ask Ariel to know that. Be enthralled while captivating cinematography gets you slapping your fins like a seal in absolute awe. Get along to one of the most mesmerising thing to do on the Gold Coast this March.
When: Wednesday 7 and 8 March; 7pm
Where: HOTA, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
Cost: Adults $30.50, children under 15 $21.50, groups $25.50 via booking website
Brewers Lunch With Balter At Bine Craft Beer Bar
Knock off early on the best Friday of the month and head on over to Bine’s next Brewers Lunch, with the legends from Balter. Tuck into a three-course meal and a bunch of banter with your mates, while making the most of Balter Brewing’s rad bevvie choices. Rumour has it, there could be a competition on the cards too, so best be researching your Balter facts now. Bookings essential.
When: Friday 9 March; 12pm to 4pm
Where: Bine Bar & Dining, 1/28 Chairlift Avenue, Nobby Beach
To book call 07 5527 7412
Manpower—All The Way From Vegas
Starting their fruitful career right here on the Gold Coast, Manpower are visiting all the way from their new home—Las Vegas! Selling out shows across their Australian tour, ladies, this one’s for you *inserts sizzle noise*. Really, who can say no to an oiled-up chest and a cowboy hat? Manpower’s most recent appearances have been on The Ellen Degeneres Show, Project Runway and your lap. Did we just just that?
When: Friday 9 March; 7pm
Where: Southport Sharks Club, Olsen Avenue and Musgrave Avenue, Southport
Cost: $37.20 via booking website
Daisy Went Crazy Music Festival At Burleigh Brewing
We’re all about celebrating our fierce ladies, so when we heard that Burleigh Brewing Co. was hosting Daisy Went Crazy music festival near International Women’s Day, we were all like ‘yaaas!’ The legends behind last year’s Hey Sunshine are putting this one together and we simply can’t wait. With a bunch of bands, photography, arts and live painting exhibitions—how can you go wrong? Chuck a coupla food trucks and market stalls in and we’re 100% sold.
When: Saturday 10 March; 2pm to 10pm
Where: Burleigh Brewing Co., 2 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads
Cost: $30 earlybird or $40 general release via booking website
Co Lab Vol 1 At ArTHaus Projects
Emerging and established artists from Brisbane and Gold Coast are combining for a night of creative excellence this March! Hosted by ArTHaus Projects, get amongst Co Lab Vol 1, y’all. Brimming with visual arts, photography, live acts, fashion, design and jewellery, you’ll well and truly get your fix of our local talent. And picking up a goodie while you’re there from one of the many craft markets is basically essential. Then finish the night off with a bite from Retro 88 Street Food. Can you beat it? Nah!
When: Saturday 10 March; 6pm to 9pm
Where: 2/5 Karen Avenue, Mermaid Beach
Cost: $10 via booking website
Girls Who Glow Workshop At The Studio Upstairs
The owner of Burleigh’s beautiful The Studio Upstairs has her own incredible story of overcoming adversity. She knows what it’s like to have hurdles and challenges thrown in the way, and can empathise with teenage girls growing up in today’s society. The Studio Upstairs is again hosting Girls Who Glow, targeted at 13 to 17-year-olds (or thereabouts), the all-day event is designed to help them love the skin they’re in and become the happiest and healthiest versions of themselves. Girls Who Glow is hosted by a star-studded line-up of inspiring female role models (including TV personalities Jules Sebastian, Liv Phyland and Teigan Nash). Read more here and sign up the treasured young woman in your life as spots are limited.
When: Sunday 11 March; 9:30am
Where: The Studio Upstairs; Level 2/9 Connor Street, Burleigh Heads
Cost: $99 (includes lunch and goodie bag) via booking website
Sea To Sky Q1 Stair Challenge
As one of the most iconic buildings on the Gold Coast, skip the elevator line and get your climb on at the Sea to Sky Q1 Stair Challenge. Trust us, the view from the Sky Deck is pretty ballin’ so whether you’re jogging, walking or on your hands and knees while you take on the 77 floors, it’ll be bloody worth it. And there’s a bevvie at the top with your name on it if that makes you feel better.
When: Sunday 11 March; 6:30am to 11:30am
Where: Q1 Resort and Spa, 9 Hamilton Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Cost: Min. pledge $35 via booking website
Quiksilver Pro & Roxy Pro
One of the year’s most highly anticipated events, this year’s Quiksilver Pro and Roxy Pro are taking over Snapper Rocks yet again. Last year’s local faves Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson and Stephanie Gilmore are coming back to slash waves on their home turf and we couldn’t be more pumped. As a celebration of the beach and the Gold Coast’s surf culture, go and soak up that sunshine, buzzing vibe and witness first hand who takes the 2018 men’s and lady’s crowns. Without question on the of the best things to do on the Gold Coast this March.
When: Sunday 11 March to Thursday 22 March (conditions dependent)
Where: Snapper Rocks, Coolangatta
Sofar Sounds Secret Pop-Up Live Music Gig
Or ‘songs for a room’ if you’re not with the lingo, Sofar Sounds is a global phenomenon originating in London way back in 2009 and celebrating the intimacy of music. Intriguingly set at a private space somewhere on the Gold Coast, if you haven’t checked out Sofar Sound’s super exclusive mystery music nights, trust us, you're truly missing out on one of the best things to do on the Gold Coast this March. With BYO bevvies and a team of creative volunteers, register your attendance and have locations sent to your inbox the day before each event.
When: Thursday 15 March; 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Where: Register to be sent mystery event info and location (seats allocated via lottery system)
Cost: See website for more details
Flickerfest At Home Of The Arts
An Academy Award worthy-winning Australian short film festival on the Gold Coast? Heck, yes! Check out Flickerfest in their 27th year and catch some familiar faces, like Crocodile Dundee himself! Two hours of excellent cinematography and a tasting plate of films make this event perfect for anyone with a short attention span or just a keen eye for great movies.
When: Thursday 15 March; 6:30pm
Where: HOTA, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
Cost: $16 via booking website
Suntory Japanese Whisky Dinner At Yamagen
If you know a thing or two about whisky, you’ll understand that Dan Woolley is an absolute legend in whisky circles. This March, you’re invited to join an exclusive dinner personally hosted by Dan at QT Gold Coast’s amazeballs izakaya, Yamagen. Working closely with executive chef Adam Lane, who’ll be serving a mind-blowing array of his finest Japanese creations; be walked through Suntory’s premium whisky range, with insights provided with each pairing. Think: Sakura smoked ocean trout paired with Hakusku Distillers Reserve and wagyu beef sirloin MS6+ with a side of Yamazaki 12 Year… and you get the idea how special this night is shaping up to be!
When: Monday 19 March; 7pm
Where: Yamagen, QT Gold Coast, 7 Staghorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Cost: $99 (includes six-course dinner and whisky pairings) via booking website
Paws & Pizzazz Pets Expo At Sanctuary Cove
Spoil your fur babies with a specialty event just for pets! Sanctuary Cove’s annual animal expo, Paws & Pizzazz is promising educational demos, veterinarian presos, market stalls, entertainment, obstacle courses, doggie treat tasting, and grooming tips, all aimed to improve the lives of our four-legged friends… naw. A handful of Gold Coast’s very own Insta-famous pooches will be making a star appearance too, so start practising your best selfie angles (just kidding, you’ve already got that shiz dialled, right?).
When: Sunday 26 March; 9am to 3pm
Where: The Marine Village Sanctuary Cove, Masthead Way, Sanctuary Cove
Grand Opening Of The Darling Rooftop
Okay guys, so the date isn’t actually official yet, but The Star Gold Coast is bringing us something pretty freakin’ incredible. You may have seen our recent piece revealing The Star’s new Darling Rooftop sneak peak and rumour has it the grand opening could be happening this very month, squeal! This 19th-floor extravagant rooftop bar and restaurant has its own infinity pool, a bird’s eye view of the Gold Coast’s skyline and a six-star fit out. Yes. Six. On top of this, there’s a humble 500+ bottle wine list, capacity for 500 in the lounge bar and even a VIP schmoozing area. Keep an ear pricked at all times for the official opening date!
When: Who knows?
Where: Level 19, The Darling, The Star Gold Coast, Broadbeach
Cost: Priceless Instagram photos
Drag Queen Bingo At Miami Marketta
After a swag of successful events, Drag Queen Bingo is back this March! Celebrating equality and diversity, you’ll be entertained by a fabulous emcee, get amongst a game of bingo and try your luck at winning a noteworthy prize or two. Move your booty and get to it, with tickets selling fast.
When: Wednesday 28 March; 7pm to 9pm
Where: Miami Marketta, Hillcrest Avenue, Miami
Cost: From $24 via booking website
Gold Coast’s fave arts and cultural festival is back again for an ever bigger, bolder and more thought-provoking celebration of the creatives. Scour the extensive Bleach* events lineup and be sure to jot down where you’ll be headed. With 10 world premieres, 140 performances and 31 locations, we recommend checking out the lineup, like, now. Live music, performances, dance, film and installations will all be held over an incredible 18 days starting at the end of March. Get ready for street parties, exhibitions, workshops and free concerts. This is one of the best things to do on the Gold Coast this March that you’re going to want to get in on.
When: Thursday 29 March to Sunday 15 April
Where: Various locations
Cost: Both free and ticketed events, see website for full event schedule
Looking for more things to do on the Gold Coast this March? How about a bar crawl?
Image credit: Brooke Darling for The Urban List