If you agree with any of the below statements, you are officially in need of a chilled out holiday immediately.
1. You spend your commute rehearsing arguments with people in your head.
2. Your local barista has your order waiting for you; not because he loves you, but because he fears what could happen if your caffeine intake is delayed two minutes.
3. You lose your s*** at the smallest, most inconsequential things. What do you mean the coffee machine can’t make a half shot, low fat, soy latte with vanilla?
4. You’ve forgotten what sunshine feels like. And looks like.
5. You look at your ‘to do’ list at work and you JUST. CAN’T. DEAL.
Step one is to get away. And we strongly suggest the Gold Coast. And because we know no-one wants to think, plan and organise when they can be relaxing, the good news is we’ve rounded up 13 of the Gold Coast’s best ways to de-stress, unwind and forget about #sydneylife.
1. Forget Camping, Go Glamping
Replace the crowds and complexities of everyday life with a slower pace and glamp it up at Nightfall Wilderness Camp. Swap five stars for millions and spend a night or two in a luxurious tent, indulging in fire-cooked organic cuisine and absorbing the views of soaring cliff faces, lush rainforests and winding creeks. Increase the indulgence with a massage by the creek.
2. Eat Healthy, Eat Local
There are so many opportunities to eat local, healthy and delicious food on the Gold Coast. The Burleigh Farmers Market is the go-to for local farm fresh fruit and vegetables and laid back vibes, while local cooking school Wild Lime Cooking School are leaders in working with native Australian flavours. Yum!
3. Keep It Chilled
Reclaim your inner child by swinging off ropes and leaping off ledges into the cool rock pools. If you're not brave enough to dip more than a toe in to the icy waters, lounge like a lizard and sun worship on the warm rocks. When it’s time to eat, cop a squat over a picnic, throw a snag on the BBQ or head across to Allure on Currumbin for elegant dining in a relaxed atmosphere or the newly-opened brewery Balter for a some refreshing locally-made craft beers.
4. Watch The Sun Rise At These Epic Beaches
There are plenty of health benefits to getting a good dose of sunshine so be the early bird and watch the sun rise over the sparkling Pacific Ocean. With 57 kilometres of coastline, you'll be spoiled for choice when it comes to insta-worthy spots, but our picks for the best #sunrise shots are the jetty at Southport Spit, Broadbeach, Burleigh, Nobby's Beach and Currumbin.
5. Chase Waterfalls
Forget what TLC said, chasing waterfalls is the way to go and Lamington and Springbrook National Parks deliver the goods, along with lush rainforests and flora and fauna dating back millions of years. If you prefer to walk on the wild side, blow off steam with a stroll along the rim of Tweed Volcano. It’s unbe-lava-ble! Head back through Tamborine Mountain with a pit stop for cheese at Witches Chase Cheese.
6. Head To A Health Retreat
Leave your phone at home and swap sugar, caffeine, gluten, booze and Netflix for yoga, boxing, hiking, gourmet organic eats and blissed out afternoons being pampered at the world’s best spa (they were named Best Global Luxury Destination Spa 2015) at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat. Plus, if it's good enough for Hollywood hottie Hugh Jackman, it's good enough for us! Hands up if you want to workout with Wolverine.
7. Tiptoe Through The Treetops
Suspended 15m above ground, the 180m long O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walkway isn't your average nature walk, putting you right in the middle of the canopy surrounded by birds and flowers. By the time you’ve crossed the nine suspension bridges and climbed up to the two observation decks, you’ll have earned your fish and chips.
8. Retail Therapy
From vintage threads to gourmet eats, the market scene on the coast is booming. Keep any hangry feelings at bay with a trip to the Miami Marketta Street Food. Indulge in boutique wines and locally brewed beer and foods from around the world while you listen to live music from local artists. For some Sunday action, head to Burleigh to check out the eclectic bohemian vibe of the Village Markets before grabbing a coffee from Commune and heading up Burleigh Hill to watch the surfers carve it up.
9. Chill With A Side Of Thrills
Forget Netflix and chill; go for a bucket list thrill that you can brag about when you're back at the office. Feel the wind in your hair as you jet ski over the Broadwater; get wet and wild with a spin on a jet boat or scale new heights with a SkyPoint Twilight Climb to the top of the Q1 building in Surfers Paradise. Those stunning 360° sunset views will make you forget there’s life south of the border.
10. Unleash Your Inner Masterchef
Cooking can cure insomnia, anxiety and boredom, soothe frazzled nerves and heal broken hearts. It also offers immediate gratification and can re-activate senses that have been numbed by stress. Nestled on two acres overlooking the Scenic Rim, Tamborine Cooking School hold regular cooking classes across a range of different cultural cuisines and at the end of each class you get to settle in and enjoy the fruits of your labour.
11. Call The Concierge
Live luxe without blowing the budget thanks to My Holiday Concierge. Providing the ultimate “wish list” of services, their team will do (almost) any thing to make your holiday a breeze from beginning to end. They can stock your fridge with groceries, make restaurant reservations, hire everything from beach towels to bicycles, book a tour of local wineries and – our favourite – send over a personal chef and wait staff so you can really kick back and relax!
12. Play A Round
No matter how old you are, a visit to Putt Putt Golf Mermaid Beach is always going to be a good time – just make sure you leave Happy Gilmour at home! And the best news – they’re open until 10pm daily so you can play a round before you head home to play around.
13. Snuggle Up At The Drive In
Hire a car, smuggle the blankets and pillows out of your hotel and head north for an old-school date night the Yatala Drive-In Theatre. Hit the Candy Bar for popcorn and choc tops and settle in for the night. Showing a mix of new releases and old classics, you’ll want to get in early to nab one of the best car spaces.
Image credits: Brooke Darling, Hayley Williamson, Nightfall Wilderness Camp
Editor's Note: This article is proudly sponsored by Gold Coast Tourism and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.