Whether you’re after street food and craft beers, or swimming holes and National Parks, you’ll find it all on the Gold Coast. Here are our favourite hidden gems for you to experience.
The Village Markets
The Village Markets are the original boutique fashion and lifestyle market, showcasing a carefully edited line-up of stalls, vintage clothing, delicious eats, and live local music. They’re one of the Coast’s biggest success stories and have not only helped launch local brands to international stardom, but have acted as a platform for many to follow their creative passions. Pack a picnic blanket, sit under the trees with your friends, soak up the good vibes and enjoy a vast variety of food from around the world. The Village Markets trade every month at Burleigh Heads State School on the first and third Sunday from 8.30AM until 1PM.
Long before craft brewing was a scene on the Gold Coast, there was Burleigh Brewing. Back in 2006, founders Peta and Brennan felt that the laid-back, beach vibes were the perfect match for their unrushed, authentic approach to beer making – and they’ve been expertly toiling away on the best craft beers ever since. They have a staunch “local first” philosophy and if ingredients and packaging materials are available in Australia, they buy them here. This makes for a truly authentic coastal brew.
Join them and sample the full list at the Burleigh Taphouse. Also check out the event board which is loaded with options including outdoor cinema nights and bushfire relief fundraisers.
Currumbin Rock Pools
Currumbin Rock Pools offer an awesome day trip for anyone looking for a unique swimming spot. While many people head to Currumbin Beach on the coast, just a 15-minute drive inland will lead you to the Currumbin Valley. The valley was settled in the 1840s and was mostly used for farming before opening up to tourism. Nowadays, many people visit for the nearby national parks, golf courses, and of course the Rock Pools.
Reminiscent of idyllic childhood days, kids swing on ropes and leap off ledges into the refreshing pools below, while those not brave enough for the icy waters lounge like lizards on the rocks nearby. Pool depths vary but there are plenty of places for little kids to splash around too, and you can even take your dog along for a swim. Pack a picnic or buy drinks, snacks and ice-creams across the road at the Currumbin Community Farm Campus.
Natural Bridge, Springbrook
Natural Bridge is in the western part of Springbrook National Park, part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. It’s a local favourite thanks to the stunning waterfall that flows through a natural hole in the rock formation and into the cave below. By night the cave lights up with thousands of glow worms.
Follow the easy one kilometre circuit descending through ancient rainforest to the Natural Bridge rock arch. Spot green catbirds, paradise riflebirds, and also rare and threatened species like the cascade tree frog or sooty owl. The circuit takes around 30 to 40 minutes. Note that this is a protected area so swimming in the creek and cave is prohibited.
By day Marketta makes coffees for the weary. But on Friday and Saturday nights it transforms into a raucous mecca of street food and live tunes. It can sometimes feel like the backstreets of Thailand, Barcelona or New York but this laneway dining experience is right here on the Gold Coast providing the holy trinity of cocktails, great music and tapas. 25 food vendors from all nationalities pack the space so be sure to take a culinary trip around the world by ordering multiple courses. What’s more, big-name artists that are passing through like to make guest appearances – such as The Cat Empire and Xavier Rudd.