Lifestyle

Winter Wonderland: 7 hours in Surfers Paradise

It’s cold out, but the sun’s always shining on this surfside city. If you happen to have one day free, here’s the best way to spend seven hours in Surfers Paradise, right until sundown.

A late morning walk or drive will start your day off around 11am, and – nutritionists be damned – we say skip breakfast and save yourself for a big lunch to kick off the day at Longboards Laidback Eatery and Bar. When the logo is a dog riding a surfboard, you know you’re in for a truly authentic ‘Surfers’ experience. True to its name, the casual atmosphere of Longboards makes it easy to spend a careless couple of hours indulging in the gourmet burgers and famous shakes, perusing the surf-themed walls. You can spot some of the world’s best surfers and artists on these walls (albeit no dogs). Longboards is rated as one of the best places to eat in Surfers Paradise by TripAdvisor, and rightly so. From the ‘Alabama Slammer’ featuring some very southern fried chicken, BBQ pulled pork, coleslaw, ranch AND hot sauce (among other things – seriously) to the now infamous-for-all-the-right-reasons ‘PHAT Bastard Burger’ of grilled Wagyu goodness, crispy beer battered onion rings and house-made, closely guarded PHAT secret sauce, you’ll see why you’ll need to make room for a Longboards lunch. Did we mention the Oreo Brownie Bomb shakes?

OK, so you’ll need to do a spot of walking to digest, and Cavill Avenue Mall is right around the corner. Stretching from the iconic Surfers Paradise sign at the beach on Surfers Boulevard all the way down through the mall to the Esplanade, this famous strip has undergone some extensive redevelopment of late and features cool surf shops, boutique and designer brands and some long-standing attractions like Hard Rock Café, Ripley’s Believe or Not and The Wax Museum. Hey you don’t have to be a tourist to enjoy the child in you – hit these places up again, for old time’s sake!

The finale for the day – and potentially the most memorable moment – is a sunset kayak tour. Australian Kayaking Adventures do a two-hour twilight tour departing from Budds Beach. Kayak past the Surfers Paradise skyline as the sun dips below the horizon. The waters are calm, the air is fresh and the scenic beauty will take your breath away – oh and there’s a glass of wine at the end of the experience! Bliss.

It doesn’t have to end there. If you want the drinks to keep flowing, head to QT’s Stingray Bar & Lounge for a nightcap and a bite to eat. Stingray has become the go-to bar for enjoying company in a stylish and vibrant atmosphere. A little mod and a touch quirky, Stingray offers a seriously impressive beverage and food menu in very cool surrounds. There’s a hint of Mexican in the menu, and the Candied Jalapeno Margarita is the perfect place to start your fiesta. Wash it down with fish tacos, stone baked pizzas, dumplings and churros with chilli chocolate sauce. Warning, a stop at Stingray may just extend your seven-hour Surfers Paradise trip into the wee hours of the night!

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