There’s nothing like a bit of sun in the middle of a Victorian winter. Why not flee the cold this winter and head to Queensland for a perfect winter break.
Winter is a great time to take a break to the Gold Coast. The heat and crowds of summer have passed, but it’s still warm enough to thaw out a shivering southerner and it’s that much easier to find a window seat overlooking the beach at a friendly surf club.
57 kilometres of beaches stretching from Coolangatta down south near the airport to South Stradbroke Island up the top. With the air and hot water temperatures hovering around 20 degrees for much of the winter, it’s never too cold to take a dip.
Unless you’re right in a busy tourist hub such as Surfers Paradise, you can always find a quiet stretch of sand to call your own.
In winter it’s easier to catch a wave by yourself at renowned surf spots such as Burleigh Heads, Snapper Rocks and Greenmount. Enjoy the beachside exercise equipment at Burleigh Surfers and other spots along the coast. Easy to find a table at any number of groovy little cafes, bars and restaurants that wouldn’t look out of place in inner-Melbourne.
It’s also pretty much impossible not to see whales – as it is smack-bang in the middle of humpback season. Reasonably priced whale-watching cruises usually offer money-back guarantees. The sight of humpbacks large and (relatively) small breaching fin-slapping and spy-hopping are memories to last lifetime, but the cruises could also provide a different perspective on the coast itself.
The cruises which leave from Surfers, take you past the houses, mansions and parklands lining the Nerang river, past the marinas and resorts of the Broadwater and out onto the Pacific through the busy Gold Coast Seaway.
With several states having overlapping school holidays in the last week of June and the first two weeks of July, you can choose to have a family holiday or a grown-ups-only getaway in the quiet time after the kids go back.
THINGS TO DO ON THE GOLD COAST
See Humpback Whales
They are not visible from the beach so take a tour.
Eat at a Surf Club
The Currumbin and Rainbow Bay clubs are on the beach.
Browse the Night Markets
The Miami Marketta and Night Quarter at Helensvale have street food and live entertainment every Friday and Saturday night. Miamimarketta.com; nightquarter.com,au
Climb the Q1
The Skypoint Observation Deck on top of the Q1 Skycraper in Surfers Paradise has 360-degree views. Intrepid types can do the 90-minute outside climb up the buildings metal crown.
Try Food-Truck Grub
The Gold Coast has food trucks with everything from German sausages to New Zealand-style pies and desserts.
Visit Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Kids of all ages can get acquainted with kangaroos, koalas and lorikeets and learn more about Australia’s natural and human history.
Stand-up paddleboarding, or “supping” is popular on Currumbin Creek and Tallabudgera Creek.
Take the kids to the Playground
The Broadwater Parklands in Southport have a giant bouncy pillow and a water playground.
The Pirate Park in Palm Beach has a big wooden pirate ship.