Long weekend on the Gold Coast

I love a good long weekend, relish that extra day that gives you just enough time and freedom to make a quick plane trip worthwhile. A while ago, I booked a trip up to the Gold Coast (via Brisbane) over the January 26 long weekend, and now after a busy January, it was finally here.

First up though, was a couple of nights in Brisbane for work. This pretty much meant being either cooped up in a hotel room working or dashing around Brisbane’s Customs House to help run a couple of information nights for work. Really, I only mention Brisbane to a) tell you about this hole-in-the-wall grilled cheese place I went for lunch (it’s called Melt Brothers, and it was everything I needed) and b) explain how to get from Brisbane to the Gold Coast.

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Getting from Brisbane to the Gold Coast

Gold Coast does have a domestic airport that is serviced by some pretty low-cost airfares from Australian cities, but it is also can be reached from Brisbane in under two hours by public transport. I caught the train from Brisbane Central Station down to Helensvale and changed to the G-Link tram.  The G-Link is your ticket to places like Surfers Paradise and even has special stands for transporting surfboards.

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My favourite activity of the weekend

I’ve tried surfing before. I’ve taken classes in flat surf and in crashing waves. It doesn’t matter what the conditions are, I just never will be good at surfing. So rather than spend an hour cursing and getting frustrated simply because a surfing lesson is the thing to do in Surfer’s Paradise, I booked a stand up paddleboarding class.

I met Linda from Go Vertical SUP Hire at Budds beach Hire at 9am, ready for a morning of cruisy paddling up the Nerang River. After a quick lesson in the fundamentals of SUP’ing, our group of seven paddled down under bridges and past riverside homes towards Macintosh Island Park.

 

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Source: Go Vertical SUP Hire
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Source: Go Vertical SUP Hire

 

Our instructor Linda took us on a short barefoot walk around the park, where we looked for baby peacocks and curlews. Back on the water, we had a chance to learn some fancy footwork and a few tricks on our boards before paddling back to our starting point, just in time for lunch. If you’re looking for a morning of fun outdoor activity while you’re up here, I would definitely recommend Go Vertical SUP Hire, who are friendly, down-to-earth and treat everyone like individuals. Thanks, Linda!

SUP’ing is also a pretty fantastic workout, so you’ll be ready for a feed when you’re done. And luckily the cafe across the road, Bumbles, is a quality option. I had actually come here the day before after reading good reviews, so it’s definitely more than a stop of convenience! With a cute interior, a fridge full of delectable cakes and friendly staff, you can kick back and relax with a juice the size of your head and a prawn sandwich.

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And the rest…

I didn’t want to jam pack my weekend with lots of activities, but rather just enjoy some much needed R’n’R; drinking coffee, eating well and enjoy the sun and water. Sometimes, that’s just the thing your soul needs.

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