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.
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.
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.
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.
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.