surfers paradise, queensland, australia
When the weather turns icy we Victorians love to get some sunshine and the Gold Coast is the perfect spot for a winter getaway. Melbourne doesn't always achieve walkability but it is something we like, so the very centre of Surfer's Paradise is the ideal spot. We stayed at The Vibe Hotel on Ferny Ave; there are other hotels closer but this was in our mid-range, barely-no-longer-a-backpacker budget. The hotel was clean, safe, quiet and had fantastic views. My friend had connections, so we were picked up by a limo at the airport to arrive at the hotel in style with kudos and $50 for Wazza. I find that Queensland generally has excellent public transport, which any traveller will tell you is worth its weight in gold, so we used light rail and buses to get around. Melbourne's Myki system could take a few lessons from the Go card.
We made several forays to the outskirts of Surfer's but for the most part stayed within the Elkhorn-Cavill block when not nerding it up at the theme parks. Some prior research and some wandering around yielded some exciting spots to eat and drink.
The concierge of the Hilton put me on to Elston on a previous trip (concierges are so helpful even when you're not a guest). Great coffee and breakfast - although our attendant worked hard on the coffee up-sell, insisting our latte glasses were going to be very small (read: normal). I like to change up my sides, never have been a fan of a Benedict with ham, so beware if you do it will cost; when they say no swapsies they mean it. On the otherhand, they made a latte art bear for me so it all works out!
We found this gem of a place by searching on the Google for 'gluten free friendly' and made the trek out to Chevron Island immediately. Tribeca is very on-trend with the current rage of New York style eateries and did not disappoint. We couldn't get a table straight away so we were seated at the bar where we indulged in a pair of gorgeous looking mojitos and treated to peanut butter pretzels. Only a short wait, we were seated not long after our cocktails were ready. Tribeca had a simple menu and it was hard to choose so our waiter assisted with recommendations of sliders, midtown chicken and NY Cheesecake. We didn't end up with the cheesecake as I have always wanted to try key lime pie and try it I did, with my friend selecting the gluten-free brownie. Friendly, sophisticated and tasty.