Whether you’re heading to the Gold Coast for the theme parks, the beautiful beaches, the endless coastal walks, a fun-filled festival or for the non-stop family-friendly entertainment, it pays to make a plan. Starting with where to eat and sleep.
Where to eat
The key to eating out on the Gold Coast is to look for penny-pinching meals that stretch your budget further. That way you can eat out every day of your holiday and not break the bank. Fortunately, there are ample Gold Coast restaurants and bars spruiking some killer deals that are both minimal on cost and maximum on tastiness. These places include:
The Coolangatta Hotel menu changes seasonally but is all-year-round delicious. Every day you’ll find all day specials for just $15 a plate. Choose a grain-fed rump steak, beef burger, ribs, schnitzel, fish ‘n’ chips or salad, or check out the full menu. On Wednesday’s come and check out our $1 oysters too!
Locals have something to be proud of with the colourful and eclectic Randy Wallhole. Breakfast options are simple and seriously good value (think jaffles, loaded bagels and CocoPop iced lattes) and brunch and lunch is awesome too. All set within a funky backdrop of retro couches, arcade games and paraphernalia.
The Betty’s Classic – a pure, unadulterated, delicious $10 burger loaded with Angus beef pattie, lettuce, onion, tomato, cheese and special sauce makes Betty’s Burgers a favourite cheap eat burger joint. Add to that rich and creamy custard ice cream and you’re onto a winner.
8 Street Dining Hall
Reminiscent of a bustling hawker market in Asia, Harbour Town’s new 8 Street dining hall serves up Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian and Chinese at bargain prices. Pick up a value bento box, tuck into a $10 banh mi, or chow down on some delicious dumplings, from $6.80 for 6.
Salt Meats Cheese
With some of the best wood-fired pizza on the Gold Coast, Salt Meats Cheese is a firm family favourite. Head there on a Monday and enjoy all-you-can-eat pizza for $25 a head with any drink purchase.
Aloha Bar & Dining
Accessed via a non-descript Broadbeach laneway, Aloha Bar & Dining is a hidden gem filled with nautical nic-nacs and island-themed paraphernalia. There are cheap eat specials 5 nights a week, starting with Sundays when you can enjoy $1 oysters from 5pm. Monday is food truck popup day, Tuesday is Tiki Tuesday with $5 skewers and $10 poke bowls, Wednesday is $1 dumplings and Thursday is $2 tacos.
Griffith St Larder
Griffith St Larder is a casual eatery serving quality, affordable food in style. It’s urban cafe vibe meets beachside location makes it a favourite amongst Coolangatta’s surfers for breakfast. Kick start your day with locally roasted Blackboard coffee and a $10 crispy bacon, egg, tomato and chilli ciabatta.
Where to sleep
If you’re looking to relax on your holiday and ensure a good night’s sleep, we recommend checking out the southern end of the Gold Coast, namely Coolangatta and Kirra. If you prefer to be in the thick of the action, the closer you are to Surfers Paradise the more busy it gets. Family favourites include:
Oaks Calypso Plaza
Coolangatta offers the best of both worlds. All the fun of the family theme parks and attractions on the Gold Coast are nearby but you can retreat back to the natural beauty and wonder that is a quaint seaside village. At Oaks Calypso Plaza you’ll find charming beachside hotel rooms through to 2-bedroom ocean view apartments.
Turtle Beach Resort
The family-friendly Turtle Beach Resort offers a choice of one, two or three bedroom apartments, each featuring a private balcony or patio that overlooks 4.5 hectares of lush gardens. The exceptional facilities make families return year after year, with four swimming areas and a splash zone waterpark.
Kirra Beach Apartments
Just a stone’s throw from the Gold Coast airport and the charming coastal village of Coolangatta, Kirra Beach Apartments offers 1,2 and 3 bedroom apartments as well as penthouse accommodation. Opposite beautiful Kirra Beach, famous for its surf breaks, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views and a vibrant connected community.
Big 4 Gold Coast Caravan Park
Located in close proximity to the Gold Coast’s theme parks, Big 4 Gold Coast Caravan Park has accommodation to suit every budget. Choose from cabins and villas, sites and ensuites, pet-friendly accommodation and motel rooms that sleep up to 8. Find a petting zoo and bike track, resort style pool, camp kitchen and more.
Paradise Resort is known as “heaven for kids” and “paradise for parents”. It houses a waterpark, ice rink and kids club all under one roof and is located just minutes from the heart of Surfers Paradise. Every child gets up to four hours of Kid Zone fun for free each day of your stay.
Wondering what to plan next now you’ve got your food and accommodation sorted? Why not make a plan for taking in some live music by checking out the Cooly Hotel’s What’s On page. The Cooly Hotel is one of the best live music venues on the Gold Coast and its bar offers some of the best beach views too.