A gay getaway to the Gold Coast? Don’t mind if we do.
Apparently not all that glistens is gold, but in this case, it certainly is. A gay getaway to the Gold Coast is nothing short of iconic – think picturesque white-sand beaches, rambunctious nightlife, thrilling theme parks and world-class shopping.
As the Gold Coast’s gay community continues to grow, so does its LGBTIQ+ offering. With a recent LGBTIQ+ night club takeover, an abundance of LGBTIQ+ friendly venues and more budgie smugglers donned than that of the 2000 Sydney Olympic games, the Gold Coast should certainly be considered for your next LGBTIQ+ long weekend adventure.
Though the Gold Coast doesn’t have an LGBTIQ+ specific nightlife venue, it does have ‘Flamboyance’. Flamboyance is the queer nightclub drag persona of one of coast’s most happening late-night venues, The Pink Flamingo. Flamboyance takes over The Pink Flamingo each and every Sunday night, and is a full LGBTIQ+ takeover – complete with a twerking competition, an elaborate display of aerial acrobatics, and some ABBA-obsessed flight attendants crashing a plane.
Although not LGBTIQ+ specific, the Gold Coast has a number of other gay-friendly night-life venues and nightclubs for those looking to get their dancing fix on a non-Sunday night, too.
The most well-renowned venue in this category would have to be ‘Retro’s’. Retro’s positions itself as a place that feels familiar, where you can expect to bump into friends new and old. A place where songs from the excessive 80s are blaring, tracks from the hedonistic 90s are pumping, and tunes from the sleek 2000s are teleporting you away. As such, the venue tends to draw the gay community its way most Friday and Saturday nights.
EAT AND DRINK
After dancing the night away to your favourite ABBA throwbacks, you’re probably going to want to get yourself a decent bite to eat. Luckily the Gold Coast caters for all, with world-class bites on almost every corner.
For a picture perfect brunch (literally) that you’ll be sure to remember, you’re going to want to check out The Cardamom Pod at Brickworks. Cardamom Pod is nestled in Southport (though also has a new sister venue in Broadbeach) and is well-known for its Instagram famous dishes and all-vegetarian menu.
Boasting regular vegetarian favourites such as acai bowls, avo on toast and banana pancakes, the café however really earns its kudos for its famed wildcard specials – think pumpkin pie pancakes, gourmet toasties and authentic Thai laksa. The team behind Cardamom Pod are extremely LGBTIQ+ friendly and sure to make you feel right at home!
If an afternoon snack with a couple of drinks is more what you’re after, then the Burleigh Pavilion is the place to be. Right on the water’s edge in Burleigh Heads, this is a local favourite that never ceases to draw a crowd. The menu has something for everyone with an array of fresh seafood options, burgers, wood-fired pizzas, salads and share plates galore. Get there early if you’re wanting to grab yourself a spot to sit, have a sip and catch the sunset.
Mantra Circle on Cavill Surfers Paradise, Novotel Surfers Paradise Hotel, Peppers Soul Surfers Paradise and BreakFree Imperial Surf Surfers Paradise are all hotels that fall under the ALL – Accor Live Limitless hotel brand. Major accommodation partners of the 2018 & 2019 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, ALL – Accor Live Limitless is a hotel brand who actively works to ensure that LGBTIQ+ guests feel welcome, safe and accepted while staying in their properties.
Being a tourist favourite, the Gold Coast has an infinite number of things to do, both for the adventurous and the laidback holiday goer.
For the thrill seekers, no visit to the Gold Coast is complete without a trip or two out to the theme parks. Let Superman push you and your roller coaster out of ‘danger’ at incredible speeds at Warner Bros. Movie World. Swim with the sharks at Sea World or have the floor drop from under you in one of the world’s steepest waterslides at Wet ‘n’ Wild. If that’s not enough, fall for the Gold Coast in a completely different way, whilst you conquer the Giant Drop at Dreamworld. With so many theme parks on the Gold Coast, you’ll be spoiled for choice!
For the relaxed holiday goer, soak up some sun on one of the many breathtaking Gold Coast beaches, or even take a leisure ride around Surfers Paradise’s pristine waterways on the Aqua Duck. You’ve also got all the beauty of the hinterland right at your fingertips.
This article was first published online by Tourism Queensland. It has been reproduced here with the consent of all parties.