Cruise con­trol

Known for its night life, the Gold Coast can be as laid back as you want it

Life & Style Weekend - - TRAVEL - Meghan Har­ris meghan.har­ris@thechron­i­cle.com.au

IS THERE any­thing more re­lax­ing than sit­ting atop a cruise boat on a sunny week­end morn­ing?

On Satur­day, I dis­cov­ered the an­swer to that ques­tion was no, there is noth­ing bet­ter.

Cruis­ing along Gold Coast water­ways on a sunny and pleas­antly warm win­ter morn­ing with my hus­band, we were able to spend an hour tak­ing in the beau­ti­ful sur­round­ings start­ing at Surfers Par­adise.

Our view changed from city build­ings to mil­lion-dol­lar houses to big open spa­ces and then ocean.

We were able to see a snap­shot of the coast dur­ing our time aboard Wyn­dam Cruise’s the Spirit of El­ston.

We were on the first cruise for the morn­ing which of­fered a range of cakes and hot bev­er­ages.

When we ar­rived back on shore around lunchtime we were feel­ing peck­ish and headed into the heart of Surfers Par­adise for lunch.

Surfers Par­adise is known as a glitzy precinct with a buzzing night life, but the din­ing scene is grow­ing.

Whether you want burg­ers and beer, fresh seafood or finer din­ing, there is some­thing for all taste­buds.

Our first stop had to be Brook­lyn De­pot. We were ea­ger to try their fa­mous burg­ers you see so much about on so­cial me­dia.

When we sat down we re­alised it was about so much more than burg­ers with of­fer­ings of wings, hot dogs, ribs, and desserts.

Al­though we knew we would be in­dulging in an all-you-can-eat buf­fet later that evening we couldn’t help but over-or­der slightly.

We couldn’t go past the ba­con and cheese fries, the mac and cheese balls, the corn cobs, thick­shakes and of course the burg­ers so large they re­quire two hands to eat.

Af­ter eat­ing way more than we should have, we headed back to our unit at Mantra Sun City.

The cur­tains in the liv­ing area were pulled right back to re­veal floor to celling win­dows and an amaz­ing view of Surfers Par­adise, a com­bi­na­tion of city and beach­front.

Af­ter wast­ing a few hours on our bal­cony it was time for din­ner. This is what I was most ex­cited about, the in­ter­ac­tive ex­pe­ri­ence at QT’s Bazaar Restau­rant.

Bazaar recre­ates a tra­di­tional mar­ket place with a unique twist of­fer­ing a va­ri­ety of dishes at dif­fer­ent sta­tions.

You can watch chefs cook meals made to or­der or pe­ruse the menu.

There are fresh sal­ads, wood-fired piz­zas, slow-roasted meats, juicy seafood, tan­ta­lis­ing cur­ries, a dumpling sta­tion and dessert bar.

I went back for four plates, mak­ing sure to try some­thing from ev­ery sta­tion.

It is hard not to be im­pressed by the food of­fer­ing in Surfers Par­adise. Al­though it is known for its glam­our aimed at young adults, the pro­gres­sive din­ing scene is some­thing to ex­pe­ri­ence.

Surfers Par­adise beach on Queens­land’s Gold Coast and, right, QT’s Bazaar Restau­rant; Elvis im­per­son­ator Jay Dupuis per­forms.

PHOTO: MATTRIMAGES

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