For those with an appetite for fun, the Gold Coast says, ‘bring it on’
You’ve come a long way, baby. It’s been six years since “Goldie” won its bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games and in that time the city has certainly changed. As construction crews built venues and villages there were also creative forces at work as designers and artisans shaped new spaces for dining and entertainment.
And while the tourism strip along Cavill Avenue still delivers a kitsch postcard, those with an appetite for something modern, quirky or luxe have plenty to choose from.
Along its 57km stretch of coastline from The Spit to Coolangatta, the Gold Coast is all grown up.
AND WE’RE RACING
If 2018 is the unofficial international year of the Gold Coast, the party starts with the Magic Millions Carnival (January 7-13).
This equine event has evolved from a yearling sale and race day, mostly attended by industry insiders, to a week-long carnival which attracts celebrities and high-flyers of entertainment, sport and business as well as some of the world’s richest horse breeders, buyers and trainers.
The 2018 carnival launches with the Pacific Fair Magic Millions Polo at The Spit on January 7. Bring a picnic rug and a packed lunch for general admission tickets (adults $35 and children under 15 free). For cocktails, catering and comfy furniture, choose one of three pavilions (tickets $100$350 a person). Go all out in the VIP Marquee ($3750 for a table of 10) and you can join the buffet queue with celebs, racing royalty and real royals. Magic Millions ambassadors include British equestrian Zara Phillips (the Queen’s granddaughter) and her husband, World Cup rugby union champ Mike Tindall.
On the polo field, Australia’s famed Archibald brothers –Rob, Ed and Jack – will square off against Argentina’s champion, Nacho Figueras. He is a star in US polo circles but to most people is known as the face of Ralph Lauren fragrances.
There’s more carnival buzz on January 9 with a morning exhibition race and barrier draw on the Surfers Paradise foreshore, where starting spots are drawn for the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic and the $2 million Gold Coast Magic Millions Guineas on Raceday, January 13. The nine-race event plus Fashions on the Field now attracts more than 20,000 people to the Gold Coast Turf Club (general admission tickets $40).
QT HOTEL 7 STAGHORN AVE, SURFERS PARADISE
Step into the lobby of this retrofabulous hotel and its appeal to an incredibly diverse market of people is