THE GRASS IS GREENER

WE MAY BOAST ABOUT OUR BEACHES, BUT THE GOLD COAST HAS PLENTY TO OF­FER IN THE PARKS DEPART­MENT TOO

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - FRONT PAGE -

FIRE UP THE BBQ: UL­TI­MATE GUIDE TO GOLD COAST PARKS

BROADWATER PARKLANDS, SOUTH­PORT BEST FOR: Ev­ery­thing for ev­ery­one

As Mayor Tom Tate says, “if you haven’t vis­ited the Parklands, you are miss­ing out!” In ad­di­tion to the reg­u­lar events held by the wa­ter on the sprawl­ing green parklands, there’s parks for the kids and a fish and chip shop for pic­nics. “There is a pedal mono­rail with the track run­ning around the edge of the play­ground, slip­pery slides, a swing set, and a boat for the kids to cap­tain and also a huge rope fly­ing fox. Just next to the play­ground there is a bouncy pil­low to jump on. The swim­ming en­clo­sure is right in front of the bouncy pil­low with per­ma­nent beach um­brel­las and bar­be­cues pro­vided. The rock­pools are only a short stroll away, per­fect to cool ev­ery­one off on a hot day, and there is plenty of shade for par­ents to sit back and watch the kids (and the boats sail by).”

PIZZEY PARK, MI­AMI BEST FOR: Dogs

While Pizzey Park has so many dif­fer­ent ar­eas that cater to vastly dif­fer­ent Gold Coast de­mo­graph­ics – from rugby fields to the skate park to a pine-tree for­est – the dog park is per­fect for puppy play. “Pizzey Park has a fan­tas­tic dog off-leash area and a dog ex­er­cise fa­cil­ity. This dog park is known as one of the best on the Coast ... treat your pooch to­day,” Cr Tate says.

CASCADE GAR­DENS, BROAD­BEACH BEST FOR: Wed­dings and events

While it’s great for walks, pic­nics and wa­ter views, Cascade Gar­dens is ideal for spe­cial oc­ca­sions. “Cascade Gar­dens has a lovely ro­tunda, which is one of our most pop­u­lar wed­ding and cer­e­mony venues,” Cr Tate says. “The green leafy sur­rounds of the gar­dens are also the per­fect back­drop for your wed­ding pho­to­graphs. With a pur­pose-built gazebo, this is an­other one of our most pop­u­lar parks, and its cen­tral lo­ca­tion is close to many re­cep­tion venues.”

GOLD COAST RE­GIONAL BOTANIC GAR­DENS, BENOWA BEST FOR: Smelling the posies

A stroll through the Botan­i­cal Gar­dens will have you think­ing “How’s the seren­ity?” “With so many beau­ti­ful species to see at the Gold Coast Re­gional Botanic Gar­dens, join the 200,000 vis­i­tors that an­nu­ally visit th­ese gar­dens,” Cr Tate says. “There is the Man­groves to Moun­tains walk, Rose Gar­den, Sen­sory Gar­den, Gum Tree Cor­ri­dor and But­ter­fly Gar­den, where the plant se­lec­tion is based on the needs of but­ter­flies.”

CUR­RUMBIN ROCK POOLS, CUR­RUMBIN BEST FOR: Ad­ven­tur­ing

A trip to the iconic Cur­rumbin Rock­pools is a rite of pas­sage for Gold Coast lo­cals and it has be­come a hotspot to take vis­it­ing out-of-town­ers. With trick­ling creeks and mossy rocks, it’s a world away with­out trav­el­ing a world away. “There are large grassy banks, per­fect for ex­plor­ing or rolling out that pic­nic rug. The kids can have a run around and, of course, swim in the rocks pools,” Cr Tate says.

JOHN LAWS PARK, BURLEIGH HEADS BEST FOR: Views

Cr Tate says John Laws Park of­fers, “one of the most mag­i­cal views any­where in the world”. Any­one who fre­quents the iconic Burleigh Hill will agree. The park spans all the way to the top of the head­land with views of the Surfers Par­adise cityscape, and fur­ther still are walk­ing tracks with ocean look­outs. Ev­ery Sun­day the hill turns into a fes­ti­val as lo­cals flock to watch the sun­set spec­ta­cle. A Justin Lane pizza pic­nic should be on the menu.

MICK SCHAMBURG PARK, NORTH BURLEIGH BEST FOR: Fit­ness

Many lo­cal fit­ness gu­rus have a love/hate re­la­tion­ship with the fa­mous Mick Schamburg hill – it’s so steep just one look gets the heart rate up. But if you make it to the top you’re re­warded with en­dor­phins and un­beat­able views. “Join one of the many fit­ness groups that use this park for group train­ing or take a walk or jog up the hill to the look­out with views to Surfers Par­adise and Coolan­gatta,” Cr Tate says.

EVANDALE PARK, SURFERS PAR­ADISE BEST FOR: Pic­nics

Af­ter be­ing drained to catch that pesky stone­fish, Evandale Lake looks a lit­tle dif­fer­ent, but it’ll be back to nor­mal in no time, and the sur­round­ing ar­eas are still as stun­ning as ever. “Lo­cated in the cen­tre of the city, th­ese parklands are a beau­ti­ful lo­ca­tion for a stroll, pic­nic, swim or jog,” Cr Tate says. “There are am­ple pic­nic ar­eas with bar­be­cues and shaded seat­ing in the parklands. There is also a swim­ming la­goon, vol­ley­ball court, chil­dren’s play­ground and ex­er­cise equip­ment.”

KURRAWA PARK, BROAD­BEACH BEST FOR: Play

Kurrawa Park’s all abil­i­ties play­ground has many dif­fer­ent ar­eas, so the lit­tlies are spoilt for choice. “There is a sand­pit cas­tle area, an ocean-themed area in­clud­ing sub­ma­rine, sea snake and mer­maid, two huge slip­pery slides to go down, two sets of swings (in­clud­ing a lib­erty swing for chil­dren with dis­abil­ity), a climb­ing web and a fly­ing fox,” Cr Tate says. “There is plenty of area to throw down a pic­nic rug if you plan to stay for a few hours and also plenty of other seat­ing.”

PALM BEACH PARKLANDS BEST FOR: Par­ent/child time

While mum and dad head for a cof­fee at Dune, the kids can go wild sail­ing the seven seas in the huge pi­rate ship play­ground. “Palm Beach Parklands is just one of the many sig­na­ture parks on the Gold Coast home to a themed play­ground – the pi­rate ship is sim­ply fan­tas­tic and very life­like for the kids to imag­ine, ex­plore and dream. En­joy a cof­fee and baby­cino af­ter playtime to re­fuel,” Cr Tate says.

HARLEY PARK, LABRADOR BEST FOR: Swim­ming

Up north a lit­tle, Harley Park on a week­end is al­ways buzzing. Buy some fish and chips from Charis Seafood and grab a spot on the lawn (avoid the rav­en­ous seag­ulls), but be sure to wait 30 min­utes be­fore go­ing for a dip. “Mag­i­cal Broadwater views, a fan­tas­tic ship-themed kids’ play­ground and heaps of shaded pic­nic ta­bles make this a pop­u­lar lo­ca­tion for lo­cal res­i­dents,” Cr Tate says. “The Ian Dip­ple la­goon is a per­fect place for a dip for young chil­dren through to adults. It is even flood­lit in the evenings.”

MACINTOSH IS­LAND, SURFERS PAR­ADISE BEST FOR: Hot days

In Oc­to­ber it’s trans­formed for the GC600, but the rest of the year it’s a cool, peace­ful sanc­tu­ary, within walk­ing dis­tance to the beach and per­fect for when the sand is too hot to hang out. “The large park of­fers many op­tions for your party or gath­er­ing, with large trees pro­vid­ing ex­cel­lent shade op­tions,” Cr Tate says. “The cas­cad­ing stream run­ning through the park is home to sev­eral types of birds and gives a tran­quil at­mos­phere.”

PAR­ADISE POINT PARKLANDS BEST FOR: The whole fam­ily

The com­mu­nity and fam­ily at­mos­phere at th­ese north­ern Parklands is among the best, with whole fam­i­lies – in­clud­ing the pups – gath­er­ing for any and ev­ery oc­ca­sion. “The Parklands have re­cently been up­graded with new pub­lic ameni­ties, bar­be­cue fa­cil­i­ties and pic­nic shel­ters,” Cr Tate says. “There are also open grassed ar­eas, per­fect for a game of cricket with the fam­ily, or a kick of the footy.”

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