Dis­cover Main Beach

Where Brisbane - - Contents - BY JANE HODGES

JUST NORTH of the busy throng of Surfers Par­adise, you’ll find Main Beach—a re­laxed mix of cafés, restau­rants, bars, re­sort shop­ping and a choice of calm or surf beaches. It’s also home to Ma­rina Mi­rage and Mariners Cove Ma­rina—the jump­ing off points for all man­ner of wa­ter-based tours.

THINGS TO DO

Main Beach beaches are a lot less crowded than Surfers Par­adise’s iconic stretches of sand. For calm pro­tected beach swim­ming head for the in­side beaches of The Spit—a per­ma­nent sand spit that sep­a­rates the main­land and South­port Broad­wa­ter from the Pa­cific Ocean. On the other side of The Spit are lifesaver pa­trolled surf beaches with flagged swim­ming ar­eas—the Se­away Beach (pa­trolled Novem­ber to April), Sea World Beach (pa­trolled on week­ends and school hol­i­days) and Sher­a­ton Beach and Main Beach (both pa­trolled all year round). You can walk, run or ride along the Gold Coast Ocean­way, a 36-kilo­me­tre net­work of coastal path­ways stretch­ing from the Gold Coast Se­away (The Spit) to the Point Dan­ger Light­house (Coolan­gatta).

En­joy a fam­ily day at Sea World— one of Main Beach’s top at­trac­tions. It’s the per­fect day out with dol­phin and seal shows as well as the chance to see sharks, st­ingrays, pen­guins and po­lar bears. The Storm Roller­coaster, an in­ter­ac­tive di­nosaur dis­play and an ac­ro­batic ski show will keep ev­ery­one happy!

There’s so much to do on the wa­ter— go whale watch­ing (hump­backs cruise past from June to Oc­to­ber) with Gold Coast Whale Ad­ven­tures; do a four­wheel-drive buggy and Seg­way tour of South Strad­broke Is­land; sail, jet ski, jet board or stand-up pad­dle­board on the Broad­wa­ter, take a thrill ride with Par­adise Jet­boat­ing or see it all from the skies with a he­li­copter ride over the high­rise sky­line, the coast and is­lands with Gold Coast Heli­tours— all leave from Mariners Cove Ma­rina. You can even learn to surf at The Spit with Get Wet Surf School.

WHERE TO EAT

You can mix it with the lo­cals and ex­pe­ri­ence some of the coast’s best bars and din­ing on Ted­der Av­enue. When your watch says cock­tail o’clock, start with a Jalapeno Mar­garita or a lo­cal Burleigh Brew­ing Co beer at Bar Chico. Set­tle in for some share plates from chef Dar­ren Baranello’s Mediter­ranean, Asian and Mid­dle East­ern-in­spired menu, or wan­der down the Av­enue to Shuck for some se­ri­ous peo­ple watch­ing and some of the Coast’s fresh­est seafood— the sand crab lasagne is sen­sa­tional!

For won­der­ful wa­ter views, join the lo­cals for a sun­set drink at South­port Yacht Club. Get a ta­ble over­look­ing the moored yachts and as the sun fades you’ll see the lights of the Gold Coast twin­kling over the wa­ter. The meals are great too!

For ca­sual fish and chips or fresh caught lo­cal prawns and crabs, head to Peters’ Fish Mar­ket. Out­side ta­bles over­look the fish­ing fleet or find a spot across the road on Main Beach.

Right next door is Palazzo Ver­sace Ho­tel—of­fer­ing high tea at Le Jardin, ca­sual wa­ter­front din­ing at Vie Bar & Restau­rant or a gas­tro­nomic ad­ven­ture to re­mem­ber at Van­i­tas.

Glass Din­ing & Lounge Bar is known for its suc­cu­lent steaks; Omeros Bros for supreme seafood in stylish sur­rounds; and Ris­torante Fellini for the finest Ital­ian fare. The best bets for break­fast are Provi­dore Ma­rina Mi­rage or lo­cal favourite Lark Café and Gro­cer on Main Beach Pa­rade.

WHERE TO SHOP

High-end cen­tre Ma­rina Mi­rage of­fers more than 80 spe­cial­ity stores (fash­ion, art and de­sign, home­wares and even a pooch bou­tique). Visit GANT for con­tem­po­rary fash­ion for ac­tive liv­ing.

For de­signer shoes, bags and ac­ces­sories you can’t go past Maryon’s on Ted­der Av­enue. They stock in­ter­na­tional de­signer la­bels in­clud­ing Cé­line, Emilio Pucci, Givenchy, Kenzo, Marc by Marc Ja­cobs, Marni, Nicholas Kirk­wood and So­nia Rykiel.

GET­TING AROUND

Travel around the area via the G:link, the Gold Coast’s easy to use light rail net­work. It runs fre­quently be­tween the north­ern Gold Coast Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal sta­tion via South­port, Main Beach and Surfers Par­adise to Broad­beach near Pa­cific Fair Shop­ping Cen­tre at its south­ern-most point. Visit ride­theg.com.au or down­load the My G App.

Main Beach views. Photo: Tourism and Events Queens­land.

South­port Yacht Club.

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