Pack the rug, get something to go and make the most of the Gold Coast’s spectacular scenery and even better weather at these lesser-known picnic spots
There’s no shortage of incredible dining experiences the Gold Coast – with The Star Gold Coast’s signature dining experiences right up there with them – but with sun-kissed days screaming out for an al fresco feast, now’s the time to make the most of the glorious GC weather and pack a picnic basket full of your favourite treats.
With beach, lake, hinterland and parkland destinations easily reached on foot or with a short drive from The Star Gold Coast create your ultimate private outdoor dining experience at one of these popular – and lesser-known – picnic spots.
Hit the pavement or take a short drive north to one of the Gold Coast’s most underrated locals spots. Budds Beach is so off the radar it technically doesn’t even have its own postcode (it’s a mini pocket of Surfers Paradise) but follow your nose to River Drive and you’ll find a gorgeous spot to have a paddle on the Nerang River followed up by a picturesque picnic under the palms.
Home Of The Arts (HOTA) Parklands
Tucked in alongside the art gallery, cinema and outdoor performance space of Home of the Arts (HOTA) are lesser-known, lush lakeside parklands. Swim, climb the hidden adventure trail, and take in the ‘back-stage’ view of the Gold Coast city skyline as you nosh on your BYO gourmet picnic.
Burleigh Heads hill
As far as beachside real estate goes, you can’t go past a better patch of grass than the hill at Burleigh Heads. This is the scene to be seen during your Gold Coast stay but it complements a pretty picnic spread best when the dusty pinks and lilacs of sunset melt over the shimmering coastline towards the skyscrapers of Surfers Paradise.
Pack your picnic basket and bundle into the car for a 25-minute drive out to Advancetown for views over the steely blue of Hinze Dam. There’s a playground to keep little ones occupied as well as barbecues and walking trails. Pick your patch of grass in one of the three parks and savour the slow pace as you watch locals fishing, kayaking and even horse riding around the dam.
Long Tan Park, Currumbin Valley
Headed for the Currumbin Rock Pools? Take a slight detour before you arrive to discover a serene little picnic spot by a rocky stream. On the corner of Bains Road and Currumbin Creek Road you’ll find Long Tan Park with its rickety one-lane bridge and rope swing beckoning those who love a good Insta moment.
Blissfully part of the border bubble (while still in place) it’s perfectly permissible to slip into New South Wales for the purposes of picking up some fresh pastries from Cubby and laying down a picnic blanket on the sand beneath the pandanus at Fingal Head. Head up to the lighthouse for the best views over Dreamtime Beach on the southern side.
Mountainview Alpaca Farm, Canungra
Forget ‘gramming your food; here you can picnic with cute and cuddly alpacas ready for their close-up. Feed your furry new friends and take them for a walk by the creek before you plonk down to enjoy a pre-ordered picnic basket, with or without wine that is grown and produced on the farm next door.