You’d need a couple of lifetimes to get to the end of the good things happening on the north coast.
If you’re driving the freeway from the Byron Shire and are wanting some escapes, the choices continue all the way. There are plenty more things to do and places to go while you’re away from the northern rivers.
So, if variety is the spice of life, then just a wink away up north there are more things you’ll find awaiting. Here’s a small selection.
The Lake Cabarita restaurant bar cafe
In the early 1960s a visionary by the name of Ken Hanson saw the potential of a block of land to the west of the Bogangar headland and proceeded to develop what is now known as Cabarita.
One of the first buildings constructed was the LAKE Cabarita restaurant, the focal point in the centre of the Cabarita Ski Gardens. The property was bought and sold a couple of times and the new owners of the restaurant set about renovating the building with a dream of bringing life back to the lake area of Cabarita.
The renovations were completed in October 2014 and the restaurant opened its doors.
Now called The LAKE Cabarita, the restaurant offers a healthy style of cuisine – paleo, raw, vegan, gluten-free, refined-sugar-free, etc.
The vision and passion for the clean-eating style is the brainchild of a local chef who has a reputation for delivering personalised attention in detail to all patrons. Jenny Zwemer is that chef and has teamed up with Joel Zwemer, and with their team they provide a memorable culinary experience for their diners.
‘Our aim is to provide an exceptional dining experience, superior quality food, beverages, and customer service to every customer, every time,’ Jenny said.
‘We are fully licensed and offer live music on most weekends. We embrace the memories of the past here with our memorabilia wall showing pictures of the history of the restaurant,’ Jenny added.
The Lake Cabarita restaurant bar cafe serves breakfast all day from 8am, opens for lunch 11.30pm until 3pm Tuesday to Sunday. Dinner is 5.30pm until late, Thursday to Saturday. Available for weddings and events.
Situated at 2–8 Willow Avenue, Cabarita. Booking and enquiries on 6676 1275.
Surfers Paradise beachfront night markets
The iconic Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets is one of the few Gold Coast night markets, and the busiest, providing locals and holiday-makers from Australia and around the world with a unique shopping and cultural experience in one of Australia’s most popular tourist precincts.
The Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets are a familiar sight to locals, adorning the foreshore of one of the world’s most famous beaches for almost 20 years, celebrating their 20th birthday in April 2015.
Eight hundred metres of beachside promenade at the end of Cavill Mall hosts up to 130 market stalls each Wednesday, Friday and Sunday night, with an array of handmade and unique products, attractions and artisans.
Indulge in a massage; get a henna tattoo; create a wax mould of your hands or 3D portrait of your face; get a portrait or caricature; a photo with an exotic bird or snake; purchase some unique artwork or photography; buy one-off clothing pieces, unique souvenirs or gifts and novelty items; sample some luscious desserts, treats, popcorn or jerky; watch artisans at work, including glassblowing, painters and jewellery makers; or find what’s in store for the year ahead with a personal tarot reading.
Have a lovely stroll through the markets on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays from 5pm until 10pm.
The Foreshore, Surfers Paradise. Phone: 07 5584 3700 / www.surfersparadise.com/things-to-do/beachfront-markets / Email: [email protected]
The art of surfing
The Gold Coast City Art Gallery is a regional art museum located at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. Opened in 1986, the gallery plays host to many celebrated artists and has regular events, talks and exhibitions.
Opening at Gold Coast City Gallery is Cutback: Surfing Through Art, an exhibition featuring seven contemporary Australian artists responding to the art of surfing and alternative aspects of surf culture.
Named after the surfing manoeuvre ‘cutback’, that sees the surfer sharply change direction and push back toward the whitewater, this exhibition explores surfing as a pastime and the fertile territory it provides for art makers.
The exhibition aims to draw out some of the intricacies of how artists have engaged with surfing and features Chris Bennie, Shaun Gladwell, Andrew Kidman, William Mackinnon, Nanda Ormond, Ben Rak and Joel Rea.
Shaun Gladwell: Sun March 8. The gallery is pleased to be hosting Shaun Gladwell, who was awarded the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award in 2014 for his work, when he is in Australia next month and will give a special artist presentation.
Seminar: Women abd Surfing
Saturday March 14 – 3pm FREE event, RSVP.
This public program will address some of the issues related to women and surf and will include the Gold Coast launch of new book by Andrew Kidman Single – Stephanie Gilmore – Studies of Movement.
After Dark: art/surf/life; 19 Mar, the gallery remains open until 8pm and a panel of creatives – Cutback artists and surfers ‘wax lyrical’ about the intersection of life, art and surf culture.
Music program by Old Man Friday.
Free art activities for grommets aged 4–12 Saturday March 21 and Sunday March 22. Drop in any time from 11am till 1pm
Nanda Ormond – Surf Stories Illustration Workshop
Saturday March 21, 2–4pm. $20 – 15 places. Booking required – ages 8+ will work with Nanda Ormond in this comic-strip illustration workshop.
The Gold Coast City Art Gallery, 7 days: Mon–Fri 10am–5pm, weekends 11am–5pm.
ARTS CENTRE GOLD COAST, 135 Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise.
Recognised as the Best Japanese Restaurant on the Gold Coast in 2013, Benihana maintains its place at the top of the Surfers Paradise must-do dining list with an extensive Japanese banquet menu prepared by entertaining teppanyaki chefs.
At Benihana Japanese Steakhouse, a selection of traditional meals is prepared on a teppan hotplate built into each table, creating a stage for Marriott’s highly trained and talented teppanyaki chefs – an exciting dining experience that is ideal for couples, families and groups.
Each chef’s friendly showmanship and aptitude for tricks guarantees the dining experience is unforgettable and, combined with the quality of the cuisine, ensures guests return time after time.
A true entertainer, Henry Bongay, head chef at Benihana Japanese Steakhouse, has a real flair for entertaining and has mastered the art of teppanyaki with skills second to none.
To the delight of diners, the restaurant is transformed into a stage when the talented chef dons his apron.
The secret to Henry’s success is his genuine love for his job. ‘My favourite part of my job has always been the customer interaction – I love meeting new people,’ he said.
Ikue Terui has been the manager here for two and a half years. Not just an administrator, she has been dancing and drumming since she was six years old. Now she entertains with her 30-year-old Japanese drum and dances five nights in the restaurant.
Benihana is fully licensed and open for dinner until 9.30pm, seven days a week.
A special ‘earlybird’ $35 per head special is available when seated between 5.30 and 6pm for steak, chicken and veg selections. (Not available Saturday nights or school hols.)
The restaurant is situated on Level 3 of the Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa, 158 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise.
Bookings essential on (07) 5592 9770 or email [email protected]