Guides

The Ultimate Gold Coast Guide To Bar Hopping With Trams, So No-One Has To Be Deso

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The Gold Coast is home to some excellent drinking spots, but if you were hoping to hit the best ones over one weekend, things can get a little tricky — unless you take advantage of the Goldie’s fastest public transport service.

If you want to enjoy a few drinks without battling traffic, finding a car park, or driving back to your hotel, The G (aka, the Light Rail) is the place to be. Raise your glass to an evening of bar-hopping with this guide to the perfect night out.

How to Get Around on The G

First things first. Visitors can tap and go with Mastercard or Amex, buy a ‘go seeQ’ card which includes Brisbane’s AirTrain, or a ‘go explore’ card which costs $10 a day for unlimited travel.

South east Queensland locals can use their ‘go’ card to ride the G:Link. Single paper tickets are also available at station fare machines. There’s a G:link app, but trams come so regularly you probably won’t need it.

Stop 1: Surfer’s Paradise

There are few more quintessentially Australian places to drink than a surf lifesaving club. Even better, the drinks are cheap. Start your bar crawl in the late afternoon at the BMD Northcliffe Surf Club where you can chill on the veranda with a cold brew while watching beach-goers take on the Gold Coast’s famous waves.

When the sun starts sinking towards the horizon walk up the road to Q1 which is home to the Skypoint Observation Deck, one of the best spots on the coast to watch the sunset.

 

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After a stomach-dropping ride in one of Australia’s fastest lifts, you will arrive at the SkyPoint Bistro + Bar which sits more than 200m above Surfers Paradise. Cocktails are a specialty with an interesting mix of classics and locally inspired drinks, like the ‘Passion in Paradise’.

Most visitors come here for the spectacular 360-degree view, but people-watching provides even more entertainment. Groups of tourists clamber over each to take sunset selfies, kids stare wide-eyed at the streets below, and a group of nervous adventurers head outside to do a twilight climb and watch day turn to night over the beach. It’s tempting to stay and enjoy the show but the bright lights and bars of Broadbeach beckon.

Stop 2: Broadbeach

This popular Gold Coast drinking and dining destination is only six minutes from Surfers Paradise by tram and draws a crowd every night of the week. Fashionistas mix it up with those wearing designer t-shirts and jeans and there is no cut-off age for enjoying a great night out. Broadbeach has so many great drinking spots that it’s almost impossible to stick to just one.

Get the party started at Aloha Bar & Dining, a colourful tiki bar that practically screams tropical island holiday and is like a trip to Hawaii without the jetlag (or the US dollar cocktail prices).

Around the corner, The Roosevelt Lounge has cocktails that are as cool as the sophisticated crowd which frequents this sultry 1930s inspired bar. Slip into a red velvet booth and order a Smokin’ Gun or the Nostalgia which is served with a Polaroid selfie.

The local glitterati can be found across the road at the glamorous lounge bar Nineteen at the Star, on the roof of The Darling hotel. There’s enough bling to make your heart sing at this see-and-be-seen spot which encapsulates the glorious glamour of the Gold Coast.

For something more down to the earth, there is The Bavarian where European beers and good times go hand in hand. Outside tables are perfect for larger groups and take advantage of the Gold Coast’s balmy weather.

A few doors down you will find Social Eating House and Bar, a bar and restaurant where people tend to drop in for a drink and end up staying all night. Meals are served tapas-style, making this an ideal spot to refuel after you’ve had a few. Book a table in advance or be prepared to wait.

Stop 3: Cavill Ave

Still got your party pants on? Catch the tram back towards Surfers Paradise and get off at famous Cavill Avenue (don’t worry, it’s not just for Schoolies anymore). If the weather is good, head to The Island Rooftop which is the largest open-air rooftop bar on the coast and has a laid-back welcoming vibe.

For something more high-end, follow the beautiful people to Hyde Paradiso at Peppers Soul, which overlooks the Gold Coast’s most famous beach and serves Instaworthy over-sized cocktails and Mediterranean tapas.

From here, it’s a one-stop tram ride to Cypress Avenue if you’re wearing heels or you can walk along the waterfront to Stingray Bar at QT Gold Coast, which celebrates the glory days of Surfers Paradise when 70s colour schemes burned your retinas after a big night out. Choose from 50 in-house tequilas accompanied by eats with a Cal-Mex twist. Things heat up after 10 pm which makes Stingray the perfect spot to finish your night out.

(Lead image: Instagram / @theislandgoldcoast)