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Don’t Drive There, Boat There!

Don’t Drive There, Boat There!

In a modern society dominated by rules and regulations, speed cameras and parking meters, recreational boating is one of the last frontiers of personal freedom and a natural flow of life allowing you a unique perception of our beautiful city, where you are able to move forward without having to stay strictly between the lines.

One of the greatest perks of living on the Gold Coast is going out for lunch or dinner by boat. We are fortunate that many private marinas and waterfront developments recognise the economic benefit of customers arriving by watercraft, and have invested in waterfront infrastructure to make boaters feel welcome.

While the beachfronts are geared up to cater for mass tourism, the inland waterways of Nerang and Coomera Rivers, and the destinations around the Broadwater provide boaters with many dining and shopping possibilities accessible by boat.

Whether you are dressed to impress with a group of friends, or sunburnt and sticky with saltwater from a family day out, there are public access pontoons to tie up, and berthing options for you to utilise. This is a lifestyle envied greatly by the rest of the country, so let us make the best if it!

Here is a list of destinations to encourage you to go by boat, get out there, and live the boating lifestyle that is totally unique to the Gold Coast.

The most welcoming waterfront dining destinations for boats must be Capri on Via Roma in Isle of Capri. The 10 public berths are very busy with local boaters stopping in for supplies at the fish and chip takeaway, supermarket, bakery, butcher, pharmacy, cafes, or sushi shops. Others choose to hang out for a while overlooking the happenings of the small harbour from a table at Edgewater Dining, where you can easy get lost in the menu of yummy eats and perfectly paired wines, or down an ice cold beer poured into a chilled tall glass. It’s also the spot to gaze over the moonlit waters with the Surfers Paradise skyline glowing as your backdrop. Also on the balcony deck is The Fish Emporium, which has become synonymous with modern casual waterfront dining with a seafood-centric menu and local style hospitality.

A well-known but under-utilised boater’s food and shopping destination is the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre. With very low clearance bridges, many small boats can weave their way off the Nerang River, through Florida Gardens estate, past the Convention Centre and The Star Casino, to Pacific Fair. The two walk-on pontoons, across the Gold Coast Highway, can berth a total of 8 small boats at any one time. Once on land, you can choose to dine at a couple of river front spots, or walk through the food court, or to The Patio restaurant area, for some of the city’s most exciting food options. A longer stay to watch a movie is also an opportunity that boaters may want to take advantage when visiting the centre.

If you want to be in the thick of the boating action, the Southport Yacht Club always has excitement. With a full calendar of boating events, and one of the city’s busiest social clubs, the waterfront deck is bustling with a who’s who of the country’s boating fraternity. It is a great place for family get-togethers, with a beachfront play area for the kids, and a secured children’s play area all in view of the dining area. Call the marina office (07) 5591 3500 the day before so they can direct you to a visitor’s berth.

Amidst the hum of superyachts and charter boats, there is an opportunity to berth at Marina Mirage by calling the marina office (07) 5528 2328 to ask for a short-term visitor’s berth. There you will find yourself in the glitz and glamour, offering an impressive selection of waterfront restaurants for every taste, including modern fusion, Italian, seafood, Chinese, sushi, bars and grills, ice cream, and coffee. For a touch of Hollywood, step off your boat and onto the balcony overlooking the marina, for one of the best restaurant and bar sunset locations in the city. Don’t forget your shades!

The Runaway Bay Centre is a short canal journey from the edge of the Broadwater. It provides boaters with easy access via two unique berthing pontoons capable of hosting 10 boats, with the outside berths able to handle 40ft vessels. Located at the waterfront are the food court and a café, and throughout the centre are many other food offerings, as well as all the major supermarkets and retail shops. It’s a very handy on-water indoor shopping mall.

Located in Runaway Bay Marina, Klein’s Coffee, Bar & Grill overlooks hustle and bustle of the busy marina. The café offers a magnificent vista from the deck, combined with the decadent delights of great food for breakfast, lunch and dinner using the best of local Gold Coast produce. The relaxed atmosphere is an ideal spot to have a quick bite or enjoy a long lazy meal watching the boats go by. Call the Runaway Bay Marina office (07) 5577 1400 to arrange a visitor’s berth, no matter how big your boat. The marina fuel pump located right on the Broadwater is a handy on-water refueling spot for all lengths of vessel.

The Coomera River is a popular dining destination for larger vessels, notably those with flybridges, as the river is bridge-free allowing vessels of all sizes to travel to several exciting destinations.

The pinnacle of waterfront dining experiences is Sanctuary Cove Marine Village. You can feel absolutely welcome, with more than 150 metres of floating visitor berths for all lengths of vessels. It is preferred you contact the marina office (07) 5577 6069 before arriving, so they know your intentions. The Marine Village is an icon for Gold Coast waterfront lifestyle. Porches, Mercedes, Lamborghinis are randomly parked among specialty cafés and fine-dining restaurants. The marina boasts some of the most impressive luxury yachts for sale, too. It’s a great place to contemplate an upgrade of your current boat.

If you want an authentic beach restaurant and bar, where you can wiggle your toes in the sand and smash your avocadoes, then Tipplers at South Stradbroke is a boater’s mecca. Behold the view of hundreds of boats, with beaches lined with jet skis and babes in bikinis. Relax and enjoy at this local iconic boating destination. A family-friendly location, it is the prettiest place to eat and drink outdoors, with live entertainment, great coffee and delicious food. There is a new children’s playground beside the café, and a kiosk that stocks handy essentials.

The city planners also have a long way to go to fulfill the city’s potential to be a distinctive waterways city. Implementing public berthing in strategically defined locations can lead to economic benefit in waterfront suburbs, and make them more desirable for lifestyle and investment opportunities. Think of public berthing at Broadbeach at the rear of the Gold Coast Convention Centre, at Appel Park on the Nerang River allowing access to Cavill Avenue and Surfers Paradise, following through with the planned waterfront development at Evandale Parklands where the Home Of The Arts (HOTA) is located. The list of possible new waterfront public berthing is endless, and should be essential with all new major waterfront developments, making the city one of the truly unique recreational boating destinations in the world.

Buying a boat on the Gold Coast does not have to be feared; rather, it should be considered a creative endeavor to broaden the options of traveling along the waterways. Recreational boats can be an interesting and less stressful method of transport in the city. Cruising to the supermarket for groceries or stopping for a cuppa by boat can be far more enjoyable that travelling there in your car.

 

By Andy Kancachian

 

 

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