Emma Chow

Many foreigners are enthralled with the idea of visiting the Land Down Under, but often miss visiting some great spots along the way. When you want a change of scenery from Sydney or the Outback, venture to the famous Gold Coast for spectacular beaches and nature. As Aussies ourselves, this year my husband and I decided to do a staycation over the Christmas break, so we jumped in the car and drove north to a local gem that so many of us overlook: the lower Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.

The Gold Coast has a reputation for being trashy, filled with schoolies, bucks, hens and all-round debauchery. But don't give up on the Goldie just yet - there are three places mere minutes away from Surfers Paradise that are well worth a visit.

Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Heads used to be the road sign everyone drove past when they were all headed to Main Beach and Sea World, but not anymore! Burleigh has everything - an expansive shoreline, relaxed vibe, and cuisine to boot. Make sure you check out The Fish House, a two hat restaurant right opposite the beach.

Image from Flickr user: Camila Se

Tallebudgera Creek

Tallebudgera Creek is a little inlet right under the Gold Coast Highway. It's a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, but it’s still easy to find a space of your own on either side of the bridge. Hire a stand up paddle board from All Coast Paddle Board Hire, but make sure you wear plenty of sunscreen - the reflection burn is real!

Image from Flickr user: Camila Se

Currumbin Rock Pool 

Currumbin is best known for its bird sanctuary, but if you drive 15 minutes inland, you'll find Currumbin Rock Pool. At 18 metres deep, it's super fun for some cheeky jumps (always exercise caution!) and the BBQs and sprawling lawn are great for a sausage sizzle picnic.

Image from Flickr user: Seven_Seas_Photography


Alright so I'm cheating here, because Noosa is on the Sunshine Coast (two and half hours north of the Gold Coast), but it's worth the detour especially once you’ve come all this way to visit the Land Down Under. Our favourite spot was Noosaville. Head to the marina and hire a little bow rider from Pelican Boat Hire, throw a line in, catch some bream, and snoop on all the fancy Noosa River mansions!

So there you have it - the perfect getaway only a short flight from tourist hot-spot Sydney! It’s time to travel beyond the typical places when visiting Australia and head to areas much loved by locals.


Emma Chow is the co-host of the Mike E & Emma breakfast show on The Edge 96.ONE. She loves sharing her latest food, travel and fitness finds with anyone who will listen. Instagram: @emmaechow Twitter: @emmaechow

The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and are meant as travel inspiration only. They do not reflect the opinions of Cover-More Insurance. You should always read the PDS available from your travel insurance provider to understand the limits, exclusions and conditions of your policy and to ensure any activities you undertake are covered by your policy.