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A Day on the Gold Coast Waterways

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The glistening Gold Coast waterways are world renowned for good reason—they are abundant, picturesque playgrounds offering a myriad of opportunities for exploration and enjoyment all year round. Whether you’re passing through town or a regular seafarer seeking inspiration, here’s a look at the best way to spend a day on the Gold Coast waterways for high vibes on the tide. 

Begin your day with a coffee at Pelicano Espresso on the Broadwater beachfront. Situated on the shore side of local seafood institution Charis, Pelicano serves up Byron Bay blended beans and homemade gelato from dawn to mid-afternoon daily.

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Time to set sail! If you’re self-driving, drop your boat in via the Labrador boat ramp— conveniently located right next door—or else arrange to meet your charter here. And you’re off! Heading north, skirting past popular camping spot South Stradbroke Island, you’ll arrive at angler’s paradise, the Jumpinpin. Generations of local fishermen have beelined to this teeming, mangrove-lined eco-pocket to reel in Flathead, Bream, Whiting, Tailor, Trevally, and other seasonal delights throughout the year. Don’t forget your bucket and fish ruler… you’ll almost certainly need them!

Time to turn that boat around and head back to South Stradbroke Island for a spot of lunch. Tipplers Café has been pouring cold beverages and plating up hearty, pub-veering fare with a side of live entertainment to eager boaties for decades, and is thus a firm fixture on the waterways circuit. Official opening hours are 9am-3pm, but you’ll often find staff there from sun-up to sundown on good weather days. 

Refreshed and refuelled, your afternoon of action awaits! Continuing back towards the Broadwater, you’ll espy the purpose built Wavebreak Island sitting opposite Pelicano with, more often than not, a string of boats and bodies lining its shimmering shoreline. Created in 1985 to protect and stabilise the Broadwater during the Gold Coast Seaway construction, Wavebreak continues to pull crowds for its desirable mix of boating, swimming, jet-skiing, SUP-ing, and convivial island escapades backdropped by pristine white shores. Remember to keep your eyes peeled for the abundant local wildlife including fish, rays, and dolphins.

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Options. If you’ve got children in tow in need of tiring out, continuing south in the Coral Sea channel will deposit you directly at the Broadwater Parklands along the mainland shore. This grassy stretch is home to a slew of fun (and free!) beachside diversions for active little and big ones, including playgrounds, rock pools, an inflatable aqua park and more. 

Better still, it’s also conveniently located a tiny puddle hop from the Southport Spit and swanky retail and dining precinct Marina Mirage. There’s no shortage of seaside situs for pretty sunset drinks and nibbles, but a pre-booking will secure you a spot at lovely La Luna, where you can get an eyeful of Gold Coast’s most showstopping boats and yachts alongside a seafood- and cocktail-centric menu of delectables. 

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Want the day to last a little longer? The lucky winner of Mater Prize Home lottery No. 310 will be able to make every weekend an adventure when they win the sensational $4.2M prize package including a stunning waterfront home, a Tesla, a Sea Fox boat, two Sea-Doo jet skis, and a HUGE $1M in gold bullion. Someone will win Everything Under the Sun and live this dream every single day… enter today and it could be YOU! 

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