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Sneeky Mid-Weeky: A Glorious Gold Coast Getaway is Calling You

In Partnership with Destination Gold Coast

With the first half of 2024 already in the rearview mirror, I think it’s fair to say we’ve all earned a little break. No matter what your version of quittin’ time looks like—downing tools, turning on your out-of-office, or simply yelling to the boss that you may or may not be back as you walk out the door—it’s hard to beat the feeling of taking a few days for yourself. So why don’t we do it more often?

The trouble is that we’re all locked into the mindset that we should wait for the weekend before jumping on a flight to somewhere warm, welcoming, and maybe even a little wild. But we couldn’t be more wrong! In fact, as a small contingent of the Man of Many team—consisting of yours truly and our head of social John Guanzon—recently discovered, a Gold Coast ‘sneeky mid-weeky’ (i.e. a quick mid-week getaway to recharge and relax) may be just what the doctor ordered. Plus, there’s the welcome benefit of smaller crowds, better deals, and an altogether more relaxed atmosphere. 

With 72 hours at our disposal to explore some of the Gold Coast’s hidden gems—from its unmatched natural beauty and incredible dining options to a selection of rich cultural offerings—we found ourselves wondering why we hadn’t done so sooner. If you’d like to follow in our footsteps (and I highly recommend that you do), read on to discover how we made our escape and returned to the Man of Many office feeling rested, reinvigorated, and just a little sorry for our less fortunate colleagues! 

Gold coast
The Gold Coast is calling | Image: Rob Edwards / Man of Many

Day One: History, Art, and Sunset Sailing

Keen to make the most of our time up north, we caught an early Virgin flight, trading Sydney’s winter drizzle for the kind of warm day that would pass for a summer dazzler back home — temperature in the mid-20s and without a cloud in the sky. Collecting our luggage and our hire care from AVIS, within minutes we were on our way.

HOTA, Home of the Arts
HOTA, Home of the Arts | Image: Rob Edwards / Man of Many

HOTA, Home of the Arts

Our first port of call was HOTA, the Gold Coast’s art, entertainment, culture, and lifestyle hub. We were there to discover its Italian Renaissance Alive exhibition, which did not disappoint. After navigating a museum-style area providing an engaging overview of the Renaissance and its key players, we entered a cavernous space that delivered a fascinating history lesson and cutting-edge art experience rolled into one. 

Whether you choose to wander around the space or simply take a seat from which you can take in the ensuing spectacle, the exhibition offers a spellbinding visual extravaganza that guides you through this most significant of civilisational periods.

Italian Renaissance Alive exhibition
Italian Renaissance Alive exhibition | Image: Rob Edwards / Man of Many

Depicting the Renaissance’s most famous artworks (and a few more obscure ones) on the walls, floor, and pillars using projectors and digital displays, it even brings a select few to life through additional animated enhancement. Trust me, Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus looks completely different in motion. 

Exiting the exhibition with a rekindled sense of wonder at the skill and passion of the Renaissance masters, we found ourselves in possession of quite an appetite. Fortunately, the Italian theme was to continue upstairs, where a special lunch activity awaited. 

View from The Exhibitionist Bar
Million-dollar view from The Exhibitionist Bar | Image: Rob Edwards / Man of Many

The Exhibitionist Bar

Finding our way to the HOTA rooftop’s Exhibitionist Bar—appropriately named given its none-too-subtle eyeful of the glorious Gold Coast skyline—we were greeted by the friendly waitstaff who invited us to partake in a cocktail and pizza masterclass. 

Now, I’ve made my share of pizzas over the years, so I like to think I’m pretty discerning and not too easily impressed. Well, either The Exhibitionist Bar serves up some of the tastiest pizza this side of Naples or the Italian Renaissance Alive exhibition short-circuited my brain. Normally I wouldn’t eat an entire pizza in one sitting, but thanks to the special dough and tomato paste used by the Exhibitionist Bar team, it seemed neither myself nor John could resist. 

Having washed our slices down with the delicious spritzes we’d mixed, we weren’t even left with the kind of overfull feeling that tends to follow such indulgence. As we walked back to our car, we remarked how every element of the lunch exceeded our expectations — a genuine rarity. 

The langham gold coast
The Langham Gold Coast | Image: Rob Edwards / Man of Many

Check-In at The Langham, Gold Coast

Having broadened our minds and sated our appetites, it was time to check-in to our home away from home for this Sunshine State sojourn. And where else could we possibly choose to stay but at The Langham? 

After years in the making, The Langham is the newest luxury addition to the Gold Coast’s accommodation offering. Having opened just two years ago, it has since set a new standard for five-star accommodation on the Gold Coast, boasting direct beachfront access, a range of luxurious room options and amenities, and the kind of views you remember long after you check out. The Langham also offers an impressive range of dining and bar options, including (but not limited to) the Cantonese fine dining of T’ang Court, Akoya’s casual all-day fare, and the ocean breeze-kissed Lobby Bar, which is blessed with elegant high ceilings and a season-driven menu focusing on locally sourced produce.

The Langham Gold Coast
A room with a view | Image: Rob Edwards / Man of Many

After checking into our Junior Ocean Suites, I can happily confirm there was nothing “junior” about them. These luxuriously appointed and generously proportioned digs are something else. The first thing that struck me was the marble bathroom with a separate shower and an enormous circular bath, the latter of which was closer in size to a hot tub, albeit far more elegant in design. 

Moving through to the bedroom and living area, you’d be forgiven for missing the king-sized bed and luxurious seating area (all very comfortable) as you’d be too busy trying to pick your jaw up off the floor, thanks to the stunning ocean view just beyond your floor-to-ceiling windows.

Over my two-night stay, I was sure to catch the sunrise across the glittering water each morning from my large private balcony before heading down to the ocean for an early dip. However, for those less prone to early rising, The Langham offers handy blackout blinds, so you can rest assured you’ll have the luxury of snoozing to your heart’s content.

Sailing in Paradise charter
John living his best life | Image: Rob Edwards / Man of Many

Sailing in Paradise Charter

Once we’d unpacked and freshened up, John and I headed to Mariner’s Cove for a luxurious two-hour charter. As we boarded Oceans—an extremely comfortable Seawind 1160 Deluxe—we were greeted by Dan and Georgie, our hosts for the evening. After opening a bottle of wine and making a start on a generously appointed charcuterie board, we relocated to the expansive foredeck of the vessel with its netted and cushioned seating areas. 

From there, we were able to take in the beauty of the Gold Coast’s waterways as we cruised north, watching the sky slowly change colour from orange to purple as the sun dipped below the horizon.

Sailing in Paradise charter
A sunset spectacular | Image: Rob Edwards / Man of Many

While clearly an ideal experience for a larger group of friends or a romantic couple, even for colleagues, it was a wonderfully memorable way to spend a relaxing evening and something I wouldn’t hesitate to sign up for again.

Having polished off the wine and much of the charcuterie board, we returned to the jetty and bid farewell to Dan, Georgie, and their delightful hospitality. From there, it was just a short walk to our next destination.

La luna dining
La Luna Dining | Image: Rob Edwards / Man of Many

La Luna Dining

After making the most of the delicious bites served on our charter, we weren’t convinced a comprehensive dinner was precisely what we were craving. However, once seated at our La Luna Dining table, any notion of taking it easy promptly departed stage left.  

Between the two of us, we ordered the grilled Morton Bay bugs, woodfired pizza bread with pesto and fetta, 220g eye fillet, and seafood linguini. Each dish had obviously been made using the freshest ingredients, which were then cooked to perfection.

La luna dining steak
Cooked to perfection | Image: Rob Edwards / Man of Many

When I order a steak cooked medium-rare, I tend to brace for it to be more medium than rare, but the La Luna Dining team didn’t put a foot wrong, from the service and recommendations to the wizardry being conjured in the kitchen. 

The restaurant’s vibrant atmosphere also caught me by surprise. I’d expected things to be a little more muted, considering it was a sleepy Monday evening, but there was a liveliness present that would lift even the most sullen of spirits. With bellies full and taste buds tickled, we headed back to The Langham to rest for day two of our sneeky mid-weeky.

Tamborine mountain
The view from Tamborine Mountain | Image: Rob Edwards / Man of Many

Day Two: Wine, Beer, and Spirits Galore

After waking to watch the sunrise and—true to my word—taking a dip in the Pacific Ocean, I headed to the aforementioned Akoya for breakfast. There, I found an enormous breakfast buffet, offering everything from fresh fruit to delicious dumplings. In addition to a sample of each of these, I partook in a small serving of bacon and eggs, along with a warm pastry or two for the road. From there, I joined John in The Langham’s lobby, where we met with Murray from Kiff & Culture. 

Kiff & Culture van
The Kiff & Culture van | Image: supplied

Kiff & Culture

Kiff & Culture is an organisation that takes guests off the beaten path with a view to discovering hidden gems and natural wonders as well as authentic flavours and crafts created by local communities. Partnering with over 50 restaurants, wineries, distilleries, breweries, and activity providers, no matter what you’re into Kiff & Culture can tailor an experience for you.

As such, Murray would not only be our generous host for the day—showcasing an impressive level of local expertise throughout—he and his team had curated everything our time together would encompass. Once aboard the Kiff & Culture van, Murray’s infectious enthusiasm for the region grew increasingly apparent as we wound our way towards Tamborine Mountain, our destination for the day. 

Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk
Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk | Image: Rob Edwards / Man of Many

Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk

There are few better ways to start your day than by getting in touch with a bit of nature. Happily, the first stop on our magical mystery tour was the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk. As the name suggests, this consisted of a leisurely stroll through the beautiful canopy via a series of platforms erected 30 metres above the rainforest floor. Throughout, guests are guided by information panels that provide insight into the various plants that comprise the natural wonder of the rainforest ecosystem. 

Side note: Much to our surprise, the Skywalk also features a plaque paying tribute to Aussie motoring legend and Formula One world champion Sir Jack Brabham. The plaque describes him as “a frequent visitor and great friend of the Skywalk” before informing guests that his ashes had been scattered nearby at his request. 

After completing the Skywalk, we returned to ground level. From there, we followed a trail through the trees that led us to the picturesque Cedar Creek, providing the perfect place to take in the ambience of the rainforest, from the bubbling water to a range of birdsong. How’s the serenity?

Witches Falls Winery
Witches Falls Winery | Image: Rob Edwards / Man of Many

Witches Falls Winery

Having communed with nature, we were in the mood for some refreshment. Fortunately, our next stop was this charming boutique winery. Following a short drive, we found ourselves a comfy table overlooking the vineyard and perused the extensive menu of reds, whites, and alcohol-removed wines for our six-pour tasting experience. 

Here, Murray’s guidance proved invaluable—not for the last time—as he recommended a range of drops he felt would suit our particular tastes. First up was the 2022 Provenance Vermentino, which the brand describes as “an Italian summer all wrapped up in a bottle”. With its pineapple and citrus notes, accompanied by a refreshing acidity, John and I felt we were off to a strong start. 

Witches Falls 2022 Provenance Vermentino
Witches Falls 2022 Provenance Vermentino | Image: Rob Edwards / Man of Many

Up next was the 2023 Provenance Albarino, which offered a Spanish-style twist, boasting flavours of ripe peach, plump apricot, and juicy lemon, receiving a thumbs up from us both. This was followed by the curiously named 2023 Witches Falls x Ricca Terra Orange You Glad We Did This? Skin Contact Wine. A collaboration between Witches Falls and Ricca Terra’s Riverland vineyards, it tasted like pure summer in a glass. 

Moving on to the reds, our fourth pour was the 2022 Provenance Shiraz. Offering full-bodied flavour with notes of mulberry and plum, along with cracked black pepper, this impeccably balanced drop was a particular hit with John, our resident Shiraz enthusiast. Fifth, we sampled the 2022 Wild Ferment Nero d’Avola, a drop designed to embody Italy’s unique lust for life. With its notes of ripe cherry, mulberry, and rich dark chocolate, it left us wishing we could indulge a little more. 

However, all good things must come to an end, and so it was that we downed our sixth and final selection: the Classic Tawny. The winery describes this as “basically a liquid fruitcake”, and nothing could be more accurate, as it proved a perfect way to wrap up before our little entourage changed location for lunch. 

Fortitude brewing co
Fortitude Brewing Co. | Image: Rob Edwards / Man of Many

Fortitude Brewing Co.

Moving from grapes to grains, we headed to Fortitude Brewing Co. for a bite and a sample of local beers. After perusing the adjacent cheese shop and taking in the charmingly rustic surrounds of the brewery, we each ordered a paddle of five brews (well, three brews, a ginger beer, and one cider to mix things up). 

Fortitude brewing co beers
Paddles | Image: Rob Edwards / Man of Many

Taking residence at an outdoor table, we opened with the refreshing 4.2% Shori One Japanese Lager, followed by the 3.5% Roots & Leaves Ginger Beer. From there, we moved on to the brewery’s guest tap, the 5.2% Eighth Day Pink Lady Cider—courtesy of our previous destination, Witches Falls Winery—before diving headlong into the sun-kissed goodness of the 4.6% Hawaiian Hazy Pale. Finally, we came to the delightfully rich 6.7% Mexican Hot Chocolate Stout. 

Having finished our varied but consistently delicious beverages, we ordered some classic pub fare for lunch, which I must say exceeded expectations. Think staples like burgers, pizza, or the good old parmi, but perfectly prepared. For myself, the fish and chips proved wholly satisfying. 

Tamborine mountain distillery 
Tamborine Mountain Distillery | Image: Rob Edwards / Man of Many

Tamborine Mountain Distillery 

Having already indulged in wines and beers, what choice did we have but to move on to spirits? Fortunately, Tamborine Mountain boasts its very own distillery, and it was there that we enjoyed our last stop on this mountain trek. While it felt wise to pace ourselves following our winery and brewery visits, we simply had to sample some of the local liqueurs and spirits on offer. 

The first cab off the rank was the Wattle Toffee Liqueur. Crafted using essence of roasted wattle seeds, it boasts a flavour that’s distinctly reminiscent of the Australian bush and yet far more delicious than that description makes it sound.

Wattle toffee liqueur
Wattle Toffee Liqueur | Image: Rob Edwards / Man of Many

This theme continued with the beverages that followed in its wake: Lemon Myrtle Vodka, Butter Whiskey Liqueur, Lychee & Elderflower Liqueur, and LemonCello, each of which possessed its own charms while packing quite a punch. 

Starting to feel the effects of the day’s activities, we bid farewell to the establishment’s gruff but charming head distiller and boarded the Kiff & Culture van to return to The Langham. Many thanks, Murray!

Kost Bar & Grill
Kōst Bar & Grill | Image: Rob Edwards / Man of Many

Kōst Bar & Grill

While I imagined our boozy trip to Tamborine Mountain would be hard to match, as soon as we entered Kōst Bar & Grill I knew we were in for a treat. Greeted by the restaurant’s director Dave Galvin, we were made to feel extremely welcome as he guided us through the menu and answered any questions we had. To be clear, this did not appear to be some kind of special treatment as he jovially did much the same with everyone who entered his establishment. 

We kicked proceedings off with potato pancakes and the Abrolhos seared scallops, the former of which was very good and the latter of which was to die for. From there, we ordered the Kōst ceviche (pure heaven) and the strongly recommended blackened Hispi cabbage. This proved itself a perfect pairing with the sensational Wagyu rump each of us had ordered. 

Kost steak
Exceptional | Image: Rob Edwards / Man of Many

While neither John nor I consider ourselves dessert devotees, the meal had proved so spectacular that when the question of whether or not we’d like something sweet came up, we had no choice but to answer in the affirmative. Opting for the Kōst Hazelnut Rocher, we were floored. It was like a Ferrero Rocher in ice cream form, only much much better. Quite frankly, I wish I was still eating it as I write this. 

Despite being entirely overfed, I could have stuck around for another three courses at Kōst. Sadly, John had an interview with Will Smith and Martin Laurence to conduct in an hour, so we called the second day of our sneeky mid-weeky to a close. 

Racv royal pines resort 1
A day on the green | Image: Rob Edwards / Man of Many

Day Three: Golf, Grub, and Goodbye to the Gold Coast

One final day with one final glorious Gold Coast sunrise. Having grabbed a couple of miniature muffins from Akoya for breakfast on the go, John and I checked out with the lovely staff at The Langham’s reception and headed out for a round of gold — a perfect finishing touch for our Gold Coast getaway. 

Racv royal pines resort2
Nailed it | Image: Rob Edwards / Man of Many

RACV Royal Pines Resort

RACV Royal Pines Resort is consistently named one of Australia’s best golf courses and when we arrived to tee off it was very easy to see why. For the third day in a row, the Gold Coast had very much delivered on the weather front, making the course’s lovingly manicured greens a welcome sight indeed. 

The resort’s three 18-hole course combinations have something for golfers with a range of skill levels, but due to time constraints, John and I just played a cheeky nine holes. While our form probably (definitely) didn’t cover us in glory, it made for such a relaxing morning that we didn’t mind one iota. Saying that, after the last hole we unleashed our inner Happy Gilmore at the resort’s driving range (and if time had permitted, we probably should have put in some work at the putting and chipping greens, too). 

If golf isn’t your thing, Royal Pines Resort still has you covered, offering tennis and football facilities; an enticing swimming pool with outdoor lagoon, waterslides, and a splash park; and a day spa for those who just want to be pampered.

The tropic
The Tropic in Burleigh Heads is hard to beat | Image: Rob Edwards / Man of Many

The Tropic

With our flight time fast approaching John and I had time for one last stop, so we decided to grab some food with a view. Heading to The Tropic in Burleigh Heads for lunch, we sat at a table overlooking the idyllic beachfront stretching northward, and ordered up a collection of small plates that proved quite a feast. 

I have to give a shoutout to the staff at The Tropic for their recommendations as each dish we ordered was an unequivocal banger: tuna and avocado, beef tartare, and jamón ibérico, all enjoyed with a kind of biscuit that had been baked in house on the side. We could not have been more impressed. 

Burleigh heads
Until next time | Image: Rob Edwards / Man of Many

And with that, we returned our AVIS car and boarded the flight home, our sneeky mid-weeky complete. Feeling entirely refreshed and ready to make a boastful return to the Man of Many office, we were nonetheless sorry to say goodbye to the Gold Coast, which had proved such a gracious host throughout our stay. 

From delicious meals and local drops to our (platonic) sunset cruise and a Renaissance revitalisation, we simply couldn’t have asked for more. If you find the grind is getting you down, a mid-week Gold Coast getaway and all it entails—smaller crowds, cracking deals, and an irresistible sun-kissed atmosphere—will be just the ticket. As for myself, I’ll certainly be returning as soon as I’m able.