After the 2017 FASAVA Congress: 5 ways to unwind on the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is internationally acclaimed for its theme parks and the glitz and glamour of Surfers Paradise. Queensland-based travel writer Christine Retschlag presents 5 other options to allow you to relax and rejuvenate following the 2017 FASAVA Congress.

1. Get back to nature

Hire a car and explore the green behind the gold. Take a pleasant drive just 13 kilometres from Currumbin Beach into the valley to discover the Currumbin Rock Pools, eco villages, farms and ethical coffee. Or book a tour into the hinterland and Lamington National Park, part of the 23-million-year-old World Heritage Gondwana Rainforest. By day take one of its many walks, or at night join a glowworm tour.

2. Hit the water

Even in winter, Gold Coast water temperatures are a mild 21.5 degrees. Swim in the protected southern beaches of Burleigh Heads and Greenmount, or hire a paddleboard or kayak to explore the calm waterways of Tallebudgera and Currumbin Creeks, home to mangroves and a variety of birds. Tour operators also offer snorkelling trips where you can swim with green turtles and dolphins, or whale watching cruises where you can see migrating humpback whales.

3. Taste a local drop

Australia’s craft brew scene is as vibrant as the Gold Coast surf. World famous surfer Mick Fanning is a stakeholder in Balter Brewing in Currumbin Waters. Check out the 12-tap taste room. Another local drop, the 28 Pale Ale by Burleigh Brewing, can be found in bottleshops all over the Gold Coast. Or enjoy premium Queensland wines against a beautiful hinterland backdrop at Canungra Valley Vineyards, Witches Fall Winery or Cedar Creek Estate.

4. Catch a sunrise

They don’t call this the Gold Coast for nothing. There’s some amazing sunrises to be had here and one of the best spots to catch the rising sun is Snapper Rocks. Grab your camera, perch on the rock wall, watch the early morning surfers, and snap away to your heart’s content. Currumbin’s Elephant Rock, which is also home to the Gold Coast’s iconic Anzac Day dawn service, offers one of the most stunning sunrise spots on the coast. On the northern end, stand on the jetty at The Spit where you can watch the prawn trawlers make their way back into port amid the rising sun.

5. Think retro

For a unique insight into Australia’s surf culture, head to Surf World Currumbin. Even the prices are retro; just $10 buys you entry into this museum of surfing through the ages. There are more than 150 surf boards here, some of which date back to the 1950s, as well as world-title winners Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson’s surfboards, Gidget posters, and bikini queen Paula Stafford’s swim suits. Check out woolen swim suits which date back to the 20s, 30s and 40s and pick up a black and white surfing post card for just 20 cents.

The 2017 FASAVA Congress is being held on the Gold Coast from 11 – 14 August.

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