As the Commonwealth Games get under way in this sunny Queensland city, an insider offers tips on what to see and do – and where to eat and drink – away from the sporting action
Hugging Queensland’s southeast coast for a whopping 70km, the City of the Gold Coast extends far beyond the borders of Surfers Paradise, its hedonistic heart. Once renowned for its tackiness, the “Goldie” has, ahead of the Commonwealth Games, attained a level of sophistication few expected of the city that birthed gold lamé bikini-clad Meter Maids. A raft of swanky new hotels, including The Darling, opened last month, the ongoing refurbishment of Hota, the city’s premier arts hub, and revamped dining and nightlife scenes are among the highlights of a multibillion-dollar facelift. Despite this flurry of development, the vibe remains relaxed. With few must-sees beyond its dazzling beaches, the Gold Coast is a city best explored through your taste buds – one seaside suburb at a time.