LET'S be truthful, we all love living in regional areas of Queensland and Northern NSW, but there are some things we just miss out on.
When our city cousins come to visit they comment on how great it would be to live in the country and we all nod in agreement.
It's when they leave some of us, including me; start to think about those things in city life which we really do miss.
Like going along to a first class AFL, rugby or NRL match, taking in a top class live play and even the ease to travel overseas by just grabbing a direct flight out.
While I miss those simple pleasures it's the great entertainment, restaurants and brilliant hotels that I really feel most in regional Australia could do with more of.
With a few days holiday available recently I thought it would be a great opportunity to take the five- hour drive down to see what the Glitter Strip still had to offer in regards to those missing links.
That's not to mention I wanted to try some great food and stay in a top hotel.
Enlisting the help of Gold Coast Tourism and Tourism Queensland I put together an itinerary that would hopefully showcase the best of the district.
After enjoying five days there I now know that there is a new generation of young entrepreneurs who are injecting fresh ideas and life back into this iconic holiday venue. Gold Coast now has direct airport connections around the world, they have both an AFL and an NRL side, and as I found out they are now investing in a new food culture.
Accommodation has never been an issue, but wanting to try a newer venue I booked in for the first part of the stay at the brilliantly located Sea Temple.
It's smack bang in the centre of Surfers across the road from the beach. Its great location is matched by its elegance.
If you want to get out of the hustle and bustle then the Sanctuary Cove Intercontinental is still in a class of its own and I revisited one of my favourite hotels for the final day of my stop-over.
Both were great choices.
The three restaurants that you must place on your to do list are Black Coffee Lyrics, Bin 12 and The Fish House. Each offers a distinct variation in cuisine and ambience.
Black Coffee Lyrics is located in the heart of Surfers and showcases young chef Daniel Wehling's great tasting plate style foods. Just let him surprise you and ask for a selection of his best dishes. While you are there a cocktail from one of Australia's master cocktail waiters, Adam Bastow, is a must. It is more than just a drink; his presentations are a show in themselves.
The other two restaurants are down at Burleigh Heads. The more casual of the two is Ruggie and Daniel Ridgeway's Bin 12.
The Fish House is owned by Simon Gloftis, who also runs the highly successful Greek restaurant Hellenika at Nobbys Beach.
His latest venture is all class and a long Sunday lunch is a five-star recommendation. Fresh seafood, cooked right, washed down by top class wines while looking across at Burleigh Beach, it's certainly hard to beat.
My final recommendations are for breakfasts and even if you aren't staying at the Sea Temple roll in for the breakfast at the Seaduction Restaurant.
For the casual modern brekkie find the new Elk Espresso located across from the soccer fields on Chelsea Ave at Broadbeach.
It's not a secret that it's one of the best breakfasts in town and it will pay to get along early to make sure you find a seat.
If I could pick up and take all these restaurants back to the Fraser Coast I'd be a happy man.
Still it's a great excuse to come down for another stay on the Gold Coast.
Gold Coast Region Events
- Swell Sculpture Festival (September 13-22)
- Surfers Paradise Annual Kids Weekend (September 21-22)
- Gold Coast Sevens - Fever Pitch (October 12-13)
- A Day on the Green with Bernard Fanning (November 3)
Gold Coast holiday tips
Sea Temple Surfers Paradise
- (07) 5635 5700
Sanctuary Cove Intercontinental
- (07) 5577 6500
Black Coffee Lyrics
- Upstairs Centre Arcade, Surfers Paradise Blvd
- (0402) 189 437
- 12 James St, Burleigh Heads
- (07) 5535 3085
The Fish House
- 50 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
- (07) 5535 7725
The Cove Cafe, Sanctuary Cove
- (07) 5577 6500
- 16 Chelsea Ave, Broadbeach
- (07) 5592 2888
Seaduction Restaurant, Sea Temple
- (07) 5635 5700