15 Things To Do Once Isolation Is Over

We are all social animals. Our daily activities revolve around other people and going out but unfortunately, the environment over the last few months has changed drastically, keeping us apart through social distancing and away from the people and places we love. It's been difficult for everyone, but slowly and surely these restrictions are being lifted with all of us hoping our lives will go back to normal, or at least the ‘New Normal’!

As we search for some normality I’ve been thinking about life in the post Covidian world and looking forward to visiting my favourite places around the Gold Coast once again. Here’s what I’m keen to tick off my GC bucket list. 

1. Barista coffee

Being a person who can't start the day without at least a cup of coffee, I’ve been missing that beautiful cup of liquid gold terribly. Can’t wait to pop into Mr PP’s (Southport) for their great flat white or Nook Espresso (Burleigh) to enjoy my morning coffee with a beach view!

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2. Twin Falls

Twin Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in South East Queensland and it’s just 45 minutes' drive away in the Springbrook National Park. It’s one of the most glorious sights I’ve ever seen and after taking that short hike there’s always an iced tea waiting at Rosella’s Bread & Breakfast.

The Beach

Australia is famous for its beaches and the Gold Coast has some of the country’s best! With 57 kilometres of pristine coastline we’re spoilt for choice on the Gold Coast. I’m really looking forward to grabbing my beach umbrella, towel and taking a plunge into the ocean. It’s perfect on a sunny day, which is pretty much all the time on the GC. Don't forget your sunscreen!

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4. Hinze Dam

Hinze Dam is the main drinking water supply for the Gold Coast region located in the Gold Coast hinterland built across the Nerang River. It's a great place to visit with friends and family and enjoy a picnic or barbecue at the parks with refreshments from View Cafe. Can’t wait to see this with my friends.

5. Mount Tamborine

Do you love coffee? Wanna know how it’s produced? Then visit the Tamborine Mountain Coffee Plantation. Their crop-to-cup coffee tours and sustainable farming practices provide a unique experience where you can enjoy a delicious breakfast, lunch or coffee from their cafe with locally sourced food with a beautiful outlook across the valley.

6. Freeman’s Organic Farm

If you’re interested in organic farming like me, you’ll definitely enjoy Freeman’s Organic Farm with a great range of fresh organic produce available from their farmer’s market. My favourite place to visit is definitely their cafe, open on Fridays and weekends.

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7. Brunch Date

If there’s one thing I love about the Gold Coast more than the amazing beaches, it’s the city’s restaurants. Brunch is my favourite meal of the day and I have a substantial list of fabulous places to have catch up with friends over good food and coffee. My top 3 favourites are - Elk Espresso, The Milkman’s Daughter and Stable Coffee & Kitchen.

8Night Markets

Miami Marketta is every foodies’ dream come true and a sensual experience for the visitor. The stalls are lined with beautiful fairy lights, there’s great live music, and with cuisine from around the world it’s a wonderful place to spend your evening. There’s a groovy bar serving cocktails and local artisan stalls selling jewellery, clothing and artwork. My tip - grab some nachos, a bowl of warm chowder and enjoy the music. Magical!

Pulling all-nighters

One of the things I’ve missed the most is going out dancing with my girlfriends. Having fries and wings at House of Brews and going dancing at Cocktails is always great fun. If you don’t like dancing, be sure to check out The Avenue: they serve up quirky cocktails, good food and entertainment with stand-up comedy and live music. If you’re still kicking on afterwards you can’t beat a late night New York slice pizza in Surfers.

Unless you're living under a rock, you know how much Aussies love to surf. But that's one skill I haven't been able to master. I am really looking forward to joining a surf school. Here’s to learning new skills and being the next pro *laughing emoji* As John Kabat-Zinn says "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf."

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Do you enjoy hiking but don't have the time to travel to the hinterland? Don’t worry, I have a solution – it’s just a short walk from the beach to Burleigh Head National Park for spectacular ocean views and beautiful rainforest walks around the rocky headland. There really is so much to explore and uncover.

 12. Zip lining

I love trying new things, so the number one thing on my bucket list is to try zip lining at the Canyon Flyer. It’s not only Australia’s longest zip line tour, but at 60m high it’s also the country’s highest and fastest (you reach speeds up to 70km’s per hour!). The best place for an adventure junkie like me.

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13. Theme parks

The Gold Coast is home to some amazing theme parks and water parks like Dream World, Movie World, Sea World and Wet n Wild. Get your friends together and enjoy the movie-themed rides, roaring wildlife encounters, epic water slides and live entertainment with food and fun at every corner. Get ready to unleash your inner child. First stop on my list, Dream World!

Visit an Escape Room

Ever since I watched the movie The Escape Room I’ve always wanted to try one on for size. While the movie has some tragedies, the real-life escape rooms won’t cost you your life and are great fun! You and your team get 60 minutes to find the clues, solve the puzzle and then escape. Padlockd, here I come - anyone wanna join?

 15. Barbecues

Nothing says Australia like a BBQ by the beach. Enjoy your lunch with your family and friends accompanied by amazing views at The Spit or Broadwater Parklands. BBQ not your thing? Grab a picnic blanket, cheese n crackers and pack a basket of goodies to enjoy a picnic at Cascade Gardens or on Burleigh Hill.

Selfie ast Burleigh Headland DGC

The perfect picnic on Burleigh Hill

* Shreya Kulkarni is studying a Double Masters' in Marketing and International Tourism & Hospitality at Griffith University.