Australia’s Gold Coast is where jet-setters set. Senior Editor Isoul H. Harris gives us an insider’s peek into its ultra luxe accommodations, world-class food, and Down Under cool.
It’s 2:45 p.m., and I’m seated at a table amazed at the ocean views of Australia’s Gold Coast. The crisp wind serves as a much-needed reboot after enduring 21 hours of cabin air during the Virgin Australia ﬂight to get here. Living in New York, it’s not often I’m able to inhale deeply and without consequence; so I’m taking full advantage. As I sit at Oskars on Burleigh, one of the most popular restaurants in the area, I am anxious to see if Olivia Newton-John, Crocodile Dundee, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, or even Oprah have been hawking fool’s gold in their over-the-top praise of the Land of Oz. We shall see.
Oskars’ arresting views and equally wondrous seafood menu (try the Spring Bay Mussels, or the Yamba or Peppered Snapper Fillet) make it a ﬁne launching point for an exploration of Australia’s Gold Coast region, located in the northeast state of Queensland. Although lesser known than the south east coast’s Sydney (the most populous city in Australia), it’s arguably just as lively. A quick scan of the room ﬁnds potential candidates for a Haider Ackermann campaign or extras for a Sex and the City ﬁlm. Relaxed cool rules. I notice a comely couple—ebony Creative Recreation high-tops for him, Chrysler building-high Sergio Rossi stilettos for her, and skinny denim for both—mingling with other beautiful folks that could easily cross any velvet rope the world over.
After lunch, I head to the popular Gold Coast Strip. While visually similar to South Beach’s central nervous system Ocean Drive, it diﬀers in spirit. It possesses a modern mix of late-’60s pop and post-Diddy ﬂash. There’s an inviting innocence that lures you in, and an unexpected sexuality that keeps you there. The area boasts more than 35 miles of coastline, great cuisine oﬀerings, and world-class surf breaks. (Aside: I can’t escape thoughts of the Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves ’90s surfer ﬂick Point Break, in which Swayze meets his demise in the mythical 50-year storm in Australia.) Room81 at the Soﬁtel Broadbeach is reﬁned and fresh; smooth wood paneling with cuts of silver plating abound in its New York–like ambience. The beyond-theborders menu by renowned Chef Michael Crosbie is both progressive and accessible—try his original Snow Scallop, Risotto, and Pork Belly.
Above: Gold Coast