Take a walk on the wild side

…and discover how the locals like it

When you go on holiday, do you go as a tourist or as a traveler? What’s the difference you ask? Well, tourists like the creature comforts of their hotel or resort while tourists like to mix with the locals —see what they do and how they enjoy the life. Possibly, the best option is to drift between the two.

When you book with us, you can discover the best of both worlds: our resorts are located so you can get to enjoy being a tourist while still sampling the local colour.

Surfers Paradise of course is a mecca for locals but it is designed with tourists in mind and, oh, how they flock to it. You see, it works in both directions. The locals like to experience a little of the holiday atmosphere too and mix with the visitors on their own ground.

But if you want to see what has attracted 600,000 Australians to make the Gold Coast their home and see how they enjoy themselves; well, it is easier than you think.

Chevron Island, across the river from Surfers Paradise and connected to it by a bridge is a fun place to visit at any time of the day or night. You are out of the tourist zone and into what is (to all intents and purposes) a local village atmosphere.

Getting to Chevron Island from any of our resort hotels in Surfers Paradise is easy and is just a short walk. The bridge leading to Thomas Drive – the main street – can be found as an extension of Elkhorn Avenue. Just walk in a westerly direction, passed the Chevron Renaissance and across Surfers Paradise Boulevard and then the Chevron Island Bridge. The moment you cross the bridge you magically change from tourist to traveler; you are now among the locals.

Just a short walk to the roundabout and you are truly in ‘main street’ which is filled with cafes, restaurants, pubs and boutique shops; something for everyone in fact. And the place buzzes from early morning until late into the night. If you wish to drive your car parking is plentiful (four-hour voucher parking — which is enforced so take care) either on Thomas Drive or in any of the off-street parking areas that are well signposted.

Conventional wisdom is to find the places frequented by the locals and eat and drink in those spots. Except on Chevron Island they are usually all well patronized; sound promising?

If you are an early riser, out for your morning constitutional, why not stop at Café Alfons on the corner of Thomas Drive and Burra Street. If the weather is fine, enjoy your early morning coffee al fresco and watch the world stir from slumber.

At the other end of the main strip is an alternative venue known as Lime on Chevron and which offers a similar menu from, shall we say, a different perspective. Let’s face it, you will probably visit more than once – why not try both places and give us your views online?

Chevron Island buzzes throughout the day and there is plenty to see among the boutiques and arcades but it is of an evening that the eating and drinking establishments of Chevron Island really come alive and only then do you really see what attracts locals to this wonderful place.

Here are a few recommendations you can try.

Fuel Bar and Restaurant on the north side of the street is always humming and is a good place to meet and chat with the locals. Enjoy a $12 beer and pizza any time of the day or early evening or take advantage of their dinner for two for $30. Monday nights is Karaoke night; Tuesday evening is Trivia Night while on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday there is live music.

Opposite Fuel Bar is Pigs & Pints, another favourite place where the locals quench their thirst. Prices are a little higher here – to match the ambience; so if you are after a quiet romantic place for a drink before dinner, this is possibly a good place to be. Above the bar is a Tapas and Izakaya Bar (Spanish and Japanese fusion cuisine) that provides an interesting menu for eclectic diners. Try the calamari tossed in Wasabi with a soy mayonnaise as a starter and see how you go. Situated in the same building is The Loft with music and drinks served late into the night.

But there are a lot more options available here on Chevron Island. You could try out the café serving Cuban chicken and pork, Italian pizza or the Thai restaurant – all on the south side of the street and easy to find. The Cuban restaurant is interesting for the prominence given to Ché Guevara, often thought of as Cuban but actually a Bolivian revolutionary (although he did have strong links with Cuba).

But if it’s strictly Japanese you fancy then head across the road to Sushi Café for your rice fix.

Finally, our survey of local dining options would not be complete without mention of Twisted, Modern Dining. This culinary gem is located on Burra Street and is open for lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Sunday. Try the lunchtime special menu starting from just $15 and if this is to your taste go back for a sumptuous dinner.
You can dine a-la-carte from around $30 or choose from one of three degustation menus with options (including wine) between $95 and $160 (there is a reduced price option if you do not require wine).

And if you choose to walk to Chevron Island, the walk home to your hotel, day or night, will reward you with breathtaking views of the Surfers Paradise skyline.

So go on… step beyond the streets of the tourist strip and explore for yourself some of the delights of this area that many tourists miss but which are well-known to ‘those in the know’.

And the beauty is Chevron Island is readily accessible no matter where you are staying in Surfers Paradise and will surely give you at least one more memorable location to try out on your vacation.

If you have not already booked your Gold Coast holiday; we still have plenty of apartments available from which you can choose. Our reputation for quality properties is valued not only by our guests but by unit owners. This means that new properties are constantly becoming available as part of our holiday property portfolio.

So go online today to hrsp.com.au and check out availability.

Why not come and join us for an Easter holiday break and you too can take a walk on the wild side.

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