The Village Markets (TVM) Burleigh
If you’re looking for a reprieve from over-crowded shopping complexes or are simply craving some retail therapy of the less conventional kind, look no further than The Village Markets (TVM).
Teeming with emerging designers, artists and local creative talent, this fashion forward hotspot offers an utterly unique and authentically artful shopping experience, right in the heart of Burleigh Heads.
With more than 90 stalls, showcasing everything from handcrafted jewellery, quirky homewares, original art, craft and collectables, to a diverse range of boutique, vintage and one-off fashion pieces, you are destined to be bang on trend with any purchase you make.
Drawing on inspiration from other fashion focused markets, such as London’s world famous Portobello Road Markets, Co-Founder Marissa Bowden said the decision to launch TVM in 2008 was born out of a passion to share the creative talent quietly thriving on the coast.
"Contrary to the tacky, fashion starved stigma, the Gold Coast is a cultural hub full of so many talented creative types and emerging designers and artists,” she said.
"After travelling abroad, my business partner and I recognised, that the Gold Coast lacked a market platform to showcase these local talents.
So, the decision to launch TVM provided a well overdue opportunity for locals to showcase, engage and embrace the thriving vintage fashion and emerging designer scene.”
As a self-confessed, culturally hungry local this was not my first trip to TVM, but I must admit it had been quite a few years since I had frequented this distinctive shopping mecca.
So, when I recently wandered down the open-air aisles admiring the latest eclectic mix of stalls and wares at TVM, I was genuinely surprised at how effortlessly it had maintained its grassroots vibe, despite its significant growth.
With a cult social media following, strong online presence and a lot of hard work and dedication, Marissa said she is very happy with the way TVM has expanded without losing sight of their original vision.
"One of the reasons we have been able to grow so rapidly while maintaining a boutique fashion focused vision, is due to our dedication to digital marketing and a strict stall holder application process,” she said
"We have committed a lot of time and effort and couldn’t be happier with how TVM has both organically evolved and served as a launch pad for so much locally grown talent.”
Whether you have a weakness for shopping, a love of the unique or just wish to immerse yourself in the cultural scene of the Gold Coast, TVM is one local experience that will have you coming back for more.
Rain, hail or shine, The Village Markets are held at the Burleigh Heads State School oval on the 1st and 3rdSunday of every month, parking is free.
From remedial, deep tissue, pregnancy and relaxation massage, to lymphatic drainage, hot stone therapy and an indulgent list of body wraps, exfoliations and hydration treatments, you are sure to find just what your body needs to melt away the daily grind at Total Essence Massage.
Aside from their team of professionally qualified therapists, what I really valued at Total Essence Massage was their holistic approach to treating the body and their genuine commitment to assessing and treating each client individually.
Established in Paradise Point ten years ago, Total Essence Massage Owner Monica said their success and strong client base can be attributed to their holistic approach and genuine passion to treat every person as a priority.
“We are strongly committed to a holistic approach in relieving pain and rejuvenating the body with massages and specialist treatments, while also teaching people how to foster better health and wellbeing for themselves through simple practices such as stretching and posture,” Monica said.
“Our long success is embedded with a genuine passion and desire for our clients to leave feeling relaxed and less stressed then when they first arrived… it is not just about the massage or particular treatment, it is about looking after the client and making sure they are happy, relaxed and at ease.”
In addition to their authentic passion and professional commitment to treating each client with the highest quality therapies, what struck me most at Total Essence Massage was how seamlessly their holistic approach to health and wellbeing is filtered down to every aspect of their business.
Unlike many of their competitors, they don’t try and incorporate beauty services, preferring to focus on treating your body – and treating it well. Their rooms are clean and exude ambience, they only use top of the range products and they offer a range of organic and allergy friendly options.
Finally, to ensure your experience is relaxing from the get-go, Total Essence Massage leaves a gap either side of your appointment, so I didn’t feel rushed out the door! They also provide facilities such as HICAPS and SMS appointment reminders, and keep clients informed with monthly newsletters.
With a decade of experience up their sleeve, an authentic client focus and a holistic approach to health and wellbeing, Total Essence Massage will reboot even the most ragged and rundown body and soothe that stressed out soul.
Sea World - Main Beach
Nestled neatly on the shoreline of the Gold Coast’s iconic Spit is one special sanctuary which has bought the wonders of the ocean to life for more than 40 years. Born from a passion to engage, educate and entertain locals and visitors alike, Sea World is by far one of Australia’s most famous marine park spectaculars.
With endless interactive animal encounters and enchanting educational displays, marine-themed adventure circuits, joy rides and shows tailored for the whole family, Sea World will sail your imagination far beyond the horizon.
Cold blooded creatures and marine mammals
You will delight in the variety of animal encounters and educational displays Sea World has on offer, from the icy Antarctic to the temperate waters of the tropics, the showcase of majestic marine life will captivate your curiosity and advance your intellect for what lies beneath.
Dote on the diamonds of the deep blue with one of Sea World’s many dolphin discovery adventures. With options tailored for the whole family, including a very special breakfast and dinner dining program, you can experience what it’s like to touch, train and interact with one of the world’s most loved aquatic mammals.
Feed, touch and gain a glimpse of the true nature of more than 100 stingrays as they glide gracefully in the shallows of Ray Reef or savour the strange sensation of a starfish in the crustacean rock pools.
Paddle alongside one of the most feared and powerful predators of the pacific with a shark experience like no other. Cure your curiosity of these man-eaters with a guided lagoon scuba or from the comfort of a submersed caged enclosure. Otherwise, simply admire them at a safe distance from the expansive viewing deck or glass bottom boat.
Be awestruck by the psychedelic colours and quirky looking creatures in Sea World’s very own tropical Barrier Reef lagoon. Choose your vantage point from the lower viewing deck or get wet with a guided snorkel and surround yourself with an aqua rainbow that is sure to give the Great Barrier Reef a run for its money!
Suit up for a special date of the feathered kind with Sea World’s pioneering penguin displays. Be mystified by the magic of the fairy penguin’s outdoor enclosure, and go on an enriching expedition deep into the Antarctic to investigate the impressive beauty of the King and Gentoo penguins.
Witness the wonder of one of the rarest and most intelligent carnivores at Polar Bear Shores, from two observation points. Go behind the scenes for a guided tour into the world of this endangered and endearing species or for an uber-cool cocktail party, book your next function in the viewing den.
Seal the deal on your animal experience and eduction with one of Sea World’s special Aqua Adventures or Seal Safaris. Whether you wish to get up close and personal on dry land or in a full water-based interaction, this guided hands-on experience will leave you grinning and giggling in gratitude of these creatures.
Adventures of the high sea
With an extraordinary list of nautical-themed adventures designed to appeal to visitors of all ages, Sea World cleverly balances out the education and discovery factor with bucket loads of fun.
From the Vikings Revenge Flume Ride, Jet Rescue Ride and Sea Viper rollercoaster, to the kids favourite, Beach Break Bay – featuring Beach Dump Trucks, Carousel, Air Sea Explorer, Sea Climb and Beach Ball Bounce rides – your whole family is bound to experience knots of laughter with Sea World’s collection of thrills and water spills!
If the weather is warm and you crave to be at one with your inner mermaid, why not cool off at the resort water park? With a giant water slide and tube ride, custom kid’s pool with novelty water features, and plenty of room to lounge around coco cabana style, you are sure to feel refreshed and relaxed in this water wonderland.
Super-adventurous tykes with an unnerving courage to battle the high sea and walk the plank will go crazy with excitement for Castaway Bay. This pirate themed family attraction features a Battle Boat ride equipped with more than 80 interactive water cannons; and a sky fortress where kids of all ages can climb, crawl and clamber over rope bridges, tunnels and balancing planks ‘til their tiny pirate hearts argh content!
Star fish and show stopping stuntmen
Your family will not be short of star-studded performances and adrenaline fuelled stunt shows with Sea World’s colourful collection of live entertainment.
From the must-see porpoise performance at Dolphin Cove; the cutting-edge aerial manoeuvres and gravity defying stunts of the Jet Stunt Extreme jet-ski show; the comedic crime fighting talent of Detective Sweetlip and his sea loin entourage; to the creative, themed concerts catered specifically for the child’s imagination, you will find something to entertain and engage the whole family!
Final message in a bottle
With enchanting animal encounters, ocean themed adventures and world class family fun and entertainment, Sea World offers an authentic marine experience which rivals a real life vacation to the Antarctic, Great Barrier Reef and the deep blue sea.
With breath-taking panoramic views and a menu generous in flavour, size, and price, the Kingscliff Bowls Club is the ideal location to relax with a refreshing beverage, indulge in a champagne breakfast or simply kick-back enjoy the view as you feast on a tasty lunch or dinner.
The feverishly famished will be supremely satisfied with the morish menu at the Blue Pacific Bistro. Choose from succulent steaks, fresh seafood, traditional schnitzels, tasty authentic pastas, fresh salads and to-die-for burgers.
The slightly less peckish and sweet tooths can tantalise their taste buds with a lighter bite from the Ocean’s Café. Try something from the delicious range of gourmet pizzas, toasted wraps and sandwiches or enjoy a coffee and decadent slice of cake.
Host to daily promotions and giveaways, live entertainment, trivia, bingo and a fully equipped function room, it is not only the hungry that are spoiled for choice at the Kingscliff Bowls Club.
Take advantage of the endless entertainment and facilities on offer, enjoy a game of traditional or barefoot bowls on one of the first class bowling greens or polish your skills with free professional coaching from an Australian Sports Commission qualified professional.
Priding itself on providing a safe and friendly environment to wine, dine, relax and play, Operations Manager Greg Follett said the bowl’s club is committed to each customer that walks the door.
“We are strongly devoted to the professional development and training of our staff and take pride in offering our customers a variety of A-grade facilities delivered at an optimal high level of service,” he said.
“So whether you visit the club for a specific reason or just to grab a beer and bite to eat aim to ensure you always leave satisfied.”
With a friendly, relaxed atmosphere, a choice of delicious dining options, first class greens and gaming facilities, this is one little club worth venturing south of the boarder to enjoy.
Movieworld - Coomera
Growing up with one Batman obsessed brother, another who refused to remove his Superman outfit, a third who was loco for Looney Tunes and a father who drooled over Cat Woman, Warner Bros. Movie World was definitely the hit holiday destination of my youth.
Fast forward 20 years, and while my brother has ditched the Superman strides for Saba suits, Movie World has continued to bring a touch of Hollywood to Gold Coast residents and Cat Woman has remained the drool drawcard for fathers and husbands alike!
Boulevard of dreams With every step of Movie World’s Main Street reminiscent of the world-renowned Hollywood Boulevard, you would be forgiven for forgetting that you are on Gold Coast when wondering down this cleverly constructed route.
Home to endless show spectaculars, unique shopping adventures, themed eateries and never-ending appearances from your favourite superheroes and Hollywood heart-throbs, Main Street brings to life your movie imagination and is the gateway and centre stage for your magical Warner Bros. experience.
Let your imagination be carried away and explore the Harry Potter store and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory candy shop, take a trip down memory lane at the Movie Memorabilia store, glam it up with garb from the Warner Bros Boutique, or simply grab a bite to eat, pull-up a patch of grass and watch the magic unfold before you!
Lights, Camera, Action!
Shine that spotlight, draw those drapes and queue the music for a showtime line-up set to smash your personal box office! From burning rubber and adrenaline fuelled stunts, voracious villains and superhero saviours, to moviestar glamour and cowboy chaos, Movie World has something to entertain the penchant of people young and old.
Action-packed adrenaline junkies can’t miss the breath-taking stunts and precision driving of the Hollywood Stunt Driver show, the wild battle between Sherriff and Black Bart in the Western Town Show Down, or the good old-fashioned hero versus villain face-off in the Batman Shadows of Gotham show.
While the star-spotting obsessed should be sure to catch the moving Marilyn Tribute, groovy Austin Powers street prance and the All Star Parade featuring the entire cast of Warner Bros Movie World characters such as Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes, Scooby Doo and the Mystery Gang, and all your favourite DC Superheroes and Villains.
A show adventure that everyone is sure to enjoy is the Main Street 4D Cinema experience. Featuring different productions all year round, this attraction takes you on sensory journey like no other using a combination of visual and simulation effects.
Super speeds and thrilling screams
A sure-fire way get in touch with the powers and characteristics of your favourite superheroes is to hop on board and experience Movie World’s many exhilarating themed thrill rides.
Fly high and hit speeds of 100km in a matter of seconds on the Superman Escape Coaster; turn green as you a take on the steepest inverted drop in the Southern Hemisphere on the Green Lantern; Shock your socks off through the g-force of five stomach-churning inversions on the Arkhum Asylum Shock Therapy ride and; outstretch those wings and embrace the bat within as you are flung 60 metres toward the sky on the Batman Spaceshot.
Now if like me you don’t believe magic is made at super speeds and sicking g-force, Warner Bros Movie World has it covered with a collection of rides to suit even the biggest scaredy pawdy cats.
Take an adventure through a land of ghouls and gargoyles with Scooby Doo and the gang on the Scooby Doo Spooky Coaster; discover the wild, wild west as you travel through Indian reservations and ghost towns, to eventually drop to water depths below, on the Wild West Falls Adventure Ride and; join Wile E Coyote through the twists and turns of the Arizona Desert on the Road Runner Rollercoaster.
Ah what’s up kids?
Re-live your childhood or bring your child’s imagination to life with Movies World’s Kids’ WB Fun Zone. This zany cartoon world features all the littlies favourite Looney Tunes characters and provides endless opportunities for kids to kick back and enjoy the magical land of imagination.
Featuring a special stage performance What’s up rock? the Looney Tunes Splash Zone and variety of kiddy-friendly rides including the Taz Hollywood cars; Sylvester’s Pounce ‘n’ Bounce; the Yosemite Sam Railway; Sylvester and Tweety Cages; Looney Tunes Carousel and; Speedy Gonzales’ Tijuana Taxis, your kids will be left endlessly entertained and squealing with excitement.
An extra touch of magic If you want a Hollywood experience with an extra touch magic, or wish to host an event oozing with individuality and glamour, Movie World has a variety of experiences to suit your needs.
Whether it be a Looney Tunes birthday bash; a Sicilian dinner complete with Al Capone show-down; a Scooby Doo Spooky Island Adventure crawling with creepy characters, fire jugglers and bongo drummers; a star-studded cocktail party or gala dinner featuring live bands and Hollywood Tribute Show; a western- themed blazing saddle shindig, with live performances and saloon girls; a Moroccan inspired feast fit for a king; or even your most special day of all… tying the knot with your better half! Whatever your dream may be, Movie World will bring it to life with the magic of Hollywood!
The nostalgia I felt as I witnessed the next generation of excited kids kitted-out in their favourite superhero costumes; and as I watched as my own husband gawk at the spandex-laden Cat Woman, not only bought a smile to my face but made me reflect on the great success of this local attraction.
Warner Bros Movie World is not just a place offering endless activities, experiences and first class Hollywood adventures, it is a place that inspires laughter and creativity, a place that entertains and amuses, a place that brings imagination to life, and a place where being a movie star, superhero or villain is possible… if only for a day!
Growing-up on the Gold Coast, I have watched the natural evolution of local attractions over the years. Just like Darwinism itself, this has indeed been a case of survival of the fittest… or in this instance, survival of the most fundamentally fun! Dreamworld is one such attraction which has continued to evolve and offer locals a fun-filled day packed with jaw-dropping experiences designed to take your breath away. With thrill rides, family friendly shows and activities, interactive experiences, intimate animal encounters and endless themed photo opportunities, Dreamworld will please the penchant of visitors young, old and everywhere in-between.
Seven Screaming Sins
I am by choice a ground dwelling creature, so stepping foot on each of Dreamworld’s big seven thrill rides not only educed a surge of heart-pounding anxiety and breathlessness, but also created sheer unadulterated amusement for my dear, loving husband!
While he sat back grinning and giggling his way through the gravity defying G-force of the BuzzSaw, Claw, Tower of Terror II, Cyclone, Giant Drop, Shockwave and Wipeout, I gripped the safety bars, knuckles turning white, screaming so intensely that I’m certain park visitors could have mistaken it for a horror movie slaying!
All in all my hubby found the ‘seven screaming sins’ exhilarating, so much so that before I had even pried my fingernails from my body harness, he was already queuing for a second round… me on the other-hand, I was just grateful I did not repeat my year nine Dreamworld excursion experience and left each ride with my bladder still firmly intact.
If like me you prefer less spine-tingling amusement rides which still rock your socks off or are simply looking for something to keep the kids endlessly entertained, Dreamworld has it covered!
Satisfy your G-rated level of thrill-seeking with some of the classics – the Rocky Hollow Log, Thunder River Rapids and Reef Diver rides – or take the family for a park tour on the vintage style railway.
Alternatively, you may wish to bring your child’s imagination (or like in my case, your own childhood) to life with four colourful and creatively themed worlds.
Meet the life-sized characters from Shrek’s Faire Faire Away land, meddle in the madness of the Madagascar Live show or wiggle your way around the world with Dorothy, Captain Feathersword and Wags the Dog.
Natural beauties and beasts
As an avid cat lover, the beautiful beasts inhabiting Tiger Island have always rated high on my ‘favourite things’ list at Dreamworld. As the park has evolved, so too have the experiences you can share with these engaging endangered species.
With a flurry of daily public presentations and more intimate experiences up for exploration such as a majestic morning stroll with a big Bengal cat, a daring lunch date in ‘The Lair’ and a private patting and posing sesh with these beautiful beasts.
There are so many opportunities to discover the wonder of this jungle royalty and the best thing is when you join in one of these encounters, you gain a tick on your good deed of the day calendar as a portion of the cost goes toward the Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation which is helping save tigers in the wild.
When it comes to natural beauties and beasts, the buck does not stop here! There are endless ways to activate your animal instinct with Dreamworld’s many wildlife experiences – get up close and personal with some native favourites, feed a prehistoric predator, relax with a sheep shearing show or sunset safari or snuggle a soft marsupial.
Sweet beats, burn-outs and barrels
If you want to experience something a little more edgy and interactive be sure to check-out Dreamworld’s alternative attractions!
You can burn the bitumen Bathurst style in a virtual V8 supercar experience; show off your smooth ‘Slater’ surf skills and hang-ten in a flowboarding session; scream yourself silly to the sounds of sweet DJ beats with Screamworld - Dreamworld’s only after-dark party; or don your laser weaponry and rescue the human race from Aliens and Predators!
The final word…
Twenty years on from my first Dreamworld experience, I can firmly say that this is one attraction perched on the alpha end of the evolutionary chain for Gold Coast activities.
While the dream has continued to evolve, as a local, it is reassuring to know that one thing remains the same, whether you’re young, old or any age in-between, Dreamworld guarantees you a day crammed full of fun and entertainment!