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4 ways to enrich your mind, body and soul on the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast has evolved to become much more than just a tourist destination; it’s a paradise for wellness, relaxation, culture and nature, writes Cathy Finch.

Under the giant arms of an ancient strangler fig tree, I lower myself into a tub of frosty 12-degree water, allowing its icy fingers to wrap around my body and seep deep inside my soul. Inhaling long and slow, I let go of any tension and keenly tune into the contrast between the warmth of my core and the chill of the freezing water washing over me. It’s a lively sensation – one that feels both wrong and restorative. I’m told that the cold-shock proteins activated by this plunge will aid body inflammation and slow aging. I can’t argue with that.

Rejuvenate at a bathhouse

Enjoying a range of saunas, spas and hot tubs, I’m relaxing at Ground Bathhouse on Queensland’s Gold Coast, set amid Currumbin Valley’s remnant rainforest. Ground Bathhouse offers a blissful soaking experience surrounded by nature, incorporating a body healing ground – a space where practitioners knead and ply their clients into a state of heavenly bliss. For many Australians, the Gold Coast is the ultimate destination for relaxation and rejuvenation. If you don’t yet consider yourself part of the fold, keep reading and I’m sure I can convince you.

With its luxurious bathhouses, the Goldy, as locals know it, offers a new level of wellness and indulgence, complementing the golden coastline where visitors sink their feet into a 52-kilometre stretch of some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Of course, different people prefer to relax in different ways. While I find it hard to go past the temptation of a beautiful bathhouse, yoga class, or blissful health retreat, lounging back at a private beach club is also regenerative – albeit in a different form.

Ground Bathhouse on the Gold Coast
Soak in a hot tub at Ground Bathhouse

Relax at a beach club

Located at Marina Mirage on Main Beach, La Luna is Australia’s first floating beach club, built on a pontoon with views of the Broadwater and surrounding superyachts. For a different take on relaxation, this luxurious immersion may be more your style, leaving out the need to plunge into cold water. This kind of immersion is one of opulence and pleasure, where attendants, waiters and sommeliers take care of your every need. Adjoining the beach club, MARE Restaurant promises to lead you through a range of dining masterpieces with a modern Italian and Mediterranean-inspired lunch menu showcasing light flavors and locally sourced produce.

I saunter into La Luna Beach Club on a picture-perfect Gold Coast day to be met with an aura of bohemian charm. Huge clay pots of bougainvillea cast their shades of pink and purple over a sparkling Mediterranean-inspired pool, starbursts and ripples reflecting onto the Grecian white walls. My body loosens up immediately as I glance over this multisensory space. Here to dine and recline, I can’t – and won’t – go far from the pool. Perusing the poolside grazing menu, I order a deliciously decorated cocktail and a small portion of lightly dusted baby octopus before reclining in my sun lounger to enjoy the day.

On weekdays, La Luna is a peaceful hideaway from the city’s hustle and bustle, but on weekends, the beach club transforms into a celebration of leisure and living, with lots of live music. Food to many is another art of relaxation, and the Gold Coast is spoilt for choice. For me, every day begins with an extensive breakfast.

beach club pool and cocktails
© Cathy Finch

Eat comfort food

Bam Bam Bakehouse on Mermaid Beach is a pastry lover’s paradise, with the star of the show the humble croissant. They say it takes three days to make one of these buttery beauties, but for whatever reason, it takes me just 30 seconds to devour one. If you’re watching your waistline, try to avoid the pastry cabinet – it’s filled with colossal custard bombs, caramel eclairs, cruffins and crisp choux bombs. It may be much safer to stay at your table and order corn fritters via the QR code, remaining naively unaware of such debauchery.

Bam Bam Bakery
© Bam Bam Bakery

Find inspiration

Indulging your cultural side is also an alternative, with Home of the Arts (HOTA) located nearby, surrounded by parklands in Surfers Paradise. HOTA offers a diverse program of events including theatre, dance, music, festivals and workshops, and incorporates an art gallery with six levels of exhibition space. I enjoy exploring the international exhibition showcasing the talents of Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat – a collection of works never before seen in Australia. Collections and displays change regularly, so be sure to check out the website for the latest installations.

Palette restaurant on the ground floor serves an art-inspired, elegant High Tea. My tiered selection of sweet and savoury delights includes a ‘POP’ tart, following an Andy Warhol theme, and is served with tea and a sparkling glass of Veuve Clicquot 80.

exterior of HOTA Gold Coast
© Destination Gold Coast / John Gollings

But don’t take my word for it, go and try these experiences for yourself and see if you agree that there is no place like the Gold Coast for relaxation and rejuvenation. If you are looking for ways to experience the Gold Coast, here where to explore the Gold Coast’s best-kept secrets with friends and awaken your wild side or visit for more holiday inspiration.

This article was created in partnership with Destination Gold Coast and is a Signature Luxury Travel & Style digital exclusive. Be the first to see more exclusive online content by subscribing to the enewsletter.

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