Australia’s Gold Coast is where jet-setters set. Senior EditorÂ Isoul H. HarrisÂ gives us an insider’s peek into its ultraÂ luxe accommodations, world-class food, and Down Under cool.
Itâ€™s 2:45 p.m., and Iâ€™m seated at a table amazed at the ocean views of Australiaâ€™s Gold Coast. The crisp wind serves as a much-needed reboot after enduring 21 hours of cabin air during the Virgin Australia ï¬‚ight to get here. Living in New York, itâ€™s not often Iâ€™m able to inhale deeply and without consequence; so Iâ€™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 foolâ€™s gold in their over-the-top praise of the Land of Oz. We shall see.
Oskarsâ€™ arresting views and equally wondrous seafood menu (try the Spring Bay Mussels, or the YambaÂ or Peppered Snapper Fillet) make it a ï¬neÂ launching point for an exploration of Australiaâ€™s Gold Coast region, located in the northeast state of Queensland. Although lesser known than the south eastÂ coastâ€™s Sydney (the most populous city in Australia), itâ€™s arguably just as lively. A quick scan of the room ï¬ndsÂ potential candidates for a HaiderÂ AckermannÂ campaign or extras for a Sex and the City ï¬lm. Relaxed cool rules. I notice a comely coupleâ€”ebony Creative Recreation high-tops for him, Chrysler building-high Sergio Rossi stilettos for her, and skinny denim for bothâ€”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 Beachâ€™s central nervous system Ocean Drive, it diï¬€ersÂ in spirit. It possesses a modern mix of late-â€™60s pop and post-DiddyÂ ï¬‚ash. Thereâ€™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 oï¬€erings, and world-class surf breaks. (Aside: I canâ€™t escape thoughts of the Patrick Swayze and KeanuÂ Reeves â€™90s surfer ï¬‚ick Point Break, in which Swayze meets his demise in the mythical 50-year storm in Australia.) Room81Â at the Soï¬telÂ BroadbeachÂ is reï¬nedÂ and fresh; smooth wood paneling with cuts of silver plating abound in its New Yorkâ€“like ambience. The beyond-thebordersÂ menu by renowned Chef Michael Crosbie is both progressive and accessibleâ€”try his original Snow Scallop, Risotto, and Pork Belly.
Above: Gold Coast