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The Gold Coast ... naked

Friday, July 22, 2011
Jules really enjoys Queensland's Gold Coast. For him it Australia's answer to Las Vegas. Lots of gloss and glitter and people having a great time.

On this visit, Jules grabbed himself a copy of Cory Maxwell-Coghlan's Naked City Guide. A resident of the Gold Coast for nine or so years, Cory knows a side of the coast that, until now, has been out of sight — out of mind.

Sure, there is kitsch galore, but scratch the surface, as Cory did, and you will discover a hip sub-culture with great cafes, restaurants, galleries, stores, live music, art and other cultural pursuits. You can buy his pocket-sized book for $10 in book stores or on-line and do your own thing or join one of Cory's Culture Crawls.

Little St Kilda Cafe

Katie Goodwin's cafe in the heart of Palm Beach is a funky little place. Fully licensed, it has resident bands and DJs on weekends. They serve great coffee and at night it turns into an Italian restaurant. Katie is a vibrant hostess and loves to talk about the paraphernalia she has on display.

19 Karen

This contemporary area space opened in 2008 to promote local emerging artists and allow them the chance to showcase their works. Since then they have expanded to include mid-career and established Australian and international artists. They hold solo and group shows throughout the year, and there are always displays of general works.

Co-founder Miriam Arcilla is a prominent artist and revels in representing the artistic community. The 380 sq. metre warehouse-nouveau-style arts facility is divided into five gallery sections varying in size, allowing them to have large or more intimate exhibitions.

Swingin' Safari

This great venue is described as 'nightspot/bar/club/restaurant/emporium'. Built as a Queensland beach house in the 1950s, the Swingin' Safari takes you back to vintage Surfers Paradise when the dinner dance was the thing to do. It was the site of Queensland's first wine bar in the mid-70s and then became the legendary Crab Cooker.

From Thursday to Sunday you can step back to those good old days and experience the kitsch glamour of the coast's golden days. On Sunday afternoons people flock to the gourmet barbecue.

Owner Neil Beattie decorated his establishment with interesting second hand bits and pieces creating a bohemian atmosphere and you have the chance to be creative by joining one of Dr Sketchy's 'Burlesque Life' drawing classes.

Dr Sketchy's Anti-Art School is described as the art class your mother never told you about! It's art school meets cabaret — life drawing with glamorous and unusual models. Just arm yourself with a sketchpad, pencils and see how talented you are as live burlesque and variety acts, games and giveaways are happening around you.


Queensland's Gold Coast.


Naked City Guide Culture Crawls cost $30 to $40. Transportation, copy of the guide and discounted coffee, admission to venues and dinner are included. Naked City Guide is $10 and can be purchased on-line which also has a list of stockists.

Little St Kilda Cafe open between 6am and 4pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday and from 6am until late on other days. Coffee starts at $3.50 and meals cost between $6 and $16.

19 Karen is open from Tuesday to Saturday between 10am and 5pm. Prices range between $400 and $8000.

Swingin' Safari opens at midday from Wednesday to Sunday. Entry is $10 on Friday and Saturday for non-diners.

Virgin Australia has one-way flights to the Gold Coast from:

  • Sydney $88
  • Melbourne $109
  • Adelaide $158
  • Perth $259

The fares are available for a limited time only so log on to for further details.

Prices correct at 23.07.2011.

For further information

Virgin Australia
Ph: 13 6789

Little St Kilda Cafe
7th Avenue
Palm Beach 4221
Ph: (07) 5559 5250

19 Karen
19 Karen Avenue
Mermaid Beach 4218
Ph: (07) 5554 5019

Swingin' Safari
2945 Surfers Paradise Boulevard
Thornton Street & Gold Coast Highway
Surfers Paradise 4217
Ph: (07) 5538 3762
Fax: (07) 5538 3242

Naked City Guide
Ph: 0415 713 143

User comments
Well done Mariam and Cory for showing the city's creative side! The Gold Coast would be a different place without you as its cultural ambassadors.

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