After six months of working from home, I was keen to get out of the house and start exploring the world. I decided on a modest DIY retreat on the Gold Coast, with a good dose of sun and fresh sea air.
To fully relax on holidays I think you need a minimum of a couple of days, preferably a week if you can. I booked a hotel for eight nights and found it the perfect length to unwind fully.
When I was looking for my accommodation, I wanted a room with a bathtub and a spot close to public transport. My deal was reasonably priced and included breakfast.
I bought some supplies, including magnesium salts at a local grocery shop. Over the week, I had two relaxing magnesium salts baths. I also packed some green mud – you can make your own mask by just adding some water to create a paste. Alternatively, you might like to pack your favourite face masks, bath bombs or beauty products.
I treated myself to a Thai massage just across the road. He managed to get the knots out of my dominant shoulder and lower back. If you want to relax you’ll need to ensure you book a Swedish-style massage and select at least 45 minutes. There are ample spots for a massage on the coast but do check the reviews first.
I took the free shuttle bus to Pacific Fair and had lunch while I was there. Here you’ll find the Body Shop, Lush, Jurlique and lots of other shopping options for a little bit of retail therapy.
After a couple of days, I took my watch off and left it off. I decided to wake up when I wanted and stop chasing the clock. I wish I had done that from the get-go. I couldn’t be bothered reading and replying to emails. I thought I could just get back to them in a week if they were urgent. It was a welcome digital detox.
The tram is super easy to take. I took a trip to Broadbeach for lunch. I also hopped on the tram to find somewhere for dinner. The trip was only two stops, but I was feeling exhausted. You’ll be spoilt for food options at Surfers Paradise.
The HOTA markets were super busy but a great spot for fresh fruit and vegetables. You’ll be spoilt for healthy brunch options here. Don’t forget to pop into the nearby art gallery. Alternatively, there are beachside markets in the evenings (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) that are worth a wander through.
You might like to plan ahead with some healthy eating options. I enjoyed some healthy salads, Buddha bowls, and Italian, Asian and Persian meals. Don’t forget to drop into Paradox or Foster and Black for a coffee.
I tried to walk along the beach every day. It’s ideal to go first thing in the morning or later afternoon. It’s best to avoid the middle of the day, as you’re more likely to get sunburnt between 11 am and 2 pm. (Don’t forget to pack some sunscreen and if you do get burnt you’ll need some aloe vera).
Unfortunately, it rained on my holiday and my whale watching trip was cancelled. I took the opportunity for a deal at the hotel spa. I had a facial and body massage. It felt decadent, but I was surprised by how relaxed I felt afterwards!
If you are going to go swimming then make sure you swim between the flags. Look for beaches where they are surf lifesavers. Alternatively, you might like to attend a yoga class, or get creative at a paint and sip art class.
Your impression may be that the Gold Coast is packed with touristy spots, but there are plenty of options for just chilling in a stunning location.