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Anyone who’s grown up on the Gold Coast will agree that the lifestyle here is nothing short of spectacular. The daily invitation to soak up the sun on white sandy beaches, frolic in the waves of pristine surf, explore the sub-tropical mountain ranges for hikes, spot wildlife, uncover secluded waterholes for a refreshing mountain swim, makes this city a true adventurer’s paradise.

By Vanessa Vastag

We take a tour of a little slice of the GC - a bustling, funky suburb positioned smack bang in the centre of the strip that claims a section of the oceanfront between Burleigh Heads and Nobby’s Beach and is home to quite a few of the historic landmarks that help put the Gold Coast on the map. Right now, it's all about the magic of Miami!


Miami State High School is the Gold Coast’s second oldest established State School. Famous for its giant, iconic and now heritage-listed Hollywood-style sign, plastered across a 50m high rocky slope with the first original words reading “HI MIAMI HIGH” rebranded now to simply “MIAMI HIGH”. Twenty years ago, surfing was actually a subject that you could take among many other unique classes. These days the school offers Southeast Queensland’s first and only Aviation subject in the senior syllabus.

Of course, we also can’t mention this fabulous little suburb without mentioning its famous Miami Ice factory. Established in 1947 after reusing remnants of disused World War II army huts, the Miami Ice Factory’s signage became a familiar landmark where its giant sun (wearing sunglasses), known as Mr Sunny decorated its Gold Coast Highway frontage. It’s also where our brilliant Aussie pop star John Farnham made one of his top hit music videos “Two Strong Hearts” featuring the front of the Miami Ice building. Even though the building was demolished and replaced in 2013 with a large residential Hotel, the developers decided to keep the iconic name Miami Ice and there are still remnants of some of the old machinery kept as relics. What’s worthy of a side note, is the craftily named Chinese and Malaysian restaurant next door at the Outrigger Resort called Miami Rice. Quirky for sure but the food won’t disappoint.


Anyone growing up in Miami in the 80s that had any skill on a skateboard would surely be seen at the Pizzey Park Skate bowl. It was a definite feature for all ages to leave some skin behind on the steep and slippery concrete graffitied curves. Modified in 2021, it received a million-dollar cash injection with the new site featuring an Olympic standard upgrade. A whopping 4800 square metre site which includes a pro bowl and half bowl with 3ft-5ft transitions, banks, hubbies, stairs, ledgers, rails, fun boxes and more. A definite day out for any family members young and old who know how to roll, on any kind of wheels.

In fact, scattered all around this area are a plethora of recreational clubs and sports facilities – from The Miami Tennis Club and Pickleball Centre to the Gold Coast Masters Football Association, and everything in between - not to mention the connected extensive open spaces for walking, running and cycling, playgrounds, off leash dog parks, and outdoor BBQ areas. You’ll find something for everyone in this indoor and outdoor sports haven.


If it’s great eats and entertainment you’re looking for, Miami does not fall short of some truly magical and mouth-watering experiences. Don’t go past the delicious wood fire bakery breads and pastry treats for breakfast or lunch at Paddock Bakery; an indoor and outdoor café experience sitting right on the cusp of the suburb. This old, refurbished Queenslander is now home to a vibrant and bustling, cottage garden style, bakehouse and has become a true foodies delight. Literally everything on the menu is recommended.

Hitting the beachfront is one of the most popular things to do here on the GC. One of the very few cafés that sit adjacent to the beach is Miami’s own Piccolo Espresso. A popular morning coffee jaunt and a brilliant breakfast or lunch pit stop if you’re on two legs, two wheels or even four furry paws. There’s room for everyone to sit back, enjoy the views with great coffee and great food.

Then of course there’s the Miami Marketta - popping up on the scene in 2011 as a super grungy, vibing night market, food stall, live music venue extraordinaire. Boasting an awesome selection of international flavours and cuisines from various street-style stalls. However, it’s not just the eats that are amazing, you can wash it all down with any beverage of choice as the venue is also licensed and scattered with multiple bar areas serving all kinds of boutique local beers and wines as well as some international favourites. Combined with epic live music and ticketed events - with some big-name international artists gracing their halls – makes this a place one to keep on your radar for a great night out!

Also on the must-do hit list is Grandad Jack’s Craft Distillery. A tale in and of itself about the Gold Coast's first and only craft Gin, Vodka, Whiskey & Liqueur distillery established by David Goulding AKA, Grandad Jack. What makes this distillery such a unique experience is the homage paid to David’s life, with each different spirit inspired and named for his life experiences. This craft distillery is one of seven scattered internationally that offer a range of award-winning spirits and liquors for tours, tastings and even the ultimate experience of making your very own bottle of gin. A thoroughly enjoyable experience from a family-owned and run business.

As for experiences and exploration, this sweet little suburb has a fantastic line-up – from filling your boots in the cooler months at the Ugg Australia factory, to getting your hands dirty at Miami’s Stone Studio - a community pottery and studio café where you can take a pottery class, buy some great homewares, connect in the café, or even sign up as a studio member and take your skills to the next level. Whatever your desire, this professional studio will have you covered, even if it’s temporarily in clay.

For something more adventurous, go deep with the Gold Coast Dive Centre and Marine Training College, hit the surf with Australian surfing adventures for some lessons, or even shape and design your own surfboard with S-LAB. There are adventures and activities to keep you busy all year round and that’s just a few tricks that Miami has up its sleeve. But don’t take our word for it, come and discover for yourself the true magic of Miami!


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