The Gold Coast is the hedonist’s Eden, where parties and Pimm’s lead to puffy-eyed sleep-ins. But "detox to retox" are no longer the buzzwords for today’s fitness-seeking early risers.
Take a fast-pass to health
in the Sunshine State, with no post-holiday diet stalking
Raising the Barre
Book your buttocks for a Botox—figuratively speaking. Barefoot or grippie-socked, join Alicia Harvie for an Aleenta BARRE class. This low-impact, high-result class is ballet, yoga and Pilates-inspired.
“We provide mats, equipment and a great butt!” Harvie said. Held at Queensland’s first Aleenta BARRE studio at Mermaid Waters, the class’s vinyasa flow progresses into powerfully toning exercise techniques. It’s no walk in the park during the bar-clenching, plié-filled hour, but you’ll build your buns in the process.
Cycle on Straddie
Hop across to Couran Cove Island Resort on South Stradbroke Island. Its tidal seawater lagoon will get you swimming and stand-up paddle-boarding, but it’s the island’s forested bike trails that truly entice. Grab a wide-seated cruiser and pedal between ecosystems. Wheeling between a precious melaleuca wetland and remnant livistona rainforest sets free spirits free. Spot
the gorgeous golden wallaby—a fairer version of the
swamp wallaby—found only on Stradbroke Island,
in addition to tree-dwelling lace monitors and northern brown bandicoots.
At The Spit, meet Chris Maley, veteran surfer and owner of Surf in Paradise. Chris and team run personalised surf lessons—in maximum groups of six—at this calmer end of the Gold Coast. Sheltered by the break wall, it’s perfect for beginner wave-riders. You’ll be slipped into a red rashie, and coached firstly on the sand, learning about the five stages of postures, surf etiquette and techniques to catch beaut waves. Woohoo!
Pilates in the Parklands
Head over to Southport’s Broadwater Parklands at 7.30 am on Wednesdays for an alfresco pilates class. In collaboration with the Chirn Park Pilates and Yoga studio—owned by third-generation yogi, Emmanuelle Brown—Heather Roudenko leads breezy Pilates sessions beneath the fig trees.
While cyclists and rollerbladers do their thing, you’ll be looking towards the sky. Work as hard as you like, as Heather, who is qualified in Polestar Pilates, provides intensity options suitable for any number of ab-packs. And the meditation session at the end is transcendental.
Surrounded by World Heritage-listed Lamington National Park, enjoy O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat’s self-guided walking trails. Particularly bewitching is the 2.4 kilometer-long Wishing Tree Track. It’s dense with mature black knobby trees and sap-thirsty strangler figs where sunlight spears between braided trunks. Scaling the fern gully via suspension bridge is delightful before walking through the hollowed out ‘Wishing Tree’; a giant brush box. Continue down to Morans Creek to spot the blue claws of crayfish basking in the creek’s quenching flow.
Kayak into the sunset lured by cheese and wine, but you’ll have to work for your reward. Join a Kayak the Gold Coast tour in backrest-fitted tandem kayaks. With the Surfers Paradise skyline tessellating the sky behind you and a tangle of bush before you, journey along the Nerang River. Hoist your kayak ashore at Platell Park where guide Leana decants her Mary Poppins-like Esky. Bond with your newfound kayaking buddies over Tasmanian brie, South Australian riesling and Queensland beers. Cheers!
Be your own instructor at a location of your choosing. Plant yourself on the beach or roll out your mat riverside and strike your own asanas. It’s all about you, so make it as sublime or as dynamic as you wish. Observing the world around you and acknowledging the person within you is utterly liberating. Then splay beneath the high Queensland sky, breathe in and Zen out. Namaste!
Treat those muscles—they’ve earned it. Golden Door Day Spa on Main Beach is a cocoon of healing. Begin in the relaxation lounge with Golden Door’s signature herbal tea, containing peppermint, fennel, liquorice, red rose petals, lemon myrtle, sage, ginseng, gingko and mistletoe.
Then enjoy the 80-minute "Power of 3," a nurturing body massage, a hydrating facial using BABOR skin products and a revitalising pressure-point foot massage. After your steam room and spa bath, you’ll leave ready to strut with a golden glow on the Goldie. Now that is gold!