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THIS IS MY CITY | Katie Rackley's Gold Coast

There's something kind of great about The Gold Coast. Recently we've spent more and more time there and it's growing on us. There's a sunny, smiley nonchalance to it, the feeling of not caring that much about what other people think. It's also getting cooler, as families settle down along that golden, sandy stretch that goes right down to the New South Wales border, and with the families come cafes and restaurants and hangouts and food trucks. We asked Katie Rackley, the Canada-born founder of beauty website Walter Osborne and creative director of lingerie brand SJ Lingerie, to share some of her favourite spots on The Gold Coast. This is the Gold Coast, by Katie.

Gold Coast typography and signage | Images by Katie Rackley

one. Best thing about Gold Coast? It's so relaxed! The lifestyle here is pretty down to earth and we spend a lot of time outside, at the beach, riding our bikes and talking long coastal walks. I also live right behind the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary so my son and I go to feed the kangaroos and lorikeets by hand a few times a week. That's a big highlight for me. Also, I was driving the other day and thinking that one of my absolute favorite things about the coast is all the old hotels and motels from the 60 and 70's. The typography and Signage is so iconic. Just passing the "Pink Poodle" or the Miami Shore Motel on the Gold Coast Highway makes me smile.

two. Worst thing about the Gold Coast? So many people here don't wear shoes and public transport is atrocious.

three. Favourite secret spot? Currumbin rock pools, it's a bit of a drive but well worth it. Its stunning for a swim. My brother-in-law also just opened up a little cafe/grocer in Burleigh called Lakeview Cafe and General Store, they make incredible poached chicken and avocado on sourdough for breakfast and they also sell little packets of organic duck food so after we eat we all go down and feed the ducks and swans at the lake across the street. It's perfect.

four. Favourite everyone-knows-it-but-it's-still-good spot? Paddock Bakery is amazing, it only opened a few months ago but everybody knows about it already and it has become pretty hard (too hard) to get a parking spot. Maybe its time to ride my bike...

five. What was your newest discovery in the Gold Coast? Small Stall. It's a little shop in Palm Beach on the Gold Coast highway selling everything from the Tom Dixon Eclectic range, Petite Grand jewelry, tea towels, ceramics and some of the best kids clothing I've seen. It's great if you need a gift and are unsure what to buy.

six. Where is the best place for.... morning coffee/pick-me-up? meal with friends? romantic rendez-vous? late night drink? even later-night boogie? Morning coffee/pick-me-up? Good Day coffee, the owners are so friendly and its only a minute from home. Justin Lane is a fantastic pizza place to go with friends and drink copious amounts of wine there is also Bonita Bonita, a Mexican restaurant that opened up not long ago and it's one of the first Mexican digs I've seen that actually serve ceviche! Romantic rendez-vous? Ouff... Romance makes me cringe, but Cavalier Bar and Supper has dim lighting, good food and candles. Late night drink? I can usually be found on the floor in my living room with a glass of red in hand. Even later-night boogie? I haven't boogied since before I had my son. Well that's probably a lie, but my last boogie was in Sydney after amazing italian and copious amounts of wine, so I guess being in Sydney it doesn't count.

Good Day Coffee | Bean Hunter

seven. Where are the Gold Coast's style spots? Where is the best shopping? To be honest, the shopping I do on the GC is for food, flowers and wine. When it comes to clothes I save myself for the internet. In saying that though, Joy Hysteric in Broadbeach is great and always has phenomenal pieces.

eight. What is something you can get/read/experience/eat that you can only do in the Gold Coast?  Experience: Feeding the lorikeets at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. My family took me when I was very young and it is some of my best memories. It's incredible! There are feedings at 8am and 4pm. For a gold coin donation you are given a plate of lorikeet food and there are literally hundreds of them everywhere. If you are extra lucky they will come and perch on the top of your head! Eat: Blueberry and white chocolate scones from Sticky Buns in Tugun. They are hands down the best scones I've ever eaten, they are so lush don't need even a lick of cream!

nine. You can tell a lot about a city from their airport. Describe the Gold Coast's. You fly into the little airport directly over the ocean, seeing the wide stretch of white sand along the coastline is why people visit here. But to describe the airport in a sentence I would say it's a work in progress and that's how I feel about the Gold Coast. We are just beginning to develop our culture and who we are now.

ten. How would your describe the Gold Coast to someone who has never been there before? To be honest, the coast has changed so much in the last few years. When I left here for Sydney in 2007 I didn't ever plan on coming back, but now there's this really great energy and new great eateries and hubs popping up all the time. It's a really great moment to be here.

The Gold Coast | Holmes Institute

Read more in our This Is Our City series here.
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