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For the romantics: Dating with Hopo Gold Coast Ferry

By Home of the Arts (HOTA), Marina Mirage, Sea World, Southport 'Broadwater Parklands', Surfers Paradise

For the romantics: Dating with Hopo Gold Coast Ferry

So, you’ve finally worked up the courage to ask that special someone out, and they’ve said yes. Congratulations! Or maybe you’ve been dating someone for a while and are running out of ideas for exciting and memorable dates. Either way, this blog is for you. Connect with people, form closer bonds, date on your terms and, most importantly, make it fun with Hopo Gold Coast Ferry service. It is undeniable that dating can be super nerve-racking… So to ease your nerves, we have put together a list of unique and lovable date ideas utilising Hopo as your favourite Hop On Hop Off mode of transport.

The location you choose sets the tone for your date. Below are Hopo’s five destinations: Surfers Paradise, Broadwater Parklands, Marina Mirage, HOTA and Sea World. You may want to hop off at one or two of these locations for your date, or if it is going well, perhaps you could visit all five!

Surfers Paradise

Energetic, enthusiastic and exciting! Surfers Paradise offers an electric social scene with world-class nightlife venues, award-winning restaurants and free artistic and cultural community events. The Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets, for example, operate every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday night between 3:00pm and 8:00pm. Stroll along the iconic foreshore with your special someone to discover some of Gold Coast’s most unique market stalls, all while taking in the ocean breeze. The foreshore is bustling throughout the day with walkers, cyclists, surfers and beachgoers all sharing the beachfront boulevard, creating an incredible atmosphere – one that is sure to impress your date! 

  • Take a romantic stroll on the white sands of Budds beach, with a smoothie or juice in hand. 
  • Invest in a surfing or stand-up paddleboarding lesson for you and your date. Have a laugh AND learn a new skill!
  • Enjoy a romantic buffet lunch or dinner cruise from the Surfers Paradise Pier with Sea World Cruises.
  • For the more traditional romantics, have dinner and drinks at The Island Gold Coast Rooftop and watch the city light up from above. 
  • Hunt down the perfect cup of coffee. This shouldn’t be too hard considering the Gold Coast’s thriving cafe scene.
  • For the adventurous, experience the thrill of freefall flight without the danger with iFly Gold Coast’s indoor skydive centre.

 

Broadwater Parklands

The Gold Coast’s world class Broadwater Parklands offers a range of diverse locations and venues designed for almost everything and anything, including romance. Find a shady spot under a tree for an intimate picnic, or take a stroll through the park while soaking in the sunshine or moonlight.

  • Attend a ‘Movies Under the Stars’ night and take advantage of the fantastic food truck options.
  • Engage in meaningful conversation over a coffee at Shak Expresso – an icecream and espresso bar offering freshly brewed, barista-made coffee using a unique blend of Piazza Doro beans.
  • Share a few laughs over some of the best locally caught seafood on the Gold Coast at The Fish Shak.

 

Marina Mirage

Situated at Main Beach, Marina Mirage offers boutique shopping and waterfront dining for you and your special someone to indulge. Overlooking the beautiful marina, you can treat your date to sunset cocktails or a deliciously decadent lunch or dinner. Marina Mirage hosts many award-winning, fine dining restaurants including Glass Dining & Lounge Bar, Ristorante Fellini, Sky Restaurant and King Crab Co.

  • Held every Saturday from 7:00am to 12:00pm, stroll the Marina Mirage weekly Gourmet Farmers Markets and purchase some farm fresh, organic and local produce. 
  • View and discuss some divine art pieces at Anthea Polson Art.
  • Pamper yourselves by getting a couples massage at Esteem Medi Spa.

 

HOTA, Home Of The Arts

HOTA, Home Of The Arts, hosts a number of free and ticketed events and workshops every day. From Party in the Park (a bi-monthly outdoor music festival) to Gold Coast’s Annual Film Festival, HOTA has an event for every occasion – and dates are no exception!

  • Forget Netflix and chill – watch a movie at one of HOTA’s cinemas. The movies shown at HOTA are often exclusive, meaning you probably won’t find them at your local cinema.
  • Tour an art exhibition and show off your art expertise (or have a laugh at your lack of it!). With a new and improved gallery scheduled to open in early 2021, there has never been a better time to expand your art knowledge.

 

Sea World

Sea World offers the perfect combination of fun, adventure and relaxation, guaranteed to charm your date. It is a marine mammal park, oceanarium and theme park promoting conservation through education and the rescue of sick, injured or orphaned wildlife. If your special someone happens to be an animal lover, then Sea World will be a great place for you to hop off Hopo!

  • Visit Australia’s #1 Marine Park and observe tropical fish, penguins, dolphins, seals and more. Bonus points if you do so holding hands!
  • Attend Sea World Carnivale in 2021 and enjoy an evening filled with internationally inspired dining and spectacular entertainment. Think fire twirlers, musicians, dancers and more!
  • Get up close and personal with the gentle giants of the ocean with Sea World Cruises’ whale watching tour. 
  • Surprise your date with a helicopter flight and admire Gold Coast’s breathtakingly beautiful city and waters in style.

 

Dates are an opportunity to meet someone new or ignite a spark between you and someone you already know. They are also an opportunity to have fun, share laughs, or at the very least, learn something new about yourself. Hopo allows you to be whisked around the waterways, turning transportation (something normally mundane) into something exciting and whimsical. Exploring the Gold Coast with your special someone has never been so convenient, scenic and awe-inspiring. Now that you have a potential itinerary mapped out, give your date a call!

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Destination overview: Discover the magic of Sea World

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Destination overview: Discover the magic of Sea World

Sea World

The Gold Coast’s best family resort and theme park offers all the benefits to make your holiday one to remember. With unbeatable holiday package deals, fun activities and fantastic entertainment for the whole family, Sea World offers everything from accommodation to education. Discover the magic of the marine environment and its many creatures with Sea World!

Sea World Resort

The Gold Coast is a very popular holiday destination for Australians and overseas travellers, with some of the world’s safest and most pristine beaches. The Gold Coast also offers international standard accommodation, world class dining and shopping and a charming hinterland. Sea World Resort is situated close to ‘The Spit’ – the northernmost section of Gold Coast’s long stretch of beach. As the name suggests, The Spit extends into the seaway and is the gateway between the Gold Coast Broadwater and the open ocean. This makes Sea World Resort the perfect home base for your holiday. The resort offers Resort Rooms containing 2 double beds, Studio Rooms containing 2 double beds and a small kitchenette, and Family Rooms which are interconnecting Studio and Resort Rooms.

 

The resort is also loved for its many events, activities and facilities. Every evening at the resort, you can enjoy an LED light show at the SpongeBob SplashBash. The kids can dance and sing along to their favourite SpongeBob songs under the musical water fountain every night from 7:00PM. The resort also offers a Kids Club. For an extra charge let the kids escape for some fun, and give you some peace and quiet! In terms of facilities, there is a resort pool and spa, a gymnasium, a massage parlour and a beauty salon. Excitingly, there is also the award winning Hatsuhana Japanese Restaurant located on the lobby level of the resort. The restaurant offers traditional Japanese cuisine in a contemporary atmosphere.

 

Sea World Marine Park

The Gold Coast is famed as Australia’s theme park capital, with Sea World being declared Australia’s #1 marine park. Sea World Marine Park is just that – a world. A world of adventure with exciting rides, unforgettable shows and beautiful marine life! Get up close and personal with an array of magnificent marine animals, including polar bears, penguins, rays and dolphins. From the action-packed Thunder Lake Stunt Show to the high energy PAW Patrol on Holiday Show, there’s a little bit of entertainment for everyone. Thrill seekers can brave the Storm Coaster, while the little ones explore Nickelodeon Land with kid-sized rides and their favourite cartoon characters. There is also a variety of food outlets for a delicious lunch, including Dockside Tavern overlooking the Dolphin Pools. And don’t forget to stop by the Sea World Exit Shop on your way out to pick up a souvenir so you remember your day at the park!

Take your family on the ultimate Gold Coast holiday with a journey of learning, discovery, and adventure at Sea World Resort and Marine Park. Escape for a memorable holiday and experience the perfect blend of relaxation and fun, with the Gold Coast’s best resort activities and theme park entertainment. Learn how we can protect and support our marine environment for future generations to come, and nurture your kids’ natural curiosity and vibrant imaginations by delving below the surface. Sea World truly is a whole new world!

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Destination overview: Broadwater Parklands in Southport

Southport Broadwater Parklands

The Gold Coast is best explored with a salty breeze aboard the comfortable and spacious Hopo Ferry. Cruising from one iconic location to the next, Hopo stops at the buzzing Broadwater Parklands. Broadwater Parklands is exactly what it sounds like – a parkland full of things to do right by the waterway. An aquatic centre, enclosed ocean pools and an extensive kid’s park can be found right near the drop-off point. A short and sweet stroll will see you at Chinatown and Australia Fair – a gateway to the hustle and bustle of Southport.

Broadwater Parklands is located on Marine Parade in Southport and stretches three kilometres. Loved by Gold Coast residents and tourists alike, the parklands is a vast expanse of green that is ideal for picnics and family fun. The parklands offer many diverse spaces and facilities that are available for hire. These spaces cater for everything from small family gatherings to large scale events. The Great Lawn hosts some of the city’s most popular events, including the Gold Coast Airport Marathon, Carols by Candlelight and the World Championship Triathlon.

 

The Rockpools water playground is the first of its kind on the Gold Coast, and is a hit with the kids! The Rockpools have shallow wade-height water with waterfalls and spouting water animals. There are multiple pool areas and creek beds with water filling up and emptying on timers. There is also a great fishing spot off the 100-metre long pier, as well as a swimming enclosure with a jumping pontoon. Broadwater Parklands is also a popular wedding ceremony venue, with a dedicated rooftop ceremony location (the Pier and Rooftop) providing an amazing city backdrop for those intimate, special occasions.

 

There are plenty of beautiful trees and shady spots for a picnic. Barbeque facilities are available to use for free. The kids will love running around the vast, open spaces of the parklands, playing on the playgrounds or splashing around in the pools. You may even want to utilise the parklands for dating, with the area offering a lovely boardwalk for you to stroll with your special someone. Broadwater Parklands seems to have it all, and if you do (for some strange reason) happen to want more, no more than a few steps will get you to both Southport’s Australia Fair shopping centre and Chinatown. Enjoy some spicy noodles or delicious dumplings before you hop back onto Hopo’s Gold Coast City Ferry!

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Destination overview: The marvels of Marina Mirage

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Marina Mirage

If you like shopping for the sake of shopping, or better yet, you perceive shopping as a hobby, then Marina Mirage might well be the perfect place for you. Marina Mirage is the Gold Coast’s premier destination for boutique shopping and waterfront dining. Nowhere else on the Gold Coast sums up glamour and indulgence quite like Marina Mirage. Luxuriate in the elegant and enviable lifestyle our region is so well known for and remember, treating yourself is a form of self-care!

Located at Main Beach, Marina Mirage is a high-end, harbourside shopping centre that lies directly opposite the five star Sheraton Grand Resort & Spa and adjacent to the world’s first Palazzo Versace hotel. Marina Mirage offers the opportunity to pamper and spoil oneself, with an abundance of designer fashion stores like Christensen Copenhagen, Tommy Hilfiger, Gazman and GANT. The centre also accommodates local boutiques and designers including Sonia Stradiotto Couture, Janine Edwards, Element, WYSE and Anthony Leigh Dower. If shopping isn’t exactly your cup of tea, you may fancy a facial or relaxing massage at Esteem Medi Spa while you wait for your loved ones.

 

Forget the shopaholics for now… Marina Mirage is also a foodie’s heaven. Think waterfront dining and fresh, gourmet food. On the waterfront boardwalk and overlooking the floating marina, you can enjoy afternoon cocktails or a delectable dinner at one of the many award winning restaurants. Among them is Omeros Bros, Seafood Restaurant, Glass Dining & Lounge Bar, Ristorante Fellini, Sky Restaurant and King Crab Co. The Marina Mirage weekly Gourmet Farmers Market is another favourite with locals who prefer organic and locally sourced, fresh produce. Held every Saturday from 7am to 12pm, you will find a wealth of quality produce, artisan pastries, homemade jams, organic juices and specialty coffee.

 

Marina Mirage has set a benchmark for style, design and lifestyle on the Gold Coast. The centre has secured its status as Queensland’s most iconic waterfront shopping, dining and leisure destination and holds a special place in the hearts of locals and tourists alike. Whisk around our pristine local waterways with Hopo Gold Coast Ferry and continue to be delighted at Marina Mirage!

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Destination overview: HOTA, Home Of The Arts

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Destination overview: HOTA, Home Of The Arts

Home of the Arts (HOTA)

HOTA (Home Of The Arts) is the Gold Coast’s art centre located on the banks of the Nerang River, close to the heart of Surfers Paradise. It is a contemporary cultural precinct where art meets life. It is the home of live music, theatre, cinema-watching, lake-side strolls, stargazing, conversation and critical thinking. But one does not have to be an art connoisseur to be able to come to HOTA and enjoy the events they host. HOTA caters to a wide range of audiences with multiple events occurring in the centre each day. 

HOTA is well known for hosting the annual GC Laughs Fest. Local and loved comedians come to HOTA and put together a stand-up comedy night for guests to enjoy, have a drink and have a laugh. HOTA also hosts the Gold Coast’s Annual Film Festival, which showcases over hundreds of films to celebrate the industry and those working hard to build it. HOTA also hosts workshops for schools, kids, and the general public. Not only that, but HOTA broadcasts movies in its very own venue each and every day. They even showcase movies exclusive to HOTA; movies you won’t find in your local cinema.

 

True to its name, Home Of The Arts, the centre also offers live theatrical acts, musical performances, dances and comedy. In 2021 they plan to open a brand new HOTA Gallery. Their wish is to expand and use the space for art storage, children’s exhibition spaces, City Collection viewing and, perhaps most importantly, major exhibition events and displays. The new gallery will be the largest public gallery outside a major city in Australia, further securing their place as Gold Coast’s richest and most vibrant arts hub. Say goodbye to the long drives to Brisbane just to visit art galleries and museums. Soon we will be able to immerse ourselves in beautiful and exciting art from our very doorstep.

 

Encouraging us to think creatively, use our imaginations and question the status quo, HOTA provides entertainment and education to guests through diverse art forms. Most people will tell you home is where the heart is. But maybe home is where the art is!

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Destination overview: The vibrant Surfers Paradise

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Destination overview: The vibrant Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise

The Gold Coast is renowned for its patrolled beaches, elaborate system of inland canals and waterways and its adventurous theme parks. But if you’ve heard of the Gold Coast, chances are you’ve heard of Surfers Paradise. Surfers Paradise is a must-see destination if you are visiting the Gold Coast, with the ever-so vibrant Cavill Avenue and skyscraper skyline being just about anyone’s cup of tea! The modern foreshore is bustling throughout the day with walkers, cyclists and skateboarders all utilising this spectacular beachfront boulevard. Beachside shopping, dining, bars and clubs offer the complete holiday experience all in one compact destination package.

To eat and drink

Surfers Paradise is an international hub when it comes to culture and cuisine. The bright lights are what put the humble surf city on the worldwide tourist map, but there is much more to Surfers Paradise than highrises. In recent years, the area’s culinary scene has improved drastically, and now Surfers Paradise has a way of beckoning even the most zen travellers. Yamagen is a funky Japanese izakaya (informal Japanese snack bar) located inside QT Gold Coast Hotel, and has a reputation for being one of, if not the, best restaurant in the city. The Island Rooftop, the bar and restaurant of The Island Gold Coast (a newly renovated boutique hotel), is probably the most talked about venue on the Gold Coast. It is Italian-inspired and attracts just as many locals as it does tourists. It offers one of the best Sunday sessions around!

 

To visit

No Gold Coast holiday is complete without a beach day at the infamous beaches of Surfers Paradise. Swim and surf along the impressively expansive beach of golden sand, stretching two kilometres! It is patrolled by three lifeguard towers, helping to ensure the safety of swimmers and beachgoers. The beach itself is backed by the esplanade, lined with seating areas and barbecues with ocean views for those wanting to just take it all in. For the more adventurous, invest in a surfing or stand-up paddleboarding lesson. You are bound to not only have a few laughs, but to make memories you will cherish forever.

 

To do

In a city surrounded by water, you can expect to find many more water-related activities for you to partake in. The Surfers Paradise pier is a docking point for numerous boats and cruises, including Hopo’s Gold Coast Ferry Service. Conveniently positioned in the heart of the city, the pier is also a docking point for Sea World Cruises – you may want to take your special someone on a dinner cruise! Alternatively, there are providers offering private boat or jetski hire. And if you’ve had enough of the water, Timezone, Strike Bowling, iFLY, Holey Moley and King Tutts Putt-Putt are all amusing activities for you to do on land. A must-do is the SkyPoint daytime or twilight climb. Look it up – you won’t be disappointed.

 

Nightlife

Surfers Paradise is no stranger to late nights, live music and slick clubs. Whether you want to enjoy a casual cocktail with friends or cut shapes on the dance floor until 4am, Surfers Paradise has it all. It’s a place for you to have fun, let loose and potentially wake up in the morning with a few, minor regrets. But at least you are guaranteed to have a great story! A popular venue, especially among university students, is the Beer Garden situated on the busy Cavill Avenue. Enjoy a social beer and some live music here, and still be in bed by midnight. If you would rather be fist-pumping into the early hours of the morning, then Elsewhere may be the place for you. Elsewhere is one of those rare Gold Coast nightclubs where you can actually rub shoulders with locals. This little hotspot is a hub of disco balls, groovy electronic beats and a 70s style light-up dancefloor.

 

Shopping

There is no shortage of shops in Surfers Paradise. From local boutiques to mass-market fashion retailers, this seaside city is a shopaholic’s heaven. For a shopping centre, visit Paradise Centre on Cavill Avenue. Its stores include Ally, Cotton on Body, Novo Shoes, Typo, Universal Store and Souvenir Shoppers. If you are after smaller scale, local brands and designers, then perhaps the Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets would be more your style. These twilight markets are located on the Esplanade at the end of Cavill Avenue and operate all year round, every Friday and Saturday from 4pm to 9pm. Enjoy the gentle ocean breeze as you stroll the foreshore, and discover over 100 market stalls from local artisans and creatives.

 

There is no doubt that Surfers Paradise has an appetite for attention. It is a lively, vibrant and sparkly international hub. But don’t let this deter you! Instead, allow yourself to get swept up in it – feel the energy that radiates from its centre. Surfers Paradise is constantly evolving and it is this consistency for updating itself that keeps millions of travellers coming back for more.

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