Got Beer? Join the Hop on Brewery Tours, Gold Coast

Beer, amazing venues on the Gold Coast, great company and did we mention beer? When I heard about Hop on Brewery Tours I was a firm “YES!” If you’re not a “beer drinker”, this tour will open your eyes, expand your pallet and change your mind about the whole beer thing.

hop on

I heard about this great idea while at a Women in Tourism breakfast on the Gold Coast. Jos got up and passionately spoke about her beer tours. She knew a crowd of women may be a tough audience but by the end of her talk, we were all hankering for a ‘cold one’. I knew first and foremost this would be an excellent activity for guests and I’m always looking out for things to do when people come to town.

Soon after this talk, Mum booked a trip to the Gold Coast. Since moving to a regional Australian town, Mum has become dedicated to local producers and learning about unique products. I knew this would be right up her alley and as soon as I mentioned it, Mumma said ‘BOOK IT!”

hop on 2

The Quickie on the Coast Tour was our tour of choice. Two venues, an afternoon of beers and touring around the GC in an air conditioned bus with excellent hosts. Excellent. We were picked up at Broadbeach and were joined by another lovely couple. Jos and Matt, the tour operators and owners, are welcoming and warm and gave us a quick run down of what to expect. Must point out we were also treated to a third venue – but the tour usually includes two. YAY!


First stop – The Bine Beer Bar

A big perk for me of doing such tours is learning about venues in areas I would never normally explore. I’d driven past Nobby’s Beach a bunch of times and seen the little cluster of bars and cafes but wouldn’t think to stop. This cute little bar is tucked in amongst the eateries and wine bars and has a great atmosphere. There’s a wide range of craft beers on tap and it offered a great intro for the tour. Jos and Matt went on to explain some of the ways beer is made, key ingredients and we even had a little quiz. Mum appears to be quite the beer expert now and loved sharing her new found knowledge with the hosts – to the point where I had to nudge her and say ”Mummmm”.


My favourite beer here was the sour. I like “light beers”. Not light in alcohol, but light in flavour and colour. This one resembled a cider/ beer and is a great entry to the beer realm for those who are not “beer drinkers”.

Back on the bus all feeling a bit lighter, and a bit peckish. Jos and Matt provide the perfect snacks for their thirsty tourists;pretzels and popcorn. And being the responsible tourism company that they are, they gave us all water! It was nice to chat along the way and Jos provided more of her extensive knowledge of the beer industry telling us about the first brewers … Women! I’m not going to go into it at length here – so google it – or go on the tour. It was really interesting to hear how the predominantly women founded industry has now become so male dominated.

Note: The tours locations often change so depending on the day and the tour you choose; you could get a completely different variety of stops. Meaning you can do the tour a number of times and experience something new!


Second stop – Burleigh Brewing Co.

Hands down my favourite stop. I loved everything about this awesome location. Great beers, amazing beer hall, food trucks out front, live music and an awesome atmosphere. I can picture many more Sunday chill sessions at this place. We got to try six beers here and the best part was that based on our sampling at the first bar, Jos had personalised each of our sample paddles here. How cool is that! She did really well with mine and I felt like they really cared about our enjoyment and our experience.

By far my favourite flavour was “The Hef “– I love a cloudy and rich beer, it actually tastes like banana! Plus, the label was super cute. I also loved “My Wife’s Bitter” because who doesn’t love a pun! We opted to take one of these homes as a gift/ joke for my boyfriend. He was very appreciative.


After our sampling we got a tour of the brewery from the knowledgeable staff. I was really interested in their bottling process and distribution. Amazing how this little local brewery has grown. Great range of flavours and a company who seem to tailor the tastes to their customer’s desires and demands. I was almost sad to leave, but I’ll be back!


Sporting my fave Champagne Cartel tee!

Third and final stop – Balter Brewing Company

The outside of the building, and the interior, get a big mention here. Clearly labeled what their primary business is: BEER, and a smiley face. Inside there are murals, a funky re-worked warehouse and fun names for their products. This brand has grown exponentially since opening only a few years ago.


Another round of generous samples. I was by this stage a little full so only sipped each one of the beers. It was definitely worth the value of the tour for all the great samples you get. Here we also got crackers made from the left over ingredients of the beer – I am terrible with food stuff so forget the exact ingredients! This was a lovely stop where we got to reflect upon what we sampled and really just felt like an afternoon chilling with mates. Balter Beer is another cool venue with great beers that you can just spend time enjoying the atmosphere while drinking tasty beverages. We got another couple of souvenir takeaways from this stop – keep the good vibes going.

Delivered back safely to our original pick up, I was so happy that I had taken mum on this tour. It was my first ever beer tour and it really opened my eyes to the wide range of varieties of beer and breweries on the Coast. Jos and Matt were made for this job and offer such a friendly, relaxed and professional experience. I would happily go again, so if you wanna come visit – let’s go together!

To learn more about Hop on Brewery tours and book your outing, click here.


Exploring the Gold Coast with a Food and Wine Tour

When you’re new to an area, visiting or living, it can be hard to know where to go and what to do! It can be even harder when you have to start recommending places to visitors and guests who join you – and you have no clue! That’s why when I met Karen from Gold Coast Food and Wine Tours I was relieved! Someone who has done the research and can share it!

gc food and wine

Gold Coast Food and Wine Tours is an exciting addition to the Gold Coast food scene, with walking tours of Burleigh Heads, Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise. Tours are proving popular for birthdays and hen’s parties as well as guests visiting the Gold Coast. I’m excited to have my first one booked in for Saturday 29 April as a guest of Karen’s and I cannot wait!

Accredited tour guide and business owner Karen Inglis-Turner launched the food tour company to cater for the rapidly growing interest in the region’s food and wine.

“High quality dining experiences have put the Gold Coast on the map as a foodie destination, with food tourism one of our fastest growing markets,” says Karen.

karen gc food and wine

Taking on the challenge of showing locals and visitors around the secret gems of the coast’s food industry, her business could not have come at a better time.

“Food is on trend right now, with dining rating among the Gold Coast’s highest tourism drawcards. Thanks to popular programs like Master Chef, people are more aware of the provenance of food, and the time and effort that goes into its preparation.”

So what can you expect on a food tour?

You’re going to get insider knowledge of the industry and see the hidden gems and foodie secrets that only a local would know. You’ll also get to meet the people behind the food – bakers, baristas and brewers who are really passionate about what they do and are happy to share their knowledge.

Karen says “Our tours evolve as the hospitality industry changes. Venues open and close, so even if you’ve been on one tour. It’s definitely worth coming back to take another.”

I’m really excited to explore more of the Gold Coast and try amazing food and beverage offerings (see above!) The tour I’m going on will take me to Burleigh Heads, a place I haven’t visited much but I hear it’s amazing! People often opting for the chill vibe a bit further away from the tourist hot spots. Quite frankly, I can’t wait to try all three of these amazing tours and expand my Gold Coast knowledge.

To book your tour visit Yummy things, come at me!

gold coast wine and food tours

Biking around the Gold Coast

Last year I got a new bike! I feel like a five-year-old at Christmas! It’s all shiny and new and ever so pretty. As soon as I found out we were heading to the Gold Coast, I knew I wanted my very own bike. I’ve borrowed bikes from family and purchased second hand bikes, but this time I wanted it to be all mine.


Cycling as a mode of transport is a delightful concept. I have dreamed of a time where I can be a bicycle commuter. I aimed to do it in Sydney, but the fast paced streets are not safe for my cruisey style. I did it in Melbourne for a few months, but then my work shifted to the suburbs and my crusty old mountain bike was no match for the massive roads and busy commuters. But now, being on the Gold Coast! A city that is flat as a tack with bike paths as far as the eye can see. It’s the lazy bike riders dream!


I feel safe and secure on the road and actually, I can get to many places on bike paths or even through bike trails in the Broadwater Parklands. I’m enjoying the rides for pleasure and seeing my new area by bike.


My partner is commuting to his work at Sea World Australia and so I’ve made a deal that I’ll ride with him at least one way, and possibly both. That’s a 40 minute round trip and it’s a great way to start or end my work day. I’ve also been extending my bike ride to go past Sea World and explore The Spit and marina area. It’s so lovely having the bush on one side and the bay on the other.

I’m yet to venture along Main beach and all the way down to Surfers Paradise, but I promise I will. As much as I can, I want this bike to be my mode of transport. Especially with the lovely basket in the front, it’s very achievable.


On your bike. Bing bing!

Loving the Gold Coast vibe 

“Hey Emma – so where do you actually live?”

Excellent question! And one I get SO often!

Though I’ve had a permanent address of Coogee in Sydney for more than 2.5 years, I was always on the move. That’s kinda my life. But for now, I am loving the Gold Coast vibe where my lovely partner is now living and working!


I’ve also been running a pet sitting business since January this year, Lovelly Pet Sitters. We care for pets in their own homes so that has me moving around from house to house, and even pet sitting interstate. I’m in a new suburb each week – a great way to explore new areas and spend time with lovely animals.

In September, my partner Matt got a new job! He’s now a diver at Sea World Australia and he moved three and a half weeks after he got the call. It was all very quick and exciting. Just the way I like it really. So here we are! The Goldie. Though I’m always traveling, I try and spend as much time as possible with him there. Follow our adventures on Instagram using the tag #EmmaMattyGCLife. Oh and our mascot, #PhilliptheDugong.


Let’s be honest, I’m still commuting. At the drop of a hat, I could move elsewhere, so I am just making the most of this and living it up in the popular tourist destination. Gold Coast is so different when you actually spend a concentrated amount of time there.

Here are some of my favourite things I like to do whenever I am in and around The Goldie.


Broadwater Parklands

This gorgeous new development is just at the end of our road! Gold Coast Council have reconstructed the entire area in preparation for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. It’s got walking and cycle tracks, play areas for children, cafes, an Olympic pool and gym, entertainment areas, access to the water and the most gorgeous rock pool play area! It’s also filled with native wildlife and many places for birds to be free. I head there almost every day for a walk or cycle and look forward to exploring the waterways by Stand Up Paddle board in the near future.


Cycling – anywhere and everywhere

I bought a bike! It was like I was five years old again. So shiny, so new! So much room for activities! I can take a number of cycle paths from my place to explore the area. The Gold Coast is extremely bike friendly and it really shows in how many people are out enjoying cycling or using it as a way to commute. You just want to get out and be active!



Tamborine Mountain

A gorgeous scenic drive from Southport up to Tamborine takes just 40 minutes. I’ve been up there most weekends since we moved and it’s actually a great way to cool down on the hotter days. There are loads of walking trails and lookout points to see the hinterland. You’ve also got wineries, B&B’s, cafes and the gallery of shops. It’s a great half day out or even overnight get away if you need a break from the heat and the beach. Don’t miss the Fortitude Brewery, amazing vibes and fine brews.


Sea World Australia

We of course made this one of our first stops, as Matt now works there. It was really nice to be tourists though and enjoy it with fresh eyes, and a little insider info. The animals are so beautiful and I really can see myself heading here often, just chilling with the sea creatures and learning more about our marine life. We also had perfect weather, so that helps!


Pool hangs

So this one isn’t really accessible to everyone, as this is actually the pool at his apartment. But my advice is book accommodation with a pool. It’s so lovely to look out his window and see this each day and spend lunch breaks catching some sun and having a refreshing dip.


I really hope to share as much of my experience while I’m here as possible. Tips and info on the best places to go, as well as some of our personal adventures! I have no idea how long he’ll be there or what’s next in our chapter, but for now, I’m enjoying it!