Rating: 5 out of 5.

Sun, Surf, Sand and Nightlife, is this the only thing the Gold Coast is famous for. Well not quite, if you are tired of the ordinary everyday action when you visit the coast, you’ll be excited to know there’s still some hidden secrets to uncover in this tourist hot spot. Today we’re burning rubber, putting the pedal to the metal (obeying all signed speed limits of course), our Road Trip taking us to one the Gold Coast’s newest attractions the – Gold Coast Motor Museum & Stanley’s Barn and then with a reset of the GPS we’ll continue our travels culminating in our journey at the epicentre of the Gold Coast’s Cultural Precinct, located just behind Surfers Paradise – HOTA.

Come rain or shine, no matter what the conditions this all-weather road trip is an easy day touring either south from Brisbane or North from the Gold Coast. Travelling on the M1 is the simplest way to get to the Gold Coast Motor Museum. As an alternative, if you are driving from Brisbane, go via Tamborine Mountain and add a little more adventure to your day out. 🔥 Click on Useful Links below for Tamborine Mountain road trip information.

Gold Coast Motor Museum

Opened in October 2020, set in the Gold Coast Hinterland at the base of Tamborine Mountain only minutes inland from Movieworld (M1exit 60) is one of the Gold Coasts latest tourist attractions. On arrival, after winding our way up the long, picturesque driveway, surrounded by native trees and open grassy areas, positioned on the crest of a hill we arrive, to be greeted by – The Gold Coast Motor Museum & Stanley’s Barn.

Classic Cars

The Gold Coast Motor Museum is two brothers’ private collection of cars, motorcycles, speed cars, old push bikes and other relics from by-gone eras. Some are restored classics, others are in their original condition, but you can rest assured that there is something here for everyone, you don’t have to be a car enthusiast to fully appreciate this magnificent display.

Alpha Romeo Spider

While you might think that car museums are all the same with many being a one-make display, this museum is different with such a huge variety of cars, bikes, and collectibles. Unusual cars and boats like the 1958 BMW Isetta with its own special story to be told, the 1953 Chris-Craft Riviera, through to the cut down 1971 Alpha Romeo Spider, the V8 Touring Cars of Dick Johnson and Peter Brock, and who could ever forget the Goggomobile Dart made famous in Australia for being part of an Insurance Company’s add campaign.

This is one very impressive and extensive display inside and out. You can wander around the grounds, it is certainly different than the norm, look at the old vintage cars scattered amongst the buildings, then off to have a coffee or a nice coldie with a tasty lunch or dinner from the onsite restaurant – Stanley’s’ Barn.

In keeping with the whole ambience of the Museum precinct, situated in close proximity is Stanley’s Barn – Restaurant and Bar. Step inside and be shown to your table, you’ll soon discover what you thought appeared to be an old barn is actually a brand-new building oozing with early world charm serving up the most delicious coffee and snacks or more substantial meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

This is a family friendly restaurant, adjacent to a huge lawned area with both indoor and outdoor dining options – if you have the kids with you request a table outside, the kids can run riot on the grass while you enjoy your meal, from here you can keep an eye on all their activity.  🔥 Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegetarian & Vegan options are available throughout the Menus.

HOTA Precinct

HOTA – Home Of The Arts is the Gold Coast’s home for all things inspiring. From its beginnings the HOTA site has been a place of continuous development and growth. Formerly known as The Gold Coast Art Centre and surrounded by parklands, a lake, walking paths and with Surfers Paradise as its backdrop, HOTA is your place for a good dose of culture. Complete with a children’s playground, lake-side picnics and walks, cinemas, live performances, art displays indoors and out, stargazing, cafes and restaurants and onsite parking (🔥☹ Some of the parking is metered and the fee payable when you park your vehicle), this whole precinct is a sensational day out for family members of all ages.

Let’s head indoors, the HOTA Café is our first stop for a coffee or if you prefer a chilled glass of wine on a hot Queensland summer day. Opening onto a large deck you have the option of indoor or open-air dining in the shadows of the HOTA Gallery, serving a good selection of snacks, meals, and cold beverages.

HOTA Gallery

Discover art indoors or outdoors amongst the gardens, HOTA is that type of place. The HOTA Gallery lays claim to being the largest public gallery outside a capital city in Australia hosting the art of local talent as well as national and major international exhibitions.

Spanning 6 levels with exhibition space in the huge Main Exhibition Gallery featuring soaring six-metre-high ceilings, an exclusive Children’s Gallery where you can discover secrets and surprises in World Upside Down or be creative through interactive art and hands on making activities.

Start your tour on the Level 5 and work your way back down to the ground floor, Gallery 1. Make sure you have your camera 📷, on the top level is one of the best viewing platforms offering breath taking views of the Gold Coast and Hinterland. The Exhibitionist Bar is also here, this is the place to grab some food and drink from a diverse menu that contains delectable delights like smoked Wagu beef Pattie burgers, Vego burgers and the most delectable milk chocolate Basque Cheesecake for dessert. All of this with a very healthy serving of the most gorgeous panoramas of the Glitter Strip.


HOTA Central is one of the main buildings within the HOTA precinct providing two state of the art movie cinemas showing an ever-changing array of international and mainstream movies. Make the time to get your movie fix while in air-conditioned comfort, take the weight off your feet, purchase some goodies from the candy bar and enjoy.

Beyond Hota Central and the Gallery, the HOTA Parklands with its own art trail are just waiting to be explored. A superb location for a swim, stroll or picnic, these expansive grounds with green grassy open spaces having enough room for the family to run around or perhaps grab a drink and listen to the always popular live music and concerts.

Evandale Lake

Further investigating this impressive outdoor setting, adjacent to the Nerang River tucked away in the Evandale Parklands, is the Evandale Lake, a top spot favoured by locals for a quick dip on a hot summer’s day. If your coming here for the day, bring a picnic lunch, pack your togs and don’t forget the sunscreen.

Nosing around several of walking paths will put a smile on any young family members face when the kid’s playground is uncovered. Not too far from the lake, complete with climbing equipment and slides, see-saws and a huge shade sail to keep the sun’s hot summer rays at bay.

HOTA Green Bridge
HOTA Green Bridge

The HOTA Green Bridge, a pedestrian and cycle thoroughfare spans 130 metres across the Nerang River, connecting the HOTA Precinct to Chevron Island and through to Surfers Paradise. The walk to Surfers Paradise via the Bridge and Chevron Island taking about 10-15 minutes. Pack that camera, there are also some priceless Instagram worthy views capturing panoramas of the Nerang River to HOTA and over to the Surfers Paradise skyline.

Get the family and friends together, put the car into Drive (D- if it’s an auto) and rev up your own day trip. I did all three of these places in the one day, but I will freely admit that I didn’t get to try all that was on offer. I would suggest you allow a minimum of 2 days to totally experience these Supercharged localities.

🔥 Day 1: If you are staying in Surfers Paradise, it’s just an easy walk to HOTA via the Green Bridge. Bus and ferry services will also get you to and from HOTA. 🔥Day 2: Drive to the Gold Coast Motor Museum & Stanley’s Barn via Tamborine Mountain.

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