The Dune Café is a bit of a secret. Located in one of the most beautiful spots on the Coast, it’s well frequented by southern Gold Coasters, but apart from that, many other people don’t know of its existence. Bit of a shame, really, because a trip to Palm Beach Parklands’ Dune Café reminds you what the Coast is all about.
It’s the fifth time I’ve been here. On every other occasion it’s been a gorgeous weekend day and I haven’t been able to find a park. Don’t get me wrong – there’s lots of parking, but I haven’t been early enough to get a prime spot.
On a week day, though, I’m lucky! Rounding the corner, I face a breathtaking view.
No wonder this spot has been voted the ‘Most Kid-Friendly Cafe on the Gold Coast’! It’s family heaven: a large flat lawn flanked by bush and boardwalks on one side and a pirate ship ‘Treasure Island’ themed children’s playground on the other. Beyond the grass lies the cove, a quiet swimming area fronted by a pristine sandy beach, the picture perfect landscape framed in the distance by Currumbin Hill.
We could be miles away from the high rise sprawl; it’s so green, so peaceful…
It’s a balmy autumn day and I’m surrounded by extended families enjoying the sunshine: mothers chatting over a coffee, their toddler-filled prams with a dog attached, teenagers playing touch on the grass, pre-teens on skateboards, children climbing over the installation art, children throwing bread to the fish as grandparents watch… The park area is so large and diverse that there’s room for everyone. There are disabled facilities, change rooms, showers, and even a community centre. Little wonder that this federally funded playground won a state award in the Parks & Leisure Australia (PLA) Awards 2010!
But we’re here about the food at the Dune Café, right? We’re really pleasantly surprised. Yes, it’s a beachside café with one of the best views on the Coast, there are chips and B.L.A.T. on the menu, but the main fare’s really ‘upmarket healthy’ with an emphasis is on organic, fresh and local where possible.
Choose from separate breakfast and lunch menus which hold something for everyone, kids and adults alike. There’s a fair bit of food in display cabinets – fresh sandwiches, salads, muffins and slices, as well as à la carte fresh salads and burgers, such as Wild-caught Barramundi (either with chips and salad or in a sourdough burger with salad, avocado and caper and dill aioli), Warm Thai Duck Salad, ‘The Black Sheep’ lamb burger and the vegetarian ‘Peace Love & Lentil’ burger with roast kumara and lentil patty, rocket salad, Swiss cheese and bush tomato chutney.
The drinks menu is just as diverse, featuring fresh juices, smoothies, frappés, spiders, milkshakes, iced drinks, coffee and tea. Add your superfoods at will (maca, açai, or spirilina). Following the lead from owner Currumbin RSL, most of the takeaway packaging is also biodegradable.
I sit in a stockman’s armchair in front of the café, enjoying a Seared Ocean Scallop Salad followed by coffee and cake. It’s fresh and light, the scallops deliciously succulent, the boutique Botero coffee organic, and I feel at peace with the world.
It’s a magical day and, surrounded by the joy of life, laughter and happy chatter, I fall in love again with the beauty of the Gold Coast. How lucky are we!
945 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach Ph: 07 5521 0951 Open daily 6.30am – 3pm