“My family have been here a really long time,” says Clinton Schultz of the Burleigh Heads area. “My non-Indigenous side of the family were some of the early banana farmers in Tallebudgera Valley, before the Gold Coast was the Gold Coast. And then on my Aboriginal side, I’ve got a really close connection with this place because of its natural beauty and personal connections with the traditional custodians.”

Along with wife Lozen McDiarmid-Schultz, Schultz runs Sobah, Australia’s first non-alcoholic brewery. Living and working in Burleigh Heads, the couple are invested in supporting the local community. “The more we shop locally, the more we’re helping to keep our local economy ticking over,” says Schultz. “That’s the big thing for me about shopping local – supporting local families and businesses means the community as a whole is more healthy, happy and functional.”

With that local focus in mind, Schultz has a few recommendations for where to put your hard-earned dollars when visiting the area.

EAT

Quest Coffee Roasters
“All they do is talk coffee,” says Schultz of Quest Coffee Roasters in Burleigh Heads. “They roast their own coffee and they’re full coffee geeks.”

But it’s actually the food that draws Schultz to the James Street cafe. “They have a good range of both vegetarian and gluten-free options,” Schultz says. “Lozen is gluten-intolerant, so we tend to gravitate to places that do good gluten-free foods. It sounds ridiculous but it’s still hard to get good gluten-free meals. She often feels like she’s being ripped off or being served leftovers that no one really cares about.”

DRINK

Next Door Espresso
The gorgeous whitewashed walls, hanging vines and stone floors of Next Door Espresso belie a drop-in spot as refreshing to laze in as it is to dive into its menu. Moonshine coffee from NSW leads the pack, alongside fresh fare like sourdough crumpets, burrata salads and a strong range of gluten-free options.

“When any of us from Sobah go in there they know what we want,” says Schultz. “We don’t have to order, we just walk in and they get it ready for us. That personalisation is really cool.”

DO

Alpine Indoor Climbing

For adventurous types like Schultz, indoor climbing is a great option for when the weather turns. “Alpine is a really cool local one based out of Varsity Lakes, run by a young couple who are really into healthy lifestyle, really into supporting community,” Schultz says. “It’s a great activity to take kids to, particularly when it’s raining constantly.”

The space caters to newbies and pros alike, even offering training sessions and climbing-focused yoga classes. Casual visits are $22 – perfect for an afternoon when the weather spoils.

SHOP

Wild Earth
Burleigh Heads is surrounded by amazing beaches, rainforests and other examples of natural beauty worth a closer look. If you’re up for hands-on exploring, Schultz recommends taking a trip to outdoor store Wild Earth first.

“Wild Earth is a fave of mine because I love being outdoors,” he says. “I love adventure sports and they’ve got everything I need to do a lot of the crazy things I tend to get myself involved with. Generally I’ll be down there looking at rock climbing equipment. I just picked up a set of poles for trail running the other day, because I’m doing a few ultras this year. Basically anything outdoorsy, I’m in there.”

STAY

QT at Surfers Paradise
“QT’s an amazing little boutique hotel,” says Schultz. “They do great food in the restaurants and they’ve got a good range of non-alcoholic [drinks], which is why it’s a fave of myself and Loz. We tend to gravitate to places where we know we don’t have to ask if there’s any non-alcoholic choices.”

Besides the ocean views and Palm Springs-inspired pool precinct, QT is loaded with great food options. There are four restaurants and cafes, but Schultz recommends the Japanese izakaya-style Yamagen with its omakase set menu featuring opulent bites like truffle wagyu tartare and tempura scampi. From there you can either get back into the action or just retire to your room and gaze at the ocean.

This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with the American Express Shop Small program, encouraging Australians to support small business while travelling domestically. Learn more about Shop Small.