Q1 2024


When someone says, ‘we need a few days away’, who am I to argue? I asked my dad where he was thinking of, and he gave me a few ideas.  Within a few minutes, I’d located 3 nights at Q1. I’ve stayed there several times. Twice previously with Dad. Several times with Mark, my brother Lee and his partner Clare as well as other family members. We know the hotel and location well and we’re looking forward to our dad & daughter trip.


Q1 is located on the Gold Coast. From our home on the Sunshine Coast, that’s about 171km and a little under 3 hours, dependant on traffic of course. The route is M1, the Bruce Highway, all the way. From the Sunshine Coast down to Brisbane, over the Gateway Bridge and on to Surfers, it’s a pretty direct route.


We are in the last month of Autumn. While some of you might be cringing at the thought of going away in autumn and not summer, remember that aussie weather is kind, most of the time. The autumn of Australia is similar to the summer of the UK. The expected weather for our few days is an average of 24 during the day and 13-17 degrees at night.

Who am I?

What good is all of this great information if you don’t know who’s sharing it with you? My name is Joanne and I am a freelancer writer. I have a small website and have had some work published. I love to see areas of my country; some I have seen before but the memories always draw me back.

Why are we heading to Surfers Paradise?

The short answer to that question is, as my mum used to say, ‘just because!’  We wanted to have a few days away, a change of scenery and Q1 is a relaxing place. While Surfers itself is pubs, clubs, attractions and theme parks, Q1 and its beautiful apartments allow you to relax. If you don’t want to go anywhere, the room is very comfortable with all the mod cons and a great view too.

It is also for inspiration. Not only for dad’s photography but for my writing too. Who knows what we’ll see and do that give us motivation for creativity


Diary of Q1

Monday 13th

We set off on Monday 13th May. While Monday morning driving towards Brisbane city fills many with an inane sense of dread, it doesn’t bother Dad or me. We’re not in a rush and if the journey takes a little longer, we don’t mind. Dad had the route mapped out. I was in charge of music. This father/daughter double act were ready to hit the road and hit the road we did. A little after 9 we were on the road, heading towards the first stop. A McDonalds breakfast. After breakfast we continued down the Bruce Highway coming off at Hope Island and stopping at viewpoints where we could look ahead to the Surfers buildings in the distance. 

Arriving at Surfers an hour before checkin we were thrilled to see our room was ready for us. We had been given room 4004, on the 40th floor. We were at the front of Q1 facing the ocean, and due to the multitude of windows, we had views up the beach to Langham’s and back toward the hinterland. A quick walk to the supermarket for me and then a long walk on the beach to take some photos at sunset left my feet aching and ticking off my 10,000 steps for the day. I wrapped up 7.5k walk for the day and even managed to see seven F18 Interceptors on a fly past along the beach.  

A relaxing evening and catching up on emails ended the day.

Tuesday 14th

After an early night last night, it was a morning sunrise photoshoot for dad, not for me. I crept out of bed this morning thinking he was in his room and the hotel room door opened. He’d been out. Breakfast, a shower and then out and about.

We took ourselves off from the hotel and headed south. We were aiming for Burleigh Heads and hit our mark. We were there for 2 reasons. The first was to scope out potential photography spots looking back at Surfers skyline. The second was to locate ‘Black Hops HQ’ brewery. After a light lunch and pale ale, we headed back to Q1 via the ice cream parlour.

Dad went for a rest after his early morning while I attacked the $5 bookshop with a vengeance. Five books later, having only spent $25 (surprised that’s all I spent!), I’m a happy girl. Books by Geena Davis, Wil Wheaton, Michael Caine, Sean Spicer one one about Dunkirk. That should keep me occupied. A quiet evening with a light snack and cocktail at Longboards diner finished off the night. Note to self: Longboards has the best Cajun popcorn chicken!!

The inland route

Wednesday 15th

Our day started with a buffet breakfast on Skypoint – floor 77 of Q1. I detest that they try and ‘encourage’ you to have the touristy photo done and seem shocked when you decline. I’ve had that photo done once. It was the first time Mark, Lee, Clare and I came here together, that was special. A buffet breakfast is always nice. Juice, cooked breakfast, toast and finish with a danish and coffee. What can I say? I was hungry!

I will throw in here the “Incident of the collapsing chair”. When we got back up to the apartment (4004 has a great view for the record), I sat at the dining table and the chair collapsed. A metal leg had sheared off completely. I have a lovely bump to the back of my head and a bruise to the back of the leg. Reported to management and they brought us a bottle of wine and their deepest apologies.

The plan today was to drive inland. Dad had the route planned and we left about 11am.  We headed out towards Nerang and onto Advancetown. From there we headed to Natural Bridge with every intention of walking the circuit and photographing it. The car park was full which would have made the kilometre walk to the bridge and waterfall problematic for a photographer and his equipment. We continued on through Chillingham, Murwillumbah, Currumbin Valley and onto Currumbin Brewing. Of course, we stopped for the man of the house to test out one of their 7% IPAs.  Then it was back to Q1 along the Gold Coast Highway. The days drive took us close to New South Wales and in places we ducked ‘interstate’ for a short time.

This evening, the beach became our footpath as we walked towards the Soul hotel. We were waiting for the sunset but sadly it didn’t eventuate. Instead, we made our way to Kitty O`Sheas pub for a drink and then strolled back to Q1 and Longboards for a snack (yes, the Cajun popcorn chicken again) and drink. Our evening was done, and bags were packed.

Thursday 16th

When we woke this morning, the weather had taken a turn from the last few days. It was now pouring of rain and misty. It gave a completely different view to the whole area. What was bathed in sunlight for 3 days was now partially hidden and blanketed by the grey sky. But this was our last day, and it was time to go home.

The Bruce Highway beckoned us. Just under 200km lay ahead and again, I was in charge of the music. Traffic was not too bad, and we made it home in good time. No matter the reason for a trip, no matter where that trip takes you and no matter how long it is, there is a beautiful familiarity about turning the corner and seeing your house. Knowing that your bed is waiting for you, as well as a pile of washing!!

I’ve been a regular at Q1 since its opening. Dad and I have stayed at Q1 in 2021, 2023 and now in 2024. That’s without the countless trips that my late husband and I made, as well as the ones with various family members over the years. What this trip has done for Dad and I is that it’s made us realise that this could be and really should be a yearly pilgrimage of sorts. A guaranteed yearly getaway for 2 or 3 days just to have a breather. We are going to have to make that happen. I’m aiming to get above the 40th floor next time – take note Q1 – higher level please!!

Did Q1 tick all the boxes?

Yes it did, even with the collapsing chair accident. If I had any criticism of our stay, it would be that I’d love to see a dvd player in the apartment for those evenings where you just want to put your feet up in-front of a movie.

Will we be back?

I’ve been coming regularly for over 10 years so it’s a big yes to that question.

Thank you Q1, it’s been a pleasure. See you next year.

Q1 Accomodation


Writer: Joanne Hattersley – Madhatterpress home page

Photography: Barry Beckham – Beckham Digital

Q1 – Q1 Resort and Spa

Longboards – Longboards Bar