The View Cafe – Food With a View Like No Other

The View Cafe – Food With a View Like No Other

The View Cafe: As Silver writers were exploring Hinze Dam, we came across the View Café. It’s tough work finding these hidden gems and eating a luxurious breakfast, but someone has to do it!

As we approached Hinze Dam, we saw the fabulous The Hinze Dam Visitor Centre. It is owned by Seqwater, and has educational displays and informative talks. These talks will resume once Covid goes back to the hell from whence it came. But as we discovered, this building also has a café and function centre in it! So off we went inside for a good reconnaissance mission.

The first thing you notice is the stunning view and exceptional architecture of the place. The vistas from the View Café across Hinze Dam make this destination one of the Hinterland’s most rewarding visits. This is the kind of place where bushwalker-types do proposals.

The food looks fit for an Instagram extravaganza. There’s muffins, coffee, omelettes, pancakes. There’s a kid-friendly menu, and a group buffet menu which looks absolutely delicious. The salads range from salt and pepper calamari through to Caesar salad and warm Thai chicken salad, with beer battered chips or sweet potato fries on the side. You can have all that with a chilled glass of wine or beer.

the view cafe

You have the choice to relax inside in aircon to the gorgeous dining room that juts out over the water (still with those views!). Or you can sit outside on the terrace overlooking the stunning scenery of the Nerang River. The captivating views stretch from the Numinbah Valley to the Pindari Hills.

the view cafe
the view cafe


Twenty-three million years ago the area in front of the View Café was part of a massive volcano. In its prime, the crater rim stood two kilometres tall with lava flows sprawled across more than 7000 square kilometres. The ridge of rock is viewable from The View Café – a constant reminder of the region’s volcanic past. In the more distant view from the cafe lies the Lamington Plateau and Pages Pinnacle. Waterside Park is built on part of the quarry at Pelican Point which supplied the greywacke rock for the Hinze Dam wall. You can view the quarry to the right of the cafe.

From the cafe you can explore on wide safe paths. They are very accessible for people with disabilities, wheelchairs, walkers, plus they are a dream for parents with prams. These paths wind to the dam’s edge along manicured gardens. From the café, you can also take a scenic stroll along the peak of the dam wall. All this is a very easy walk, with amazing views.


We cornered Tony, the owner of the café, who is 75, to get the info. He adores the spot. “We took control of the business in 2014 we thought it was the most beautiful location and that is something that would never change. It will always be beautiful. We did change one thing – the menu. We made it Australian and better suited to the area.

“My 56-year-old wife manages the front-of- house – she’s been doing that for many years and she’s very good at it! She Austrian, so she speaks four languages – French, German, Spanish and English! I look after the administration side of things. We love it and have no plans to retire! We have a wide range of customers, they come from everywhere, including the local area, of course. But they also come from Brisbane, the Gold Coast and from the Tweed area. People come from all around because it’s such a beautiful day trip. The weekends are super busy! During the week we get a lot of people who are in the stage of their life where they’re semi-retired or retired. They have a lot of time for fun! They come here to enjoy a beautiful day out and do the walk around the dam.

Car Clubs

We also have car clubs and motorcycle clubs, which make this their stop of the day. And we get older groups who are coming for a day trip, and we can cater for them in our function room. It’s the perfect place for them because of the wonderful access the flat pathways afford them. It’s really easy to get around here at the cafe, and in the visitor centre grounds and around the dam. There are no steps, and you can park right adjacent to the building. We have disabled toilets, so it is accessible for everyone. A lot of older people are very active however, and stop here for breakfast on the way to the wonderful walks in the Springbrook area, like Twin falls, Natural Bridge and Purling Brook Falls. They stop for breakfast, or they can grab some picnic items from here on their way.”


The View Cafe has a 4-star Trip Advisor rating and was awarded the Travellers’ Choice Award in 2020. They are rated #1 for Quick Bite in Advance Town. So grab your friends, or tell your events organiser to hire the bus! This day out is not to be missed.


phone: 0499 221 695

phone: 07 5563 0313


Store 100-200 Advancetown Road, Advancetown

When you are there, be sure to get that second coffee. Here’s why.

Thursday Island Rescue Mission – Saving Animal Lives

Thursday Island Rescue Mission – Saving Animal Lives

Thursday Island Rescue Mission: Recently, the Animal Welfare League Queensland and Vets Beyond Borders got together with the Thursday Island Animal Support Group. As a team, they completed a successful desexing pilot program on the Island. 

As the champions for animals in need, AWLQ is committed to creating lasting changes for animals in society. In addition to the shelter work, AWLQ provides community-based support programs with a focus on prevention. The Thursday Island Pet Support Program falls into this remit.

The amazing volunteers helping animals and their humans on
Thursday Island


Sonja Einersen is from the Thursday Island Animal Support Group:

On Thursday Island, we don’t get vet visits very often, and there isn’t a resident vet on the island. We used to have a vet that flew in, but recently, she retired. Sometimes a vet from Cairns comes up, but by the time they get up to the island, the cost is prohibitive. So, we have quite a large problem with dogs and cats on the island.

The Thursday Island Animal Support Group started talking to AWLQ about the possibility of a vet service on the island. Could pet owners get some low-cost or free surgery procedures done?

All of us in the support group are volunteers. We were excited when the collaboration went ahead. At the moment, a vet only visits the island 3 times a year due to Covid restrictions. And, it costs $600 to have a dog desexed. This is out of the reach of a lot of people. In fact, we haven’t had any surgical services on the island for quite some time. If animals got sick they would be euthanised or would just die due to a lack of services.


Since our organisation got up and running, we’ve helped quite a number of dogs. From bee or wasp stings right through to being hit by cars or stray dog attacks. We try our best to fix them. We have stapled up a few dogs, and we hold antibiotics that we can give out under the supervision of the vet. But there are a lot of stray dogs on the island. The council does collect these, however if they weren’t able to re-home them, then they are euthanised.

Sometimes people end up with a dog that they don’t really want. And then it ends up having litter after litter. They try to get rid of puppies. So, we end up with lots of stray dogs. The council work with us and give us a lot of dogs that they find or that have been surrendered. A lot of people who come to Thursday Island just for a couple of years, end up rescuing a stray off the street, and end up bringing dogs back to the mainland with them. That’s quite a common story. To stop the cycle, we need large-scale desexing to happen. That’s where Vets Beyond Borders come in. Sylvana, a project manager with AWLQ, is the person that put us all in contact. She talked with Vets Beyond Borders and got them on board.


There’s still a lot to do. We’re hoping if we can continue, we’ll start to get numbers of strays and unwanted animals under control. There are still certain areas on the island with pretty big problems. We also need to educate the local population. There’s a lot of misinformation about having your dogs desexed. People don’t believe in desexing male dogs, and they think that the females should have one litter before they get desexed. But we urgently need to desex the animals here on Thursday Island in significant numbers.

The cat problem is probably worse than the dog problem. We also need to desex the cats. The feral cat population is a huge problem on the island, but we have been rehoming cats and kittens successfully in the last few months as well. They’re a little bit different to dogs, because they’re not as visible. They go off into the bush and look after themselves. This is terrible for the local wildlife.

I think the more we can get out there, the more we will lessen the issue. We just need to put a dent in getting existing animals desexed so it’s not a continued cycle. 

Thursday Island in the Torres Strait. Credit – Feral Arts


Sylvana Wenderhold is a Project Manager for AWLQ: The first time we did the desexing program was in September, and I was the coordinator. AWLQ did all the organizing and then Vets Beyond Borders supplied the team of vets and the vet nurse. I coordinated with the Thursday Island Animal Support Group to get the location and they put out the word. We flew to Thursday Island and set up a clinic in a “shed” and we desexed for four days.

I am a big believer in the desexing programs – I started the National Desexing Network. My current role is rural and regional programs manager. What I’m trying to do is to help areas that don’t currently have any desexing programs. With Thursday Island, the problem is just the sheer number of animals and no veterinary service. Next year we hope to go four or five times to get the population under control. There are just so many puppies born, and we haven’t really even started tapping into the cats.

I’m actually on my way now to the airport to pick up two dogs from Thursday Island! One is a four- month-old puppy, and the other one is a bit older. It was one of only ones that didn’t heartworm – all the other ones had it. It’s very hard for us to rehome them when they have heartworm.

Donating AWLQ helps because obviously it costs us money to go there and set this all up. We pay for all the pharmaceuticals and the flights. We do ask the owners on the island for a donation, which almost all of them give us. They’re all very thankful that we are there helping.

The volunteers working hard on Thursday Island

To find out more about the work of the AWLQ, click here.

Scars? Be Gone! New Beauty Treatments Can Banish Scars For Good

Scars? Be Gone! New Beauty Treatments Can Banish Scars For Good

Got a scar you want gone? Then check out paramedical tattooing – this procedure sends scars from whence they came. Roisin Murphy checks it out.

Ten years ago, I had a minor surgical procedure. But it left a big impact. This is because they left a device in me by accident during the operation. They sewed me up and sent me home with the device still in me. Of course, I got sicker and sicker over the years until finally, they worked out what was wrong with me.

But it wasn’t just a matter of taking the device out. They had to clean up all my insides as well, after all the damage caused by the object left in me. This left an absolutely giant scar across my body. At first, the scar was angry, red, and raised. But after a year or so, it became white and less angry. But I still wanted it gone.


I went to see Katherine McCann of Facebox in Ashmore Plaza. I love this place because it has easy, free parking, no traffic, and it is in a shopping plaza where I can grab other things I need while I am there.

Matching the tattoo ink to the skin
Scars? Be Gone! New Beauty Treatments Can Banish Scars For Good
Goodbye stretchmarks!

Katherine did several things for me and my scar. First of all, she tattooed the scar to be the same colour as the rest of my body. I promise you it doesn’t hurt. At all. In some moments, it was a little scratchy, but I honestly nearly fell asleep on the table. So don’t sweat it.

But that’s not all. She also did needling on the other areas of scarring I had. This was left from other procedures I had to have done while the surgeons were fixing me. And just because it’s cool, she showed me what she can do for stretch marks from those gorgeous babies I had. It is incredibly impressive stuff.

Scars: Paramedical Tattooing

That’s the beauty stuff. Katherine also does paramedical tattooing that helps out domestic violence survivors who need a lip scar camouflaged or an eyebrow scar concealed. And then there’s the people she helps to get rid of medical scarring like after breast cancer surgery or a hip replacement. Some heroes don’t wear capes. But in Katherine’s case, she does wear sparkly trainers.

The ability to conceal, camouflage, relax or improve a scarred area involves significant skill and should only be performed by an advanced technician. Katherine is one such technician. In fact, she heavily involved in education and innovation in the area, and is teaching the next generation on how they can help with paramedical beauty procedures.

Scars? Be Gone! New Beauty Treatments Can Banish Scars For Good
Scar after injury
Scars? Be Gone! New Beauty Treatments Can Banish Scars For Good
Scar minimisation using paramedical tattooing

Says Katherine, “Medical tattooing and micropigmentation play an important role in a person’s healing and recovery journey. This type of tattooing has helped thousands of people around the world – not just physically, but emotionally and psychologically as well. We treat all kinds of scars, and everyone has a story. It’s an amazing job and I am so grateful for the trust placed in me and the ability to really change a person’s life through my work.”

Scars on Other Body Parts

Katherine also loves that no one job is the same. “I have tattooed almost anything (anatomy wise) you can think of – and improved all types of scars whether they are surgical (breast cancer, augmentation, face lift, amputation etc) to self- harm, skin grafts, burn scars and even in some cases birthmarks, stretchmarks and vitiligo.”

Katherine and her staff work with patients referred by medical practitioners, dermal therapists and plastic and reconstructive surgeons. I am so impressed even after just one session of paramedical tattooing. It is totally life-changing and I can’t wait to see what else Katherine has in her repertoire for me!


Scars need to be at least 12 months old. An initial consultation is required. You will need to space the visits to allow adequate healing time.

To book a consultation:
phone: 0405 069 311

Like beauty stories? Then check this out.

Cancer Dogs: Can Our Canine Friends Sniff out Cancer?

Cancer Dogs: Can Our Canine Friends Sniff out Cancer?

Cancer Dogs: It seems that our fur babies are our new weapon. Doggos to the rescue!

A team of scientists has proven that dogs can truly sniff out cancer. And this canine cancer detection could lead to new non-invasive, and inexpensive ways to detect the disease. Good dog!


Dogs that detect cancer may sound like science fiction. But the good news is that this could be the most exciting discovery in the cancer field for decades.

A dog’s nose is an exquisite piece of machinery, capable of smelling in parts per trillion. This makes dogs highly sensitive to odours we can’t even dream of smelling. If it was sight we were talking about, it would be like this: What you and I can see at half a kilometre, a dog could see at 5000 kms away, and see just as clearly. It’s impressive stuff.

cancer dogs


Heather Junqueira is the lead researcher at BioScentDx. Her team are currently working to see if dogs really can spot cancer. For the study, Junqueira and her colleagues used a form of clicker training. They taught four beagles to distinguish between normal blood serum and samples from patients with malignant lung cancer. One beagle – named Snuggles, of course – couldn’t be convinced to stay on task, the hippie. But, the other three dogs correctly identified lung cancer samples 96.7 percent of the time. Aww cancer dogs, who’s a good boy!

“This work is very exciting because it paves the way for further research,” said Junqueira.

We should suck up to beagles, really really fast. Well, except Snuggles. All we can do with that guy is snuggle.

Junqueira isn’t the only scientist that’s getting results like this. Recent research has shown that dogs have detected lung cancer, melanoma, breast cancer and bladder cancer. While more study is needed, the initial results are incredibly exciting.


It isn’t just in the lab that dogs are showing their ability to pick up cancer. There are many incredible stories of dogs detecting cancer in their owners, including a story about a dog called Max from BBC’s Secret Life of Dogs.

Max is a Red Collie Cross normally full of energy and enthusiasm, but his owner Maureen Burns noticed that something was wrong. “I thought at the time Max was fading. He was nine and a half and I was preparing myself for losing him because he just wasn’t happy. He would come up and touch my breast with his nose and back off so desperately unhappy. There was such a sad look in his eyes.”

Maureen knew she had a small lump in her breast but her latest mammogram was clear. So she presumed all was okay. “But soon, I connected it with the dog and his odd behaviour.”

Maureen went to her local hospital but both a scan and a mammogram came back negative. It took a surgical biopsy to finally detect the cancer. Maureen had it removed and the change in Max’s behaviour was instant. “When I came home from the hospital, he was his old hyper self again. He put his nose across my breast to check where the operation had been. His eyes were happy and the change in him was instant. I owe Max so much. Now, before I go for a check-up, I get him to check me out. If he’s happy and wagging his tail, I am happy.”


Likewise, actress Shannen Doherty has battled cancer more than once in her life. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, she told an extraordinary story – that her dog identified her breast cancer before doctors could diagnose it. And interestingly, her story isn’t unusual. There are thousands of stories that are very similar to Shannen’s.


Many teams around the world are trying to work out how they can use dogs in cancer diagnosis. Dr Gianluigi Taverna is a researcher with Humanitas Research Hospital in Milan. He showed that his dogs could detect prostate cancer with an amazing 98% accuracy. Taverna and his team spent five months training two German Shepherds to detect cancer in humans by sniffing patients’ urine samples. The dogs checked over 900 people in the study. Out of these 900, the dogs were only wrong 20 times.

Said Dr. Taverna, “We have demonstrated that the use of dogs might represent a real clinical opportunity if used together with common diagnostic tools. Our standardised method is reproducible, low cost and non-invasive for the patients. This might reduce unnecessary prostate biopsies and pinpoint patients at high risk for prostate cancer.”


Dogs are already used to detect impending seizure activity, and also to help mitigate meltdowns in people suffering from autism. The ability to detect cancer too means that dogs are not only amazing companions and our best friend – but could also save our lives.

Of course, there is a stack of research still to be done. But the future in this area is very bright. There are organisations which are springing up whose sole aim is to train cancer-sniffing dogs. One of these is the InSitu Foundation ( They rescue dogs on death row and give them a new life, where they are loved and cared for.

Cancer-detecting dogs could be an amazing weapon against one of the biggest health scourges of our time. We knew we loved dogs for a reason, now there is a whole new reason to love them! Come sleep on our beds forever, doggos!


Hero Linus doing his work

This special guy, called Linus, is a 3-year-old male German Shepherd who was on death row. He was returned to a shelter three times by his previous owner. The InSitu Foundation adopted him. When he came to InSitu’s ranch, he got his first job, and it literally transformed Linus’s life. Linus went from a small jail cell to a life of love and play. Says InSitu, “He’s happy, balanced, and well adjusted, and he’s the most loving boy around! Linus loves his work, and he’s a gem on the cancer detection team.”

Linus also works on the Duke University team of breast cancer detection dogs. Read about more cancer-sniffing dogs at

Like reading about our furry friends? Then check this doggo story out!

Q Super Centre Summer Shopping – Something for Everyone!

Q Super Centre Summer Shopping – Something for Everyone!

On the corner of Bermuda and Markeri Streets in Mermaid Waters, Q Super Centre is a shopping mecca right in the centre of the Gold Coast’s style map. The Silver team catch up with all the news from the popular shopping haven. Newsflash: There are new stores! Yay!

With the absolutely stunning Summer weather arriving, an outdoor shopping centre is the way to indulge in some retail therapy while enjoying those famous Gold Coast breezes. We can shop for our favourite things, and enjoy being outside as well.

Q Super Centre is on one level only, so there are no stairs to navigate. And it is beautifully landscaped, giving the feeling of being in an oasis, protected from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. So what is happening this Summer at Q Super Centre?

Q Super Centre – New Places to Explore

We all love food! So the good news is that Q Kebab House has burst onto the scene! Look out for Turkish kebabs and pides, homemade sauces, chips, Turkish coffee, baklava, tulumba, and falafel. Yummo! You will find them located near the Woolworths entrance.

There’s also a new café called Seeds of Life. Amazingly, they are a grain-free and gluten-free organic plant-based wholefoods manufacturer. Heidi and her team create the recipes with ‘organic gluten-free nutrition.’ Delicious and healthy! The wholefoods bakery is located at the Aldi end of the centre.

This is where you meet a friend to have gourmet lunches, coffee, delicious doughnuts, cookies and raw cakes. All the products are made onsite. Ingredients are certified organic or biodynamic, and predominantly Australian grown. The range is paleo/ vegan/ low carb/ keto and low calorie.

And that’s not the only brunch date hangout that is brand spanking new! Two Birds One Stone is a uniquely equipped café. It serves coffee and brunch and are getting known for their aromatic coffee which will put a firecracker in your day! They have an intimate knowledge of the foods people crave across the seasons. Grab a mate and try the best vegan breakfast on the Coast. 


As most of us know, Q Super Centre is becoming very well known as a doggie-friendly shopping centre. There are dog watering stations across the shopping centre, plus handy dog waste bags throughout the complex, and doggies are allowed in all the outdoor areas. Some stores also allow dogs inside.

To make sure dog parents know that Q Super Centre is fur baby friendly, the Q Ambassadog called Sidecar Bob has been deployed. He rides all over the Gold Coast with owner Mark Brereton in his motorcycle side car. He does this to promote Q Super Centre as dog friendly!

q super centre

Community Services

There are plenty of services for those in the community to avail of. There is a free JP service operation 7 days per week except public holidays (although this can change during Covid restrictions, please check with the website to see the schedule.) The JP Service is permanently located next door to Aldi Supermarket. No appointment is necessary.

Q Super Centre also have a food donation bin located outside Woolworths and the donations go towards St Johns Crisis Centre in Surfers Paradise.

There are over 80 retailers including three supermarkets at Q Super Centre. You will also find Bunnings, Pet Barn, and 12 dining choices, speciality stores offering gourmet fresh food, dining, hair and beauty, homewares, medical and health, banking as well as unique and boutique fashion. For more updates, keep an eye on Q Super Centre facebook or Instagram @qsupercentre or log onto

Hinze Dam –  A Day Tripper’s Delight!

Hinze Dam – A Day Tripper’s Delight!

Looking for a day trip? Then check out Hinze Dam. The highly accessible walks and facilities make this the day out the stuff of legends.

Hinze Dam, in the Gold Coast hinterland, seems wildly far away, but in fact, it is just 30 minutes’ drive from Pacific Fair. Built across the Nerang River, it was originally constructed in 1976, and significantly upgraded in 2011.

The body of water the dam created is stunning. Of course, it is what we all drink here on the Gold Coast, so its purpose is originally functional. However as an accidental recreation area, it’s a great win for everyone who likes nature and fresh air.

Visually speaking, it quite the sight to behold. The vastness of Queensland’s mountains alongside man’s engineering expertise unite in perfect symmetry. You want to say things like, ‘Ah! The serenity!’ The architecture and landscaping, plus the sheer size of the lake and its shores make this a dam good day out (sorry I couldn’t help it).

It’s the accessibility here that is a winner. There are lots of disabled parks. Also, the paths are wide and flat, and super-smooth… everywhere. There’s a 2.5 kilometre walk over the dam that maintains this flatness and smoothness. Use a walker?

Hinze Dam

Easy Walking

This is a dream walk. Wheelchair? You’ll have the time of your life. Do you simply prefer no steps and a flat surface? You’ll love it. There are no steps, not even from the carpark, to the café, to the dam, to the toilet, across the grounds…no steps. None.

The visitor centre here has an interesting display, and they have informative talks on the dam. Well worth a drop-in. And the café next door has brilliant views and food.

Hinze Dam

We spent a couple of hours at the dam but you could spend all day if you have the time. By the time you have lunch, take a walk in the gardens, cross the dam and just enjoy the beauty of the place, you can easily smash through 3 hours.

The walk along the top of the dam wall is amazing, and it reminds us that we are small little beings who are unimportant entirely. There’s no shade though, so don’t forget your hat! There are well-placed explanatory plaques and information stands detailing the method of construction, the points of interest, the geology and specific types of flora and fauna. And look out for the sign explaining the “climbing eels.” It reminds us all that the natural world can be dam weird.

Hinze Dam

Hinze Dam Picnic Sites

If you want to bring a picnic, there’s many places to set up camp, with beautiful vistas. There are a few shaded tables, but they go fairly quickly, so bring a picnic blanket, just in case.

When there’s drought the drowned trees become visible and there are a number of places that present a very photogenic situation. When there is a lot of rain, the spillway looks incredible. And, when the dam needs to release water, you can be put on an alert service that informs you when this will happen, so you can go that day to see it! ( notification-service).

Hinze Dam

In all, this is a great place for Silvers. It is a very peaceful area, with the silence broken by the odd kookaburra and smaller birds. You realise how quickly you can get to deep forest so close to the ocean. This place has a nice combination of science, environmental information (the hydroelectric power), scenery, tranquillity, and artistic landscaping. The whole area is a selfie paradise, and it would make a great wedding backdrop. 

To organise a function room at the café, call 07 5563 0313. To check opening times at the visitor centre, click here.

Or perhaps you’d like a trip abroad?

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