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World Travel Guide > Guides > Oceania > Australia > Queensland > Coolangatta beaches

About Coolangatta beaches

Coolangatta is a magnet for surfers and holidaymakers looking for the Gold Coast’s quieter side. Safe, golden beaches, the best surfing on the Gold Coast, picnics on the foreshore lined with stately Norfolk pines, brightly coloured umbrellas shading beachfront restaurants and cafes, and a relaxed seaside town – what more could one want?

Beach:

Coolangatta reputedly has the best surfing beaches on the Gold Coast, coupled with the safest beaches for learning to surf. It is not uncommon to share the waves with surfing dolphins and whales in the clear, aquamarine water. Unlike most Queensland beaches, Coolangatta is free from stinging jellyfish year-round.

The best surfing is at Kirra Beach (west of Coolangatta Beach), Rainbow Bay and Snapper Rocks, close to the Point Danger headland. The town’s north-facing beaches are protected and excellent for swimming, all patrolled by lifeguards. The beach foreshore has picnic tables and recreation areas. The wide, sandy beaches are popular with avid beach anglers, pulling in catches of snapper, bream and tailor. Dolphins and migrating humpback whales can often be sighted off the jagged Point Danger coastline.

Beyond the beach:

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (28 Tomewin Street, Currumbin) is home to over 1,400 species of native Australian mammals, reptiles and birds, and famous for its rainbow lorikeets that descend on visitors twice daily for feeding.

Get the ultimate thrill on a tandem skydive over Coolangatta Beach (Coolangatta Gold Coast Airport). Hike through rainforests, explore caves or visit an alpaca farm in Lamington National Park. Savour award-winning boutique wines on a winery tour through the Tamborine and Albert River valleys. Enjoy the beauty of the region and every bend in the road on a Harley Davidson (Gold Coast Motorcycle Tours, Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise) or explore great dive sites at Kirra and Cook islands.

Numerous theme parks, dozens of attractions and all the vibrant activities of the northern Gold Coast also lie within a short drive or bus ride from Coolangatta.

Family fun:

All ages can embark on a multi-sensual journey in a futuristic world of wonder at Infinity (Chevron Renaissance Centre, Gold Coast Highway, Surfers Paradise), an interactive theme park with a difference.

Coolangatta’s beaches are renowned for their beauty and safe for both surfing and swimming. Enjoy an early morning run along the beach, jump the waves or hunt for crabs in the tidepools on the rocky headland. Stroll or cycle the coastal walk with great views of the coastline and beaches. Paddle up the Tweed River on a canoeing safari, or drop a line for a quiet spot of fishing.

Exploring further:

Stay in guesthouses or mountain lodges in Lamington National Park and follow trails through tropical rainforests. Cool off during summer sliding down rocks under waterfall cascades in Mount Cougal National Park, feed the rainbow lorikeets at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (28 Tomewin Street, Currumbin), or stroll through art and craft stores and antique shops in Eagle Heights on Tamborine Mountain.

Excellent dive sites begin offshore from Coolangatta, and extend northwards along the entire Great Barrier Reef. Closest to Coolangatta is Nine Mile Reef, home to numerous shark species, rays, turtles and pelagic fish.

Splashing out:

Indulge in the romantic fantasy of a dawn balloon flight (Balloon Down Under, Palm Meadows Golf Resort, Gooding Drive, Carrara) and enjoy stunning views from Brisbane to Byron Bay and emerald mountains covered in lush rainforests. There is complimentary hotel pickup, and a champagne breakfast follows every flight.

Experience the flight of your life as a fighter pilot while flying air combat, formation or aerobatics from the back seat of an ex-military fighter jet. Black Jet (19 Lores Bonnet, Gold Coast Airport) pairs customers with real fighter pilots in simulated real-life missions along the coast.