Coolangatta is right on the border between New South Wales and Queensland. It’s the Gold Coast’s southernmost suburb and is best known for its chilled-out locals and great beaches. You’ll still find luxury apartments and good restaurants, but don’t expect the nightclubs, sports cars, and parties of nearby Surfers Paradise. Coolangatta has escaped the high-rise madness and tourist frenzy of its neighbour, and is, above all, a place to relax and a favourite for families.
Grab your sunscreen, change into your swimwear, and jump into the waves. Coolangatta Beach is always patrolled, and conditions are suitable for all ages. There’s always plenty of room with a huge expanse of white sand. The waves here can be any size, but if conditions are rough, walk south to nearby Rainbow Bay, which ideal for smaller children. To really escape the crowds, Kirra Beach, just to the north, is at the beginning of miles of uncrowded beach and is perfect for a long walk. Keen surfers will find plenty of options around Coolangatta. Advanced surfers flock to Duranbah Beach and Snapper Rocks, which have some of the most reliable breaks on the Gold Coast.
If you’ve never caught a wave but want to give it a go, organise a few lessons with a local surf school. Instructors are professional and can cater to those of various ages and skill levels. For a look at what’s under the waves, take a diving trip out to Cook Island. There are packages for both novices and more experienced divers.
The hinterland to the south west of Coolangatta has some pristine natural areas to explore. Climb Mount Warning before dawn, and you will be the first to see the sun in Australia. The views from the top are stunning, and the walk itself, while strenuous, takes you through lush rain forest.
Coolangatta is one of the best places to enjoy the Gold Coast’s stunning beaches, away from the hustle and bustle of Surfers Paradise.