Coolangatta is the southernmost suburb of the Gold Coast, named after a schooner that wrecked there in 1846. The town is set at the edge of the sparkling ocean and lined with picturesque beaches known for surfing, swimming and a relaxed pace of life.
Things to do
Coolangatta’s beautiful sandy beaches are ideal for water sports and are home to some of the best surfing spots on the Gold Coast. Greenmount Beach and Rainbow Bay are sheltered with calm waters safe for kids to swim in, while Duranbah is a famous surf beach that guarantees a swell year-round. Walk around to Snapper Rocks for a chance to see whales on their annual migration.
Nine Mile Reef is a popular dive spot, home to leopard sharks, turtles, stingrays and even the occasional hammerhead. Dive around Cook Island for a mix of hard and soft corals, home to a colourful array of wildlife like parrotfish and clownfish.
Hike up to Point Danger and stand with one foot in Queensland and the other in New South Wales while you admire the stunning views and spot dolphins out at sea. Explore the lighthouse and the Captain Cook Memorial, made with iron recovered from Cook’s ship, Endeavour.
The heart of Coolangatta is The Strand, a mix of award-winning eateries and trendy bars in a picturesque waterfront setting. Try the crepes at the retro-inspired Pancake Diner or indulge in the creative ice cream flavours at Gelato Messina.
Gold Coast Airport is conveniently located three kilometres from Coolangatta, while the drive from the centre of the Gold Coast takes around 40 minutes. Coolangatta’s extensive network of trains and buses is a convenient way to get around town, but the CBD is compact and easy to walk around.