Ex­plore Coolan­gatta

Where Brisbane - - Contents - BY KERRY HEANEY

HOME TO SOME OF the Gold Coast’s most fa­mous surf­ing spots, re­laxed Coolan­gatta is lined with white sand beaches flanked by tall Nor­folk pines.

It was named af­ter the schooner Coolan­gatta, wrecked there in 1846, and is the most south­ern sub­urb of City of Gold Coast shar­ing the bor­der with New South Wales.

For some of the Gold Coast’s best surf­ing con­di­tions, head to Kirra Beach, Snap­per Rocks or Rain­bow Bay, but you might also want to try throw­ing in a line to catch snap­per, bream or tai­lor. There’s also plenty of whale watch­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties from the heights of Point Dan­ger.

With all that sand ac­tiv­ity you will work up an ap­petite. You won’t have to leave the wa­ter views to en­joy a feed if you claim a spot on the huge beach­front bal­cony of the Coolan­gatta Surf Club. It’s a great spot for whale and dol­phin watch­ing and also per­fect for a week­end break­fast. The restau­rant fea­tures lo­cal pro­duce with a range of steaks, seafood and sal­ads. Fin­ish your meal with au­then­tic Ital­ian gelato and en­joy their free Wi-fi. The club was awarded Best Din­ing in Queens­land at the Clubs Queens­land Awards for Ex­cel­lence 2016.

At the trop­i­cally-styled Xe­nia Grill you’ll dis­cover de­li­cious, fresh Greek food cre­ated us­ing a com­bi­na­tion of tra­di­tional cook­ing meth­ods and fam­ily recipes. Choose from share plates filled with fried sar­dines or char-grilled oc­to­pus and baby cala­mari, all in­fused with the flavours of Greece. Pick up an or­ganic The Daily Ride cof­fee roasted in nearby By­ron Bay and you’ll have plenty of en­ergy to en­joy one of Xe­nia’s oc­ca­sional Zorba the Greek dance ses­sions.

For an Ital­ian Trat­to­ria ex­pe­ri­ence, try Brad Nas­cone’s Delizioso @ the Strand. Along with favourites from his

Bris­bane restau­rant at Bulimba, Delizioso at Coolan­gatta pumps out a large range of Ital­ian stan­dards along with new and in­no­va­tive dishes us­ing a stone hearth pizza oven. The ex­ten­sive pizza menu is com­ple­mented by a wide se­lec­tion of risotto and pasta, but you can also tuck in to Dar­ling Downs wagyu and porchetta served with truf­fle mashed potato, ap­ple puree and gor­gonzola cream.

Po­si­tioned on al­most a block of beach­front land with sweep­ing views over Coolan­gatta Beach, The Strand of­fers one-stop din­ing with a range of dif­fer­ent cuisines, price ranges and din­ing styles. There’s Asian, Mex­i­can, Ital­ian and tapas-style restau­rants, cool bars and some of Aus­tralia’s most sought-af­ter dessert op­tions in­clud­ing Nick Palumbo’s first Gelato Messina ice-cream­ery in Queens­land and choco­latier Max Bren­ner.

The glass-lou­vered fa­cade of The Strand’s restau­rant zone runs the length of the build­ing, max­imis­ing the beach­front views. Look out for Gold Coast chef Daniel Ridge­way’s Bin 72 eatery, Black Sheep Espresso Baa’s lamb salad, Grif­fith Street Larder’s hand-cut chips and crumbed zuc­chini slid­ers and Pas­sion­tree Vel­vet’s mac­arons and cake.

When you are fin­ished din­ing and re­lax­ing you’ll want to make the most of the glo­ri­ous stretch of beach that has etched Coolan­gatta into the hearts of many. If you want to make sure that your body is beach ready, Es­teem Medi Spa have a team of spe­cial­ist laser tech­ni­cians, highly qual­i­fied reg­is­tered nurses and skin spe­cial­ists to help you on your way. More than a day spa, Es­teem Medi Spa of­fers a blend of med­i­cal ap­proaches to com­mon is­sues.

Now you’ve fallen in love with Coolan­gatta, see it in all its glory from the air. You’ll be mes­merised by the coastal beauty re­vealed by an Aussie Air scenic he­li­copter flight. As you fly over the beaches you may even sight mi­grat­ing whales or pods of dol­phins en­joy­ing their ma­rine world. Aussie Air takes tours all around the Gold Coast from Currumbin Val­ley right up to North Strad­broke Is­land.

There’s so much to en­joy at Coolan­gatta— it’s sure to steal its way into your heart as a re­turn des­ti­na­tion.

Photo: Des­ti­na­tion Gold Coast.

Photo: Con­nect­ing South­ern Gold Coast.

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