THE COOLEST END OF THE GOLD COAST

Where Gold Coast - - Precincts - 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.

AD­VEN­TURE

■ AUSSIE AIR. Have the ul­ti­mate sight­see­ing ex­pe­ri­ence on board one of Aussie Air’s pris­tine he­li­copters. Cap­ture 360-de­gree panoramic views over the Gold Coast city, stun­ning white sandy beaches and its lush sub­trop­i­cal hin­ter­land. With tours start­ing from only $99 per per­son, Aussie Air have pack­ages run­ning daily and ho­tel trans­fers avail­able.

Gold Coast Air­port, Han­gar 51, Lores Bon­ney Cir­cuit, Bilinga.1800 500 142. aussieair.com

■ BOUNCE. BOUNCE is a world where the rules of grav­ity no longer ap­ply. It’s heaps of fun for the whole fam­ily that takes the rush of get­ting air­borne and adds a bunch of new di­men­sions. It doesn’t mat­ter if you’re un­der five or an ac­tion sports junkie in train­ing, BOUNCE is the most fun you can have in an hour. An in­door tram­po­line uni­verse that is all about jump­ing high and land­ing soft and SAFE—BOUNCE is pure awe­some­ness, every time.

10 En­ergy Cir­cuit, Robina. 1300 000 540. boun­ceinc.com.au

■ THE CANYON FLYER. The Canyon Flyer is the most ex­treme ad­ven­ture at­trac­tion on the Gold Coast and is one of Aus­tralia’s largest guided zi­pline canopy tours of up to 10 ad­ven­tur­ers with two awe­some guides. While not for the faint hearted, be sure to try the Zi­pline Tour, con­sist­ing of seven huge zi­plines that cross Cedar Creek Canyon mul­ti­ple times be­fore drop­ping into the canyon and fly­ing just above the tree top canopy be­low.

Mount Tam­borine Tree­top Chal­lenge, Thun­der­bird Park, Cedar Creek Falls Road, North Tam­borine. 1300 881 446. tree­topchal­lenge.com.au/canyon­flyer.aspx

■ DUFFY DOWN UN­DER. Duffy Down Un­der’s Elec­tric boat hire ser­vices are the best way to en­joy a fun-filled day cruis­ing the wa­ter­ways. All ser­vices re­quire no li­cense and their self-drive duffy boats are ex­tremely easy to ma­noeu­vre and op­er­ate. It’s a safe and en­joy­able ex­pe­ri­ence for all.

60–70 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach. Daily 9am–7pm. 5532 6123. duffy­dow­nun­der.com.au

HOT AIR BAL­LOON GOLD COAST.

This is a once-in-a-life­time op­por­tu­nity to be­hold sun­rise and breath­tak­ing views over­look­ing some of the most spec­tac­u­lar scenery in the world. En­joy hot air bal­loon pack-up games fol­lowed by a cham­pagne break­fast at the iconic O’reilly’s Grand Home­stead and Bou­tique Vine­yard.

23 Ferny Av­enue, Surfers Par­adise. From $250. 1300 766 887 or 5636 1508. ho­tair.com.au/gold­coast

■ IFLY GOLD COAST. IFLY In­door Sky­div­ing is a state-of-the-art ver­ti­cal wind tun­nel that pro­vides a fun and safe way to ex­pe­ri­ence true hu­man body flight. IFLY flies peo­ple from ages three to 103, with no ex­pe­ri­ence nec­es­sary and all train­ing in­cluded. Make your dreams of flight a re­al­ity and try In­door Sky­div­ing—an ac­tiv­ity that the whole fam­ily can en­joy!

3084 Surfers Par­adise Boule­vard, Surfers Par­adise. 1300 366 364. ifly.com.au

■ JETBOAT EX­TREME. Do you have the need for speed? Are you an adren­a­line junkie look­ing for your next chal­lenge? Be pre­pared to be scared to death! With 55 min­utes of thrills and ex­cite­ment aboard the Gold Coast’s largest and most pow­er­ful pur­pose-built jet boat at speeds of 80 km/h and over.

Daily 10am–4pm. Adults from $65, chil­dren (4–14 years) $47, fam­ily $175. Board­ing be­hind Helm Bar, 30–34 Ferny Av­enue, Surfers Par­adise. 5538 8890. jet­boa­tex­treme.com.au

AT­TRAC­TIONS AUS­TRALIAN OUT­BACK SPEC­TAC­U­LAR.

Com­mem­o­rate the Cen­te­nary of the AN­ZACS and the he­roes of the leg­endary Aus­tralian Light Horse as one of Aus­tralia’s most stir­ring and re­mark­able true sto­ries is re­born in “Salute to the Light Horse— High Coun­try Spe­cial”. Now show­ing at Aus­tralian Out­back Spec­tac­u­lar for a lim­ited time only. In­cludes three-course din­ner and drinks. Book­ings es­sen­tial.

13 33 86. out­back­spec­tac­u­lar.com.au

■ CUR­RUMBIN ROCK POOLS. Cur­rumbin Rock Pools are set in the beau­ti­ful sur­rounds of Spring­brook Na­tional Park in the Gold Coast hin­ter­land, 15 min­utes from Cur­rumbin Beach. While pool depths vary, there are still plenty of places suit­able for all ages to splash around safely, and you can even take man’s best friend along for a swim too!

Cur­rumbin Creek Road, Cur­rumbin. Open daily. Free en­try.

CUR­RUMBIN WILDLIFE SANC­TU­ARY.

Nes­tled amidst a lush eu­ca­lyp­tus-dot­ted rain­for­est, this pop­u­lar tourist des­ti­na­tion of­fers in­ter­ac­tive pre­sen­ta­tions with Aus­tralia’s iconic wildlife. Cud­dle a koala, get up close to a crocodile and hand feed the kan­ga­roos. Every day at Cur­rumbin is a new ad­ven­ture with won­der­ful dis­plays of ex­otic birds, rep­tiles and mar­su­pi­als.

28 Tomewin Street, Cur­rumbin. Daily 8am–5pm. Adults from $49.95, chil­dren from $35.95. 5534 1266. cws.org.au

Quik­sil­ver and Roxy Pro, Snap­per Rocks. Photo: Des­ti­na­tion Gold Coast. Photo: Tourism and Events Queens­land.

IFLY Gold Coast.

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