THE COOLEST END OF THE GOLD COAST
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.
■ 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