GOLD COAST, AUS­TRALIA

Getaway (South Africa) - - Escape -

If you’ll be eye­balling the beach volleyball at the Com­mon­wealth Games (4 – 15 April), know that the ac­tion will be tak­ing place on this beach: Coolan­gatta. It’s the south­ern­most sub­urb of Gold Coast, Aus­tralia’s glitzy sea­side me­trop­o­lis, but more laid-back and chilled than the rest. In the wa­ter, there’s the surf break called Su­per­bank – creat­ing some of the long­est, hol­low­est and most re­li­able waves in the world, a mag­net for surfers. But this sub­trop­i­cal coast also has se­cluded coves and won­der­ful walks. Coolan­gatta was one of the first places Euro­peans set­tled, back in the 1820s, and the town was an early adopter of tourism, en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to hol­i­day here from the early 1900s (the life­sav­ing club was founded in 1911). It still has a true old-school surf cul­ture (and hosts an all-things-retro fes­ti­val, Cooly Rocks On, every June). This im­age was taken from the Kirra Hill Look­out, a great spot for whale-watch­ing from June to Oc­to­ber, when mi­grat­ing hump­backs pass by. The hin­ter­land be­hind this coast­line is also worth ex­plor­ing, with World Her­itage-listed Lam­ing­ton Na­tional Park (home to an­cient Gond­wana rain­for­est) just 70 kilo­me­tres away. des­ti­na­tion­gold­coast.com, coolan­gatta.net

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