Coolangatta Beach: Best Visitors Guide 2024 (UPDATED)

Popular Southern Gold Coast Holiday Destination


Coolangatta Beach Gold Coast Intro Image


Table of Contents

To help you follow this post about Coolangatta Beach more easily, I arranged it into the following sections:

1. Introduction
2. Where is Coolangatta Beach?
3. Best Time To Visit Coolangatta Beach
4. How to get to Coolangatta Beach
5. What Facilities do they have at Coolangatta Beach?
6. Things to do at Coolangatta Beach
7 Tours and Excursions
8. Best Hotels Coolangatta Gold Coast
9. Where to Eat at Coolangatta Beach
10. Final Thought
11. FAQs

Hopefully my review has convinced you to visit this incredible Gold Coast beach!

(My post about Coolangatta Beach may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you).

Read Time: 12 Minutes



Coolangatta Beach is the first beach you come to when you enter the Gold Coast from New South Wales. And what an introduction to Queensland it provides you with!

Defined by a golden stretch of sand that extends for about 800 metres, the family-friendly holiday destination is known for its casual vibes and beach-side culture. It is also home so some of the best surfing in Australia, with Snapper Rocks attracting pros like Mick Fanning, Sally Fitzgibbons, Stephanie Gilmour and Joel Parkinson on a regular basis.

If you are not a surfer, you can spend your days on the beach doing outdoor activities and water sports like swimming, snorkelling or SUP or checking out the scene at neighbouring Greenmount, Kirra, Palm Beach, Duranbah or Rainbow Bay.

For those who prefer to be on dry land, walking trails snake around Greenmount Hill before linking Greenmount Beach to the stunning Rainbow Bay. Its worth making your way up here to Point Danger which is a terrific place for relaxation, whale watching or spotting dolphins. You can also stand with one foot in New South Wales and the other in Queensland at this expansive lookout spot.

Away from the beachfront you’ll find plenty of shops, bars and dining options covering most tastes, as well as a wide selection of hotels in Coolangatta Gold coast that are perfectly set up for international tourists and Australian holiday makers.


Like the rest of the Southern Gold Coast, Coolangatta Beach Queensland is a destination you can visit all year round. But given that over 12 million people visit the Gold Coast every year, it is always likely to be busy whenever you come here.


Where is Coolangatta Beach?

Coolangatta Beach is the last coastal suburb on the Gold Coast in Queensland. As such, it is located directly on the border of New South Wales next to Tweed Heads. More specifically it is about 31 km south of Surfers Paradise and about 103 km south of Brisbane.

It says much about the size of Queensland that ‘Cooly’ is an incredible 2805 km from Cape York, the most northern part of the Sunshine State.

The suburb was named after the schooner which wrecked on the beach here in 1846. It resides on land traditionally owned by the Yugambeh/Kombumerri peoples.


Other Gold Coast Beaches to visit

  • Broadbeach
  • Burleigh Heads
  • Currumbin
  • Greenmount
  • Kirra Beach
  • Main Beach
  • Mermaid Beach
  • Miami
  • Nobbys Beach
  • Palm Beach
  • Rainbow Bay
  • Surfer’s Paradise
  • Tallebudgera Creek
  • Best Time To Visit Coolangatta Beach

    Like the rest of the Southern Gold Coast, Coolangatta Beach Queensland is a destination you can visit all year round. But given that over 12 million people visit the Gold Coast every year, it is always likely to be busy whenever you come here. However, certain seasons and months might be more suitable to your needs than others.

    For those wanting to go surfing at its world class Superbank, the period between December to May is the best time to visit Coolangatta. Similarly, those who want to go whale watching should head there in August.

    Aside from those times, you’ll be able to enjoy the warmest weather during the summer months when the mercury can regularly top 30 degree Celsius. However, this time represents the peak tourist season, so most accommodation Coolangatta Beach offers will be at their most expensive rates. Availability might also be limited, particularly at the weekend.

    For this reason, you might want to time your visit to the months of October and November and March and April, when there won’t be as many visitors at this holiday destination or the nearby tourist attractions.

    If you fancy escaping the cold that cities like Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne experience during the winter months, it is worth heading to Coolangatta Queensland as the weather will be much warmer and the cost of Gold Coast accommodation will also be cheaper.


    Stunning views from the shoreline at Coolangatta Beach Gold Coast Australia


    How to Get to Coolangatta Beach

    Coolangatta Gold Coast Queensland is an easy destination to get to. But how you get there will depend on your starting point.

    Many visitors come to this dazzling coastal suburb by car, with the Pacific Motorway (M1) running directly through the Gold Coast. It connects major cities like Brisbane, Cairns, Sydney and Melbourne to the region. Alternatively, the Gold Coast Highway and Warrego Highway are some of the other major thoroughfares you might need to travel along.

    Wherever you are coming from, the Gold Coast and Coolangatta Beach are well-signposted, so you shouldn’t have any issues navigating your way there, especially if you use an app like Waze or Google Maps.

    For those coming from further afield, flying is a better option. The likes of Virgin, Jetstar, Bonza and Qantas all run regularly daily domestic services to both the Gold Coast Airport (OOL), (also known as Coolangatta Airport) or Brisbane Airport (BNE). From outside of Australia, Air New Zealand, Air Asia X, China Eastern Airlines and Emirates are just some of the many airline carriers that could take you to either.

    Once at these airports, you can hire cars from providers like Hertz, Buget, Avis, and Enterprise, all of whom have rental desks there. Alternatively, you can catch a taxi with 13cabs or Taxi 131008 to Coolangatta Beach or a bus. Translink runs regular services from both airports and throughout South East Queensland, the schedule of which you can check out here.


    One of the main attractions of Coolangatta Beach Gold Coast is the beach itself. Here, you can spend your days sunbathing, swimming in the Coral Sea and enjoying a range of watersports activities.


    What Facilities do they have at Coolangatta Beach?

    As you might expect from any family-friendly Gold Coast Beach Coolangatta has a good selection of amenities for locals and tourists to use.

    Along the beachfront you will find several public amenities, showers and bins. Additionally, there are also a number of BBQ facilities, picnic shelters and tables, many of which are shaded, that are perfect for a picnic or al fresco meal.

    The beach has one lifeguard tower at Marine Parade, which is situated out of the front of Coolangatta Surf Club – located on the corner of Dutton Street. Close by, you will also find bicycle racks as well as accessible parking and regular parking.

    There is also a children’s playground in Queen Elizabeth Park, while over the road from Coolangatta Beach is a long parade of beachfront dining, retail and accommodation options.


    Distance from Coolangatta Beach to Other Queensland beaches and destinations

  • Bargara 476 km
  • Brisbane 103 km
  • Cairns 1801 km
  • Cape Tribulation 1939 km
  • Hervey Bay 392 km
  • Mackay 1073 km
  • Mission Beach 1689 km
  • Mooloolaba 203 km
  • Noosa 253 km
  • Rainbow Beach 343 km
  • Surfers Paradise 32 km
  • Townsville 1455 km
  • Things To Do At Coolangatta Beach Gold Coast

    One of the main attractions of Coolangatta Beach Gold Coast is the beach itself. Here, you can spend your days sunbathing, swimming in the Coral Sea and enjoying a range of watersports activities including stand-up paddleboarding, snorkelling, kayaking and jet ski riding along the coastline.

    If you are mad keen on surfing, you’ll definitely want to attempt the two-kilometre Superbank that resides near Snapper Rocks. Other good places to ride the swell include Kirra, Greenmount Point, Duranbah and Currumbin Alley. For those who are novices, you’ll be able to learn to surf at Coolangatta via a number of surfing schools.

    Away from the beach, you should take the opportunity to venture up the headland towards the Point Danger Lookout. From here you’ll be able to see the pro surfers bust some moves at Snapper Rocks. If you get up early enough this is also a fantastic place to take in the southern Gold Coast Queensland sunrise. It’s lofty position also makes it a wonderful spot for dolphin spotting and whale watching (depending on the time of year you visit).

    If you continue on to Tweed Heads in New South Wales you should take the opportunity to visit the Captain Cook Memorial and Lighthouse. It is a beautiful structure and the coastal views you get from its location are superb.

    Another thing you should do is stroll along the Oceanway Path, which stretches for kilometres and connects Coolangatta Beach with other nearby beaches and lookouts, and showcases magnificent coastal views. You’ll also find children’s playgrounds here to let your little ones burn off some energy.

    On the main Coolangatta esplanade are plenty of boutique stores, surf shops and other retail outlets which can provide you with retail therapy and an escape from the heat and humidity of the Gold Coast sun.


    Sand Bluff at Coolangatta Beach Gold Coast Australia


    Tours and Excursions

    In addition to the various things to do in Coolangatta Beach outlined above, you can also choose to go on a range of tours or excursions in and around the Gold Coast region.

    Both Viator and Get Your Guide offer a wide range of options which you can check out by clicking on those links.

    However, some of the most popularly booked activities include the following:

  • Dracula’s Cabaret Show with dinner
  • Surfer’s Paradise Sunset Cruise
  • 2.5 Hour Gold Coast Kayaking and Snorkelling Tour
  • Morton Island Dolphin and Tangalooma Wrecks Day Cruise
  • Gold Coast Tandem Skydive
  • Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Ticket
  • Gold Coast Hot Air Balloon Ride
  • Coastal City Scenic Helicopter Flight
  • Wake Break Island Scuba Diving
  • Whale Watching Tour Tweed Heads

    If you are the kind of tourist whose holiday experience is not complete without good food, then you’ll be pleased to read that Coolangatta Gold Coast has an excellent selection of beachfront dining options.


    Best Hotels Coolangatta Gold Coast

    Those needing a place to stay during their Gold Coast holiday will find several hotels, resorts and motels in Coolangatta queensland, not far from the sand. You can click here to search through a full list of them. However, one of the best venues to consider is the Mantra Coolangatta Beach.

    Situated on Marine Parade where there are plenty of shops, dining options and bars, this fantastic beach resort features comfortable rooms with balconies that present superb sea views. Guests can enjoy sessions in the spa or sauna, a swim in the outdoor pool or cooking burgers or snags on its bbq facilities.

    Another good option is Reflections Coolangatta Beach. Set across two towers, this property is not far from The Strand shopping precinct. It offers one- , two- and three- bedroom apartments, as well as deluxe skyhomes that feature upscale amenities that are perfectly suited for holidaymakers who want to enjoy a blissful vacation.

    Elsewhere, the Beachcomber International on Griffith Street is an excellent family-friendly venue that features a children’s pool and outdoor swimming pool. It also has a fabulous rooftop terrace where you will be able to enjoy a barbecue with exceptional coastal views and a sauna and fitness centre.

    If you want to stay somewhere that feels a bit more like home, the Beach House Seaside Resort is well set up for those who want to self-cater, while those on a budget will find cheaper rates at the Coolangatta YHA.

    For those wanting to stay elsewhere on the Gold Coast, you might be interested in this post I have written about the best hotels in Surfer’s Paradise.


    Distance to Coolangatta Beach from other Australian destinations

  • Byron Bay 66 km
  • Port Macquarie 439 km
  • Sydney 819 km
  • Canberra 1086 km
  • Melbourne 1678 km
  • Adelaide 1995 km
  • Darwin 3509 km
  • Perth 4336 km
  • Hobart 2462 km
  • Newcastle 671 km
  • Wagga Wagga 1260 km
  • Tamworth 519 km
  • Where To Eat in Coolangatta Beach Gold Coast

    If you are the kind of tourist whose holiday experience is not complete without good food, then you’ll be pleased to read that Coolangatta Gold Coast has an excellent selection of beachfront dining options. Most of these are located on Marine Parade, Musgrave Street or Griffith Street.

    Covering a wide range of culinary genres, you’ll be able to enjoy everything from gourmet burgers and pizzas to pan-Asian, Mexican, Greek and modern Australian fare.

    A very popular spot to visit is Siblings Kirra, which is a bit of an institution on the main drag. Boasting such mouth-watering dishes as bug and prawn risotto, Chimichurri steak tacos and steak au poivre, you can enjoy top-notch food here with impeccable services in a hip setting.

    Another must-visit destination for foodies is Billy Chow. Renowned for being one of the best restaurants in Coolangatta Beach, it has an exceptional banquet that covers a number of courses. However, if you fancy ordering something a la carte, its eye fillet pad see ew and ocean trout crumpets are delightful.

    If you are craving enchiladas, aquitos or tacos then Clay Cantina is the perfect spot. They also do fantastic margaritas and cocktails to wash them down with. Meanwhile, if you like the sound of eating terrific Australian meals as local DJs spin some vinyl rock ‘n’ roll and blues tracks, then Eddie’s Grub House is the place for you.


    Rocks at Coolangatta Beach Gold Coast Australia


    Final Thought

    Although many people who visit the Gold Coast for the first time head straight to Surfer’s Paradise, it is worth spending some time at Coolangatta Beach.

    As a family friendly holiday destination this fantastic southern Queensland coastal area offers something for everyone. So, whether you are looking to surf, swim or sunbathe, spot dolphins or whales from the Gold Coast Oceanway or treat yourself to some of the wonderful beachfront dining options that flank the Coral Sea, this fabulous part of the Sunshine State is sure to meet your every need.



    How Far is Coolangatta Beach to Brisbane?

    Coolangatta beach is located about 103 km from Brisbane. Overall it should take you about 90 minutes to drive from the CBD via the M1.


    Can you swim at Coolangatta Beach?

    Coolangatta is a terrific beach to swim on for those who want to splash around in the water. Surf clubs, including the Coolangatta Surf Life Saving Club are located at either end of it, so you will be well looked after if you enter the water. Just be sure to swim between the flags.


    Is Coolangatta Beach worth a visit?

    Coolangatta is definitely worth a visit. Not only does it have a fantastic stretch of sand that extends for miles, it also has a point break that is renowned around the world, a fantastic, relaxed vibes and some terrific places to eat.


    How Far is Coolangatta Beach from the Gold Coast Theme Parks

    Coolangatta Beach is about a 50 km drive to Movieworld, Seaworld, Wet n Wild and Dreamworld. It should take you about 45 minutes to drive from Coolie.


    Is Coolangatta in NSW or QLD

    Coolangatta is situated on the very southern edge of the Queensland coast. However, as the southernmost suburb in the Gold Coast it does border New South Wales.


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