A relaxed beachside destination without the ‘tourist tax’ and a staggeringly beautiful coastline.
On this page I’ll introduce the best of Coolangatta including places to stay, where to eat, things to do, and where to go shopping.
Coolangatta is located on the southern most border of Queensland where it meets the town of Tweed Heads on the New South Wales side. Albeit in different states, the twin towns are joined at the hip and share one of Australia’s most favored coastlines.
The coastal area is renowned for its surf beaches and relaxed atmosphere with a unique small town local feel. The suburb of Coolangatta is home to around 6000, while the large Tweed Shire, which includes two towns and 17 villages spaced out over 1300 square km, is home to more than 80,000.
Coolangatta beach provides a wide and long expanse of sandy beach-front offering room for everyone including the occasional beach fisherman, the regular surfers and body-boarders, the kite surfer, the swimmers and of course those just looking to enjoy soaking up the glorious weather.
Walking south, Coolangatta beach becomes Greenmount beach which leads into a headland breaking the sandy beachfront. On top of the hill is a wonderful viewing platform and there is also a walking track around the base.
Continuing south and down the hill is the popular Rainbow Bay, a small section of beach featuring a surf club which then leads into Snapper Rocks, an area popular with surfers. Continuing around the coastline you’ll find Point Danger, another rising headland again breaking the sandy beachfront.
Point Danger was named by Captain Cook and today features a magnificent lookout providing 180-degree views along the coastline and out to the wide expanse of ocean. A memorial to Captain Cook is a feature of Point Danger along with walking track, grassed areas and sheltered tables for picnics at the popular spot.
Continuing south, and down the hill now, is Duranbah Beach which is a hugely popular spot with surfers. There are two parks at either end of Duranbah, the northerly one featuring barbecues and sheltered seating and at south end a grassed area and kids playground.
Many hold the Coolangatta-Tweed area in a higher regard than the well promoted Surfers Paradise, simply due to its super-relaxed atmosphere and scenic beauty.
Along the Esplanade you’ll find plenty of food outlets to suit a variety of tastes including coffee shops, major fast food outlets, cafes and restaurants along with healthy options all offering sit down areas with views out across the foreshore and ocean.
On the Tweed Heads side there is the popular Twin Towns Services Club (http://www.twintowns.com.au) which offers a variety of live entertainment to suit all age groups along with bars, restaurants and gaming machines. Just past Twin Towns is the main shopping centre which features a host of major retailers including a Coles and Woolworths supermarkets, more on that in the shopping section.
Apart from the scenic views, relaxing walks along the well presented beaches and foreshores, the swimming, the surfing and the sun-baking, you can also enjoy fishing charters from the nearby marina or just simply fishing from the many popular spots along Tweed River or Terranora River not to mention exploring the nearby National Parks of NSW including Byron Bay Lighthouse, Fingal Head and Cook Island.
Places to Stay in Coolangatta
Coolangatta has a wide range of accommodation options and can easily cater to the budget traveler, family holidayer or luxury seeker.
My top 3 picks for staying in Coolangatta
Located across from Coolangatta Beach on the Gold Coast. These air-conditioned apartments have spacious private balconies with stunning ocean views. Room options inlcude studio, one bedroom, two bedroom, three bedroom and four bedroom penthouse. Facilities include pool, sauna, hot tub, fitness centre, BBQ and garden.
A prime location on Marine Parade, directly opposite Coolangatta and Greenmount Beach. The resort offers studio and two and three bedroom rooms suitable for large groups and families. Facilities include pool, hot tub, sauna, fitness centre, tennis court and BBQ.
Located opposite Kirra Beach,a 5-minute drive from Coolangatta and a 5-minute drive from Gold Coast Airport. It offers an outdoor pool and self-contained 2-bedroom apartments.
Top Places to Eat in Coolangatta
Here’s my pick of the top 7 must try places for eating out in Coolangatta.
Signatures – Buffet Breakfast & Dinner – Mantra Twin Towns, Wharf St (Cnr Boundary St) – http://www.twintowns.com.au/dining-signatures.html
Bellakai – Modern Australian cuisine restaurant and cafe serving breakfast, lunch and dinner –
82 Marine Parade – https://www.facebook.com/bellakai.coolangatta
Coolangatta Sands Hotel – more than a pub, it has a fantastic location with a very popular bistro, Kirrabelle Kitchen – 3 Griffith St – http://taphousegroup.com.au/coolangatta-sands-hotel
Delizioso @ the Strand – Casual Italian Dining – Level 1, The Strand Shopping Centre, 72 – 80 Marine Parade – http://www.deliziosorestaurant.com.au/coolangatta/
George’s Paragon Seafood Restaurant Coolangatta – Reflections Tower, 110 Marine Parade – http://www.georgesparagon.com/menu-coolangatta/
Raw Energy Coolangatta – Healthy breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks – 110 Marine Parade – https://rawenergy.com.au
Cafe Dbar – delicious food and drinks, local art and unbeatable views and location – 275 Boundary St – https://www.cafedbar.co/
Along Marine Parade you’ll underneath Reflections Tower at 12 Marine Parade you’ll find a Rip Culr surfwear store and a cluster of cafes and restaurants. Further north along Marine Parade and you’ll find The Strand (http://www.strandcoolangatta.com.au) which is Coolangatta’s shopping mall featuring fashion, dining and groceries. There is a cinema here and chemist and medical clinic.
Just a few minutes away by car and you’ll find Tweed City (http://www.tweedcity.com.au) which is where a large number of the locals shop, it includes banks, chemists, fashion, beauty care, dining, groceries, dentist, and cinemas. Major stores include JB HiFI, Jay Jays, Jeans West, QBD books, Big W, Australia Post and many more.
Here’s a map of all the attractions, shopping, scenic spots and accommodation in the Coolangatta area.