The Southern Gold Coast is really a hidden gem of the Gold Coast region, while most of the tourists and development are crowded around Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach, the southern suburbs have kept their local, natural, laid back feel.
The key suburbs of the Southern Gold Coast are Currumbin, Currumbin Valley, Currumbin Waters, Tugun, Bilinga, Kirra, Coolangatta and Rainbow Bay. The beauty of these suburbs is that they are not buried in hi-rise developments, and still have that very natural beach village feel.
What to do there? Glad you asked, here’s my pick of the top attractions and things to do on the Southern Gold Coast.
Beaches – I absolutely love the beaches from Currumbin and south along the coast including into Northern NSW. They are peaceful, more natural and far more scenic and characterful. The top beaches at the southern end of the Gold Coast include
Currumbin Beach – Currumbin Creek is a calm enclosed waterway that is popular with stand-up paddleboarders and kayakers and Currumbin Alley is a hugely popular with surfers as is Currumbin Beach itself. You’ll also find plenty of space for picnics, and it’s a beautiful spot for beach walking. There’s a surf club right on the beach that has amazing views and a lookout on top of Elephant Rock.
Tugun and Bilinga Beach – a long straight stretch of sandy beach, at times, you could have the whole stretch to yourself. There are surfing opportunities here and swimming is ok here, between the flags near the lifeguard towers.
Kirra Beach – the most renowned surfing spot on the Gold Coast.
Coolangatta and Greenmount Beach – Coolangatta Beach is big, wide and sandy offering plenty of space for activities on the beach, it joins into Greenmount Beach which is a popular spot for swimming and body boarding.
Rainbow Bay Beach – the home of Surfing Carnivals and a beautiful half moon beach that is hugely popular with locals.
Froggies – is a secret little spot that you can find by following the walking path around Snapper Rocks, there’s a small beach and it’s a popular spot for bodyboarding.
Timezone Coolangatta – offering over 200 games and attractions including arcade, pinball, pool tables, air-hockey, dodgem cars and laser skirmish. http://timezonecoolangatta.com.au
Natural Attractions, Lookouts, and Walks – the area is packed with natural attractions, here is a pick of the highlights
Point Danger and the Captain Cook Memorial – a beautiful green space that overlooks Duranbah Beach of NSW and all along the coast. It’s a hugely popular spot with superb views.
Greenmount Hill – Beautiful views of Rainbow Bay and Snapper Rocks. There’s a walking path that runs long the coast from Point Danger through Pat Fagan Park to Greenmount Beach which is highly recommended. From Greenmount, it also becomes a bike path and continues all the way to Currumbin Creek.
Currumbin Rock and Currumbin Creek – on the southern side of the creek there is a long walking and bike path that follows the creek all the way from Marlin Waters Park to Currumbin Rock. On the northern side there is a walking trek that starts at Beree Badella Reserve to the Lions Park and Tarrabora Reserve through to the southern end of Palm Beach. Along both sides there are great spots for fishing, picnicking and just relaxing taking in nature.
Kirra Hill – overlooking Kirra Beach and Coolangatta, it’s a great view with greenspace and BBQ. It’s also especially nice at night.
Cougal Cascades – a wonderfully scenic area with waterfalls and rock pools. Popular for its lush green rainforest setting and swimming. There are picnic areas and the walking paths are wheelchair and pram friendly. Approx. 30 min scenic drive to the end of Currumbin Creek Road, and a 1km walk to the cascades.
Currumbin Rock Pools – super popular swimming and picnic spot featuring large natural rock pools. The area features picnic tables, toilets and nearby cafe. Currumbin Creek Road, shortly before the intersection with Reynolds Road.
Fishing – it’s a top spot for it. For beach fishing try Tugun or Bilinga beach and also try throwing a line in Currumbin Creek or in the Estuary.
Picnics and BBQ’s – there are several spots for picnics, a casual drive around the area and you are bound to bump into a spot that takes your fancy. Otherwise here are my top picks for BBQ spots:
Coolangatta Foreshore & Queen Elizabeth II Park – right in the heart of Coolangatta, convenient and easy.
Currumbin Alley – features BBQ, toilets and tables and a great place to watch the surfers catch a wave.
Winders Park – BBQs, toilets, and tables, plus boat ramp, it’s a very popular scenic spot.
Veterans of South East Asian Wars Park – BBQs, kids play areas, shaded tables, and toilets.
Behind Currumbin RSL – on the bank of Currumbin Creek, perfect for launching a kayak or paddle board. Has BBQ’s and toilets.
Beside Tugun SLSC – Shaded play areas, park benches, toilets, tables. BBQs, and beach.
Kirra Hill – great views, BBQ but can get busy.
Point Danger – BBQs, toilets and large grassed area. Lot’s of people on a busy day.
Robert Neumann Park – beside Currumbin Creek. BBQ’s, kids play area, toilets and gazebo’s.
Coolangatta Beachfront Markets – Featuring hundreds of stalls offering arts, crafts and other odds and ends. Every 2nd Sunday of the month & 4th Sunday in five Sunday months. http://artandcraft.com.au
Surf World Surfing Museum – Featuring Australia’s largest collection of Surfboards along with exhibitions of photographs, oral histories, and memorabilia. http://www.surfworldgoldcoast.com
Cafes, Coffee and Big Breakfasts – you are on holiday, so, it’s time to get al fresco, throw on the shades and sip away on a latte while your eggs ben is getting assembled! Here are some fine places:
Cafe Dbar – an icon of the southern coast and a fantastic location. Great food and great views. 275 Boundary St, Coolangatta
Griffith Street Larder – great coffee and their eggs ben is popular. The Strand, 85 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
Black Sheep Espresso Baa – Great service and amazing coffee – 80 Marine Parade, Coolangatta, Queensland
Elephant Rock Cafe – located across from Currumbin Beach serving modern Australian cuisine. 776 Pacific Pde, Currumbin.
Learn to Surf – really, why not? Take home more than memories, take home a new skill. Two surf schools worth checking out are Walkin’ on Water (https://www.walkinonwater.com) and Currumbin Alley Surf School (https://www.currumbinalleysurfschool.com.au)
Where to Stay on the Southern Gold Coast? Check out my list of the top hotels and resorts in Coolangatta.