Itinerary: 24 Hours on Southern Gold Coast

Itinerary: 24 Hours on Southern Gold Coast

05 Jul 2023

The world's best surf beaches, a stunning but mostly deserted hinterland full of freshwater rock pools and rainforest, paddle-boarding with dolphins - there are so many ways to spend a day on the southern Gold Coast.

You could hang out with hundreds of Australian animals at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary or paddle-board in a creek with water as clear as Bora Bora's. You could down beers at a brewery founded by by the world's best surfers or while away a sunny morning in one of our gorgeous cafés. The southern Gold Coast gives visitors a taste of a sub-tropical life as part of a beachside community that is the epitomyeof coastal chill. We've carefully curated the ultimate itinerary for an unforgettable 24 hours on the southern Gold Coast.

Coffee at Salt Mill, Currumbin

Say yes to a cup of the best coffee on the southern Gold Coast at Currumbin’s most famed café – The Salt Mill. There’s usually a line-up because it’s that good – local surfers perch on rough-hewn bench seats out front, watching the waves roll in. While the coffee’s king, the smoothies, juices and pastries (and let’s not forget the Gold Coast’s mandatory acai berry bowls) have earned The Salt Mill its iconic reputation.

Stand Up Paddle Board on Currumbin Creek 

Paddle board with dolphins in the mirrored waters of Currumbin Creek. While waves crash onto the point just a few hundred metres away at The Alley, paddle boarders and swimmers can enjoy the sheltered waters of Currumbin Creek, which winds its way out to Currumbin Valley. Visit Currumbin Boatshed Bait & Tackle on Thrower Drive for paddle board and kayak hire.


Swim in Fresh Water Rock Pools

Take a short drive west and you’ll find yourself in the middle of a rainforest, travelling between the rocky escarpments of a long-extinct volcano. Currumbin Valley is the easiest hinterland escape to access – it’s just 12 minutes drive from the coast, past organic farms and stunning rainforest.  Stop in at the Currumbin Rock Pools – freshwater swimming holes where families come to escape the heat in summer, picnicking on grassy banks as kids launch into the cool waters of the rock pools.

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Meet the Locals at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary has been saving injured and sick animals since it opened over 70 years ago. While it's most famous for the resident rainbow lorikeets, the sanctuary is also home to hundreds of native Australian animals – from salt-water crocs, koalas, kangaroos (which you can hand feed) to Tasmanian Devils and dingoes. Marvel at the aerial prowess as the stars of the daily bird show swoop and soar, or gain an insight into our local First Nations culture at the daily performance by the Yugambeh Aboriginal Dance Group. Look through viewing windows to watch vets help sick and injured animals in the sanctuary’s animal hospital, which admits 8000 animals a year.


Lunch at Siblings Kirra

When you’re talking about beachside dining, you can’t get much closer to the sand than Siblings Kirra. This fine dining restaurant is situated right on the beach and it’s one of those gems where the magnificent location is matched by the menu. Tempt your tastebuds with Mediterranean inspired share plates, plenty of fresh seafood and of course, a stunning cocktail and drinks list. Savour your meal while watching the waves and passers by stroll down the promenade. Coastal dining at its absolute finest. (Image: Tourism Events Queensland.)

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Beer at Balter Brewing

Best use Google Maps to find Balter Brewing, otherwise it’s likely you’ll think you’ve taken the wrong turn. Located in the middle of an industrial estate, the recently refurbished Balter Brewing Taphouse is now the hippest Sunday hang-out on the coast. Little wonder really. Four of the world’s best pro surfers (including world champions Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson) came together to create the ultimate surfie hang-out, and it's a favourite spot to sample a local drop. Cheers to that!

Balter Brewing Company 

Dinner at The Collective

Why go to one restaurant when you can choose from five exquisite menus all in the one place? The Collective has transformed Palm Beach’s old post office into a hip open-plan space where the best restaurants on the southern Gold Coast operate in a co-operative environment.  You can choose between Japanese, Mexican, modern Australian, Italian and American diner options in an open setting that’s also home to the hippest rooftop bar on the coast (with American style seating at the bar).

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Catch the sun rising across the Pacific through the floor-to-ceiling windows of your luxury apartment at Nirvana By The Sea. Built right on the beach at Kirra, you can see all the way to Surfers Paradise and South Stradbroke Island, while just below, surfers battle some of the best waves on Earth on the point at Kirra. Kirra’s streets are lined with cafes and restaurants, though you might consider cooking for yourself in the apartment’s designer kitchen – it would be worth it just for the views.

Currumbin Alley

Love what you're reading? There's more to explore more of the Southern Gold Coast.

Narelle Bouveng
Narelle Bouveng

A local Gold Coast mum and well-travelled Australian travel writer, Narelle has over 21 years’ experience wandering and chooses to call Mermaid Beach, Gold Coast home. A sunrise and sunset regular, you will often find her juggling a coffee and her camera, snapping for her blog and family travel inspired Instagram @alittleatlarge while youngest daughter Tiah frolics alongside.


Destination Gold Coast acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. 
We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout Southeast Queensland.