Itinerary: 24 Hours on Southern Gold Coast

Itinerary: 24 Hours on Southern Gold Coast

17 Apr 2024

Surf some of the world’s best waves, explore the freshwater swimming holes and rainforest of the Hinterland or splash around in the clear waters of some stunning creeks - there are many ways to spend a dreamy day on the southern Gold Coast.

You could hang out with hundreds of Australian animals at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, down beers at a craft  brewery or while away a sunny morning at 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 defines coastal chill. We've carefully curated the ultimate itinerary for an unforgettable 24 hours on the southern Gold Coast.

Coffee at The 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.
Location: 784 Pacific Parade, Currumbin

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.
Location: Currumbin Creek Rd, Currumbin Valley


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.
Location: 28 Tomewin St, Currumbin



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.)
Location: 15 Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Be Eventertained

Check the calendar and plan your visit to the Southern Gold Coast to coincide with some of the incredible events in this region. Our local coastal culture and artistry is celebrated at the annual Flotsam Surf Film & Photography Festival with an inspiring series of events, exhibitions and screenings. Flotsam events are happening all across the Southern Gold Coast from May 1 - 12, 2024.

Each year you can watch a round of the World Surf League unfold at iconic southern surf break, Snapper Rocks. Rainbow Bay transforms into a vibrant event site for the Bonsoy Gold Coast Pro and crowds line the beach to see some of the world’s best surfers battle it out in the waves. Catch the action from April 27 - May 4, 2024.

Come July, the streets of Coolangatta come alive with the sounds, sights and style of Cooly Rocks On. Celebrating the music, motors and fashion of the 50s and 60s this epic festival has something for everyone with hundreds of classic cars on display, lots of live music, vintage markets, rockabilly fashion, Elvis impersonators and more. The year, Cooly Rocks On will be rolling into town from June 5 -9, 2024.

Cooly Rocks On-1

Beer at Balter Brewing

This beloved brewery was founded by pro surfers and Gold Coast locals Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson. They've since handed over the reigns but Balter has gone from strength to strength, serving up award-winning craft brewsand rolling out a refurb of the Balter Brewing Taphouse, which is now the hippest hangout on the Southern Gold Coast. Head brewer, Scott Hargrave, creates some seriously drinkable beer, and you can enjoy them Wednesday - Sunday alongside live tunes, food trucks and good vibes. Brewery tours are on offer too!
Location: 14 Traders Way, Currumbin Waters

Balter Brewing Company 

Dinner at Kirra Beach House

The views from the Southern Gold Coast are seriously spectacular and one of the places to enjoy them is from the rooftop bar  and restaurant of Kirra Beach House. This luxe new dining destination offers panoramic vistas of our gorgeous coastline, shimmering sea and the iconic skyline of Surfers Paradise in the distance. The sundrenched terrace makes for a lovely lookout point where you can enjoy the amazing Med-inspired menu and premium drinks list for sundowners, celebrations and casual catch ups over a cocktail. This versatile venue encompasses indoor and outdoor dining, a wine bar and events space. Ascend the stairs for an elevated experience in more ways than one.  

kirra beach house 3.jpg

Overnight at Nirvana By The Sea

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.

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.