If the name’s itself doesn’t make you feel cooler, the wash of salty air will certainly boost your coastal swagger as you make your way into Coolangatta. Adding to cool blue and sugary white hues of Cooly, neighbouring ‘burb Currumbin’s skies are speckled with vibrant green and red thanks to lorikeets above. Whatever chrome you crave, these southern digs are saturated with sun surf and good times. Our fave? Cotton candy pink at dusk on Elephant Rock.
STOP FOR COFFEE
First up…coffee. Coolangatta locals flock to the Black Sheep Espresso Baa for their signature bacon & egg rolls. Others climb the hill to Café Dbar and sip on lattes while gawking at panoramic views from Point Danger to Byron Bay. While you’re waiting for the walkers to strut by in Currumbin grab an acai bowl from The Salt Mill and see why this hole in the wall café is a local favourite. Further up the road at The Beach Shack you can eat breakfast smack bang on the racetrack. You won’t miss any of the action from here.
VISIT THE LOCALS AT CURRUMBIN WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
Local critters are waiting to meet you at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Spend half a day (or longer) getting to know kangaroos, koalas, wombats, emus, possums, lizards and crocodiles in this peaceful oasis away from all the Games excitement. Take in a Yugambeh Aboriginal dance performance and be on hand to feed the lorikeets at 8am and 4pm. Being mobbed by a flock of lorikeets is a memory shared by almost everyone who grew up on the coast. You should try it.
LIVE THE BEACH LIFE
Whether you want to surf, sit or stroll, hitting the beach is a must on this southern tip of the Gold Coast. Watch the pros surf Snapper Rocks from the balcony of Rainbow Bay Surf Club (preferably with beer in hand) or get amongst them on the break. Hot-shot locals carve up Duranbah beach and beginners are well catered for in sheltered Rainbow Bay. If you don’t want to get wet, follow the local walking brigade along the well-worn – and stunning – track from Point Danger to Kirra. Keep an eye out for bush turkeys.
CATCH A WAVE
Book a surf lesson in one of the world’s best surfing reserves. Walking On Water Surf School will take you through the basics and have you riding waves in no time. It’s actually much easier than it looks. You’ll find the surf school van on Greenmount Beach.
BEACH-HOP OVER TO CURRUMBIN
Currumbin isn’t short on beachy perfection either. Climb Elephant Rock to check out the swell then catch a few waves before settling on the balcony of Currumbin SLSC for a glass or two of Balter. At the other end of the beach you’ll find Currumbin Alley – with perfect learner-friendly waves at one end and a cracking right-hand break towards the point. Further up Currumbin Creek you can hire a SUP and join the locals gliding from the beach to the bridge and back again.
LAUNCH YOURSELF ONTO KIRRA BEACH
Make an unforgettable entrance from 12,000 feet by skydiving onto Kirra Beach. This is a bucket list item and we can’t think of a better place to check it off the list. This has to be the most stunning – and exhilarating – view of the southern Gold Coast.
HEAD FOR THE HILLS AND VALLEYS AND POOLS
For a change of pace head west to one of our best kept local secrets – Currumbin Valley. A quick drive through unbelievably-green sub-tropical rainforest will deliver you to waterfalls, hiking tracks and sandy-bottomed swimming spots filled with fresh mountain water. Locals love taking a dip at Currumbin Rock Pools – the slide from one rock pool to another is a family favourite. Be sure to pack sunscreen and a picnic lunch as you’ll want to settle in for the day.
CRUISE AROUND COOL CURRUMBIN
Back in the back end of Currumbin you’ll find the Industrial Estate – a mecca for creative types and cool kids. Check out the local talent at Dust Temple, an inspiring space that merges café, art gallery, performance space, art studio and meeting place. Around the corner is Balter Brewery, the pride and joy of local surf legends Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Bede Durbridge and Josh Kerr. Grab a tasting paddle (why not sample a few different brews?) and join the Currumbin crew for laid-back vibes, classic tunes and our favourite – loaded fries from the food van.
FILL YOUR BELLY
Once the events are over and the sun sets there are plenty of places to keep the Games party going. Hit dive bar Eddie’s Grub House in Coolangatta for pints, exceptionally-good burgers and live tunes. At Baskk you’ll find locals tucking in to succulent seafood share plates and beachfront bar snacks. Top Australian and international acts play the Cooly Hotel and Soundlounge at Currumbin RSL. We southerners sure know how to have a good time.
REV UP AT COOLY ROCKS ON
If hot cars and everything ‘50’s, ‘60’s and ‘70’s is your groove then make a date with the Cooly Rocks On Festival in June. From 6-10 June Coolangatta will be transformed by a thousand classic cars, rock’n’roll dancers and pumping rockabilly, swing and rock’n’roll music. It’s pure nostalgia and we love it.