Coolangatta is located on the southern end of the Gold Coast, right on the border with New South Wales.
It’s popular with all ages, has a pleasant laid-back atmosphere and is another good choice for families. It’s easy to reach from the nearby Gold Coast Airport, and there is of course a good range of accommodation to suit all budgets.
Things to do in Coolangatta
If you like the beach – whether it’s for swimming, surfing or just lazing about – you will love Coolangatta. The walking tracks will reward you with some spectacular scenery. You may even be able to spot dolphins and whales from the shore. There is also some good diving to be had at Kirra Reef and the nearby Cook Island.
Coolangatta is also home to the annual Cooly Rocks On Festival, which has taken over from the popular Wintersun rock and roll festival: if you’re in town during the month of June you might enjoy visiting it.
Naturally, there are plenty of places where you can dine out whether you are after Thai, Italian, fast food or something more exotic. You might like to try some of these places.
Australian & Seafood – Bellakai: 82 Marine Parade. Tel (07) 5599 5116
Big Chief Burgers: 18 Griffith Street. Tel (07) 5536 1088
Burger Lounge: Shop 6b, 1 Douglas Street. Tel (07) 5599 5762
Grill’d: Showcase on the Beach, 72-80 Marine Parade. Tel (07) 5536 3555
Coffee & Cafe Food
Cafe Dbar: 275 Boundary Street. Tel (07) 5599 2031
Bambi Deluxe: 18 Stuart Street. Tel 0404 295 955
Bellakai: 82 Marine Parade. Tel (07) 5599 5116
Cafe Scooterini: 1/99 Griffith Street (07) 5599 2298
Vertigo Cafe & Bar: 64 Griffith Street (07) 5536 2530
Cafe Creole: 32/34 Musgrave Street (no telephone)
Fish & Chips – Gordons By The Beach: Shop 17, 51-52 Marine Parade. Tel (07) 5536 1034
Japanese – O-Sushi: Shop 32, 72-80 Marine Parade. Tel (07) 5536 5455
The Aztec: 1st Floor Showcase Building, Marine Parade. Tel (07) 5599 2748
Playa Taco: Komune Resort, 146 Marine Parade. Tel (07) 5536 6764
Pizza – Earth ‘n’ Sea Pizza & Pasta: Showcase On The Beach, Marine Parade. Tel (07) 5536 3477
Seafood – George’s Paragon Seafood Restaurant: Reflections, 110 Marine Parade. Tel (07) 5599 1885
Thai – Sunshine Thai Restaurant: 7 Griffith Plaza, 152 Griffith Street. Tel (07) 5599 4442
After a busy day you can unwind at one of the local bars with a nice cold beer or perhaps a cocktail. And although the area is not as busy as Surfers Paradise or Broadbeach, there is a good selection of quality nightlife options too, if that is what you are looking for. Here we list a few of the more popular places. For more options please see our Gold Coast Nightlife page.
The Coolangatta Hotel: Corner of Warner Street & Marine Parade. Tel: (07) 5589 6888
Coolangatta Sands Hotel: 3 Griffith Street. Tel: (07) 5536 3066
Cafe Dbar: 275 Boundary Street (07) 5599 2031
Komune Beach Club: 146 Marine Parade (07) 5536 6764
The Rattlesnake Motel: 23 McLean Street (07) 5536 6666
The Showcase on the Beach centre has plenty of shops for the basics and a decent selection of places to grab something to eat or take a break with a coffee. And if that’s not enough, the Centro Tweed Mall Shopping Centre isn’t too far away.
If you are in Coolangatta on the second Sunday of the month (4th Sunday in months with 5 Sundays), you could check out the open-air market just across from the Showcase Shopping Centre. Weather permitting, it runs from around 8am to 2pm or so. Call (07) 5591 6360 to confirm dates.
So if you are looking for a combination of a good beach, affordable accommodation, a fair range of bars, restaurants and entertainment but want to avoid staying in Surfers Paradise, Coolangatta may be just the place for you.
A contemporary resort with something to suit all budgets. There is backpacker accommodation, one and two bedroom apartments and a luxury penthouse. Attractively priced, and ideal for the younger crowd.
Nirvana by the Sea
A very impressive complex with beautiful, spacious apartments and fantastic views – even from the lower levels. The facilities are impressive too. It’s not the be cheapest but it is well worth the money.
The Sebel Coolangatta
If you are looking for well maintained, contemporary 1, 2 or 3 bedroom apartments with great views and in an excellent location, you should definitely put The Sebel Coolangatta on your short-list. Very good facilities too.
With a beachfront location that is convenient for local attractions, Bayview has nicely done out apartments with impressive views at a pretty reasonable rate. Guest facilities include a pool, spa, tennis court and BBQ area.
Oaks Calypso Plaza
For a one or two bedroom self-contained apartment at a very reasonable rate, you should definitely consider staying at the Oaks Calypso Plaza. While it isn’t the flashiest resort on the Gold Coast, it offers great value in an excellent location.
Bella Mare Beachside Apartments
Beautifully located close to the beach, Bella Mare apartment complex is also convenient for local shops, cafes, restaurants and bars. There is a nice big heated pool, a spa, gym, BBQ area and more. Reasonably priced.
Greenmount Beach Resort
If you are looking for somewhere to stay in Coolangatta on a low budget, but don’t want to stay at the YHA, Greenmount Beach Resort may be the answer. While it isn’t going to win any awards for design, the location is great and the rooms are comfortable, if a little old-fashioned.
The Coolangatta YHA is actually in Bilinga, several kilometres away, not in Coolangatta. It has dorm rooms, singles, doubles and family rooms. There is a swimming pool, garden area, a free shuttle bus and you can hire a surfboard or bicycle.