Holidaymakers pour into Queensland’s Gold Coast primarily for the beaches. With 300 days of sunshine a year, the golden sands of the area make for an outstanding beach holiday experience. But what else is there to do in this part of Australia? Read on to find out.
Coolangatta is unique among the Gold Coast resorts in that it’s right on the border with New South Wales with its twin town of Tweed Heads on the other side. Most holidaymakers come for the beaches which are the equal of Surfers Paradise. But Cooly, as it’s known to the locals, is a much more relaxed town with a host of attractions to offer.
For a glimpse into the history and the wild beauty of the area, pay a visit to Point Danger on the north side of the Tweed estuary. The name was given by Captain James Cook owing to the shoals located about 5 miles off the coast. The spot offers magnificent views of the coast and the ocean. There’s also a lighthouse constructed as a monument on the 200th anniversary of Cook’s passing. Point Danger also features a park which is a popular leisure spot for locals.
If ocean life is your thing, you can go whale watching in the cool season between June and November. For the braver souls, diving with the sharks on Cook Island is an enticing option. Then there are fishing and ocean fishing charters and a host of top-flight golf clubs in the area such as the Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club.
Coolangatta’s proximity to the Tweed Valley makes it a fine jumping-off point to visit that area in the north of New South Wales. Bird watching is a popular activity in Tweed Valley, and it’s also home to the Minjungbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre.
Coolangatta also hosts some vibrant annual events. For example, Coolangatta is home to the ‘Number One Nostalgia Festival in Australia’. This festival features everything to do with the popular ’50s and 60’s Rock ‘n’ Roll years including music, fashions, dancing and the Hotrod cars that were popular in those days. Enjoy free entertainment from over 100 bands and browse hundreds of market stalls. The 10-day event held in May-June pulls around 90000 visitors each year.
Another plus for Coolangatta is that as “Gateway to the Gold Coast”, it’s the perfect jumping-off point for visiting the many nearby attractions. These include the many theme parks in the area. The king of them all is Dreamworld Theme Park which offers an action-packed adventure for the whole family.
It features the usual range of thrilling rides including Giant Drop, Tower of Terror, Cyclone Rollercoaster, Wipeout, and The Claw. You can encounter Bengal tigers at Tiger Island and visit The Australian Wildlife Experience which houses over 800 native animals and birds.
Whatever your choice of activity in Coolangatta, you’ll be sure to be delighted with the range and quality of the Coolangatta hotels. Among the finest hostelries in Coolangatta are the Twin Towns Resort Coolangatta and the Beachcomber International Resort Gold Coast.
Joan Holt is a writer and stylist with a passion for the intersection between biology, technology and design. Raised in Bali and of Swedish heritage, She travels across the world have encouraged and informed a global perspective regarding the future of fashion and its relationship to planetary health. She is currently working for a sustainable fashion label in Bali, Indonesia.