Coolangatta Gold Coast Queensland

Coolangatta Gateway to the Gold Coast

The twin towns of Coolangatta (Queensland) and Tweed Heads (New South Wales) are at the southern end of Queensland’s Gold Coast. 

Cooly (as it is affectionately called by locals) is a top family beach vacation destination with some of the most amazing golden beaches.  The best bit about Cooly is that you can stay in some great apartments close to the family friendly beaches. 

There are several beaches to chose from and each beach has its own unique character. Beaches include Cooly's own beach, Greenmount and Rainbow Bay, further north is Kirra Beach. Local headlands include Kirra Point, Snapper Rocks and Point Danger (Tweed Heads).

Greenmount Beach Fun on Beach at Coolangatta
Greenmount Beach Fun!

The rocky outcrops at Kirra Point and Snapper Rocks combined with the change in direction of the coastline at Point Danger also provide a great opportunity for experienced surfers to enjoy the waves.

No visit to the Gold Coast would be complete without experiencing what Cooly and its beaches have to offer.

Coolangatta a family favourite in south of Gold Coast

There’s plenty of variety for accommodation with lots of activity around the beaches and within walking distance.

Coolangatta has been enjoying a huge face lift in recent years with many new buildings replacing some of the older style properties.

Reflection on the Sea on Marine Parade is a good example and features an apartment building with shops, parking, cafés and restaurants underneath.

As well as the luxury apartments there are many different apartment styles to meet most budgets.

Some of these apartments have amazing positions overlooking the wide beaches and right in the heart of all the action.

Cooly is definitely worth considering as a base for a great family beach holiday.

Point Danger Lookout Panorama of Ocean
Panoramic Ocean View from Point Danger Lookout


  • Coolangatta Beach patrolled every day, all year round from 8.00am to 5.00pm.
  • Greenmount Beach patrolled every day, all year round from 8.00am to 5.00pm.  This beach is right in front of Marine Parade at and has the most impressive expanse of golden sand with the stunning backdrop of the Gold Coast skyline.
  • Rainbow Bay Beach patrolled every day, all year round from 8.00am to 5.00pm.  A great area for family play at low tide when a lagoon like water pool appears.  
  • Snapper Rocks - from a surfers point of view possibly the longest and most consistent point break in the world.  When the conditions are right good surfers can ride the wave right down to Kirra - about a kilometre away - not bad! Snapper Rocks got their name from the fishing that was to be had there.  I often see fishermen there - so when surfing beware!
  • Coolangatta SLSC - the supporters club offers great breakfasts, lunches and dinners served on a wide verandah overlooking the beach - what more can you want.  
  • Tweed Heads & Coolangatta SLSC - also know as Greenmount SLSC as it is on Greenmount Beach.  It is a bit run down but they do have some facilities.
  • Rainbow Bay SLSC - The Oceandeck restaurant and bar is open to the public for good SLSC food and a spectacular view!  There are pokies here too.
  • Twin Towns Services Club - is a massive complex right on the border offering entertainment, food and accommodation.  Twin Towns is known for its pokies and is also the venue that gets the major gigs and shows. Club Banora is connected by frequent bus services and has additional entertainment facilities, restaurants and sporting facilities  including golf, tennis and swimming facilities.
  • Fishing and Ocean Fishing Charters
  • Bird Watching Walks in Tweed Valley
  • Visit Crystal Castle just over the border in northern NSW
  • Taste test the exotic fruits at Tropical Fruit World.
  • Drive to Kingscliff or Byron Bay for the day
  • Point Danger Lookout - if you are lucky like we were one September you can even see whales breaching from this great vantage point.  Don't forget to pack your binoculars!
  • Coolangatta Art And Craft Market - 2nd Sunday of the Month
  • Minjungbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre - learn about the local indigenous peoples.
Point Danger Lizard and local trees lots of Australian wildlife can be spotted from Point Danger
Point Danger has some interesting wildlife if you look carefully.  Lizards, whales, birds and these unusual trees.



Click on the links for more information. Links open in new window.

There are quite a few different options for accommodation around Coolangatta and Tweed Heads area.

This is an area that is more popular with those who have stayed on the Gold Coast before and who have their own transport - self-drive or hire car.

These accomodation options include apartments, hotels, motels, backpackers, private houses, farm stays and caravan or tourist parks.

You can check out each of the areas individually or see below for some other featured selections:

Coolangatta Apartments

Reflections on the Sea

Reflections on The Sea are suburb new style apartments located on Marine Parade opposite Greenmount beach. The location is brilliant, with all the facilities of Cooly right at your fingertips.

Two stylish 5* luxury apartment buildings, with facilities include 25m heated lap pool, spa, steam room, sauna and fully equipped gym.  And a zen garden to let you get in touch with yourself!  And when you've finished with all that why not cook up a storm on the Teppanyaki Grill!

1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments and a 3 & 4 bedroom "skyhomes" available for holiday lettings.  Great for couples or families who enjoy the finer things in life.

These apartments make a great base for a holiday, with easy access to family friendly Greenmount and Cooly Beach right across the road, and Rainbow Bay a short walk. Marine Parade buzzes with beachstyle life and you are also close to Twin Towns for entertainment or other parts of Cooly and Tweed Heads for eating out and activities.

Reflections on the Sea information, availability and pricing.

Bites Fish Bar Coolangatta Reflections on the Sea
Fish & Chips is one of the options for
beachside eating right under Reflections on the Sea

Columbia on Rainbow Bay

Columbia on Rainbow Bay is right opposite Rainbow Beach which makes this a a great place for families who want to enjoy the family friendly beach or surfers who can easily access Snapper Rocks and return to their accommodation in the beach-houses without going in a lift! 

There are 2 bedroom apartments and a 3 bedroom penthouse in the tower. Easily accessible beach-houses are also available are two storey and have 2 bedrooms with own private grassy area out the front.  You can access the beach-houses without using the lift - great for families and surfers.

All apartments have north facing balconies which are protected from south-easterlies in Winter making it a lovely spot.

The outdoor pool is heated and there is also a kids splash pool which is great for the little, little ones!  There is also a half sized tennis court.

It is only a short walk into Coolangatta and is a great option for families who want to stay in Rainbow Bay right on the beach front.

They say it is warmed by the sun in Winter and cooled by the breeze in summer - so guess what - no air-conditioning!  But if that doesn't bother you, then this has a lot going for it.

Columbia on Rainbow Bay information, availability and pricing.

Coolangatta Resorts

Outrigger Twin Towns

Outrigger Twin Towns - (formerly Quality Resort Twin Towns) offers 4½ star hotel suites and apartments right on the doorstep of the Twin Towns Services Club and a very short stroll to Greenmount beach, Marine Parade and the centre of Coolangatta.  

Catering for all eventualities there are heated indoor and outdoor spa and pools!  

Restaurant and bar on-site and 24 hour room service.  All hotel suites and apartments are air-conditioned so it meets all my criteria! If you are looking for hotel style accommodation or 1, 2 or 3 bedroom apartments in the heart of Coolangatta this is a good choice.

More information on Outrigger Twin Towns including availability and prices.

More suggestions for Coolangatta Area accommodation as well as nearby Tweed Heads.

Golf Information

Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club is about 10 minutes drive from central Cooly at Tweed Heads South.  Two  great golf courses including one of the top public courses in the country - so worth a trip if you are a golfer.

Name Suburb Travel time Extra Info
Luxury Golf Courses
Lakelands Golf Course Merrimac 25 mins Usually available for bookings at selected times Monday to Friday only.
The Colonial Robina 25 mins  
Palm Meadows Golf Course Carrara 35 mins At Raddisson Resort
Royal Pines Resort Carrara 35 mins At Crowne Plaza Royal Pines Resort
The Villa Nerang 35 mins Only takes groups - minimum 12 maximum 32.  Can play at night under lights.
The Grand Golf Club Gilston 40 mins Very Exclusive - you'll have to know someone to get in here!
Hope Island Resort Golf Course Hope Island 50 mins At Hope Island Resort - the only links course in the Gold Coast.
Sanctuary Cove Golf Resort Sanctuary Cove 55 mins Two courses - The Palms and The Pines
General Golf Courses
Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club Tweed Heads South 10 mins Two championship courses to choose from!  The River and The West.
Gold Coast Burleigh Golf Club Miami 25 mins  
Robina Woods Golf Course Robina 25 mins  
The Glades Robina 25 mins Greg Norman designed course
Tallebudgera Golf Course Tallebudgera 30 mins  
Surfers Paradise Golf Club Clear Island Waters 35 mins  
Emerald Lakes Golf Club Carrara 35 mins 9 holes under lights to 9.30pm each night.
Southport Golf Club Bundall 40 mins  
Parkwood International Golf Club Parkwood 40 mins  
9 Hole Courses
Boomerang Farm Golf Course Mudgeeraba 25 mins  
Merrimac Golf Course Merrimac 25 mins This isn't a very exciting course - but is very affordable!
Burleigh Palms Golf Course Tallebudgera 30 mins  
Tally Valley Golf Club Tallebudgera 30 mins  


Beach Information

Greenmount Beach Panorama
Greenmount - divides Greenmount Beach and Rainbow Bay

There are three beaches at Coolangatta to choose from all are patrolled daily from  8.00am to 5.00pm unless the beach is closed.

  • Coolangatta
  • Greenmount
  • Rainbow Bay

Greenmount is incredibly wide with beautiful clean sand.  Whilst Rainbow Bay Beach has a lagoon area at lower tides which is great for the kids to splash around in.  Rainbow Bay is my pick for families with young children but Greenmount Beach is also a good option as the headland provides some protection when it is windy.

Surfers love this area because of the very long point break.  Surfers must keep away from the flagged areas which are clearly marked on the beach.

You will also see people fishing around Snapper Rocks - so perhaps this is something else you can do with the kids - bring your own rod and have a go.

When the wind is blowing from the southeast there is some protection on these beaches.

As with all Gold Coast beaches make sure you are aware of the beach and surf conditions and only swim between the flags.


Travel Times

Approximate travel times by motor vehicle - please note travel times can be affected by many factors including traffic hazards and roadworks. These are just an indication.

10 minutes
Gold Coast Airport at Bilinga

15 minutes
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

30 minutes
Broadbeach – beaches, restaurants and entertainment
Jupiters Casino – Entertainment and restaurants
Pacific Fair – shopping, cinemas, entertainment and cafes

35 minutes
Surfers Paradise – beaches, attractions, restaurants and entertainment
Tropical Fruit World – Duranbah

40 minutes
Main Beach – Tedder Avenue cafes and restaurants and Southport SLSC
MovieWorld – theme park
Wet ‘n’ Wild – water theme park
Australian Outback Spectacular – entertainment

45 minutes
Sea World – water and theme park
Dreamworld & WhiteWater World – water and theme park

50 minutes
Harbour Town – shopping, cinemas and cafes

1 hour 30 minutes
Brisbane Airport

2 hours 40 minutes
Australia Zoo – Beerwah, Sunshine Coast


Directions for Car Travel

For directions and other information I recommend you use Google Maps Australia. This will open in a new window, select the directions tab and then type in your starting point and where you want to go.  I find the format the easiest to use and follow.


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