The NEW Couran Cove Resort
I say, NEW, because it is important to understand that there are some reviews on the internet from when the resort was quite run down.
Since late 2016 new management took over. There has been huge investment in rejuvenating and upgrading the resort facilities. It is certainly NOT FAIR to this resort to be saddled with the bad old reviews.
For Easter 2017, my family and I spent a fantastic 5 days at the resort. My children are older
now, 14 and 19 years when we visited. And everyone had a great time. We also saw many families with much younger children also having a great time.
For us, there was a great mix of family activities and individual activities.
We are a competitive bunch and enjoyed stand-up paddleboarding and kayak races around the lagoon!
We saw some amazing wildlife. We hired bikes and rode around the bike tracks.
We enjoyed trivia night, the pools, the live entertainment, the food, the sunsets and the sunrises.
It was just what we all needed!
With all that said, read on to find out more about the the
resort and what you can expect if you want to plan a stayover.
About Couran Cove Resort
What can you expect when visiting Couran Cove? How to get here? And
tips for staying over on the island?
Those are the main questions I get about this destination.
So I'll do my best...
Couran Cove Resort is a resort with all the activities and
facilities you could want for your South Stradbroke Island holiday.
Located on the western broadwater side of South Stradbroke
Island and based around a man-made marina. Check out the interactive map to get a better idea where it is. The resort is nestled between the
native bush and the magnificent waterway.
There are several different accommodation
options to suit just about any taste and family group
combination you can think of.
Cove Resort offers several food options including a
restaurant, cafe, bar and
poolside kiosk. For some pampering try the Day Spa and
Rejuvenation Centre, they even have Couples Massage Room.
What I like most
about this resort is that it truly is that, a base for your whole
holiday you can really relax and enjoy an eco island resort enjoying fun
activities and nature at the same time.
I highly recommend Couran Cove Resort for couples and families of any age.
Bookings for the resort can be made directly or through booking engines, such
as my favourite
Booking.com (because it often has free cancellation and reservations without
credit cards, for extra flexibility!).
You can also book private residences or apartments directly with owners
or through AirBnB.
Sometimes these options may include extras thrown in, such as
bikes to use (so you don't have to hire the resort ones), but
be sure to read the fine print and make sure you are actually
staying in the resort and therefore able to use the facilities.
As well as booking your accommodation, you will need to work
out the best way for you to get to the resort. Check out my
suggestions and tips below.
Types of Accommodation at Couran Cove Island Resort
You can choose from Studio apartments, 1 bedroom apartments with or
without marina views or 2 or 4 bedroom self contained accommodation
in lodges or villas.
I believe that all the accommodation is now air-conditioned.
It didn't use to be, but part of the rejuvenation of the
accommodation has brought it right up to standard.
When we stayed, we never needed the air-con. Overall, we
thought the accommodation was a really good standard (and I am
super critical of accomodation).
We had a 1 bedroom apartment
with a marina view. It had a good size living area, huge
bathroom and a fabulous balcony area.
Studios are ideal for couples
or singles but can accommodate up to 3 people.
One bedroom apartments are great for couples or small
families and can accommodate up to 4 people.
Both the studios and one bedroom apartments are located
closer to the marina and some have views whilst others do not.
bedroom self catering
lodges are located around the sandy beaches of the lagoon and
They have larger living spaces and are great for up to 6 people. These have
more room in the kitchen areas and better facilities for self-catering than
the apartments. But please note, you will need to bring your supplies with
you, there's very little on the island in the way of fresh food shopping!
villas will accommodate up to 8 people. They are usually located on
some waterfront. They have
fully fitted out kitchens and other spacious facilities for
families or larger groups to enjoy.
There are also eco cabins, they don't have air-conditioning
and are located in the rainforest areas. Their decks are
protected by fly screens. You are much more likely to encounter
the smaller varieties of wildlife (midges, mozzies and
sandflies) here. They are also further away from the main
It is getting more and more popular as word gets out about
it's new management. I highly recommend
booking early and if
you cannot find what you want directly, do check out the
private rental options too.
Extra Tips For Staying At Couran Cove Resort
When you plan to stay over at Couran Cove, you have to remember that this is
an island. The only way to get to or from it is either by water
You cannot easily hop over to the shops, head out for a
McDonald's on a whim or even go to the other attractions on the
You can still visit a theme park for a day - get a water
taxi to and from Sanctuary Cove and then get to the theme park.
But it is something that needs to be planned.
In my opinion, you are better to spend the time on
the island, and if necessary shorten your trip to the
island and stay a couple of days in one of the mainland
accommodations to visit theme parks and other Gold Coast
If you are going to an eco resort to relax and
enjoy, I don't see much point in spending most of the
time at the other Gold Coast attractions!
Also, since it is an island and Couran is the most built up
part, you are going to have to bring any extra supplies
you need for your stay with you, or else rely upon the resort
There is a kiosk in the resort, but it is NOT very well
stocked and certainly hard to get fresh fruit and
To mix it up for dining, you could take a walk up the beach
or the inland road track up to Tippler's Cafe for a a change.
If you do bring supplies with you, make sure they are easy
to pack. If you are staying in an apartment (studio or 1
bedroom in particular) the cooking facilities are quite limited
and there isn't much space in the bar fridges. The other styles
of accommodation have much larger kitchens with more
facilities, so you can bring and store more.
The kitchen facilities in the apartment is
limited to a microwave and 2 ring electric stove, and virtually no bench space for preparation.
But this is a holiday anyway, so step a way from the kitchen
We took some high quality premade meals with us to
supplement the resort cooking, which could be heated in the
microwave. That worked well for our family and our odd dietary needs!
The other thing to consider is how you bring items over. On
the Couran Cove Resort Ferry, which goes from Hope Island, it
costs extra for large bags or Eskies. Sometimes it can be much
better value to come via a Water Taxi. See
below for more details.
I highly recommend hiring bikes for everyone. It is a truly
great experience for the family. It made getting to the surf
beach for the sunrise even more fun. And my youngest daughter
hadn't ridden a bike for many years, so it was a great place to
learn with very little consequences.
The island is a sand island with lots of wildlife. Some of
which bite! Although you always have to watch out for the
poisonous kind, the more irritating ones for most people are
the pesky small ones. I'm talking midges, mozzies and
I hate having to put harsh chemicals on, and luckily for me,
these little ones don't tend to like me. But they love my
husband. Whilst I got away with wearing a Para K'Ito band (uses natural essential oils) with
virtually no issues, my husband had to wear both band and spray
himself with the highest strength Bushmans Insect Repellent to
keep from being bitten.
Do not come to stay without suitable insect repellent.
Other than those main tips, just be sure to pack what you will need to wear for relaxing, swimming, going to beach, sports if you want to play them, riding bikes and dressing up a little for dinner if you want to.
How To Get To Couran Cove Resort
There are a couple of main ways to get to the resort, with your luggage. Resort Ferry and water taxis are probably the best options.
Check the map to see which are the nearest options for you.
Couran Cove Resort Ferry
The resort ferry goes from Hope Harbour on Hope Island. If
you are driving to this location, you will need to pay for
parking at the marina directly to the marina management.
The resort ferry usually goes a couple of times a day
between around 7.15am and about 5.30pm*. It may be longer
during school holidays and peak holiday times. It takes about
40 minutes on the ferry. Return full fares are around $30* per
adult. Approx. half fare for children 3 to 12 years and full
fare for children 13 & overs. Infants 0 to 2 years free. You
will also have to pay extra to take your own bike or large bags
or eskies - around $40* return for each item.
* - Times and charges subject to change. Please check directly for ferry times
and charges when booking.
Water Taxis can be a great way to get over to Couran Cove. We found them more flexible and they charged us for
trip and nothing extra for bags or eskies. We paid $150 return
trip from Runaway Bay Marina for 4 of us and a huge amount of bags and supplies.
The closest point to Couran Cove is Sanctuary Cove Marina,
next is Hope Harbour and then Runaway Bay. You can get water
taxis from any of these locations. You just have to work out
which is best for you. And also, just because it is closer
doesn't mean it will be cheaper!
None of these locations are particulary easy to get to from
airports or without cars. You could also take a water taxi from
Main Beach, but you will pay a lot more for that convenience.
Don't forget to use the
journey planner for public transport to get to the
I highly recommend you book your water taxi in advance,
especially at busy times and weekends. Most of them use mobile
phone numbers, so be sure you are getting a bona fide operator.
This map of South Stradbroke shows the location of Couran Cove
Resort, some of the other features of the island plus the launch options for getting to the island.
It helps with planning and to put it into perspective where
other things on the Gold Coast are in relation to the island.
Couran Cove Resort Facilities and Activities
Resort facilities include 25m lap pool, children’s pool and playground, kids club, kayaks & Stand Up Paddle Boards in the lagoon sports, sports centre with a range of activities, VR World and bike hire. Bikes are a great way to get around this resort and surrounds.
The marina is a focus for the resort with the reception and
waterfront bar and dining.
Just behind that is the lagoon with its central Spa Island
which includes the lap pool, kids pool, bar and poolside kiosk
There is a lagoon sports zone where you can try out a kayak,
SUP or go for a swim onto the giant play toys in the lagoon.
Behind the lagoon, you will find a rainforest boardwalk,
sports centre, the bike hire shop and VR World.
You can catch the train over to the surf beach, or ride over
on your bike. Walks along this beach are awesome and during
peak seasons, the Surf Club opens for events. This beach is
also awesome to catch the sunrise!
On the other side of the marina, you will find the sunset
beach and a beach volleyball court - it's an amazing spot to
relax and watch the sun go down over the water.
- Half-court basketball
- Beach volleyball
- Table Tennis (Ping Pong)
- Mini Putt putt golf course
- Running Tracks
- Kids playground
- VR World State of the Art Indoor Games Centre including virtual sports such as golf, basketball and racing cars.
Couran Cove Resort sports and activities include:
During school holidays there may be special events run and extra activities daily, run by the resort sports team. You might find activities like Laser Tag, GeoCaching,
games nights, movie nights or treasure hunts.
There are also activities that take you outside the resort that you can book on to for a fee such as:
- Speed boat tours
- 4WD tour To Jumpin Pin
- Seaplane joy flights
- Jet Ski's hire and tours
- Fishing trips - Calm Water, Surf Beach, 4WD Fishing tours, Tackle and Tinnie Hire and Bait
Couran Cove can be used as a base for your Gold Coast holiday. As I
mentioned above, it is possible but not recommended if you wanted to do all or
some of the following as you
need to transfer to the mainland for activities such as:
- Golf Course excursions - closest and easiest option would be Sanctuary Cove.
- Theme park family days - closest would be
Dreamworld, Movie World & Wet n Wild.
- Sanctuary Cove - Lunch or Dinner or village shopping excursions
- Hinterland and Rainforest tours