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Cook Island Dive Site

Gold Coast, Gold Coast Area

Cook Island, a short boat trip from the Gold Coast, is an accessible and appealing dive site for all experience levels. Hard and soft corals cover the bottom in some areas, with boulders forming walls and caves descending to the sandy sea floor in others. A colourful and interesting mix of reef and pelagic fish call Cook Island home: pufferfish, gropers, surgeonfish, clown fish, leatherjackets, parrotfish, trevally, bullseyes and sweetlips are some of the most common residents. Photographers will find plenty of photogenic subjects, with nudibranchs, stingrays, turtles, wobbegongs and even leopard sharks over summer.

Coolangatta
Gold Coast, Gold Coast Area
Queensland
Australia

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Cook Island Dive Site

Gold Coast, Gold Coast Area
Free Entry
Cook Island, a short boat trip from the Gold Coast, is an accessible and appealing dive site for all experience levels. Hard and soft corals cover the bottom in some areas, with boulders forming walls and caves descending to the sandy sea floor in others. A colourful and interesting mix of reef and pelagic fish call Cook Island home: pufferfish, gropers, surgeonfish, clown fish, leatherjackets, parrotfish, trevally, bullseyes and sweetlips are some of the most common residents. Photographers will find plenty of photogenic subjects, with nudibranchs, stingrays, turtles, wobbegongs and even leopard sharks over summer.

Nine Mile Reef Dive Site

Coolangatta, Gold Coast Area
Free Entry
Nine Mile Reef, off Tweed Heads, has a reputation among locals as being a "sharky" spot. All year long, wobbegongs, blind sharks, and bronze whalers call the reef home, with leopard sharks in summer, grey nurse sharks in winter, and occasional hammerheads and whale sharks popping by. The top of the reef sits at about 10 metres deep, dropping to 30 metres with the drop-off covered in numerous hard and soft corals. Reef fish are scattered across the shallower parts, with pelagic fish, sharks, turtles, stingrays, eagle rays and the occasional manta ray circling and sometimes crossing the reef.

Kirra Reef Dive Site

Kirra Beach, Gold Coast Area
Free Entry
Not far from Kirra Beach, one of the Gold Coast's top surfing destinations, is one of its most mysterious dive sites: the Kirra Reef. Consisting of scattered rocky outcrops covered in kelp fronds, there are scores of hidden gems throughout the reef. Drift from rock to rock and you'll find marine life everywhere, with morays hiding in the most unexpected places. Kirra Reef is an ideal spot for following the smaller species and macro life, discovering the beauty of their marine ecosystem. Porcupine fish and wobbegongs are common, as well as smaller colourful creatures like nudibranchs and flatworms.

Coolangatta

Coolangatta, Gold Coast Area
The southern Gold Coast's famous sandy beaches and world-class surf breaks conclude at Coolangatta, renowned for its casual beach-side culture. Spend the day surfing, SUP or swimming with the locals at Coolangatta, Greenmount, Duranbah, Palm Beach and into southern Rainbow Bay. Later walk to the New South Wales state border at Point Danger where Greenmount Beach meets Rainbow Bay and keep an eye for breaching whales and dolphins from high on the hill. Peer back towards the famous Surfers Paradise skyline at sunset whilst dining alfresco at one of many oceanfront hotels, or nestle on the grassy hill at Snapper Rocks and settle in for the annual pro surfing events.

Currumbin Valley

Currumbin Valley, Gold Coast Area
Heading into the Currumbin Valley is a little like entering an Aladdin's Cave of adventure. From the coastline, head southwest into another world along Currumbin Creek Road which leads to Tomewin Mountain Road winding up to Tomewin Mountain. At 457 metres high it offers a great vantage point over the entire valley as well as north to Mount Tallebudgera and west across the World Heritage-listed Rainforest mountains of Cougal and Springbrook. The drive itself into the valley is something special, you'll pass farms, eco villages, fruit stalls, bed and breakfasts, homesteads, gardens and cottages. It's easy to see why the descendants of early settlers, who came here for the red cedar timber and to raise dairy cattle and farm bananas, still call this lush valley home. Highlights of this valley include the cooling Currumbin Rock Pools for a swim and Camp Eden for the health conscious. The Mount Cougal section of Springbrook National Park sits at the end of Currumbin Creek Road. There's also plenty of galleries teaming with pottery and arts and crafts in which if, you look carefully, your own genie may await.

Tugun

Tugun, Gold Coast Area
Just when you thought the Gold Coast couldn't get any more relaxed you arrive over the hill and into Tugun. This southern Gold Coast suburb is so laid-back that locals fondly call her Tugz (pronounced choog-s) while ancient Aborigines referred to Tugun as a place of "breaking waves". Certainly, it boasts one of the biggest and some say best beaches on the Gold Coast and on a good day, you may bag a breaker or two, but the real charm of Tugun lays in its homey streets, café culture and fish and chip shops. That's not to say there aren't luxury oceanfront apartments - there's plenty of those - plus affordable holiday units. For this is the Gold Coast without the glitz or the vinegar. It's simply a salty suburb for strolling and sunbaking, hanging out at the surf club and mixing with the locals. Just don't be surprised if by the end of a stay here, you too, will be calling her Tugz.

Kirra

Kirra Beach, Gold Coast Area
There's variations on what the word Kirra actually means, but some believe Queensland Aborigines named it after a boomerang. Which makes sense as Kirra wraps evocatively around the bend separating Coolangatta and Kirra beaches and in front of Kirra Hill. Surfers still flock to Kirra bend for its world-class breaks despite beach erosion issues changing the game and nature of the surf spot a bit. Still, there's plenty of character to be had in one of the Gold Coast's most laid-back beach destinations and home to Kirra Surf which surfies consider the one-stop shop for surf gear. This is not a place for glitz and glamour, you'll still find plenty of weatherboard beach shacks here among the burgeoning apartment scene. There's also a cute café scene emerging here but for a true taste of Kirra, head to the iconic Kirra Beach Hotel which has been trading for more than 50 years. There's even accommodation upstairs in this pub offering views of the ocean and the Gold Coast foreshore. There may be variations on what Kirra means, but like a boomerang, you'll just keep coming back.
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