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Coolangatta

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.

Marine Parade
Coolangatta, Gold Coast Area
Queensland
Australia

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Cook Island Dive Site

Coolangatta, Gold Coast Area
Free Entry
Lying close to shore off Fingal Head in the Pacific Ocean, Cook Island is an accessible and appealing dive site on the Gold Coast. Hard and soft corals cover the bottom in some areas; in others boulders form walls and caves descending to the sandy sea floor. You'll find an interesting mix of reef and pelagic fish; pufferfish, gropers, surgeonfish, anemonefish, leatherjackets, parrotfish, trevally, bullseyes and sweetlips. Macro-photographers will find plenty of subjects. Stingrays, turtles, wobbegongs and blind sharks, Leopard sharks abound in summer.

Kirra Reef Dive Site

Coolangatta, Gold Coast Area
Free Entry
Kirra Reef in the Pacific Ocean at the southern end of the Gold Coast consists of scattered rocky outcrops that are covered in kelp fronds. Drift from rock to rock and investigate every nook and cranny, with morays hiding in the most unexpected places. The beauty of this site is in watching the smaller species. Porcupine fish abound here and wobbegongs and macro life inhabit the reef.

Nine Mile Reef Dive Site

Coolangatta, Gold Coast Area
Free Entry
Nine Mile Reef off Tweed Heads on the Gold Coast is known as a "sharky" spot by the locals. Year-round residents include wobbegongs, blind sharks, bronze whalers with leopard sharks in summer; grey nurse sharks in winter; and occasional hammerheads and whale sharks. Reef fish are ever-present, and pelagic fish sometimes circle in large numbers. Turtles, stingrays, eagle-rays are regulars as well as the occasional manta-ray. The rocky reef here drops from 10-30 metres and is covered with numerous corals.

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.

Cook Island Dive Site

Gold Coast MC, 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.

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.

Gold Coast Skydive

Kirra Beach, Gold Coast Area
Gold Coast Skydive are the only Tandem Skydive operation on the gorgeous Gold Coast! Boasting an excellent safety record, state of the art equipment and a pristine beach-side location. They have a great team full of fun and professional tandem masters who will take passengers through all the necessary training and go out of their way to make sure it's a truly amazing experience that you will never forget! They offer free transfers everyday from anywhere between Surfers Paradise to Coolangatta and to top it all off, they land on the warm sand of beautiful Kirra beach, just 500 metres away from their office.

Tallebudgera Valley

Tallebudgera Valley, Gold Coast Area
Its formal name is Tallebudgera Valley but in true Aussie minimalist style, you'll probably hear locals around these parts refer to it as the Tally Valley. However you prefer to wrap your mouth around it, this lush valley at the back of Tallebudgera Beach leads you into emerald-green farmland and natural forests and the relaxed ambience for which the southern Gold Coast is renowned. Because it is so flush with nature, this region has lent itself perfectly to quality health resorts and eco-retreats in which you can completely escape through yoga, pilates, plunge pools, massages and facials. Nearby bushland provides the perfect place through which to calm your mind while moving your muscles before returning to a feast of fresh and organic food. Other accommodation around the area is sympathetic to the style here with farmstays, holiday rentals and bed and breakfasts. There's also three top golf courses and a driving range in the region and horseriding is another popular activity. Keep heading west and you'll hit Springbrook National Park. So take your time and dilly dally in the Tally Valley.

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.
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