Your guide to visiting Coolangatta

Take a retrospective holiday and rock out in Coolangatta
An aerial view looking at the famous Snapper Rocks and Rainbow bay at Coolanagatta on Queensland's Gold Coast

Hold onto your poodle skirts! Australia’s biggest ’50s and ’60s nostalgia festival, Cooly Rocks On, returns in June. The unmissable event will be hosted at the Gold Coast’s newest “it” spot, Cooly (aka Coolangatta). Famed for a wide arc of sand lined by Norfolk pines and overlooking big surf breaks, the Cooly neighbourhood – along with Kirra, Currumbin and Palm Beaches – are untapped secrets mere minutes from the airport. And with Air New Zealand offering year-round, nonstop flights to the Gold Coast from Auckland and Christchurch, the Gold Coast’s newest hot spot is less than four hours away!

Burleigh Beach, Gold Coast
Burleigh Beach, Gold Coast

Top things to do in Coolangatta

Cooly Rocks On

Celebrating the motors, music and lifestyle of yesteryear, spend some time at the annual Cooly Rocks On Festival from June 5-9. The streets of Cooly and Tweed Heads transform into a Back to the Future-style revival of all things vintage, rock’n’roll and rockabilly.

Car enthusiasts 
race to the Cooly 
Rocks On Festival for the hot rods.
Car enthusiasts race to the Cooly Rocks On Festival for the hot rods.

Native State

Opened in September last year in the heart of Kirra Beach, Native State bathhouse offers guests a peaceful sanctuary, complete with an infrared sauna, heated vitality pool, cold plunge pool, steam room, traditional cedar sauna and meditation lounge.

Pure Aloha

Rejuvenate the mind, body and soul with a unique sunrise yoga experience… on a stand-up paddleboard! Under the guidance of an experienced instructor, yogis learn how to combine the bend and flow of yoga with the sway and ripple of the water below the board.

Pure Aloha Paddleboarding
For a yoga class with a difference, try Pure Aloha paddleboarding.

The Pink Flamingo Spiegelclub

The Gold Coast has all the sass with the Pink Flamingo Spiegelclub calling Broadbeach home (a 30-minute drive north of the Cooly precinct). With a 1920s Art Deco theme, featuring plush pink velvet and hints of gold, this permanent cabaret club promises plenty of risqué antics and edge-of-your-seat thrills, garnished with hilarious comedy. It’s worth travelling for!

Have your feathers ruffled at the Pink Flamingo Spiegelclub!
Have your feathers ruffled at the Pink Flamingo Spiegelclub!

Where to eat in Coolangatta

Kirra Beach House

Right on the beachfront and perched above the cool and casual Kirra Beach Hotel (a favourite for locals and families) is Kirra Beach House. Here, you’ll find a beach club complete with 20-person beach-style cabanas, three bars, and uninterrupted views of the Gold Coast coastline, extending towards Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach.

Two women dining at Kirra Beach House
Kirra Beach House has fab food and views.

Terrific tours

To sample the gourmet food and wine scene, look no further than Gold Coast Food and Wine Tours for a delicious culinary adventure. If distilleries pique your interest, a tour of family-friendly neighbourhood distillery Grandad Jacks ( is in order. Enjoy a tour and tasting for around $35 per person to sip, sample and hear the story behind the Gold Coast’s first gin, whiskey and vodka craft distillery.

Dust Temple

It’s taken eight years for Kiwi couple Isla and John Wilson to transform a ramshackle series of sheds into a stylish multipurpose complex. Taking an industrial-chic aesthetic to the max, Dust Temple boasts a laid-back café, with a healthy brunch-friendly menu, an art gallery, bar, a groovy shop and more.

Miami Marketta

Miami Marketta could be mistaken for the back streets of Thailand, Barcelona or New York City, but it’s just 15km north of Cooly! Every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 5pm, Miami comes alive with street food from all around the world at this lively night market. The family-oriented outdoor dining experience seats 600 people undercover, and the main stage hosts local blues, jazz and independent artists.

Family walking through entrance of Miami Marketta
At night, head to Miami Marketta for its street food and live music.

Where to stay in Coolangatta

La Costa Motel

Check out La Costa Motel for beach accommodation with a twist. This quirky retro motel opposite the Gold Coast Airport on the edge of Cooly offers a funky alternative to the usual hotel accommodation. With its original external façade and sky-blue paint, the “beach shack” experience comes with free use of the motel’s vintage bicycles. Free airport transfers make La Costa the ideal accommodation for travellers flying into the Gold Coast.

The Pink Hotel

Cooly’s Pink Hotel is an iconic property that embraces a retro rockstar lifestyle. The individualised rooms come with plush velvet couches that pop from polished concrete floors, neon signs that light up the bathroom walls, musical wall art and more. Head to the roof for sunset cocktails looking over the beach or settle in for the night in the Hidden Piano Bar.

Where to shop in Coolangatta

The Village Markets

The Village Markets are on the first and third Sunday of each month at Burleigh Heads State School, about 15km north of Cooly. Here, you can find 50 stalls showcasing emerging local designers and artists, including a diverse range of fashion, vintage clothing and second-hand jumble stalls, hand crafted jewellery and homewares.

Couple walking through the market stalls
The Village Markets

James Street

Spend an hour or two on James Street, just north of Cooly in Burleigh Heads, and shop stylish local boho labels from The Bohemian Club (, beachy homewares from Emporium on James and trendy brands from The Freedom State.

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