There is so much to see and do on the Southern Gold Coast, especially on a budget. Our beaches, parks, waterways and hinterland provide a raft of open spaces to enjoy free activities, while still getting the most out of our spectacular region.
Walks and Lookouts
The Southern Gold Coast is one of the most vibrant, abundant, unspoiled destinations in the world. Its sub-tropical climate is perfect for outdoor fun all year round, with plenty of sunshine and many different vantage points, lookouts and walking tracks to help you explore the surroundings.
This guide will outline the coastal and hinterland walks and lookouts that showcase our unique and glorious natural wonders of the Southern Gold Coast.
Also check out this great blog
with more fantastic walks and drives around the Southern Gold Coast.
"Golden Four" Beaches Walk.
Walk on the beach (hard or soft sand) from Kirra Point north past Bilinga
and Tugun to Currumbin Rock (12km round trip, but can be shortened to suit);
Arthur Freeman Lookout
Tomewin Mountain Road, Tomewin, Currumbin Valley 1km west of Freemans road-side stall:
- Views to the north and north- east, spectacular views right down the Currumbin Valley;
- To the west and south, panoramic view across the Currumbin Valley to the spectacular escarpment of Mt Tallebudgera, Springbrook National Park, Boyd’s Butte, and Mt. Cougal National Park (the Cougals) - all part of Australia’s Green Cauldron.
Captain Cook Memorial Point Danger, Boundary Street, Coolangatta.
This Memorial is one of the most visited sights on coastal Queensland. It is Queensland mainland’s most easterly point and delineates the border with New South Wales. Its plaques recognize the history of the visit of Captain James Cook on his discovery voyage to the East Coast of Queensland; commemorate the loss of Australian merchant and hospital shipping and members of their crews in the Coral Sea in the Second World War at the adjacent Centaur Memorial and Remembrance Walk; and have an explanatory display of the Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypassing Project, a significant, oceanic, hydrological-engineering project which pumps life-blood sand under the Tweed River to the magnificent southern Gold Coast beaches.
- Views to the south east, Tweed River entrance to the Pacific Ocean and D’Bah Surf Beach and back to Cook Island and Fingal Lighthouse; and
- To the north over Snapper Rocks, home of the Quiksilver and Roxy Pros, Rainbow Bay and all the way up to Surfers Paradise and South Stradbroke Island.
Currumbin Hill Lookout
Pacific Parade, Currumbin - stairs lead from park opposite Currumbin Alley:
- Views to the south, over Currumbin Beach and all the way to Coolangatta and Snapper Rocks; and
- To the north, over Currumbin Alley and the entire length of the Gold Coast up to Surfers Paradise and South Stradbroke Island.
Currumbin Rock and Currumbin Alley, Pacific Parade, Currumbin Beach:
At the entrance to this precinct, a large plaque records that The Currumbin Rock is a National Environmental Sanctuary dedicated for the purpose of the study of geology and marine biology by school children and other interested students:
- Views to the West, along the beautiful Currumbin Creek estuary and wetlands and up into the Currumbin Valley and the McPherson Ranges;
- To the north, the entire length of the coast incorporating Palm Beach,
Tallebudgera, Burleigh Heads, Surfers Paradise and South Stradbroke Island;
- To the south, Elephant Rock and down to Kirra and Coolangatta.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Tomewin Street, Currumbin
- Forest Walk, incorporating Observation Deck with views over the Sanctuary and Currumbin and Tugun Beaches (3km round trip). This walk is accessed as part of admission fee to the Sanctuary.
Elephant Rock, on the beach- adjacent to the Currumbin Vikings Surf Lifesaving Club, Pacific Parade, Currumbin Beach:
- Views to the south all the way to Coolangatta, Rainbow Bay and Snapper Rocks;
To the north, Currumbin Rock, Burleigh Heads, Surfers Paradise and South Stradbroke Island;
To the West, back over the beautiful villages of Currumbin and Tugun.
Greenmount Hill, Hill Street, Greenmount Beach:
- Views to the east, Rainbow Bay and Snapper Rocks surf beaches;
- To the north, the surf beaches of Greenmount, Coolangatta, Kirra and all the way up the coast to Surfers Paradise and South Stradbroke Island;
- To the west, glimpses of the McPherson Range incorporating Springbrook National Park, Currumbin Valley and Mt Tallebudgera, all part of Australia’s Green Cauldron.
Kirra Hill, Garrick Street, Kirra Point:
to the east, back over the best surf beaches and point breaks in Australia-
Coolangatta, Greenmount, Snapper Rocks;
- To the south, over Coolangatta precinct and into the Tweed;
- To the north, over Kirra Point and up the Golden Four Beaches of Kirra, Bilinga,
Tugun and Currumbin; and beyond right up the entire length of the Gold Coast including Surfers Paradise and Stradbroke Island; and
- To the west into Australia’s Green Cauldron, incorporating the McPherson Range,
The Cougals, Currumbin Valley and Springbrook National Park, Mount
Tallebudgera, and the western Gold Coast hinterland, including Mt Tamborine
Highlands Estate, Warri Way, Eco Village, Currumbin Valley:
- Views to the north across the beautiful Currumbin Valley and into Tallebudgera Valley and on to Surfers Paradise;
- To the west, down the Currumbin Valley to Mount Tallebudgera and the Cougals, all part of Australia’s Green Cauldron; and
- To the east, down Currumbin Valley and to Currumbin Alley at the Pacific Ocean.
(foreshore, paved thoroughfare) incorporating Point Danger, Snapper Rocks,
Rainbow Bay, Greenmount, Coolangatta, Kirra Point, Kirra, Bilinga, Tugun,
Currumbin, Currumbin Alley and Currumbin Creek estuary (18km round trip- but
can be shortened to suit);
Razorback Outlook Razorback Rd
2.5 km from Main Street of Coolangatta. You will arrive at the Tom Beatson Outlook.
- Views to the north east, over the Tweed River, Point Danger, Coolangatta and Pacific Ocean;
- the west, over Gold Coast Airport, and into Australia’s Green Cauldron, incorporating Mount Warning, The Cougals, Currumbin Valley, Springbrook National Park, Mount Tallebudgera, and western Gold Coast hinterland; and
- the south-east, Tweed River estuary, trawler fleet; marina, Cook Island, Fingal and Kingscliff
The Cougal Cascades Walk, Currumbin Valley.
- Located in the Mount Cougal Section of Springbrook National Park, which is World Heritage Listed Sub-Tropical Rainforest (part of Eastern Australia's Gondwana subtropical rainforests) and part of Australia's Green Cauldron:
- The Walk incorporates viewing platforms which are signposted with explanation boards of indigenous and European history, and flora and fauna (3 km round trip).
Thrower Bridge to Kropp Park Walk
(Currumbin to Flat Rock Creek, Tugun) 7km roundtrip. This
incorporates Currumbin Creek walkway, Winders Park, Currumbin Rock, Pacific Parade
walkway, Elephant Rock and the Kropp Park Reserve. From Currumbin Rock to Kropp
Park can be walked on the beach as an option.
Beach fishing is a popular pastime along the length of the Southern Gold Coast coastline, especially in the deep gutters that form along Bilinga and Kirra. Good catches of whiting and flathead are common, as well as Tailor during the winter months. The best time to fish is during the last of the run out tide and during the first few hours of the run in tide.
Currumbin Estuary is a great spot to try your luck with a line. There are two fishing platforms located along a boardwalk that winds its way across mangrove flats near Palm Beach Currumbin High School. The boardwalk connects the Thrower Drive boat ramp car park to the Gold Coast Highway Underpass on the northern banks of Currumbin Creek. Each fishing platform has a shade cover and seat. You will find them about 1km upstream of the tidal entrance of Currumbin Creek.
The Southern Gold Coast is where you will find some of the world’s most iconic surf beaches and breaks – including Currumbin, Kirra and Snapper Rocks. With clean, golden sand, easy beach access and perfect water temperatures year round, it’s the ideal destination for anyone who loves to surf.
Currumbin offers the best of both worlds. The rolling surf of Currumbin Alley is perfect for beginners and learners; and on the other side of Currumbin Rock, Currumbin beachfront offers a consistent wave for more advanced surfers. Currumbin was recently named Australia’s Cleanest Beach, and is perfect for beach walks, with a patrolled area for swimming in the clear blue waters.
Tugun and Bilinga offer long, wide stretches of sandy beach; perfect for a swim, run or stroll. Surfers can take their pick of the many banks along this straight section of beachfront.
Kirra is the spiritual home of surfing on the Gold Coast, and if the surf’s pumping, Kirra is the place to be. The local surfing spot of greats including Wayne 'Rabbit' Bartholomew and Mark 'Occy' Occhilupo, Kirra has a reputation for producing challenging barrels, and also smaller waves for beginners.
Greenmount Beach at the southern end of Coolangatta is a calm beach area, relatively protected by a headland to the south so it’s perfect for families with young children or those who prefer calmer swimming conditions. Greenmount is regularly frequented by dolphins, who can often be seen frolicking in the waters off the headland.
Rainbow Bay and Snapper Rocks are world renowned surfing spots. Snapper Rocks, the Gold Coast’s Super Bank, is the home of the first event on the ASP World Tour calendar – the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro. The world’s best surfers converge on the Southern Gold Coast to surf Snapper every March, however, this consistent wave offers spectacular surf all year round – and the crowds that go with it.
Froggies is a well-known body boarding wave and a local favourite for its rocky, secluded beach. More than twenty years ago, one of the ‘frog shaped’ rocks became a landmark when someone painted it green. You’ll find Froggies by following the path south from Snapper Rocks.
Point Danger marks the border between Queensland and New South Wales and is a vantage point for one of the region’s most famous surf breaks – Duranbah or D’bah for short. This steep rocky headland with spectacular views was named by Captain Cook in 1770 and is a great spot for whale watching from July to November. You’ll often spot the pros out surfing this famous break when the swell picks up.
Remember, all beaches can be dangerous and unpredictable, so if you are swimming, stay between the flags to ensure you and your family’s safety.
The Currumbin Valley hinterland is a wonderland filled with amazing spots to stretch out, take a dip or just sit peacefully watching the cool creek waters carve their path from the world heritage listed Mt Cougal section of the Springbrook National Park all the way to the Currumbin Alley estuary.
Continue all the way along Currumbin Creek Road for some fantastic bushwalking trails – not to mention the spectacular drive which is an experience in itself.
Whether you enjoy a quiet Sunday afternoon bike ride along the beachfront or the challenge of a mountain, the Southern Gold Coast has a bike trail for every level of fitness. Try the wide and leisurely Oceanway path for an easy bike ride along the beach that starts at Point Danger and continues all the way to Bilinga. Complete some, or all of the continuous bike trails that stretch over 18kms as a round trip (this can be shortened to suit your liking) on relatively flat ground, you may want to make a day of it and plan some rest breaks at either Coolangatta or Kirra for a bite to eat or a drink to refresh before you continue on your way.
For those looking for a mountain trail or off-road track to really test your limits, try out Tomewin Mountain Road in Currumbin Valley. There are also off road trails that run along the border ranges, though be warned, these trails are not for the novice or beginner. You will need a high level of fitness and endurance to conquer these challenges!
With an abundance of spacious parklands, foreshores, creek banks and hinterland areas, packing a picnic is a great way to enjoy the Southern Gold Coast, that’s also friendly on the budget.
View picnic spots on map
Arthur Freeman Lookout - Tomewin Mountain Rd
Perched on top of Mount Tomewin, this little lookout is a perfectly romantic escape. Stop along the way to enjoy cheese and crackers as you take a scenic drive with special someone. There are no facilities, just great views, so make sure you have a blanket and goodies to nibble on.
Coolangatta Foreshore Queen Elizabeth II Park - Marine Parade
Right in the centre of Coolangatta, with a newly refurbished foreshore area. Plenty of play areas for the kids, BBQs and toilets, and very conveniently right across the road from Coolangatta's main dining precinct. Bring your own banquet or get some take away from the many food retailers. Either way this is a great place to enjoy the beautiful Southern Gold Coast weather, right next to the Coolangatta SLC and patrolled beach.
A great little park with all the amenities including BBQs, toilets, play area and lots of space to run around. This park is located right next to the Gold Coast Highway so there is a bit of noise, though this is a great spot if you are looking to spread out away from crowds.
Currumbin Creek Rd - Veterans of South East Asian Wars Park
Yet another idyllic location for the family to gather. Between the RSL and the tennis courts on Currumbin Creek Rd, this park has all the amenities you need for a whole fun-filled day. BBQs, play areas for the kids, shaded tables and toilets - all within a stone's throw of Currumbin Creek.
Currumbin Rock Pools - Currumbin Creek Rd
The Currumbin Valley Rock Pools have long been a favourite family picnic spot. The facilities there are perfect for an all-day outing, complete with a toilet block, shaded areas, tables and BBQs and of course, the cool fresh waters of the rock pools. Kids, big and small can explore the creek and have a play on the rock slides. Whether you are looking for a couples outing, to entertain the whole family or just have a bit of time out, this is our number one pick.
Goodwin Park - Lanham St
Behind the main CBD of Coolangatta is a nice little park with shade, tables, play areas, BBQ and toilets. If you are looking for a quieter spot away from the crowds, this could be the spot for you.
Kirra Hill Lookout RT Peak Memorial Park - Garrick St
This is a spot you will have to get to early to lay your claim for a BBQ and tables under the shelter. Perched high atop Kirra Hill, this picnic spot has some of the most incredible vistas on the entire Gold Coast. On a clear day you can see the coastline from Main Beach in the north to Snapper Rocks in the south. There's space for the kids to run around on the grassy hill that slopes down towards the heart of Coolangatta. It doesn�t get much better. But remember, get there early or be prepared to wait a while as this is a favourite spot for locals and visitors alike!
Kropp Park/Len Wort Park/Alex Griffiths Park - Teemangum St
With three different park areas this little precinct has got it all. Direct beach access at Kropp Park/Len Wort Park, and then a quick trot across the road to Alex Griffith Park for a lovely tree lined area with lots of shade. The parks have BBQs, toilets, play areas, tables and of course lots of space to enjoy a picnic basket.
Long Tan Park - Cnr Bains Rd and Currumbin Creek Rd
Drive across the old one lane bridge that spans Currumbin Creek to find this out of the way little park, that has a few tables and lots of charm. While there are no toilets or BBQs here, it is still a lovely place to spend time by the creek. From the shallows you can wander a little further downstream and find deep swimming holes with sandy bottoms and you may find a few rope swings about the place to add a little excitement. Native birds and wildlife are an added attraction.
Just near the Currumbin RSL, you can find an amazing park area that sits on the banks of the Currumbin Creek. It has shaded areas, BBQ's and toilets with a good size car parking area. The park is spacious with plenty of room for the family to run about, play a game of cricket or kick the footy around. Being on the bank of the creek means you can take a dip and cool off after all that activity then throw a few snags on the BBQ. You can also launch your kayak, standup paddle board, or throw in a line to make the most of the creekside location.
Mt Cougal National Park
This is a fantastic spot for a hike and a swim in the refreshing waters between cascades and waterfalls. Learn about local fauna and the historic Saw Mill which is a short walk past the cascades, known to locals as the Rockslide. Viewing platforms display additional information about the area and its inhabitants. They do have tables under the canopy in the car park area, so pack the picnic basket, grab a few friends or the family and enjoy the scenic drive that takes you to the Springbrook National Park, Mt Cougal Section. This is a part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, so enjoy the cool rainforest air and be sure to leave no trace of your visit.
Right next to the Tugun SLSC patrolled beach is a sprawling patch of park with all the amenities you could ask for!. Shaded play areas, park benches, toilets, tables and BBQs, a large car park, plus the ocean just a hop step and a jump away.
Pacific Parade Bilinga to Musgrave St Kirra
This 1km stretch of foreshore is lined with shady trees and dotted with BBQs, play areas and tables. The Bilinga to Kirra stretch of the Oceanway is a great place to picnic with the family or a group of friends. Plus once again you have a wide stretch of white soft sandy beaches leading to the water. No matter how many people are around, you'll be sure to find a patch of ground to spread the blanket out.
Pat Fagan Park and Foreshore area
Rainbow Bay is a favourite among Southern Gold Coast holiday makers. With Rainbow Bay beach being such a popular family holiday spot, it's no wonder that this picnic area always has lots of people making good use of the BBQs, play areas, shaded tables and of course the beach!
An elevated headland with rolling grassed areas, BBQs and regular amenities. This fantastic spot is the most eastern point on the coast of Queensland, with a steep rocky headland that has spectacular views and marks the Queensland/New South Wales border. It is also the site of a historical landmark, the Captain Cook Memorial Lighthouse, which was the first lighthouse in the world to experiment with laser technology in the 70s.
Ridge Top Park - Currumbin Creek Rd
Nestled deep in the valley, this little treasure of a park has just one table and a baby chair rope swing. This is a good place to stop and stretch your legs and let the kids run free for a while before continuing on to the Springbrook National Park Mt Cougal Section. The park sits right below the majestic escarpments of Mt Tallebudgera and has lots of lovely shade trees.
Robert Neumann Park - Currumbin Creek Rd
Enjoy a day at what locals lovingly refer to as The Duck Pond. This park is a popular spot for the local geese and duck population, who visit the park area daily. The park has all the amenities you need for a great day, including BBQ's, kids play area, toilets and gazebo's to sit under. You can even throw a line in the water and see what you can catch!
The Alley - Duringan St
This is a fantastic place for the family to spend the day. With the famous Currumbin Alley surf break across the road, a lookout behind the park area plus play areas, BBQs, toilets and tables, you can't get a much better spot on the whole of the Gold Coast to enjoy a picnic! All with great views, ocean breezes and plenty of walking and bike paths to keep everyone active.
Winders Park - Duringan St
Moving further along Currumbin Creek Rd towards the estuary mouth, Winders Park sprawls for 500m along the creek with various shaded play areas, pelican sculptures, BBQs, toilets and tables. Stand up paddling, kayaking & fishing are popular activities. This park has plenty of room for large groups and families with plenty of car parking and boat ramps to launch from. It's one of the most popular picnic spots on the Southern Gold Coast
Free Events & Festivals
The Southern Gold Coast is alive with events and festivals all year round. From cultural and arts events, to sporting carnivals, nostalgia and celebrations of our way of life, our region is the perfect location to enjoy these events without breaking the bank.
Stay a few days, enjoy the events and discover all the other great things you can do whilst visiting the region.
Click here to view our Events Calendar and find out what’s on around the Southern Gold Coast.