Coolangatta has long been one of the Gold Coast's favourite surf destinations, but it was the development of the two-kilometre Superbank in the 1990s that turned its beaches into international superstars. Today, it's not uncommon to see as many as 500 surfers at a time taking on one of the longest waves in the world.
If you're visiting Coolangatta, here are five surf beaches you shouldn't miss. 1. Snapper Rocks
This rocky outcrop at Point Danger was more popular for fishing than surfing until the Superbank changed everything. As the starting point of the two-kilometre sand bank, the world's top surfers can often be seen hitting its swells, and those who fancy a challenge can try to ride the wave all the way from Snapper Rocks to Kirra. 2. Greenmount Point
Sheltered from the south-eastern winds, Greenmount is a great place for newbies to learn to surf, as long as you avoid the rips. The beach used to be best suited to long boarding prior to the Superbank, but today it offers greater variety with a mix of groundswells and windswells, especially if you're visiting in the southern hemisphere autumn and winter when surf conditions are ideal.
Greenmount is one of the most accessible beaches in Coolangatta, forming the eastern end of Coolangatta Beach and directly opposite the shops, restaurants and entertainments
of Marine Parade. 3. Kirra
The long-time favourite, Kirra's dominance in the surfing scene was challenged by the development of the Superbank that reduced the quality of its waves, until a $1.5 million restoration by the Queensland Government rejuvenated its legendary break and its reputation.
Kirra is highly regarded in the international surfing community, considered to have the best sand-breaking righthand point anywhere in the world, and can be relied on to draw hundreds of local and visiting surfers when conditions are right. 4. D-Bah
Duranbah, or D-Bah to regulars, offers some of the most consistent surf in Coolangatta thanks to its position close to the mouth of the Tweed River. While surfing can be enjoyed all year round, conditions are best in the autumn and winter.
The water may be warm and inviting, but with its strong rips and the risk of sharks, D-Bah is best left for the experts. It's also the perfect training ground for budding surf competitors – the home break of former world champions Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson. 5. Currumbin Alley
If the Superbank is looking flat, head to Currumbin Alley for world-class longboarding all year round, but especially between January and June.
This right-hand point break is welcoming to beginners and seasoned pros alike, with easier waves towards the creek and more challenging right-handers closer to the point rocks. If you'd prefer to avoid the crowds though, heading a little further along the Alley will take you to quieter Palm Beach where you can still enjoy quality surfing.
Whatever time of year you're heading to the Gold Coast, check out what's on in Coolangatta
to catch some of the world's premier surfing competitions and other events.