The Insider's Guide to the Best Swimming Spots Near Coolangatta
Tweed Regional Aquatic Centres, Tweed Heads South
Tweed Regional Aquatic Centres have three complexes and its Tweed Heads South centre is just a stone's throw away from Coolangatta. The facility has a large heated pool and a smaller indoor teaching pool, making it perfect for the cooler months. Facilities and amenities include kiosk-style refreshments, disabled change room, hot showers (small fee applies), and timed parking.
You can take swimming lessons and aqua aerobics classes. Tweed Heads South caters to both the young and elderly. Younger visitors can join the swim squads while older swimmers will enjoy the low-impact fitness classes like Aqua Fit. The Tweed Heads South is located on Heffron Street.
Billabong Swim School, Tweed Heads
A family-run swim school, Billabong Swim School offers swimming lessons for kids and features heated pools and training pools. Its programs cater to kids of all ages, from Water Confidence for babies and Learn to Swim for preschoolers and school-aged kids to Stroke Correction for older kids. Billabong Swim School prides itself on testing its water daily to protect its quality and gentleness for kids. Class sizes are kept small to retain the quality of instruction, and bookings are essential. Billabong Swim School has two locations: Tweed Heads and Casuarina. Its Tweed Heads site is located at 1/63 Ourimbah Road, Tweed Heads 2485.
Currumbin Creek Estuary
A short drive away from Coolangatta is Currumbin, home to the Currumbin Creek Estuary, a popular spot with locals, especially its rock pools. Offering sheltered and shaded areas as well as calm waters perfect for kids, the estuary is a great spot for paddle boarding, kayaking, or bodyboarding as well as swimming. Kids will love playing in the sand, and you can bring a picnic or use the barbeque facilities.
Although the creek is tidal, the water is calm as long as you stay close to the shore. The south side of the creek has toilets, running water, and a playground. If you get tired of swimming, keep in mind the estuary has a fantastic boardwalk winding along the creek, so you might want to make some time for a scenic walk.
This striking stretch of beach is home to the famous "alley," a popular spot with surfers looking for the perfect wave. Other than swimming, Currumbin Beach, with its calm waters, is excellent for water sports, including stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking. Facilities are well appointed, including a barbeque area on Pacific Parade, public toilets, and disabled access. Don't miss the lookout points, which include Elephant Rock Lookout just behind the Vikings Surf Life Saving Club and the lookout behind the Pacific Parade barbeque area.
Located between Tallebudgera Creek and Currumbin Creek, Palm Beach has been named Queensland's cleanest beach multiple times. Boasting a spectacular sandy stretch of water, the area offers ample parking and a variety of delicious dining options. Other than swimming and water sports, you can explore the Palm Beach Parklands, which features a pirate-ship-themed playground, barbeque facilities, and walking and cycling pathways.
One of the best-loved blue-water estuaries on the Gold Coast, Tallebudgera Creek's flat, calm waters are ideal for kids, beginner swimmers, and anyone seeking to avoid big waves. Paddle-boarding and kayaking are popular here. Patrolled by lifeguards, Tallebudgera Creek also has a great barbeque area, free parking, and public toilets. Somewhat less accessible thanks to its location next to a forested national park, Tallebudgera is a quieter gem to consider for your next water outing on the Gold Coast.
Araluen Swimming Hole
For another freshwater-swimming destination, look no further than the Araluen Swimming Hole, one of the Gold Coast's hidden gems. With rope swings and grassy areas, Araluen could make for a fun-filled day for kids and adults alike. Araluen Swimming Hole is located close to the corner of Araluen Road and Tallebudgera Creek Road in the Tallebudgera Valley at the foothills of Springbrook National Park, and it's just a short drive from Coolangatta.
Coolangatta Beach and its surrounding attractions like Rainbow Bay, Greenmount Beach, and Snapper Rocks are sometimes considered as a single destination to explore. Together they make up an incredible spot to pass a lazy weekend or an active day on the water. Snapper Rocks and its waves are popular with surfers, while Greenmount Beach and Greenmount Point offer shallower, calmer waters for beginners.
Don't miss Froggies Beach, a tiny wedge of sand between Snapper Rockers and Point Danger. This hidden spot is sheltered from the elements by the rocky headlands and dotted with gorgeous Casuarinas and Pandanus palms. Though it's scenic, the waters can sometimes be turbulent, but there's a small rock pool to the north where you can cool down as well.
Rainbow Bay is a small but popular swimming beach thanks to its low waves. After you've taken a dip in the water, you might want to opt for a scenic walk from the Point Danger viewpoint, around Greenmount, and through the Coolangatta esplanade, up through Kirra. Coolangatta Beach has surf clubs at each end and plenty of cafes and eateries to keep you replenished after your swim.
Coolangatta and its surrounding areas are a haven for keen swimmers and those who love the water. Whether it's freshwater or the ocean you're seeking, you'll have plenty of options with these spots.
If swimming isn’t your thing, or you need to just relax after a big day of swimming, check out The Strand Coolangatta for a range of shopping, dining and entertainment options.