Coolangatta is the gateway to the Gold Coast and many of Australia's biggest attractions and experiences. A little forward planning can go a long way when choosing the ideal activities to match your interests and finding out what's on
during your visit, so you make the most of every day in Australia's entertainment capital. 1. Mount Tamborine
One of Queensland's natural wonders, there are plenty of options for visiting Mount Tamborine from Coolangatta, whether you prefer to head there yourself or sign up for a guided tour. Joining a tour group is the best way to make sure you don't miss any of the region's highlights – whether you're drawn to the magnificent waterfalls or glow worm caves, you're eager to take on the dizzying Rainforest Skywalk or you prefer to take your time time exploring local flavours along the way with stops at award-winning wineries and restaurants. 2. Australia Zoo
World-famous as the home and lifelong passion of the late Steve Irwin the Crocodile Hunter, Australia Zoo is the country's number one wildlife attraction and is easily reached from Coolangatta by boarding the air-conditioned Croc Express. During your six-hour guided tour of the zoo, you'll have the chance to see Australia's most amazing animals up close, have your photo taken with a koala, feed a crocodile and watch talented crocs, tigers, elephants, snakes and free-flying birds showing off their stuff in daily shows. 3. Whale Watching Cruise
If you haven't had enough nature yet, the Gold Coast also offers the best vantage points in the country for spotting majestic humpback whales as they pass by on their annual migrations. You might even spot whales off shore in Coolangatta if you're lucky, but for guaranteed sightings, nothing beats getting up close on a whale watching cruise. These three-hour cruises run every day between June and November, aboard purpose-built boats that offer 360-degree panoramic views with a lively commentary from your expert guide. 4. Byron Bay
Heading further north on the way to Surfers Paradise, Byron Bay is renowned for its chilled-out atmosphere, which you can absorb even on a short trip. No visit to Byron is complete without hiking up to the Cape to see its iconic lighthouse and stand at the most easterly point of the Australian mainland, and you'll have time to spend on the beach, browsing the endless art galleries or visiting the Crystal Castle before heading back. 5. Great Barrier Reef Day Trip
If you haven't seen the Great Barrier Reef yet during your time in Queensland, don't miss the chance to combine sightseeing with world-class snorkelling and diving on a day cruise to Lady Elliot. These guided tours are suitable for all ages and depart every day from Coolangatta, offering plenty of opportunities to get up close to tropical fish, turtles, rays, dolphins and other colourful marine creatures at one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
Whatever time of year you're visiting Coolangatta and the Gold Coast, follow our blog
for more ideas to make sure you're getting the most out of your trip.