Coolangatta Escape | Our Top Picks For A Weekend Roadtrip

By Desta Cullen
13th Dec 2013

The weather is seriously heating up and Christmas is just around the corner, which can mean only one thing: it's summer road trip time again!  

Last month we hopped in our snazzy Alfa Romeo Giulietta and hit the road in the name of research, bringing you the best of the best of Noosa. And now we're at it again! This time we're hitting the Gold Coast to uncover the best things to eat, see and do in Coolangatta, and put together the ultimate coastal itinerary for you, so you can ride along with us. 

Because every good road trip needs wheels, our super car dealer friends over at Leo Muller have given us their spunky Jeep Grand Cherokee to explore the shimmering Gold Coast in serious style, with heaps of added swagger, of course.

They'll also be shouting one lucky Urban Lister to a weekend getaway valued at $1200, to eat, drink, shop and roll their way through our epic itin'. Yep, that's right. Not only will you have a snazzy Jeep all to yourself for the weekend, you'll also be shouted a weekend away! Sounds good, right?

So, get your posse together, cue the bangin' tunes, download the map, open the sunroof, and get the holiday started!



Little Mali Espresso & Deli
Excellent, certified organic, coffee, delicious juices, and some of the best raw and vegan treats on the Gold Coast. A totally virtuous start to the day.
Cnr Ward & Boundary Streets, Rainbow Bay, Queensland 4225 

Barefoot Barista
Kickstart the morning with a hearty breakfast and amazing coffee. If you're after something lighter, try their gluten-free, dairy-free muesli.
Shop 5, Palm Beach Avenue, Palm Beach, Queensland 4221

Elk Espresso
Great breakfasts, coffee, and they even do High Tea functions in a laidback environment (check out their, uber-cute and quirky vertical garden). Hot tip: they don't take bookings for breakfast, so get in early to nab a table. 
16 Chelsea Avenue, Broadbeach, Queensland 4221

black coffee lyrics
Black coffee is home to one of the best brekky stacks going around. Wash it down with a signature lyrics blend (created with the help of Byron Bay roasters, Green Cauldron), and you are good to go.
Centre Arcade, Surfers Paradise Boulevarde, Surfers Paradise, Queensland 4217

Commune Espresso
Excellent for late breakfasts and coffee. Don't go past the smoked trout, avo' and beetroot relish on seeded toast. Commune comes complete with a ping-pong table (rad). Grab a bottle of their house-dripped cold press coffee for the beach!
1844 Lower Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads QLD 4220


Cafe Fresh Lounge Bar
Fusion Mediterranean, Modern Australian and Japanese (that's quite a mix!), Café Fresh is a must do for the adventurous diner.   
Shop 1-3/78 Musgrave St, Kirra, Queensland 4225

O Sushi
Hello, agedashi tofu and duck yaki udon! Delicious, authentic Japanese with great views for a day out at Coolie.
66-70 Marine Parade, Coolangatta Queensland 4225 

The Little Plate
Nestled neatly—aka, it's a hole-in-the-wall—in Burleigh Head's main strip, the gang at The Little Plate clearly have some serious wanderlust. Share plates from all over the world converge on your table (seriously, their dish inspo comes from any country you can think of!). We tried the Pulled Pork Burrito, and definitely approved. Great selection of beers and ciders on tap too!
Shop 11/3 Deodar Drive, Burleigh Heads, Queensland, 4220

The Fish House
Head to this Burleigh Point spot for a spectacularly long lunch with great seafood and litres of Riesling. No excuse needed!
50 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads, Queensland 4220

Top Noodle
Delicious and authentic ramen, plus great gyoza, with amazing views! What's not to love?
72-80 Marine Parade, Coolangatta, Queensland 4225

Cafe Dbar
Part art café and live music venue, Café Dbar is perfect for long lunches and laidback afternoons. Try the delicious—and locally sourced—steaks and seafood from 11am. [Ed Note: The ginger mojito is a definite winner!]
275 Boundary Street, Coolangatta, Queensland 4225

Because the beach means seafood, you've got to try Bellakai. Great service, lovely fresh seafood and delish tempura prawns for a casual lunch. 
82 Marine Parade, Coolangatta, Queensland 4225

Justin Lane Pizzeria & Bar
Pizza and great drinks in a cool, relaxed space. We seriously recommend the smoked pork belly, pear, and provolone pizza with chives. Heaven after a morning in the surf.
1708-1710 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads, Queensland 4220 

Burger Lounge
Great burgers, bursting with fresh ingredients and a quirky main menu, accompanied by good beer and even better cider. Gluten-free options are served in lettuce cups!
1 Douglas St, Kirra, Queensland 4225

BSKT Café is a super-popular, super-food heaven with its very own yoga studio. Our lunch picks are the eco-harvested salmon aburi (from the smaller menu), and the barbecued Angus sirloin with kumera and ginger puree. Word is, their acai bowls are so popular that they have a whole menu section dedicated to them. #cleaneating
4 Lavarack Road, Mermaid Beach, Queensland 4218


If it's not too windy, grab some cooked prawns and take in the view at Green Mount Beach as the sun goes down. Welcome to summer.

Cambus Wallace
Hello rum o'clock. This funky hot spot is just the place to satisfy your rum cravings with more than 20 varieties hailing from the Caribbean. (No Bundy and coke in sight, friends.) Some delicious nibbles to be had, also! 
Shop 4/2237 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach, Queensland 4218

K-Bar & Meze
Open from brekky (there's a great coffee roasted onsite!) to cocktail hour and beyond. We recommend heading in for afternoon to evening drinks on Sunday. A great bar, Luau-style atmosphere (yes, there's a pig-on-a-spit), and delish cocktails. What more could you want? 
Shop 1/2557 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach, Queensland 4218

Rainbow Bay SLSC
You know it's holidays when long lunches turn into sunset drinks. Rainbow SLSC is in an exception location (it's in a prime spot, right on The Point) to watch the sun set over the ocean, drink in hand.
2 Snapper Rocks Road, Coolangatta, Queensland 4225

Pablo Pablo
Authentic Latin food in the heart of Palmy. All of the tapas are amazing, but we recommend the braised octopus, potato mousse, and pickled carrot with candied walnuts.
Fifth Avenue, Palm Beach, Queensland 4221

black coffee lyrics
Don't be scared off by it's middle-of-the-glitter-strip location, black coffee lyrics is doing great things for breakfast, lunch, dinner (and they've got some yum-bo cocktails to boot). Go for the three-course degustation for $75 at dinner time.
Centre Arcade, Surfers Paradise Boulevarde, Surfers Paradise, Queensland 4217  

bin 12
From the team that brought you Little Truffle in Mermaid Beach, bin 12's perfectly casual atmosphere and boutique wine list is great for long, lazy Sunday sessions.
12 James Street, Burleigh Heads, Queensland 4220

Pigs & Pints
Gourmet sliders and craft beer are a heavenly match at this Chevron Island newbie. Great for a Saturday afternoon snack attack! 
54 Thomas Drive, Surfers Paradise, Queensland 4217

Bread & Butter
Bangin' woodfired pizza and tapas with a kickin' cocktail list, right on the beach! Yes, please?
75 Musgrave Street, Kirra, Queensland 4225

Amazing and hearty Greek food in the middle of Nobby's. It's hard not to fill up on the great selection of mezedes, but we say leave room for the larger plates like the eggplant moussaka.
2235 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach, Queensland 4218

Double T
Great little food stand, serving up super authentic tacos, taquitos, enchiladas and quesadillas, all freshly made. Check their Facebook page for locations.


Head to James Street in Burleigh Heads for some retail therapy at Bikini & Me, Little Birdie, Village Homewares and One Hundred Words.
James Street, Burleigh Heads, Queensland 4225 

Somewhere Boutique
Eclectic little boutique in the heart of Coolangatta. Pick up some beach-babe worthy items, or some cute homewares.

Shop 9, 99 Griffith Street, Coolangatta, Queensland 4225
Stop by Miami Marketta Arts Creative (on the second Saturday of each month) for great finds straight from the artists/makers.
23 Hillcrest Parade, Miami, Queensland 4220

Golosi Food Emporium
Perfect for picking up picnic supplies to stop the grumbles on the road trip.
3/45 James Street, Burleigh Heads, Queensland 4220


Coolangatta is the perfect base for day tripping, so why not put the Grand Cherokee through its paces and drive to one of these spots for some serious adventures:

See Natural Bridge at Springbrook National Park.

Hike up Mt Warning, just over the border in the Byron Hinterland, for great views back to the Gold Coast and Byron Bay.

Explore the quiet townships of Mt Tambourine, stopping at Cedar Creek Falls for a swim and a picnic on the way.  


Walk the headland at Rainbow Bay for beautiful views at sunrise.

Learn to surf at the pros training ground, Greenmount Beach with Walkin' On Water Australia
Marine Parade, Coolangatta, Queensland 4225

Stand Up Paddle boarding at Roar Industries at Currumbin Creek

Play in the Currumbin Rock Pools in Currumbin Valley (10 to 15 minutes drive from the beach).

Surf Snapper Rocks, home of the world famous Rip Curl Pro.

TUL Note: Today's List Love post is proudly sponsored by Leo Muller Group and endorsed by The Urban List. The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is the perfect car for roadtrips; Bursting with clever-car luxuries, the Grand Cherokee is ready for adventures of all kinds. Contact the friendly team at Leo Muller Group today to get your hands on one for a test drive. Our sponsored posts will never be a secret - the List Love seal will be stamped on any sponsored material you see on the site. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible.

**You should be able to see the Roadtrip Playlist below. If it's not showing, simply refresh your browser to enjoy the tunes.

Coolangatta Roadtrip Mixtape

Coolangatta Roadtrip Music by The Urban List on Grooveshark

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