Southern Gold Coast Hidden Gems

April 17 2023

Kollosche southern beaches strategic advisor Troy Dowker shares his ‘hidden gems’ found within six of the city’s most popular beachside suburbs.
Southern Gold Coast Hidden Gems


Set between Tweed’s rivermouth and Point Danger’s rocky headland, you’ll find the picturesque Duranbah Beach or, as the locals like to call it, ‘Dee-bah’.

Serving up some of the most breathtaking views of the coast, large surf breaks put Dee-bah on the hit list among surfers the world over and forms the backdrop to iconic surfing events like the Quicksilver Pro.

At nearby Rainbow Bay you can enjoy the Coolangatta ocean walk. From Snapper Rocks – another world-famous surf break – through to Greenmount Point, this ocean pathway offers some of the best coastal views.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head to Siblings restaurant right on Kirrra Point where the ocean provides a stunning backdrop. There’s plenty on the menu, but my tip is their prawn and bug meat risotto or the surf and turf, which locals tout as the best on the coast.


This underrated and relaxed seaside suburb is nestled between Tugan and Kirra. Bilinga’s long stretch of pristine, white sandy beach is often overlooked, making it the perfect place to escape the crowds.

This flat stretch forms part of the ‘Golden Four’ beach walk, from Kirra Point through to Bilinga and Tugun beaches to Currumbin Rock, and is great for both walkers and cyclists.

Bilinga’s small Surf Lifesaving Club is a favourite among locals for its welcoming and inclusive ethos where nippers can nurture their surf skills.

One of the best things about Bilinga is its true north-facing aspect to the ocean.


This sleepy beachside suburb has evolved into a booming holiday hotspot and foodie haven.

The Fox’s Pantry is a little-known, family-run gourmet grocer, health food shop, essentials store and wholesome cafe all in one. Best of all, it’s open 24/7.

Tugun Fruit and Flowers serves up unbeatable smoothies, acai bowls, and my personal favourite, the Mango Matcha Smoothie, which is made from fresh, local mango and macadamias.

Flat Rock beach is arguably one of the best southern coastal strips. The calmer waters of the creek inlet – which divides Currumbin and Tugun – is perfect for families and paddle boarders.


The coastal nook of Currumbin offers a mix of pristine beaches and calm waterways.

This aquatic playground has something for everyone – be it a day spent with the family enjoying the calm, crystal-clear waters of the estuaries or heading out to surf a headland break.

After checking out the beaches, head to the Salt Mill. This hole-in-the-wall coffee shop on Pacific Parade, is well-known for its acai bowls and coffee.

Currumbin Rock Pools are a secret swimming hole mainly known only to locals, this hidden gem is perfect for a day spent swimming and exploring.

Beside the iconic Elephant Rock sits the entrance to Currumbin Alley. Far from a secret spot, this protected and patrolled beach is perfect for any type of water sport, especially beginner surfers, given it’s protected from onshore winds.

Palm Beach

The once sleepy seaside village of Palm Beach or ‘Palmy’ as locals call it, has evolved into a bustling suburb full of new eateries, natural beauty and a relaxed lifestyle.

If you’re looking to wind down, Maestro Massage & Recovery located on Fifth Avenue Palm Beach is my recommendation.

If you’re feeling hungry, join the queue snaking back from Custard Canteen at Tallebudgera Creek, where locals know the delicious pastries, coffee and all day brunch are definitely worth the wait.

The calm water and shady banks of Tallebudgera Creek is a favourite place for swimmers and families. This waterway is unquestionably the most pristine on the Gold Coast and will replenish the soul.

Burleigh Heads

Picturesque Burleigh Heads is home to one of the best-known beaches on the Gold Coast.

Locals and visitors alike flock here for world-class point break surfing and nature walks. One of the most scenic is the headland rainforest circuit. If you’re fit enough, run through the lush rainforest to reach viewing spots that offer up amazing ocean views.

Head to Rick Shores for a five-star modern Asian-infused dining experience right on the sand underneath the vibrant social venue, Burleigh Pavilion. Focusing on fresh, locally-sourced produce designed to share, this is one of the Gold Coast’s best restaurants thanks to its unbelievable setting.

For a more low-key meal, Red Hot Cod is a must-try. This premium fish and chip shop serves up a range of seafood delicacies, including delicious poke bowls.

Learn more about Troy and his team here.

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