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The Drop Festival

The celebration of music and surfing returns to Coolangatta.

If there is one thing the Gold Coast loves and one thing we definitely don’t have enough of, it is surfing and live music in that order (obviously).

Come to think of it, we love live music too so it is really quite good that The Drop Festival is returning to our golden shores on April 6th with a big old lineup of epic acts.

Last years’ The Drop Festival was a great success, all salty ocean breezes and high vibe dance moves taking over Coolangatta and we’re fairly certain this year will be even better. Let’s discuss.

The Drop Festival follows the Aussie leg of the World Surfing League tour and will stop off at our southern stretch of Queensland after having brought the good vibes to Newcastle and Manly and then moving on its’ merry way to Torquay and Busselton.

For us, of course, the Quiksilver and Roxy Pros will be in full swing, which makes it highly likely you’ll spy a familiar face or two in the crowd.

Angus and Julia Stone

The musical talent rolling up this year are some of the best Aussie musicians of our time (what a phrase) including cruisy crooners Angus and Julia Stone, good time gang The Jungle Giants, electric dance legends Client Liaison, the ever-entertaining Hockey Dad, folk popster Alex the Astronaut and Coolangatta Unearthed winners Ivey.

It’s going to be a real good time Gold Coasters.

Of course, there will be plenty of food options available as well as a bar for all your frosty beverage needs.

The Drop Festival is a local and environmentally sustainable event so there’s no reason in the whole world not to pop your party pants on and get involved.

The combination of a laidback surf lifestyle, big love for the local community and the exceptional talent of our Aussie musos make The Drop Festival one to remember but get in quick, tickets are selling FAST.

See you there for a dance.

LOCATION: Elizabeth Park, Coolangatta
WHEN: April 6th, 2019 – 3pm until 10pm

Words by Kirra Smith

16 reasons locals love Coolangatta

Rooftop of The Pink Hotel, Coolangatta (Image: © 2017 The Undercurrent)
Rooftop of The Pink Hotel, Coolangatta (Image: © 2017 The Undercurrent)

Coolangatta is our southernmost suburb and it’s almost like stepping back in time for a taste of the good old Gold Coast, a little slower and sleepier (the way we like it) but with a sprinkle of some seriously epic eats for good measure – dreamy.

If you’re a fan of chill coastal vibes and pumping surf, where you can soak up the sunshine all-day long and hop from beach to bar as your heart desires then Cooly’s good your name written all over it. The laidback lifestyle is just one of the reasons why locals love this little beachside suburb, but we’ve found another 16 for when you want to go exploring.

Dining at Franc Jrs. (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Dining at Franc Jrs. (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Franc Jr’s
I’ts called the famous pizzeria for a reason, Franc Jr’s have gotten a rep for dishing up the best pizzas on the Gold Coast – maybe even Queensland. Big call, I know but IYKYK. Home of their signature Sicilian square pizza, pop down for takeaway or dine in with a bottle of pinot to wash down your pizza. Our pick is the red strip with a pickled grape salad on the side (sounds weird but trust the process) and a frozen marg if you fancy a tipple.
Where: 2/102 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Pipi's Restaurant, Rainbow Bay (image by Brooke Darling)
Pipi's Restaurant, Rainbow Bay (image by Brooke Darling)

Pipi’s Restaurant
Cooly brought in the big guns with Brisbane hospitality mavens, the Gambaro Group bringing Pipi’s to life and it’s something Southern Gold Coasters have been waiting for. Pipi’s is the newest seaside sensation to call Cooly home and you best believe our tastebuds can’t get enough of it. Nothing to be crabby about with a Mediterranean-inspired menu – Chargrilled Mooloolaba King Prawns and Freemantle Octopus Carpaccio just a couple of the stars of the show. If you’re feeling boujee then treat yourself to a Kaviari Caviar Bump – served with a shot of Belvedere or glass of Tattinger.

Special mention to the cafe-style sequel to this suave new seafood nosher, Awaken Cafe. Situated underneath Pipi’s Awaken thos caffeine-slinging counterpart is giving girl-next-door (but, y’know, downstairs) in the very best way.
Where: Level 1/275 Boundary Street, Coolangatta

Kefi Cafe, Coolangatta (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)
Food at Kefi Cafe, Coolangatta (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)

Kefi
Kefi popped up on the café scene in late 2023 and their suitably summer vibe has been gracing our social channels here, there and everywhere. With coffee and food as delicious as the interiors are gorg it’s the kind of spot we could just spend all morning long at. With a Mediterranean twist on your classic brekky favourites, fuel up with a feed or pop in for the viral strawberry matcha and take a stroll on the beach because, wholesome.
Where: Corner of Griffith & McDonald Street, 2/110 Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Interior of Cooly Breeze Restaurant and Bar, Coolangatta (image supplied)
Interior of Cooly Breeze Restaurant and Bar, Coolangatta (image supplied)

Cooly Breeze
There’s something about being beach side and on a rooftop that just hits different, throw some fine dining into the mix and that’s our kind of trifecta. Executive chef Marcondes Almeida Neto has combined gastronomy with the flavours of the Medierranean Coast for bold flavours you’ve never tasted before. A feast for your eyes and your tum, the dishes are almost too pretty to eat… almost.
Where: Level 13 of Beachcomber International Resort, 122 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Coolangatta Pie Shop
This iconic Gold Coast pie shop has been around for more than 50 years, so it’s no wonder they’re serving up some of the tastiest pies around. We’re partial to a baked good and fortunately, the Coolangatta Pie Shop have them aplenty – perfect for that post surf carb load.
Where: 50 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Maverick Hair & Art (image supplied)
Maverick Hair & Art (image supplied)

Maverick Hair & Art Studio
If you’ve been looking for a place to tame that mane then say less, because Maverick Hair & Art Studio’s got your back. Or hair, I guess. The award-winning salon and of course, their stylists, know their way around the locks and can we just say – they do one of the best blondes we’ve seen on the GC, and that’s no easy feat. The refined industrial feel is a pretty little paradise to sit back and relax while you’re pampered, which is exactly what you want when you’re investing hours in those tresses – t’s the crown you never take off, after all. No bad hair days here
Where: First Floor, 1/17 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Bar Evelyn
This place has been a hotspot for locals and visitors ever since it popped up on Marine Parade a couple of years ago. Cooly’s home of antipasto and pasta, you best believe we want a pizza that. Our picks? If you’re a seafood lover like us then the bug bucatini and pickled mussels with bottarga mayo, cucumber and dill are a must try. Sweeten the deal with their house-made tiramisu – do as the Italians do, we say – and one of their season sours.
Where: Shop 20/58 Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Clay Cantina (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Clay Cantina (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Clay Cantina
One thing about us is that we are always down for a Mexican moment. Now let’s taco-bout the margs, specifically the Laneway Marg – just trust us when we say their signature agave inspired bev is everything you’ve been looking for in a marg and more. Taste the flavours of all your fave Mexican fare, or if you’d rather a hands on approach to your dining experience, get the crew together for their signature cooking classes where you’ll get up close and personal with their most-loved recipes. Gracias!
Where: 2/16 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Greenmount Beach Surf Club (image supplied)
Greenmount Beach Surf Club (image supplied)

Greenmount Beach Surf Club
With unsurpassed views in a northerly direction, you can take in everything overlooking the spectacular Greenmount Beach right up to the skyline of Surfers Paradise and, on some days, beyond. If the surf’s up, watched the surfers below shred waves or wipe out with an ice cold schooner in hand.
Where: Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Cinebar Licensed Cinema, Coolangatta (image supplied)
Cinebar Licensed Cinema, Coolangatta (image supplied)

Cinebar
Forget that there was a ripper cinema in Cooly? How could you! It’s time you get acquainted with Cinebar, a restaurant-style movie experience where you can get the full dinner, drinks and show vibe without having to lift a finger – or leg for that matter. Because we’re all about efficiency, kick back and catch up on the freshest flicks while you’re wined and dined for the ultimate date night with your special someone or your gal pals.
Where: The Strand at Coolangatta

4 Pines Coolangatta (image supplied)
4 Pines Coolangatta (image supplied)

4 Pines
On the brew-tiful beach front you’ll find one of the vibiest beachside breweries we know, the ultimate for whether you’re escaping the surf or just looking for a spot to kick back with live tunes and a beer in hand. You’ll find all your 4 Pines favourites, like the classic Pacific Ale for a fresh and fruity finish or the Pale Ale for a more crisp and citrusy taste, on tap and calling your name. Well, what are you waiting for – hop to it!
Where: The Strand, 28/72 Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Ottimo Gelato (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Ottimo Gelato (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Ottimo
If you want the inside scoop then here it is – if you want to be served up gelato the Italian way, Ottimo know that sticking to tradition is anything but boring. Having studied at the Gelato University of Carpigiani (yes, that’s a thing), owner Davide let’s his Italian heritage swirl through each delicious morsel whether it’s Ferrero Rocher or passionfruit flavoured. We give it an High Distinction!
Where: 18/52 Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Timezone
Nothing like a bit of healthy competition to get the heart rate up, blitz your bestie with more than 200 classic arcae games to choose from. With full-sized bowling lanes, dodgem cars and laser skirmish there’s something for all ages – including the big kids at heart.
Where: Level 1, 72-80 Marine Parade, The Strand, Coolangatta

The Pink Hotel exterior (Photo by @sydneygirl63)
The Pink Hotel exterior (Photo by @sydneygirl63)

The Pink Hotel
Not a Cooly local? No problem, because one of our most aesthetic hotels just happens to call Coolangatta home! It’s impossible to miss the iconic pink glow of the Palm Springs inspired Pink Hotel, if it weren’t for the fact that you can spot the GC’s glorious skyline from it, we’d forgive you for thinking you were in the California desert. Originally a motel, the legends behind The Pink Hotel lovingly restored it to its current glory so now we gorg destination for the ultimate staycation – love that for us.
Where: 171 Griffith St, Coolangatta

Eddie's Grub House (Image: © 2017 Inside Gold Coast)
Eddie's Grub House (Image: © 2017 Inside Gold Coast)

Eddie’s Grub House
Rock ‘n roll meets fried chicken, burgers and whiskey: does it get any better than that? Get a mouthful of naughty but nice American classics in this soul food dive bar. They regularly have live music and karaoke nights if you’re feeling brave, it’s long been a Cooly institution for good grub and good vibes – for good reason!
Where: 171 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Cooly Rocks On (image supplied)
Cooly Rocks On (image supplied)

Cooly Rocks On
It’s got to be one of the most colourful creations that Cooly has brought us, each and every year we love seeing Cooly transform into the home of motors and music with a dedicated festival to celebrate the lifestyle of yesteryear. Think Hot Rods, Elvis Tribute Artists, Swing Dancing, Pin Up Pageants and so much more,
Where: Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Words by Jacqueline Bojanowski.

8 things to do around the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro

It’s always a good time when hundreds of (often quite good looking) surfers descend on one area for several days in a row.

It’s even better when that one place is a local Gold Coast beach surrounded by lots of places to eat delicious food and other delightful things to look at.

Because it’s almost that time of year again (brb buying all the bikinis) we’ve compiled a list of eight things to do on a trip to our southern most suburbs.

Pull up some sand
Yep, so number one is quite obviously heading down to watch the main event which runs from April 3rd to 13th (pending conditions). The guys and gals will battle it out in the sparkly sea (is 34 too old to become a pro surfer, asking for a friend?) for top honours and we are pretty pumped. Go Aussies.
Where: Snapper Rocks

Sip a brew
Just around the corner from all the action is local, grab-and-go coffee joint Little Mali. They’ve got all your coffee needs covered for a big day on the beach plus raw and vegan treats, cold pressed juices and some brekky goodies if you’re up and about early (which you’ll need to be because surfing is an early morning sport y’all).
Where: Corner Ward and Boundary Street, Coolangatta

Angus and Julia Stone

Dance, dance, dance
In the happiest of news, a boutique music festival is cruising around with the World Surf League Championship Tour this year and since the Coast is the home of the Quiky and Roxy Pros, we get to join in the dance party. The Drop Festival will feature Angus + Julia Stone, Jungle Giants, Client Liaison, Hockey Dad and Alex the Astronaut and it’s gonna be a real good time. Almost as exciting as the surfing itself if you ask us.
Where: Elizabeth Park, Coolangatta

Get cultured
If you need a break from the beach, pop into Maverick Hair and Art Space in Coolangatta. It’s a contemporary gallery dedicated to emerging local artists. While the event is on, Local Kirra artist, Bindi Hokins is debuting her first Solo Exhibition #SlowMovingWoman and it’s really quite a treat for your eyeballs. May as well get yourself a haircut while you’re at it.
Where: 1/17 Griffith St, Coolangatta

Eat a pie
There needs to be no reason for eating numerous pies from The Coolangatta Pie Shop particularly at 3am after an all night sweat session at Rattles (tales for another time friends). Anyway. Pies from TCPS are some of the best there are and after a day of sunshine and salt water, you’ll be stinging for some pastry. There’s delicious desserts too so don’t miss that boat.
Where: 50 Griffith St, Coolangatta

Drink a beer (or three)
We were always going to get here because beers on balmy Gold Coast afternoons are life. While there are many spots to get involved in one or three beverages, today we’re going to talk about the Kirra Surf Club because Kirra is the name of things that are great and there are uninterrupted ocean views there. Food too but, beers. ALSO. Resn Byron are presenting a night called ‘Cooly under resin’ showcasing epic imagery of Snapper Rocks by some of Australia’s most amazing photographers. It’s on for one night only – Friday April 12th from 6pm to 10pm. Don’t miss that one.
Where: 15 Marine Pde, Kirra

Kirra Hill Lookout

Take a stroll
If all those fit, good-looking people are getting on your nerves, take yourself for a walk up to Kirra Hill Lookout and see the stunning sights. Unsurprisingly, there’s ocean viewing for days and although walking up a hill isn’t all that fun, the chill vibes provided by the views are definitely worth it. Send photos.
Where: Garrick St, Kirra

Learn to Surf
Feeling inspired? Learn to surf yourself! Walkin’ on Water gives lessons at super chill spot Greenmount Beach where the waves are not akin to Snapper and there’ll be no one to watch you fall because they’re all around the corner cheering on the pros. Plus, it’s a fun time. Give it a go.
Where: (Next to the Greenmount SLSC), Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Words by Kirra Smith

The Strand at Coolangatta

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