Gold Coast: Rainbow Bay & Snapper Rocks Day Trip

Despite unfulfilled travel dreams, whether it’s seeing the northern lights, chasing down polar bears or relaxing on that remote island, many people remain creatures of habit, preferring to visit the same destinations year on year. There could be many reasons, they simply ‘love’ the destination, the ‘budget’ doesn’t allow it, or it’s the ‘easiest’ because its closest to home.

Either way, Australians are certainly a nation of sun worshipers looking for that perfect tan line and for many, a beach is a beach.

For thewelltravelledwoman, Rainbow Bay and Snapper Rocks feels like home, having enjoyed the annual holiday with her family and friends since she was a baby and as she grew up, spending hours working on those tan lines!

Having returned to Australia, we took a trip down memory lane and spent a day over our Christmas and New Year break down at this glorious beach.

Getting to Rainbow Bay / Snapper Rocks

Rainbow Bay and Snapper Rocks is located right on the Queensland / New South Wales Border and easily accessible by car from northern NSW, the Gold Coast or Brisbane, or a short 8 minute drive from Coolangatta Airport.

What Rainbow Bay has to offer

Rainbow Bay is a sheltered beach which makes for a great swimming area and very popular with families.  You will find that unlike many other beaches, this beach is patrolled all year round.

You also have views of Surfers Paradise, Australia’s entertainment playground, famous for its nightlife, events and atmosphere! Whilst Surfers Paradise is a great tourist destination with many hotels and great restaurants, the beach itself is covers quite the distance and is not protected from the gushing winds which often provide some facial exfoliation. Many locals avoid Surfers Paradise.

From Rainbow Bay, you can walk to Snapper Rocks, Froggy’s Beach, Point Danger and Duranbah Beach.

Snapper Rocks:  Famous for the annual Quiksilver Pro, Snapper Rocks Gold Coast which is from late February to mid March, however you will often see the pro surfers trying to get a few breaks before the tournament.

Froggy’s Beach:  The secluded beach away from the crowds, named after a large, painted green frog on the hill!  It is the perfect spot to relax and get some peace and quiet!

Point Danger:  If you walk up to Point Danger Lookout, you will see the border of Queensland and New South Wales as well as incredible views of the ocean and surrounding beaches – it is definitely worth a photo stop!

Duranbah Beach:  D-Bah is very popular with the surfers as it usually provides some good breaks!  It is great place to sit and watch the surfers all year round.

Where to eat

The best place to grab a bite to eat is the Rainbow Bay Surf Club.  The club is located with a perfect view overlooking both Rainbow Bay and Snapper Rocks.  I can highly recommend the chicken parmigiana! The dish is referred to colloquially as ‘chicken parm’, ‘parmi’ or ‘parma’ and generally consists of breaded chicken breast topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella, parmesan or provolone cheese. There are variations of the dish, sometimes adding either ham or eggplant between the sauce and cheese (my recommendation would be to order it without either to enjoy the dish how it was intended).

Where to stay

If you’re looking at spending more than a day here, there are quite a few places to choose from.  If you’re looking at something on the beach front, then you could look at Columbia, Rainbow Place or Bayview – these resorts offer perfect beach and ocean views!  In peak season, similar to many ski resorts, it is not uncommon for the resorts requiring a week-long, Saturday to Saturday booking.

Here are a few pictures we took from our recent day trip!


The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul. Wyland

-28.168351 153.538480