Perched right on the NSW and Queensland border is the quintessential beachside town of Coolangatta, bordering the Tweed region. Known for its retro charm and balmy summer nights where you can go from a fresh local eatery to an eclectic wine bar to a late-night piano lounge.
12 noon- CHECK IN – The Pink Hotel, Coolangatta
We score an early check in with the friendly staff at ‘The Pink Hotel’ ideally located on the beachfront, this uber chic-old school hotel has recently been renovated to retain its retro 50’s charm. Complete with an open-air rooftop lounge and bar that offers unsurpassed views across the Pacific Ocean and beyond.
Locally owned and operated by a trio of young friends, they have nailed the wow factor- included in the dusty pink rooms are record players (there’s even a record swap room), classic mod furniture and pop art adorns the walls with neon rock star affirmations scribbled across exposed bricks.
The vibe is a cross between a Nirvana record and a Jack Kerouac coffee table book, this little beauty is as unique as it is charming.
2pm- HIT THE ROOFTOP FOR THAT PERFECT GRAM SNAP.
We climb the white art deco stairs (Miami Vice style) to the exposed rooftop to catch the light fantastic, it’s a grammars dream. The bar is open from 2-8pm daily and is for hotel guests only-but as hotel guests you can take a special bottle of your own up anytime and lay on the supersized day beds as the sun goes down.
3.30pm- SHOP A 70’S INSPIRED DESIGN BAZAAR.
Local duo and best buddies Rose and Vanessa were so inspired by the bygone era of the 60’ & 70’s (think Fleetwood Mac) they went from sourcing vintage clothes to creating their own label ‘Nine Lives Bazaar’. The boutique is housed in a delightful art deco shop that has seen the likes of many a 50’s frock.
Nine lives are ideally located next door to the renowned Coolangatta antique emporium, with an assortment of nanna’s jewels on offer to go with that colourful jumpsuit or evening frock from Nine Lives.
Nine Lives Bazaar is for that free spirited bohemian girl, who swirls around Coolangatta late into the night.
5.00pm- DUSK DRINKS AND A CHAR GRILL BY THE SEA.
We skip around the corner to the stylish beachside deck of Bassk Kirra Point, known for its eclectic fit out and coastal charm-it’s the ideal spot to sip a sunset cocktail.
There’s a tasty BBQ banquet with all the fresh trimmings on offer, with a complete A la carte menu inspired by the Northern Rivers region and of course if you can see the sea you always order seafood.
Stay tuned for the soon to be launched ‘Baskk Rum Bar’, a stylish nook at the rear of the venue, dusted in pink with comfy bar stools and soft furnishings that entice you to linger longer- pair with a local Husk rum cocktail and Bob may just be your uncle!
8pm- TRADITIONAL TAPAS BAR FOR HOUSE MADE DESSERTS AND VINO.
Enter Tasca, this little gem popped up a couple of years ago in the centre of the main street of Coolangatta, Griffith Street. Unassuming but full of all the right stuff, from house dishes, pasta and share plates to an array of carefully curated organic and natural wines. Tasca is an Italian/Southern Mediterranean restaurant, and a firm favourite amongst visitors and locals alike.
Whether dining solo, a romantic dinner for two or seeking a house made Tiramisu with a girlfriend-did we mention they do really good after dinner desserts.
10pm- A JANITORS CLOSET COME NYC PIANO BAR.
We round off the night in a swanky private piano bar that’s as haunting as it is delightful. Just one of the perks when you stay at The Pink Hotel, you get an invite for aperitifs in the old Janitors Closet.
The hidden piano bar is on the lower level of the hotel and yes it’s behind a broom closet, dark violet hues greet you on arrival, along with one hell of a barman come piano player-who belts out Chris Isaac like Chris Isaac would.
We stay awhile and after tasting a local beer we opt for a Negroni nightcap that take us past midnight and slide back into the room to play ‘one more’ on said record player.
8am- OCEAN BREEZES THAT LEAD TO COFFEE AND FRESH JUICE
As the sun comes up across the ocean, we jump out of bed and hit the beach- literally across the road. Walking the iconic Greenmount headland in search of coffee and juice, destination Cafe DBar & House. (the iconic sister venue to Baskk)
Dbar Café has breathtaking views across the ocean, with the Gold Coast to the north and the Tweed Coast to the south, this has got to be one of the most iconic spots for breakfast in Australia.
We grab a banging good coffee, fresh green juice and a fine-looking donut for the walk back to the hotel-all the while watching whales and surfers rip on world class waves.
11am- BRUNCH AT A SOCIAL BREAD HOUSE.
We say our goodbyes to the friendly folk at Pink Hotel, vowing to return one day. We take a short walk up the high street to Bay St, an art deco area that has recently been revamped to include homewares, boutiques, cafes and the ever-popular Bread Social (Farm, Byron Bay) has popped up.
Bread Social is a thriving bake house with a twist, that took over an old bakery space. There’s an any array of bakers and artisans that mix up local ingredients to create the best bread, pies, cakes and supersized Portuguese tarts we’ve ever seen.
It’s the place to hang out for that mid-morning coffee, really good coffee where locals and visitors flock. We opt for a crunchy toffee, lemon myrtle profiterole, followed by a chicken spiced sausage roll and decide to share the supersized Portuguese tart- smart choice.
We found the Cool in the Gatta, but suspect that Coolangatta has always rolled a certain cool way, just more refined these days.
It’s a destination rich in history from rock’n roll to surf to pop to modern day culture, there’s a swag of cool vibes on offer to keep you up all night in Coolangatta…..go on we dare you!