Currumbin Beach is one of the jewels in the Gold Coast’s crown, regularly voted Queensland’s cleanest beach and within the World Surfing Reserve. The crystal clear water of Currumbin extends from the famous Elephant Rock lookout and the iconic Currumbin Vikings Surf Club, north to Currumbin Rock (The Rock) on the south side of the Currumbin Creek Estuary.
Currumbin Beach is patrolled year-round by the legendary Currumbin Beach Life Saving Club, which has a proud history since its establishment in 1919. East-facing Currumbin Beach is less sheltered than its north-facing counterparts like Greenmount or Kirra, and so it’s break tends to be large and multi-directional.
Beside The Rock is Currumbin Creek’s entrance to the ocean, known as The Alley, marked by Lifeguard Tower 12. This protected and patrolled haven popular with swimmers, surfers and families, is perfect for water sports of all types. The Alley offers very consistent, world-class waves and a pristine right-hand break wonderful for advanced surfers, but the easier inside waves are also suited for beginner surfers, longboard riders and body surfers.
It’s common knowledge that even on flat low-swell days, there are always waves to be caught at the Alley. This is a perfect place to learn to surf as it is protected from southerly onshore winds. You’ll find a number of options for surf lessons, just look for the vans in the car park, including Currumbin Alley Surf School (which offers group or individual surfing lessons), Surfing Services Australia and Surf Easy Surf School.
Along with Tallebudgera Creek, Currumbin Alley would rate as one of the most family-friendly beaches on the Gold Coast. The Alley offers something for everyone - kids love to paddle in the shallow waters of the estuary beaches and rock pools, the calm waters make for a perfect place to kayak, kite surf or stand-up-paddleboard (you can hire a SUP from The Boat Shed beside Thrower Drive bridge), and there is good fishing off the rock wall or the beach, plus it’s also a popular ocean access point for small water craft.
The Gold Coast’s famous Oceanway passes the Sunbathing Lady sculpture next to Currumbin beach, and Wallace Nicoll Park at the Alley provides public and disabled toilets, shaded tables and seating, barbeques and bike racks. There's a car park at Vikings Surf Club and a larger car park at the Alley, supplemented by street parking along Duringan Street and Pacific Parade.
Visitors to Currumbin flock to Elephant Rock and Vikings to appreciate the panoramic view from the short lookout climb and the over-water dining experience of the club. Elephant Rock and its embedded war memorial have become one of the most significant Gold Coast sites for the annual Anzac Day Dawn Service.
Currumbin is also home to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, which offers 27 hectares of interactive experiences with native and endangered animals, including the Sanctuary’s famous rainbow lorikeet feeding. Visitors can enjoy a free-flight bird show, kangaroo feeding and indigenous performances as they visit the Wildlife Hospital, Wild Island and the exotic animals of the Lost Valley. More adventurous visitors may also like to take on the exciting TreeTops Challenge High Ropes Course, with 80 aerial challenges and 11 zip-lines, whilst suspended high above the animal enclosures below. TreeTops accommodates groups of all sizes with no experience required. Across the road from the Sanctuary, and worth a visit, is Surf World Gold Coast - a surf museum that showcases the areas rich surfing history.
On Friday nights, locals and visitors alike flock to the Sanctuary Night Markets, where The Village Green at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary fills with food trucks offering an array of international cuisine, including Brazilian, Thai, Greek and Japanese, to name a few. It’s a perfect low-key occasion to savour new tastes, sample beverages on offer from the bar, and sway to the tunes of live music acts. Outside of Food Truck Fridays, you’ll find a great selection of cafes along the beachfront.
One of the best is the Elephant Rock Café, which offers beachfront dining with oceanic views, inspired cocktails and its famous 'longboard' sharing plate. On the same block you’ll find The Salt Mill - a hole in the wall coffee shop that serves great coffee, smoothies, juice and breakfast options. Closest to the Alley is The Beach Shack, which serves modern Australian meals and a signature brekkie burrito in a laid-back hangout with ocean views. Of course there’s Vikings, where you can enjoy a cold beverage and a delicious meal while you watch the waves crash on the rocks.
By Michaela Lyons