A rocky outcrop with a point break that’s legendary among experienced and professional surfers is also a great spot for relaxing by the seaside.
Snapper Rocks sits between the southern end of Rainbow Bay and the northern end of Point Danger in Coolangatta. Due to low rocks in the Snapper Rocks surf zone, this is not a safe area for ocean swimming, but there is a man-made “ocean pool” and usually some awesome surf action too.
First take a dip in the Snapper Rocks Sea Baths, which were chiseled out of the rocks in 1956 by an entrepreneurial local. As you cool off, watch the waves wash over the surrounding rocks on a calm day.
Just to the south is the Tweed River “sand bypass system,” which juts a long way out into the ocean. Because of this clever invention, Snapper Rocks now marks the start of the famous Superbank, a surf break which extends from here along Rainbow Bay, then Greenmount Point, Coolangatta Beach and eventually Kirra Groyne. It is possible to ride this consistent wave for almost 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) if the conditions are right.
Ride the barrel waves yourself if you have experience or come here for the annual Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast event of the World Surf League to see the experts in action. It’s usually on around the Easter holiday period.
Even if there is no surfing competition on, it’s fun to watch all the action while you sip on a cold drink or enjoy a meal at the Rainbow Bay Surf Life Saving Club on the beach.
To look for breaching whales during the migration in winter, walk north across the beach and up to Greenmount Hill at the northern end of Rainbow Bay. Round the corner and walk up to Point Danger for an even better vantage point. Point Danger is home to the Captain Cook Memorial, an unusually shaped lighthouse, and the Centaur Remembrance Walk. This is also a good place to park your car to access Snapper Rocks from the south.
Before you leave, have a leisurely barbecue or picnic in Point Danger Park or one more dip in the sea baths, which look even more picturesque at sunset.