Surfing Snapper Rocks, Coolangatta – Image courtesy of Kirstin/ASP
Surfing Snapper Rocks, Queensland
At Snapper Rocks, expect a certain electricity around ‘Cooly’ come Quiksilver Pro contest time, when the best surfers in the world descend on one of the best surf beaches in Australia.
Situated on the southern-most tip of the Gold Coast, Snapper Rocks is a gnarly outcrop of old lava rock set sideways to the line of coast, and the start of almost 1.6km of right sandbar point break on probably the single most crowded surfing area in the world.
On a good day it's possible to count more than 1000 surfers in the water, yet somehow the crowd usually takes care of itself. The wave is located 24km south of Surfers Paradise and 76km south of Brisbane.
The wave A classic ritual for good surfers is to ride a wave that often kicks off literally behind the rock, connect for as long as possible, pick up another and keep connecting waves right through to Coolangatta Beach, around 1.6km away. You can then walk or jog back along the beach.
Best tide Medium to low
Best swell direction East north-east and south-east
Best wave size Up to 3.5m
Best wind South
Ability level Intermediate to advanced
Ride length 150m to 300m; on a good day up to 500m
Best board Your choice
Best season Late summer and early autumn (February/March)
Crowd factor Insanely packed
Local vibe The locals are confident, easy to spot and occasionally super heavy
Hazards Best watch out who you're dropping in on – this beach has produced so many local champions
Facilities Parking at the top end of Snapper or along the road past Greenmount and Rainbow Bay. Surf shops are everywhere.
Accommodation Coolangatta, Broadbeach and most beachside suburbs through to Surfers Paradise all offer a ton of options, from luxurious hotels to cheerful holiday apartments
Aprés surf A real surf club town, Coolangatta has a wide range of pubs and restaurants for good food and great yarns try the renowned Port O' Call hotel. Nearby Surfers Paradise offers a huge choice of entertainment with pubs, casinos and clubs galore along the strip.
Other activities Climb Mount Warning before sunrise to get an insane view of the coast that extends from Surfers Paradise to Byron. Head to the big American-style theme parks for more thrills, watch a cavalcade of horseback action at the Australian Outback Spectacular or explore the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.
Laurels Venue of the ASP World Tour event
Nearest airport Gold Coast Airport at Coolangatta or Brisbane International Airport
Getting there Public transport is good but if you crave mobility, hire a car.
› Read more about Queensland's Gold Coast . . .