Couran Cove Resort - South Stradbroke Island
Couran Cove Resort is located on South Stradbroke Island just a short 30 minute ferry ride from Marina Mirage on the Gold Coast. The resort has accommodation options consisting of studio cabins, eco cabins, lodges, villas and apartments. The cabins can be bought and used as a permanent residence or for holiday accommodation through booking sites like Airbnb, Wotif, Stayz etc.
The villas and studios are located on the water's edge and the eco-cabins are about 800m inland, towards the middle of the island.
The resort has many pathways throughout the island and if you follow these through the rainforest, they will take you to the surf beach on the other side of South Stradbroke Island, which is just incredible. Just watch out for 4wd's cruising along the beach if you have kids playing in the sand though!
If you don't want to have to walk all the way across the island, you can hire a push bike (or an electric bike if you're feeling lazy) from the resort. Bikes cost $15 per day and electric bikes cost $20 per hour. Couran Cove also has a restaurant, cafes, bars, a large swimming pool plus a kids pool, a kids playground and much more.
When I went over to the island however, some of these facilities were not in use and very run down. I also dropped my phone while I was bike riding and smashed my camera so I couldn't get photos of any of these things. :-(
You can hire sup paddleboards and kayaks and cruise around the marina taking in all the sights and sounds the island has to offer. The lagoon also has a blow-up playground for the kids to bounce on while in the water. Or you can go on a jetski ride, a 4wd tour or fishing tour if any of these take your fancy.
Wallabies, lizards and birds roam the area freely, and you can see them wandering around the cabins or on the beach. We saw loads of wallabies grazing all the way around the island while we were there. Again - I didn't get any photos of them. :-(
There is also a funky little shack at Sunset Beach, which was closed when we went, but I'm told it opens on Saturday nights for all the locals and visitors to the island.
We spent most of our time riding our bikes around the island and almost got to Tiddlers Bar, by way of a rough bike track that ran parallel to the oceans edge where we saw people fishing. It was a fair way though, so we decided to turn around, so we could explore the rainforest before we had to catch our ferry back.
Couran Cove has it's own little rainforest in the middle of the resort. You can go for a wander along the boardwalk, amongst all the pandanus palms and really loose yourself in nature. There is a cool little tower in the middle, but unfortunately the ladders have been removed, so you can't climb up and have a look around from the top.
All in all, we had a great day at the island. The food and drinks at the restaurant were fantastic. The staff were all friendly and couldn't do enough for you. We ended up having a good chat with some of the locals and staff about what was happening on the island too. It would be an amazing little resort if all the facilities were mended and you could actually use the kids playground, boardwalk and beach bar (this was closed due to Covid and hasn't been opened back up again because they're just not getting enough people on the island to justify costs). You can see from the photo below how some of the facilities are just unusable.
The fact that you can hire a bike and ride around all day exploring the island was pretty awesome though, and the surf beach was just amazing. The water was so crystal clear. It was just a pity it was so cold and we couldn't go in!
I would definitely go back to Couran Cove again, once all the facilities are back up and running. It would make such a great, family friendly holiday.