Coolangatta marks the southern end of the strip of surfing beaches that runs from the Queensland / New South Wales State Border north to Main Beach.
The town of Coolangatta is situated on the beach between the rock headlands of Point Danger, Greenmount and Kirra.
Behind Coolangatta, the land rises into the border ranges of the Tweed Basin - remnants of a large caldera (a large crater formed by the eruption and collapse of the Mount Warning Shield volcano 20 million years ago).
To the south is the Tweed River which forms in the Tweed and McPherson Ranges and then flows down along a flood plain to enter the sea at Tweed Heads.
Coolangatta is named for the schooner Coolangatta wrecked on the beach to the north of the Tweed River in 1846.
The schooner was waiting to collect a cargo of cedar and the ship dragged its anchors and washed ashore. A wreck, which was believed to be the Coolangatta was uncovered by wave action in 1974.