22nd May, 2012

Visiting ‘Cooly Rocks On’; Rock & Roll Nostalgia Festival

Just when you thought the Gold Coast had it all, this incredible area now has yet another highlight, in ‘Cooly Rocks On’, an 11-day ‘50s and ‘60s nostalgia festival in the twin cities of Coolangatta and Tweed Heads. Held every June, this festival celebrates and brings to life all things of the ‘50s and ‘60s, from Elvis to classical cars and swing dancing. It’s free to all, fun for the whole family and has attracted over 50,000 people since starting up in 2010.

Cars and parties

The Cooly Rocks On festival features over 1200 hot rods, classics and custom cars, not to mention some quality, local and lively rock’n’roll, rockabilly and swing entertainment. The Grande Finale weekend features eight full stages erected on public roads shut down just for the festival, and a packed schedule of events, shows and parties from sun-up to sundown.

Farewell Wintersun

Cooly Rocks On was organised in response to the departure of the popular Wintersun festival, which had been held annually in Coolangatta and was supported by the local business community. Its replacement is organised by a community-based non-profit organisation called Cooly Rocks On Festival Inc., formed of members of the local business community in Tweed Heads and the Southern Gold Coast.

Based on the economic lessons learned when the Wintersun festival left the region, all intellectual property used by Cooly Rocks On belongs to the Connecting Southern Gold Coast Ltd (CSGC), which is a controlled entity of Gold Coast City Council. The CSGC holds the intellectual property in trust for the business communities of the Southern Gold Coast-Tweed Heads regions and licenses it at no cost to the festival.

Getting to Coolangatta for Cooly Rocks On

Getting to Coolangatta is fairly easy, whether it’s by air, car or bus. The Gold Coast airport is conveniently located five kilometres from Coolangatta and has both domestic and international flights. By car, it’s a nice 65-minute drive from Brisbane along the Pacific Motorway. Take the exit after the Brisbane airport if you want to take the scenic route along the coast from Coolangatta to Tweed Heads. There are also a lot of buses that will take you from Brisbane to the Southern Gold Coast.

Getting around

Once there, it’s also easy to get around, with most attractions located within easy walking distance. Otherwise, there are surf-side buses that will take you to all the beautiful beaches of the coast, and an hourly bus that can take you to Murwillumbah, a town near the historic peak of Mount Warning.


Whether you’re travelling alone, with friends or vacationing with your family, the Gold Coast has accommodations to suit every taste, from the urban to the rugged. For the more adventurous, there are backpacker hostels and bush camping; for the luxurious, there are penthouses and houseboats — as well as everything in between! There is also a wide variety of family accommodation on the Gold Coast. If you arrive for Cooly Rocks On with no reservations, you’re in luck, because June is low season and there are plenty of possibilities for last minute accommodation on the Gold Coast at this time of year.