But who is Doug Roughton?

Another of St Helen’s signature cocktails with a pronounced local theme is the Roughton’s Colada. This cocktail pays homage to one of Southern Gold Coasts most influential residents, Doug Roughton.

Doug Roughton Cocktail

Doug, who was a jazz musician came to the Gold Coast from Melbourne. He was a driving force in the 1950s. Doug was behind the popular song “It’s hot in Brisbane-But it’s Cool in Gatta” sung by local, Gwenny Ryan. The song is believed to be the first song ever written for a tourist destination in Australia.

It was a big hit on the Gold Coast.  The tourists took copies home to be played on their local radio stations which promoted interest in the Gold Coast from the southern states. People ended calling up Tourism Queensland to book holidays in Coolangatta after hearing the song.

Apart from the song, Doug was also a pioneering entertainer who first ran dances on Greenmount Beach in the 1950s and 60s. He further established the Gold Coast as a tourist playground. 

Hundreds would flock to “do the hokey pokey” at his beach kiosk.  He cranked up tunes by legends such as Glenn Miller, Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong and Tommy Dorsey over the PA system. 

Hokey Pokey Hand Jive

Doug’s Hokey Pokey which was also known as the hand jive was an early form of the “boy meets girl”. The beach culture at this time was when there were no nightclubs, and girls were not allowed into hotels. Doug would boom over the microphone “This is Doug Roughton at Greenmount Beach, Coolangatta –alright gang, it’s hokey pokey time!”

The Hokey Pokey dances played cupid to many young couples who later married. In one of his last interviews on ABC Radio, Doug reminisced about a lady who had met her husband at Greenmount Beach in 1952. She looked him in the eye and said ‘You made my life’. 

As one of the legends of the Gold Coast, Doug has been honoured with the famous Roughton Park, right on the Kirra foreshore. We are thrilled to be right across the road from the park bearing the names of great Gold Coast identities.

How We Honour Doug Roughton

Our way of reviving the Roughton legend is to create the Roughton’s Colada here at St Helens. Firstly in a short tumbler glass, we add 30ml Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, then 15ml Malibu Coconut Rum, add ice, then top with pineapple juice. Stir gently, then add a floater of Sailor Jerry to finish. Garnish with a dehydrated pineapple wedge (or fresh), pineapple leaf and a maraschino cherry.




  1. Pour both rums into a short tumbler glass
  2. Add ice and top with pineapple juice
  3. Stir gently until combined
  4. Add a Sailor Jerry Floater on top
  5. Garnish with pineapple wedge, leaf and maraschino cherry.

I hope you enjoy our Roughton’s Colada! Come in, buy a cocktail and Cheers Doug out on our balcony across from his park in Kirra. St Helens is the King of Kirra beach Restaurants!