Australia’s Gold Coast is a metropolitan area in Queensland, just south of Brisbane and north of the New South Wales border. It has 70 kilometers of spectacular coastline which includes some of the most popular beaches and surfing in Australia, and the world.
The Gold Coast is a major tourist destination, with a warm and sunny subtropical climate, world-class surfing and watersports, a spectacular and modern high-rise skyline, lots of pristine ancient rainforest, theme parks, great nightlife, and plenty of hotels and restaurants.
With such a wealth of excellent beaches, there is something for everybody. Some beaches are raucous and fun, some are secluded and peaceful hidden gems. Some are ideal for young people looking to party, while others are perfectly suited to families or couples in search of relaxation, peace, and quiet.
Here is our list of the Gold Coast’s seven best beaches. Make sure to take note of the beaches that most appeal to you in your BUCKiTDREAM planner.
Burleigh Beach is Queensland’s Answer To Bondi Burleigh Beach has a reputation as the best beach on the Gold Coast. It has rhythmic, white-crested waves and lovely scenery, so it’s great for surfing, picnics, sunbathing and swimming. Burleigh is very popular with families, locals and tourists alike. The beach is served by all relevant amenities, with dashing young lifeguards, cafes, restaurants and plenty of parking. Surf enthusiasts love Burleigh for its energetic surf break. There is a large park overlooking the ocean which is lively and crammed with people having fun, sunbathing, throwing frisbees, picnicking and barbecuing. It is near Gold Coast city, but far enough to the south of the main strip to provide a nice alternative to the more touristy, city-center beaches; however, the beach can get pretty busy when the surf is up. The world-famous Quicksilver Pro surfing competition is regularly held at Burleigh. Burleigh Beach is certainly one of the best all-round beaches on the Gold Coast.
Surfers Paradise Beach Is a Super-Popular, and Iconic, City Centre Beach Surfers Paradise is the most famous beach on the Gold Coast, and one of the most loved in all of Australia. It is situated in Gold Coast city center, and therefore extremely close to lots of cool bars, cafes, restaurants, markets, theme parks, and surf stores. Surfers Paradise Beach is busy throughout the year due to its closeness to the main attractions, as well as its lush, soft sand and spectacular views. Ironically, Surfers Paradise Beach is not as good a location for actual surfing as other Gold Coast beaches such as Kirra or Burleigh Head. But the beach’s scenic beauty makes up for its lackluster waves. The beach is near a great many resorts and hotels so it gets lively and there is a great atmosphere all year round. It has excellent swimming and is heavily patrolled by lifeguards. So for a fun beach in the heart of the action, look no further than Surfers Paradise!
A Laid-Back Vibe and Good Surfing Make Nobby Beach a Local Favorite Nobby Beach, in the Gold Coast suburb of Mermaid Beach, is a lovely little area of white sand with many bars, restaurants, and a relaxed surf-vibe. It is pretty secluded and quiet with lots of space for sunbathing, parking and picnicking. There is also a large park just back from the beach. Waves in the area are particularly decent, so it is a popular place for surfers. Because the waves are not as intense as in other areas, and the beach traffic not as hectic, Nobby beach it is a good place for novice surfers to find their feet. The area is popular for fishing with the possibility of catching a nice fat bream, dart or whiting always on the cards. There is a truly spectacular sunrise to be seen from Nobby Beach for those eager beavers that are up early enough.
Swim With the Dolphins At Currumbin Creek The mouth of Currumbin Creek is a beautiful place, with dolphins swimming in on the ocean as it is slurped up the creek and is then spat back out again. Currumbin Beach has pristine white sand and offers sweeping views over the coastline, particularly beguiling at sunset. This great local beach is a little bit off the tourist trail and is less crowded than many of its neighbors. It’s a nice family destination with calm, shark-netted waters ideal for swimming. There are lots of parks nearby that are perfect for family barbecues and picnics. Surfers and watersports enthusiasts come to Currumbin Alley, known locally as ‘The Alley’ for its great surf break. It’s suitable for longboarding and its fast, long waves are lively and relatively forgiving, so ideal for non-pros. The area is popular with surfing schools due to its constantly surfable waves.
Kirra Beach Offers the Best Surfing On the Gold Coast Kirra is a truly iconic Aussie beach. It boasts soft white sand, clear blue waters, world-class surfing, and even a little lagoon which is shielded from the waves as if designed for safe swimming. Kirra Point’s rocky headland offers some of the world’s premier surf breaks, with the best and most diverse surfing conditions to be found anywhere along the Gold Coast. Professional and amateur surfing competitions happening here throughout the year. Closer to shore, there is smaller surf ideal for beginner surfers and swimmers, while further out to sea there are some big and challenging breaks that attract top-level surfers from all over the world. Kirra Beach also has beautiful scenery, with a range of scenic footpaths and walkways, so it’s ideal for an action-packed day of surfing, or a relaxing day of strolling in glorious nature.
Look Out For Passing Whales At Coolangatta Beach This is a beautiful and relaxing beach away from the crowds with nice and calm waves. It’s ideal for a chilled out afternoon in the peace and quiet. This beach does not get crowded and is perfect for families. Coolangatta is one of the most southerly beaches on the Gold Coast, and it’s the area where the stretch of continuous beach that leads north begins. The area’s two main beaches, Greenmount Beach and Rainbow Bay, are the Gold Coast’s only north-facing beaches and provide calm and sheltered conditions that are great for relaxed swimming. Whales can be seen passing on their annual migration throughout the winter months from Snapper Rocks. Coolangatta is calm and sheltered and so not great for surfing, although the area is very near to Kirra and Duranbah (which is actually in New South Wales but is an honorary member of the Gold Coast crew), which are two of the best surfing areas in Australia. So it’s an area that provides the best of both worlds.
Palm Beach Is a Relaxed and Family-Friendly Beach The Palm Beach area is less developed and hectic than some of its neighboring areas to the north, and so is popular with families, bodyboarders, walkers, and joggers. It has twice been voted the cleanest beach in Queensland and provides a reliably relaxed and uncrowded option for a day at the seaside. It is a short and beautiful walk along the boardwalk to Burleigh Heads National Park, and there are lots of playgrounds, parks, cafes, restaurants and picnic tables dotted around the area. Palm Beach is a classic, family-friendly beach.
So that was our list of the seven best beaches on Australia’s Gold Coast. We hope you are feeling inspired to visit this glorious part of the world, and while you are surfing the big breaks at Kirra Point, soaking in the atmosphere at Surfers Paradise, or barbecuing up some tasty meat in the park at Burleigh, why not share your Gold Coast experiences on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!