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Best gold coast beaches 1

13 Best Gold Coast Beaches for Swimming, Surfing and Snorkelling

The best beaches on the Gold Coast are among the world’s top-tier surf and sand spots. Known for its amazing attractions and its sunny weather, the Queensland tourist destination is the perfect place to sit back, relax and take in the sights, and there are none more beautiful than those naturally occurring. The best Gold Coast beaches offer surfing, snorkelling, swimming and much more, but choosing one to visit can be harder than finding a needle in a haystack. To help make your search easier, we have made a list of the 13 best Gold Coast beaches to visit to soak up the amazing sun and catch some killer waves.

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Burleigh heads

1. Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Heads is known for its safe swimming conditions as well as its famous surf conditions around the headland. Known as Gold Coast’s Byron Bay, Burleigh Heads is a bohemian and surfy area full of shops, restaurants and cafes as well as plenty of beach amenities to use. The beach is patrolled regularly and is often well-protected from southerly wind or swells. The area is also full of many different types of accommodation that showcases this bohemian coastal town.

Location: Miami, QLD 4220
Includes beaches: Burleigh Beach, North Burleigh
Length: 0km
General Hazard Rating: 6/10 (Moderately hazardous)
Beach Key: qld1592B

Tallebudgera creek

2. Tallebudgera Creek

Tallebudgera Creek is best known for its sparkling water which is framed by the Burleigh Heads National Park on one side and Palm Beach on the other. This beach is also patrolled by lifeguards and is perfect for young families as you can swim here without fear of getting tumble rolled by large waves or swells. Those seeking surf need only walk to nearby Tallebudgera Beach for a few waves. But that’s not all Tallebudgera Creek is also home to a campground for those wanting to stay the night and explore the area.

Location: Burleigh Heads, QLD 4220
General Hazard Rating: 3/10 (Least hazardous)
Beach Key: qld1593Ack

Miami

3. Main Beach

Main Beach is named so as it is literally the main beach to the town of Southport. The beach is boarded by sand dunes and fantastic resorts to stay at, along with plenty of cafes and amenities close by. There are lifeguard patrolled sections for swimmers around the beach. The area is popular with surfers due to its open shore break but the surf can get treacherous on occasion.

Location: Main Beach, QLD 4217
Includes beaches: The Spit-Miami, The Spit, Surfers Paradise, Northcliffe, Broadbeach, Kurrawa, Mermaid Beach, Nobby’s Beach, Miami Beach
Length: 0km
General Hazard Rating: 6/10 (Moderately hazardous)
Beach Key: qld1591B

Broadbeach

4. Broadbeach

Broadbeach is known as the little brother to Surfers Paradise. Swimmers and Surfers can be spotted regularly enjoying the beautiful beach, it’s patrolled by lifeguards and is framed by pristine white sand and close to an all-ability playground and park with amenities. Broadbeach foreshore is a popular hotspot for families and beachgoers alike as there are many cafes and restaurants close by as well as lovely accommodation.

Location: Broadbeach, QLD 4218
Includes beaches: The Spit-Miami, The Spit, Southport, Surfers Paradise, Northcliffe, Kurrawa, Mermaid Beach, Nobby’s Beach, Miami Beach
Length: 0km
General Hazard Rating: 6/10 (Moderately hazardous)
Beach Key: qld1591E

Kirra beach

5. Kirra Beach

Kirra Beach is a favourite for swimmers and surfers alike, as the long coast of the beach is perfect for a quick dip or a walk along the coast. Surfers flock to Kirra beach for its world-class breaks and great conditions. There are cafes and restaurants close by for those looking for a meal or a quick bite. For those wanting to stay and enjoy a getaway Kirra beach is full of fantastic accommodation that showcases the breathtaking coast.

Location: Coolangatta, QLD 4225
Length: 0.2km
General Hazard Rating: 4/10 (Moderately hazardous)
Beach Key: qld1598

Nobby beach

6. Nobby Beach

Nobby Beach is a favourite for swimmers as the beach is patrolled all year round. The breaks here extend the full length of the beach making it a fantastic spot for many surfers. Also close to the beach is a park and playground as well as barbecue facilities. There is plenty of local accommodation that showcases the lovely beach and local town where you can find many alfresco cafes, shops and restaurants for those looking for a meal or to buy something nice.

Location: Nobby Beach, QLD 4218
Includes beaches: The Spit-Miami, The Spit, Southport, Surfers Paradise, Northcliffe, Broadbeach, Kurrawa, Mermaid Beach, Miami Beach
Length: 0km
General Hazard Rating: 6/10 (Moderately hazardous)
Beach Key: qld1591H

Palm beach

7. Palm Beach

Palm Beach is a much-loved beach on the Gold Coast for many reasons. One of those reasons is the sandy and spectacular beach itself, where many swimmers and surfers flock every day to have some fun in the sun. Another reason is the fact that the beach itself has been crowned Queensland’s cleanest beach three times. Palm Beach also boasts a variety of eating options available here from cafes to restaurants as well as varied types of accommodation available here.

Location: Palm Beach, QLD 4221
Includes beaches: Tallebudgera, Tallebudgera Creek, Pacific, Palm Beach
Length: 0km
General Hazard Rating: 6/10 (Moderately hazardous)
Beach Key: qld1593

Currumbin

8. Currumbin

Currumbin Beach is patrolled regularly by lifeguards making it safe for swimming and for all kinds of active water sports, particularly stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking and surfing which are popular here. Currumbin also has a right-hand surf break making it a fantastic spot for longboard riders and surfers. But that’s not all Currumbin Beach has to offer, there are also good spots to catch Flathead and Bream by fishing off the rock wall or catch some Taylor off the beach. Plus there is plenty of cafes and shops nearby to try out.

Location: Currumbin, QLD 4223
Length: 0.75km
General Hazard Rating: 6/10 (Moderately hazardous)
Beach Key: qld1595

Coolangatta

9. Coolangatta

Gold Coast’s famous sandy beaches and world-class surf breaks can be found here at Coolangatta Beach. Spend the day surfing on the northern corner of Coolangatta Beach where you can be guaranteed a great swell or why not spend it swimming on this pristine and patrolled beach. Then walk around the old-school beachside town and grab a snack at one of the local beachfront cafes or restaurants. The spectacular ocean views are captured perfectly by the array of accommodation available here.

Location: Coolangatta, QLD 4225
Includes beaches: Coolangatta-greenmount, Greenmount
Length: 0.4km
General Hazard Rating: 5/10 (Moderately hazardous)
Beach Key: qld1599A

Rainbow bay

10. Rainbow Bay

Rainbow Bay is a favourite with families and swimmers for its shape and orientation which provides beach users with protection from southerly winds, the beach is patrolled by lifeguards all year round. Surfers flock to Rainbow Bay is part of the World Surfing Reserve and it is also home to the city’s most famous point break. While you’re enjoying the sun and surf, why not venture into the seaside town for some lunch or a quick shop at the local stores or stay the night in some local accommodation.

Location: Coolangatta, QLD 4225
Length: 0.3km
General Hazard Rating: 5/10 (Moderately hazardous)
Beach Key: qld1600

Tugun

11. Tugun

Ancient Indigenous people referred to Tugun as a place of “breaking waves” and for good reason, the area is known for its expansive beach breaks. Although the area is known for its great surfing conditions, Swimmers still come to Tugan as the wave conditions are usually calm here too. This laid back beach is great for strolling and sunbaking as its one of the biggest beaches on the Gold Coast. Tugun beach is also next to parklands and local shops and cafes.

Location: Tugun, QLD 4224
Includes beaches: Tugun-Kirra, Bilinga, North Kirra
Length: 0km
General Hazard Rating: 6/10 (Moderately hazardous)
Beach Key: qld1597A

Miami

12. Miami

Miami Beach is known for its pristine kilometre-long white-sandy beach and amazing cafes and restaurants. Not to be mistaken by Miami Beach in Florida, this Gold Coast gem is known for the beach surf breaks that extend the full length of the beach that are fuelled by offshore winds making it a favourite for surfers. The headland here offers some protection from southerly breezes making it ideal for swimmers and the beach is also patrolled year-round. Miami Beach also has great spots to cast a line, Nerang jetty and the entrance wall are very popular spots to fish the channel or surf.

Location: Miami, QLD 4220
Includes beaches: The Spit-Miami, The Spit, Southport, Surfers Paradise, Northcliffe, Broadbeach, Kurrawa, Mermaid Beach, Nobby’s Beach
Length: 0km
General Hazard Rating: 6/10 (Moderately hazardous)
Beach Key: qld1591I

Surfers paradise

13. Surfers Paradise

We’ve saved the best till last, Surfers Paradise is Queensland’s best-known beach. This beach is also known worldwide for its 16 km of beautiful beach and surf which welcomes close to 20,000 visitors per day and more than 100,000 visitors each year. Its golden beaches are patrolled by lifeguards year-round and the world-class surf breaks extend the full length of the beach. Surfers Paradise is more than the beach itself, the area is home to many amazing cafes and restaurants to sit and eat and enjoy the views. The beach also hosts prestigious Surf Life Saving competitions and local events. Another thing that Surfers Paradise boasts is the world-class accommodation, from hotels to rental houses, the possibilities are endless here.

Location: Surfers Paradise, QLD 4217
Includes beaches: The Spit-Miami, The Spit, Southport, Northcliffe, Broadbeach, Kurrawa, Mermaid Beach, Nobby’s Beach, Miami Beach
Length: 0km
General Hazard Rating: 6/10 (Moderately hazardous)
Beach Key: qld1591C

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General FAQs

What is the most popular beach on the Gold Coast?

The Gold Coast is known for its popular beaches, but the most popular beach on the Gold Coast arguably would have to be Surfers Paradise.

Which is the best area to stay in Gold Coast?

Not only does the Gold Coast boast amazing beaches but it is also home to some amazing places to stay, but the best areas to stay in the Gold Coast would have to be Burleigh Heads, Miami Beach and Kirra Beach.

Is the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast better?

It is hard to say which is better as both the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast feature world-class beaches and equally have fantastic attractions. Simply put it is up to your own personal preference which you choose to visit.

About the author

About the author
CONTRIBUTOR

Gabriel Jorge Gouveia

Gabriel Jorge Gouveia is a Sydney-based journalist who specialises in fashion, lifestyle food reporting. He completed Bachelor of Communication Journalism Major at Western Sydney University and has had work published in the Fashion Industry Broadcast, Aussie Gossip and Beauty News Australia.