This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure
Queensland is home some of the most beautiful beaches in Australia and possibly even the world. When in Queensland you will have no shortage of beaches to visit and each of them offer something unique and special to make them worthy of this list!
Together with the help of some of our travel expert friends, we have put together a list of the best beaches in Queensland. You will discover beautiful beaches in far North Queensland, the Whitsundays, Sunshine Coast, the Gold Coast and even beaches near Brisbane!
The Best Queensland Beaches
There’s no doubt that a visit to the beach is one of the most popular things to do when in Queensland, Australia.
With our beautiful warm climate all year round, even in winter you can still enjoy a walk along the beach in Queensland.
From golden sand beaches to crystal clear waters and warm water temperatures you want to make sure you visit at least one of these stunning beaches on your next visit to Queensland.
We compiled this list by location so that you can easily visit more than one of the beaches at a time when staying in a particular region of Queensland, Australia.
They have been grouped into the best QLD beaches on the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Whitsundays and Tropical North Queensland to make it easy for you to plan your trip.
The Gold Coast is a popular Queensland beach destination, with many beautiful beaches stretching along the coastline towards the New South Wales border.
The popular Gold Coast beaches draw in big crowds during summer and the shoulder seasons, however, you can also find plenty of secluded spots that are equally as beautiful on the Gold Coast.
For other great Gold Coast beaches suited to families, check out Palm Beach, Echo Beach at Tallebudgera Creek and even a safe swimming beach at Broadwater Parklands.
Main Beach, Surfers Paradise
When you visit Surfers Paradise, it’s hard not to step out onto Main Beach.
Being such a central location to the thriving Cavill Mall and many of Surfers Paradise’s popular attractions, as well as walking distance to resorts and accommodation, Main Beach is often one of the busiest beaches on the Gold Coast.
However, it is still a beautiful beach to visit, with lifeguards on duty and plenty of places to dine nearby.
The backdrop of Main Beach is the many sky rise buildings of Surfers Paradise. And along the pathways that run alongside the beach, you will find playgrounds, outdoor public gym equipment, public toilets and plenty more to discover.
The Surfers Paradise beach is patrolled by lifeguards between 8 AM and 5 PM daily. To the north, you will find The Spit, which is another great spot to visit.
And don’t worry if it’s raining! There are plenty of great indoor activities to do around Surfers Paradise too until the weather clears and you can head back to the beach!
Burleigh Beach simply has it all! This is a stunning, two km long, patrolled surf beach with sparkling, squeaky white sand. The wide treelined beach walkway is perfect for that daily walk, bike ride, or skateboard along the beachfront.
It is a popular spot for local fitness fanatics. and there are free Tai Chi and exercise classes run by the council along the beachfront too. Clean toilets and shower areas, exercise machines, and barbeque and picnic areas are dotted along the way.
You can walk the scenic walk with great coastal views through the park round to Tally Creek on the other side,
At the northern end of the beach, follow the beachfront path over a small headland to Miami, Nobby, and Mermaid Beaches and further on to Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise.
At both the north and south end of the beach, there are surf clubs so that you can sit out on the decks overlooking the ocean while enjoying your breakfast, lunch, or dinner and there is an eclectic mix of interesting cafes, restaurants, and fast food outlets in Burleigh
If you are a shopper James Street features interesting boutiques and specialty shops with many unique items.
On a Sunday night fire twirlers, dancers, and bongo drummers entertain under the trees at Justins Park. Burleigh Beach really has to be one of the best beaches in Queensland.
Did you know there is a beach right in the middle of Brisbane city? While it doesn’t make our best Queensland beaches list, if you are looking for convenience, take your swimmers with you on a visit to Southbank Parklands, along the Brisbane for the man-made beach and lagoon.
North Stradbroke Island is another popular Moreton Bay beach that you can visit by day trip from Brisbane or for a camping trip. It also happens to be the second-largest sand island in the world, at 38KM long.
When searching for a sandy location on Bribie Island to throw down a towel and dip your toes in the glorious salty waters, visitors are spoilt for choice.
After testing several areas, we came across a little gem on the island’s eastern side known as Woorim Beach, which also happens to be Bribie Islands only patrolled surf beach.
Bribie Island is a 90-minute drive from Brisbane and a hot spot for city dwellers looking to escape and connect with nature, with Woorim Beach being the closest surf beach north of Brisbane.
The large carpark near the Surf Lifesaving Club, nearby amenities block, and surrounding picnic areas make Woorim a beach where you can enjoy a long day in the sunshine.
Choose to pack a picnic admiring the picturesque views towards Moreton Island, or visit one of the local cafes along North Street.
Catering to many people, Woorim Beach is one of Queensland’s wheelchair accessible beaches, and there is a dog off-leash area along the foreshore at beach access 19.
Once it’s time to leave the textured white sand and crystal-clear waters, many other attractions on Bribie Island are not to be missed, including visiting a butterfly house, a contemporary museum, and exploring the national park by four-wheel-drive.
The Sunshine Coast is situated north of Brisbane, along the Queensland coast and is home to some breathtaking coastline and hinterland areas.
Just as a visit to the Gold Coast will give you plenty of variety for beaches to visit, the Sunshine Coast offers many options for swimming, surfing and exploring.
Kings Beach, Caloundra
Kings Beach in Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast is a perfect family day out at the beach. Here you will find a supervised lifeguard beach which is extremely popular with tourists setting up their beach tents for the day.
What makes Kings Beach really cool is the fact that there is also a free public swimming pool along the beach as well, for anyone who prefers the idea of an ocean pool over the actual ocean.
Along the Kings Beach boardwalks you will find numerous playgrounds, including a splash park, as well as plenty of places to dine or grab a drink.
Beyond the supervised beach, stroll along the boardwalk for coastal views, or walk beneath the boardwalk at low tide where you will find rock pools and a quieter area of the beach.
There are plenty of reasons why Mooloolaba beach is one of the best beaches in Queensland.
Like the other popular swimming beaches on the Sunshine Coast, Mooloolaba beach has a supervised swimming area to set up for a day of swimming and sand fun.
During low tide, the rock pools are fun to explore although be careful because they are very slippery in places. Trust me, after warning the kids to take care, I was the one that ended up taking a slide. Ouch!
Along the Mooloolaba Esplanade, you will find accommodation, restaurants and shopping, in case you are looking for more than just a day at the beach.
Or if you want to see some breathtaking views, don’t miss the chance to take the Coastal Pathway between Mooloolaba River and Alexander Headland.
This is a relatively long walk if you are attempting it with kids, however, the views are well worth the effort! Go early in the day before it gets too hot.
The Sunshine Coast of Southern Queensland is full of gorgeous beaches, but in the town of Noosa, you’ll find one of the best.
Sunshine beach, which is part of a 15km stretch of sand, is massively popular with surfers, and they travel from across Australia, and the world, to surf here! If you’re not into surfing, Sunshine beach is still a great place to hang out and enjoy the sun.
Lifeguards patrol the beach every day, so it’s also a safe place to take a swim.
This walk is definitely the most beautiful way to get to the beach from central Noosa. If you don’t fancy the walk, the 620 and 627 buses both stop at Sunshine Beach from Noosa town, and the journey takes around 10 minutes.
Even if you’re not doing the coastal walk, don’t miss heading up the stairs at the north end of Sunshine Beach for amazing views over the beach and the Noosa National Park Headland.
To extend your time at Sunshine Beach, there are a number of cafes and restaurants nearby. The restaurant Sum Yung Guys is a locals’ favourite for epic Asian food, and FOMO is a great stop for a post-surf beer.
Arguably the most popular beach in Queensland, Noosa Main Beach is located in the beautiful coastal holiday haunt Noosa Heads.
Known for its gentle waves and buzzing holiday vibe, Noosa Main Beach is a favourite holiday spot for families, couples, and surfers. The beach is patrolled by Surf Lifesavers all year round, as the Queensland climate makes for beautiful swimming temps even during the winter.
Noosa Main Beach also features one of the longest right-hand surf breaks in Australia, so it’s a perfect spot for avid surfers and beginners.
Many surfers walk around the headland, past Tea Tree Bay and dive off the rocks in Noosa National Park. From here, it’s possible to ride a wave all the way into the beach.
If you’re new to surfing, Noosa Learn to Surf has been offering surfing lessons on Main Beach for decades. It’s also a long-boarders paradise.
Book in a surfing lesson, or hire a SUP. Or find a position at one of the great restaurant and bars along the beach (check out Bistro C or Sails), and sip a glass of wine while the kids play in the sand.
Along Noosa Main Beach you’ll find several great holiday apartments which feature stunning ocean views and direct beachfront access. For the perfect holiday, check out Netanya Noosa, Seahaven or Fairshore Noosa Resort.
Double Island Point is not an island at all, but one of the most stunning beaches on the Queensland coast.
Located in the Cooloola section of the Great Sandy National Park, Double Island Point is a long sand spit with a pair of massive sand dunes, which appear to be two islands from a distance.
Double Island Point is a popular spot for lovers of water sports as well as 4WD enthusiasts – that’s because it is only accessible by 4WD. To reach the beach, you’ll either need to make your way down from Rainbow Beach or up from Teewah Beach.
The effort to get here is well worth it. You’ll seriously think you’ve arrived in paradise!
The beach offers both crystal clear water perfect for swimming, kayaking and SUPing.
There is also an excellent area for surfers. In fact, this is home to Australia’s longest right-hand breaks – so it’s the perfect place for surfing or bodyboarding too.
There is also a huge tidal lagoon up on the beach, which is excellent for kids.
Another popular thing to do while at Double Island Point is to take a hike to the Lighthouse on top of one of the sand dunes and to travel further north up the beach to look at the coloured sands.
If making your own way here you will need a permit to drive on the beach. Otherwise, you can also join a tour from either Noosa or Rainbow Beach.
Best Beaches In Wide Bay – Burnett Region of Queensland
If you venture beyond the Sunshine Coast but not quite as far as central Queensland, the Wide-Bay Burnett region has some stunning QLD beaches to discover!
This part of the state is perfect for a shorter road trip from Brisbane or a weekend escape.
Rainbow Beach, Gympie
By Sinead from Map Made Memories
Rainbow Beach is a 73-kilometre drive northeast of Gympie. The beach gained its name from the unusual, multi-coloured sandy cliffs lining the beach that are rich in minerals. These colourful sands look spectacular at sunset.
The long, golden sand beach is popular with walkers, joggers and horse riders.
Adventurous families can try water sports in Rainbow Beach’s crystal-clear warm waters such as sea kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.
Surf lessons are also available or take a day tour to Rainbow Beach’s famous neighbour, Fraser Island.
The beach is also popular with 4WD vehicles which, with a permit, are allowed to drive along the beach so choose a quieter, less-visited spot before spreading out your beach towels!
Take the 600-metre walk from Rainbow Beach, through bushland to the Carlo Sand Blow, a huge dune formed by blown sand. Don’t forget your boogie board for thrilling rides down the dune and if visiting in summer, keep your eyes peeled for passing whales.
There is a toilet with showers and changing facilities at the main beach car park and a fun adventure playground. This is a beautiful part of Australia’s east coast and is well worth a visit.
Agnes Water is a popular holiday town located close to Gladstone in Queensland. Most people come here during the summer for a quick beach vacation or camping.
The selection of nearby beaches is fantastic but one of the best ones around is Agnes Water Beach.
It stretches for many kilometres so there is always a quiet space for a secluded picnic or to go for a swim. Towards the southern end of the beach, you’ll find lifeguards and a designated swimming area which is great for those travelling with children.
Agnes Water is home to Australia’s cheapest surf course which costs only $17,70 per person.
They will teach you all you need to know as a complete surfing beginner and even guarantee you will be able to stand on your board on the first day.
Of course, there are also more advanced swells on Agnes Water Beach but always be careful of the strong currents that Queensland is known for.
If you’re in Agnes Water you absolutely have to take a walk along the beach and enjoy how quiet and peaceful it is. During low tide, the water is calm and there are some tidal pools that are perfect for relaxing. Find out more about the best beaches in Australia here.
And Catseye Beach, despite being on the eastern side of the island is still a beautiful spot to watch the sunset. Perch on the grassy banks and watch the colours changing to top off a perfect island day.
Located in the heart of the Whitsunday Islands, Whitehaven Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Queensland (and even the whole of Australia!).
The nearest coastal town is Airlie Beach. You can easily get there by plane. There are many flights going to Proserpine airport every day. Alternatively, you can opt for a flight to Hamilton Island Airport.
In terms of tours, you can opt for a day trip, a 2-day sailing tour or a helicopter flight. The beach itself is absolutely stunning. It’s one of the whitest beaches in the world.
The sand is made of 98% silica (quartz) which means it’s very soft and bright.
You are allowed to swim at Whitehaven Beach however, it’s always preferable to wear a wetsuit.
Although spending time on the beach is an amazing experience, make sure to also go on the bush walk to the Hill Inlet Lookout. From there, you will discover stunning views of the estuary. The sand and water swirl up in a very unique way. It’s breath-taking! It looks like a painting!
Whitsunday Island is not inhabited which means that you won’t find any facilities there. Make sure to take everything you need before heading there.
If you’ve opted for a tour from Airlie Beach or Hamilton Island, most equipment will be provided but it is down to you to bring appropriate footwear.
Finally, consider also going on a scenic flight above Whitehaven Beach and the Great Barrier Reef. It’s a great way to see these natural landmarks in all their beauty.
Once you reach North Queensland, the tropical weather all year round makes beach visits a popular choice. Although, you do need to take a little extra care at the beach in far north Queensland with stinger season making the ocean unsafe without proper protective gear!
And of course, keep an eye out for those beware of crocodile signs! Always swim in the approved lifeguard areas if you do plan to venture beyond the shallows.
Located slightly north of Mackay, Cape Hillsborough offers a pristine coastal beach known as a great access point to the Great Barrier Reef. Cape Hillsborough, one of Australia’s National Parks, contains a diverse mix of rich rainforests, rocky headlands, eucalyptus forests, and sandy beaches.
The biggest draw to this gorgeous beach is the kangaroos found wandering along the shoreline. If you have ever seen a picture of a kangaroo on a beach, it was most likely captured at Cape Hillsborough.
Head to Cape Hillsborough in the morning to watch the kangaroos hop down to the Casuarina Beach and snack on the washed-up mangrove seed pods.
While the kangaroos prefer the Casuarina Beach, nearby Smalleys Beach offers affordable camping sites administered by the National Park Service.
Cape Hillsborough is a perfect beach destination for families with its budget-friendly activities and helpful signs. Families will enjoy exploring other areas of the park like the dense rainforest – home to some of Queensland’s unique wildlife.
If you are looking to discover more parks, head over to nearby Eungella National Park – the best place to see a platypus in the wild.
The nearby city of Mackay has all the amenities and services you could ever need on your adventure. There are plenty of free activities in Mackay, making it the perfect spot to stay while you explore Cape Hillsborough.
With pristine beaches and loads of activities, Cape Hillsborough is truly the perfect beach destination in Queensland.
If you have more time then consider staying overnight on the island to explore its verdant rainforest and other tropical beaches.
With year-round tropical weather, Nudey Beach provides the perfect place for relaxing and soaking up some sun. It is typically a quiet beach too so you can enjoy its splendour without the crowds.
Fitzroy Island is also surrounded by the Great Barrier Reef, and Nudey Beach provides a great opportunity to explore this underwater marvel.
The shallow coral reef that fringes the beach is ideal for children and those new to snorkelling. Here you can come face to face with tropical fish in an array of colours, as well as turtles and reef sharks.
For the more adventurous, there are numerous walking tracks that traverse the island.
These tracks will immerse you in the tropical rainforest of the national park that covers 97% of Fitzroy Island. Keep your eyes open for some of the islands unique wildlife too, including goannas, skinks and ospreys.
If spending time in Cairns, a day trip to Green Island is a popular option for any Cairns itinerary! Green Island is just 45 minutes from Cairns by fast catamaran and there are daily tours to the national park island.
What makes Green Island beaches so special is the fact that you are metres away from coral reefs, with Green Island being coral cay in the Great Barrier Reef.
Snorkelling at Green Island is great for beginners and children since you are so close to the beach with relatively calm waters. Plus there is a supervised lifeguard beach for extra safety! Snorkelling gear is typically included in the price of your day trip as well.
You can easily walk around the entire national park in under 1 hour, exploring the beach that surrounds Green Island, with crystal clear waters.
There are plenty of other things to do at Green Island too, with a crocodile park, water activities, glass-bottom boat tours and restaurants. Or stay at the resort for an extended experience.
Four Mile Beach is located in Port Douglas in Far North Queensland. The beach whilst pretty long is actually 4 km long and not 4 miles as the name suggests.
The name actually comes from a local family with the surname Fourmile!
The beach is flat with beautiful golden sands and stretches from Island Point to the mangrove reef at Mowbray River.
Four Mile beach has a stinger enclosure and lifeguards are stationed at flagged areas. However there are beware of crocodile signs all along the beach so bear that in mind before taking a dip.
There are umbrellas and sunbeds available for hire and a few cafes are just a couple of minutes walk from the beach.
For beautiful views of Four Mile Beach, take a walk up to the lookout on Flagstaff Hill. There is a boardwalk, steps and then a gravel path signposted from the top of the beach. Alternatively, you can drive up to the lookout.
If you weren’t planning a visit to experience the best beaches in Queensland already, no doubt you will be now! These are just some of the standout beaches in the sunshine state and there’s a good chance you might discover your own extra favourites that haven’t even made the list too!