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Gold Coast Australia, or Surfers Paradise, is bigger, brighter, and more epic than you could possibly imagine. An iconic Australian coastal destination famous for sun, sand and surf, this is where travelers head for a truly good time. Best beaches on Gold Coast Australia. 

With so much to see and do, this guide is your ultimate resource to the Gold Coast’s best beaches. These are some of the best in Australia.

Burleigh Heads Beach

Easily the best beach on the Gold Coast, come here for great waves and beautiful scenery. Best beaches in the Gold Coast.

A great family beach with plenty of room for locals and tourists alike, facilities include parking, lifeguards, coffee shops, and is perfect for those wanting to get away from the main tourist strip of the Gold Coast.

Coolangatta Beach

A beautiful clean white sand beach away from the madness of the main Gold Coast strip, come here to relax and get away from it all.

This beach is not crowded, the waves are less fierce, and with lifeguards present this beach is ideal for families.

Surfers Paradise Beach

One of the most well known beaches in Queensland, Surfers Paradise beach is right in the centre of the city. Gold Coast Beaches Australia.

It’s fantastic location puts it within a stones throw from trendy bars, restaurants and cafes, weekend markets and surf shops, and it’s spectacular views and golden sand make it one of the most photographed beaches in Australia.

Kirra Beach

Clear blue water, beautiful soft sand, you can’t ask for more from an iconic Australian beach! White sand beaches on the gold coast.

This beach features a pretty lagoon by the sandbar which shields the area from waves and is a great place for young children.

Snapper Rocks

One of the best surf beaches in Australia, come here to watch in awe as some of Queensland’s best surfers tackle phenomenal waves.

Enjoy the fantastic rugged scenery, try your hand at a bit of fishing or enjoy a stroll along one of Australia’s most beautiful beaches at sunset.

Kurrawa Beach

Another fantastic family beach, which is incredibly beautiful, this is your spot whether you’re looking to swim, relax, pull up a chair to take in the view or head out on a leisurely stroll. Surf beaches in Gold Coast

Beach is patrolled with great facilities including showers to wash off. Great surf club located on the beach available for lunch and dinner.

Currumbin Beach

A beautiful white sand beach which is most famous for it’s sunsets.

With sweeping views over the coastline, this is a fantastic local beach off the tourist trail with spectacular views and less crowds.

Tugun Beach

A beach much quieter than Coolangatta or Surfers Paradise, Tugun is a very relaxed beach surrounded by great options for Surf Clubs, Leagues Clubs, Golf Clubs, cafes and restaurants. Gold Coast surf beaches. 

A popular beach for walkers.

Before You Go:

Take sun protection. The Australian UV Rays are stronger than anywhere else in the world, and most travelers to the Gold Coast will be spending a lot of time in the sun.

Pack accordingly.

Money and tipping: Find a Gold Coast Hotel in the heart of the city as this is the ideal base for both business and leisure travellers. A central location like Broadbeach ensures you are within walking distance from at least one beach, and also within convenient reach of restaurants, bars and shops.

Australian hotels accept all major credit cards, though factor for surcharges. Credit card surcharges are common through the country and will often run at at 1% for Visa and Mastercard or 2% for AMEX and Diners.

ATM’s are located at all major points throughout the city – tipping is not customary in Australia.

Safety and security: The Gold Coast is a very laid back city, which is very safe for travelers, though exercise commonsense and take precautions such as never leaving your bag unattended etc.

Popular beaches are patrolled by lifeguards – be sure to only swim within the flags while enjoying Queenslands beaches as rips can become quite dangerous very quickly.

The Gold Coast is famous for it’s nightlife, so be aware that once night falls, intoxication levels of those walking the streets may be high.

Other beach opportunities: The Gold Coast is within an easy drive or train ride from Brisbane (catch the train from Nerang) and an easy flight from Hamilton Island for a Great Barrier Reef experience.

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Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Photo credits: Coolangatta Beach by eGuide Travel. Surfers Dawn by Rodney Campbell. Kirra Beach by ozzieguy. Kirra Beach Sunset & Snapper Rocks Sunset by jayde aleman. Currumbin Beach by Paul D’Ambra. Currumbin sunrise by Michael Dawes.

    35 Comments

  1. I pinned this to my Australia Pinterest board! (: thinking about doing a working holiday in Australia!

    • Thanks Jessica! You’ll love Australia – feel free to reach out if you have any questions leading up :)

    • Thanks!

  2. Love the photos of Kirra Beach and Snapper Rocks! Good to know that the atmosphere is laid back and that the area is safe. Thanks for the post!

    • Thanks Mary! Yes, Queensland is a very safe place and it’s fabulous for a laid back relaxed vacation :)

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Valen! Hope you can manage a beach vacation to the Gold Coast soon! :)

  3. I visited some of the Queensland beaches many years ago. I remember being struck by the views and the cleanliness.

    • QLD definitely leads the way in terms of keeping their beaches clean. It’s very hard to visit QLD though and then head off to another beach destination somewhere else in the world … nothing else quite compares :D!

  4. Wow Kirra Beach looks amazing, the sand and the buildings, what a juxtaposition!

    • Hope you have the chance to visit soon! I’m sure you would love it :)

  5. Our Gold Coast beaches are the best but I’m always up to try out beaches far and wide. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of swimming in the surf we spend a heap of time at all of these for various reasons. Palm Beach, across the creek from Currumbin is a great spot for anyone with smaller children or who want to swim and SUP on calmer waters. You can easily stake out a patch of sand there that gives surf and lagoon access without having to move your towel and esky.

    • Thanks for the tip on Palm Beach Toni! I love that the Gold Coast has such a diverse range of beaches so that literally everyone can enjoy them – from the hardcore party crowd, to surf pros, and then something more relaxes, quiet and tame for families with small kids :)

  6. Great article Megan,

    I’m a Burleigh local and agree with you that Burleigh Beach is the best on the Gold Coast (and one of the best beaches in the world I reckon).

    Matt.

    • Thanks Matt! Fabulous location to call home! We’re heading back up via the Gold Coast for a few days in January – can’t get enough! Maybe we’ll see you at Burleigh :)

  7. Karrawa looks like a perfect place to take my little dude to get his sea legs, while Currubin would be a great place for sundowners. I think I’d love to take a week and explore each one of these beaches. My brothers have all been to Australia, my turn next.

    • Definitely sounds like it’s your turn to swing by! The fab thing about the Gold Coast is that there are so many options for beaches, that there really is something for every type of vacation :) Enjoy!

  8. As a photographer, Currumbin and Snapper Rocks are my favourite beaches on the Gold Coast. Fantastic scenery to frame the colourful sunrises that often happen here! Plus, they are far away from the main strip of Surfers, which I am not a fan of.

    Also, you mentioned that Brisbane is an easy flight from the Gold Coast. It’s actually only an hour away by car. I would recommend that you catch the train from Nerang to Brisbane if you’re trying to come up here since flights don’t operate between Coolangatta and Brissy.

    • I enjoy the more secluded beaches also which are a bit further out from the main strip. Not really a fan of crowds anymore!

      Thanks so much for the correction on flights from Brisbane :) I’ve just edited that section quickly to make note of your suggestion to take the train from Nerang, and that it’s an easy drive otherwise. Very helpful!

  9. When I think of beaches I naturally think of holidays since it’s a rare day that I actually visit one. Aren’t you lucky to have such a selection. Back in the late 70”s well before Byron Bay was discovered I did enjoy 2 magical weeks on those beaches.

    • So glad you’ve had the opportunity to enjoy these beaches too Leigh – I agree, I also associate the concept of the beach with a holiday or vacation. We lived in Florida for about a year and sadly when you live in a place I’ve found you never seem to quite make the most of it as you do when you’re on a vacation! Wonder why that is!

  10. I’ve never been to Auz, but when I go, I’m definitely hitting up the Gold Coast. Thank you for succinctly giving the DL on these beaches. It’s going to be hard to pick just one.

    • The good news is you don’t have to choose just one :D A lot of them are very easy to get to and close by most main attractions so you can get some serious beach hopping in if you want to!

      Hope you have the chance to experience Aus soon :)

    • Thanks Jane! So glad you’re also a fan of the beaches on the Gold Coast – will click through to check out your recommendations too :)

  11. I’ve been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like
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    • Thankyou for your kind words Kiersten – I’m glad you enjoyed the post :)

  12. Hopefully going to start warming up a bit. Summer is edging closer and closer in QLD anyway. Seen beaches all around the world, Gold Coast has some of the best!

    • We’re getting there! We’re getting little previews of summer here in Canberra right now too. Should be a good season this year! I agree that Gold Coast beaches put the rest of the world to shame :D!

  13. I will mark this website and share to friends whose planning, some vacation in Australia.Thanks

    • Thanks Lea! Happy travels :)

  14. I have always found it really windy on the Goldie – some nice beaches in northern NSW not to far away that are a bit more sheltered

    • Thanks for the tip – we’ll have to spend some time next trip exploring a bit of northern NSW too :)

  15. “Before You Go” i love that part! thanks for sharing!

    • Glad we could help out! I figure it’s always nice to cover the practicalities to consider in the lead up to a trip too :)

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