Queensland beaches

With 6973km of sun-drenched coastline, Queensland is the hostess with the mostest when it comes to sharing our stunning beaches with the world.

Queensland beaches ignite pinch-yourself moments as you step onto the sand of some of the world’s best beaches; and we aren’t the only ones who think so. Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays and Nudey Beach on Fitzroy Island in Tropical North Queensland are just some of the stunners that take out ‘most beautiful beach’ awards by the likes of Trip Advisor and Brad Farmer’s 101 Best Beaches.

Enjoy the luxury beach-side resorts, panoramic ocean views and family-friendly activities on the Sunshine Coast. Strut down stunning beaches and soak up the active beach culture or watch the pros catch a wave on the Gold Coast. Let down your tyres and embark on a 4x4 beach adventure along the sand highways of the Fraser Coast. Or, BYO hammock and sit back for sunset on the palm-fringed beaches in Port Douglas or Palm Cove.

With many Queensland beaches accompanied by vibrant seaside towns sporting their own unique personalities, stay and play for a seaside vacay and really explore the region. Need more inspo? We have 14 more Queensland beaches for you to soak up.

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Top 5 beaches in Queensland

Expand the striped umbrella and throw down an oversized beach towel. It’s time to kick back and soak up much-needed Vitamin D on some of the best beaches in Queensland. From island coves to pumping surf breaks, here’s our picks for the top 5 Queensland beaches. 

Whitehaven Beach, The Whitsundays

When girl boss Oprah Winfrey calls Whitehaven Beach one of her favourite locations, you know this award-winning beach is nothing short of spectacular. Step off your yacht or sea plane onto sand so silica pure it will not burn your feet, and take in the turquoise scenery of this piece of pure Whitsundays paradise.

Nudey Beach, Fitzroy Island

Nudey by name, not by nature, so you can forgo your birthday suit for a bathing suit and snorkel the fringing reefs of this award-winning beach. Fitzroy Island’s Nudey Beach is only a 45-minute ferry ride from Cairns, and a short trek through the rainforest canopy will see you emerge onto this beautiful stretch of genetically blessed beach. Hot tip: stay overnight on Fitzroy Island so you can really experience the island’s full offering.

Noosa Main Beach, Sunshine Coast

One of the only Queensland beaches facing north (hello, calmer waters), Noosa’s Main Beach is front runner for an Oscar in the most beautiful beaches category. 
It’s the perfect place for kids to swim or to channel Kate Bosworth and learn to surf on this protected coastline. Only a hop, skip and a paddle from Main Beach is the ever-trendy Hastings Street so you can jump off your board and into a hip café on the boardwalk before you can say ‘surf’s up’.

Rainbow Beach, Fraser Coast

If you embark on the Great Beach Drive you are guaranteed to pass through the seaside town of Rainbow Beach.  Welcome to a 23km stretch of spectacular colourful sandhills just begging to be photographed. Acting as the southern gateway to Fraser Island, you can explore this sandy stretch in a 4WD or swap the four wheels for four hooves and lead the horse to water with Rainbow Beach Horse Riding.

Surfers Paradise Beach, Gold Coast

One of the most recognisable Queensland beaches, Surfers Paradise Beach is a 2km stretch of golden sand in the heart of the Gold Coast. The beach is patrolled by three surf lifesaving towers so it’s the perfect place for kids to swim, or for surfing beginners to catch a wave or take up a lesson. Make sure you snap a photo in front of the iconic Surfers Paradise sign before you step foot onto the sand.  

Best Queensland surfing beaches

Blessed with impeccable weather, warm water temps and the stunning beauty of the Queensland coastline, Queensland is a surfing mecca and home to some of the most popular surfing tournaments in the country. Whether you’re an experienced wave-rider or you’re yet to stand up on a board, Queensland has a wave with your name on it. Here are our top 3 surf breaks in Queensland or, for extra ideas, check out Queensland Surfing: The Pro Tour.

Snapper Rocks, Gold Coast

Home to the annual Quiksilver Pro World Surfing League competition, surfing at Snapper Rocks could see you rubbing wetsuits with the likes of Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson (who are both based on the Gold Coast). 
This is one of the most popular surfing hot spots for experienced surfers on the Gold Coast and with some talent and a bit of luck you can catch a wave from behind the rocks at Snapper and ride it all the way to Greenmount Beach.

Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast

Catch a Burleigh barrel at the popular surfing spot, Burleigh Heads Beach, which is known world-wide for having one of the most beautiful point breaks in Australia. If you aren’t a confident surfer, brush up on your skills with a surf lesson or two before hitting the waves. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, scoot across the road to refuel at one of the trendy cafes.  

Coolum Beach, Sunshine Coast

Situated at the northern end of the Sunshine Coast, Coolum Beach is home to pro surfer Julian Wilson and is one of the best surf breaks on the Sunshine Coast. It’s protected by sheltered bays from southerly winds and the long stretch of beach gives surfers plenty of space to escape the crowds.

Best Queensland beaches for camping

Is there a better sound to fall asleep to than the constant hum of waves gently crashing on the shore? We can’t think of one. Take the beach highway and camp under the stars at some of the best beach camping spots in Queensland. 

If you aren’t into ‘roughing it’ and glamping is more your style, we have a range of beach glamping spots to add your wish list instead.

Cylinder Beach, North Stradbroke Island

Minjerribah Camping is situated on North Stradbroke Island just off the coast of Brisbane. The shady camping ground sits on Cylinder Beach with a direct north orientation. The camp site is named after the The Quandamooka People who have lived on Minjerribah (now known as North Stradbroke Island) for over 25,000 years. Minjerribah Camping has 60 unpowered tent sites and 8 powered sites and includes toilet and shower facilities, BBQ and kitchen facilities, a playground, washing facilities and free WIFI.

Waddy Point, Fraser Island

Waddy Point camping is one of seven spots to pitch a tent on the world-heritage listed Fraser Island. Vehicle access and camping permits must be purchased before entering Fraser Island. Waddy Point can accommodate 25 tent sites (maximum 8 people) in the top camping area and 20 groups in the beachfront tent camping area.
If you’re planning on bringing your camper trailer there are 6 trailer sites in the top camping area and 5 defined trailer sites in the beachfront camping area. One night under the stars on Fraser Island will certainly have you waking up thinking, ”this is living, Barry.”

Hook Island, The Whitsundays

Island camping on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef? Yes please. Hook Island is one of 74 islands in the Whitsundays and its lack of reception makes it a perfect place to unplug and connect with nature. The bays of Hook Island offer some of the most spectacular fringing reefs and snorkelling opportunities right on your tent’s doorstep.
There are four camp sites across the island with varying camp site surfaces and all sites are accessible only by boat. Fires and generators are not permitted, and you must bring your own water, food and rubbish bags.

Family-friendly beaches

The perfect recipe for a family-friendly beach requires a few key ingredients. First step is finding somewhere with calmer waters protected from winds, within eyesight of your beach baggage (as you know it takes an army to carry in equipment and set up shop for a family beach day).

Add in a shady area of the beach for sun reprieve where kids can play out of direct UV rays. Mix in some shallower areas (without crashing waves) where the younger children can safely frolic on the water’s edge. And for the cherry on top, flavour with a picnic or playground spot in close proximity to the beach, for the family to take five and refuel after some serious sun time.

Apron on? Now make some quality family memories together at these Queensland family-friendly beaches.  

Dog-friendly beaches

Your pooches need some paw-some sun, surf and sand play too and Queensland’s dog-friendly beaches deliver a barking good time for your four-legged friends. Pack the tennis ball and a solid right arm throw and unleash your dog on these dog-friendly beaches. Long walks on the beach with your significant other have never looked so good.
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