It is no secret that Queensland boasts some of the best beaches in Australia. As the weather warms and summer creeps closer, the pull to the Sunshine State’s refreshing waves and still waters grows stronger. But with a notable coastline of competition on the sands and islands on the horizon, the ultimate battle of the beach is on.
Whether you’re after a good surf, somewhere to take your furry friend or a fun family day out, we give you Queensland’s best beaches…
1. Double Island Point
Located south of Rainbow Beach on the Sunshine Coast, Double Island Point is a gorgeous and unspoilt coastal headland with amazing cultural and historical value.
Pros: Double Island Point is one of Queensland’s best beach driving destinations. So if you’re after a fun day out on the sand, get your 4WD ready because this is it. While you’re there, make sure you take a walk up the coastal headland and visit the Lighthouse for incredible views out to the Pacific Ocean. The region is also rated as one of Australia’s best diving locations, home to wondrous amount of marine life including turtles, manta rays and dolphins.
Cons: Nobody likes to be sitting in the car for hours… The biggest downside of a trip to Double Island Point is that it will take nearly three hours from Brisbane to reach this location, making it difficult to fit in as a day trip. So if you do choose to stay the night make sure you plan ahead as the Rainbow Beach region only has a limited number of places to stay.
2. Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast
Famously known as Australia’s most popular tourist destinations, Surfers Paradise never runs short of attractions for locals and visitors.
Pros: Surfers Paradise is one of our most iconic and most visited beaches along Queensland’s golden sand. The Gold Coast hub has more dining options than you can poke a fork at, boasts an eclectic culture and music scene and is only a short trip away from theme parks. The golden strip along the Pacific Ocean is the perfect track for joggers, pet pals and sunset strolls, as well as family swims with lifeguards always close by.
Cons: Paradise comes at a price – and as Surfers Paradise is known for hosting one of the busiest shopping and restaurant strips in Queensland, this is not the place to come for a quiet, relaxing day at the beach. Being such a popular destination for visitors and therefore over-populated, you will be having to content with surfers and body boarders just to take a dip!
3. Tangalooma Island Resort
A stunning, protected coastline is only half the beauty of Tangalooma Island Resort – with a large number of activities on offer for all ages to enjoy, amazing natural encounters are just part of the everyday experience. Whether you want to escape the city’s bustling, busyness to secluded bankside luxury or an adrenaline pumping adventure, a day trip to Tangalooma has it all.
Pros: Tangalooma’s adventure and experience partly comes by the way you get there. Drop off the car, skip the traffic and hop aboard a 75-minute picturesque cruise to the island where memories are made (otherwise known as Moreton Island)! Whether you’re after a day of adventure snorkelling the famous Tangalooma Wrecks, quad biking, or just want to sit back and appreciate the incredible colours of the coastline while you relax on Tangalooma’s private beach, the resort offers the perfect day out for families and couples. Plus, if you hang around until sunset, you may even get the chance to hand feed the wild dolphins that visit the shoreline each night.
Cons: While there are no major shopping precincts around, there are many restaurants on the island that cater to all tastes and requirements so you will be sure to find something you like!
4. Cotton Tree Beach
Cotton Tree is a gorgeous area located in the heart of Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast.
Pros: Surrounded by native cotton trees, this trendy and bustling sandy beach is the perfect area for family fun. Set by the pristine Maroochy river and Pacific Ocean, there are plenty of opportunities for water sports, including stand-up paddleboards, fishing, kite surfing and everything in between. You can set off on foot and witness gorgeous pristine waters from ocean views atop Alexandra Headland. The thriving Sunday markets also add the cherry on
top of a great getaway.
Cons: Be prepared for a two-hour drive from Brisbane to reach Cotton Tree Beach (and that’s not taking into consideration traffic). While there are a few local cafes and eateries, the choices are limited. If you’re travelling with your family, you’ll have to pack bulk before you depart to save on food purchases during your trip.
5. Red Beach, Bribie Island
Located south of Bribie Island, Red Beach is extremely popular with locals (and their pets).
Pros: Some would call Red Beach one of Bribie’s best kept secrets. Free from crowds, many local families take their dogs and let them run freely as the 8km stretch of beach is one of few off the leash areas around. There are also plenty of child friendly swimming areas, with beautiful views of Moreton Island.
Cons: While it may be a favourite for your four legged friend, it may not be ideal for family trips as there are very few amenities close by – which means you will need to be extra prepared to clean up after your dog. Or worse, if you don’t plan your timing, you could find yourself knee deep in the high tide.