Beaches in Queensland: 19 Best Ones to Visit in 2024 (UPDATED)
Table of Contents
2. Best Beaches in Queensland
2.1 Surfer's Paradise
2.2 75 Mile Beach
2.4 Sutton’s Beach
2.5 Airlie Beach
2.6. Noosa Main Beach
2.7 Cape Hillsborough
2.9 Miami Beach
2.10 Great Keppel Island
2.11 Palm Cove Beach
2.13 Whitehaven Beach
2.15 Rainbow Beach
2.16 Cape Tribulation
2.18 Hervey Bay
2.19 Burleigh Heads
Nestled along the sun-kissed coastline of northeastern Australia, Queensland stands as a coastal paradise, boasting a collection of pristine beaches that lure both locals and tourists alike. With its crystal-clear waters, powdery white sands and an abundance of marine life, the best beaches in Queensland offer an unparalleled escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether you seek adventure, tranquillity, or simply an opportunity to soak up the sun, it’s coastline delivers an array of stunning beach destinations that are sure to captivate your heart and leave you longing for more.
Stretching over 7,000 kilometres, Queensland’s coastline provides you with a diverse tapestry of beach experiences, from secluded coves nestled within lush rainforests to vast stretches of golden sand that seem to stretch endlessly into the horizon. Each beach carries its unique charm, showcasing the state’s natural beauty and providing a gateway to unforgettable experiences.
But which are the best?
In this article, we will take you on a journey through some of the best beaches in Queensland, shedding light on their unique features, attractions and activities that make them stand out. If you’re a nature enthusiast, a beach lover, or someone in search of a tropical escape, the Sunshine State offers an enticing blend of natural wonders and captivating experiences that will leave an indelible mark on your soul.
So, grab your sunglasses, pack your beach towel and join us as we unveil the unparalleled beauty of the best beaches in Queensland.
Here is my take on 19 of the best beaches in Queensland, Australia.
Arguably the best of all city beaches in Queensland, Surfer’s Paradise is one of Australia’s most famous beaches too.
Backed by iconic high-rise apartments, this wide 3km stretch of golden sand and deep blue ocean, retains an impressive beauty.
A very popular beach, which is patrolled 365 days a year, it offers excellent opportunities for swimmer, surfing, sunbathing and walking along its soft sand or beachfront promenade.
As you would expect the area also has a terrific collection of shops, cafés and restaurants only steps away from the sand.
Many people don’t realise that Surfer’s is a great destination for shoppers too. Especially on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights when the Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets are on.
These markets have more than 120 stalls that sell everything from photographs and fashion to souvenirs and jewelry and are well worth a browse.
If size matters to you then head to 75 mile beach on Fraser Island.
Taking its name from its impressive length, this very expansive stretch of raw, natural coastline is perfect to 4WD on.
The gorgeous multi-coloured sands that you will encounter here along the shore form a stunning mosaic of white, orange and ochre hues. The views of the water and surrounding foliage are sensational too.
75 Mile Beach is not a great beach to swim on as it has dangerous currents and Tiger Sharks inhabit the surrounding waters. But swimmers can go inland to the freshwater lakes that are walking distance to the shoreline if they fancy a swim.
Be sure to check out the bubbling Champagne Pools – nature’s very own spa bath – if you do.
Whilst on 75 Mile Beach be sure to check out Indian Head, a popular lookout point on the Island’s most easterly point that offers wonderful views of the surrounding ocean and beaches.
Sarina is possibly one of the best beaches in Australia you didn’t know about!
Located 36km south of Mackay and 916km north of Brisbane, the coastal town of Sarina is pretty much a sugar industry town that is surrounded by cane fields.
However, it does have an awesome beach.
Located 10km the from the town centre, Sarina Beach is a beautiful sweep of golden sand with gently crashing waves, located in a quiet residential area.
The beach is patrolled seasonally by the local Surf Lifesaving Club, so swimming is possible there at certain times of the year.
The kind of beach that will inspire creative types. It is also the perfect place to sunbathe or relax with a good book or your favourite tunes.
Sarina Beach is also a popular location for nesting turtles, which is well worth seeing if you can.
The beach is fringed by an esplanade park with barbecue and picnic facilities. So it is a nice spot for families to spend some quality time together.
Nowhere near as long as 75 Mile Beach, but still another of the beaches in Queensland which seems to stretch as far as the eye can see, in both directions, is Sutton’s Beach in Redcliffe.
Located about 28 km from Brisbane it has been a popular seaside resort for day trippers from the city since around the 1880s.
It’s really not hard to see why. The views are enchanting and the colour of the water is especially alluring.
Situated in a residential area – there are houses directly over the road from this beach, less than 50 foot away – it has a distinctly homely feel.
So it’s a lovely spot for a picnic. Or to sit on the beach with a good book or your Spotify playlist for a while.
Snuggled in the heart of the Whitsundays region, Airlie Beach has long been a popular Queensland tourism destination.
Regarded as one of the main access points to the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef, Airlie is a great base in which to explore these areas.
Framed by the hilly rainforest of the Conway National Park, Airlie Beach is famous for its outstanding palm tree-fringed beach, terrific vibe and gorgeous views of the Coral Sea.
Add to it beautiful year-round tropical weather, loads of family-friendly activities and a number of decent to eat and you have everything you need for an enjoyable holiday.
The Sunshine Coast has a number of excellent beaches and Noosa Main Beach is right up there with the best of them.
Noosa is considered by many to be one of the best beaches in Queensland, if not Australia, and it has long since been one of the nation’s favourite holiday destinations.
Surrounded by tropical rain forest, it is one of the few beaches in the country that seamlessly fuses the tranquillity of a natural paradise with the perks of a cosmopolitan life.
Boasting golden sands, shimmering water, and a patrolled main beach it makes for an ideal swimming destination for the whole family. If you are lucky you may even be joined by pods of dolphins, while humpback whales can be spotted in the distance during their annual migration.
As it’s a north facing beach conditions are far more sheltered than other beaches and its warm climate means it can be enjoyed year round.
Noosa Beach is also surrounded by the famous Hastings St. Which features world class restaurants and chic, trendy boutiques. So there is plenty to see and do when you are off the beach.
Is there any more quintessential Australian beach experience than sharing the sand with wallabies?
Every morning at sunrise, wallabies hop onto the shore at Cape Hillsborough National Park in Far North Queensland.
No one quite knows why. But it’s a magical site to see.
Photo opportunities abound here. Not just of the wallabies but also of the gorgeous sunrise and the surrounding forest that frames the beach.
Cape Hillsborough is about a 45-minute drive from Mackay and it’s a great place to hang out even when the wallabies are not there.
You will find plenty of accommodation options as well if you want to stay a night or two.
A coastal town about 40km from Rockhampton and 700km from Brisbane, Yeppoon is known for its tropical climate, beautiful beaches and the islands that are situated out in the bay.
Just 20km from Great Keppel Island, Yeppoon is located on Keppel Bay and opens to the coral sea.
Its main beach is 1.4 km long and is patrolled by lifeguards, so it is great for families to swim, sunbathe and play ball sports like cricket or tennis on.
Boasting a wide expanse of sand, it has a quiet feel about it. Which belies its proximity to the busy parade of shops that flank it.
Yeppoon also has a lagoon right on the main beach. It is a free swimming spot, that offers scintillating views of the islands in the sea.
Another great city beach on the Gold Coast is Miami Beach.
The last beach going south before the headlands, Miami Beach offers a pristine stretch of beach with terrific views of the highrise buildings. Unsurprisingly it is a favourite spot for photographers.
All the amenities and facilities you would expect are here. But unusual for the area, this stretch of beach is never really too crowded or touristy. Especially during the week. Which is perfect if you are looking to breath and relax.
For beach walkers, very low tides allow access around the front of Miami Bluff to North Burleigh Beach. So, this makes for a pleasant stroll.
To see this beach from a different perspective, head to Mick Schamburg park. Here you will get a unique birds eye view of it.
Located 15km off the coast of Yeppoon on the Capricorn Coast, Great Keppel Island is a must for all beach lovers.
Not least because there are 17 great beaches to visit on the island.
The main beaches are Putney Beach and Fisherman’s Beach. Both of which are closest to the resorts on the island. Other great beaches include Monkey Beach, Wreck Beach and Leeke’s Beach.
But arguably the best is Long Beach. A wonderful stretch of pristine white sand, it is undoubtedly one of the best beaches in Queensland. It also happens to be a popular spot for nude sunbathing too.
Encompassing an almost perfect stretch of white sand, backed by gently swaying palm trees, the beach is offset by azure waters and crab-filled mangroves.
It is perfect for walking on and has a patrolled area with a protected stinger net. The calm and sheltered waters make it ideal for swimming and snorkelling, while its picturesque setting provides breathtaking views for relaxation.
Away from the sand, Palm Cove is also known for its sophisticated beachfront esplanade, lined with award-winning restaurants, boutique shops and luxurious resorts.
There is something cool about a beach being referred to as simply a number. But there again Seventeen Seventy is a pretty cool beach.
Often referred to in writing as The Town of 1770, it lies in the Gladstone Region, not far from Agnes Waters.
The main beach of a picturesque seaside village, it is surrounded on three sides by the coral sea and Bustard Bay.
Historically significant as the second landing site of James Cook and his crew on the Endeavour in May 1770 the area boasts wonderful natural beauty.
A departure point for reef cruises and fishing charters to the Southern Great Barrier Reef, this is a great spot to enjoy stand up paddle boarding, fishing and swimming.
The foreshore also has an extensive boardwalk. As well as a grassed picnic area, barbecues and a playground which the children will love.
Whitehaven Beach has long since been considered one of the best beaches in Queensland. But recently it was voted the best beach in the world!
If that is not reason enough to go there, then we are not sure what is!
Located in the Whitsunday Islands, this evocative beach conjures up images of brilliant white sands and crystal-clear waters.
Stretching for over 7km, its silica sand is an extremely high purity form of sand, with fine grains that make it very soft to touch.
Blessed with a tranquil atmosphere, this natural wonder embraces a magnificent collection of coves, lagoons and inlets, many of which have scenic lookouts which offer views that will make you pinch yourself.
A true photographer’s delight, its no wonder that Whitehaven Beach is one of the most photographed beaches in Queensland and Australia.
Another of the Sunshine Coast’s most popular beaches is Mooloolaba.
Just an hour from Brisbane, Mooloolaba Beach it is a curving north-east to north facing beach that lies in the sheltered side of the Port Cartwright lighthouse.
Replete with clear blue waters and golden sand this patrolled beach is a firm family favourite. Not least because it is one of the safest swimming beaches in the region.
There are plenty of restaurants and shops on its esplanade and the kids will love the two playgrounds there.
Internationally renowned for hosting the Mooloolaba Tri-athlon, the foreshore of this beach has recently undergone a multi-million dollar renovation which has further ratified its status as one of the best beaches in Queensland.
The gateway to Fraser Island, Rainbow Beach is a popular tourist destination in its.
Boasting 23 kms of flat golden sand, framed by the gorgeous blues of the Pacific Ocean this beach is flanked by rainbow coloured sand dunes that tower imperiously above them.
You can walk on these dunes to explore them further and 4WD along the beach to find a quiet spot to fish or relax on.
Located within the Great Sandy National Park, about an hours drive from the Sunshine Coast, Rainbow Beach is easily a Queensland destination you can spend a couple of days in.
Whilst there be sure to walk to the Carlo Sandblow and hike up to the top of the Double Island Point Lighthouse for sensational views you’ll struggle to believe haven’t been photoshopped in front of your eyes.
If you are in to ecotourism and visiting unspoilt parts of nature, then Cape Tribulation is a must for you.
A remote headland within the Daintree National Park in the northeast QLD, this destination offers a gorgeous combination of beaches and rainforest.
Numerous short trails in this bushwalking paradise provide access to both.
Many of these beaches in Queensland are empty, populated only by driftwood and shells that have washed up to form stunning natural sculptures. They are the kind of places where time appears to have stood still.
From Cape Tribulation you can also take boat tours to the Great Barrier Reef, kayak to the nearby islands or, for spectacular views of your surroundings, hike to the top of Mount Sorrow.
Nestled along the coastline of the Southern Great Barrier Reef, about 15 km east of Bundaberg, Bargara offers an idyllic beach lifestyle.
Enjoying a superb location, backed by a beachfront road, Bargara Beach is a fabulous family-friendly beach with winding boardwalks, kids’ playgrounds, bbq facilities and good swimming conditions.
During the summer turtles come to shore to nest. In the mornings, you will see the turtle tracks leading back to the ocean – which is quite a wonderful sight to see.
While this is one of best beaches in Queensland to visit, away from the sand there are plenty of shops and eating options to keep you entertained.
If you are able to rent out one of the beachfront properties you will be able to take in views of one of the best beaches in Queensland directly from the front patio.
Located 3.5 hours north of Brisbane, the Scarness-Torquay beach in Hervey Bay runs for 6 km.
Great for walking on, it is a picturesque north-facing golden sandy beach backed by a shady foreshore reserve and The Esplanade.
It is also protected by Fraser Island, so swimming in the calm and rip-free waters of this patrolled beach is very safe.
Hervey Bay is a widely known site for observing humpback whales during the July to November migration season. If you didn’t fancy doing this from one of the many whale watching boats that operate in the area, then Scarness-Torquay Beach is a great beach to spot them from.
Especially from the 870-metre jetty that is located on the eastern part of it.
Hervey Bay also has the largest artificial reef in Australia, covering over 50 underwater sites of different compositions. This is well worth spending some time exploring too.
Another of the best beaches in Queensland that resides on the Gold Coast is Burleigh Heads.
Offering outstanding surf conditions, picturesque walking tracks and stunning vistas of the headland, Burleigh Beach has a comely tropical vibe the locals just love.
The heavily patrolled beach and neighbouring parklands are always busy with couples and families revelling in the simple pleasures of a day at the beach.
At 2km long it’s a nice beach to walk on and you should be able to sunbathe with a bit of space around you.
Away from the beach, there are plenty of trendy shops and dining options. While the Burleigh Heads Lookout provides excellent opportunities to take in the beautiful surroundings.