Queensland Sunrise: 15 Best Beaches To See It [2024 Guide]

Best beaches in Queensland to see the dawn colours over the ocean at first light


15 Best Beaches To See The Queensland Sunrise


Welcome to my post about the best beaches to see a Queensland sunrise. Here is how I have structured the post.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. What time is the Queensland Sunrise?
3 Top 15 Beaches to see a Queensland Sunrise
3.1 Whitehaven Beach (Whitsunday Island)
3.2 Noosa Main Beach (Noosa)
3.3 Four Mile Beach (Port Douglas)
3.4 Burleigh Heads Beach (Gold Coast)
3.5 Rainbow Beach (Rainbow Beach)
3.6 Palm Cove (Tropical North Queensland)
3.7 Mission Beach (Cassawary Coast)
3.8 Airlie Beach (Whitsundays)
3.9 Bramston Beach (Cairns Region)
3.10 Ellis Beach (Cairns Region)
3.11 Green Island Beach (Great Barrier Reef)
3.12 Agnes Water Beach (Discovery Coast)
3.13 Palm Beach (Gold Coast)
3.14 Mooloolaba Beach (Sunshine Coast)
3.15 Tangalooma Beach (Moreton Island)
4. Reasons to see a Queensland sunrise at the beach
5. Conclusion
6. FAQs

(My post about the Queensland sunrise may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you).

Read Time: 12 Minutes



Queensland is a coastal paradise renowned for its natural beauty and stunning landscapes. But among its many treasures, the sunrise views you get along its pristine beaches are some of the most awe-inspiring moments nature has to offer.

From the iconic shores of Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays to the hidden gems tucked away at Ellis Beach in Far North Queensland, the state is blessed with some terrific places to see the vibrant colours of dawn.

In this post, I will unveil my top 20 beaches where you can experience the magic of a Queensland sunrise. Whether you’re a seasoned traveller, an early riser, or simply someone who cherishes the serenity of early mornings by the sea, these coastal destinations are sure to captivate your senses and leave you with memories of a breathtaking Queensland sunrise that will last a lifetime.


What time is the Queensland Sunrise?

The exact time of Queensland sunrise varies throughout the year due to the state’s proximity to the equator and its vast east coast. On average, you can expect the sun to rise between approximately 4:45 AM and 6:30 AM. However, the sunrise time changes slightly depending on the specific location within Queensland and the time of year.

During the summer months (December to February), the days are longer and the sun rises earlier, while in the winter months (June to August), the days are shorter, and sunrise occurs a bit later.

Subsequently, if you want to see a Queensland sunrise at your local beach, it is important to check a reliable source for up-to-date daybreak times for the specific location and date of your dawn adventure to ensure you don’t miss this breathtaking natural spectacle.


Sunrise at Cape Hillsborough Beach in Queensland is a magical sight


Top 20 Beaches to see a Queensland Sunrise

Now you know what time the Queensland sunrise is likely to be, here are 20 terrific beaches you can view it at.


Whitehaven Beach (Whitsunday Island)

Watching a Queensland sunrise at Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island is a truly ethereal experience that words can hardly capture.

As the first rays of the sun break over the horizon, they cast a soft, golden glow upon the powdery white sands that stretch for miles. The scene is nothing short of mesmerising, with the crystal-clear waters of Hill Inlet gently lapping at the shore, creating an ever-shifting palette of blues and greens.

The stillness of the morning, broken only by the occasional seabird’s call, adds to the sense of serenity. It’s a moment that feels almost sacred, where time seems to stand still, and the world is bathed in a warm, tranquil light.

Overall, witnessing the sunrise at Whitehaven Beach is not just a visual delight; it’s a spiritual connection with the natural beauty of the world that will leave an indelible mark on your soul.


Noosa Main Beach (Noosa)

Experiencing the sunrise at Noosa Main Beach is like witnessing a masterpiece unfold before your eyes.

As the sun emerges from the horizon, it bathes the azure waters and golden sands in a soft, warm embrace. The gentle waves create a soothing soundtrack to accompany the breathtaking visual display. Stroll along the shoreline with the soft sand beneath your feet, and you’ll feel an overwhelming sense of tranquillity and connection with nature.

Noosa’s Main Beach offers a front-row seat to the daily spectacle of a Queensland sunrise, making it a perfect spot to start your day with a sense of wonder and serenity that lingers long after the sun has risen. It’s a reminder that the simplest moments in nature can be the most profoundly beautiful.


Four Mile Beach (Port Douglas)

As the sun begins its ascent over the Coral Sea, the dawning of the day over the Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas is a moment of pure magic.

Not only does it paints the sky with an array of warm hues – setting the tranquil waters aglow – the palm trees lining the shore sway gently in the dawn breeze, creating a symphony of rustling leaves to accompany the breathtaking visual spectacle.

With the rugged headland in the distance and the waves breaking softly on the sandy shore, the scene exudes a sense of serenity and raw natural beauty. It’s a moment to savor, a time to reflect, and an experience that will stay with you as an enduring memory of the unspoiled wonders of Port Douglas and the Far North Queensland sunrise.


Wallabies at Cape Hillsborough Beach Queensland, Australia


Burleigh Heads Beach (Gold Coast)

Experiencing the sunrise at Burleigh Heads Beach, located on the lively Gold Coast, is an exhilarating and captivating event.

Positioned on the rocky promontory, you’ll have an unobstructed view of the sun’s first rays as they gracefully emerge from the sea. The waves crash against the ancient volcanic formations below, creating a symphony of sound that complements the breathtaking visual display.

At the same time, the sky transforms into a warm palette of oranges and soft pinks, casting a gentle glow over the sandy expanse and the surfers catching the waves. Burleigh Heads Beach embodies the essence of the Gold Coast – a perfect combination of natural beauty and coastal charm and watching the Queensland sunrise here is like having a front-row seat to nature’s daily masterpiece.


Rainbow Beach (Rainbow Beach)

Rainbow Beach, nestled along the Sunshine Coast’s captivating coastline, offers a Queensland sunrise experience like no other.

As the sun rises over the ocean horizon, it casts a brilliant array of colors upon the towering sand dunes, earning the beach its fitting name. Each moment paints a new stroke of vibrant hues, turning the sky into a living canvas.

The sand beneath your feet shifts through various shades, mirroring the kaleidoscope in the heavens. As the world awakens, the tranquil ambience of Rainbow Beach creates a sense of serenity, inviting you to pause and immerse yourself in the profound beauty of this unique sunrise spectacle.

Overall, it’s a magical start to the day that fills your heart with wonder and appreciation for nature’s boundless artistry.


Palm Cove (Tropical North Queensland)

Greeting the sunrise at Palm Cove, nestled in the heart of Tropical North Queensland, is an experience that resonates with serenity and tropical allure.

As the sun emerges from the Coral Sea, its golden rays reflect off the calm waters, casting a mesmerising glow over the palm-fringed beach. The gentle rustle of palm leaves in the ocean breeze adds to the soothing soundtrack of this tropical paradise.

With the Great Barrier Reef nearby, the atmosphere is imbued with a sense of wonder and the air carries a touch of salt and adventure. Overall, Palm Cove’s tranquil shores invite you to savour the dawn, a time when the world is bathed in soft, ethereal light, making it an unforgettable start to any day in this tropical haven.


Ocean view at sunrise at Mission Beach Queensland in Australia


Mission Beach (Cassawary Coast)

At Mission Beach, the Queensland sunrise is a captivating and peaceful experience that leaves an indelible impression on your soul.

As the sun ascends over the Coral Sea, it bathes the long, pristine stretch of beach in a warm, golden light. The towering coconut palms sway gently in the early morning breeze, creating a soothing melody that harmonizes with the lapping of the waves. With Dunk Island gracing the horizon, the sunrise scene is nothing short of breathtaking.

Ultimately, Mission Beach offers a more secluded and serene Queensland sunrise experience, where the world awakens at a leisurely pace, and the moments of quiet contemplation feel like a precious gift from nature. It’s a place where time seems to slow down – allowing you to connect with the beauty of the world in a profound and peaceful way.


Airlie Beach (Whitsundays)

Watching the daybreak at Airlie Beach, situated within the stunning Whitsunday Islands, is a truly enchanting experience. As the sun rises from the horizon, it blankets the Coral Sea with a warm, golden hue, lighting up the azure waters and nearby islands.

The vibrant colours of dawn create a stunning picture as a new day begins. Whether you’re observing from the soft sands of Airlie Beach or from an elevated viewpoint, like the renowned Airlie Beach Lagoon, the view is truly captivating.

Subsequently, the Queensland sunrise at Airlie Beach sets the tone for a day of exploring in this tropical paradise, with the promise of adventure on the high seas and the allure of the Great Barrier Reef just offshore.


Bramston Beach (Cairns Region)

Bramston Beach in the stunning Cairns Region, is another terrific place to appreciate a Queensland sunrise.

As the first rays of the sun break over the horizon, they paint the sky with a breathtaking palette of warm hues, casting a gentle glow on the pristine sands and the tranquil waters of the Coral Sea. The gentle sound of waves lapping at the shore provides a soothing soundtrack to this natural spectacle. Birds greet the new day with their melodious songs, and the world seems to come alive with the promise of a fresh beginning.

Overall, this coastal paradise offers a serene and unspoiled setting for witnessing the dawn of a new day. If you want to witness the beauty and tranquility of nature; there is no better place to go.


View of Burleigh Heads Beach on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia


Ellis Beach (Cairns Region)

The sunrise at Ellis Beach in Far North Queensland is a breathtaking display of nature’s beauty.

As the first rays of the sun break over the eastern horizon, it casts a golden glow over the palm-fringed shorelines and the crystal-clear waters of the Coral Sea. The tropical air is filled with a sense of anticipation and tranquillity as the sky transitions from deep blues and purples to vibrant pinks and oranges.

For those who witness it, the Queensland sunrise is a serene and magical moment that encapsulates the essence of Far North Queensland’s coastal paradise – offering a perfect start to the day and a reminder of the natural wonders that await in this tropical haven.


Green Island Beach (Great Barrier Reef)

Green Island Beach, situated in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in Far North Queensland, is an incredible place to witness a stunning sunrise.
This unspoiled coral cay is surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Coral Sea and offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and accessibility – making it an ideal location to start your day.

There are many reasons why Green Island Beach is an excellent spot to watch the sunrise. Firstly, its location within the Great Barrier Reef enables visitors to see the sun rising over the magnificent coral formations and vast ocean. As the sun rises on the horizon, it creates a breathtaking visual display, painting the sky with a brilliant array of colours and reflecting off the water’s surface.

Moreover, Green Island is relatively small and less developed than other resort islands in the region, providing a more intimate and secluded experience. With fewer distractions and artificial lights, the natural beauty of the sunrise is more pronounced, allowing visitors to connect with nature on a deeper level.


Agnes Water Beach (Discovery Coast)

Agnes Water Beach in Agnes Water is a captivating destination to witness the Queensland sunrise. As the sun peeks above the horizon, this pristine beach comes alive with a warm and gentle radiance, casting a golden hue over the pristine sands and the calm waters of the Coral Sea.

What sets Agnes Water Beach apart is its unique serenity and unspoiled beauty. With fewer crowds compared to some of the more touristy locations, it offers an intimate and peaceful setting to savor the magic of the dawn. The rhythmic lapping of waves, the soundtrack of coastal birds and the fragrance of salt in the air create a sensory experience that complements the visual splendor of the sunrise.

For those seeking a tranquil and picturesque start to the day, Agnes Water Beach is a haven where nature’s beauty takes centre stage.


Hot Air Balloons over Surfers Paradise on Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia at sunrise


Palm Beach (Gold Coast)

Palm Beach on the Gold Coast is a remarkable place to witness the sunrise and its appeal lies in its unique blend of natural beauty and urban sophistication.
When the sun rises over the Pacific Ocean, the sky becomes a breathtaking display of vivid hues, creating a stunning backdrop against the pristine white sands and swaying palm trees that line the beachfront of Palm Beach.

What makes this beach special is its accessibility and amenities. There are plenty of seaside cafes and parks, making it easy for early birds to enjoy a freshly brewed coffee while admiring the stunning morning views. The beach’s wide shoreline provides ample space for solitude, yet it also fosters a sense of community as locals and visitors come together to celebrate the start of a new day.

With its picturesque beauty and lively atmosphere, Palm Beach is the perfect spot for an unforgettable Queensland sunrise experience on the Gold Coast.


Mooloolaba Beach (Sunshine Coast)

Mooloolaba Beach on the Sunshine Coast is a perfect place to witness the Queensland sunrise for several compelling reasons.

As the sun emerges on the eastern horizon, it casts a mesmerising golden glow across the pristine shores and the tranquil waters of the Coral Sea. The gently rolling waves provide a soothing soundtrack to this natural spectacle, creating a peaceful and contemplative atmosphere.

Mooloolaba Beach’s expansive shoreline and relatively uncrowded mornings allow for an intimate and serene sunrise experience, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a tranquil start to the day.

With its stunning natural beauty and serene ambience, Mooloolaba Beach is an inviting canvas upon which nature paints its daily masterpiece, making it a truly exceptional place to embrace the beauty of a new day.


Tangalooma Beach (Moreton Island)

Watching the breaking of a new day at Tangalooma Beach – nestled on the captivating Moreton Island – is a surreal experience that transports you to a world of ethereal beauty.

As the sun pokes over the horizon, it casts its radiant light upon the tranquil waters, turning the beach into a shimmering paradise. The scene is a blend of serenity and magic, with the iconic Tangalooma Wrecks nearby creating an otherworldly backdrop.

Tangalooma Beach provides a peaceful and mesmerising sunrise view, where time appears to pause and the world awakes in harmony with the gentle ocean waves. This location showcases the beauty of nature, and the sunrise will leave you feeling awestruck and connected to the unspoiled wonders of a new day.


View of a Hervey Bay Beach in Queensland at sunrise


Reasons to see a Queensland sunrise at the beach

Now that you know of some of the best beaches in Australia to see the sunrise or sunset, here are some very good reasons why you should go and see one.


1. Mood Lifter

Watching the sunrise or sunset at the beach is an instant mood lifter.

Various studies have proved that watching these events relieves stress and has many other mental and physical wellness benefits.

One of the best of these we find is clarity of mind. It doesn’t matter what challenge you are facing, if you take the time to watch the sunrise or sunset you give yourself some time to think, to process and to plan.

After a bit of time taking in dawn or dusk at the beach suddenly things don’t seem quite as bad.


2. Magnificence of Nature

You will get to see the magnificence of nature in all its glory.

The colours and the light, particularly against the backdrop of the ocean and sky can be awe-inspiring.

This show happens every day. So why not take advantage of it every chance you get?


3. Always Different

No two sunrise or sunset views are ever the same.

Not only do the colours change a little bit differently every day, but so does the motion of the ocean.

Some days there are clouds, birds or sailboats to influence the view too.

The point is you never know quite what you will get to see. Which in itself is a reason to go and see it.


4. Photo Opportunities

If you like to take photos then a sunrise or sunset at the beach provides you with unlimited opportunities.

You will find yourself snapping happily at the wondrous sights nature has to offer at those times of the day.

If you are into your socials too you will have plenty of chances to take that perfect photo for Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.


5. It Costs Nothing

The best part of seeing the sunrise or sunset at the beach is that it is completely free.

Where else can you get to experience something as wonderful as that without having to spend a single cent on doing it?

So why not find a good spot, grab a coffee, lay down a towel and let yourself be wowed?



Queensland’s coastline is adorned with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and each sunrise is a unique masterpiece of nature.

Whether you’re a photographer, a nature lover, or simply seeking a moment of peace, witnessing the sunrise at these 15 best beaches in Queensland will be an unforgettable experience.

So, set your alarm, grab your coffee and start your day with the magic of a Queensland sunrise.



What time does the sunrise in Queensland?

The time of the Queensland sunrise depends on what season of the year it is and where you are in the Sunshine State. Generally speaking the earliest the sun will rise is a few minutes either side of 5am in the summer. During the winter, it is closer to 7am.


How long can a Queensland sunrise last?

On a clear day, a Queensland sunrise over the Coral Sea can take between 10 and 20 minutes to complete. As a general rule of thumb, the further away you are from the equator, the longer it will take for the sun to rise.


How do I know what time today’s Queensland sunrise will be?

To see what time the Queensland sunrise will happen today you should download the Sunrise and Sunset Times app from the Google Play Store. Alternatively, you can check out the Australian Government Geoscience Australia website.


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