Sarina Beach Queensland: Best Serenity Coast Guide 2024 (UPDATED)

Fantastic Mackay Region Tourist Holiday Destination


Sarina Beach Visitor Guide


My article about visiting Sarina Beach Queensland is a fairly long one. So I thought I’d make it a bit more straightforward for you to navigate with this table of contents.

Should you want to jump immediately to a particular section just click on the relevant link in the table of contents:

1. Introduction
2. Where is Sarina Beach Queensland?
3. How to get to Sarina Beach Queensland
4. Best Time To Visit Sarina Beach Queensland
5. What Facilities do they have at Sarina Beach Queensland?
6. Swimming at Sarina Beach Queensland
7. Fishing at Sarina Beach Queensland
8. Things to do at Sarina Beach Queensland
9. Best Sarina Accommodation
10. Best Sarina Restaurants
11. Coffee at Sarina Beach Queensland
12. Final Thought
13. FAQs

After reading this review, I hope you’ll be motivated to visit this beautiful coastal town in the Mackay Region.

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if you interact with them).

Read Time: 14 Minutes



Due to the Bruce Highway running directly through it, many people miss Sarina Beach Queensland, when driving between Mackay and Cairns. This is a real shame because its a fabulous place to spend some time.

Located just a few minutes from the main sugar industry town of Sarina, the beach is known for its glorious sweep of golden sand and lazy rolling waves, and for being a noted destination for nesting turtles. It is also a good spot for fishing and has a lovely esplanade park with picnic and barbecue facilities, which makes it a terrific place to set yourself up for the day.

Elsewhere, the iconic Sarina Sugar Shed is a must-visit destination, while the Sarina Field of Dreams Parkland is a family friendly attraction that will appeal to everyone.

Given its proximity to the Southern Great Barrier Reef, Sarina Beach, Queensland, is a great base from which to explore the wonders of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed site. Additionally, if you fancy venturing further afield, Keswick Island and Cape Palmerston National Park are within easy reach.

As the town is built around the major thoroughfare, you’ll find plenty of cheap motels and overnight accommodations in Sarina. So, if you’re not in too much of a hurry to get up to Tropical North Queensland or down south towards Brisbane, its definitely worth staying in this part of the Serenity Coast for a few days to experience the area’s many charms.


The town of Sarina is very easy to get to by car. As it is built around the Bruce Highway you just drive along it until you get there!


Where is Sarina Beach Queensland?

Sarina Beach resides on the Serenity Coast in the Mackay Region of Queensland.

It is situated at the foothills of the Connors Range about 37 km to the south of Mackay and is one of a string of beaches in the area, including Salonika Beach, Grasstree Beach and Freshwater Point.

The beach is approximately 183 km south of Airlie Beach and is a popular overnight stop-off when driving from Brisbane to Cairns or vice versa.

It resides on land traditionally owned by the Yuwi people and takes its name from the Sarina Inlet. This coastal location is around 8 km to the east of the main sugar industry town and was originally labelled as such in 1869 by a surveyor called William Wilson.


Distance from Sarina Beach to Other Queensland Coast beaches and destinations

  • Mackay 37 km
  • Rockhampton 309 km
  • Gladstone 416 km
  • Townsville 418 km
  • Bundaberg 596 km
  • Cairns 765 km
  • Noosa 820 km
  • Mooloolaba 863 km
  • Mission Beach 903 km
  • Brisbane 952 km
  • Surfer's Paradise 1020 km
  • Cape Tribulation 1427 km

    How to get to Sarina Beach Queensland

    The town of Sarina is very easy to get to by car. As it is built around the Bruce Highway you just drive along it until you get there!

    Once you arrive, you’ll need to take the Sarina Beach Road to get to the beach from the main strip of town.

    If you are coming from further afield, you can fly into Mackay Airport. Qantas, Jetstar, and Virgin run regular flights every day and you can hire a car from the airport through rental companies like Hertz, Budget or Avis to take you to Sarina.

    You can also choose to take the Greyhound Australia Bus as services will take you there from Brisbane and Cairns.

    Alternatively, Sarina can be reached by train, as it is served by the Spirit of Queensland service offered by Traveltrain.


    Sunset at Sarina Beach Queensland


    Best Time To Visit Sarina Beach Queensland

    Sarina enjoys beautiful year round weather, which means you can visit the beach whenever you want.

    In the summer months, you will have to be mindful of the high humidity and temperatures, so it is not the best idea to be out in the sun during the middle of the day.

    As you would expect, the busiest times at Sarina Beach Queensland are at weekends and during the school holidays. Though, this is relative as it is never usually too packed.

    If you want to see the nesting turtles, the season starts around the middle of October and finishes around January. You can find out more about that here.


    As you would expect, one of the main attractions at Sarina Beach Queensland is its beautiful stretch of sand, which is perfect for sunbathing and walking on


    What Facilities do they have at Sarina Beach Queensland?

    When visiting Sarina Beach Queensland you will find a good range of facilities and amenities available to use. They include well-maintained public toilets, that are in good working order, (one of which is accessible), as well as showers.

    There are also barbecue facilities, a picnic area and bench seating for those who want to enjoy an al fresco meal.

    In addition, you’ll also find a decent amount of car and coach parking and there is disabled access available for those in wheelchairs.


    Sarina Beach Attractions at a glance

  • Sarina Sugar Shed
  • Platypus Beach
  • Crabbing and Fishing Spots
  • Visit Mackay
  • Explore the Sarina Range
  • Art and Craft Markets
  • Sarina Field of Dreams Parkland
  • Keswick Island Day Trip
  • Launch a vessel off a boat ramp and tour around the Sarina Inlet
  • Southern Great Barrier Reef Tours
  • Coastal walks
  • Laguna Quays Golf Club
  • Cape Palmerston National Park
  • Swimming at Sarina Beach Queensland

    As you would expect, one of the main attractions at Sarina Beach Queensland is its beautiful stretch of sand, which is perfect for sunbathing and walking on.

    Unfortunately, due to a tragic incident where a teenager was killed recently by a box jellyfish sting, the beach is no longer regularly patrolled by paid surf-lifesavers. This is because staff shortages that can’t meet subsequent policy changes that now requirie two lifeguards to perform a stinger drag prior to opening a beach. (Previously only one person was required).

    However, the beach is sometime patrolled on volunteer basis. So, if you plan on visiting Sarina Beach and want to go for a swim, your best bet is to check out to see the latest update.

    Just be mindful, whenever you enter the water you are always taking a risk, not just because of the stingers but also due to the potential for rips and drags in the Coral Sea.


    Sarina Beach in the Mackay Region or Queensland, Australia


    Fishing at Sarina Beach Queensland

    If you are into fishing, you’ll want to bring your rods and reels with you to Sarina because there are some very good places to cast a line.

    At Sarina Beach, barramundi can be caught at low tide, while at high tide you should be able to snare several varieties of estuarine fish on both the north and south banks of the inlet.

    Elsewhere at Hay Point, just to the north of Sarina is a fabulous reef fishing area which many anglers tout as one of the region’s best places to catch Jewfish. To the south, the creek at Armstrong Beach provides good opportunities too. You can either do this directly on the beach or launch a tinnie off the boat ramp here and head to some of the reefs and nearby islands.

    Given that it wraps around Cabbage Tree Creek, many people like to head to Grasstree Beach as their preferred spot to catch fish.


    When it comes to accommodation Sarina Beach Queensland has some decent options, both directly on the Bruce Highway and also down by the sand.


    Things To Do at Sarina Beach Queensland

    Away from the beach Sarina has a number of attractions to keep you interested and entertained.

    You can see a full range of the tours, excursions and attractions available from Get Your Guide and Viator.

    However, one of the most popular is the iconic Sarina Sugar Shed, which is located in the Field of Dreams Parkland. This unique attraction is the only fully operational miniature sugar-processing distillery and mill in Australia and offers interactive and educational tours that convey the process of converting sugarcane into various delicious products such as ice creams, relishes, sauces and their iconic Sugar Shed rum.

    Elsewhere Cape Palmerston National Park is worth visiting. This rugged coastal area accommodates a diverse landscape that includes everything from rocky headlands and mangroves to sandy beaches and lush eucalypt forests. It is an excellent spot for fishing, hiking and birdwatching.

    A little bit further west of Mackay, Eungella National Park is one of the most ecologically variegated parks in the state. It is home to numerous species of plant and wild life and contains Instaworthy waterfalls, rainforests and stunning views aplenty.

    If you are travelling with kids, it’s also worth making your way to the Mackay Aqua Park, which is a fabulous water playground about a 35 minute drive north of Sarina. There, they will be able to enjoy navigating their way through inflatable slides, obstacles and jumps.


    30 Other Beaches in the Mackay Region you can visit

  • 1. Armstrong Beach
  • 2. Ball Bay
  • 3. Blacks Beach
  • 4. Bucasia Beach
  • 5. Camila Beach
  • 6. Campwin Beach
  • 7. Cape Hillsborough Beach
  • 8. Clairview Beach
  • 9. Dawson Beach
  • 10. Eimeo Beach
  • 11. Far Beach
  • 12. Figtree Beach
  • 13. Four Mile Beach
  • 14. Grasstree Beach
  • 15. Halliday Bay
  • 16. Harbour Beach
  • 17. Haypoint Beach
  • 18. Illawong Beach
  • 19. Lamberts Beach
  • 20. McEwens Beach
  • 21. Midge Point Beach
  • 22. Platypus Beach
  • 23. Salonika Beach
  • 24. Seaforth Beach
  • 25. Shoal Point Beach
  • 26. Slade Point Beach
  • 27. Smalley's Beach
  • 28. St. Helens
  • 29. Three Mile Beach
  • 30. Town Beach
  • Best Sarina Accommodation

    When it comes to accommodation Sarina Beach Queensland has some decent options, both directly on the Bruce Highway and also down by the sand.

    Perhaps the best of them is the Sarina Beach Motel. It places your right next to the golden sands of the coastline and provides exceptional views of the Coral Sea. They offer a selection of beachfront units with kitchenettes that are ideally suited to individuals, couples and families. In addition, they also have a swimming pool and offer laundry services and on-site parking for boats.

    If you are searching for a nice budget option, the Sarina Motor Inn is an terrific option. The air-conditioned rooms are cosy and well furnished and offer and is a popular choice among those after an overnight or a few days stay. It also has an onsite restaurant and a nice outdoor swimming pool.

    Falling somewhere in between the two is the Tramway Motel, which is a pet-friendly venue that offers comfortable rooms and a good sized grassy area where your four-legged friend could get some exercise.

    If you are coming with your RV or trailer, the Sarina Palms Caravan Village has a lovely set up with good facilities,among well kept grounds.

    You can search through a full list of places to stay in Sarina here.

    Whichever venue catches your eye, it is worth making a booking well in advance of your visit because availability can sometimes be limited.


    Aerial View of Sarina Beach Queensland


    Best Sarina Restaurants

    There are plenty of decent cafes, restaurants, and eateries in and around Sarina Beach, Queensland, so you shouldn’t struggle for options. Within the town and beach area, you’ll find many genres of cuisine available, which reflects the area’s popularity as a stop-off point along the Bruce Highway.

    If you are looking for a good hearty and honest feed, The Sarina Hotel has a lovely bistro that serves up all the classics like chicken snitchzels, rump steak, seafood and lamb shanks. They also offer budget accommodation and have a sports bar and bottleshop onsite.

    Nearer the shoreline, the Palms Sarina Beach serves up an excellent menu of breakfast lunch and dinner items. You can start your day there with hot waffles, maple syrup and ice cream or enjoy creamy garlic prawn linguini for dinner.

    For those wanting locally caught, fresh fish & chips, the Sarina Beach Store on Sarina Coast Road is a very good bet. Alternatively, Roots Collective on Broad Street does a tremendous big breakfast and a whole range of burgers, including the delicious smokey chicken chipotle.


    there is a lot to like about Sarina Beach Queensland, so it is worth making the effort to spend some quality time here, as opposed to just pass through.


    Coffee at Sarina Beach Queensland

    Will you need a coffee fix during your time in Sarina? Well, you’ll be pleased to discover there are some decent places you can enjoy a nice latte or macchiato.

    One of the most popular venues near the beach is the Palms Restaurant @ Sarina Beach. It is located in the Sarina Beach Motel on Owen Jenkins Drive and is a regular haunt for locals, so don’t be surprised if there is a bit of a queue, especially at weekends.

    Elsewhere, the Kokobella Espresso Bar on Sarina Beach Road is known for its excellent coffee and service, and Natalesha’s Cafe on Broad Street is a good option, should you find yourself popping into the Woolworths complex.


    Distance from Sarina Beach Queensland to Other Australia destinations

  • Newcastle 1591 km
  • Sydney 1722 km
  • Wollongong 1821 km
  • Wagga Wagga 1853 km
  • Melbourne 2257 km
  • Geelong 2317 km
  • Adelaide 2402 km
  • Darwin 2863 km
  • Hobart 3040 km
  • Perth 4682 km
  • Final Thought

    As you have read, there is a lot to like about Sarina Beach Queensland, so it is worth making the effort to spend some quality time here, as opposed to just pass through.

    Between the beach and the local attractions there is plenty to keep you occupied. While the overall standard of accommodation is impressive enough to warrant a stay for a few days on your way to Tropical North Queensland or further down south towards Brisbane.



    Where is Sarina Beach?

    Sarina Beach Queensland is a popular stop off destination for tourists en route to Brisbane or Cairns, as it lies roughly halfway between both. It is located about 37 km south of Mackay - a major regional city in the area. The beach is part of the coastal region along the Coral Sea and is easily accessible by car.


    What Things Are There at Sarina Beach Queensland?

    At Sarina Beach Queensland, you can enjoy activities such as sunbathing, walking and fishing. Close by, the Sarina Sugar Shed is worth visiting for a taste of the region's sugarcane heritage.


    Can You Swim at Sarina Beach Queensland?

    While you can swim at Sarina Beach Queensland it is not recommended. The beach is not officially patrolled by Surf Lifesaving Queensland and volunteers only man it periodically. In addition, box jellyfish are present in the water and the risk of strong currents, rips and drags are always there.


    How Far is it from Brisbane to Sarina Beach Queensland

    The distance from Brisbane to Sarina Beach is approximately 952 kilometres when travelling by road. The journey typically takes around 10-12 hours north on the Bruce Highway, depending on traffic conditions and how many times you stop for breaks.

    Additionally, travellers have the option of flying from Brisbane to Mackay, which is the nearest major city to Sarina Beach Queensland. The flight time is just over an hour and you can hire a car from the airport on arrival.


    How Far Is it From Sarina Beach To Cairns?

    The distance from Sarina Beach to Cairns is approximately 765 kilometres when travelling by road. The journey typically takes around 8 hours along the Bruce Highway

    If you prefer a quicker option, you can take a domestic flight from Mackay Airport, which is the nearest major airport to Sarina Beach, to Cairns Airport. The flight duration is about 1 hour.


    How Far Is It From Sarina Beach To Mackay?

    The distance from Sarina Beach to Mackay is approximately 37 kilometres when travelling by road. The journey typically takes around 30 to 40 minutes, depending on traffic conditions and the route taken.

    To travel from Sarina Beach to Mackay, you would take the Bruce Highway (A1) northward. It is a relatively short and straightforward drive, making it convenient for day trips or quick visits to Mackay.


    Is the Sarina Beach Caravan Park Open?

    Yes! Although it is now known as the Sarina Palms Caravan Village. It is located in Anzac Street and has powered and unpowered sites for caravans and camping enthusiasts. It also has comfortable self-contained cabins with modern amenities.


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