Best Gold Coast Beaches
The Gold Coast coastline stretches for 57 kilometres and is home to so many amazing beaches. We’ve listed the Best Gold Coast Beaches as voted by the public! Scroll down to the bottom to read our tips for swimmers.
Some of the most expensive property resides on the dunes of Main Beach, making it one of the glitziest stretches of beach. In the centre of Main Beach, you’ll find the Southport Surf Life Saving Club and Bathing Pavillion, which are both historical landmarks erected in the 1930’s. Main Beach has an exposed beach break that has very consistent surf and works all around the year. The quality of the surf isn’t affected by the tide, making it popular for surfers. Parking can be difficult, but the swells can be very rewarding. This beach is also protected by shark nets for peace of mind, and lifeguards are on patrol.
See the Main Beach Cam here: https://www.coastalwatch.com/surf-cams-surf-reports/qld/main-beach
The city’s 36-kilometre-long Gold Coast Oceanway commences at The Spit – which overlooks the Seaway. The Spit can provide quality waves for beginner surfers, while advanced surfers may paddle across the Seaway to Straddie (also known amongst surfers as TOS which stands for ‘the other side’). If you’re swimming, patrolled sections are sparse and the surf can get treacherous on occasion, so always seek out the red and yellow flags! You’ll also find the Jetty here- perfect for fishing. As one of three off-leash dog-friendly beaches on the Gold Coast, this is perfect for your four-legged friend, so it may not be the most relaxing location for swimming or sunbaking.
See The Spit Cam here: https://www.coastalwatch.com/surf-cams-surf-reports/qld/seaway-spit
It’s the famed beach and tourist hub that put the Gold Coast on the map internationally. Despite the backdrop of mega high-rises, eateries, and the inevitable shadows that fall by 3pm, the view here will never get old. The paved boulevard lines the entire stretch, ideal for walking, biking, skateboarding, or roller-blading, and free outdoor gym equipment is sprinkled along the track if you’re feeling active. Here is where you will find the iconic “Surfers Paradise” arched sign. This beach is also protected by shark nets for peace of mind, and lifeguards are on patrol.
See the Surfers Paradise Cam here: https://www.coastalwatch.com/surf-cams-surf-reports/qld/surfers-paradise
Still with a mesmerising – though slightly less high-octane – high-rise hotel backdrop, Broadbeach has ample glistening sand to throw down your towel. This high-end beach is a walkable distance to shopping, restaurants, boutiques, the G:Link rail, and the casino. Shade is sparse so pack your sunscreen and umbrella, or head to Pratten Park with its large playground for the kiddies and free BBQs to partake in this fave Aussie pastime.
See the Surfers Paradise Cam here: https://www.coastalwatch.com/surf-cams-surf-reports/qld/broadbeach—kurrawa
MERMAID BEACH TO NOBBY BEACH
These enchanting seaside villages, are host to a large stretch of sand and near-empty beaches, can be enjoyed by all. Park in a side street, or at Ken Mansbridge Park, and stroll along sand so fine it squeaks between your toes. To the south, Mermaid Beach blends into local’s hangout, Nobby Beach and Miami, with the knob of Miami headland offering a sweet stair climb and 180-degree views in both directions. This stretch of beaches is mainly visited by locals, so you won’t find many tourists here. Not too far from the beach, you’ll find hip cafes and locally-owned restaurants.
Mermaid Beach was named after the HMS Mermaid that explorer, John Oxley, sailed aboard in 1823 when he discovered the Brisbane and Tweed Rivers. It is a great beach for swimming, picnics, and beach sports.
Nobbys Beach was named after a bullock (male cow or ox) named Nobby, who went missing and was found at this location in the late nineteenth century.
Miami Beach, named after Miami in Florida, USA, is an open beach break with waves that suit all board riders.
See the Miami Cam here: https://www.coastalwatch.com/surf-cams-surf-reports/qld/miami
Don’t be put off by the name, Tallebudgera Creek is one of the Coast’s most-loved blue-water estuaries where you can sun worship and swim without fear of getting tumble rolled by a vicious wave. Forming a physical divide between Burleigh in the north and Palm Beach in the south, you’ll find ample parking on the Palm Beach side of the creek (this beach is also patrolled by lifeguards and is perfect for young families), and a handful of car spots on the northern side. This shallow and gentle beach is perfect for families, paddle boarding, and kayaking. Near Tallebudgera Creek, is Tallebudgera Beach and Palm Beach which are both off-leash dog beaches.
See the Tallebudgera Cam here: https://www.coastalwatch.com/surf-cams-surf-reports/qld/tallebudgera
Voted ‘Cleanest Beach in Australia‘, Currumbin appeals to locals as well as tourist. A very popular learn to surf spot, it’s protected from the southerly onshore winds. From here you can plane-watch the aircrafts coming in to land at the Gold Coast Airport. Currumbin is an inspiring beachfront community where the epic Currumbin Creek waterway links to the pristine rainforest mountains of the region when heading west. Currumbin Creek and the ‘Alley’ (the entrance to the ocean), offer a protected and patrolled haven for all kinds of active water sports. Nearby you can climb Lookouts: Currumbin Hill and Elephant Rock- a photographers delight!
See the Currumbin Cam here: https://www.coastalwatch.com/surf-cams-surf-reports/qld/currumbin
COOLANGATTA TO RAINBOW BAY
This whimsical beachside postcode is an absolute favourite area to spend a lazy Sunday, made famous by Snapper Rocks, one of Australia’s most reliable point breaks and home to world surfing champs. While we don’t recommend you head out to surf among the experts (it can be ruthless), the shallows and Greenmount are more suited to leisurely swimmers and sunbathers. These areas are beautiful to stroll and really are beautiful locations- don’t be surprised if you see a wedding on the weekend!
See the Kirra Cam here: https://www.coastalwatch.com/surf-cams-surf-reports/qld/kirra
See the Snapper Rocks Cam here: https://www.coastalwatch.com/surf-cams-surf-reports/qld/snapper-rocks
See the Rainbow Bay Cam here: https://www.coastalwatch.com/surf-cams-surf-reports/qld/rainbow-bay
Facts about the shark control equipment
- The equipment consists of drum lines and nets.
- It was introduced on the Gold Coast in 1962.
- It is designed to deter sharks.
- There has never been a fatal attack on a Gold Coast beach with shark control equipment in use since 1962.
Tips for swimmers
- Always swim at patrolled beaches and between the flags.
- Patrolled beaches usually operated between 8am-5pm.
- All beaches are patrolled during Queensland school holidays
- Raise your arm for lifeguard assistance in the water.
- Leave the water immediately if a shark is sighted.
- Never swim alone or surf at beaches not patrolled by lifeguards or lifesavers.
- Never swim at dawn, dusk or at night.
- Never swim when bleeding.
- Never swim directly after a meal or under the influence of alcohol.
- Never swim when the beach is closed, marked with ‘Danger – Reserve closed to bathing‘ sign and a red flag.
Beach closure information can be found at GC Alerts.
- Do not swim against a current/rip- remain calm and swim parallel/diagonal to the shore.
- Do not swim in murky waters.
- Do not swim near schools of fish.
- Do not swim in canals or near a river mouth.
- Do not swim near, or interfere with shark control equipment.
- Dogs are allowed on a leash on most Gold Coast beaches, but not within 200 metres of flagged areas. (see off-leash dog beaches here.)