15 Best Beaches In Queensland
With a coastline stretching across 7400 km we are spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches in Queensland, particularly when every beach that you come across seems to be more picturesque than the last.
There are pristine, secluded beaches where you might not see another soul for miles or beaches with all the amenities that you need for a family day out. On this list, we’ve picked a beach for every day out that you could plan for.
Whitehaven Beach has been voted Australia’s best beach several times over and it’s no wonder. Situated on the idyllic Whitsunday island, this 7 km stretch of pristine white sand is made mostly of silica making it unbelievably soft under your toes and preventing it from getting hot in the sun. Take a walk to the Northern end of the beach to Hill Inlet view point to look out over the clearest, turquoise water imaginable. At Whitehaven you really do see Nature doing her very best work.
This is a tough call. There are so many stunning beaches in Queensland that are perfect to enjoy the sun going down as you sip a cold beer. If you’re on one of the islands looking back towards the mainland you’ll see the sun setting across the sea and on the mainland you’ll enjoy the beautiful colours reflected across the sky.
We’ve chosen Burleigh Beach simply because it gives you so many options. You could stay out on your surfboard as the sun comes down, head up to the view point at Burleigh Hill or chill out at Burleigh Pavilion, enjoying a few sundowner cocktails and live music.
It’s not just us humans that like to enjoy the beach. Our four-legged friends love to charge along the water’s edge and Home Beach on North Stradbroke Island is a paradise for doggy day trips in Queensland. The 1 km beach is entirely off leash and the beautiful views are well worth the trip over from Cleveland, East Brisbane. If you want to extend your stay there is plenty of dog friendly accommodation on North Stradbroke Island.
Queensland is world famous for it’s waves which can bring in the crowds. Just down the coast from Noosa you can find the more laid back Coolum Beach. It’s where pro surfer Julian Wilson trains so if it’s good enough for him….
There’s a sheltered headland where beginners can practise in the calmer waves, whilst the beach break offers nicely consistent right and left handers.
If you need a break from the ocean, there’s a skate park on the foreshore and the chilled out beach is friendly and welcoming.
Just North of Noosa, a visit to Rainbow Beach is an unforgettable experience. It has fantastic views with multi-coloured sand dunes on one side and pristine, azure waves lapping the beach on the other. Be sure to check the tides before you make your crossing or your photo could be added to the ‘Wall of Shame’ in the local pub!
Rainbow Beach is a section of the Great Beach Drive, a 380km 4WD route that goes through 2 of Queensland’s UNESCO Biosphere Reserves and takes you over to Fraser Island so it’s well worth extending your trip to follow the full route.
Next door to Coolum you’ll find Mudjimba Beach. It’s a family friendly destination with a shady playground, picnic area and BBQs.
The golden Queensland beach is patrolled all year round so is safe for kids whether they are boogie boarding or playing Frisbee. There are cycling and walking trails for burning off any extra energy and there are enough local cafes and restaurants to satisfy even the most picky eaters.
When you think about Bundaberg, the first thing that might come to mind is rum. But Bundaberg is not all about rum, it has some beautiful beaches too.
Elliott Heads Beach could be the most stunning of all as well as offering a plethora of watersports. Popular for swimming, paddle boarding, kitesurfing, sailing, kayaking, jet skiing and fishing. You won’t be bored with a visit here.
Catch the ferry from Brisbane over to Moreton Island so you can explore the famous shipwrecks off Tangalooma Beach. Sitting at a depth of 12 meters, the wrecks were sunk in 1963 to create a safe break wall for small boats and have become a haven for tropical Queensland marine life.
You can snorkel out to the wrecks from the beach or save your legs and join a boat tour which will anchor up next to the wrecks.
Casuarina Beach in Cape Hillsborough National Park, Mackay offers a chance to see some of Queensland’s favourite wildlife.
It’s a bright and early start as you have to make it in time for sunrise but you can stay right next to the beach at the Nature Tourist Park. The unforgettable scene is well worth the early morning however. You’ll see kangaroos and wallabies searching the beach for their breakfasts of washed up mango pods and seaweed against the backdrop of a truly spectacular sunrise. The kangaroos are used to having an audience but make sure that you follow the advice of the Tourist Park staff so that you don’t disturb or scare the animals.
As the sun rises, the kangaroos will head into the trees to find some shade and you can take the opportunity to explore the National Park’s walking trails and other beaches.
Three evenings a week (Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) the Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets set up for you to explore a tempting medley of local artwork, unusual crafts and gifts. It’s the perfect spot to find unique or handmade souvenirs from personalised glassware to local Manuka honey.
You’ll have over 100 market stalls to keep you occupied as well as having local performers providing your evening entertainment as you stroll along the beachfront.
Queensland’s Sunshine Coast has it’s fair share of excellent swimming beaches but the protected waters and calm waves of Kings Beach make it stand out. It’s a beautiful, clean beach and you can often see Humpback whales passing by during their migration (July – October).
The beach is safe with a patrolled swimming area and there’s a free, 25 meter saltwater swimming pool and a children’s pool in case the ocean conditions aren’t appealing.
It’s a great beach to get your ‘surf legs’ on the gentle waves. Or if you’re starting to shrivel up like a prune after all the swimming, you can explore the beachfront rock pools at low tide which are always brimming with life.
The Strand at Townsville is a 2.2km stretch that has won Australia’s cleanest beach award several times. With spectacular views looking over to Magnetic Island and to Townsville Port, The Strand is popular with runners or cyclists enjoying the sea breeze.
You can take a dip in the ocean or in the rock pool or hire a stand up paddle board for a couple of hours and enjoy cruising along the Queensland coast.
If you want to up the adrenalin and get a birds eye view of the coast, try a tandem skydive and land on the beach itself. Fishermen can throw a line in from the jetty and the kids will be entertained for hours in the playgrounds and fantastic water park.
The Strand has a lovely, friendly atmosphere and is scattered with plenty of shady palms to shield you from the sun. Bring a picnic, enjoy a BBQ or let someone else look after you in one of the plentiful beachside cafes and restaurants.
Queensland beaches are nothing if not photogenic but for your Insta you might want to throw in something a bit unusual. Radical Bay on Magnetic Island ticks both of those boxes.
Radical Bay can only be accessed by foot (a 6km walk from the Forts car park) or with some serious 4WD skills so you’ll often find that you have this awesome spot to yourself so feel free to channel your inner Robinson Crusoe.
It could well be the only tropical island beach that comes with its own piano for you to tickle the ivories against a picture perfect backdrop.
Although the name is slightly misleading, Four Mile Beach is actually 4kms long, we’ll let that slide. This is the quintessential Queensland beach that you imagine before you visit. It’s hard to describe just how picturesque this beach is with it’s sparkling blue waters and pure white sand fringed with lush green palms.
Even though it’s just a 10 minute walk from the centre of Port Douglas, Four Mile Beach has been protected from over development so whichever way you look you’ll be treated to unspoiled panoramic views.
Magical Cape Tribulation Beach is unique in that it’s one of the few places in the world where the coral reef practically meets the rainforest. The beach backs onto one of the oldest rainforests in the world and a boat can carry you out to the Great Barrier Reef in no time at all. You’ll find yourself sandwiched between two amazing UNESCO World Heritage sites and it’s the ideal starting point to explore the Daintree National Park.
Getting here is a bit of an adventure in itself. Cape Tribulation is an hour North of Port Douglas and as you get closer you’ll likely to see more and more locals on the roads. Make sure to keep an eye out for the Cassowary Crossings on the way!
Cape Tribulation Beach feels like the genuine entrance to the Queensland wilderness. It’s out of the way so it is never crowded and you can find yourself in complete solitude as you walk further down the beach. Take a kayak and paddle out around the coast to truly appreciate the vast expanse of this beautiful and unique area.