Australia’s well known for its sun, surf, and sand, and the beaches on the Gold Coast don’t disappoint. With more than 20 picture-perfect beaches in the area, you can’t go wrong by booking your next vacation here. After all, it's called the Gold Coast for a reason. Visitors come from all over the world to appreciate Queensland's laid-back attitude and chilled-out surf culture. To give you an idea of what each beach has to offer, we’ve rounded up seven of our favorites on the Gold Coast.
Less crowded than its neighboring beaches, this spot is the perfect place to kick back, relax, and take in the surf. Aptly named Main Beach, as it was once the only one in the area, this sandy shore is well known for being family friendly and for having dependable waves. It also happens to be the starting point for the Gold Coast Oceanway, a 22-mile-long promenade where visitors can walk or cycle past many of the Gold Coast’s pristine beaches. We suggest starting your day with an order of fish and chips from the nearby historic bathing pavilion before heading down to claim your spot on a stretch of white sand to soak up the sun.
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Each year, millions of beachgoers flock to Surfer’s Paradise, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Australia. With countless high rises on one side and the glittering Pacific on the other, Surfer’s is easily the most happening beach in the area. It features almost two miles of golden sand, a free outdoor gym, and unbeatable proximity to the many restaurants, bars, and shopping outlets nearby. But don’t be fooled by the name. Ironically, Surfer’s Paradise doesn’t have the best waves or surfing conditions on the Gold Coast, though it does have ideal swimming conditions and plenty of lifeguards on duty.
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Just South of Surfer’s Paradise, Broadbeach offers sun seekers less crowds and better waves. It also runs alongside two popular parks, Pratten Park and Kurrawa, which make for perfect places to post up with a picnic or take advantage of the many public barbecues. Compared to its neighbor, Broadbeach is more of a residential suburb than a tourist destination, though it is located close to the newly upgraded Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, Jupiter’s Casino, and the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre. Sign up for surf lessons at the Broadbeach Surf School, or swap sand for grass and go lawn bowling at the Broadbeach Bowls Club. Music lovers will want to make sure that they visit this humble beach in May, when Broadbeach hosts one of Australia’s largest free Blues Festivals called the Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival.
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4. Burleigh Heads
Perfect for gazing at stunning sunsets and ripped surfers, Burleigh Heads is well known for its picturesque scenery and ideal surfing conditions. All year long, exciting surf and rescue competitions are held here, and the break attracts surfers from all around the world. This northeast facing beach is protected by a headland in each direction and proves to be popular with both families and solo surfers. After a long day of swimming under the scorching sun or surfing barrels in Burleigh’s aquamarine water, tired and tanned athletes can be found relaxing on the green and shady esplanade or making the trek up “The Hill” for spectacular views of the sunset.
5. Tallebudgera Creek and Beach
Wedged in-between Burleigh Heads National Park to the north and Palm Beach to the south, Tallebudgera Creek makes our list thanks to its pristine waters and family-friendly vibes. With 16 miles of calm and crystal-clear river, the creek’s ideal location makes it the perfect place to try kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding for the first time. Parents can also enjoy the river without worry, since it has some of the safest swimming around, and children will enjoy wading through the turquoise water. Spend a few nights camping at Tallebudgera Creek Tourist Park, book a round of golf at Coplicks Tallebudgera Golf Course, or cast your reel and try your luck at fishing.
6. Kirra Beach
Kirra Beach may be small in size, but it’s one of the most famous surf beaches on the Gold Coast. It’s located just north of Coolangatta Beach, with Kirra Point separating the two, and provides both challenging waves for experienced surfers and smaller waves for beginners. Home to many surf competitions—and therefore serious surfers—Kirra boasts clean, white sand and a long walkway that leads to its neighboring beaches. Grab lunch at the Kirra Surf Club or at any of the cafes nearby.
Our list wouldn’t be complete without including Coolangatta, a spectacular surf spot that’s fondly referred to as Cooly by those in the know. Every year, Cooly plays host to the Quicksilver Pro Gold Coast surf competition, attracting the world’s top professional surfers and the fans that follow. This north-facing beach marks the end of the Gold Coast and shares a border with Tweeds Head in New South Wales. It’s also home to Point Danger, an active light house and top Aussie tourist destination, as well as Snapper Rocks, one of the world’s most famous point breaks. Come for the surfing, but stay for the chance to spot a humpback whale during their annual migration.
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