Header image courtesy of John Lotsari (via Flickr)
Australia is home to a plethora of sandy shores, dotted all across the nation. The Gold Coast is one of the stars of the show—a beach destination which gives it away in its name alone. You may think that it means the region offers just one long stretch of beach, but in fact, there are even more to explore when you venture a little further. There are the classics, which are must-visits, and hidden gems, like many beach paradises. If you don’t know where to start, we’ve made things easier for you by rounding up the best beaches in the Gold Coast.
A trip to the Gold Coast is not complete without visiting the iconic Surfers Paradise. Although it may be a little tourist-ridden, the spot is busy for good reason. There’s so much to see and do here, such as shopping, milling along the seaside, and checking out all the ice cream parlours for a sweet cooldown. People flock here to stroll the wide boulevard lanes, which are ideal for biking, skateboarding, and even rollerblading, if you’re up for it. You’ll be spoiled for choice when picking where to eat—we personally recommend Yamagen for funky Japanese izakaya or Betty’s Burger, a popular, top-notch burger joint. After that? Take a dip in the refreshing sea and then grab a drink at one of the local bars before making your way back.
One of Australia’s favourite swimming spots, Tallebudgera Creek sits between Burleigh and Palm Beach, ideal for an idyllic, paradisiacal day out. Whether you’re visiting to camp, swim, picnic, or kayak, the family-friendly spot makes a unique getaway from the city hustle. It’s also famed for its prime fishing experiences. Head here early in the morning to catch the sunrise, then go out paddleboarding, and finish up with a hot cuppa coffee from Custard Canteen—the freshly-baked Portuguese tarts are iconic. Surfers can walk a little further to nearby Tallebudgera Beach to catch a few waves. The spot is perched adjacent to a national park, making its food selection limited, but there is also a nearby breakfast spot, Espresso Moto, if the need strikes.
Slightly less busy than Surfers Paradise, Main Beach provides a quieter respite from the downtown bustle. A long stretch of white sand running along the Gold Coast, the beach offers more than its photogenic appeal. There’s an abundance of things to do here, including an exciting nightlife, trendy restaurants, and of course, the beach activities. Sunseekers can surf, tan, go fishing, jetpack flyboard, and swim in the clear seas. Hungry? Stop off at a fish and chips stall for a true seaside experience.
Known as Broadie to residents, Broadbeach is a convenient suburb on the Gold Coast, offering beach and shopping within walking distance from one another. Locals and tourists make use of the free BBQ areas—a popular Aussie hobby, and a great way to socialise with family and friends. There’s plenty of restaurants to choose from, with places serving brunch, the millennial favourite. Take a walk on the beach, then embark on the dining scene or fire up a barbecue, which shall more than suffice to curb hunger pangs.
If you’ve heard of the infamous Byron Bay, then we have good news—Burleigh Heads is the Gold Coast’s interpretation. The underrated coastal suburb is a surfer’s haven and showcases a collection of blossoming restaurants and bars. Take a picnic with you and find yourself a spot on the sand, close enough to the water to dip in and out of. Life in Burleigh is calm and cool—you’ll forget about the world around you when basking in the breezy, sun-soaked climate.
More often known as just “Nobbys,” Nobby Beach is a quaint, sandy location, surrounded by a handful of restaurants and bars. The waters may be too calm for surfing, yet many come here to swim the blue waters or test their fishing skills from the rocks.
Perched on the southern end of Coolangatta, Rainbow Bay offers breathtaking views, from one of the most stunning beaches in the Gold Coast. Whisking you far away from noise and pollution from cities, the beach is one of the lesser-known, quieter venues, yet the surfing scene is on point. Book an evening stay here at a local bed and breakfast, or a hotel to splurge on.