Gold Coast Beaches are renowned for being some of the best beaches in the entire world and not to be missed during your visit to Australia!
I have put together the Ultimate Guide of the 11 Best Gold Coast Beaches including where to find them and what to expect.
Also in this guide, I have included some useful information on where to stay on the Gold Coast, the best way to get around, and when to visit.
OVERVIEW – GOLD COAST BEACHES
Here’s a quick overview of the 11 Gold Coast Best Beaches listed from north to south:
- The Spit
- Surfers Paradise
- Miami Beach
- Burleigh Heads
- Tallebudgera Creek
- Currumbin Beach
- Kirra Beach
- Greenmount Beach
- Rainbow Bay & Snapper Rocks
- Duranbah Beach
11 BEST BEACHES IN GOLD COAST
The Spit is the most northern beach on the Gold Coast featuring a sugary shoreline with mellow waves, a rock wall with a viewpoint that overlooks South Stradbroke Island, and a long jetty that stretches out into the ocean.
The Spit is a great place to visit during the day for a swim at the beach, a picnic in the park, fishing off the jetty, or a boating tour in the seaway.
Also down near The Spit, you will find Seaworld theme park, half a dozen 5-star resorts, Marina Mirage shopping center, and a popular restaurant called Fisherman’s Wharf which is renowned for its delicious fish and chips!
If you want to try your hand at surfing, you can book a Beginner Surf Experience and ride your very first wave at The Spit!
FULL BLOG POST → GOLD COAST SPIT
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Surfers Paradise is the beating heart of the Gold Coast, boasting a high-rise metropolis right on the very shores of Surfers Paradise Beach, which happens to be one of the most iconic and most popular Gold Coast beach.
Take a dip in the refreshing waters or go for a long stroll along the shoreline to get a real feel for this incredible place!
Surfers Paradise is not just a beach, it also plays home to restaurants, cafes, bars, shopping centers, market stalls, nightclubs, arcades, indoor skydiving, and many more fun-fuelled activities to keep you entertained for hours!
One of the must-see attractions in Surfers Paradise is the SkyPoint Observation Deck in the Q1 building which is the tallest tower in Australia standing 322 meters above sea level.
Ride one of the world’s fastest elevators to the top of the Q1 building taking only 42 seconds and enjoy sweeping 360-degree views of the entire Gold Coast City, its beaches, and hinterland areas.
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Just south of Surfers Paradise is Broadbeach, another one of the most pristine Gold Coast beaches not to be missed!
Broadbeach covers quite a large stretch of beach, though the main swimming area that you’ll want to check out is called Kurrawa Beach.
Featuring toilet amenities, a surf club, cafe, beach volleyball, electric BBQs, shaded gazebos, and grassy areas, I think it’s safe to say that Kurrawa Beach is a great place to spend a day outdoors!
Across the road from Kurrawa Beach is The Oasis Shopping Center where you can find many retail stores, supermarkets, food courts, and more.
FULL BLOG POST → KURRUWA BEACH
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The next location on this guide is Miami Beach.
Miami Beach is most popular for surfing, beach bumming, laid-back cafes, coastal walks, and panoramic viewpoints.
When visiting Miami, there are plenty of free parking spaces along the beachfront.
You can head straight to this epic Gold Coast beach for a swim or take the walking track along the shoreline and up the Miami Stairs to the Mick Schamburg Park Lookout.
This particular lookout is up there with one of my favorites! Boasting extensive views of the beaches to the south and the incredible Gold Coast City skyline can be seen clearly to the north.
Miami Beach is a worthy addition to your list of beaches to visit and you only need around 30 – 45 minutes to visit this beautiful location.
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Burleigh Beach is by far the most popular, up-and-coming destination on the Gold Coast!
Spend the day exploring all that Burleigh Beach and Burleigh Heads have to offer including the white sand beaches, countless cafes, restaurants, and bars, the Burleigh Heads markets, Burleigh’s epic surf breaks, a coastal walk around Burleigh Hill, and many more fun-fuelled activities!
Burleigh Beach features a pristine stretch of glistening white sands and azure waters that overlooks the Gold Coast city skyline.
Locals and tourists from all over the world flock to Burleigh Heads and Burleigh Beach for its world-class surf breaks, unbeatable beaches, lively cafe scene, nature walks, and the all-around sunny vibes that this epic location has to offer.
I am grateful to call Burleigh Beach my home when I am in between travels and it’s indeed a slice of heaven on earth!
Full Blog Post → Burleigh Beach
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The beautiful Tallebudgera Creek is situated on the south side of Burleigh Hill and is another worthy addition to your best Gold Coast beaches list.
Tallebudgera Creek, also known as Talley Creek, boasts some of the clearest turquoise water on the entire Gold Coast. On low tide there are several sand bars that appear, creating little islands to go and enjoy while they last.
Another popular spot is Echo Beach, a cute little cove tucked away on the south side of Burleigh Hill. There is access to this beach along the Burleigh headland coastal walk.
If you love bridge jumping, there is a deeper section of Tallebudgera Creek where you can launch yourself off of the five-meter-high bridge and into the creek below.
There can be strong currents and boats zipping around so be mindful of these conditions when swimming in Tallebudgera Creek. To be safe, it’s best to swim in the lifeguard-patrolled area between the red and yellow flags.
Be sure to take a stroll along the pathway on the southern side of Talley Creek which leads out to a rock wall sitting in the ocean. From here you can enjoy epic views of Burleigh Hill and Tallebudgera Beach.
Also at Tallebudgera Creek, there are some facilities such as change rooms, toilets, showers, and a nearby cafe.
Currumbin Beach is one of my favorite places to visit which is why I couldn’t resist adding it to this Best Gold Coast Beaches list.
When you arrive at Currumbin Beach, you can park for free in the beachfront parking lot and set off on foot to explore.
Most famous for its right-hand surf break, Currumbin Beach attracts surfers from far and near to experience a long-riding wave that breaks off the point in front of Currumbin Rock.
If you are wanting to take a surf lesson during your visit to the Gold Coast then Currumbin Alley Surf School is the place to do it! Book a 1.5-hour surfing lesson and ride your very first wave. Suitable for people of all ages, sizes, and ability levels.
Other than surfing, Currumbin is a great spot for beach bumming, swimming in the clear waters in the alley, exploring the rocky headland around Currumbin Rock, and having a coffee at one of the beachfront cafes.
Next up on this list is Kirra Beach. Located just 15-minutes south of Currumbin Beach, you can drive the coastal road that runs parallel with the ocean and you can find plenty of parking spaces when you arrive in Kirra.
Kirra Beach is widely known across the globe in the surfing community as one of the best surf breaks in Australia, and the entire world. Only occasionally does Kirra show its true potential, but when it does, you’ll be in for a show!
In the very corner of Kirra Beach, you can find the Surf Club situated right on the sand overlooking the long stretch of white sand coastline and turquoise ocean waters. Pop in for lunch and a cold beer on a hot summer day!
Kirra also has an awesome viewpoint located on top of the grassy headland. There is a huge statue of an eagle with its wings spread, so it’s very hard to miss.
There is a set of stairs leading up to the viewpoint and at the top, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Kirra Beach facing north and to the south, you can see Greenmount, Rainbow Bay, and Snapper Rocks.
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Greenmount Beach is yet another spectacular Gold Coast beach that is great for swimming, sun tanning, and surfing. There are lifeguards on duty 7 days a week between 8 am to 5 pm, so if swimming isn’t your strong point be sure to swim between the red and yellow flags.
After a dip in the ocean, take the boardwalk around Greenmount headland and over to Rainbow Bay. There are a number of great photo opportunities along this walk so have your camera at the ready.
RAINBOW BAY & SNAPPER ROCKS
If you are still on foot, continue along the Greenmount coastal walk to the beautiful Rainbow Bay and Snapper Rocks.
I used to live in an apartment in Rainbow Bay for a year or so and ultimately it became my favorite beach on the Gold Coast! Boasting a beautiful cove, white sands, crystal clear water, and amazing surf, Rainbow Bay is not to be missed.
At the end of Rainbow Bay, there is a rocky headland known as Snapper Rocks, which is a world-famous surf break here in Australia. Every year the World Surf League event is held at Snapper Rocks which draws in hundreds of spectators to watch professional surfers from around the world competing for the win.
I can also recommend heading up to the restaurant and bar at Rainbow Bay Surf Club for a meal or a drink. The view from the top deck overlooks the entire Gold Coast and it’s a sight you just have to see with your own eyes!
RELATED ARTICLE → 3 DAY GOLD COAST ITINERARY
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Last but not least on this Gold Coast beaches guides is Duranbah Beach which is located at the top of the hill, near Snapper Rocks.
Another popular surf break and beach area that lies below the cliffs at Point Danger is Duranbah Beach, featuring white sands, big waves, and a grassy area with undercover seating and BBQs. Not a bad spot to perch up for the afternoon.
If you didn’t pop into either of the surf clubs along the way, there is a popular spot for food and drinks at a place called D’bah Cafe. They also have an art gallery inside which is definitely worth a look.
I recommend sticking around for sunset here at D’bah as it’s one of the best locations to be able to watch the last rays of the sun as it sets over the mountains!
BEST GOLD COAST TOURS
WHERE TO STAY ON THE GOLD COAST
The Gold Coast is a thriving tourist hub with no shortage of accommodation options and most people want to be by the beach as often as possible – I don’t blame them!
I recommend basing yourself in Burleigh Heads which is pretty much the halfway point between the north and south points of the Gold Coast.
See below for the best places to stay in Burleigh Heads with options suited for small families, budget backpackers, and luxury travelers:
Luxury: Luxury Beachfront Sky Home
Centrally located in Burleigh Heads and a stone’s throw from the beach. This 5-star accommodation features an outdoor swimming pool, garden, fitness center, and free wifi. The apartments are spacious and include a fully equipped kitchen, living and dining room, 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, hot tub, flat-screen tv, and ocean views. Perfect for families and couples.
Mid Range: Outrigger Burleigh
The best and most affordable hotel in Burleigh Heads. The Outrigger is a two-minute walk from Burleigh Beach featuring an outdoor pool, hot tub, and ocean views! The rooms are spacious, air-conditioned, equipped kitchenette, living room, private bathroom, and balcony. Close to supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, bars and public transport. Perfect for couples and families.
Budget: Maxmee Backpackers Resort
Maxmee Backpackers Resort is one of the cheapest and best backpackers on the Gold Coast! Located a stone’s throw from the beach, it features a beach club, outdoor pool, table tennis, and even hammocks. There are dorm rooms and private apartments available, perfect for friends and solo travelers.
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY, SEE MY COMPLETE GUIDE ON WHERE TO STAY ON THE GOLD COAST
BEST TIME TO VISIT GOLD COAST
The Gold Coast is one of the only places on the East Coast of Australia that sees glorious sunshine almost all year round.
If you want the best of the best conditions weatherwise, I recommend visiting between May and October (Autumn – Spring) which is most ideal for beach bumming, nature walks, and water sports.
Summer on the Gold Coast is between December and February which sees hot temperatures, rainfall, and thunderstorms.
HOW TO GET AROUND
The Gold Coast is quite a large destination boasting 57 km of white sand beaches, vast hinterland areas, and everything in between.
There are a few transportation options on the Gold Coast which include renting a car, public transport, and Uber.
RENT A CAR:
In my opinion, renting a car is by far going to be your best option to reach all of the spots on the Gold Coast.
Driving a car on the Gold Coast is very safe and the road rules are very straightforward. If you’re an American or European, do note that we drive on the left-hand side of the road in Australia so this might take a few hours to get used to.
I always use Rentalcars.com to search and book car rentals in Gold Coast as they offer the best rates.
Public buses and trams run frequently along the Gold Coast Highway which is another good option for getting around if you decide to not rent a car.
I recommend purchasing a Go Card from the ‘Hub convenience store’ at the Gold Coast Airport when you arrive or from any 7 Eleven stores on the Gold Coast.
It costs $10 AUD to purchase a Go Card and you will also need to top it up with around $20 – $30 which should be enough to cover your transport for 3 days on the Gold Coast.
It’s as easy as tapping on and tapping off with your Go Card when riding on the buses or trams on the Gold Coast. A handy tool to use when traveling on public transport is the Translink Journey Planner.
If you don’t have a Go Card, it’s possible to purchase paper tickets on board public transport, however, you will end up paying around 30% more for each journey.
There are quite literally thousands of Uber drivers on the Gold Coast and at any time of the day you are able to search and book an Uber online using the app and within a matter of minutes, you can easily find a ride to get from A to B.
Uber’s are a lot cheaper than taxis on the Gold Coast and if it’s your first time using Uber, you’ll get your first ride for free!
GOLD COAST MAP
OTHER GOLD COAST ATTRACTIONS
As I mentioned earlier, there are so many things to do on the Gold Coast you could spend months here and not run out of things to do.
This beach guide only covers the coastline but I understand that you might like to see some other attractions which I have not included in this article.
See the list below for some other Gold Coast tourist spots that you may want to add to your itinerary of Gold Coast:
- Gold Coast Theme Parks
- Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
- Aquaduck Safari
- Hot Air Balloon Ride
- Tamborine Mountain
- Indoor Skydiving
WHAT TO PACK FOR GOLD COAST BEACHES
When visiting the Gold Coast beaches, here is a list of items I highly recommend bringing with you:
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If you have any questions at all about this Gold Coast Beaches Guide, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can! For a quicker response, be sure to join Jonny Melon’s Travel Tribe on Facebook and post your questions or recommendations to our awesome community.
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