Currumbin beach

For many people, Australia is synonymous with beaches, and what’s more iconic than the Gold Coast in Queensland’s South East. Gold Coast stretches from just south of Brisbane to just above the border of northern New South Wales, and is made up of some of the most incredible coastline in Australia.

If you’re planning a visit to the Gold Coast and are wondering what’s worth your while, we’ve narrowed it down to the 12 best beaches at Gold Coast you need to see.

Best time to visit Beaches at Gold Coast

The beauty of Queensland, the Sunshine State of Australia, is that the weather is usually pretty good year-round. Summer is scorching in Queensland with typical temperatures of 30 degrees or higher, but that makes the beaches on the Gold Coast all the more enjoyable.

We were in Queensland during winter and averaged 20 degree highs most days, except of course the day we decided to visit the Gold Coast it was overcast and cold. Thanks, La Niña.

Currumbin beach

How to get to Gold Coast Beaches

The Gold Coast is an hour’s drive south of Brisbane on the best of days, and we strongly suggest avoiding peak hour traffic as this can easily get up to 2 hours. If you don’t have your own vehicle, the public transport network from Brisbane to the Gold Coast is pretty reliable. 

You can get a train from Brisbane all the way to Helensvale, and then a tram from Helensvale as far south as Broadbeach. If you plan on venturing any further south, you’ll need to have your own car or be prepared to rack up some hefty uber fees.

Hire an Airport Transfer

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What to bring to the Beaches in Gold Coast

Prepare for your trip to the Gold Coast Beaches with our must-have travel essentials. (Click for prices)

What's in our camera bag

If you’re interested in photography and/or videography this is the gear we can’t live without:

Professional camera: Sony a7iv (click for price)
Action camera: GoPro HERO10 Black (click for price)
Drone: DJI Air 2s (click for price)

Related post: What's in our camera bag

Click here to see our complete camera gear

Tours at the Beaches at Gold Coast

Gold Coast Beaches is home to some of the best beaches and activities in all of Queensland. If you want to get the full experience, we have listed a few of the best tours you should consider doing while in the area!

GetYourGuide is an amazing company that makes booking a tour so easy and convenient. We have experienced using this tour company personally so we can say from personal experience how great they are. They pick you up from your location and handle all the busy work to make sure you just focus on having fun!

2.5 Hour Whale Watching Tour
Movie World, Sea World & WetnWild 3-Day Pass
Kayak & Snorkeling Tour
Gold Coast Amphibious Bus Tour

Best Gold Coast Beaches

1. The Spit

The Spit is on the northern end of the Gold Coast, near Seaworld. It’s one of the most popular beaches on the Gold Coast because of its family friendly atmosphere and calmer waters.

This is a well-known dog friendly beach where you can run your pooch off leash. You can also fish off the pier, surf, scuba dive and ride jet skis. If you’re feeling hungry or thirsty you can fuel up at Seaway Kiosk cafe near the parking lot.

Dogs – yes, permitted off-leash
Parking – free in big car park

Click here for the location on Google Maps

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The Spit – Gold Coast Beaches

2. Surfers Paradise

If you’ve heard of the Gold Coast, chances are you’ve heard of Surfers Paradise. This is one of the most famous beaches in Australia, and the beach most tourists think of when they hear ‘Gold Coast’.

Surfers Paradise is a large stretch of sand that goes for kilometres, but the main entrance to Surfers Paradise is in front of Cavill Ave Mall. This is where the life guards are set up so you can tell when it’s safe to swim or not. If you get bored, hungry or thirsty you can duck across to the strip mall and enjoy a spot of shopping and dining.

Dogs – allowed on the footpath but not on the sand
Parking – 3 hour free street parking, paid secure parking (you will have a hard time finding free street parking on a weekend)

Click here for the location on Google Maps

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Surfers Paradise – Gold Coast Beaches

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3. Kurrawa Beach

Often referred to as just Broadbeach, Kurrawa Beach is the main beach in this area. Just a few kilometres south of Surfers Paradise, Kurrawa Beach is one of the best beaches on the Gold Coast if you’re looking to explore beyond the classic Surfers Paradise, without going too far.

Kurrawa Park is the large grassy area with picnic tables just in front of Kurrawa Beach. You can park along the road here for up to 4 hours (metred) or at the Kurrawa Beach Surf Club.

Dogs – allowed on the footpath but not on the sand
Parking – 4 hours metred

Click here for the location on Google Maps

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Kurrawa Beach – Gold Coast Beaches

Gold Coast parks

4. Miami Beach

Heading further south down the Gold Coast is Miami Beach. This is where the vibe turns from tourist central to laidback local. Miami Beach is a long stretch of sand looking back up north towards the Gold Coast city skyscrapers.

You can surf at Miami Beach, go for a stroll along endless white sand or find a spot to sit back and relax. There are also a handful of cafes and fish and chip shops to enjoy along the streets just back from the beachfront.

Dogs – yes, on leash
Parking – free street parking

Click here for the location on Google Maps

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Miami Beach – Gold Coast Beaches

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5. Burleigh Beach

Burleigh Beach is located right next to the big tree covered hill that is Burleigh Head National Park. This stunning beach is the up and coming hot spot and one of the most popular beaches on the Gold Coast. You’ll find plenty of locals and tourists here on any given day, surfing, swimming, walking their dogs on the pathways or just enjoying the classic Burleigh vibes.

Burleigh is a bustling little town with a bunch of fish and chip shops, cafes, the iconic Burleigh Pavillion, and the local hangout spot, Burleigh Hill. This grassy knoll overlooks the surf and is a popular spot for people to sit and gather.

Dogs – yes, on leash
Parking – 3 hours free parking

Click here for the location on Google Maps

Burleigh Beach

Burleigh Beach – Gold Coast Beaches

Burleigh Beach

6. Tallebudgera Creek & Beach

 For something a little different from the other beaches in the Gold Coast, you can’t pass up Tallebudgera Creek. The mouth of this freshwater creek opens up to the ocean just on the southern side of Burleigh Head National Park.

There are a number of spots where you can hang out on either side of the creek, but the most family friendly area decked out with facilities is right by the Neptune Royal Life Saving Club. If you want more peace and quiet you can park on the Burleigh side of the bridge and find a spot on the sand there. Tallebudgera Creek is protected from waves so it makes for a great spot for young ones to swim, as well as paddle board and picnic.

Dogs – yes, on leash (Tip: there’s an off-leash area along Tallebudgera Beach south of the seawall)
Parking – 3 hours free parking

Click here for the location on Google Maps

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Tallebudgera Beach – Gold Coast Beaches

Tallebudgera beach

7. Currumbin Beach

Another creek meets beach is Currumbin Beach, just a stone’s throw from Tallebudgera. The biggest difference is that whilst Tallebudgera is family friendly, Currumbin Beach is all for the surfers.

This is one of the most popular surf beaches on the Gold Coast, and unfortunately the waves are not so welcoming for swimmers. Aside from surfing, there are also some cool rock pools and a giant boulder to explore at the point.

Dogs – not allowed (Tip: if you go to Palm Beach on the other side of Currumbin Creek it’s a dog off-leash zone)
Parking – free

Click here for the location on Google Maps

Currumbin beach,

Currumbin Beach – Gold Coast Beaches

Currumbin beach
Currumbin Beach

8. Kirra Beach

Kirra Beach is where you start to get to the very southern end of the Gold Coast. It’s considered one of the best beaches on the Gold Coast for its laidback charm and quiet atmosphere. 

An enormous sandy stretch makes for the perfect place to spend the day on the beach, and the surf at Kirra Beach is world class. There is also a huge grassy park at the entrance to the beach, so if you don’t fancy sand in your fish and chips you can set up a picnic on the grass. 

Dogs – yes, on leash
Parking – free

Click here for the location on Google Maps

Kirra Beach

Kirra Beach – Gold Coast Beaches

Kirra Beach

9. Coolangatta Beach

Coolangatta is a major holiday destination at the very south of the Gold Coast, just before the New South Wales border at Tweed. Unlike the holiday spots closer to Surfers Paradise, Coolangatta is still a very laidback and low-key town. 

The main beach, Coolangatta Beach, is a family-friendly, patrolled beach where many children splash and swim in the shallows. There are also plenty of restaurants and cafes along the street just back from the beach. 

Dogs – not allowed within 200m of flags, must be on-leash
Parking – free

Click here for the location on Google Maps

Gold Coast Beaches - Coolangatta-1

Coolangatta Beach – Gold Coast Beaches

10. Rainbow Bay/Greenmount Beach

Greenmount Beach is the next beach south of Coolangatta Beach, also known as Rainbow Bay. It’s a very wide beach, popular amongst surfers and swimmers. There is a beautiful coastal walk from Greenmount Beach to Coolangatta Beach, so if you visit one you should visit the other!

If you find yourself getting hungry, Greenmount Surf Club sits at the southern end of the beach, right by Snapper Rocks tide pools. You can enjoy the view of the beach and surfers as you enjoy a fresh bev and a classic pub feed. 

Dogs – not allowed within 200m of flags, must be on-leash
Parking – free along street or just past Greenmount Surf Club

Click here for the location on Google Maps

Rainbow Bay – Gold Coast Beaches

11. Froggy Beach

Froggy Beach is a local favourite, named after the bright green frog painted on the rocks. Unlike the sprawling Greenmount, Cooly and Kirra beaches, Froggy is a small cove. If you’re looking to get away from the crowds of the main beaches, Froggy Beach is the place to go. 

Dogs – inconclusive
Parking – free street parking

Click here for the location on Google Maps

Froggy Beach – Gold Coast Beaches

12. Duranbah (Dbah) Beach

Technically located on the Tweed Coast, south of the New South Wales border, Duranbah (Dbah) Beach gets an honorary mention in our list of best Gold Coast beaches. Also known as Flagstaff Beach, this wide stretch of sand is a great beach for both surfing and swimming. 

At the headland overlooking Duranbah Beach is the Captain Cook Memorial and Lighthouse, which marks the border of Queensland and New South Wales. There’s also a large park area where you can enjoy a barbecue or picnic. 

Dogs – not allowed within 100m of flags
Parking – free street parking and car park

Click here for the location on Google Maps

Dbah Beach – Gold Coast Beaches

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