10 best beaches in Queensland

In a country where half-hopping/half-sprinting over scorching hot sand between the ocean and your towel is considered a national sport, it’s hard to rank these amazing beaches in Queensland that live at the heart of Aussie coastal life.


The argument of which state has the best beaches is one that will never be definitively resolved, and frankly, it’s not something we want to get into. What we will make a case for, however, is which of Queensland‘s beaches reigns supreme. This comes with a disclaimer: all Queensland beaches are of striking and unfathomable beauty, but these are the ten you simply can’t miss.


© Tourism and Events Queensland

Cape Hillsborough, Mackay


Cape Hillsborough is known for its spectacular sunrises, but not so much for the view as for the greeting from the local residents – kangaroos and wallabies.  These furry creatures come out to the beachfront each morning to feed on seaweed and mangrove seed pods that wash up in the tide overnight. Seeing the beauty of life at its most natural is an experience like no other, and one that the animals welcome – as long as you clear out of the way for their retreat back to the forest!


© Tourism and Events Queensland

Rainbow Beach, Sunshine Coast


Nestled between Fraser Island, Great Sandy National Park, and the expansive Pacific Ocean is the natural beauty of Rainbow Beach.  Oceanic erosion has exposed up to 72 different colours of sand, giving the sands of this beach a pinkish hue. The surrounding vibrant coastal town adds some liveliness to the mesmerising beach experience you are sure to have.


© Tourism and Events Queensland

Nudey Beach, Fitzroy Island


On the south-west shores of Fitzroy Island lies the breathtaking white sands and clear blue-green water of Nudey Beach.  With part of the Great Barrier Reef below its waters, colourful coral and marine life are easy to spot while swimming or snorkelling.  Surrounding natural rainforests also increases the chance of animal sightings, with goannas, cockatoos, and the like spread throughout the forest.


© Tourism and Events Queensland

Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas


This beach was named for its beginning at the rocky northern headland and continuing on for four miles without any buildings disrupting the stunning landscape.  Today, it’s still famous for its long white sandy beach. Enjoy a peaceful walk down the coastline, relax and soak up the sun, or venture just a short way off to have a bite to eat at one of the nearby restaurants.


© Tourism and Events Queensland

Noosa Beach, Sunshine Coast


The name Noosa comes from the Aboriginal word meaning “shade” or “shadows.”  This Beach was likely given its name by the Indigenous people of Australia because of its tall forests and subsequent ability to provide shade from the harsh sun.  This stunning surrounding nature only adds to the beauty of the beach itself. Swim, surf, shop, all the while enjoying the laid-back coastal vibe of Noosa.


© Tourism and Events Queensland

Horseshoe Bay, Bowen


Horseshoe Bay is a favorite for locals and tourists alike.  Framed by two granite outcrops, the natural landscape provides a haven for a range of fish and coral just a short swim from the beach.  This fringing reef is also a top spot for diving and snorkelling, with equipment rental offered by the nearby Horseshoe Bay Resort. Bywa, an underwater sculpture, is new to the bay as of 2019.  The sculpture was created by artist Brian Robinson and installed as part of the Whitsunday Reef Recovery and Public Art Project. With this new addition, this beach location is a must-see more than ever before.


© Tourism and Events Queensland

Airlie Beach, Whitsundays


As the hub of the Whitsundays, there’s just about everything to do in this beach town. From bars and restaurants to scuba diving and skydiving, you’ll have to try extremely hard to reach any level of boredom. Airlie Beach also serves as a gateway to the 74 Whitsunday islands.


© Tourism and Events Queensland

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays


Whitehaven Beach really is as beautiful as it looks in the pictures. Only accessible by water or air, the journey to this beach location is half the fun. Venture out onto an overnight sailing experience or take in the stunning view from up high on seaplane or helicopter. And enjoy a walk on the white silica sand, even on the hottest day. Due to the large amount of silica in the sand, the sand doesn’t retain heat and makes it a nice soft surface to walk on barefoot.


© Tourism and Events Queensland

Surfer’s Paradise Beach, Gold Coast


At the heart of the Gold Coast is Australia’s most famous surfing beach.  Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a beginner, you can make your bucket list dreams come true here. Hire boards and surf lessons are available and lifeguards in three watchtowers are always keeping lookout. Meanwhile, experienced surfers can catch waves on the outer bar where conditions are best – moderate swell and offshore winds.


© Tourism and Events Queensland

Palm Cove, Tropical North Queensland


With towering palm trees down the coastline and the title of ‘Australia’s cleanest beach,’ it’s not only a visitor’s paradise, but an instagrammer’s paradise as well.  Palm Cove is a place of barefoot glamour, and a short scenic drive from Cairns or Port Douglas. Mediterranean influence on the food has even improved the already amazing post-beach meal of fish and chips.

Loving these beautiful beaches in Queensland? Click here to discover the fish and chip shops that will complete your seaside adventure.

For even more beaches, check out this article about the best beaches in Australia.


Travel to Queensland

Rex operates flights throughout Queensland. Book your tickets here and check out the route map below.

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