The best beaches and waterways on the Gold Coast

Queensland’s Gold Coast is packed full of  beautiful beaches and idyllic islands.


With so many wonderful places to choose from, it can be hard to decide where to spend your days in the sun. Lucky for you. we’ve put together this list of the best beaches and waterways on the Gold Coast, so you can pick the right place for you.


Tallebudgera Creek © Tourism and Events Queensland


Tallebudgera Creek


Surrounded by Burleigh Heads National Park on one side and Palm Beach on the other, Tallebudgera Creek is a 25 kilometre long strip of water that’s perfect for swimming and picnicking with the family. It’s also known for great fishing, as bream, flathead and whiting are common catches in these waters.

A short walk away from the creek is Burleigh Heads National Park, home to several wonderful walking trails that will immerse you in the local flora and fauna. Taking the Oceanview Trail will lead you along the coastline, with the chance to spot humpback whales in the waters below. You’ll also see the six-sided basalt columns as you soak up the sun.

After a long morning of exploring, head back to the shores of the creek to find the Custard Canteen. This bakery serves delicious pastries made daily on site, as well as fresh lunches and robust coffee. 


Surfers Paradise © Tourism and Events Queensland


Surfers Paradise 


No list of Gold Coast attractions would be complete without Surfers Paradise. Famous for the sparkling skyscrapers dotting the skyline, this beach always offers reliable surf and plenty of sand to lay your towel for a bit of sunbathing.

The esplanade is packed full of exciting tourist attractions, including beachfront markets, outdoor dining, and cultural experiences just a short walk away. The beach itself is well patrolled, making it great for swimming and surfing. 


beaches and waterways
Currumbin Beach © Tourism and Events Queensland


Currumbin Beach 


This beach is looked after by Currumbin Beach Life Saving Club, which has been around since 1919 and an institution of the Gold Coast. 

The point where Currumbin Creek meets the open ocean is referred to as The Alley, known for its world-class waves and consistently good surf. Professional surfers and beginners are known to ride the swell all day long, from early morning to after dark. 

For those heading to the beach itself, the Currumbin Alley Surf School provides individual and group lessons, and there are also plenty of places to rent kayaks and SUPs for the calmer waters further along the shore. Visitors should also take the short walkway up to Elephant Rock, where you’ll find stunning panoramic views over the water. It’s particularly beautiful at sunset, but can get crowded with others hoping to take in this gorgeous site. 


Snapper Rocks © Tourism and Events Queensland


Snapper Rocks 


Snapper Rocks is a rocky outcrop located on the southern end of Rainbow Bay. It marks the beginning of the famous Superbank, which continues through the bay for around 2 kilometers. This area is home to the annual World Surf Leagues’ Quicksilver and Roxy Pros, part of a year long tour which brings professional surfers from around the world to Aussie shores. Visiting during the competition, you’ll be able to watch some of the best surfing around, and be part of an electric atmosphere. For those passionate about surfing, it doesn’t get much better than Snapper Rocks.

After working up an appetite, make sure to head to the Rainbow Bay Surf Club for a classic Aussie meal.  


Snorkelling at Wave Break Island © Tourism and Events Queensland

Wave Break Island


This man-made island was built in 1985 to protect the western foreshore. Nowadays, it’s popular with locals and tourists as a tranquil destination to escape the summer rush

Only accessible by boat, Wave Break Island is a great location for a day-trip from the mainland. When you arrive, there are plenty of things to see and do including walks along the golden sand, kayaking and picnicking. However, it’s most famous for the great snorkelling conditions, and there are many tour groups in operation that will provide all the equipment and transport you need. The crystal-clear waters make it easy to spot local wildlife, including brightly coloured fish and turtles. In fact, the island is home to more than 450 species of fish 


Greenmount Point © Tourism and Events Queensland


Greenmount Beach 


A perfect spot for those travelling with children, Greenmount Beach is one of the calmer locations on this list.  It’s sheltered from the southerly winds, meaning the waters stay relatively still year-round. Smaller waves make it a great spot for beginners to practise their surfing skills.

The lookout at Greenmount Point offers wonderful views over Coolangatta Beach to the north and Rainbow Bay to the south, as well as picturesque views of the horizon. The surf club is also family friendly, with ocean views from the deck restaurant. It’s a great place to end a long day of splashing around in the sun. 


beaches and waterways
The sand pumping jetty at The Spit © Tourism and Events Queensland


The Spit 


The Spit is the northernmost beach on the Gold Coast, separating the broadwater from the open ocean. It is famous for the sand pumping jetty that stretches out into the surf, as well as the off-leash area that makes it a popular spot with dog owners.

The Spit is a great area for night diving, where you can get up close with fish, dolphins and other marine animals under a canopy of stars. This area is also the home of Sea World, one the Gold Coast’s most popular destinations. The theme park boasts attractions including rides and marine animal encounters, and is fun for tourists of all ages.

While visiting The Spit, you should also stop by the Seaway Kiosk, famous for their delicious crab sandwiches.  

Loving these beaches and waterways? Check out another water-based activity available on the Gold Coast by clicking here.

For even more beach content, check out this article about the best beaches in Australia!


Travel to the Gold Coast

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