Let me introduce the best Gold Coast Beaches based on my deep research. 🙂
As a beach lover, I feel that every beach on the planet is different. It is not a beach as a beach.
Some has whiter and softer sand whilst other has a yellow or even dark sand, they can be surrounded by palms, pine trees, mountains or rocks and the colour of the ocean can vary from green shadows to the reflection of crystal blue water.
Ocean shore can be deep or just shallow, packed with people or empty. I could continue with my description ad infinitum but I don’t want to bore you, so let’s explore the Gold Coast beaches.
Gold Coast is a massive coastline which starts from Spit to Byron Bay. If you are travelling to Gold Coast, you will probably hear a lot about famous Surfers Paradise. Is it really a paradise beach?
I have been living in Australia for a while and I had a lot of time to explore Gold Coast very well so now I am going to show you my brief review of the beaches that are worth to talk about.
I will start from the northern part and continue along the coast to the south.
Before I begin, I just want to mention one rule of all beaches in Australia (if you are not a local).
Whenever you swim, always swim “between the flags” (red and yellow). It is an area which is safe and lifeguard can see you. If you are swimming in another area you might get thrown to the rough ocean and get into trouble.
The Spit separates Southport Broadwater from the Pacific Ocean. You can choose which part to visit. One part is pointing to the Southport and Labrador and offering a great place to have a picnic, go fishing, ride a jetski or go for a walk.
You will see many people with dogs over there. The water is calm. Great both in summer or winter time. However,
I prefer a wild ocean so definitely the other part pointing to the Pacific ocean. 🙂
What you might not know – I have heard that around Spit is a higher chance to see a shark. :o)
The Main Beach is one of my favourite although the area doesn’t offer many restaurants and they also close early. It is better to take your own food or think about having a BBQ as there are free BBQ s in a park.:-)
The park is lovely, it always brings me a happy feeling and peacefulness. While visiting the Main Beach area, check out the Sea World which is nearby.
If you plan to do a whole day trip around Main Beach, I recommend you to start early in the morning with the Sea World, check the time for the shows with dolphins, birds or reptiles and try cool rides there – roller coaster or boat ride!
Then just head to the Main Beach for splash or watch the sunset.
Tip – Consider buying a VIP magic pass for 4 Theme Parks with unlimited entry if you stay on Gold Coast for a while – it includes also Movie World, Wet and Wild Waterpark and Paradise Country.
It is much cheaper than buying each pass separately.
A single ticket costs $79 and this VIP magic pass cost $189 for 4 Theme Parks.
In my opinion it is just too crowd and full of tourists, especially in a peak season. 🙂 It is nice to visit and experience it if you have never been there.
Some people love it, others don’t – once you see it, you will know. I personally like the memories from there as my first place I have visited in Australia otherwise I prefer other beaches from the Gold Coast.
If you are not too fussy with food, there are mostly takeaways – I like sushi shops with sushi rolls or Nandos, Gomez which is a healthier option for a fast food.
If you prefer a proper meal in a restaurant – check Hurricane’s grills or other restaurants located around Cavill Avenue. It is a pricey though.
There are also a very nice Thai or Japanese restaurants.
Staying in Surfers Paradise for a few days? I would recommend for an accommodation one of the Mantra hotels or Q1 (the tallest building on Gold Coast) or if you are on tighter budget then Beachcomber or Chateau Beachside can be a smart choice.
They are considered as cheaper hotels but with stunning ocean view! The rooms are quite average, don’t expect luxury, however, the view is truly amazing!
You will hear the sound of the ocean from your bedroom and also living room and see the beautiful sky with the ocean. The hotels have a small fitness and swimming pool area.
Broadbeach is one of my favourite place. The park in Broadbeach is magnificent! The beach by itself is less packed than Surfers Paradise, however, during the season is can be still quite packed. Especially at the weekend.
The area has much more to offer than Surfers Paradise, restaurants are in better quality along with the Cafes with great cappuccino or latte.
I can recommend Cafe Madison for coffee and amazing cakes and sweets.
Along the main street where the trams go are few fancy restaurants but again pricey.
Nearby is the Pacific shopping center which completely changed over a few years and nowadays it reminds the shopping center in the USA – Macys.
The shopping mall usually closes around 5-6 pm except Thursdays when it is open till 9 pm. So go to the beach on Thursday and then you can go shopping.:-)
Mermaid, Miami beach
These two beaches are very similar, located next to each other, less crowded and not many shops around. If you want to escape from the crowd, choose one of them.
This is a tranquil spot with a small park and magical cliffs. You can chill out on the grass and watch the ocean and surfers around or just go to the beach and swim or walk through the forest and explore a calm water spot to swim.
Burleigh heads is popular for local Aussies, many families, couples or singles enjoy time there.
Located near Burleigh heads. You can walk there either from Burleigh Heads or from the Currumbin beach.
Also less crowd, sometimes can be almost empty.
If you go there, have some snack with you to not starve if you don’t like eating just fast food or spending too much money at Surf Life Saving club.:)
The serene beach with very few people on the beach offers a complete rest from everyday stress.
The Currumbin Beach Vikings Life saving club, which is on the top of the rock is one of my favourite place as you can sit in a restaurant and watch the ocean directly, I just love the ocean view. 🙂
Have a lunch or dinner there but it might be full so rather to make a reservation or just go for a coffee in another time and you will find a spot to sit.
There are also other Cafes nearby with a delicious food such as fried squid.
Near Currumbin is a Currumbin Sanctuary with Kangaroos where can you also feed them and touch them or take a photo with Koala, and check some other Australian animals.
Kirra Beach, Coolangatta
Coolangata is a beach which reminds me my first surfing experience in Australia. The beach has a small park and there are some rocks as well and a few look outs if you go further along the beach.
There is a BBQ area to grill some steaks, sausages or vegetable and enjoy time with your friends.
Almost every beach or park in Australia has BBQ grills so just enjoy the beach time!
A stunning place with a lighthouse on the top of the hill. Let’s enjoy a magnificent walk and view. The nature around Byron Bay is wild, you might see dolphins in the ocean!
If you visit it during winter time and watch carefully, you will see whales! Or just take a Whale tour. The place is favourite for surfing, kayaking or skydiving.
To sum up, if you are looking for a one day trip and you love beach and shopping, then visit Broadbeach.
Are you more active person who likes a bit of hike and worry that you might get bored just to lie on the beach?
In that case Burleigh Heads will be the best option for you as you can walk from there through the park and continue to Palm beach.
If you want to enjoy a magical ocean without much distraction for whole day or try surfing and then spend a late afternoon in a restaurant with a beautiful view and just chill out, then spend time on Currumbin beach.
For those whole love a wild nature, and active trip, consider Byron bay.
TOURS you might be interested in:
OZ Intro tour – 9 days, Award winner tour! Start and end in Sydney, meet the group, have a private sailing cruise in Sydney Harbour, go snorkelling, learn how to surf in Port Stephens, feed kangaroos, watch wild dolphins! Check full itinerary here