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It can be a little hard to pick a beach destination when every beach you hear of claims to be one of the best beaches in Queensland. The problem is that there are so many amazing beaches in Queensland, that us Australians regularly find ourselves spoiled for choice.
There really are so many beautiful beaches in Queensland but I’m going to help you narrow down your list. Quite a few of these beaches are close to each other, so for instance, if you choose to visit the Gold Coast you could drop by a few of them in the one trip.
It should be noted that Queensland also has a ton of beautiful islands, but we’ll cover that in another post. So, in no particular order, here are the best beaches in Queensland that you need to visit during your time in the state.
1. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays
Whitehaven is routinely called one of the best beaches in Queensland, Australia and even the world. The beach is famous for its sandy swirls at low tide, and even at high tide the calm, clear blue waters make for great swimming.
Whitehaven is part of the Whitsunday Island chain and is quite close to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) depending on what side of it you’re visitng. If you like to visit both and are on a budget, considering staying in Airlie Beach as you can make day trips to Whitehaven and visit the GBR from there easily.
2. Lake McKenzie, Fraser Island
Technically, Lake McKenzie is not a beach but a lake, however its still admittedly gorgeous. It’s one of the more popular attractions on Fraser island however there are tons of beautiful swimming spots around the island.
Lake McKenzie is a nice calm spot for swimming and the lake ranges in colours depending on how deep out you are swimming. In fact on Fraser its recommended you swim in the island’s lakes as there are frequently strong currents on the beaches, as well as the occasional shark.
3. Nudey Beach, Fitzroy Island
I’ve only mentioned one island on this list as I intend to write a post specifically about them but I just had to include Fitzroy on this list. Nudey beach, while misleading in the name, is easily one of the best beaches in Queensland.
The beach is secluded and calm with clear waters and is truly a tropical paradise. To reach it you’ll have to take a short hike through the national park from the island’s resort but it truly is worth the journey.
The island is a 45 minute ferry ride away from Cairns and also offers camping if you can’t afford to stay at the resort.
4. Palm Cove Beach, Cairns
Palm Cove beach in Cairns is a quiet beach lined with palms, with warm waters year round. Its a bit more rustic than the other beaches on this list, a little more isolated as well. This is a beach that has yet to be heavily touched by tourism, with the shores not as populated with buildings as the others on this list.
The beach has been voted as Tropical North Queensland’s cleanest beach, with regular clean up crews making sure the beach is free from litter.
If you’re visiting the Great Barrier Reef on the Cairn’s end this would be a good little side trip.
Best Beaches in Queensland
5. Coolum Beach
Coolum is a relatively quiet beach town in the Sunshine coast with a beautiful beach to boast about. The bays are smaller, and the surroundings rockier but its just as beautiful as the more popular Gold Coast beaches.
The town also has its own golf course so you can mix up sunbathing at the beach with a round of golf if you’re into the sport. Additionally, being in the sunshine coast you could easily visit other nearby beaches.
6. The Spit, Noosa
You would be forgiven for thinking this is the famous Whitehaven beach sand swirls, however this lesser known gem is significantly closer to Brisbane. The Noosa Spit is even closer to the Gold Coast and is often used by locals as a day trip on the weekend.
The area is a nice calm area for swimming and has great aerial views if you manage to get up high to take a picture.
7. Surfers Paradise
The Gold Coast is hardly a secret for Queenslanders and is well known as a surf, sunbathing and party hotspot. Its famous for its skyscaper meets sea coastline, laidback attitude and the nearby themeparks.
Just make sure you appropriately apply sunscreen here as the sun in Australia is stronger than it may be in your home country. Additionally you’ll want to the Gold Coast during Schoolies week, which is when hordes of teenagers descend upon the area to celebrate finishing high school.
8. Burleigh heads
Burleigh Heads is nestled between Coolangatta and the popular Surfers Paradise making it a relatively quiet spot which is still close enough to public transport and sights. It could easily be combined with a trip to either or you could just relax on the beach staring off at the distance city.
The beach is a little rockier than the ones closer to the Gold Coast but its also quieter and less busy in high season. The bay area is also a bit more protected than other nearby beaches, so is a good option on windy days as you’ll be able to find a calmer spot to swim.
Best Beaches in Queensland
9. Champagne Pools, Fraser Island
Another popular spot on Fraser island is the champagne pools. A short walk from the Indian Head along Seventy Mile beach, there are pools of clear, shallow water sheltered by rocks. This is pretty much the only spot where you’re allowed to swim in the ocean on Fraser island, due to sharks and strong currents.
The champagne pools are protected from both of the above which makes them a safe spot for swimmers, and are one of the prettier spots on the island.
10. Langford Island, Whitsundays
If you have your own boat or can hop on a tour that stops here you’ll get to experience this beautiful beach on Langford island. Langford is part of the Whitsunday Islands group and is on the flight path of many of the scenic flights in this region.
The island is best seen during low tide when the sandbar is visible, but beware that tides can change quickly. If you notice the sand bank getting narrower grab your belongings and make your way back to the main part of the island.
Snorkeling is quite good here and you’ll be able to spot quite a few fish around the island’s reef.
11. Wrecks Beach, Moreton Island
Moreton Island can be done as a day trip or weekend camping adventure. There is a few things to see see around the island but many will just park themselves by the main beach for a bit of a swim and relaxation.
Please be aware that there is no public transportation to get around the island so if you want to get around you’ll need a car or should book a tour. However if you just want to see the wreck beach and maybe watch the dolphin and pelican feedings at Tangalooma resort, you can either stay at the resort or camp at the Wreck’s campsite.
These two things are in walking distance of each other and the ferry drops you off near these attractions.
12. Coolangatta, Gold Coast
Coolangatta is a sleepy little beach suburb with a few resorts and camping sites sprinkled around. Apart from being peaceful, one of the main draws is that you can see the cityscape of the Gold Coast while looking out into the ocean.
There aren’t many beaches where you can do that, hence its worth a quick visit even if you’re basing yourself in neighbouring Burleigh Heads or the Gold Coast.
There’s also a walking track that takes you to the boundary of Queensland and New South Wales so you can put one foot in either state to say you’ve been in both at the same time.
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