Our Top 5 Favourite Gold Coast Beaches

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With an impressive 53 kilometres of pristine beaches and waterways, Queensland’s famous Gold Coast is an iconic holiday destination for all types of hedonistic holiday makers including loved up couples looking for a romantic getaway. And although there is more to the Gold Coast than its many golden sanded beaches, they still remain a key drawcard for holidaymakers and as weekend getaway for locals. As locals ourselves at UltimateTravelMagazine.com, we’re happy to share our top five Gold Coast beaches, in no particular order, from south to north.

Snapper Rocks/Greenmount

Located in Coolangatta, this is without doubt the Gold Coast’s most popular surf beach, with Snapper Rocks hosting the Quiksilver Pro each year as part of the professional World Surf League featuring the best boardriders in the world. It’s a consistent wave for all types of boards and on its day provides some of the best barrel-riding in Australia. Snapper is also the starting point for what’s called the ‘Super Bank’, which is a man made break which runs from Snapper all the way through to Greenmount and Coolangatta. In contrast Greenmount is tucked into the southern end of Coolangatta providing some protection from the large surf and occasional southerly winds, and as a result its a favourite with families staying in the area. The Greenmount Surf Club is another drawcard; perched on the beach with stunning views down Coolangatta, this friendly joint is a real favourite with both locals and visitors.


One of the prettiest beach spots on the Gold Coast is undoubtedly Currumbin, a beautiful beachfront community and a photographer’s paradise. Elephant Rock is the unusual rock formation on a small headland which marks a world famous point break called The Alley. On one side of this is Currumbin Creek with protected beaches and pristine swimming beaches and on the other side is the open surf break and Currumbin Surf Life Saving Club, ideal for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just a coffee to enjoy the views. Fishing enthusiasts also flock to the area to land flathead and bream off the rock wall near Elephant Rock or off the beach. There are a couple of cafés to enjoy just a short walk along the surf beach on Pacific Parade, along with the world famous Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary which is just a stone’s throw from the beaches. During summer school holidays, and some weekends, be aware it can be tricky getting a car park as this place is so popular.

Burleigh Heads 

Hugely popular with surfers because of its famous right hand point break, Burleigh Heads (which is known as just ‘Burleigh’ to the locals) also offers some protected spots for swimmers if the water is choppy from the wind or surging because of a big swell. It sits roughly halfway between Coolangatta and Surfers Paradise and even if you’re a bit of a landlubber and like to keep your feet dry, there’s enough to do around here to keep you occupied for most of the day. The Burleigh foreshore rises up a headland providing spectacular views of the northern Gold Coast overlooking the surf break and north to Surfers, with plenty of spaces to enjoy a barbecue or a picnic under the shade of Norfolk pines. The foreshore also leads into the Burleigh Heads National Park which wraps around the headland with walking trails that lead to Tallebudgera Creek on the other side of Burleigh. Tallebudgera Creek also has several secluded swimming beaches which are protected from the surf, including a patrolled area on the south side of the waterway. In the CBD of Burleigh itself there are scores of top notch cafés, restaurants and bars to suit all tastes and budgets. 

Surfers Paradise

It’s been dubbed the “city by the sea” many times and is synonymous with the Gold Coast as its biggest metro area, and this is where you’ll feel energy and enthusiasm combined with a genuine laid-back beach vibe. Surfers Paradise has been in the running for Best Beach In Australia awards numerous time, even once ranking higher than Queensland’s famous Whitehaven Beach, and that’s because of its fabulous strip of pure white sand, consistent surf, and a recently upgraded foreshore that’s popular with walkers, joggers, rollerbladers, cyclists, skateboarders and anyone who just wants to enjoy a gentle stroll. The foreshore also hosts the Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets, which in the COVID-19 era operate every Friday and Sunday between 4pm and 9pm throughout the year. Surfers is also home to an impressive lineup of annual free artistic and cultural community events set against the stunning surf backdrop, and within the precinct there are plenty of cafés, bars and restaurants to make this an all-round compact beach destination.

Main Beach

Located just north of Surfers Paradise, Main Beach was so-named as it was the first major surf beach town on the Gold Coast connected to the commercial centre of Southport. It’s an open beach break with okay waves which is patrolled year round. Main Beach is set against a large shady park and the ultra-modern Southport Surf Club, while right next door is the old bathing pavilion built in 1936, Pavilion 34 which was treated to a renovation restoring it into a casual beach café which does old favourites like fish and chips, burgers and wraps. The original change areas are still here and they also have a gallery of retro photos from back in the day. Away from the beach and a short walk away is the famous Tedder Avenue, home to a strip of trendy cafés and restaurants along with bars and boutique shops. Like all of these beaches, Main Beach is a holiday destination which is perfect for those looking for a romantic getaway or weekend getaway.


Joanna Hall


  • 5

    Posted by Tom Shanks on 1st Feb 2021

    I really miss the Goldie. Haven't been able to visit yet due to the virus, and I'm worried about booking anything!

  • 4
    Love Surfers

    Posted by Lydia123 on 19th Jan 2021

    Surfers gets such a bad rap but we love it. Just stay away from Cavill when the clubs are open, otherwise there are some cheap places to eat, supermarkets for picking up stuff for lunch and good facilities. Not to mention the tram!

  • 5
    Burleigh Rocks

    Posted by FlickFlack1 on 19th Jan 2021

    Can't beat Burleigh, great beachs, walks and cafes, parking can be sketchy in summer but if you know the back roads you'll get in somewhere :)

  • 3
    Not The Best

    Posted by Gabby Yabby on 19th Jan 2021

    Used to visit the Goldie every year before covid and I disagree with this list there are far nicer spots for a swim!