Choose from 35 patrolled beaches that lie along a stunning 42km-long strip of sun-drenched, squeaky clean white-sand that stretches almost uninterrupted from the Spit, north of Surfers Paradise, to Rainbow Bay, south of Coolangatta.
From the glitz and glamour of Surfers Paradise to quiet Burleigh, there is a Gold Coast beach for every couple.
The Gold Coast’s most popular beaches, include…
Main Beach offers silky smooth sand that shelves into tumbling waves perfect for surfing, boogie boarding and swimming (if you like your sea quite rough).
Some of the best surf can be found just south of the jetty at the Broadwater sea entrance.
Behind the beach lies a park that’s perfect for a barbecue and, just a short walk away, you can enjoy streets lined with al fresco restaurants, cafés and designer boutiques.
Main beach is located on the Pacific Ocean side of a long sandbar known as the Spit, which divides the sheltered waters of the Broadwater lagoon and the ocean.
The Spit is home to Sea World, Australia’s largest marine theme park; the 5-star Palazzo Versace Hotel; and Marina Mirage, an elegant shopping and dining complex featuring exclusive boutiques, art galleries and gourmet restaurants.
Just offshore lie several dive sites including the wreck of the Scottish Prince.
One of the most popular holiday destinations in Australia, Surfers Paradise offers a vibrant cityscape complete with Miami Beach-style high-rises that overlook a stunning 3km-long beach.
Sunbathe on the gorgeous powder-white sand, cool off with a swim, ride a wave or roller blade the beachfront promenade.
Afterwards, enjoy al fresco dining in one the numerous cafés and restaurants that crowd the busy streets. Browse art galleries for works by local artists, indulge in retail therapy at Prada, Louis Vuitton and Gucci or in duty-free outlets, souvenir shops and beachfront markets.
In the evening enjoy gourmet cuisine then party the night away in any of the more than 30 bars and nightclubs.
For a spectacular 360-degree view of the coast and hinterland, head to QDeck on levels 77 and 78 of Q1, the world's tallest residential tower.
In March, watch the pros make surfing look easy at the annual Quicksilver Pro-Surfing Competition and the Surf Life Saving Championships.
Located just south of Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach offers an excellent stretch of beach with more of a village atmosphere than its exuberant neighbour.
Go surfing or swimming, relax on the white-sand beach, enjoy a picnic in scenic Kurrawa Park or head to the trendy outdoor cafés and restaurants that line Surf Parade and Broadbeach Mall.
Come evening, pop into a lively bar or play the tables at Conrad Jupiters Casino, probably the best-known attraction at Broadbeach, with its wall-to-wall table games and gaming machines operating 24/7.
Don’t miss the beachfront craft markets, held on the first and third Sunday of every month.
Sunbathe on this magnificent beachfront or check out the great surf breaks.
Mermaid Beach is famous for its 'millionaire's row' – beachfront homes built along Hedges Avenue fronting the beach.
Mermaid offers a range of al fresco dining restaurants and cafes including the local Surf Life Saving Club, with great views overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Discover a stunning stretch of white sand perfect for families and children, with a beachfront park and children's playground.
After a cooling swim, check out the Miami Surf Life Saving Club for a refreshing drink or tasty dinner.
Located between Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta, Burleigh Heads is world renowned for its outstanding surf conditions.
Join professional surfers from around the world and take on Burleigh’s tubular barrel waves or watch international surfing competitions such as the Quicksilver Pro Surf Tournament.
Lined with towering pines and pandanus palms, this beachside village offers a relaxed, beachside charm with a range of alfresco restaurants, cafes and bars.
Take a short walk over the headland, through Burleigh Heads National Park to Tallebudgera Creek, and enjoy superb views of the surrounding coastline.
Don’t miss the art and craft markets held here on the last Sunday of each month.
Located along the southern stretch of the Gold Coast, Kirra boasts one of the most popular and spectacular point breaks in Australia.
Relax on Kirra Beach and watch the experts ride the point’s famous big hollow tubes or hire a long board and join in the fun.
Smaller waves closer to shore on Kirra Beach make this a good spot for beginners to take surf lessons.
Located at the southern end of the Gold Coast on the border between Queensland and New South Wales, Coolangatta boasts some of the region's best surfing and most beautiful beaches.
Choose the more challenging rides at Point Danger and Kirra Point or for gentler breaks head to Greenmount Beach (photo) or Rainbow Bay, which also has a playground for children and picnic facilities.
Walk the scenic Greenmount to Rainbow Bay coastal track or choose to dine at one of the beachside alfresco bistros and cafés.
Don’t miss the beachfront handicraft market held on the second Sunday of every month.
A real surf club town, Coolangatta has a wide range of pubs and restaurants: for good food and great yarns try the renowned Port O' Call hotel.
Relax on the Gold Coast’s most southern beach, a tiny crescent of white sand sandwiched between Greenmount and Snapper Rocks.
The beach fronts Superbank – one of the world's top surf breaks. Watch the experts or take your turn to surf some great waves.
Expect a certain electricity around ‘Cooly’ come Quiksilver Pro contest time, when the best surfers in the world descend on one of the best surf beaches in Australia.
Situated on the southern-most tip of the Gold Coast, Snapper Rocks is a gnarly outcrop of old lava rock set sideways to the line of coast, and the start of almost 1.6km of right sandbar point break on probably the single most crowded surfing area in the world.
On a good day it's possible to count more than 1000 surfers in the water, yet somehow the crowd usually takes care of itself.
Read more about surfing Snapper Rocks…
Latest update: Top Gold Coast Beaches: 9 September, 2022