The Gold Coast is Australia’s answer to Miami. Well, as close as it can get, at least. Boasting some of the country’s best surf breaks, stunning sunsets, lush hinterland, perfect weather, and a 52-kilometre-long strip of pristine beaches, it is no wonder vacationers flock to this city in Queensland.
Although the mention of Gold Coast may immediately conjure up images of the glitzy Surfers Paradise strip and its iconic beach, there are far better beaches where you get to enjoy some of the best surf breaks on the coast. These beaches are favoured by locals, but remain relatively unknown to tourists.
On a recent vacation to Gold Coast, we explored everything the beautiful coastal city has to offer, as well as consulted a few locals to find out their favourite surf and swim spots. Unsurprisingly, Surfers Paradise didn’t make the list. A general tip we found was that the further south you venture, the more serene and laid-back the beaches are — and the concept of “selfie sticks” become almost non-existent.
From the beach where world-renowned surf legends are trained to one where you get to swim with pods of dolphins, here are 5 underrated, lesser-known beaches to check out the next time you’re on the Gold Coast. You can thank us later.
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Located just over the hill from local favourite Burleigh Heads, Tallebudgera Creek boasts picture-perfect white sand banks and calm waters perfect for swimming or paddle boarding. It overlooks the lush Burleigh Head National Park on one side and Palm Beach on the other. Here’s where locals and tourists from other states come to camp, swim, picnic, kayak and fish.
How to get there: Start walking from Burleigh Heads through the National Park, and you’ll end up at the beach. Walking further might just lead you to your own private beach.
(Image credit: iStock)
Favoured by locals for its laid-back vibe, Kirra Beach is one of the Gold Coast’s best-kept secrets. Here, you can marvel at the shimmering Surfers Paradise skyline in the distance. Locals are often seen swimming, surfing on its world-class breaks, or sunbathing every weekend — yet, Kirra still maintains its tranquil atmosphere.
How to get there: If you’re driving, simply go south (past the airport) on the Gold Coast Highway until you reach Kirra.
(Image credit: @talishap )
When it comes to secret beaches, the more secluded it is, the better. This small rocky outcrop on the tip of Point Danger is home to the annual Quiksilver Pro Surfing Competition. On other days of the year, though, it boasts some of the best surf breaks on the Gold Coast — complete with a truly spectacular view of Surfers Paradise in the distance.
How to get there: From Kirra Beach, drive or walk further south to Rainbow Bay. Follow the path that leads to Snapper Rocks.
(Image credit: @nathaniel.tummon)
Wander further from Snapper Rocks and you will chance upon Froggy’s, a secluded strip of sand tucked between Snapper Rock and Point Danger. Froggy’s Beach is a local’s favourite, flanked with weeping willows and pandanus palms. It is so picturesque, we even witnessed a pre-wedding shoot when we were there.
How to get there: Walking east from Snapper Rocks will lead you to this hidden gem, easily recognisable by a green frog statue perched on a hill.
(Image credit: @hayles.always.exploring)
While the word “creek” may not be the most exciting description, the mouth of Currumbin Creek is truly breathtaking. With it spitting out to the South Pacific Ocean, here’s where you can see pods of dolphins swimming into the inlet and playfully frolicking amongst paddle boarders and kayakers — making for the perfect photo op.
How to get there: Situated directly adjacent to the New South Wales border, the Currumbin Creek waterway can be found linked to the pristine rainforest mountains of the region when heading west.
(Image credit: iStock)