Length of Gold Coast Beaches
Just how long is the stretch of Gold Coast beaches? If you were to compare the various literature mentioning the region's beaches, you'll see a range of different lengths quoted - from 31km, to 46km, 57km, even 70km! I guess they could all be right, depending on the set of underlying assumptions.
So I decided to calculate the length of the various beaches myself, to know once and for all. This was relatively easy to do, using Geodetic Calculations (Vincenty's Formulae, Inverse Method) to calculate the distance between two points using the GPS data from Google Earth.
The table below shows the estimated length of individual beaches, rounded to the nearest 5-10 metres. (Refer to the Gold Coast Beaches page to check out the map that labels the location of each beach.)
The calculation of the total length of Gold Coast beaches does not include the narrow stretch of beach along the shores of the Gold Coast Broadwater, from Southport to Paradise Point.
The Broadwater is a calm, sheltered waterway, protected from Pacific Ocean waves by Wavebreak Island and South Stradbroke Island.
Whilst the Broadwater beaches do have sand (albeit only a narrow width), and are subject to tidal impact, they simply do not compare to the Gold Coast's surfing beaches.
While it is possible to swim in the Broadwater or paddle on the shores, and sunbathe on the sand, it's unlikely you’d choose the shores of the Broadwater for your recreation (except perhaps if you're learning to windsurf or snorkel) given the magnificent beaches located nearby.
And the Google image below perfectly illustrates the contrast between the Broadwater beaches and the surfing beaches that directly face the ocean.
View Surf Beach vs Broadwater Beach in a larger map
For similar reasons as the exclusion of Broadwater beaches, the beach along Wavebreak Island has also not been included in the Gold Coast beach calculations.
Wavebreak Island is a man-made island located in the Gold Coast Broadwater, approximately 800 metres in from the entrance to the Nerang River (Gold Coast Seaway) at Southport. It was constructed in 1986 as part of the Gold Coast Seaway project, to protect the Broadwater shores from large waves entering the Broadwater during heavy seas and storms… hence its name.
The small island is covered in scrubby bush and grass, and the strip of sand that makes up the beach is generally narrow in width. Because Wavebreak Island is located inside the Nerang River entrance, it is not exposed to Pacific Ocean waves except in heavy seas and storms.
View Wavebreak Island, Gold Coast in a larger map
Return to Gold Coast Beaches
Return to Gold-Coast-Australia-Holidays homepage
To quickly check out one of the many beautiful Gold Coast beaches, select a beach:
Planning a trip to Queensland's Gold Coast, and want to get an indication of what the Gold Coast Ocean Temperature will be?
Why Swim Between the Flags?
The flags are placed at the area of beach with the best, safest conditions for swimming. Also, lifeguards monitor all activity between the flags. So if you do get into trouble and raise your hand, you can be assured of receiving help from a trained lifeguard or lifesaver.
Beach Safety Information Sheets (pdf) from Surf Life Saving Australia:
Surfing Hints (pdf) from Surfing Australia and Surf Life Saving Australia:
Jetskis and Surf Boards at the Beach
- Surf board riders are not allowed to ride within the flags at patrolled beaches.