Gold Coast Beaches
The magnificent stretch of Gold Coast beaches are the jewels in the crown of the Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise.
Without a doubt, one of the most outstanding attractions on the Gold Coast is its 53km of stunning beaches. From the tip of Coolangatta to the top of South Stradbroke Island, the beautiful beaches of south-east Queensland are an integral part of Gold Coast culture and lifestyle, attracting thousands of visitors each day.
Given the aesthetic appeal of the coast, and the region's subtropical climate, it is no surprise that Gold Coast beaches are a popular source of recreation and leisure, both in and out of the water.
Even winter can't put a dampener on swimming, surfing and water-sporting activities, with water temperatures still averaging an incredible 21 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit)!
And, what’s more, an average 300 days of sunshine per year makes it perfect for work… working on your tan, that is!
Or, you can be building manager of your own sandcastle project, undertake a vigorous game of beach volleyball, or put together a world-class beach-cricket team.
To view a more detailed map of the beach of your choice, as well as information re amenities and features of each Gold Coast beach, click on the individual beaches listed at the end of this page.
Many beaches have parklands or reserves nearby - thanks to the foresight of early Gold Coast town planners, who also ensured easy public access to all beaches.
And the Gold Coast City Council provides toilets, childrens' playgrounds, free electric barbeques, and other facilities in these parklands and reserves.
Oh, and have we mentioned beach showers?
At last count, there were 217 beach showers adjacent to Gold Coast beaches. So you won't miss them.
And there's a lot of behind-the-scenes management that most people don't get to see. More than 30 kilometres of Gold Coast beaches (excluding South Stradbroke Island) are swept every day in the wee hours of the morning, to remove rubbish and debris, and ensure the beaches are in pristine condition for the next day’s beach goers.
These are just some of the reasons why beaches on the Gold Coast are so popular!
Guarding Your Life
One of the appealing factors about the Gold Coast beaches is the investment the Gold Coast City Council has made to ensure the safety of swimmers and other beach visitors.
Visitors can swim safely and securely all year round between the flags placed on patrolled beaches.
The Council's Lifeguard Services are professional lifeguards who patrol and monitor 26 Gold Coast beach locations permanently, all year round. A further 16 locations (totaling 42, in all) are patrolled during school holidays.
They are strongly supported by the Surf Life Saving Queensland organisation. There are 21 surf life saving clubs along the Gold Coast, which provide hundreds of trained, volunteer life savers to assist in patrolling beaches on weekends and public holidays from mid-September to the end of April.
Surf life saving is a great tradition in Australia's coastal areas, with many sporting events held throughout the year, including Ironman and Ironwoman championships, surf/surf boat/surf ski races, and beach sprints.
Keep an eye out for these events when you’re holidaying on the Gold Coast, as they are excellent spectator events.
You may see 'little nippers' training on the beach during weekends and school holidays – these are the future volunteer life savers for the Gold Coast.
Many Gold Coast beaches are mostly wide, open, and exposed to the Pacific Ocean/ Coral Sea. Beach conditions vary widely and frequently change according to several factors, including local winds, ocean swells, and tides.
The lifeguards continually monitor the beach conditions throughout the day, and place their flags in the section of the beach with the safest swimming conditions.
All beaches, by their very nature, will have rips and gutters – the water brought in from breaking waves must return to the ocean somehow – so care must always be taken.
The most potentially risky times for swimming are a few hours either side of a changing tide, when currents and rips can change quickly.
As the conditions change, you may find the lifeguards will move the flags, and ask all swimmers to move too. Swimming between the flags is simply the safest place to swim!
The final word on beach safety – always swim between the flags on the beach. If in doubt with anything to do with the beach conditions or swimming, speak to the lifesavers or lifeguards on duty.
The Gold Coast subtropical weather makes it possible to swim comfortably in the ocean all through the year – without requiring a wetsuit. Just another reason why Gold Coast beaches are so popular!
Following are the average Gold Coast ocean temperatures, by month:
Popular Beaches for Toddlers:
For families with small children, the following beaches offer ideal swimming conditions with little or no waves and plenty of shelter from ocean currents.
Note: The southern Gold Coast beaches (Rainbow Bay, Greenmount, Coolangatta, and Kirra) are no longer considered to be sheltered beaches, as a result of the Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypass Project, which began in 2001. These beaches previously had crescent shaped shorelines between the headlands, which provided protected swimming conditions. However, now these beaches have widened considerably, the crescent shapes are gone, and the beach area is more exposed to the ocean.
Gold Coast Beaches - Maps
To view a more detailed map of the Gold Coast beach of your choice, as well as information regarding amenities and features, click on the individual beaches listed below, in order from the southernmost Duranbah Beach, then heading north.
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.