Beaches and Surfing

Explore the Gold Coast Waves

Gold Coast Beaches

It is important that you read and understand our Beach Safety and Surf Life Saving Flags information here.
What makes the Gold Coast famous and its number one attraction is the famous stretch of coastline with its many beaches providing sun, sand and surf. There is plenty on offer for everyone. Surfers Paradise is often considered the most popular beach with many activities including beach volleyball. It is next to the shops, cafes, restaurants and bars that make up Cavill Mall.
For those wishing to try out that new board then there are plenty of beaches to choose from depending on your skill level. You can even learn to surf while you are on the Gold Coast as most beaches have surfing schools. For those more experienced then Snapper Rocks is one of the surf beaches to head to and previous home to the Quicksilver Pro event. For point breaks head to Duranbah in a westerly wind, Kirra or Curumbin Alley if the winds coming south/southeast and Burleigh Heads for the northerlies.
While Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach offer wide beaches with room for everyone, surfers and swimmers alike, families could also head down to Coolangatta and check out Rainbow Bay and Greenmount beaches or Curumbin Estuary. There are many other great beaches to visit but always remember to swim between the flags and wear sunscreen! The beaches are patrolled by Surf Lifeguards so if you do get into any trouble please stay calm and raise your hand for help. Do not struggle against a rip.
And of course do not forget the great beach fishing and if you like check out some surfing videos or the latest surf forecast
The Spit

Past Main Beach, Marina Mirage and Seaworld there is a stretch of beach known as The Spit, with sand dunes and numerous walking trails and a bike path. There are barbeque facilities and a playground at Phillip Park opposite Seaworld. On the northern end past Seaworld there is the calm water of the Broadwater while on your right the Pacific Ocean provides waves for swimming and surfing.


 Main Beach 

This was the main beach for the town of Southport which was the first settled area on the Gold Coast, hence the name. You will find the historic Main Beach bathing pavilion here. There is a great beach for swimmers and surfers. There are consistent beach breaks when the swell is high and the best time is first thing in the morning. Hire a surfboard, take lessons or enjoy the Surf Club facilities. There are beach showers, and toilets in the beach pavilion as well as in the park. There are picnic tables and a large playground for the kids. The Federation Walk starts from here and takes you north up to the Spit and back.


This is a popular fishing and swimming area. In the suburb of Southport opposite Australia Fair. It is located on the Broadwater and there is a very large playground for kids and a protected swimming area. It is very popular with families with small children. It also has a floating diving platform for those bigger kids. There has been a recent upgrade to this area with more seating and large grass areas to kick a ball around. There is ample barbeque and toilet facilities and shaded areas. Being on the Broadwater and protected from the Pacific Ocean by Stradbroke Island means this is not a surfing beach, just inviting calm waters. 

Surfers Paradise

This is the most famous, most popular and busiest beach on the Gold Coast. Its vibe, sand and surf has been the foundation of making the Gold Coast such a world renowned and popular holiday place. There is plenty of room to stretch out along the beach. It is good for swimmers and with kilometers of waves a good place to surf. There are beach showers but toilets are found across the road in the shopping center. You can hire surf boards, body boards, or take lessons. Across the road is Cavill Mall and all the shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. On Friday evenings there is the beachfront market stalls along the Esplande to collect a memento of your visit.


Being one of the larger patrolled areas, the consistent surf and the Kurrawa Surf Club makes this a popular spot. The beach area is wide with plenty of room for all the family sports and activities without kicking sand in anyones face. There are beach showers at the sands edge and a toilet and shower block south of the Surf Club. Kurrawa Park runs alongside the beach providing many places for barbeques and picnic places and large open grass areas to kick a ball around. There's also a toilet block at the northern end of Kurrawa park. There is also the regular beach markets at the park. The mall is just across the road with plenty of great restaurants and cafes.

Mermaid Beach

Mermaid Beach is set away from the high rise buildings of the Gold Coast and has a small swell which makes for ideal swimming conditions. There are picnic and barbeque areas. Because it is much quieter than Surfers Paradise or Broadbeach it makes a good family beach.

Nobby's Beach

This is another good family beach with plenty of shade. You can walk up to the cliff top at the end of the beach for great views back down the coast. Heading north will take you up to Miami Beach. Simply another great family beach thats away from the crowds. It is also popular for beach fishing.

Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Heads provides a protected swimming beach that curves around to the headland. It is very popular with swimmers and families. There is a park that lines the beach with rows of pine trees providing plenty of shade a a children's playground. There are plenty of picnic tables and barbeques. Toilets can be found beside the Burleigh Beach Swim Center and also in Justins Park between Burleigh and North Burleigh. It is also a great surf beach and hosts the Pro Surf Competitions with its great point break.

Palm Beach

Like Mermaid Beach this is a quieter beach with tables and chairs making it a great family beach. It is popular with surfers as good sand banks create a good beach break.


At the southern end of the Gold Coast is Currumbin Beach with its gentle surf and rock pools. There is a picninc area opposite the car park with kids playground and toilets. There are Surf Clubs here as well as at the nearby beaches of Bilinga and Tugun. These are all popular beaches for swimming and families who wish to avoid the hustle and bustle of the northern beaches. Currumbin Alley is a great spot for surfing with good waves to learn or improve those surfing skills on.


This is another great family spot. The calm waters of the lagoon and creek provide safe swimming for younger children. There are barbeques and a sheltered picnic area and playground. Away from the Lagoon and Creek the surf here can be gentle and is a great spot for kids to learn body boarding.


The original famous surf beach is a wide sandy beach that caters for beginner surfers closer to shore but provides consistent challenging waves for the most experienced surfer out further.


The shelter from the pine trees provides shade at this north facing beach. A playground provides something for the kids to do while the beach provides good swimming and surf conditions. There are some great views from here towards Surfers Paradise.

Rainbow Bay

Located just before Snapper Rocks this beach has sand and surf for everyone; families, swimmers and surfers. Rainbow Bay is also a north facing beach which provides sheltered conditions for swimming. The trees that line the beach provide shade and a shaded playground for the kids. There are picnic tables (some of which are shaded) barbeques, beach showers and toilets. The Rainbow Bay Surf Club provides great views north to Surfers Paradise as well as back over Snapper Rocks.

Snapper Rocks

With its long super sand bank this is the beach for surfers. You will find the most consistent and the longest waves on the Gold Coast here. Snapper Rocks is a typical right hand point break but dredging has formed a giant bank hence the term 'super bank' and the super long and super consistent waves. This of course attracts many people including many world class surfers ripping it up.  There's a boardwalk along the beach that gives you a great view of the action on the waves.