WITH 52km of golden beaches in our backyard we’re a tad spoiled.
Now Gold Coaster’s have crowned the hottest stretch of sand.
Here’s your top 10!
10. MERMAID BEACH
The busy Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise skyline looms on the horizon, but life is more laidback at Mermaid, where you can drop a line in the “backyard” to catch your dinner.
The lucky lot on Hedges and Albatross have the best seats in the house, but they’re not the only ones that lap up the lifestyle.
The beach break fires on a moderate swell with offshore winds and the dawn patrol wouldn’t miss their daily stroll on the shoreline.
Afterall, with health hub BSKT a few steps off the sand, Mermaid is the fitspo heartland. While mythical sea maidens would look right at home on these golden shores, the beach actually acquired its name from the cutter HMS Mermaid that explorer John Oxley sailed in 1823 when he discovered the Brisbane and Tweed Rivers.
This open beach break boasts waves that suit all board riders, but they’re not the only ones welcome at Miami.
“The best thing about Miami is that it’s a dog-friendly beach, so a great location for all members of the family,” says Channel Seven personality Liz Cantor
“I’ve been taking my dog Bear there since he was a little puppy and he knows all the local dogs. Since the sand-pumping dredge the beach is in great condition and there are some really fun sand banks for surfers. It’s also wonderful for a long beach walk on low tide and a sunset view of the Surfers Paradise skyline.”
8. RAINBOW BAY
Cantor has explored far and wide through her gigs at Creek to Coast and Queensland Weekender, but she has a soft spot for Rainbow Bay.
With one-year-old water baby Kit now in her crew, she’s among the many families that flock to the sheltered southern bay. “I think Rainbow Bay is the prettiest beach on the Gold Coast,” she says.
“It’s my pick for swimming with little ones as the bay offers shelter from most wind directions and often has a nice inshore gutter, with knee-deep water perfect for the kids. Rainbow Beach is also where I caught my first wave on a surfboard, so it’s a sentimental location for me.”
Locals love the southeastern end of Coolangatta Beach, protected by Greenmount Point.
Bathed in sun for most of the day, it’s a pleasure just stretching out on the sugary sand — if you can resist diving right in to those clear waters.
Just like its neighbour Rainbow Bay, Greenmount’s sheltered position makes it a favourite with families.
The picturesque pocket is popular with surfers, too, but you don’t need a board to get in on the action.
Grab a cold one and enjoy the outlook from The Greenmount Beach Club.
6. SURFERS PARADISE
In the shadow of skyscrapers, hordes of holiday-makers swarm our most famous stretch of sand, making it paradise for people-watching.
“The iconic beach of the Gold Coast attracts big crowds all year round,” Chief lifeguard Warren Young says.
“Lifeguards who work in this area wouldn’t work anywhere else due to the dynamic nature of this beach — there is something happening all the time. Towering, cluttering high-rise accommodation as far as the eye can see and yet Surfers Paradise has its own unique charm. Beach visitations are a combination of many nationalities, which adds to the flavour.”
When conditions oblige, Warren says Surfers is swell for swimming and surfing.
“There are good waves when the banks are right with a slight off shore wind from the N/W.
It is patrolled 365 days per year by lifeguards and Surfers Paradise Surf Club Members who do a great job in keeping people safe.”
He says the beach replenishment program, including construction of the oceanway over the past few years together with landscaping and improved public amenities, makes a beachfront stroll from Narrowneck to Surfers part of the pleasure.
You said: When conditions are great it provides surfers uninterrupted and uncrowded surfing in the GC heartland. How can you beat that.
5. THE SPIT
With beachgoers and their canine best mates having the time of their lives, there’s never a dull moment at The Spit.
“Numerous aquatic activities of skin diving, snorkelling, surfing, swimming, fishing and boating happen simultaneously, making it a very busy and challenging beach to patrol for lifeguards,” Warren says.
“It is a much valued pristine area and attracts large crowds who enjoy the point of difference offered by this location. The beauty of the beach, dunal vegetation, an absence of dwellings, the pumping jetty and the seaway rock wall define this area. There is also a dog-free section within the patrolled area immediately south of the pumping jetty, which is very popular.”
With a permanent lifeguard recently approved for the area, Warren is happy to say it’s now patrolled 52 weeks a year by Council lifeguards.
“It is timely as lifeguards have long regarded this location as one of the most dangerous sections of our coastline due to strong currents running through the pumping jetty and the different aquatic activities that take place,” he says.
You said: If you have a dog, everybody is so friendly.
One could argue that Kirra is the real surfer’s paradise.
“Kirra is a renowned surfing spot recognised for great barrels in the right conditions,” Warren says.
“Locals and visitors are drawn to this area for its beauty and accessibility. It’s an ideal beach during southerly conditions and is great for swimming. The Kirra Surf Club is one of Queensland’s oldest clubs and has a great tradition within the lifesaving movement. It is patrolled weekends and public holidays from September to April and seven days a week from November to the end of April.”
You said: Kirra to Coolangatta is the best for children, with safe splashing in the pools left after a high tide. You can walk a mere 50m to an eatery/cafe.
Need a lesson in life appreciation?
Nab a spot on the Vikings deck, with waves rolling at your feet and blue views stretching to the Surfers skyline.
“Currumbin beach is great for swimming and surfing and is defined by the uniquely located Currumbin Vikings SLSC, which is nestled into Elephant Rock and affords a wonderful view for patrons of the licensed restaurant facilities on the first floor,” Warren says.
“It is patrolled 365 days a year by volunteer life savers and Council Lifeguards.”
Factor in Currumbin Estuary — a playground for aquatic activities and boating access point — and it’s easy to see why so many of you love this piece of paradise.
“Learn-to-surf operators abound in the shallows as the area is ideal for teaching beginners,” Warren says.
You said: Stop voting for Currumbin please … enough people already know how awesome it is
2. PALM BEACH
Talle to the left and Currumbin Creek to the right, there’s nothing like being stuck in the middle at Palm Beach.
“Palm Beach has two flagged areas: in front of the surf club at Seventh Ave and also at South Palm Beach, which is to the northern side of the dog off-leash area,” Warren says.
“There is some protection from southerly winds and good surfing and swimming conditions. Both of these areas are popular with locals and the Palm Beach Surf Club has a great Nipper membership and coaching facilities for members.”
What you said: No other beach can boast being bordered by two creeks — can’t beat that combination.
1. BURLEIGH HEADS
From blue water and basalt boulders to barrelling surf, there’s something about Burleigh that gets in your blood.
While our chief lifeguard Warren Young tries not to play favourites, it’s clear he has a soft spot for our No. 1 beach.
“Burleigh is a long-time favourite due to its beautiful beach, natural headland and national park, and iconic surf spot,” he says.
“The protection provided by the headland during southerly winds makes the beach ideal for swimming and surfing.
“The first ever man-on-man surfing contest called the Stubbies was held here in 1977 and attracted the best surfers from around the world and was great publicity for the Gold Coast.
“The giant Norfolk pines that define the path from the beach to the National Park are a timeless reminder of days gone by.”
Catch up on the gossip in the Nook coffee queue and watch the waves from Rick Shores with a cocktail in hand.
Nostalgia mingles with modern bars and boutiques on James Street, which has retained its village feel and old-school arcades.
After a day on the sand, trot over to Tropicana, Fishmongers or Red Hot Cod for fish and chips to devour when the lorikeets return to their rowdy roost in Justins Park, or join the sunset picnic party on Burleigh hill.
“The Burleigh Surf Club also has a beachfront bar and restaurant and the beach is patrolled 365 days per year by volunteer surf life savers and Council lifeguards,” Warren says.
Originally Published: www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au