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Sunshine Coast ~ Best Beaches

Looking for an autumn escape with long sandy beaches, clear waters and temperatures just made for beachcombing? Queensland’s Sunshine Coast begins just a 40minute drive north of Brisbane Airport and offers some of Australia’s best beaches along a coastline that stretches for over 100km.

There is such a diversity of choice on offer here that you can definitely find your personal ideal of what a beach should be. That might be anything from a colourful and popular surf beach at a popular holiday hub with a great vibe, good waves, lots of cafes and refreshments close by or perhaps you’d prefer just an endless stretch of untamed shores away from the crowds where you could walk seemingly forever. The Sunshine Coast offers each of those options plus great spots for surfers, young families, secluded coves where you can feel like a castaway for a day and river estuaries ideal for getting in some watersports like paddle-boarding and kayaking.

Two of the Sunshine Coast beaches that regularly feature in the top 10 with people’s choice surveys are Mooloolaba Beach in the southern half of the coast and Noosa Main Beach in the northern half. Not only do these both tick the boxes for being fantastic beaches, both are north facing or in the case of Mooloolaba part of this sweeping crescent is north facing and thereby protected from the south-easterly breezes that can whip up the waves. These two beaches along with the also north facing Tea Tree Beach in Noosa National Park, offer generally calm waters and are ideal for young families getting used to the sea.

The view of Tea Tree Bay in Noosa National ParkFamily enjoying a day on the beach at Tea Tree Bay in Noosa National Park

Images: Tea Tree Bay in Noosa National Park

The points or headlands that help protect these beaches ironically provide the breaks that surfboard riders are seeking and in places such as Tea Tree Beach you can enjoy the calm ripples near the shore while watching the board-riders perform on the point breaks further offshore. If you’re a dedicated surfer discovering the Sunshine Coast for the first time then you’ll find excellent point breaks at The Rock at Point Cartwright, Moffat Point near Caloundra and in Noosa National Park at First Point which looks back to Noosa Main Beach, Tea Tree Bay and Granite Bay. For good beach breaks head for Kings Beach at Caloundra, Mooloolaba, Buddina and Alexandra Bay.

Coolum is the start of a long unbroken stretch of beach with beautiful sandy shores that continue to Perigian, Marcus, Castaway, Sunrise and Sunshine Beaches ending at a headland with just over 200 steps to the top and a view that takes in all of the span of the beaches to the south. This stretch of coastline has some of the most exclusive and expensive beach houses in Australia that overlook a coastline that seems to have a constant parade of people out for a walk.

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The rocky headland at the southern end of Coolum offers up a few secluded patches of sand cradled by the rocky cliffs. They make good spots for a peaceful day away from the bustle of the main beaches. And if you enjoy natural settings then Noosa National Park is a must with Tea Tree Beach, the rocky boulders of Granite Bay, tiny Winch Cove and for the energetic the walk beyond Hell’s Gates takes you to the spectacular pristine Alexandria Bay.

For those who enjoy watersports including kayaking and paddle-boarding the estuaries and channels of the Sunshine Coast provide an ideal playground starting with the blue waters of Pumicestone Passage – a picturesque channel that divides Bribie Island from the mainland and arcs around to Bulcock Beach at Caloundra. The Maroochy River is also ideal for watersports and perhaps the most popular of all is Noosaville on a stretch of the Noosa River close to the estuary. The parkland riverfront is filled with boatsheds hiring dinghies, pontoons, kayaks and paddle-boards making a colourful scene of water bound activity.

There are a lot more beaches to discover but whichever ones along the beautiful Sunshine Coast you choose remember to only bathe between the flags and use sunscreen. Happy beachcombing.

Family enjoying a day at Mooloolaba Beach

Image: Family Beach day at Mooloolaba Beach

TRAVEL TIP:

To check on whether a beach you’d like to visit is patrolled and when the Life Savers operate then visit www.beachsafe.org.au or download the app. It provides details of the patrol times for each beach and all of the relevant beach conditions for that day from weather and water temperature to how big the surf swell will be, wind speeds, tides and UV index. It’s the perfect companion for beachgoers.

Image Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

Location (Map)

Sunshine Coast QLD, Australia
Cooloola Great Walk – a new coastal trek adventure
BRISBANE’S STREET ART

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