8 Queensland beaches you’ve probably never heard of

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With summer just around the corner, the hot white sands and cool blue waters of Queensland are calling! So to escape the crowds and find a secluded piece of sand to lay out your towel, we’ve put together a list of 8 lesser-known Queensland beaches off the beaten track. After all, life‘s a beach in sunny Queensland!

1. Cape Hillsborough Beach, Mackay

About 20 kilometres north of Mackay and nestled between two rocky headlands, this relatively unknown beach is part of the Cape Hillsborough National Park. Often frequented by a troop of resident ‘roos, the beach can get up to 200 metres wide at low tide.

2. Ellis Beach, near Palm Cove

As one of Cairns’ northern beaches, Ellis Beach has all the beauty of bustling Palm Cove without the clatter of the well-heeled traveller. The Bar and Grill across the road is also lauded by locals for having the best burgers with beetroot … and it’s all by the beach.

3. Monkey Beach, Great Keppel Island

Great Keppel Island may have 17 postcard perfect sandy beaches, but it’s Monkey Beach that offers the island’s best launch pad for a clear water snorkel. Here, you’ll also find Aboriginal shell middens.

4. Cylinder Beach, North Stradbroke Island

The azure waters and snow-white sand of ‘Straddie’ are legendary and while Main Beach is popular with surfers, the quieter waters of the north-facing Cylinder Beach are an ideal paddling pool for families.

5. Dingo Beach, Whitsundays

While the jewel in the Whitsundays crown may be Whitehaven Beach, Dingo Beach, located off the beaten track of the mainland, offers a perfect stretch of the tropics to set up your towel.

6. Rainbow Beach, Fraser Coast

A combination of iron oxide and leached vegetable dyes dating back 40,000 years are responsible for the palette of 72 different hues you can spot in the coloured sand dunes on Rainbow Beach.

7. Radical Bay, Magnetic Island

If you’re after an old fashioned beach holiday, without the bright lights, high rises and cafe strips, look no further than Radical Bay – one of Magnetic Island’s hidden gems accessible only by 4WD or foot.

8. Orchid Bay, Fraser Island

Located on the northern side of Fraser Island, Orchid Beach is considered the more peaceful alternative to the southern resort settlements with no tour buses, day trippers and minimal beach traffic.

What’s your favourite beach in Queensland?

  • http://www.facebook.com/nqphotographer Tim Burgess

    Hi Jessica,

    While this is a great post and there are some great images here, the image you have posted is not actually of Radical Bay on Magnetic Island. It is in fact, of Florence Bay. Radical Bay faces north (NE?) and yet Cape Cleveland is in the distance in the image posted. Cape Cleveland is to the south of Magnetic Island. A quick look at Google Maps and you will be able to identify the bay in the image and that it faces Cape Cleveland. Google Maps however does not label the actual bays.

    There are a large number of bays on Magnetic Island and in fact it’s pretty common for visiting photographers to get confused, especially if they are just doing aerial shots.

    If you need an image of Radical Bay I can help you out :-)

    Cheers, Tim Burgess

    Fine Art Landscapes of North Queensland



  • http://twitter.com/JessicaHyem Jessica Hyem

    Thanks Tim! You certainly have a keen eye there. Thanks for letting us know. They do look really similar, don’t they? I’ve given our Image Gallery team a heads up. Thanks again!


  • http://www.facebook.com/sara.powter Sara Powter

    lol been to 7 of the 8 – will get to Straddie one day! maybe even this year! lovely -all of them!

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  • Roma Bullen

    Horseshoe Bay out of Bowen was lovely also Halliday Bay near Cape Hillsborough I remember was too as being lovely.