Secret beaches on the Sunshine Coast (shhhh don’t tell!)

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Born an only child, I hate to share – least of all when it comes to sun, surf and sand.

So often a beach trip is a game of deftly tiptoeing over a carpet of towels, taking a tennis ball to the head and falling into the remnants of yesterday’s sand castle… or maybe this is just me?

I’ve long dreamt of a stretch of beach where I can throw down my towel like an explorer at a secret spot. So I spent my summer trawling secret Sunshine Coast beaches to find seven spots to enjoy (almost) alone.*

Alexandria Bay

You know a beach is secret when you can only access it by foot. Alexandria Bay is completely off the beaten track nestled between Hell’s Gate and Lion’s Rock in the Noosa National Park. Literally, all you’ll need is a towel and sunscreen to discover this beach (technically it’s a nudist beach so prudes beware). Here, you’re guaranteed a private patch of sand to call home and a few cute surfers to watch from your perch.

Point Cartwright Beach

Just when you thought there were no secrets in Buddina, there’s the Carties or Point Cartwright Beach, a hidden gem that the locals prefer to keep under their broad-brimmed hat. Once you’ve had enough of the sand and the surf, wander up the hill towards the Point Cartwright lighthouse to toast the sunset and watch the surf action below.

Shelly Beach

Shelly Beach on Caloundra’s coastline is a marine biologist’s dream with countless rock pools to get your Robinson Crusoe on. Teeming with sea cucumbers, barnacles and periwinkles, there’s over 20 types of marine species to put under your microscope. Throw down a towel, soak up the sun and when things get too hot, dip your feet into the rock pools to cool off.

Mudjimba Beach

Mudjimba Beach Sunshine Coast

Photo by @ourcoastlife

Slip, slop, slap, and stick around on this wildly named stretch of beach. Mudjimba Beach, named after its island namesake that sits about one kilometre off shore, is a  hidden golden sandy oasis. Just across from the Maroochydore River, this secret paradise beckons.

Moffat Beach

Moffat Beach Caloundra

Photo by @anitaski

Shadowed by its popular cousins Kings and Dicky Beach, Moffat Beach in Caloundra is a private sanctuary to set up a towel without fear of a stampede. Skydivers regularly land here on the weekend and watching them stick their landing is a true spectator sport. Although it’s not patrolled, Tooway Creek which runs out onto the beach is shallow enough to cool off in during summer.

Happy Valley

You can’t help but feel happy at this beach in Caloundra and there are plenty of green spaces to retire to once you’ve had enough sand and sea. The playground is a children’s paradise and the esplanade BBQ’s are the perfect spot to cook up your catch, though it can feel less of a secret come weekends and school holidays.

*Being a landlubber with no intention of getting wet, non-patrolled beaches don’t faze me. If you are looking for a swimming spot – these beaches are not for you.

Queensland beaches

Where do you like to set up for the day on the Sunshine Coast?

  • Thanks Josie for the insider goss! Alex is definitely a
    beautiful place to live and surf! Queensland has so many awesome beaches that
    we had to find a way to group our most popular ones together.

  • Katey

    I wouldn’t recommend Mudjimba to families either. It’s a popular shark sighting spot and there’s a wicked rip there too. It’s breathtakingly beautiful, but pretty dangerous!

  • Kerryn Russell

    As a ‘almost local’ to Moffat Beach – I can assure you I’ve NEVER seen hangliders here. Occasional skydivers, yes – but I believe they’re even more common up at Currimundi! Other than that – nice to see the Sunny Coast highlighted once in a while 🙂

  • Lucas Giezen

    its a little bit hypocritical
    Tourism Queensland want to promote Alexandria Bay as a nudie beach, which it is frequently used as, but not technically legal in QLD. I wonder if I get arrested for public nudity, I can refer to this article in court ?

    • Hey Lucas, no hypocrisy intended, just sharing a little local knowledge. If you do head to A Bay we’d love to know what you think of it!

      • Lucas Giezen

        Beautiful place, lovely beach and quite a trip in and out so not too many people. Except, since the police visit regularly, hardly relaxing, so now when I want to go for skinny dip, its off to NSW.