A local’s guide to the best Brisbane beaches
Brisbane might be best known for the river that snakes through its centre. but that’s not to say that our capital doesn’t possess a beach or two. In fact, within Brisbane’s fringes reside a bounty of beaches for those craving a salty dip or sunbake on the sand. Don’t believe us? Let us prove it with our guide to the best.
Suttons Beach, Redcliffe
Escape the city with a visit to Redcliffe, a meagre 30 minutes from Brisbane’s city centre. History buffs will delight in the region’s background as Queensland’s first site of European settlement. But those too young to care will be happy to frolic amongst the district’s stretch of sand, parks and public jetty, cooling off in Redcliffe’s calm waters, or public pool Settlement Cove Lagoon nearby.
Western beaches of Bribie Island
Pack the car and grab the kids: Bribie Island’s calling. The only island in Queensland connected to the mainland by bridge, Bribie is one seriously convenient day by the seaside to be had.
Protected Pumicestone Passage is a go-to for easy swims and watersports galore; Banksia Beach and Sylvan Beach are toddler and baby-friendly, while Bongaree Beach’s jetty caters to the older kids.
Streets Beach, South Bank
Don’t miss out on a chance to swim in Australia’s only inner-city man-made beach. Arriving with Expo back in ‘88, Streets Beach is quite literally a Brisbane oasis; a patch of white sand and crystal-clear lagoon in the middle of a bustling metropolis.
Patrolled by lifeguards year-round, and free from swell, your kids can splash about in the lagoon while you get settled in the surrounding sand, good book in hand, later satisfying those hunger pangs with a feed in surrounding South Bank.
Woorim Beach, Bribie Island
Take to the surf not far from the city’s limits at Woorim Beach on the ocean-facing side of Bribie. Brisbane’s closest patrolled surf beach, it’s not just easy to reach by car, but offers ideal conditions for board beginners; sheltered from excess swell, there’s plenty of gentle waves on which to practice.
Follow your surf session with a barbecue on the neighbouring lawn, where the kids can take advantage of the skate park and playground.
Cylinder Beach, North Stradbroke Island
Wave chasers, follow us to Straddie as it’s known to locals. It may be the world’s second largest sand island, but it has just as much swell, especially for beginners. Cylinder Beach is a must-visit for learners, with its mellow right-handers which North Stradbroke Island Surf School can teach you to navigate.
All you have to do is get there; jump aboard a 25-minute water taxi, or take the car on the 45-minute ferry.
Main Beach, North Stradbroke Island
Seasoned pros can accompany us to Straddie’s Main Beach. With large swells the norm, this is not the place for beginners to play.
But those more familiar with the sport will be tickled pink to discover an untouched 32-kilometres of sand and surf in which to let loose.
For dog owners
Nudgee Beach, Nudgee
Just a short drive from Brisbane CBD, you’ll uncover a canine paradise. Flanked by Boondall Wetlands Reserve, Nudgee Beach is a dog-friendly haven, welcoming the four-legged to play fetch in the tidal section, where waters are calm and sand plentiful.
Neighbouring Tuckeroo Park is just as pet-focused, integrating a fenced adventure park obstacle course for more energetic pets.
Red Beach, Bribie Island
Pack your pooch but forget about the leash for once; Red Beach is an off-leash expanse ideal for four-legged friends eager to get away from the big smoke.
This little-known spot stretches from Woody Bay in the east and Woorim in the west of Bribie, a mass of white sand and dunes.
Raby Bay Foreshore Park, Cleveland
Hit the road south from Brisbane’s city centre for Raby Bay in Cleveland. While this historic point may be a local favourite for its parks and waterways, it’s just as canine-friendly.
On the foreshore, you’ll stumble upon an expansive off-leash area, where grass, sand, and surf create an amusement park for puppies. To find it, just follow Masthead Drive.
For calm waters
South Gorge Beach, North Stradbroke Island
Cool off at one of Queensland’s most beautiful beaches. The protected waters of this pristine swimming spot attract people in their droves, a result of South Gorge sitting wedged between Point Lookout and North Gorge Headlands.
Bored with sitting idle? Explore the North Gorge Walk post-dip, keeping an eye out for resident dolphins and turtles.
Amity Point, North Stradbroke Island
Rest and relaxation are the specialty of Amity Point on the north west of the island. A jetty and netted swimming enclosure are the stars of the show here; paddle in the bay’s calm waters, or snorkel your way around the rock walls.
Best pack a rod too; the jetty is a popular pier for catching fish.
For snorkelling enthusiasts
Bulwer Beach, Moreton Island
It’s not just Tangalooma on Moreton Island, which possesses a shipwreck. But take your 4WD further along the coast and you’ll come across Bulwer Beach, where alabaster sands and crystal waters will greet you.
And then there’s the wreck itself; a shallow wreck that’s popular for swimmers, snorkelers, and fishermen alike.
Tangalooma Beach, Moreton Island
The jewel in Moreton’s crown is Tangalooma Beach and its collection of shipwrecks. The 17 boats that reside on the ocean floor here were deliberately sunk to form a breakwall for small boats, but conveniently created a dive site abundant in marine life.
For seekers of solitude
Deadman’s Beach, North Stradbroke Island
Get to know a different side of Stradbroke Island with a trip to Deadman’s Beach. Take no notice of the name; the sandy stretch sitting between North Gorge Headlands and Cylinder Beach is breathtaking.
The steep stair access to Deadman’s means that it’s a refreshingly quiet place to swim, but be warned that the beach isn’t patrolled, so proceed with caution.
Honeymoon Bay, Moreton Island
Traversing the tip of Moreton Island you’ll meet the half-moon Honeymoon Bay. Home to rough swell, this is not a place for a swim, but instead pack a picnic and embrace the serenity that you’ll be able to enjoy away from the crowds of Main Beach. Your exploration of the district isn’t quite complete until you’ve visited the nearby Cape Moreton Lighthouse and the equally iconic Champagne Pools.