There are many beaches along the Gold Coast shoreline but, in
effect, they are all part of the same strand which, but for the mouths
of Tallebudgera Creek and Currumbin Creek, extends southwards, in an
unbroken fashion, to the Tweed River inlet at the Queensland border.
Apart from the two estuaries mentioned above, the only breaks in the
40-km sand-line are a few small rocky headlands just north of the state
boundary at Coolangatta. Of course, the whole coastline isn't patrolled
but many sites are all the way along the coast. Naturally, such
activities as swimming, surfing (there are many surfing tuition
organisations), boogyboarding, surf fishing, walking and sunbathing are
popular and there are plenty of parks adjacent te beaches with
picnicking, barbecue and play facilities.
Gold Coast Oceanway
The Gold Coast Oceanway is a 36 kilometre network of pathways along
beaches from the Gold Coast Seaway (The Spit) to the Point Danger
Lighthouse (Coolangatta). The pathways provide healthy and
environmentally-friendly ways for pedestrians and cyclists to explore
the renowned beaches of the Gold Coast. The Oceanway provides access to
a wide range of coastal environments including spectacular coastal
vistas, beaches, headlands, mangroves, dunes and Littoral Rainforest.
Main Beach and The Spit
North of Surfers Paradise Beach is Main Beach. At the expanse of
sand known as 'Narrow Neck' an artificial reef has been constructed to
protect it from heavy surf. Continuing north are the historic Main
Beach bathing pavilion, the Southport Surf Life Saving Club on
Macarthur Parade, then the lengthy narrow promontory known as The Spit.
Seaworld Drive extends north all the way along The Spit, past the
Sheraton Mirage Hotel and Sea World.
On the eastern side of Seaworld Drive is an extensive foreshore
greenery that extends all the way along The Spit. Most of it is known
as Philip Park, which is crisscrossed by walking paths. There are two
parking areas just south of Sea World with nearby barbecue facilities.
South of the Sheraton is Hollindale Park, which has more walking
tracks, public toilets, public telephones and there are picnic
facilities at the southern end of Seaworld Drive. In the north-western
corner of The Spit is Doug Jennings Park and, opposite, extending 500
metres out into the ocean, is a jetty beloved of anglers.
There are three boat ramps facing The Broadwater, on the western
side of The Spit: the southernmost is on Pelican Beach, adjacent the
jetty by the corner of the Gold Coast Highway and Waterways Drive; the
second is adjacent the marina at the southern end of Seaworld Drive,
and the third is on the northern side of Sea World, off Muriel Henchman
Drive. There is a yacht club at the southern marina and there is
another marina behind the Mirage Hotel with water police adjacent. For
information on foreshore facilities along the western side of The Spit,
north along The Broadwater and along the inland waterways, see entry on
Surfers Paradise Beach itself offers free volleyball and there are
craft markets every Friday night on the adjacent Esplanade, as well as
two surf lifesaving clubs - in Hanlan St and Thornton St. It is an
oft-voiced criticism of Surfers Beach that The Esplanade and its
high-rise development encroach almost right to the edge of the beach,
leaving very little foreshore greenery to act as a physical, aesthetic
and psychological buffer against the ostentatious and imposing
commerciality and brouhaha of Surfers.
There are also a number of facilities along the foreshores of the
Nerang River at Surfers. There is a boat ramp just north of Budds
Beach, off Paradise Place, a ferry cruise terminal at the end of Cavill
Ave which is essentially a shopping strip (there are small parks to
either side of the terminal), and a boat ramp near Capri Bridge, off
Broadbeach and Carrara
Immediately south of Surfers is Broadbeach. Pratten Park, on the
foreshore adjacent Old Burleigh Rd, offers visitors anexpanse of
greenery with parking, picnicking, barbecue facilities, the Kurrawa
Surf Lifesaving Club (host of the annual Australian Surf Lifesaving
Titles) and a footbridge connecting with the mall and the monorail,
which circuits back and forth between this point and Jupiters Casino. A
second surf club - the Broadbeach SLSC - is located further north in
There are any number of streetside cafes, along with restaurants and
shopping opportunities in the mall and along Surf Parade. A craft
market is held on the first and third Sunday of each month and there is
a lantern craft market on Friday nights between September and May.
There is a boat ramp at Miami Keys (off T.E. Peters Drive) and a huge
Pacific Fair shopping complex, complete with cinema, six major stores
and more than 250 specialty shops. It is situated between the
Nerang-Broadbeach Rd, Sunshine Blvd and the Gold Coast Highway.
Carrrara, west of Broadbeach, is situated on land given over to a
cotton plantation in the 1860s. It possesses a major sports centre, two
golf clubs, balloon rides, a country music festival and markets every
Saturday and Sunday.
Mermaid Beach is both the suburb immediately south of Surfers and
the actual beach it is named after. Like most of the Gold Coast beaches
it is popular and crowded in season. Like Surfers it has no real
Burleigh Beach is well known as a fine surfing venue and, as such, it hosts major international surfing tournaments.
Nobby Beach, immediately north of Burleigh Heads, has a surf
lifesaving club with picnicking facilities opposite Lavarack Rd. At the
southern end of Nobby Beach there is a strip of foreshore parkway
(missing at the northern end) and a caravan park at the southern end of
Marine Parade, which follows the foreshore. Picnic facilities are
located adjacent Marine Parade, almost opposite the end of Santa Monica
South Nobby marks the end of Nobby Beach and to its south is North
Burleigh Beach. A narrow strip of foreshore parkland, decorated with
pandanus palms and pines, abuts the beach on one side and The Esplanade
on the other. It extends southwards along Burleigh Beach to the actual
headland (after which the suburb is named) at the mouth of Tallebudgera
Creek. There are barbecue, picnic and parking facilities at several
points, and toilets opposite Second Ave. There is a surf lifesaving
club opposite Kratzman Ave and another at the southernmost end of the
beach, on Goodwin Terrace, which runs past an ocean pool, more toilets
and picnic/barbecue facilties, to a parking area at the northern end of
the National Park.
Coolangatta Beach and Greenmount Beach form a continuous strand
backed by some foreshore greenery with picnic tables, a public
telephone and markets along the foreshore on the second Sunday of the
month. Greenmount forms the eastern end of the beach and Coolangatta
the west. However, both have their own surf lifesaving clubs: the
Coolangatta Beach club is on the foreshore, off Marine Parade.
To the immediate east of Greenmount Beach is a small rocky elevated
headland topped by Pat Fagan Parkwhich offers fine views and picnic
On the eastern side of the headland is Rainbow Bay which is a
smallish cove, although it has a surf lifesaving club and toilets. On
its eastern side is Snapper Rocks, at which point the coast veers
southwards again, opening out to Duranbah Beach which is a noted
Behind the beach is a foreshore area atop the rugged headland of
Point Danger (named by Captain Cook), on which sits a lighthouse (at
the end of Boundary St which forms part of the state border) that lays
claim to being the first in the world to experiment with laser
technology but the experiment - carried out in 1971 - proved
unsuccessful and it returned to the more conventional mirrors,
magnifying glass and powerful electric lamps. There are picnic spots
and a walk along the cliff-edge. Dolphins can sometimes be seen out to
sea. There are views of the coastline from Surfers Paradise to Byron
View Larger Map
At the western end of Coolangatta Beach is Kirra Point with its long
breakwater forming a protective barrier for Coolangatta Beach. On the
western side of Kirra headland is Kirra Beach which is the district's
most notable surfing area, offering challenges for the expert, and
smaller waves closer in to shore for beginners who can hire a long
board for the day.
From this point the coastline veers in a north-westerly direction.
The beach is continuous between here and the small mouth of Flat Rock
Creek, although its name changes from Kirra Beach to North Kirra Beach
to Bilinga Beach to Tugun Beach. There is a narrow foreshore area which
slims to a sliver then virtually disappears at Bilinga Beach.
Each of these four designated beaches has its own surf lifesaving
club: the Kirra Beach club is adjacent Marine Parade in Coolangatta,
with toilets and public telephones nearby; the North Kirra club is on
Pacific Parade, in Bilinga, with toilets and picnic tables nearby; the
Bilinga Beach club is next to Golden Four Drive, in Bilinga, and the
Tugun club is on O'Connor St, in Tugun, with toilets and telephones
On the northern side of Flat Rock Creek is Currumbin Beach which is
noted for its rock pools and gentle surf. It is cut in two by Elephant
Rock, on which sits the local surf lifesaving club (off Pacific
Parade). At the northern end of the beach Currumbin Point, with its
rock platform, extends outwards like a carbuncle, forming a natural
breakwater at the mouth of Currumbin Creek which is popular with
anglers. Behind Currumbin Point Pacific Parade coils westwards to
follow the creek's southern shore. Inside the loop formed by the
Parade's change of direction is Wallace Nicoll Park which has toilets,
picnic tables and an air-sea rescue base.