The most beautiful beaches in Queensland

As a state with 6,973 km of coastline, it’s safe to say, we have no shortage of Queensland beaches for you to explore. What our beaches share in common – sun, salt and sand – are also worlds apart in their differences. From the surf breaks of the Sunshine Coast, to the dining scene of the Gold Coast to island hopping the Whitsundays, Queensland beaches offer more variety than an Allen’s party mix.


Get to know our most beautiful beaches, with this guide to your next adventure.

1. Palm Cove, Tropical North Queensland

The former crowned winner of ‘Australia’s cleanest beach’, Palm Cove Beach, lives up to its title.

Lined with towering palm trees and centuries-old paperbarks, this patch of coast, 20 minutes north of Cairns brings Mediterranean vibes to Tropical North Queensland. Don’t believe us? We’ve got 10 reasons why, here.

Toss down a towel, bob in Palm Cove’s calm water, before retreating to one of the cafes or restaurants along the esplanade for an apres-beach brunch.

While most of the cafes keep things relaxed, you’ll want to hop out of your swimmers for NuNu, the award-winning restaurant led by chef Nick Holloway which fuses Asian flavours with fresh local produce. Pineapple and turmeric curry of ginger braised pork, young coconut, Thai basil & crackle, anybody?

2. Cape Hillsborough, Mackay

Sunrise doesn’t get more iconic in Australia than the one caught at Cape Hillsborough National Park’s Casuarina Beach.

Every morning a mob of ‘roos and wallabies come out at dawn to fossick for seed pods and other delicious snacks that washed up the night before. It’s a natural performance you can set your watch to and seriously, you’ll want to because you need to get down to the beach before sunrise.

To find it, simply point your bonnet towards Mackay’s Hibiscus Coast, home to the second-largest national park in the region, Cape Hillsborough National Park.

Be mindful these are wild creatures who retreat when frightened. For the enjoyment of other guests, we remind all beachgoers to keep a distance and save selfies for domesticated pets at home.

Tip: If Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park is full, reserve a campsite at Smalley’s Beach which features in this beach camping list.

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