Best beaches near Brisbane
The Brisbane area is home to a number of tucked away beaches, bayside and on nearby islands. Whether you’re after a surf beach, dog beach or quiet spot to lie on a towel in the sun – read on to discover Brisbane’s closest beaches.
Drive over the bridge to Bribie Island, north of Brisbane, and head to the far side for the surf beach at Woorim. If you’d like to learn to surf, Bribie Island Surf School operates near here. If you’re just swimming, always dive in between the flags so the lifeguards can keep an eye on you.
Find details on how to get to North Stradbroke Island here.
One of the most popular beaches on the island, Cylinder is patrolled 365 days a year and has a gentle wave that’s great for those wanting to learn to surf, body surfers or body boarders. North Stradbroke Island Learn to Surf School will assist those wanting to learn.
Best in winter thanks to the westerly winds, this beach is for surfers not swimmers, though you might enjoy spotting marine life in the rock pools. Take your board down the 200 stairs and catch a wave. It isn’t patrolled by lifeguards.
Main Beach, North Stradbroke Island
Nearby Cylinder, Main Beach gets larger, more powerful waves to swim and surf in. It’s also patrolled by lifeguards and is the pick of the two if Cylinder has onshore, choppy winds. At 32km long, it’s no surprise it’s the main beach.
Locals call the 27km strip on the eastern side of Moreton Island "surfside" due to the, ah, waves. Bet you never would have guessed that. No lifeguards patrol the beaches on Moreton Island and there are often rips on this side to be wary of.
At just 50m wide, Honeymoon Bay is a secluded beach on the northern tip of the island and is surround by 15m-high rock bluffs. Facing east, this beach gets 1-1.5m high waves and is hazardous to swim at due to rips and hidden rocks. Best stick to the sand here.
Pumicestone Passage is an ocean channel that runs between Bribie Island and the mainland. It is home to plenty of birdlife and marine life and is the perfect spot to swim in calm, cool blue water. Sylvan Beach has a boat ramp, barbecues and facilities.
Also facing Pumicestone Passage, Bongaree Beach is where you will find families flocking to. Near the jetty is safe for swimming and there are playgrounds and facilities.
Bulwer, Moreton Island
On the western side of Moreton, the beach in front of Bulwer offers the tiniest of lapping waves on the shoreline. The clear, blue water and white sandy beaches make it ideal for swimming, and the old Bulwer Wrecks make for good fishing and snorkelling.
Also on the eastern side, this patch of beach is closed to traffic, making it a safe spot for families with children to relax without 4WDs rolling through. Complete with its fair share of history, there are two large concrete war bunkers here that are partially collapsing on the dunes.
South of Bulwer and Cowan, Tangalooma Beach stretches 8km from the Tangalooma Wrecks (15 old boats offshore perfect for snorkelling, kayaking and swimming around) and Tangalooma Island Resort. The water here is flat and at dusk each evening wild dolphins arrive at the Tangalooma Jetty for feeding.
Adams Beach, North Stradbroke Island
More of a nice place to stay than a beach, Adams Beach is home to a camp ground that also offers pop-up "glamping" experiences seasonally. Wake up with the seaside lapping at your tent door. Bliss.
There is a safe swimming enclosure just offshore at Amity Point. The beach is unpatrolled so this enclosure is the best way to enjoy swimming in the area.
When the tide is out, soldier crabs scuttle across the flats of this northern bayside beach. Chase them around the shore or walk your dog along the promenade. It’s just a 35-minute drive from the CBD and a great spot for fish 'n' chips.
Lower Moora Park, Shorncliffe
Just south of Sandgate and right next to the Shorncliffe Pier is this great bayside beach and park for the kids. Lower Moora Park is home to an excellent adventure playground, the still and sandy bayside beach is perfect for a splash, and there are barbecue and picnic facilities nearby.
The small waves at Suttons Beach are perfect for people after a gentle paddle and relaxing day. There are beach showers, barbecues and lifeguards on summer weekends.
The Wynnum Wading Pool is a heritage-listed tidal pool that was built in the 1930s. Children love to splash about in the generally shallow pool or aqua-playground nearby. Follow the promenade along here to Manly Marina and the village. There are plenty of spots for lunch or a drink here.
Raby Bay Foreshore Park, Cleveland
Now, this beach is dog central. Pups love to run and splash about with each other in the shallows of the bayside. It's also a great place for a barbecue.
Nudgee Beach is a favourite spot for northside residents. The bayside beach is bordered by wetlands and a picnic area.
The Colmslie Beach Reserve is a dog park and riverside beach just a few kilometres from the city centre. Let your furry friend run through the shallows of the river.
Red Beach sits at the southern end of Bribie and is popular with locals and their pets. This area features a white sandy off-leash beach coupled with a child and dog-friendly swimming spot. There are great views of Moreton Island and it is known as a great spot for viewing dolphins and other marine life.
Accessible only by 4WD, Flinders sits between Amity Point and Point Lookout and stretches 4.6km. Dogs are allowed here, provided they are kept on a leash.
Located in the heart of Brisbane, South Bank’s Streets Beach is a luxurious lagoon pool that’s open long hours and patrolled by lifeguards. Lie on the soft sandy beach, cut laps in the Boat Pool or watch the kids play in the Aquativity playground.
This seaside paradise is a hit with all ages. Young children can play in the shallow wading pools, while older kids and adults can enjoy the deeper pools.
Orion Lagoon, Robelle Domain, Ipswich
Cool off in the fresh water of Orion Lagoon. Situated within the Robelle Domain parklands, the large public lagoon has pools and aquativity features, plus is monitored by lifeguards at certain times of the day.
Chasing more coastline?
Just over one-hour drive north lies the Sunshine Coast and one-hour south is the Gold Coast. Both are home to long stretches of white sandy beaches, most of them patrolled by lifeguards and with large waves to surf or swim at.
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