The Gold Coast boasts more than 57 kilometres of stunning shoreline and crystal-clear waters. Its reputation is built on it. With at least 21 beautiful beaches to choose from, it's hard to know where to go. Especially when each one is unique and loved for different reasons. So here are some popular picks, depending on what you're after.
Pretty-pooches pick — The Spit or Palm Beach
The shoreline at both The Spit and Palm Beach offer plenty of room for your pretty pooch to play. While dogs are allowed (outside a certain distance from the red and yellow flags) at other Gold Coast beaches, The Spit and Palm Beach are off-the-lead friendly.
Best beach for a 'holiday snap' - Surfers Paradise
If you want to be in the heart of the action then this is the beach for you. Surfers Paradise combines city and surf to become a vibrant hub of activity at almost any time of day and year. There's no doubt this visitor hotspot is the most photographed beach on the coast - with the Surfers Paradise skyline providing the perfect backdrop for the ultimate holiday selfie.
Locals' best kept secret - Narrowneck
If you're a visitor to the Coast and keen to discover some local hang-outs, ask a Gold Coast native to point you in the direction of Narrowneck. This stretch of sand is exactly as the name suggests - a narrow area of coastline situated between Surfers Paradise and Main Beach. What makes it popular is the artificial reef that not only protects the beach, but creates sweet swell for local surfers.
Most picturesque beach setting - Tallebudgera Creek
Tallebudgera Creek offers the most crystal clear waters on the Gold Coast. Set between Burleigh Beach and Palm Beach, this protected body of water is the most idyllic location for those not fussed about the 'surf' but keen to simply bask on the beach. It is extremely popular for kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and other non-motorised waters sports.
Most family-friendly beach - Currumbin Beach
Currumbin is one of the Gold Coast's gems offering crystal-clear waters, estuary beaches and rock pools. It's a haven for surfing, water sports and was even named Australia's cleanest beach in 2013. With so much on offer, it's no wonder Currumbin has become a family favourite.
Surfers' pick - Kirra Beach
Kirra is a surfing hotspot! Catering for beginners closer to shore and challenging even the most experienced surfer further offshore. It's this sweet swell which makes Kirra the perfect venue for many international surfboard riding tournaments.
Best picnic spot - Burleigh Heads
The Burleigh Headland offers magical views all the way up the coast to Surfers Paradise. It's a nice spot for a morning walk, or grabbing a snack from the nearby 'James Street' and enjoying a picnic come lunch time. The headland also provides the perfect vantage point to watch surfers, or those swimmers enjoying the protected waters closer to shore.
The best beach escape - South Stradbroke Island
If you don't like being amidst all the action, the tucked away beaches of South Straddie could be more your style. Here, you can do as much or as little as you please. From cocktails by the water, to adventure activities and 4wd tours. You need to catch a boat to get here, but it is well worth the trip.