The secret beaches in Queensland you need to know about
With beaches like ours, it’s not hard to see why so many choose to holiday along the coastline.
There’s nothing better than hearing the waves fizz along the shore, feeling the sand between your toes or tasting the salty air.
But, instead of laying towel-to-towel next to a stranger, why not skip the holiday droves for something a little more secretive?
We’ve uncovered the best secret beaches in Queensland you need to visit.
SECRET BEACHES ON THE GOLD COAST
It might have the word ‘creek’ in it, but this dreamy cove is all about sun, sand and piercing-blue gentle waters.
Protected by a natural breakwater, you can reach it via the southern entrance of Burleigh Head National Park if you want that off-the-beaten-track feel, or pop across the bridge where you can set yourselves up in the park for a midday BBQ and hire SUPs and kayaks.
How to get there: Take a 1.5 hour drive from Brisbane to Tallebudgera Creek. While patrolled by surf lifesavers, the Palm Beach side packs a crowd so if you want seclusion (and are a more confident swimmer), access the upper end of the creek from Burleigh Heads National Park.
Tucked between one of Queensland’s iconic surfing spots, Snapper Rocks, and the equally impressive Point Danger lookout (a prime dolphin and whale viewing point) is Froggies Beach.
Dodge the chaos of sun-seeking crowds and pro surfers, and avoid the often crowded (but albeit very lovely) adjacent sea baths, instead lay claim to this idyllic sandy inlet. Sheltered from the elements and surrounded by lush greenery and ancient cliffs, Froggies Beach is a quiet haven.
SECRET BEACHES IN THE WHITSUNDAYS
BLUE PEARL BAY
You know it’s a tough gig in paradise when the most difficult decision you have to make is whether you take to the land to uncover the untamed wilderness of the Whitsundays‘ Blue Pearl Bay, or dive into the crystal clear waters that beckon beyond.
This secret beauty is known for its fringing coral reef and marine life, including a large population of Maori Wrasse.
How to get there: You’ll find this slice of paradise on the north-western side of Hayman Island. Day tours and overnight boats visit Blue Pearl Bay for snorkelling and or scuba diving. You can swim directly off your boat, or tender into the southern beach and enter the water from the coral beach.
While the jewel in the Whitsundays crown may be Whitehaven Beach, Dingo Beach, located off the beaten track of the mainland, offers a perfect stretch of the tropics to set up your towel. Boasting miles of sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and bountiful fishing, this tropical stunner is well worth the detour.
How to get there: You can only get there by car, so if you didn’t bring your own, hire one from the many outlets in Airlie Beach and explore one of the hidden wonders of the Whitsundays at your own pace, for a day or a few nights.
Did you know that The Whitsundays is the only place in the world where you can rent a multi-million-dollar sailing yacht without a licence? Find out how to bareboat your way around the islands and beaches here.
SECRET BEACHES NEAR CAIRNS
Nudey by name not by nature – so make sure to bring your togs – Nudey Beach is a small stretch of pristine white sand, coral beach and clear blue water that lays on the South-West shores of Fitzroy Island. If you still need more convincing, this stunner ranked number 1 in the 2018 Australia’s 101 Best Beaches awards.
There’s a reason why they call this region the Cassowary Coast, and one of the most distinguishing aspects of this haven (other than the fact it’s like swimming in a glorious bathtub with warm waters year-round) are the local residents you’ll find here… you guessed it, cassowaries!
Enclosed by Wet Tropic rainforest, the beach is regularly frequented by these spectacular dinosaur-like birds, but remember, admire only from afar and do not share your delish fish’n’chip lunch from the beachfront kiosk.
Get your road-trip on from Cairns to Port Douglas where you’ll pass the iconic tree-lined Thala Beach Nature Reserve. In the middle of two World Heritage-listed wonders, is a collection of bungalows set amongst 58-hectares of lush native forest and a beach that looks like it could be Photoshopped.
How to get there: Take an hour’s drive along the ever-so-scenic Captain Cook Highway to Thala Beach Nature Reserve.
SECRET BEACHES NEAR BRISBANE
SOUTH GORGE BEACH
Tucked in between the Surf Life Saving Club at Point Lookout and the North Gorge Headlands, the coastal dune home to South Gorge Beach is a must for anyone island-hopping over to North Straddie.
Our recommendation? Work up a sweat on the North Gorge Walk before dipping into the luminous blue waters guarded by the island’s massive cliff faces. (Tip: Keep an eye out for colourful fishies hiding out in the rocky crevasses).
How to get there: Here’s how to spend 48 hours on Stradbroke Island.
SECRET BEACHES NEAR TOWNSVILLE
While it’s a popular spot with the locals, Horseshoe Bay on Magnetic Island comes as an unexpected surprise.
Framed by two large-scale granite outcrops on either side, the turquoise waters of this bay are a hot spot for snorkelling and diving, with a coral reef just a short swim from the beach.
How to get there: To the left, to the left…you’ll find Lovers Bay, a perfect hidden cove, waiting for you (and your lover) to explore. Note: this beauty is only accessible by boat or jet-ski.
SECRET BEACHES NEAR GLADSTONE
You may have heard of The Town of 1770 and its historical background as the second landing site of Captain James Cook, but what you might not realise is this coastal village is packing some serious salty goodness on the side.
Surrounded by the Coral Sea and Bustard Bay on three sides, you’ll find adjacent to the foreshore a tranquil still-water inlet, perfect if you despise dumping waves and enjoy getting your stand-up paddleboard on.
How to get there: The towns of Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy are located at the Southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, just 90 minutes north of Bundaberg.
Looking for secret beaches on the Sunshine Coast? We’ve got you covered here.