Planning a trip to Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast? We’ve got 10 of the best beaches on the Sunshine Coast to plan your trip around.
When it comes to Sunshine Coast beaches, most people head straight for the heavily frequented sands of Caloundra, Noosa Heads, or Mooloolaba. But the Sunshine Coast actually has over 30 beaches you can visit. So, we’ve added a few hidden gems to this list of beaches in the Sunshine Coast region.
Whether you prefer to follow the throngs of beach-goers to the popular spots (there is a reason why they are so popular), or you’re looking for a beach that’s a little more secluded. This list of the best beaches on the Sunshine Coast has something for everyone!
Here are 10 amazing beaches on the Sunshine Coast for you to explore!
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10 Best Beaches on the Sunshine Coast
#1 | Tea Tree Bay, Noosa
Situated in the Noosa National Park, Tea Tree Bay is a secluded beach that is popular amongst locals and Noosa holiday-makers. Only accessible by foot (or boat), this sandy beach is flanked by rocky headlands and is a great spot for swimming, surfing, and kayaking.
Tea Tree Bay is one of Australia’s most iconic surf spots with one of the best right-hand breaks in Australia. You’ll often see surfers catch a wave from Tea Tree Bay all the way into Little Cove and then jump out and run back up the coastal walking path, surfboard under arm, to do it all again. It’s well-known for its consistent waves and is a popular spot for both beginners and experienced surfers.
To get to Tea Tree Bay you have to park your car in Noosa Heads and hop on the coastal hiking trail that starts at Noosa National Park. Because it’s quite a walk from Noosa Heads, the beach at Tea Tree Bay is clean, clear, and less touristed, making it one of the most pristine beaches on the Sunshine Coast.
#2 | Kings Beach, Caloundra
Kings Beach is a unique and beautiful stretch of coastline that offers something for everyone. There are rock pools, an ocean-front lap pool, a surf lifesaving club, a waterpark for kids, and BBQ areas, and it’s a short walk from the cafes and shops along Caloundra beachfront.
Whether you’re looking to relax and soak up the sun, or get active and explore the area, Kings Beach is the perfect place for picnics, swimming, and kayaking. Its family-friendly vibe makes it a popular place for parents to bring the kids for the day or an overnight stay.
With its golden sand, clear blue waters, and stunning natural surroundings, it’s easy to see why this spot is such a popular destination.
#3 | Coolum Beach, Coolum
Just a stones-throw away from the Sunshine Coast’s most popular beaches, Maroochydore and Mooloolaba, is Coolum Beach, but it could be worlds away from its busy neighbors. Coolum Beach offers a much more laid-back atmosphere, great surf conditions, and luxury holiday apartments and houses.
It’s no wonder Coolum Beach has been named the number one beach by Surf Life Saving Queensland. It offers beautiful sandy beaches protected from the elements by the surrounding rocky headland. There is a man-made boardwalk with stunning views and whale and dolphin spotting opportunities. The area is also very dog friendly.
More than just a great beach though, the Coolum Beach esplanade is a popular place for locals and visitors alike to enjoy the sunshine, take a stroll, or go for a swim. The Coolum Beach Hotel is a landmark pub located on the esplanade, offering a great place for locals and visitors to socialize and enjoy a meal or a drink.
#4 | Noosa Main Beach, Noosa Heads
Noosa Main Beach is one of our all-time favourite beaches on the Sunshine Coast, somewhat because it was the location of our dreamy beachside wedding a few years ago.
Located in the town of Noosa Heads, the beach has to be one of the most well-known beaches on the Sunshine Coast and is an extremely popular place to go for a weekend or for families during the school holidays.
This long and wide beach stretches for over two kilometers and features a boardwalk lined with top-notch restaurants, cafes, bars, shops, and a great Surf Life-Saving Club.
The beach is a protected cove that is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Noosa River to the north, offering a great place to surf, swim, or SUP (there’s a place that rents SUPs right on the beach).
There are a ton of places to stay around Noosa Main Beach, it is, after all, one of the most popular holiday towns in Australia!
#5 | Moffat Beach, Caloundra
Moffat Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the Sunshine Coast because of its proximity to Brisbane. Being only an hour’s drive away, it’s a popular beach for day visitors or even those seeking a sneaky little weekend getaway from Brisbane.
The clear, calm waters of Moffat Beach is surrounded by a headland to the south with a number of holiday apartments offering fantastic views over the coastline.
The beach is patrolled by lifeguards during the day and is a little less frequented than neighbouring Kings Beach, Shelly Beach, and Dicky Beach. The beach is in a protected cove, which is great for swimming, surfing, fishing, kayaking, and SUPing.
There are plenty of sheltered picnic areas with views over the beach and it’s arguably one of the prettiest dog-friendly beaches on the Sunshine Coast. The beach is located near the town of Caloundra, which has a wide range of shops and restaurants.
#6 | Rainbow Beach
If you’re willing to go a little further north, it would be worth the effort. Rainbow Beach is a coastal town located in the Great Sandy National Park and is the gateway to Fraser Island. The town is situated on the Rainbow River, approximately 3 hour drive north of Brisbane.
Rainbow Beach gets its name from the colorful beach cliffs, which are a result of the minerals in the rocks. A visit to the Carlo Sand Blow is a must to get a great view of the coloured sands. The cliffs around Double Island Point are a popular spot for photography and picnicking. The beach is also a great spot for swimming, surfing, and fishing.
Rainbow Beach is a total bucket list destination for the adventurous types. If you have a 4WD, you can access the beach by making the epic drive along the sand from Noosa North Shore, via Double Island Point. If you don’t have a 4WD, don’t worry. Rainbow Beach town is also accessible via paved road through Gympie.
There is a wide variety of accommodation available in Rainbow Beach, ranging from camping and caravan parks to hotels and apartments.
#7 | Cotton Tree Beach
Cotton Tree Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on the Sunshine Coast around Maroochydore and offers a great family-friendly vibe.
This idyllic spot is situated right at the mouth of the Maroochydore River and is known for its white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and stunning views. There’s a great kids’ play area, and a caravan park right on the beach, that is often booked out well in advance.
Parts of the beach are dog-friendly, and the river mouth offers a great spot for protection from the elements when the wind whips up on the beach.
Beachgoers can enjoy a range of activities at Cotton-Tree, including swimming, fishing, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding. There are also plenty of chic restaurants, cafes, and luxurious holiday apartments nearby, making it the perfect place to relax and unwind and stay for a week.
#8 | Sunshine Beach
Sunshine Beach is another one of our personal favourite beaches on the Sunshine Coast as we’ve enjoyed many-a childhood family holidays here over the years. We absolutely adore its laid-back holiday vibe and love to come for a weekend away from Brissie.
Sunshine Beach is situated between Noosa Heads and Peregian Beach but often has far fewer people than its neighbours. Sunshine Beach is quite a long (and wide) beach that stretches over 15 km, but the spot in front of the local town is usually patrolled by lifeguards daily.
The local town is a quaint little haunt surrounded by beautiful pandanus palms, with only a few restaurants, cafes, and shops. Sunshine Beach has arguably the most stunning beachfront holiday homes and apartments of any of the beach towns on the Sunshine Coast and is a great place for a family holiday.
The water at Sunshine Beach is crystal clear and perfect for swimming, surfing, and snorkeling. The waves are usually gentle and there are a few coral reefs to explore at the northern end. Visitors can also go fishing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding.
#9 | Mudjimba Beach, Mudjimba
Resting in the shadows of Mount Coolum, Mudjimba Beach is one of the less frequented beaches on the Sunshine Coast. But the sparkling white sand and clear blue waters make it a perfect place to relax and enjoy some quiet time while soaking in the stunning Queensland coastal scenery.
Mudjimba Beach is located just north of Maroochydore and is easily accessible by car or public transport. There are plenty of parking spaces available, as well as public toilets and showers. The local town is lacking the high-rises of neighbouring Maroochydore, opting for low-set developments instead, so the beach has far fewer visitors on any given weekend.
There’s a little rocky island situated just off the coast, called Mudjimba Island, or ‘Old Woman Island’, which is popular amongst surfers, snorkellers, and divers. Very few people visit the island as strong currents and rocky outcrops prevent it from being accessed easily.
#10 | Peregian Beach
Peregian Beach is a cute little seaside village located just to the south of Noosa. There are fewer holiday-makers at Peregian than in Noosa, making it more of a ‘local’ hotspot. The small beach town feel makes it a great place to live.
Peregian Beach is a natural playground with an expansive white sandy beach, which is perfect for swimming, surfing, paddle boarding, and fishing. The beach is also great for simply relaxing and taking in the incredible views.
For the more adventurous, there are many hiking and mountain biking trails located nearby. The beach itself is flanked by picturesque Peregian Beach National Park, which is full of native bushland and wildlife.
The nearby town of Peregian Beach is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat or stock up on supplies before heading down to the sand. There are no hotels or resorts in Peregian because it’s devoid of mass tourism, but there are a small number of holiday rentals, should you wish to stay longer and explore all that this beautiful part of the world has to offer.
Have we missed a spot? Can you recommend any other great Sunshine Coast beaches for other readers to check out? Let us know in the comments below!
Planning a Queensland adventure? Read more:
- The Ultimate Australia Bucket List
- 15 Incredible Queensland Island Holidays & Resorts
- A Guide to Visiting Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays
- 20 Photos to Inspire You to Visit the Great Barrier Reef
- The Ultimate LUXE Guide to Hayman Island, Australia
- Noosa Heads: Where to Stay, What to Do + Where to Eat & Drink
- The Ultimate Travel Guide to Port Douglas, Australia
- How to See Tangalooma Wrecks on Moreton Island, Australia
- 10 Best Beaches on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland
- 50+ Famous Landmarks in Australia to add to your Bucket List
- 10 Best Airbnbs in Cairns, Australia
Planning a trip soon? Here’s a list of the websites we use for booking our trips:
- Skyscanner for the best flight deals
- Booking.com for the best rates on hotels
- HomeAway for the best price on apartment and home rentals
- Rentalcars.com for quick and easy car rentals
- Luxury Escapes | Expedia for luxury package holiday deals and tours
- Get Your Guide | Klook | Viator for booking day tours and attraction tickets
- Tourradar for a wide selection of multi-day tours
- Safety Wing for the most comprehensive worldwide travel insurance
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About the Author:
Amanda Twine is the founder and creator of Bucket List Seekers – a luxury travel blog sharing informative travel guides, food guides, hotel reviews, itineraries, and tips about how to make luxury travel more affordable.