Without a doubt the Gold Coast’s stunning beaches are its greatest asset from The Spit in the north right down to Snapper Rocks in the south and beyond into northern New South Wales (for more on that check out the South of the Border section) there is a beach for every occasion. Enjoy the peace and quiet at less developed spots such as The Spit, Miami, Tugan or Bilinga - which isn’t always quiet given its proximity to the airport though you definitely will avoid the crowds. People-watch and be seen at the Gold Coast’s most popular beaches including Broadbeach, Coolangatta and of course the most famous of all, Surfers Paradise. Then there are perennial favourites such as Main Beach close to the action of Southport and Surfers but less chaotic, Burleigh Heads with its winning combo of relaxed beach, National Park and tons of great dining options close by or else there is family friendly Palm Beach and Currumbin where the creek is great for a swim away from the big waves. Big wave hunters check out the surfing section for the low down on Gold Coast’s best breaks and barrels.
Australian beaches are as dangerous as they are beautiful, and no it’s not sharks or stingers (jellyfish) that you need to worry about on Gold Coast beaches, it's the power of the Pacific ocean itself. If you are not use to surf beaches or even if you are a strong swimmer but find yourself in a rip you can quickly be dragged a couple hundred metres out to sea. the safest way to enjoy a day at the beach is to stick to patrolled beaches and swim between the red and yellow flags - if you are in trouble just wave your arm and lifeguards will assist you. If you do get stuck in a rip the worst thing you can do is try swimming against it, instead swim parallel with the beach to get out of it and then make your way back to shore. Yes, there are sharks but nets and statistics protect beach goers along most of the Gold Coast, well stats don't actually protect you but they do tell us that you'd be mighty unlucky to be eaten by a shark. If you are swimming at dawn or dusk and find yourself amongst a school of fish then get out of the water so feeding sharks won't mistake you for a meal.