Beaches on the Sunshine Coast
Main Beach is a safe patrolled beach, popular with visitors, with a swell rarely exceeding one metre over a clean sandy beach. The further you get towards the point, the larger and stronger the swell, so novice surfers should stick to First Point or Johnsons.
The walking track through the National Park along the bays to Alexandria Bay is 3km long and very safe, with a only a few hilly sections, and the spectacular views of the headland and the coastline make it well worthwhile.
Toilets, showers and public phones are available at the National Park car park.
Alexandria Beach is not patrolled and swimming there is not recommended. Because of its out of the way location, the area is popular with scantily clad bathers and has been known as a nudist beach for many years.
The steady swell is magnified by the shape of the bay and only experienced surfers should attempt these breaks.
Most fishermen are put off by the hike, preferring to fish more convenient locations nearer to the road.
Sunshine Beach's glassy waters are ideal for a refreshing dip. Local surf patrols will locate the safest spots, so be sure to swim between the red and yellow flags.
A popular spot for surfing, Sunshine Beach seems to pick up every inch of swell. The rocky headland provides protection from north winds and the clear breaks often produce the best waves on the entire Sunshine Coast.
Showers, toilets, covered picnic areas and barbecues are available.
Peregian Beach is protected by the adjacent Peregian Beach Environmental Park. The quiet little beach town features a skateboard bowl, basketball half court, playground, and park with covered barbecue and picnic areas.
Peregian Surf Club patrols the area and the safest spot for a swim will be between the red and yellow flags.
For surfers, the swell at Peregian is decent, but only experienced surfers should attempt the breaks near Pitta Street.
Coolum boasts a safe patrolled swimming beach with some protection from Point Perry Headland.
Tickle Park boasts toilets and showers, covered barbecue and picnic areas, and a children's playground.
Surfers enjoy good waves near the headland but the quality is usually better at other point breaks.
South of the rocks at Point Arkwright is a secluded unpatrolled beach at Yaroomba. Swimming is not recommended here, although snorkelling around the rocks is popular during winter when the seas are calm.
Surfing can be unpredictable, with short powerful waves, and the rocky ocean bottom can be dangerous.
Take the dirt track, visiting the lookouts on the way to the top of Point Arkwright. The spectacular views of the coast provide the perfect photo opportunity.
Marcoola Beach is a quiet patrolled beach, perfect for a relaxing dip away from the crowds.
Nearby Felix Park features toilets, showers, and covered barbecue and picnic areas. The secluded banks, enhanced with a light wind, are popular with surfers.
Mudjimba Island is located 1km off the mainland, and is accessible only by sea.
Very experienced surfers will find a heavy break over sharp rocks and massive barnacles, but should get advice from a local before attempting these breaks.
To fish the island, you will need a strong ocean-going vessel. Accessing the island from Mooloolaba River is the safest option. Good quality tuna, tailor and mackerel can be caught around the island and on the ocean side of the island; close to the rocks is an ideal spot for reef fish.
North Shore is an unpatrolled beach, on the dangerous northern side of Maroochydore River. Swimming here is not recommended with strong tidal flows, fierce rips and large holes making conditions very dangerous.
Very experienced surfers may catch some good waves but conditions are usually too unpredictable.
Quality catches of bream, tailor and dart can be had all year round, especially in the winter months.
A popular beach for visitors, Maroochydore beach is adjacent to the bustling town centre.
Stroll along the concrete walkway from the beach, along Maroochydore River and Cotton Tree Park, to the city centre, passing covered picnic facilities, barbecues and playgrounds.
On Sundays, check out the art and craft markets at the corner of Fisherman's Road and David Low Way.
Alexandra Headland beach is a very safe patrolled swimming beach, protected by the headland from southerly winds.
Known as 'the bluff' by locals, Alexandra Headland offers great swell for board riders.
The park at Alexandra Headland features toilets, showers, a skateboard bowl, children's playground, barbecue and picnic benches. Shops and cafes are a short stroll away.
Mooloolaba Beach is a very safe, patrolled beach featuring a small swell that rarely exceeds head height. Nearby to accommodation, cafes and shopping, it is very popular with visitors.
Walk north over Alexandra Headland for spectacular views of the bay, or head south and explore the river mouth and rock wall. The Esplanade offers a number of cafes and restaurants offering great views.
Showers and toilets are available and Mooloolaba boasts exercise areas, a children's playground, barbecues and picnic benches.
The Mooloolaba Spit is at the southern end of the bay and offers a very safe patrolled swimming beach, sheltered from sea swells by the rock wall. It's an ideal spot for families with young children, as the small swell is usually around waist height.
South of the Spit, the Mooloolah River offers protected ocean access to boaties.
Point Cartwright is a popular surfing beach, with a famous break finishing abruptly at the rock wall. Only experienced surfers should attempt 'Carties', which is unsuitable for swimmers.
Take a short walk up to the lighthouse at Point Cartwright Reserve or head down the hill to discover a secluded beach.
Showers and toilets are available.
Kawana Beach is not patrolled, other than during regular roving patrols by Kawana Surf Life Saving Club, and swimming here is not recommended.
Surfers will catch a short ride off the point, but the area is quite popular and can attract crowds. Only experienced riders should tackle the swell once the winds push it over 1.5 metres.
Toilets and showers are available, and the beach can be accessed by wheelchair.
The safe, patrolled Buddina Beach is popular with visitors. Surfers will enjoy the strong swells picked up on this east-facing beach.
Fish for tailor in the gutters in the late afternoon during the cooler months.
Take a peaceful walk during low tide on the hard sand close to the water.
10 kilometres of secluded beach stretches south from Point Cartwright to the Currimundi Lake entrance.
Take care to swim in the patrolled section - between the red and yellow flags - near the Kawana Surf Life Saving Club.
The secluded banks are a surfer's dream.
Anglers can catch good hauls of flathead, bream and dart during summer and fish the gutters in winter for tailor.
Showers and toilets are available at a number of beach access points.
Currimundi Lake is the ideal spot for families with small children. The lake provides a safe, sheltered area for swimming, patrolled by Surf Lifesavers.
Surfers will usually find a good bank near the mouth of the lake, but take care to avoid strong currents when the tide is changing.
Good fishing can be had all year round - try in the early morning and early evening to avoid the crowds.
Toilets and showers are available and the park has barbecue and picnic facilities. Shops and a cafe are nearby.
Dicky Beach offers a clean sandy beach with safe patrolled swimming.
A good clean wave can be found straight off the beach for body boarders, but experienced surfers prefer to take the 20 minute paddle out to the Caloundra Reef and surf the heavy waves of the open waters.
The nearby skateboard bowl attracts lots of youngsters and the park offers toilets, showers, barbecues, covered picnic areas and a shaded children's playground. Shops and a cafe are located nearby.
Moffat Beach is an unpatrolled beach and swimming here is not recommended. Nearby Tooway Lake is a good spot to cool off if the lake is open to the sea and the water quality is suitable.
Longboard riders enjoy the heavy waves on a south-east swell, and experienced surfers prefer to paddle out to the Caloundra Reef and surf the open waters.
The park offers toilets and children's playgrounds, with a cafe and shops nearby.
Kings Beach is protected from north-east winds and features a tidal pool ideal for families with children.
Closer to the point, conditions are ideal for snorkellers looking to explore the local marine life.
The beach is usually too popular for anglers, but try throwing a line in off the rocks in the evening.
Toilets and showers are available at different access points to the beach. The access from Leyuka Avenue boasts a children's playground and general store near the Metropolitan Surf Life Saving Club.
Bulcock Beach offers good patrolled swimming, but care should be taken on strong tides.
The protected area near the entrance to the Pumicestone Passage has no surf to speak of, but fishing from the boardwalk is popular.
Nearby boat ramps offer access to the Passage but only very experienced boaties should attempt to cross the Caloundra Bar.
Toilets and showers are available.
Golden Beach is an unpatrolled beach, protected from the open waters by Bribie Island.
Nearby Bulcock Beach is suitable for swimmers, and surfers would be well advised to head north towards the points. The protected waters are popular with windsurfers.
Numerous parks are situated along Golden Beach, featuring toilets, showers, boat ramps, picnic areas, barbecues and playgrounds.
The secluded swell is a surfer's dream and good catches of dart, bream and flathead can be taken from the gutters.
Walkers can enjoy a peaceful walk along the hard sand at low tide.
Toilets and showers are available at different access points along the beach.
Fishermen will find that winter southerlies and a low swell combine to provide good catches, especially at sunrise and sunset.
Explore the rocky outcrops to the north at low tide and enjoy a barbecue under the shelter of the Norfolk Pines. Toilet facilities are available.