Known as the Sunshine State, Queensland in Australia is famous for its glorious climate. As the perfect accompaniment to this, many of the beaches of this northerly state are simply stunning and begging to be enjoyed in the sunshine.
For those that know me then, it’s perhaps not surprising that Queensland is where I’ve spent most of my time in Australia! Yes after meeting the boy and then living on the beach in Noosa for 2 years, the Queensland lifestyle can be one that’s hard to give up!
This has been reinforced recently by our great budget 4wd around Australia, which has seen us drive the length of this incredible stretch of coastline.
As such, we can certainly vouch for the fact that this state has some of the best beaches in the world and, here to prove it, are 13 incredible Queensland beaches guaranteed to take your breath away.
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#1 Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas
Right up north in tropical Queensland, the lovely town of Port Douglas is a quaint beachside resort that sits at the edge of a wonderfully open beach.
With palm trees coming right down to the lovely sand and free BBQ parks behind, this is the perfect place to enjoy the warm weather here and soak up the lifestyle of the Queensland beaches.
Unlike a lot of other places this far north in Queensland, you can actually seasonally swim at Four Mile Beach (no stingers in winter, or crocs), which makes this a delightfully welcome change in these tropical parts!
Port Douglas is also a great spot if you want to visit the Great Barrier Reef and has lots of activities on offer for those who you wish to get amongst this amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site.
#2 Horseshoe Bay, Bowen
Perhaps a surprising one on the list, but it is my firm belief that Bowen is actually one of Queensland’s biggest kept secrets!
Situated in the north of the Whitsundays region, the beaches of Bowen are some of the most spectacular in the state, if not the country, and shouldn’t be missed.
Wonderfully free of the normal Whitsunday price tag and pretension, my pick of the bunch in the semi-forgotten town of Bowen is Horseshoe Bay.
With stunning walks either side and some great rocks to clamber and explore, this is picturesque paradise at its best.
5 ESSENTIAL PACKING ITEMS FOR AUSTRALIA
#1 Good Camera – You will be pretty much snapping non-stop in Australia and will need a good camera to do this gorgeous country justice. I highly recommend the Sony A6000, which I use for all my travels and love, not least because it’s light, compact and robust!
#2 Good Walking Shoes – There will be a lot of walking in Australia – from cities to national parks! Make sure your feet are comfortable therefore with a pair of New Balance Trainers. Perfect for stylish strolling, I love mine.
#3 Good Guidebook – I’m still a massive fan of the Lonely Planet Guidebooks and do think their Australia edition is well put together.
#4 Good Water Bottle – Travelling in hot old Australia can be thirsty work, so make sure you have a metal water bottle that you can refill as you go, because tap water is drinkable… and free!
#5 Good Sun Hat – And there’s no denying you’ll need a good sun hat for protection in Australia too. In my opinion you can’t go past this Hello Sunshine one, which is both gorgeous and ideal for keeping the rays off your face.
#3 Agnes Water
The most northern Queensland beach for surfers, Agnes Water is surrounded by national park and is a delightful little spot to spend a few days.
Fishing, kayaking, and diving are all great activities to enjoy in this laid-back little hamlet, which is known for its stunning scenery and barefoot lifestyle.
Nearby, the strangely named town of 1770, is the second place Captain Cook came ashore in Australia. Now little more than a quiet fishing village, it’s a great place to wander around and explore for a day as well.
#4 Noosa Main Beach, Sunshine Coast
Coming in next is Noosa Main Beach, which sits at the head of the Sunshine Coast about an hour and half north of Brisbane.
This gorgeous, family-friendly beach is perfect for swimmers with lifesavers on duty every day and calm waters that make a welcome a change from the usual strong waves in this region.
Accompanying the stunning scenery of this beach is the nearby national park, where you can spot koalas and echidnas, as well as dolphins and whales at the right time of year.
There’s also some lovely cafes and bars strung out along the street behind, with the requisite palm trees of course!
#5 Street Beach, Brisbane
Something a bit different, Street Beach is Brisbane’s answer to a strip of sand …. with a twist.
Situated on the city’s South Bank, essentially its art and cultural hub, Street Beach is a welcome respite for Brisbane families and tourists alike, who get to enjoy a day at the beach without leaving the city.
It’s actually quite amazing because can lie on your towel here and be gazing up at glittering skyscrapers and the views of the river below.
Alternatively, enjoy a dip in the Street Beach pool, while checking out the Wheel of Brisbane – a massive ferris wheel that gives stunning aerial views of Queensland’s capital.
Either way this beach with a difference is definitely one of Queensland’s most breathtaking!
#6 Radical Bay, Magnetic Island
We lived on Magnetic Island for 3 months as part of our great budget around Australia and I can definitely attest to the fact that Radical Bay is one of the those breathtakingly beautiful Queensland beaches.
Only accessible via a rough dirt track, the entrance to Radical Bay keeps most of the visitors away and means you’ll likely have this paradise all to yourself – yippee!
When you do reach Radical you’ll be greeted by swaying palm trees and the most crystal-clear water I think I’ve ever seen. Head a few metres up the sand and you’ll also spot an old forgotten piano, set against a jungle background that has slowly crept towards it over the years.
All in all, this makes Radical Bay feel like a lost world – it’s certainly taken more than a few people’s breath away!
#7 Mission Beach
Famous as the most popular skydiving site in Australia, Mission Beach provides brave visitors with guaranteed overhead views of turquoise waters and incredible coral formations, all set against lush rainforest.
With the added opportunity to whitewater raft at the nearby Tully River, scuba dive the reef or jet ski to Dunk Island, Mission Beach is the place to get your adrenaline fix in Queensland and definitely likely to take your breath away!
When you’re not jumping out a plane or clinging onto a raft, then Mission Beach also offers plenty of golden sand to relax on and coconut trees to climb!
#8 Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays
Repeatedly voted one of the best beaches in the world, Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays is picture-perfect paradise at its best.
Turquoise waters here are ideal for snorkelling and the white sand is perfect for doing, well not much!
Enjoy Whitehaven as part of a sailing tour or get the best out of this stunning setting by spending a few days camping in the Whitsundays.
Trust me, the sunsets are something else!
#9 Burleigh Head Beach, Gold Coast
The busy Gold Coast is one of the most developed areas in Queensland and, as such, has plenty going on.
Always full of people and fun, the enclave of Burleigh boasts a great vibe and a real sense of community with lovely coffee shops, restaurants and even an independent brewery all nearby.
With a wonderful surf club and a lovely national park, Burleigh really is a top spot if you’re looking for a breathtakingly beautiful beach with a buzz.
#10 Rainbow Beach, QLD
With most people only stopping at Rainbow Beach on their way to Fraser Island, this is one of those drastically underrated Queensland beaches that gets over-looked far too often!
With perfect swimming conditions, gorgeous coloured sand and picturesque pandanus bending over the beach however, Rainbow is a delight that should be enjoyed for at least a day.
Check out my article about how to spend the best 24 hours in Rainbow Beach and don’t forget to make a stop at the Carlo Sandblow – this place really takes the biscuit when it comes to breathtaking!
#11 Dingo Beach, Whitsundays
Desolate and delightful, when I first saw Dingo Beach I thought I had somehow been transported to a mythical and magically island in south-east Asia!
But no, Dingo Beach just has water that clear and distant islands that perfectly-placed on the horizon, it looks like something out of a tropical tourist brochure, It is certainly one of the most incredible Queensland beaches.
With almost no accommodation in town and a local population who seem to want to keep it that way – Dingo Beach is best visited on a trip from Airlie Beach or as you head up the coast to Townsville.
Even if it’s only for the day therefore, definitely make sure you get to Dingo Beach. You won’t regret it!
#12 Cape Tribulation
Another beauty when it comes to North Queensland beaches, Cape Tribulation sits at the edge of the UNESCO World Heritage Daintree Forest.
In a remote and protected part of the country, this breathtaking beach curves its way round the tip of the land, while lush jungle sits behind it and the tropical waters lap in front of it.
Blissfully underdeveloped, the area surrounding the beach here is very quiet and low-key – perfectly complimenting the feel of this special place.
#13 75 Mile Beach, Fraser Island
And coming in at number 1 is one of the most stunning places I have ever been, let alone one of the best Queensland beaches!
No word of a lie, 75 Mile Beach on Fraser Island is totally amazing with its array of colours and impressive outlook.
From the Maheno shipwreck marooned picturesquely on its shores to the vista you get from the top of Indian Head, this is a spellbinding part of the Queensland coast guaranteed to take your breath away.
When I was here, we also saw dingoes, dolphins, sharks and whales from the shore, so there really is no end to the magic of this spot.
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So there you have it, my list of 13 incredible Queensland beaches guaranteed to take your breath away.
What are your favourites from this list and how you been to anywhere else in the Sunshine State you think I should have included?