Things to do in Brisbane

The Best Brisbane Beaches

Surf’s up in this city by the bay — these are Brisbane’s best beaches.

Queensland’s capital has a coastal affection. Its inhabitants are overcome with the urge to feel the sand beneath their toes and feel the sea breeze against their faces before the sun goes down. There are enough things to do in Brisbane to fill a lifetime. But with a beachside paradise at your fingertips, you might be content to stick to the shores.

Brisbane’s beaches are shining jewels just around the bend from busy city streets. Here’s a complete guide to the beachy adventures you’ll find here — starting with a handy at-a-glance index.

Family-Friendly Beaches

Invite the whole gang to your next seaside excursion. These beaches are high on the list of things to do in Brisbane with kids.

1. Suttons Beach, Redcliffe

Suttons Beach beckons. Sands and lawns collide for a park-and-beach fusion, with all the charms and family fun of both. Since it's only about 42 km from Brisbane, it's the perfect spot for a spontaneous beachside spree.

Set up a pleasant meal on the picnic tables as the scent of barbecue wafts across the bay. Little ones enjoy splashy fun, and older beachgoers cool off with a soothing dip. Set against a stunning coastal backdrop, these family memories are forever bathed in a golden sunny glow.

Photographer: Benson John

2. Settlement Cove Lagoon, Redcliffe

Man-made comforts make for seaside luxury at Settlement Cove Lagoon. With Moreton Bay in the background, this swimming hole gives families a place to kick back and relax.

Past the picnic area, tropical palms and sandy shores run wild. Squeals of glee spring from young explorers at the sight of a shaded playground, while handy amenities lend parents an extra hand. At 42 km from Brisbane, this beach provides all the joy and none of the fuss.

3. South Bank Parklands Streets Beach

At Australia’s only inner city, a man-made beach shines amid a bustling metropolis. Streets Beach is the crowning achievement of South Bank Parklands, a decades-long journey to fuse the city with the natural world around it.

Just minutes from downtown Brisbane, crystal sands and lush tropical plants surround the lagoon. This modern-day oasis draws city dwellers longing for a touch of wildness. Nearby, an interactive aquatic play park and boating area offer fun for family members of all ages.

When a full-blown beach day is too much to ask for, step into this city icon for a quick hit of coastal enchantment.

4. Scarborough Beach

Laid-back family fun is what you’ll find on this friendly shore. Head 42 km north of Brisbane to reach Scarborough Beach. Here, you'll enjoy plush sands and panoramic views of Moreton Bay.

A neighboring forest speckles the beach with shady spaces to spread a blanket. Younger ones can split their time between the beach and a themed playground. Picnic tables offer plenty of space to lay out your barbecue fixings. Until the sunny shore calls you back for another round of familial relaxation, that is.

Surf Beaches

When the surfs up, the boards come out. When you want to hang ten, head to these Brisbane beaches.

5. Cylinder Beach, North Stradbroke Island

This shining coastal jewel is about 60 km from Brisbane. Cylinder Beach is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. With fine sands, pristine lounging spots, and an unparalleled view of the coast, how could it not be?

Take the plunge and paddle out to try your hand at a beloved beachy pastime. Lifeguard patrols make this one of the island’s safest beaches.

6. Main Beach, North Stradbroke Island

Main Beach is a picturesque starting point for your next surf. Under the toasty sun, even wipeouts are memorable.

Of course, you can always pause to take in the natural splendor of the place. Rounded dunes and seaside forests make an art-worthy landscape. The sky takes on a red and gold florid glow at the day's end. When you’re 76 km from Brisbane, you’ll want to make a day of it.

7. Frenchmans Beach, North Stradbroke Island

51 kilometers from downtown Brisbane, rock formations line the low dunes at Frenchmans Beach. Sun-soaked and eastern-facing, this shore draws avid surfers eager to try some new tricks. Armed with nothing but a board, beachgoers dive in just for the thrill of it. And as professional thrill-seekers ourselves, this is a pursuit we can get behind.

When you’ve had enough of the breaks, try your hand at rock fishing or spread out on the sand with your favorite beach read.

Photographer: Finn

8. Point Lookout, North Stradbroke Island

Point Lookout’s far-reaching beach is a North Stradbroke essential, and it's just 76 km from Brisbane. An immaculate surf break keeps surfers happy, and the non-surfers in your group can relax on the warm, white sands.

When you aren’t surfing or soaking up the sun, hike up the North Gorge Walk for impeccable views of the marine life below. Here, playful dolphins and migrating whales make happy holiday companions.

Relaxing and Secluded Beaches

Romance thrives on these rosy shores. Park your towels here for some of the best date ideas in Brisbane.

9. Honeymoon Bay, Moreton Island

There’s no better shore than Honeymoon Bay for all your beachside fantasies. This pocket-sized paradise is a short walk from Moreton Island’s popular campsites. Wander through the wildness toward this crescent-shaped utopia for the rom-com moment of your dreams.

Historical artifacts dot the trail, and lighthouse views wait at the walk’s end. Sprawling against these man-made wonders is the island’s natural splendor. Grand romantic gestures are easily made with help from a well-stocked picnic basket — Honeymoon Bay does the rest.

Another heart-pumping adventure awaits at Blue Lagoon, where paddleboards glide past forest-heavy shores. Moreton Island can only be reached by boat, so plan for this trip 40 kilometers off Brisbane’s coast.

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10. Amity Point, North Stradbroke Island

This quiet, coastal village has a big personality. Amity Point is alive with color, from the rainbow hues of paddling kayaks to the broad strokes of orange in the sky at sunset. These peaceful shores, just 41 km from Brisbane, invite visitors looking for a comfortable pause amid scores of natural beauty.

Classic seaside activities are on the menu here. You can ride bikes down village streets, perch on a rock to cast your fishing line, or settle into a park bench for beachy people-watching.

At the day’s end, head inside for some local seafood. Just make sure you poke your head outside when the sun goes down. The sunset views here are spectacular, and they offer a rare glimpse at the neighboring islands.

11. Flinders Beach, North Stradbroke Island

Take a day trip 65 km east of Brisbane to the vast shores of Flinders Beach. A rustic, expansive stretch of coast, these white sands gleam long and proud across North Stradbroke Island.

Go for a swim or relax on the sand. Flinders Beach pokes its long, planked pier into the sea, a dock that doubles as a prime fishing and diving point. Take a hike, fire up the barbecue, or grab your board and hit the surf.

12. Coochiemudlo Island Beaches

You’ll never run out of things to do in Brisbane. But when you need an escape from the city, hop on a ferry toward the lush wilderness on Coochiemudlo Island. This rare stretch of shore is unmarred by buildings. Instead, a warm band of golden sands meets the ocean, and natural wetlands grow unimpeded.

This delightfully secluded island is only 48 km from Brisbane. We can't think of a more peaceful place to spread your towels and soak up the sun. Hiking trails and boat rentals offer a taste of adventure.

13. Nudgee Beach

Mangrove trees dot the sand just past a quaint seaside village. A quick 19 km from Brisbane proper, Nudgee Beach is a peaceful escape from the city’s bustle. Queensland’s untamed wildness is on full display here, and that’s just the way we like it.

This Brisbane beach trades pristine white sands for rolling wetlands. If the natural beauty beneath your feet isn’t enough to wow you, just look up. At sunrise, a natural palette blooms in pinks and blues among the clouds above.

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Adventure and Water Sports

Wish your beach days came with a little more peril? These sandy stretches are heavy-handed with their thrills.

14. Tangalooma Wrecks, Moreton Island

In the 1960s, boat owners requested a man-made harbor for easy landing. Queensland leaders responded by sending 15 ships down to the sands. Today, the Tangalooma Wrecks doubles as an iconic tourist attraction, drawing beachgoers 48 kilometers from Brisbane to taste maritime intrigue.

Coral is the new captain of these shipwrecks, creating a haven for fish and the errant dolphin pod. Stake out a campground at the Tangalooma Wrecks on Moreton Island before diving into this journey through time. When the snorkels come off, embark on Moreton Island’s other adventures, from fishing to canoeing.

Photographer: Sisi Pennisi

15. Raby Bay Foreshore Park

This Queensland coast teems with rip-roaring recreation. Raby Bay Foreshore Park is a beachgoer’s dreamland, serving up plenty of classic aquatic activities. Dusted with powdery white sand, this shoreline blends relaxation and high-energy fun into one charmingly versatile package.

You can rent paddle boards, kayaks, and floating bikes at this multipurpose beach. Hop aboard your chosen ride and explore the bay as marine life bobs around you. Just 29 km from downtown Brisbane, this thrill-heavy spot is a popular local pick during school holidays.

16. Wellington Point

Leisure and adventure collide at Wellington Point. Less than 30 km from Brisbane's streets, this dashing bayside village offers visitors a dose of vibrant culture on their way to the shore. The sandy beach awaits eager loungers, and coastal cafés offer tasty morsels made for enjoying at salt-sprayed picnic tables.

But Wellington Point's crown jewel is the King Island Walk. Curious explorers can journey down its path when the sea parts and reveals a natural sand bridge. King Island waits at the end.

17. Moora Park Beach, Shorncliffe

Lush cotton trees cast shady shadows over this stretch of beach. Moora Park Beach rests at the base of Shorncliffe’s titular geographical feature, just 22 km from Brisbane proper. This shore is a local favorite for weekend getaways.

Set off from the pier for a cooling paddle on a hot summer day. Journey upward to the clifftops, where floral scents waft from a serene garden. Even young adventurers can enjoy the fun, thanks to a unique playground fitted with obstacles and fun beachy huts.

18. Bribie Island

Bribie Island is the smallest of Brisbane’s major island neighbors. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in stunning beauty. The crisp white stretch of Woorim Beach tempts a day of lazing.

Well-traveled trails offer an up-close look at the island’s flourishing flora. Bird-watchers delight in prime viewing points, while guests who travel by boat enjoy unmatched views from high peaks.

Pitch a tent for an epic coastal camping trip. Or, shack up in a quaint villa just off Banksia Beach. At 65 km from Brisbane, a mainland bridge makes the island easily reachable, although cars can’t cross every inch of its ecological splendor.

Discover the Sun-Soaked Shores and Hidden Gems of Brisbane’s Beaches on Your Next Coastal Escape

Sun-kissed faces and sandy shoes mark the end of a successful beach day. But when night falls, and you say goodbye to the coast, there are still adventures to be had.

Find your land legs and follow us into a wild and wacky wonderland. With our cast of high-flying acrobats at the helm, every journey with us is packed with tricks and breathless thrills. Each performance spins a tale taut with emotion and triumph.

Dazzling nights await. Take your pick of our shows in Brisbane today.

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