12 of the Very Best Beaches on the Sunshine Coast

This article covers 12 of the very best beaches on the Sunshine Coast!

The Queensland Travel Guide acknowledges the Kabi Kabi peoples and the Jinibara peoples, the Traditional Custodians of the land on which the Sunshine Coast is situated. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continued spiritual and cultural connections to Country. Always was, always will be, Aboriginal land.

When I get the urge for a beach holiday, one of my favourite places to go is the Sunshine Coast. Why? Because the beaches in the Sunshine Coast are some of the very best in all of Queensland!

So, if you’re hunting for the perfect patch of sand to park your towel, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re into surfing monster waves, building sandcastles with the kids, or just want to chill with a book and the sound of the ocean, you’ll find your perfect Sunshine Coast beach within this guide.

From the hidden gems where you can escape the crowds to the bustling beaches with all the ice cream you can eat, this guide is packed with all the details you need to enjoy the sunny vibes.

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With no particular order – here is my guide to the best beaches on the Sunshine Coast!

1. Noosa Main Beach

Noosa Main Beach is one of the few beaches on Australia’s east coast facing north. This is super cool because it means it’s sheltered from those pesky south and southeast winds, giving you calmer waters that are perfect for swimming. Its calm waters make it ideal for families and less confident swimmers. 

For the wave-hunters, though, don’t worry — there’s enough surf to keep things interesting, especially towards the beach’s eastern end. Surfboards and bodyboards are a common sight, and if you want to join in but don’t have the gear, there are plenty of places nearby to rent some.

Strolling along the boardwalk at Noosa Main Beach is almost as popular as the beach itself. Hasting Street is lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes; you’ll find everything from grab-and-go eats to sit-down fancy meals. Fancy a seafood platter with a view? You’ve got it. Or maybe a quick gelato as you meander along the boardwalk?

Noosa Main Beach also nails it with the amenities — showers, bathrooms, and lifeguards are all here.  There is lots of parking too; however, given the beaches’ popularity, parking can be scarce.

Click here for our full guide on things to do in Noosa.

2. Mooloolaba Beach

Mooloolaba Beach features beautiful soft sand and a wide esplanade perfect for strolling or cycling.  The beach is patrolled year round and is known for its excellent conditions for both swimming and surfing. It’s also great for families looking to enjoy a beach day with all the amenities nearby.

Along the beachfront, you’ll find all the facilities you need for a great day out, including BBQ facilities, toilets, showers, and playgrounds. Plus there’s plenty of parking.

The Mooloolaba Esplanade is lined with various cafes, restaurants, and shops, providing plenty of options for dining and shopping.  And if you forgot any of your gear, you can rent everything from surfboards to snorkels from the shops on the beachfront.

So whether you’re looking to surf, swim, eat, or just lay back and take in the sea breeze, Mooloolaba Beach is your go-to spot.

3. Coolum Beach

Coolum Beach offers a mix of rocky coves and long sandy stretches, making it a favourite among surfers and sunbathers. The year round patrolled beach is less commercial than others, offering a more laid-back vibe.

Coolum packs a punch when it comes to surf. The waves here are just right for surfers looking to catch a good ride without battling a crowd. While there is a great wide stretch of sand perfect for beach games, long walks, or even just zoning out under the sun.

The main beach area is backed by a bustling little esplanade that’s chock-full of cafes, restaurants, and the obligatory fish and chip shops. You can grab a snack and head back to the beach or sit down for a leisurely meal with an ocean view.

In terms of facilities you’ll find BBQ areas, public toilets, and showers are available. Parking is ample, and there’s a playground for children.

4. Kings Beach

Located in Caloundra, Kings Beach is renowned for its family-friendly atmosphere and beautiful views. 

The year round patrolled beach is a hit with families, and for good reason. There’s a saltwater pool right on the beach, perfect for the kids or anyone who’s not big on wave dodging. There’s also a great little water play area for the kids, as well as playgrounds.

If you’re into surfing, don’t worry – the waves here get plenty of thumbs up from local surfers. And when the tide pulls back, the rock pools make for a top-notch nature walk.

There are plenty of BBQ and picnic spots to grill up a feast. Or, if cooking feels like too much work, the boardwalk is dotted with places to eat where you can sit back, enjoy a meal, and watch the ocean do its thing.

Facilities include toilets, showers, BBQ spots, picnic areas, playgrounds, and disability access. There’s plenty of parking around too, although it gets filled up fast during peak times, so you might need to be prepared for a bit of a hike down to the beach.

5. Alexandra Headland

Known affectionately as ‘Alex’ to the locals, this beach is popular with both surfers and skaters thanks to its well-known surf break and nearby skate park. Alexandra Headland is perfect for those looking for a vibrant beach culture. It’s great for young people and families alike.

The year round patrolled beach has a laid-back strip dotted with cafes and shops catering to the beach crowd and locals. It’s not as bustling as some other spots, which means you’ll easily be able to find a parking spot and a good roomy spot on the sand.

With consistent breaks, it’s a hit with surfers looking to catch some decent waves. Not a surfer? No worries. The skate park nearby is always buzzing with energy, and it’s just as fun to watch the action there as it is to dive into the surf.

If it’s too cold for a dip in the ocean, there is a great walking path along the scenic coastline. The path stretches far enough to feel like you’ve earned that ice cream or cold beer at the end, and the views are a pretty sweet payoff.

You’ll also find public toilets, showers, a playground and picnic areas along the beachfront.

6. Little Cove Noosa

Ahhhh, Little Cove is one of my favourite Sunshine Coast beaches!  Tucked away between Noosa Main Beach’s hustle and Noosa National Park’s greenery, this spot is a bit of a local secret.

Little Cove is where you go when you want to escape the typical beach crowd. Getting here though, is a bit of a hike, but the scenic walk is well worth the effort and entirely doable, even if you’re carrying a cooler, beach chairs, or a couple of kids.

While Little Cove is not patrolled, the water here is calm, making it ideal for a leisurely swim or paddleboarding. It’s also a great spot just to float around.  If you’re up for more activity, the rocks around the cove offer some fun exploring opportunities.

Being a secluded little spot, you won’t find any facilities here—so no toilets or shops. However, you’re only a short walk from Hastings Street, and let’s face it, the reason you came here was its secluded spot anyway!

7. Rainbow Beach

Rainbow Beach is a bit off the beaten track, which means by the time you roll into town, you’ve left your everyday worries somewhere along the dusty road behind you. 

The beach is a broad sweep of sand, with enough room to throw a frisbee, set up a cricket game, or just find a quiet spot to chill and watch the waves. The beach is patrolled year round and has standard facilities such as toilets and showers.  

The beach is named for its colourful sand cliffs, a sight to behold. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can explore the cliffs up close on one of the walking tracks, which offer incredible coastline views.

Rainbow Beach is a gateway to some cool natural attractions. Fancy a drive? The beach is one of the few places you can legally drive a 4WD along the shore, heading up to the famous Double Island Point (another one of my very favourite places in this part of Queensland!). 

After a day of adventure, the town has a friendly, small-community feel with just enough cafes and shops to keep you fed and entertained.

8. Bulcock Beach

With its calm waters, thanks to the friendly embrace of the Pumicestone Passage, Bulcock Beach is a favourite for paddleboarders, kayakers, and families with little ones.  The beach is patrolled, making it safe for all swimming abilities.

Bulcock Beach isn’t just about water activities. The boardwalk along the beach is perfect for a stroll, offering picturesque views with plenty of benches along the way where you can take a break and maybe even catch a sunset.

The beachfront also offers plenty of facilities, including BBQs, picnic areas, toilets, and showers, so you can make a full day of it. There are also some great playgrounds close by for the kids.

Located in the heart of Caloundra, Bulcock Beach is surrounded by a variety of cafes and shops, making it super convenient to grab a bite or a drink without having to stray too far from your beach towel. 

The Sunday markets are a local highlight, offering everything from fresh produce to crafts.

9. Cotton Tree

Cotton Tree Beach is a favourite among my family and friends. Tucked away in the Maroochydore area, this beach is less about the hustle and more about kicking back and soaking in the coastal charm.

The water at Cotton Tree is calm and inviting, thanks to its sheltered location near the mouth of the Maroochy River. It’s ideal for those who are into water sports but prefer not to battle big waves. Think paddleboarding, kayaking, and sailing. For swimmers, the gentle waters make for perfect conditions to float around without a care.

Around the beach, there’s a great walking path perfect for a leisurely stroll or jog, as well as BBQ facilities, picnic tables, playgrounds, toilets, and showers.  The area is also dotted with quaint cafes and eateries where you can grab a coffee, a meal, or just a quick snack to refuel.

And for those who like to mix a bit of shopping with their beach time, there are some charming little shops where you can hunt for everything from local crafts to surf gear. Plus, if you’re around on a Sunday, you can’t miss the local markets that pop up, offering everything from fresh produce to handcrafted goods.

Keep in mind that Cotton Tree isn’t patrolled, but it is near Maroochydore Beach, which is patrolled.

Click here for our full guide on things to do in Maroochydore.

10. Currimundi Lake

Currimundi Lake, or as the locals call it, “Currimundi”, is a popular spot for families, especially those with younger kids, because the water here is calm and shallow. You can actually relax while the kids splash around without worrying about big waves sweeping them off their feet.

As well as swimming, kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddleboarding are big hits here. And if you still want a taste of the ocean, a patrolled beach is just a short stroll away. 

There’s a walking track around the lake, as well as facilities such as BBQs, picnic tables, toilets, and showers. For the little ones, there’s also a playground.

Shops and places to grab a bite to eat are limited, but there are a few just across the road from the lake.  As you can imagine though, these get incredibly busy during peak hours, so plan accordingly.

11. Tea Tree Bay

If Little Cove isn’t secluded enough for you – then you’ll want to walk a bit further into the Noosa National Park for the gorgeous Tea Tree Bay.  The path from Noosa Main Beach to Tea Tree Bay is nothing short of spectacular, winding through lush bushland with occasional vistas that’ll make you want to stop for a photo (or ten). 

Once you arrive, you’ll find a picturesque bay with crystal clear waters and a backdrop of dense greenery—an ideal setting for a peaceful day in or out of the water. The waves here are generally calm, perfect for swimming or floating around. Surfers can find some decent breaks on a good day, especially for those who prefer a less crowded line-up.

No shops or restaurants are here, so remember to pack what you need. That also goes for toilets – there aren’t any – nor are there any lifeguards on duty, so do take caution.

12. Peregian Beach

Peregian Beach is a local favourite on the Sunshine Coast, known for its laid-back charm and slightly off-the-beaten-path feel. It’s the kind of place you go when you want to escape the usual tourist traps and enjoy a more local beach life vibe.

The waves at Peregian are just right for bodysurfing, board riding, or even frolicking in the foam. They’re not too wild but certainly not too tame, making them ideal for families and casual surfers alike. Plus, there’s plenty of space, with a wide stretch of sand, offering plenty of room for everyone to find their perfect spot.

The beach is patrolled, and all the facilities you need are here, including toilets, showers, and ample parking. Nearby Peregian Beach Villages provides a great mix of boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants, so whether you’re after a quick fish and chips or a sit-down meal, you’ll find something to satisfy your cravings. 

The village atmosphere near the shore is part of its charm. There’s a grassy square where community events and markets are held, offering everything from local crafts to gourmet snacks. It’s a great spot to wander around, grab a coffee, or enjoy live music on market days.

Hopefully, this guide has got you super excited about visiting the Sunshine Coast.

If you’re planning a trip up the coast, I highly recommend you check out our Sunshine Coast guide, which provides links to everything you need to know to plan your trip. For a start, you should definitely read the guide on all there is to do on the Sunshine Coast.

I’d also recommend you join our free Queensland Travel Guide Facebook community, where you can ask all your questions and find even more great trip suggestions.

If you’re heading to the Sunshine Coast, you might also be interested in the following nearby hinterland destinations: