5 beaches near Brisbane: Where to go for sun, sand, and surf

Published by: BouncePosted Updated
Beaches near Brisbane

Beach life is a part of Australian culture. Virtually all the major cities of this vast country are located on the coast, so it's not hard to enjoy a beach or two, even in some of Australia's most densely populated areas.

That's as true in Brisbane as it is anywhere else. Located on the East Coast of Australia between legendary destinations like the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast, Brisbane CBD is virtually surrounded by incredible outdoor locations, including beautiful beaches. And because there are so many beaches to enjoy in this area, you can more or less choose your own adventure. You can go for a busy and built-up resort great for people-watching, bars, and restaurants, or enjoy a more unspoiled and isolated location that will make you feel like you're much further from the city than you really are.

Whatever kind of beach you choose, you'll have a better time if you don't carry more than you need to. Drop off any unnecessary bags at a luggage storage in Brisbane and bring only what you need to the beach. There's nothing like the freedom of traveling with just a swimsuit, a towel, and a bottle of sunscreen, so take advantage of Bounce luggage storage facilities to travel light.

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Best beaches in Brisbane

Streets Beach

This may not be the most authentic beach near Brisbane, but it makes up for its artificiality with its location. The only man-made inner city beach in Australia, Streets Beach is the place to go if you want to enjoy the classic Australian beach life without leaving the city.

Travel distance from Brisbane

Located on the Brisbane River close to the South Bank ferry terminal, Streets Beach is reachable from just about anywhere in the city. You can easily get there from Brisbane Central Station with a 15-minute train ride, or just walk the two km distance yourself.

Activity recommendations

Swimming: The white sand and crystal clear waters of the man-made lagoon here are the ideal setting for swimming in a hot Brisbane summer. Lifeguards keep an eye on the beach all year round, so you can feel safe about swimming here, and there are no waves or marine animals to worry about. That makes this beach endlessly popular with Brisbane families, providing a place to swim without heading to the coast itself.

Aquativity Playground: If the beach isn't enough to keep the kids entertained, this playground will be. Let them burn off some energy while you enjoy the sunshine, read a book, or just relax and soak up the lively urban atmosphere of this unique place.

Because of its urban location and with everything there is to do in the area, Streets Beach is a great place to visit at any time of year. Even if you don't feel like swimming, it's a pleasant place for a walk, and this bustling area has tons of bars and restaurants to enjoy.

North Stradbroke Island

North Stradbroke Island

This huge island lies just off the coast of Brisbane and provides an excellent way to get away from the city and explore the wilder side of Australia. Its location means that North Stradbroke Island offers a variety of beaches, from more exposed locations on the east coast to more sheltered beaches on the west side. Either way, the island is home to some of the best beaches near Brisbane, so it's well worth checking out while you're in the area.

Travel distance from Brisbane

North Stradbroke Island is only around 60 km from central Brisbane, though the fact you'll need to take a ferry ride there makes it feel a lot further away than it really is. The ferry ride takes around an hour by itself, so you can expect to spend around two hours reaching the island. Because of its size, it's helpful to have a car to explore and find the best beach North Stradbroke Island has to offer.

Activity recommendations

Cylinder Beach: Cylinder Beach is widely known as being one of the best beaches for surfing anywhere near Brisbane. Patrolled by lifeguards every day of the year, the beach offers gentle waves that are perfect for those just getting the hang of the sport. You'll find tons of surf guides and equipment rental shops in the area so you can try the sport for yourself. Cylinder Beach is also a good option for swimming, as the waves are never that intense.

Flinders Beach: Another great beach on North Stradbroke Island, or Straddie as locals call it, Flinders Beach offers eight kilometers of beautiful sand with gentle right-handers for surfing and unpatrolled swimming. It's also possible to get a permit to take a four-wheel-drive vehicle onto the beach, which is unusual for beaches near Brisbane.

Scuba diving: Straddie is also home to some of the best scuba diving in Australia. Head to Point Lookout, where you can take part in a tour of Manta Bommie, one of the best dive sites in the country.

North Stradbroke Island offers some incredible activities, so there's much more to do here than just hang out on the beaches, as phenomenal as they are. For that reason, this huge island is a great place to visit at any time of year. Hiking, diving, fishing, boating, and cultural experiences are all on offer here, and they're also some quaint towns to explore that make great places to stay.

Suttons Beach near Brisbane

Suttons Beach

Located in Redcliffe, Suttons Beach is one of the easiest to reach from Brisbane. As well as being a beautiful beach, Suttons Beach has immense historic importance and is a great place to explore the history and culture of Australia while still enjoying the natural environment, too.

Travel distance from Brisbane

It's only around 40 miles from central Brisbane to Suttons Beach, so you can make the drive in about 40 minutes. It's also possible to take a train from Brisbane Central to Kippa-Ring Station, then take bus 680 for 10 minutes or so to reach the beach.

Activity recommendations

Suttons Beach Park: Suttons Beach is part of this beautiful coastal park and is the main attraction in the area. The beach is patrolled, making it safe for swimming, and the surf here is usually gentle. The park also contains barbecue facilities so you can indulge in that great Australian tradition of barbecuing on the beach. There's even a playground, beach showers, and cycle paths to explore.

Settlement Cove Lagoon: If the open water isn't for you, check out this pretty artificial lagoon on Redcliffe Parade that's an ideal place for kids to take a paddle and build up their swimming abilities. It's facilities like this that make Suttons Beach one of the best beaches near Brisbane for families.

Redcliffe Museum: This is the place to come to uncover more of the local history of this area. Redcliffe was the first site of European settlement in Queensland, so it holds quite an important place in Australian history, and you can learn more about not only that but also the thriving art and cultural scene of this community in the museum.

Bribie Island beaches near Brisbane

Red Beach

Located on Bribie Island, this beautiful beach is a great place to enjoy an incredible natural environment. Dogs are allowed on the beach here, and the calm waters also make it a wonderful place to swim. Plus, the area has a lot to recommend it, and it's easy to reach from the city.

Travel distance from Brisbane

Located 75 miles from downtown Brisbane, Red Beach can be reached by car in around an hour and 15 minutes. You can also take a train and then a bus which will take around two hours, depending on your connections.

Activity recommendations

Watch the sunrise: Both sunrise and sunset are spectacular on this beach, with views of Moreton Island out in the bay. But if you're an early riser, sunrise brings smaller crowds, and you may even spot wild dolphins playing in the surf of this beautiful beach.

Buckley's Hole Conservation Park: This park preserves a beautiful lagoon that is home to some fascinating wildlife, including native black swans. It's also a wonderful place to fish, with lots of species calling the water here home.

Woorim Beach: Just around the corner from Red Beach, Woorim Beach offers scenery that's just as incredible but even fewer crowds. One of the best Brisbane beaches to get away from it all, this beautiful location faces Moreton Island and is one of the highlights of Bribie Island. Red Beach and Woorim Beach together provide some of the most beautiful beaches in the area.

Moreton Island beaches near Brisbane

Moreton Island

Visible from Bribie Island, Moreton Island is another large island off the East Coast of Brisbane that makes a fantastic place to explore. The closest island to the city, Moreton Island offers an incredible range of outdoor activities that make it a fantastic place to visit at any time of year.

Travel distance from Brisbane

The best way to reach Moreton Island is by taking a car ferry from Brisbane. The ferry crossing itself takes an hour and a half, so this is a journey that overall takes around two hours plus. Still, it's very handy to have a car on the island so that you can get around and explore.

Activity recommendations

Snorkeling: The clear waters off the island make a great place to see local wildlife. Snorkel the Tangalooma Wrecks to see an astonishing variety of marine life and some atmospheric shipwrecks at the same time. This is a great way to enjoy the very best of Brisbane's natural environment.

Beaches: Moreton Island offers a great range of beaches to explore, including some of the best beaches Queensland has to offer. Iconic locations like Tangalooma Beach, with its white sand and crystal clear waters, tiny Honeymoon Bay, with its isolated and romantic charm, and Cowan Cowan, closed to vehicle traffic, give Moreton Island a beach to match whatever your tastes may be.

Whale watching: From June to November, the waters of Brisbane become one of the best destinations in the world to see the annual migration of humpback whales. If you're lucky, you may even spot these ocean giants from land at places like Cape Moreton. But for the best chance of spotting whales, you can book a place on a boat tour that will take you for an unforgettable encounter with the local wildlife.

Best beaches close to Brisbane


Despite being one of Australia's biggest cities, Brisbane has an incredible selection of beaches to explore. And some of the best beaches in all of Queensland are remarkably close to the city. Not only do these beaches make great places to relax and enjoy the natural side of Australia, but in this often expensive city, they also provide some great options if you're traveling to Brisbane on a budget.

With so many beaches close to the city, it's easy to explore some of Queensland's best beaches on a day trip from Brisbane. But many of the beaches, not to mention the islands off the coast, are even better as destinations for weekend getaways from Brisbane. Either way, you'll have a great time getting better acquainted with the natural side of Australia.

Leave your bags behind in a Brisbane luggage storage, and you'll be able to travel light and bring only what you need to enjoy these incredible locations. Beach life is a major part of Australian culture, so don't miss the chance to enjoy the great outdoors the way the locals do while in Brisbane.

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