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Gold Coast Beach Guide

There’s more to the Gold Coast than Surfer’s Paradise. Head out in search of some springtime sun and explore the Gold Coast’s many beaches – from Burleigh Heads and Bilinga to the secluded shores of South Stradbroke Island.

Begin your beach break in Bilinga

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A logical (not to mention, breathtakingly beautiful) first stop for travellers picking up a car hire at the Gold Coast Airport, Bilinga Beach is mere minutes from the tarmac – which means you’ll be able to sink your toes into the sand as soon as you step off your flight. A perfect place to get your feet wet before the journey ahead and one of the longest beaches on the Gold Coast to boot, you’ll have no trouble finding a little piece of paradise to call your own before continuing on your coastal adventure.

Relax in Rainbow Bay

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One of only two north-facing beaches in the region, Rainbow Bay is worth a slight southerly detour – even if only for the spectacular view. Look out across the Coral Sea to South Stradbroke Island and the pockets of white sand beaches interspersed in between and you’ll soon find yourself faced with a classic Gold Coast conundrum: stay for the serene waters and ideal swimming conditions the south has become known for, or cruise further up the coast for the crashing waves and world-class surf breaks of the north.

Catch a break at Burleigh Heads

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Travellers beckoned to the Gold Coast by the promise of spectacular surfing will be blown away by Burleigh Heads – one of the best breaks in the country and host to world-famous professional surfing competitions each year. Backed by tall pines and complete with ample amenities, this stretch of coastline is as suited to spectators as it is to surfers, so sunbathers shouldn’t have any fears about fitting in. The best bit? The foreshore stares out onto the soaring skyscrapers of Surfer’s Paradise, which means you can appreciate the big city without ever leaving your board – or your beach towel.

Keep cool in Kurrawa

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Sun seekers who want to break up their beach day with a spot of shopping can’t look past Kurrawa Beach, where café culture and a premier shopping precinct leave plenty to do if you’ve overdosed on surf, sun and sand. Follow the promenade to Pacific Fair for big-name brands and boutiques, or, make a bee-line to Kurrawa Park, where the Broadbeach Art and Craft Markets burst with everything from fresh produce to fashion on the first and third Sunday of each month.

Find solitude on South Stradbroke Island

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While not as well-known as its northern neighbour, North Stradbroke Island – affectionately known as “Straddie” to the locals – South Stradbroke Island feels worlds away from the flurry of activity found on the Gold Coast’s mainland. Unspoilt largely due to the fact that the island is friendly to foot-traffic only, you’ll need to leave your car behind to discover the isle’s dense forests and isolated beaches. A secluded sanctuary unlike anything else in the region, South Stradbroke Island is the perfect place to savour one last stretch of sand before dropping your car hire back in Brisbane and returning to reality – until your next adventure, that is.

Can you feel the beaches beckoning? Pick up a car hire direct from the Gold Coast airport and get ready to sink your toes into the sand in sunny Queensland.

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