Brisbane is blessed with a stunningly sunny climate, boasting some of the warmest year-round temperatures of any Australian capital city.
When the mercury rises, there are plenty of refreshing swimming spots to cool down in, as well as a wealth of sea and sand options to enjoy.
Searching for the perfect patch of sand to place your towel on? Whether you prefer a scenic gem close by or you’re happy to drive further out, here’s our selection of the best Brisbane beaches.
Is there anything more wholesome than a family day out at the beach? From first paddles and learning to surf, to joyful picnics and building sandcastles, it’s a quintessential summer experience that has to be done.
With little ones in tow, safety and organisation are key so we’ve got you covered with the following family-friendly beaches.
Streets Beach, South Bank
Starting with Australia’s only inner-city, man-made beach, the iconic Streets Beach is the closest beach to Brisbane CBD, located on the southern banks of the Brisbane River.
Spend a family day at Streets Beach. (Image: Sam Lindsay/Tourism and Events Queensland)
As a bucket list item all on its own, here you can relax next to the sparkling blue lagoon surrounded by white, sandy beaches and sub-tropical plants. The beach is free to use and patrolled by qualified lifeguards all year round.
Alongside Streets Beach sits two other aquatic spaces – the Boat Pool and Aquativity, the latter being an interactive water-play park for kids.
Streets Beach is Australia’s only inner-city, man-made beach.
Shorncliffe Beach, Shorncliffe
Just 25 minutes from Brisbane CBD is Shorncliffe Beach – a sleepy seaside village with a flat, safe stretch of beach that’s ready and waiting to be explored.
Head in the early morning and you’re guaranteed a stunning sunrise, filled with colourful, expansive skies as far as the eye can see. In the daytime, do some stand-up paddleboarding, or let the kids frolic in one of the surrounding play areas.
The still waters at Shorncliffe will leave you in a peaceful state of mind.
Suttons Beach, Redcliffe
Keep travelling 20 minutes north from Shorncliffe and you’ll find Suttons Beach in Redcliffe, a gorgeous strip of sand that is perfect for families. With sweeping views overlooking Moreton Island, the small waves here are ideal for those who want a gentle paddle.
Take a dip at Suttons Beach.
Head to the north end for shady grass areas and Suttons Beach Playground, as well as outdoor showers, toilets, BBQs, and picnic shelters. Or to stretch your legs alongside a scenic backdrop, make your way to the south end and follow the path around to Woody Point via the Gayundah wreck. Suttons Beach is patrolled by the Redcliffe Peninsula Surf Club.
Tangalooma Beach, Moreton Island (Mulgumpin)
If you want a real holiday feeling with a dose of adventure, take a 75-minute ferry over to Moreton Island (the third largest sand island in the world) for a slice of beach paradise.
Dip your toes in crystal clear water at Tangalooma beach. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
Only a few metres walk from Tangalooma Island Resort (which has food, drink, and other facilities available) Tangalooma Beach is a beautiful white sandy stretch with calm waters, making it inviting for a swim, snorkel, kayak, paddleboard, or even just to float around. There’s also a nightly attendance of a family of wild dolphins if you want to stick around and catch the last ferry back to Brisbane afterwards.
Tangalooma beach is a true slice of paradise. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
For families with older kids who are looking for more action, spend your day exploring the eight-kilometre-long beach by quad bike, sandboarding the 100-metre-high dunes, or snorkelling the famous Tangalooma Wrecks.
Put your helmets on and join in on the fun driving quads on Tangalooma beach. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
Banksia Beach, Bribie Island
Brisbane is spoilt with neighbouring islands, including Bribie Island – Queensland’s only offshore island connected to the mainland by a bridge. The journey takes about 90 minutes from the CBD.
Bribie Island is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
This relatively untouched spot at Banksia Beach offers exquisite coastal scenery, low-key bush camping spots, popular boating and fishing areas in the famous Pumicestone Passage, as well as excellent birdwatching opportunities and spring wildflowers.
Let’s not forget our four-legged friends who love to hit their step count at the beach. Not only does a trip here keep them active, but it’s a great opportunity to enjoy off-leash time, have a paddle, and socialise with other dogs.
Fortunately, Brisbane is surrounded by an abundance of coastal inlets so there’s always somewhere nearby to let your dog have some off-leash fun. Here are some of the most highly recommended dog beaches in Brisbane.
Colmslie Beach Reserve, Murarrie
Shaded on the sandy bank of the Brisbane River, you’ll find Colmslie Beach at the end of a foliage-clad parkland. The parkland comes complete with flying foxes, slides, picnic spots, and bike tracks which are all fit for a day of exploring before you cool off in the water. It’s also a completely off-leash area, meaning well-trained dogs can enjoy the reserve too.
Raby Bay Foreshore Park, Cleveland
Just 30-minutes south of Brisbane is this local gem, complete with three swimming coves with sandy beaches. The calm waters are suitable for all ages, and you can hire a kayak or stand-up paddleboard right on the shore. The area is dog-friendly, with a designated off-leash area, complete with rubbish bags, bins, and water bowls.
Spend the afternoon on a paddle in Cleveland. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
Manly Foreshore, Manly
Also on the south side of Brisbane is Manly Foreshore where dogs are welcome to wander off-leash on the foreshore (the area between the high and low tide mark). Head to the beach area at the end of Davenport Drive, between the southern rock wall and the northern rock wall.
Sandgate-Brighton Foreshore, Sandgate
Similar to Raby Bay and Manly, Sandgate is the north-side equivalent to off-leash freedom on the foreshore. The area runs from the stairs to the foreshore on the corner of Flinders Parade/Second Avenue in Sandgate, all the way to the corner of Park Parade/Zeehan Street in Shorncliffe.
Walk along Sandgate and enjoy the fresh air. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
Queens Beach North, Redcliffe
Dogs can be exercised off-leash at any time along the Flinders Parade beachfront between the stairs and the northern rock groyne, on sand and water only.
Red Beach, Bribie Island
Nestled on the southeast point of Bribie Island, Red Beach is an especially popular dog-friendly beach. This eight-kilometre beach can be accessed from Tully Street and allows for leashed dogs to run, swim and play. Red Beach generally doesn’t experience rough waves, which is perfect for dog owners to take a relaxing dip with their pooches.
For those who want to catch a wave, the Gold Coast isn’t the only go-to place to surf – you might be surprised by what Brisbane’s beaches have to offer.
Cylinder Beach, North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah)
North Stradbroke Island is packed with picturesque swimming spots along its shores – and one of the best is Cylinder Beach.
Cylinder beach is a paradise on earth for surfers. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
Situated between the Cylinder and Home Beach Headlands, you’ll find smaller, accessible waves and greater protection from obtrusive winds. The spot is expertly patrolled and is one of the most consistently beautiful surf options on the island.
Main Beach, North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah)
Speaking of North Straddie, it would be remiss not to mention the great Main Beach attraction that calls this island home.
Enjoy the ride at Main Beach. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
This popular surf beach stretches for 38 kilometres along the eastern side and is a popular option for strong swimmers and surfers – thanks to stronger breaks than the opposing Cylinder Beach. This spot is also protected from the northerly winds by a large headland.
Woorim Beach, Bribie Island
Back to Bribie Island, Woorim Beach is a popular surfing spot and the closest surf beach north of Brisbane. Surf Lifesaving Queensland advises the area typically sees a low shore break that closes out in bigger surf. With Moreton Island protecting Bribie from southerly swells, waves average between 0.5 and one metre along this beach but can be much larger.
Tropical beauty on Bribie Island.
If you thought you had to travel to the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast to find popular beaches, you thought wrong! Bookmark this list of the best beaches in Brisbane for the next time you’re ready to hit the sand.