Hugging the Sunshine Coast’s coastline are some of the most picturesque, well-cared for patches of sand you’ll step your manicured feet onto along the East Coast of Australia. Think: sand so white it’ll burn the eyeballs of any beachgoer sans sunglasses and water so clear that you can see the fish you’re swimming with. The Sunshine Coast’s beaches are truly what magic summer days are made of.
Whether you’re planning a road trip around our slice of paradise or you're merely up for a weekend toddle to the beach, we’ve ranked the Sunshine Coast's best beaches in 2022 to take the guess work out.
Noosa Main Beach
Yes, it can be covered with more tourists than you can poke your beach umbrella at, but if you get past the melting pot of conversations happening around you, then Noosa Main Beach is hands down one of the best beaches on the Sunshine Coast. Facing north, it’s the sheltered place to run to when most of the coast’s beaches are blown out. While you're here, take the time to walk through the national park, taking a dip in the coves along the way. Want to enjoy the beach without actually stepping on it? Pull up a chair at the Noosa Surf Club or at one of the fancy cafes dotted along the boardwalk.
Like getting your kit off? Well, this nudist-friendly paradise is where you can make that happen. Recently named in the Top 15 of Tripadvisor's Best Aussie Beaches and tucked between Sunshine Beach and Noosa, A-Bay (as the locals cal it) only welcomes those who are eager enough to trek the 20-minute walk from wherever you parked your car (way longer if you’re entering from the Noosa end). Totally worth the sweaty mission in summer, but don’t forget supplies—there’s nothing worse then leaving after an hour because you left the water in the car and didn’t even think about food.
Cotton Tree Beach
Slow down the pace and hop to Cotton Tree, the small waterside town close to Maroochydore. Open beach meets Maroochy River, and with park barbecues at the ready for those easy summer lunches, you won’t have to move too far at all. It's simple, it's laidback and it's one of the best Sunshine Coast beaches.
This little gem can be overlooked pretty easily with two much bigger beaches on either side of it. But make the effort to find it (tip: you’ll notice the carpark as you head around the bend on your way south from Coolum Beach), and you’ll get to enjoy a picturesque, greenery-fringed cove, away from the crowds. No flags here, but when it's one of the best beaches on the Sunshine Coast, you're still going to want to check it out.
Backed by the famous Mooloolaba Esplanade, Mooloolaba Beach is the ultimate example of the healthy, laidback, beach-living lifestyle that Queensland is renowned for. If your ideal beach day starts with a stamp on the pavement decked out in active wear followed by a fresh juice then a swim, Mooloolaba Beach needs to be on your hit list.
If you like your beaches with water that’s a little bit more predictable, lay down your towel on the shores of Currimundi Lake. Opening onto the open ocean but with a gentle-moving current, the lake is a massive drawcard for young families and Iet-me-faceplant-the-water toddlers. One of the best Sunshine Coast beaches to take it slow at.
Oh Moffs, you little gem of the south. If you’re staying in Caloundra, suss out this little pocket and you’ll come face to face with a park, a fun point break, one of the best beaches on the Sunshine Coast and a cluster of cafes. Need to get moving? Follow the beachfront path around the headland to Kings, then on to Bulcock Beach—we rate it as one of the best beach walks in the region.
An untouched Caloundra beauty, you’ll only be sharing the sand here with residents in the beachfront properties or wandering tourists who have their beach-radar on high alert. Not the best spot to swim, but if an afternoon walk is on the agenda Shelly Beach is the place to make it happen. One of the most hidden in our roundup of the best beaches on the Sunshine Coast.
Now that you've splashed your way around our sparkling waters, it's time you filled that hole in your stomach. Hit up our 2022 guide to the best breakfasts on the Sunshine Coast for all your brunching needs.
Image credits: Claire Plush, Amy Higg Photography and Lumea Photo