Five ‘hidden’ beaches close to Brisbane

Road Trip
Visit these spectacular but lesser-known beaches only a short daytrip from Brisbane.
Waves lapping at the shoreline of a beach.

If there’s one thing we love as Queenslanders, it’s our beaches, as well as an epic road trip with friends and a perfectly curated playlist to get us there.

Here are five ‘hidden’ beaches only a short, day trip from Brisbane with loads of coastal charm and the least amount of people.

Brunswick Heads, northern NSW

While Byron Bay may be the happening place, fewer than 20km up the highway is a northern NSW local secret, Brunswick Heads. This relaxed, coastal town may be known for its pristine, white sand beaches but if you’re wanting to explore a little further there are multiple hinterland bush walks, a short stroll from the beach which are ideal for any nature lover. Another must-do at this one-street wonder-town is making sure you pencil in time for lunch at The Hotel Brunswick after a morning spent soaking up sunshine on the beach.

Third Bay, Coolum Beach

Arguably the best-kept secret on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Third Bay at Coolum is accessed via a long, winding 85m trail through the Yaroomba-Coolum Foreshore Bushland Conservation Reserve. Seclusion is the name of the game for this hidden gem, with only true locals and those with the inside scoop knowing how to gain access to this beach. So, if you’re looking to avoid the crowds or are seeking the ideal location to spend a day perched on the beach with a group of friends, a picnic basket and your favourite tunes to set the scene, then this beach has your next road trip written all over it. 

South Burleigh Headland, Burleigh Heads

In a battle of north and south that doesn’t transcend state borders, ensure you make the day trip to the lesser-known South Burleigh Headland rather than the ever-popular North Burleigh. Step away from the hustle and bustle of families scattered along Gold Coast’s most popular beaches, wander down the path from the southern end of the National Park near Tallebudgera Creek and emerge to a secluded subtropical oasis well worth the day trip.

Froggy Beach, Coolangatta

This under-the-radar perch of sand is tucked away between Snapper Rocks and Point Danger and is worth investing money – petrol money that is. On the more southern end of Gold Coast’s expansive coastline, this private paradise has the most potential for producing some stunning photos, worthy of a social media post. With pandanus palms and seaside rockpools lining the shores and minimal competition on where to pitch your umbrella for the day, the location of this beach is a valuable secret to keep to yourself.

Cabarita Beach, northern NSW

Just a short drive off the main road, through some small coastal towns, Cabarita in northern NSW is a diamond in the rough worth crossing into NSW for. Drive over Norries Headland for the best view of the beach in this quaint town, as you look for the ideal spot to set up camp with a book and some sunscreen for the day. Regularly frequented by local surfers rather than tourists, this lesser-known expanse of ocean is just south of the border and exudes a relaxed, seaside atmosphere perfect for a restorative day trip to the beach.

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Things to note

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice, not intended as legal advice or professional advice and does not take into account any person’s particular circumstances. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives and needs.