The Gold Coast boasts the state’s best spot to cool down this summer, according to a new list of top beaches released by Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) today.
The state’s peak authority on coastal and aquatic safety released its second annual list of Queensland’s top ten beaches today to celebrate the start of summer, with Burleigh taking out the overall honour ahead of Noosa Main Beach and Greenmount Beach.
Cylinder Beach on North Stradbroke Island and Alexandra Headland on the Sunshine Coast rounded out the top five, while Bundaberg, Mackay and Cairns also had beaches in the top ten.
SLSQ coastal safety officer Chantel Fife said a wide range of factors had been considered when compiling the list and selecting an overall winner.
“Safety is obviously our primary focus and, with that in mind, we considered a wide range of factors including everything from patrol times and services, right through to its incident history, coastal conditions and the quality of visitor information on display,” she said.
“After that we looked at other areas such as how user-friendly we thought the beach was, and this included things such as its location, access to parking and public transport, facilities and cleanliness.
“Burleigh’s a wonderful beach and it obviously ticks a lot of boxes; it’s easy to access, close to a lot of facilities, it’s often protected by the headland from prevailing conditions, and it’s patrolled 365 days of the year.
“It’s a great option for a quick dip in the surf this summer, or a trip to the beach with family and friends,” Mrs Fife said.
Last year, SLSQ recorded more than 180,000 beachgoers at Burleigh, with lifesavers at the beach performing 167 rescues, 111 first aid treatments and 2,553 preventative actions.
More recently the popular Gold Coast spot has been home to trials of specialised beach matting on Saturdays, allowing wheelchairs to gain access to the surf and sand.
With Queensland home to hundreds of beaches, Mrs Fife acknowledged there might be some people who disagreed with the decision to hand Burleigh the crown.
“There are so many beautiful beaches up and down Queensland’s coastline and everyone has their own favourite little spot they like to go to,” she said.
“Trying to narrow it down to one winner is always a difficult job, but in a way that’s a good problem for us – it shows how many wonderful beaches there are in Queensland.”
With summer officially kicking off this week, lifesavers and lifeguards are bracing for a significant influx of beachgoers over the coming weeks, and Mrs Fife urged anyone looking to cool off in the surf to put safety first at all times.
“At the end of the day, we don’t mind what beach you go to, as long as you play it safe and always swim between the red and yellow flags,” she said.
“The flagged areas not only represent the safest conditions on that particular beach, but are also patrolled by qualified surf lifesavers and lifeguards.”
SLSQ’s Top Ten Beaches for 2016/17*:
- Burleigh Beach – Gold Coast
- Noosa Main Beach – Sunshine Coast
- Greenmount Beach – Gold Coast
- Cylinder Beach – North Stradbroke Island
- Alexandra Headland – Sunshine Coast
- Mooloolaba Beach – Sunshine Coast
- North Burleigh Beach – Gold Coast
- Nielson Park Beach – Bundaberg
- Harbour Beach – Mackay
- Palm Cove – Cairns
* SLSQ’s criteria for compiling its list of top ten beaches includes a range of factors such as patrol times and service, safety signage, incident history, cleanliness, access to facilities, location and more.