Cylinder Beach on North Stradbroke Island has been named as the state’s top beach to cool down at 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 third annual list of Queensland’s top ten beaches today to celebrate the start of summer, with Cylinder Beach taking out the overall honour ahead of Noosa Main Beach (Sunshine Coast) and Greenmount Beach (Gold Coast).
Mooloolaba (Sunshine Coast) and Coolangatta (Gold Coast) rounded out the top five, while Alma Bay at Magnetic Island made the list at number 10.
SLSQ chief operating officer George Hill 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,” he 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.
“Cylinder was a clear winner this year; it has been quite protected from the strong prevailing winds we experienced and that has created a lot of sand along the beach; there were less strong sweeps, providing great conditions for swimmers.
“It’s also patrolled 365 days a year and has a lot of facilities and parking nearby, not to mention some of the best lifeguards and volunteer surf lifesavers in the country, proving very popular for families holidaying on the island,” explained Mr Hill.
SLSQ recorded more than 304,331 beachgoers at Cylinder, with surf lifesavers and lifeguards performing 30 rescues, 3,677 first aid treatments and 20,725 preventative actions in the 2016/17 season.
Last year’s winner, Burleigh Heads, dropped several places this year, largely due to those NE winds.
“Burleigh has copped a lot of NE winds, which has sculpted out quite a gutter in the front of the beach, which poses a bit more of a risk to young children and families than in previous years,” he said.
A surprising debut on this year’s list is Streets Beach at South Bank.
“We can understand that a lot of people may question Streets Beach, but when looking at our criteria, it rated very well,” Mr Hill said.
“It has extended hours of supervision, good facilities for families, and provides an alternative to families looking to escape the heat of summer but not able to head to the coast.
With Queensland home to hundreds of beaches, Mr Hill acknowledged there might be some people who disagreed with the decision to crown Cylinder as number one.
“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 Mr Hill 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,” he 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 2017/18*:
1. Cylinder Beach – North Stradbroke Island
2. Noosa Main Beach – Sunshine Coast
3. Greenmount Beach – Gold Coast
4. Mooloolaba Beach – Sunshine Coast
5. Coolangatta – Gold Coast
6. Alexandra Headland – Sunshine Coast
7. Streets Beach – Southbank
8. Kings Beach- Sunshine Coast
9. Burleigh Heads – Gold Coast
10. Alma Bay – Magnetic Island
* 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 family-friendly facilities, location and more.