Queensland is such a huge holiday hotspot, popular with Kiwis, Aussies and Europeans, so it can be a challenge to find peace and quiet. If you are looking for serenity — you’re not in the mood for hanging out with the hundreds of other tourists at Surfers’ — here is a guide to five of the most secluded beaches to catch some sun, sand and surf on the lowdown. Here are 5 of the Best-Kept Secret Beaches in Queensland:
Turtle Bay, North Tropical Queensland
Turtle Bay is pure paradise. It’s unlisted on most websites, absent from the majority of guidebooks and removed from most tour schedules. Largely, this is because of its degree of inaccessibility. You’ll need a boat to get there, but with a power-boat you can reach it in less than 45 minutes from the Cairns Inlet, via Cape Grafton — you’re best to print off directions in advance. A glorious stretch of sand that goes for over a kilometre, Turtle Bay is protected by cliffs, scrub and bush. The sea views are relatively uninhibited, stretching for miles without anything or anyone else in sight. If you can draw yourself away from the sand for a few seconds, behind the beach are three beautiful freshwater streams and a postcard-perfect waterfall.
Ellis Beach, North Tropical Queensland
Ellis Beach is a 5-kilometre strip of beach in an area of Tropical North Queensland home to less than 50 people. If you’re booking flights to Cairns and Northern Beaches, the beach is located just 20kms north of Cairns heading towards Port Douglas. Ellis Beach a beautiful beach lined with pumice stones that contrast beautifully against the crystal blue waters. The area is relatively undisturbed, although it did make a cameo appearance in the fourth season of “The Amazing Race” — potentially the most excitement it has ever seen. Be extra careful during “stinger season”, in the period between November and May, when jellyfish inhabit the waters. The local surf lifesaving club provides a service during these months to protect swimmers, but keep your eyes peeled while in the water.
Nobby Beach, Gold Coast
Nobby Beach is a secluded haunt is close enough to the Surfers Paradise action to remain in the loop, but far enough away that the numbers of tourists drop off before getting there. It’s popular with surfers, couples and families and is patrolled by surf lifesavers every day of the year. Nearby you can find Thorn Park, which is a great spot for the kids to play and families to picnic. Dad may even want to pack his fishing line as the area is riddled with bream, whiting and dart throughout the year. Couples can get up early and catch one of Nobby’s spectacular sunrises for a romantic moment. You can fly in to the Gold Coast airport and just grab a cab or bus to the area.
Kewarra Beach, North Tropical Queensland
Bordered by the beautiful Coral Sea on one side and the Kuranda National Park on the other, Kewarra Beach is one of the best-kept secrets in Cairns. Just a 15-minute drive from the heart of Cairns city, if you plan on staying there, you can get your bush and your beach fix at the same time and maximise what Australia has to offer in terms of its landscape. It’s great for the little ones, as it has a swimming enclosure to prevent stingers at its northern point. If you don’t fancy hiring a car, the regular Sunbus service runs from Cairns City Mall to Palm Cove and stops off at Kewarra on the way.
South Stradbroke Island, Gold Coast
If secluded is what you want, you can’t beat “South Straddie” Island, which forms the northern end of the Goldie. Sitting at 21 by 2.5kms, it is the smallest of the pair of Stradbroke Islands and sits closer to the mainland. Here you can surf the waves uncontested, hang out with far-too-friendly wallabies, play in the huge sand dunes and explore the plant and bird life. The area has some wonderful heritage-listed sites, so do your research before you go. For those who fall in love with the area, you can camp in a number of different places across the island. For those with a special occasion on the cards, An Island Hideaway is considered one of the best places to hold a wedding in Australia.
Nobbys Beach image by OZinOH from Flickr’s Creative Commons
Wallaby image by Alicakes* from Flickr’s Creative Commons