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Best Coastal Walks in South East Queensland

Home > Brisbane > Outdoor | Lists | Day Trips | Beaches | Walks
by Roy Chambers (subscribe)
Lover of all things interesting and new
Published January 5th 2016
A guide to fantastic and diverse walks in SEQ by the sea
Best Coastal walks in South East Queensland

There are lots of great seaside locations in South East Queensland to visit. While beaches might be the main attraction for most people, in fact there are a wide range of coastal walks you can go on in South East Queensland. I have already listed my favourite beach walks so here are some great coastal walks, where the emphasis is staying off the beach. However none of these walks should be considered inferior, rather they are beautiful locations with a focus on walking with ocean views.

Burleigh Heads area provides a very diverse walk
Burleigh Heads area provides a very diverse walk


Woody Point to Redcliffe

You don't have to go far for a great Coastal Walk. Woody Point provides the cliffs and Redcliffe provides the beaches. The best way to to do this walk is to start at Woody Point and head towards Redcliffe where there are plenty of cafes to relax in and the artificial lagoon to swim. Afterwards you can take the bus back.

The walk starts at Gayundah Esplanade in Woody Point where you can see the Gayundah Shipwreck which ran aground in 1958.

Photo of Gayunda Wreck at Woody Point courtesy of Paulbrian and Wikipedia
Photo of Gayunda Wreck at Woody Point courtesy of Paulbrian and Wikipedia


When the walk reaches Whytecliffe Parade, you will need to walk for a short distance beside the road before you find the beach at Margate. This is a nice long beachside walk, but with not much of note until you hit the Redcliffe area.

The Beach at Redcliffe
The Beach at Redcliffe


Redcliffe attracts quite a crowd on weekends. The foreshore includes the artificial lagoon, the Redcliffe Jetty, Bee Gee Way (a little road dedicated to the band The Bee Gees) and various artworks beside the beach.

Redcliffe Jetty
Redcliffe Jetty


Sundays the Redcliffe Markets brings in a huge crowd, but any day is a good day to visit the various seaside galleries or eat at one of the many good cafes and restaurants.

A statue of the the young Bee Gees at Redcliffe
A statue of the the young Bee Gees at Redcliffe


This is a lovely 5 km walk (one way) that you can easily extend by heading up past Redcliffe to Scarborough for another 4 kms. You may also consider doing this as a bike ride starting at Shorncliffe, heading up along the esplanade at Sandgate and Brighton and crossing the Bridge to Woody Point and heading along the cliff tops to Redcliffe.

Golden Beach Caloundra

Caloundra is home to two very different walks. The walk from Caloundra up to Moffat Beach is a great coastal walk, I am going to recommend Golden Beach as a contrast to other walks here.

The walkway at Golden Beach, Caloundra
The walkway at Golden Beach, Caloundra


Golden Beach lies on Pumicestone Passage. On a good day the water can be as smooth as glass so it a nice place to swimming, kayaking and kite surfing. The only issue is the fairly strong sideways current that can occur when the tide is flowing at its strongest.

standup paddleboarder enjoying the calm waters of Pumicestone Passage
standup paddleboarder enjoying the calm waters of Pumicestone Passage


Golden Beach is also a great place for a walk. The walk is a combination of paths through the beach side parks as well as mangrove boardwalks.

For this walk I would try and start it near the middle where all the restaurants and cafes are, then walk south for the mangrove boardwalk. Then return back up and keep going north until you find a nice place to have a swim. After which, you can return back for some fish & chips.

There are also numerous places to barbecue or picnic along the waterfront, as well and a walk combines well with various water activities. I recommend kayaking across the passage to Bribie Island.

Mangroves at Golden Beach
Mangroves at Golden Beach


Mick Schamburg Park to Burleigh Heads

Gold Coast's Beaches are not created equal and a great day on the Gold Coast is dependent on finding the beach that best suits you. Burleigh heads is by and far my favourite location on the Gold Coast as it manages to combine cool cafes, a small national park in the heads, a great beach for swimming, a creek for kayaking and is also a great place for walking.

Burleigh Heads and beach seen from Mick Schamburg Park
Burleigh Heads and beach seen from Mick Schamburg Park


Burleigh Heads national park is known as a great place for walking, but the walk I am thinking of would start at Mick Schamburg Park at the Southern End of Mermaid Beach. This park on the small heads here provides great views both of Surfers Paradise and Burleigh Heads.

Surfers Paradise seen from Mick Schamburg Park
Surfers Paradise seen from Mick Schamburg Park


From there you can walk along the esplanade down to Burleigh Heads and of course around the Heads. It is about 2.5 kms to Burleigh Heads National Park and then the heads itself has a 3 km circuit. Afterwards you can enjoy coffee and cake in one of the cafes.

Walking Burleigh Heads National Park
Walking Burleigh Heads National Park


Afterwards you can have a quick swim and walk back up the beach to where you started. There are restaurants near Mick Schamgurg Park and the best option is the North Burleigh Surf Life Saving Club. I only recommend starting at Mick Schaumburg Park because the parking is easier and I like to have the hilly section of Burleigh Heads in the middle. However, for people who want to save the cake, coffee or meal to the end, it would be better if you started at Burleigh Heads.

Burleigh Heads Beach is popular for sunset walking
Burleigh Heads Beach is popular for sunset walking


An interesting and varied walk that provides a couple of options for swimming and many options for coffee, cake, drinks or dining.

Wellington Point to King Island

There are beach walks, there are coastal walks, there are island walks and then there is the chance to walk out to an island. This little walk should be on everyone's bucket list and combines a short coastal walk and the chance to walk out to an island.

Walkers heading to king island from Wellington Point
Walkers heading to king island from Wellington Point


At low tide, a 1 km sandbar connecting Wellington Point to King Island is exposed. The walk really starts in the mangrove boardwalks of Wellington Point, goes through the park and then out onto the sandbar and across the little island.

The beautiful boardwalk above the mangroves at Wellington Point
The beautiful boardwalk above the mangroves at Wellington Point


I recommend going as the tide starts to go out. The walk is most pleasant when the sandbar is just being exposed. As the tide goes out it becomes a wide sandbar and you end up with less of a feeling of walking out to an island. Also some people go out as the tide is going in, spend too much time on the island and then find themselves stuck out there until the next low tide.

A path on King Island
A path on King Island


At Wellington Point iss a little fish & chip shop as well as a nice seafood cafe. However it can be a nice idea to either barbecue at Wellington Point or have a picnic on the Island.

Broadwater Park to McIntosh Island

The Goldcoast's Broadwater provides plenty of opportunities for walking alongside the calm waters around South Port and even Paradise Point. If you are going to choose one section to walk, then Broadwater Parklands to McIntosh Island Park is by and far the most interesting.

Broadwaters Parkland
Broadwaters Parkland


While the parklands are not spectacular they are a wonderful green space of rolling hills that contract beautifully with the high rise apartments that make up this area. There are also little beaches of sorts along the waterfront.

A family enjoying the water at Broadwaters
A family enjoying the water at Broadwaters


After crossing the Nerang River, the walk goes alongside a busy road for a short distance. However McIntosh Park is worth it for the lovely pond and peacocks roaming the grounds.

McIntosh Island Park
McIntosh Island Park


You don't have to stop walking at McIntosh Island, rather you can cross the road and walk alongside or on the beach down to Surfers Paradise. This is great on a Sunday afternoon when you can time your walk to arrive in time for the Sunday beachfront markets that go from 3 to 8 pm.

Beachfront Markets at Surfers Paradise
Beachfront Markets at Surfers Paradise


It is just over 5 kms to McIntosh Island and a total distance of just over 7 kms to the heart of Surfers Paradise. You could consider taking the tram for your return journey or park your car at Surfers Paradise, take the tram to the start of the walk and walk back. The station to get off at is South Port and not Broadwater Parklands.
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Your Comment
Is it okay to walk dogs to the Island?
by heath68 (score: 1|70) 1376 days ago
Is it okay to walk dogs to the island?
by heath68 (score: 1|70) 1376 days ago
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