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Wave Break Island, Gold Coast Seaway

Home > Gold Coast > Beaches | Day Trips | Free | Kids | Outdoor
by Meg Forbes (subscribe)
Meg Forbes is a mum, freelance writer, and photographer living in the Redlands, South of Brisbane. https://www.instagram.com/megforbesphotography/
Published March 12th 2020
Free island fun on the Gold Coast
Wave Break Island on the Gold Coast Seaway was created in 1985 to protect the foreshore of the Broadwater from waves that might otherwise have come through the newly-stabilized entrance between the southern tip of South Stradbroke Island and the northern tip of the Spit on the Gold Coast.

Paddling to Wave Break Island on the Gold Coast Seaway
Paddling to Wave Break Island on the Gold Coast Seaway


Wave Break Island is easy to reach from the parks along the Broadwater south of Quota Park, or from The Spit. South Stradbroke Island is also a very close distance to Wave Break Island if you are spending some time there.

Coming in to shore at Wave Break Island
Coming in to shore at Wave Break Island


Wave Break Island is very popular with boaties and kayakers. We usually kayak over, leaving our car at Quota Park on Marine Parade at Biggera Waters, and paddling past the northern edge of the island. Depending on the wind and water conditions, we often make use of a sheltered cove on the northern side to pull our kayaks up and then walk across to the long sandy beach on the eastern side of the island.

A sheltered cove at Wave Break Island
A sheltered cove at Wave Break Island


There are several walking tracks through Wave Break Island. Camping is neither encouraged through the installation of facilities nor is it forbidden. A number of families do camp on Wave Break Island over weekends and holidays.

There are well-maintained walking tracks leading across Wave Break Island
There are well-maintained walking tracks leading across Wave Break Island


The long sandy beach on the eastern edge is one of the island's greatest attractions.

Beautifully clear water and a long sandy beach at Wave Break Island
Beautifully clear water and a long sandy beach at Wave Break Island


Along this beach and the rock walls at either end, there are many fish who are used to tourists (including on official tours) feeding them. Although we don't generally feed them, as soon as the kids get into the water the fish come rushing over. The kids love it!

Trying to catch the friendly fish at Wave Break Island
Trying to catch the friendly fish at Wave Break Island


There are no flags to swim between here though, so we all keep our life jackets on and stick together in shallow areas for safety.

Curious fish delight the kids at Wave Break Island
Curious fish delight the kids at Wave Break Island


As always when heading out on the water, and especially with kids, it is important to check weather conditions before heading out on the water. Weather and tide forecasts for the Gold Coast Seaway can be checked here.

Always check weather and tide conditions before heading out on the water, especially with kids
Always check weather and tide conditions before heading out on the water, especially with kids


This is a great day out, not least because the paddle home is a short one if the kids are tired. The Gold Coast Seaway teams with marine life. We have seen dolphins, dugongs, and turtles on this trip. If you head out early in the morning, before motorized boats have begun to churn up the water, you can often see right to the bottom of the seaway even at high tide.

The sun setting on the way home from Wave Break Island
The sun setting on the way home from Wave Break Island


A few essentials for this trip include:

Sunscreen and insect repellent
Broad-brimmed hats
High visibility life jackets (especially as the Seaway is shared with motorized boats)
Plenty of water and snacks. There are no facilities, including drinking water, on Wave Break Island
Snorkel sets and fishing nets for kids

Beautiful days out at Wave Break Island
Beautiful days out at Wave Break Island

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Why? A beautiful island on the Gold Coast Seaway
When: Anytime
Phone: 07 5539 7350
Where: Gold Coast, Queensland
Cost: Free
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