When you tell someone you’re going to Queensland (aka the Sunshine State), they’ll usually picture you basking on a wide stretch of golden sand, perhaps with a cocktail in hand, the glittering ocean just steps away from you.

Until, that is, you inform them that you’re actually going to Brisbane, not the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast. But don’t speak too soon – your beachside oasis dreams may be closer than you realise. 

The truth is, you don’t need to venture out to the state’s biggest coastal hotspots to get a bit of sun and sand. Hidden beaches and waterside gems in Brisbane are just waiting to be explored, all of which are much closer than the tourist-heavy coast beaches.

Where are these Brisbane beaches, you ask? They’re all within a half-hour’s drive from our Rambla serviced apartments in Woolloongabba and Bowen Hills. Put on your sunscreen and let us show you around.

Streets Beach

Stanley Street Plaza, South Bank

People at Streets Beach in South Bank
Credit: Thrillophilia

If you search for ‘nice beaches near me’ during your Brisbane travels, chances are you’ll come across Streets Beach, a must-visit during every Brisbane trip. The thriving heart of the beautiful South Bank Parklands, Streets Beach attracts visitors from far and wide every day – and it’s pretty clear why.

This urban oasis features a glistening blue lagoon, bordered by pristine sandy shores and surrounded by sub-tropical flora. 

Travelling with kids? They’ll be in sandy heaven. Watch them splash in the shallows of the lagoon while you recline on the sand, maybe with a cheeky ice cream in hand and a good book. If the littles need a break from the water, the Riverside Green playground is sure to keep them entertained.

Aquativity and Boat Pool

Another kid-friendly attraction at South Bank is the Aquativity water park, an immersive play area brimful of waterside fun. 

Located right next to Streets Beach, this pebbly creek features shallow pools, tipping buckets, and fountains – perfect for your smaller trekkers who might be a bit overwhelmed by the ‘big kids’ beach next door.

South Bank Eats

One of our favourite parts of visiting Streets Beach is the banquet of restaurants and cafés on all sides. Stroll in any direction from the beach and you’ll find countless food options to suit every family member.

Some of our top picks include:

  • Southbeach: Fresh, open-air, and family-friendly, this multi-level restaurant boasts some of the best riverside views in Brisbane.
  • El Camino Cantina South Bank: Some of the best Mexican in the city, this vibrant oasis is the perfect addition to a bright, sunny beach day.
  • The Plough Inn: Another Brisbane staple, this al fresco beer garden and restaurant is a lively hub that attracts locals and tourists alike.
  • Coffee at the Kombi: Need a quick coffee, soft drink, or snack on the go? This coffee stand is perched on the South Bank promenade, perfectly positioned for that much-needed pick-me-up during your explorations.
  • Popolo: For those who prefer a more elevated culinary experience, POPOLO is an Italian fine dining mecca that serves some of the best pasta, pizza, and wine in the city.

Nudgee Beach

Fortitude Street, Nundah

People walking along the Nudgee Beach boardwalk
Credit: Nudgee Beach Environmental Education Centre

Craving a little fresh air and open water during your travels? Head over to Nudgee Beach, a hidden gem and local favourite when it comes to Brisbane beaches. 

Just a 20-minute drive from Rambla @ Perry House and a 26-minute drive from South/City/SQ, Nudgee Beach is the closest natural beach to Brisbane City. 

Perfect for day trips or morning jogs, the wide stretch of sand melts into tranquil waters which, thanks to good old Queensland temperatures, are nice for a dip almost all year round.

The area is bordered by quintessential Brisbane bayside mangroves where kids will love squelching in the mud and hunting for crabs (apologies in advance for the mess – but where’s the fun without it?).

Nudgee Beach Reserve

Stretch your legs and explore the wider Nudgee Beach Reserve. Wander along the boardwalk that winds through a maze of mangroves, stop at one of the many tables for a picnic, or enjoy a spot of birdwatching.

Nudgee Beach Dog Park

Visiting with your pooch? Nudgee Beach is as much a paradise for dogs as it is for us humans! Let your furry friend run free in the fenced off-leash Tuckeroo Park, just a 5-minute walk from the main beach strip.

After all those park zoomies, your pup will need to cool down. Take him down to the tidal section of Nudgee Beach where dogs are welcome on the sand and in the water. Just be sure to keep him on his leash at all times when venturing onto the beach.

Suttons Beach

Redcliffe Peninsula

If you’re keen for a drive out of the city during your stay, Suttons Beach in the Moreton Bay Region is the perfect 30-45 minute day trip for all that vitamin D goodness. This guarded coastal haven is also perfect for tiny tots and those seeking a splash without the ocean drama.

The gentle waters offer a playful frolic for the kiddos and a refreshing dip for adults, all framed by the stunning backdrop of Moreton Island. Stroll along the promenade, jog the Redcliffe Parkrun track, or take a scenic ride along bike tracks that offer views for days.

Plus, a day trip here won’t burn a hole in your pocket. Enjoy free parking and sprawling green lawns for picnic perfection, or sizzle up a storm on complimentary BBQs. Plus, there are plenty of cafés, fish and chips shops, and quaint eateries scattered around the beachside area.

Nearby Redcliffe Attractions

While you’re visiting Suttons Beach, why not make a pit stop at some of the biggest and best attractions in Redcliffe? Some of our favourites that are close to the beach include:

Scarborough Beach

Landsborough Ave, Scarborough

Blue sky over a beach with trees and rocks

Welcome to Scarborough Beach, proudly hailed as ‘Queensland’s Friendliest Beach’ and a radiant jewel in the Moreton Bay Region’s crown. This impeccably kept swimming haven just north of Brisbane is a sandy sanctuary, offering a breath of fresh air during your city stay.

Nestled along the bay, the water here is a swimmer’s dream, perfect for kayaking and sailing (with kayak hire available). It's also a hotspot for anglers seeking the catch of the day.

Depending on traffic, the drive there is anywhere between 35-55 minutes from Rambla @ Perry House – perfect for a proper breather from city life yet not so far that you need to plan any bathroom breaks!

Kids' Paradise: Pirate Adventure Playground

Ahoy, little adventurers! Set sail for the Kids Pirate Adventure Playground at Scarborough Beach Park. Fully fenced for peace of mind, it houses two partially shaded play zones – Railway Place and Pirate Place – adorned with whimsical-themed play equipment. 

A stationary train also weaves its way through the play area, accompanied by a climbing net, swings, and balance equipment.

For the older kiddos seeking thrills, head left for a half-pipe skate ramp, a basketball half-court, and a rock climbing structure to test their limits. 

For those strategic minds, a short stroll to the right reveals an oversized chessboard in the park, with pieces available free of charge from local shops.

Pandanus Beach

Wynnum Foreshore

Take a turn towards the south side of Brisbane and venture towards the gentle bay breeze of Wynnum, where you’ll stumble across one of the best secret Brisbane beaches. 

Aptly named after the iconic pandanus trees that line its edge, Pandanus Beach is a small yet sparkling oasis tucked into the folds of the lively Wynnum Foreshore. The beach boasts soft sand, peaceful waters, and plenty of surrounding attractions to keep you occupied for the entire day. 

Locals flock to this much-loved beach during the weekends, which is beautifully kept with sand imported from Stradbroke Island just across the water. Take a dip in warm, waist-high water or recline on the sand with a picnic and a good book.

Wynnum Water Park and Wading Pool

Set just behind Pandanus Beach is the locally loved Wynnum Water Park and, right next to it, the large Wading Pool. If you’re travelling with little ones, be prepared for them to make a beeline for this larger-than-life aqua heaven.

Complete with large spouting fountains, climbable whales, a large tipping bucket, and lots of little water play areas for the tiny tots, this is one must-visit bayside attraction for families.

If you’re looking for something a little calmer, the Wading Pool offers an enclosed open-air pool complete with a water slide. This man-made pool is perfect for those seeking a peaceful dip without missing the fresh air of the bay.

Manly Attractions

Stroll along the Wynnum-Manly Esplanade next to Pandanus Beach and you’ll end up in quaint Manly, a neighbouring bayside suburb packed full of gorgeous eateries and boutiques.

Drink in views of the stunning yachts and boats docked in the Manly Harbour. Browse boutiques brimful of handmade wares and one-of-a-kind gifts. 

Dine at one of the delicious cafés or seafood restaurants and finish the day with a cool drink at the buzzing Manly Boathouse perched on the water’s edge.

Wellington Point

Wellington Point, Redland

King Island sandbar walk at sunset

The last stop on our Brisbane beaches list is the far southside haven of Wellington Point (still only a half-hour drive from Rambla @ South/City/SQ – convenient, right?).

This relaxed seaside suburb is the perfect weekend getaway location, blending sea, sand, parks, and cafés for a one-size-fits-all experience.

Feel the sand on your feet and take a dip in the shallows of Redland Bay. Have a picnic in the lush green Recreation Reserve and stroll out to the Wellington Point Pier for a spot of fishing, or simply to gaze out at the open water.

There are also public showers and toilets to wash off those sandy feet before driving back to your accommodation.

King Island Walk

One of the most famous Wellington Point attractions is the King Island Walk. At low tide, a sandbar emerges that stretches from the mainland to the King Island conservation parkland. There’s plenty to explore on the island, with old twisting trees, marshy mangroves, hidden swimming corners, and perfect picnic spots.

If you’re planning to walk out to King Island, be sure to check the tide patterns. The walk can only be done at low tide, and it’s best to go as soon as the sandbar appears so you don’t miss your window and have to swim back to shore!

Cafés at Wellington Point

Foodies are spoiled for choice in Wellington Point, with some of Brisbane’s best seafood and fish and chips served fresh daily. Popular hotspots include:

  • Oxley’s on the Bay: Casual and family-friendly, this al fresco café is perched at the top of the Recreation Reserve and boasts a gorgeous view of the parklands and beach below.
  • Citron Bayside: A bustling open-air café that serves delicious Mediterranean-inspired cuisine with a local coastal twist.
  • Wellington Point Takeaway: The epitome of a local favourite, this seaside shack shouldn’t be judged by its appearance, but rather by the packed tables and lines of people enjoying the best fish and chips on the bayside.
  • Hogan’s Wellington Point: Looking for an evening drink with dinner? There’s nothing better than a classic yet classy pub feed, and Hogan’s delivers on all fronts.

Stay and Play With Rambla 

Rooftop pool overlooking Brisbane City

Whether you’re visiting Brisbane for leisure or business, a few sneaky beach trips are practically mandatory during your stay. And with all of these local gems located just a short distance from the city, why not add them to your weekend itinerary?

For convenient and cosy accommodation that’s within half an hour’s driving distance to the best Brisbane beaches, book a stay at our Bowen Hills or Woolloongabba serviced apartments. 

Both Rambla @ Perry House and South/City/SQ have some pretty tasty offers going, too, so why not sweeten your stay with our range of discounts

Pack your sunscreen and beach towel, and see you soon!

Further reading: Hungry for more Brisbane activities close to your Rambla home away from home? Check out our guide to the best things to do in Brisbane on the weekend.


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