Siblings Layla 14, and Levi Johnstone, 11, get into the Australia Day Spirit at Coolum Beach. Photo: Lachie Millard
Siblings Layla 14, and Levi Johnstone, 11, get into the Australia Day Spirit at Coolum Beach. Photo: Lachie Millard

Popular Coast beach named best in the state

FOR the first time, Coolum Beach has claimed the top spot among Surf Life Saving Queensland's best beaches.

Released to coincide with the end of summer, the annual list of Queensland's top 10 patrolled

beaches ranks popular locations based on safety, facilities and nearby services.

While Coolum Beach claimed the overall honour, Alma Bay (Magnetic Island) and Burleigh Heads (Gold Coast) also ranked highly, rounding out the top three.

SLSQ Sunshine Coast lifesaving co-ordinator Caige Price said a range of factors had been considered when compiling the list and selecting an overall winner, with safety being the primary consideration.

"Safety is our core focus as we aim for zero preventable deaths in Queensland public waters," Mr Price said.

"With that in mind, when determining our top beaches, we consider patrol times and services, incident history, coastal conditions and the quality of visitor information on display.

"Coolum is patrolled 365 days a year by dedicated lifeguards and volunteer surf lifesavers, with a second set of flags located at Coolum North providing beachgoers two safe swimming areas in proximity.

"We also look at other factors such as how user-friendly the beach is, which includes considerations such as amenities, its location, access to parking and public transport, nearby services and cleanliness."

SLSQ recorded more than 270,000 beachgoers at Coolum throughout summer, with surf lifesavers and lifeguards performing 30 rescues, 2,275 first aid treatments, and more than 8000 preventive actions.

Mr Price said Queensland's beaches were iconic, attracting millions of visitors every year.

"No doubt, many Queenslanders have their own favourite, based on personal criteria. Determining our top 10 is always a tough job, but one that we enjoy due to the sheer number of beautiful locations along our coastline," he said.

Across Queensland more than 1700 rescues were performed by lifeguards and surf lifesavers, a decrease of 33 per cent compared to the 2018/19 summer period.

Mr Price welcomed the decrease in rescues, but urged beachgoers to not become complacent.

"It is a timely reminder to always consider your safety and swim between the red and yellow flags, no matter which beach you choose to visit.

"The flagged areas not only represent the safest conditions on that particular beach, but are also patrolled by qualified surf lifesavers and lifeguards. At the end of the day we want you to enjoy your day at the beach and return home safely."

SLSQ's Top 10 Beaches for 2019/20

1. Coolum - Sunshine Coast

2. Alma Bay - Magnetic Island

3. Burleigh Heads - Gold Coast

4. Four Mile Beach - Port Douglas

5. Cylinder Beach - North Stradbroke Island

6. Nielson Park - Bargara

7. Coolangatta - Gold Coast

8. Rainbow Beach - Sunshine Coast

9. Trinity Beach - Cairns

10. Kings Beach - Sunshine Coast