banner image
The Gold Coast

One of the most popular destinations in Australia offering a wealth of attractions, entertainment, facilities and services.

Palm Beach Shoreline Project

Click to enlarge Palm Beach Shoreline

Looking south towards Palm Beach during June
2016 swell event.

The beautiful 3.8 kilometre sandy shore at Palm Beach is an important part of the Gold Coast’s iconic coastline. However, it is more susceptible to serious beach erosion than other Gold Coast foreshores.

As part of the Ocean Beaches Strategy 2013–2023, the City is developing the Palm Beach Shoreline Project – a holistic plan to provide a sustainable solution for the ongoing protection of the foreshore at Palm Beach. The project aims to:

  • reduce the vulnerability of the beach and beachfront development to storm damage
  • protect, and if practical, enhance the beach amenity for the community
  • provide a sustainable, cost effective and integrated solution
  • avoid or mitigate adverse environmental and social impacts.

This initiative will ensure the shoreline continues to be the social and economic centrepiece of Palm Beach.

Developing the project solution

The City monitors Gold Coast beaches through hydrographic survey and coastal imagery analysis. Historic survey results show that Palm Beach is the most vulnerable to erosion during large storms.

The work completed on the project to date shows that beach nourishment stabilised by an artificial reef is the best long-term solution for Palm Beach. The further development of this coastal protection solution was endorsed by Council of the City of Gold Coast (Council) in March 2014 (refer ex Minute G14.0325.004).

The shape and orientation of the artificial reef is being designed to consider wave breaking characteristics on the reef and the surrounding shoreline. This is important for the consideration of surf and beach amenity.

The delivery of coastal engineering projects of this nature are complex and challenging. To meet these challenges the City adopted an approach to incorporate multiple investigations, which include; wave studies, surveys, physical modelling, numerical modelling and beach width analysis.

Project update – January 2017

  • Tenders for the delivery of the beach nourishment phase of the Palm Beach Shoreline Project have been received from a range of expert dredging contractors. Tender evaluation is currently underway and will be finalised in early 2017.
  • Nourishment works at Palm Beach will be undertaken as part of the Gold Coast Beach Nourishment Program between May to October 2017.
  • Physical modelling of the artificial reef continues to test a number of important project components. The remaining tests will be completed in early 2017.
  • The four-week deployment of wave buoys and underwater wave measuring equipment offshore from 19th Avenue, Palm Beach was completed in late November. This valuable information is being utilised in both numerical and physical models, and will help to inform the final design of the artificial reef.

Project videos

Click to enlarge

If you can't find an answer to your question, or have any feedback, please email

Related information

Jump to key information


Top of page Top of page