Ocean Beaches Strategy

Vision: Our beaches are clean, healthy and accessible now and into the future

Lifeguard talking to some kids at the beach

The City of Gold Coast has been a leader in coastal management for more than 50 years, driven by the need to protect the city and its shoreline from the impacts of storms. A suite of innovative policies, research, technologies and beach management techniques have been implemented on the Gold Coast and subsequently acknowledged and adopted as best practice throughout the world.

The Gold Coast's iconic beaches draw some 12 million visitors to the city every year. Such valuable assets need a special plan to make sure they are given the care and protection they need, which is why we have an Ocean Beaches Strategy, developed through widespread community consultation and endorsed by Council of the City of Gold Coast in August 2013.

There is joint stewardship of the ocean beaches

We collaborate with a number of external agencies such as:

  • Gold Coast Waterways Authority
  • Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation
  • Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypassing Project
  • Griffith Centre for Coastal Management.

Activities completed under these partnerships include sand bypassing, wave buoy deployment, coastal data capture, dredging and beach nourishment works, and coastal research.

Everyone can enjoy the ocean beaches

Our Surf Management Plan seeks to balance the interests of all beach and ocean users to ensure that our beaches are open, inclusive, and remain healthy and clean. The vision for the Surf Management Plan is to provide world's best practice coastal management strategies to preserve and enhance the surf amenity of the Gold Coast. The Surf Management Plan also recognises the key role surfing plays in the economy, culture, sporting life and social capital of the city.

Currumbin Beach School Surfing Lifeguard talking to some kids at the beach Surfing at Kirra Beach

Our beaches are healthy and clean



We undertake an annual dredging campaign at Currumbin and Tallebudgera Creeks. This program provides many benefits including flood mitigation, improved water quality and minor beach nourishment to southern Palm Beach (Currumbin) and Burleigh Beach (Tallebudgera).

Regular beach maintenance

Clean beaches and waterways are synonymous with the Gold Coast. To ensure our beaches and foreshores retain their appeal, we invest in a range of cleaning and management services. Our mainland ocean beaches are swept (using a City-designed tractor sieve) every day of the year. We have 6 crews of 2 people who patrol the 860 kilometres of tidal waterways removing over 1000 tonnes per year of debris.

Tweed River entrance Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypassing Project 

This is a sand transport system that collects drifting ocean sand at a jetty on the southern side of the Tweed River entrance and ‘delivers’ the sand, by underground pipe, back to the ocean on the northern side of the river. From here, the sand is transported by wave currents to nourish southern Gold Coast beaches. The Project is run by the New South Wales Government with support from the Queensland Government and the City of Gold Coast.

Our infrastructure is protected from coastal hazards

Shoreline works

Gold Coast Shoreline Management Plan is a strategy with a 50 year horizon that focuses on coastal physical processes, coastal ecological processes, economic values, community values and beach management. The plan includes 77 recommendations to manage the Gold Coast's coastline, including measures to combat the threat of increasing storm events on Gold Coast beaches over the next 15 years.

Some of these projects are as follows:

  • 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 and surf amenity for the community
    • provide a sustainable, cost effective and integrated solution to maintain a healthy beach profile
    • avoid or mitigate adverse environmental and social impacts associated with beach erosion.
  • The Northern Beaches Shoreline Project – this project will utilise sand reserves located offshore of the Gold Coast to nourish the northern beaches of the Gold Coast and decrease the vulnerability of these iconic beaches to storm damage. The Northern Beaches Shoreline Project area includes Main Beach, Surfers Paradise and Northcliffe Esplanades.
  • Northern Beaches Sand Nourishment Pipeline – this project is investigating the options available to use a sand backpassing system to deliver sand nourishment from the Gold Coast Seaway Bypass System back down to the northern beaches.
  • Seawall – the construction of seawalls forms part of the City's shoreline management response to coastal erosion. Our seawalls, located along an invisible coastal boundary known as the A-Line (alignment parallel to the foreshore set by the State Government), are a vital component of the City's defence mechanism against erosion.
  • Project Kirra – This project reinstated the Kirra Point groyne by 30 metres to its original constructed length and was completed in 2013.