QLD Activities

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QLD Beach Safety

Queensland is famous for its beaches.

From the surf breaks of Snapper Rocks to the calm waters of the Whitsundays, there is something for pro surfers, strong swimmers, young, old, and even those just learning to paddle.

In spite of how beautiful Queensland’s beaches are, they can be dangerous if you don’t know the area or ignore the warning signs.

But you can still enjoy your beach holiday, so long as you follow these simple rules and pay attention to your surroundings.


Beach Safety Advice

Safety Signs

Keep a look out for these. Most beaches in Queensland will have safety signs to help you identify the potential dangers and conditions of the beach. Check these signs for warning of strong currents or rips, rough surf and even blue bottles jelly fish if you’re in the northern, tropical waters.

Find the Flags

Any kid that lives near a beach in Australia knows the rule: “always swim between the flags”.

Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) patrol the beach between red and yellow flags. These flags mark the part of the beach with the safest surf conditions.

Even if you do run in to trouble here the surf lifesavers are on hand to help you out.

Advice from Lifesavers

Surf conditions can change throughout the day, so it doesn’t hurt to ask the lifesavers on the beach for advice before entering the water.

Don’t Swim Alone

Children should always be supervised by an adult in the surf, but it’s also a good idea to have someone with you even if you’re a strong swimmer. Swim with a friend so you can look out for each other.

Hand Up For Help

If you feel like you’re getting into trouble, just stay calm. Raise your arm to signal for help, float and wait for help. Don’t try to fight the rip. If you’re swimming between the flags help won’t be far away.

It’s best not to…

  • Swim at isolated or unpatrolled beaches
  • Swim at night
  • Swim while intoxicated
  • Run and dive into the water
  • Swim directly after a meal.

If the lifesavers can't see you, they can't save you. Please swim between the flags.

For further information please contact Surf Life Saving Queensland on (07) 3846 8000.

Other dangers include…

  • Sunburn – Queensland is the sunshine state and if you don’t wear sunscreen you will get burnt
  • Strong currents during nasty weather - swim between the flags and you should be fine
  • Dangerous surf - but the beaches are generally closed if it gets too bad
  • Overcrowding - it can get pretty crowded during the summer holiday season which increases the chances of knocking into each other in the surf. Be mindful of others while you’re in the water
  • Blue Bottles - every now and then jelly fish and even crocodiles (in Far North Queensland) make their way onto beaches. Once again, read the signs