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Why Australia’s Top Beach Experts Love Cylinder Beach

A land girt by sea, Australia sports a bewildering 11,761 coastal beaches, more than any other country. So when a secluded Southeast Queensland stretch snagged #6 in this year’s official top-10 list, it was kind of a big deal.

Wondering what all the fuss is about? Here’s why Minjerribah’s (North Stradbroke Island) Cylinder Beach ranks among Australia’s best.

Cylinder Beach, a North Stradbroke Island favourite

Brisbane sun-worshippers have long suspected Cylinder Beach is one of the nation’s prettiest. Now, recognition from Tourism Australia’s annual Top 10 Beaches in Australia list confirms that belief.

The stretch, which straddles the North Stradbroke Island town of Point Lookout, is a popular spot for surfing, snorkelling, and sunbathing. But don’t expect perfect cylindrical barrels. The beach gets its name from the gas canisters used to supply the lighthouse in the 1930s.

Wide-open spaces and glistening golden sand also mean Cylinder Beach is great for beach games like footy, volleyball, and cricket. Lifesavers patrol the spot in summer, and it’s well-protected from prevailing winds, making Cylinder a hit among families with grommet surfers in tow.

Unlike more remote Straddie sands, you don’t need to venture off-road. Point Lookout is accessible via the paved East Coast Road, which you can reach from the Dunwich Car Ferry Terminal—easy peasy. Therefore, Cylinder Beach is an excellent day trip or road trip from Brisbane.

On-site facilities include a shady campground and a large day-use car park with public toilets. Restaurants and accommodations are available in Point Lookout.

Expert Analysis

The Top 10 Beaches in Australia winners aren’t pulled out of a hat.

Curating the list is Brad Farmer, an esteemed coastal conservationist and Tourism Australia’s official Beach Ambassador. Brad seeks input from Professor Andrew Short, a University of Sydney coastal scientist who’s visited every beach in Australia during his 40-year career.

To put that into perspective, it would take 32 years to visit every beach by ticking off a new sandy stretch daily. What’s more, 42% of Australia’s beaches aren’t even accessible by road.

These two professionals form the nation’s leading beach authority, lending legitimacy and authenticity to the list.

Criteria for excellence

This isn’t Farmer’s first rodeo. Every year, the duo whips up a fresh new list to shine a spotlight on Australia’s prettiest beaches.

This year’s top spot went to Squeaky Beach, a sugary-white stretch within Victoria’s magnificent Wilsons Promontory National Park. Previous winners include the likes of Stokes Bay (SA, 2023), Misery Beach (WA, 2022), and Cabarita Beach (2021, NSW).

Tourism Australia believes the annual rotating list helps drive tourism. More beach-based tourism provides extra incentive for governments to conserve their natural treasures.

According to Managing Director Philipa Harrison, ‘Our research consistently shows beaches are one of the greatest drivers of international visitor demand to Australia and the majority of travellers enjoy our aquatic and coastal environments in some way when they are here’.

rocks around cylinder beach

Explore Southeast Queensland with Kiff & Culture

Keen to combine sunbathing on Cylinder Beach with a foodie trip in Southeast Queensland?

Kiff & Culture offers tours around the region, from winery-hopping excursions to inner-city gourmet forays. Have a gander at our extensive range of adventures in Brisbane and beyond.

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