The Sunshine Coast boasts the state’s best beach to cool down this summer, according to a new list released by Surf Life Saving Queensland — and they should know!

The state’s peak authority on coastal and aquatic safety has released its inaugural list of Queensland’s top beaches to mark the official start of summer, with Caloundra’s Kings Beach taking out the prestigious number one spot.

Cylinder Beach on North Stradbroke Island finished in second place with North Queensland’s Palm Cove ranked in third position. Burleigh was the highest ranked beach on the Gold Coast, finishing in sixth position, while Noosa’s Main Beach also made the cut, selected in eighth position.

SLSQ chief operating officer George Hill said the organisation had considered a wide variety of factors when compiling the list and selecting the winning beach.

“For us, obviously the safety of swimmers and beachgoers is our first and foremost priority, so we looked at how often beaches were patrolled and what services were offered, in addition to various other factors ranging from coastal conditions to Australian standard beach signage,” he said.

“We also took into account how family-friendly the beach was, and this included a number of things, including parking, access to public transport, facilities and overall cleanliness.

“Kings Beach certainly ticks all of those boxes; it’s patrolled 365 days of the year and also ranked extremely highly across other safety categories. It’s a wonderful beach for a quick swim or a relaxing day trip with the family.

“It’s a beautiful spot that’s always a popular location with tourists and locals alike, and there’s no doubt it’s a deserving winner,” he said.

Mr Hill acknowledged the decision could potentially upset some beachgoers who favoured other spots along the coastline.

“There are so many great beaches up and down Queensland’s coastline, and trying to narrow it down to just one is always going to stir up a bit of debate,” he said.

“Everyone will have their own personal opinions, preferences and special beaches they like to go with their friends and family. It was a tough decision but, in a way, that was a good problem to have – it shows how many beautiful and quality beaches we have access to in Queensland,” he said.

With temperatures continuing to rise and the peak holiday periods just around the corner, SLSQ is bracing for an influx of beachgoers across the coming weeks and, with that in mind, Mr Hill reminded swimmers to put safety first this summer.

“At the end of the day, we don’t mind what beach you go to, as long as you only swim at patrolled locations and between the red and yellow flags,” he said.

“The flagged areas not only represent the safest conditions on that particular beach, but are also patrolled by qualified surf lifesavers and lifeguards.”

During the 2014/15 patrol season, SLSQ’s volunteer surf lifesavers and lifeguards at Kings Beach performed 16,136 preventative actions to safeguard swimmers, treated 440 first aid patients and completed 142 in-water rescues.

SLSQ’s 2015/16 top beaches

  1. Kings Beach – Sunshine Coast
  2. Cylinder Beach – North Stradbroke Island
  3. Palm Cove – North Queensland
  4. Alma Bay – Magnetic Island
  5. The Strand – Townsville
  6. Burleigh Heads – Gold Coast
  7. Four Mile Beach – Port Douglas
  8. Main Beach – Noosa
  9. Coolangatta Beach – Gold Coast
  10. Greenmount Beach – Gold Coast

In making its decision, SLSQ also named Queensland’s safest and most family-friendly beaches.

SLSQ’s 2015/16 safest beaches

  1. Kings Beach – Sunshine Coast
  2. Cylinder Beach – North Stradbroke Island
  3. Alma Bay – Magnetic Island
  4. Palm Cove – Cairns
  5. Four Mile Beach – Port Douglas
  6. Main Beach – Noosa
  7. Greenmount Beach – Coolangatta
  8. Dicky Beach – Sunshine Coast
  9. The Strand – Townsville
  10. Mooloolaba – Sunshine Coast

Honourable mentions: Trinity Beach, Streets Beach (South Bank Parklands), Alexandra Headland, Rainbow Beach.

SLSQ’s 2015/16 top family-friendly beaches

  1. Kings Beach – Sunshine Coast
  2. Burleigh Heads – Gold Coast
  3. The Strand – Townsville
  4. Coolangatta – Gold Coast
  5. Palm Cove – Cairns
  6. Torquay Beach – Hervey Bay
  7. Rainbow Bay – Gold Coast
  8. Cylinder Beach – North Stradbroke Island
  9. Kurrawa Beach – Gold Coast
  10. Southport – Gold Coast

Honourable mentions: Port Douglas, Bargara Beach, Suttons Beach, Streets Beach (South Bank).

Which beach will you be hitting up this summer? Let us know in the comments below!