The beach faces west-northwest and has of three sections (WA 712-714) each separated by intertidal calcarenite reef. The main beach (WA 712) is 600 m long, faces northwest (Fig. 4.144). The 500 m long headland provides some protection at the southern end resulting in waves increasing from about 1 m in the southern corner to 1.5 m in the north, where they maintain 2-3 beach rips along the central-northern section of the beach. Gunyulgup Brook drains across the centre of the beach. It is backed by a moderately stable foredune south of the creek, then the resort development, while north of the creek are vegetated dunes climbing the backing 60 m high slopes. There is a left break off the point during higher waves and a variety of beach breaks over the reefs and bars.
The main Balgal Beach (840) lies 5 km from the highway and the small settlement parallels the northern kilometre of the beach. There is a store and caravan park as well as a boat ramp into the creek, which can only be used at mid to high tide. The beach runs south-east for 9.5 km to the rocks of Douglas Hill. There are three additional access roads to the central portion of the beach; two of these are off the Balgal Road, with housing development occurring at each. The beach is backed by a low, grassy foredune and receives waves averaging 0.5 m that maintain a 50 m wide, moderate gradient high tide beach and a 100 to 200 m wide, low gradient low tide bar. Waves spill across a wide surf zone at mid to low tide, while rips, when present, are usually weak.
Discovery beach is an unstable open beach with the occasionally good surfing beach break. The beach is close to a number of hotels and sunshine coast airport. Caution is still advised as this beach due to the strong currents and deep gutters that may be present.