In contrast to the abundant evidence of former shorelines on the sea floor of the Sahul Shelf in northern Australia, little evidence has been reported for late Pleistocene coastal landforms along the modern coast of north Australia. Using radiocarbon, thermoluminescence and uranium/thorium dating techniques, however, it can be shown that the present coastal morphology on the Cobourg Peninsula is partly inherited from features both deposited and eroded during the late Quaternary. Shore platforms, in particular, are veneered with ferricretes, some of which can be U/Th dated. In places bedforms are preserved within the ferricrete, suggesting that the platform existed at, and was modified during, the Last Interglacial, and probably formed during earlier interglacials. TL dating indicates that sands around Cape Don were deposited when sea level was lower, but may have been reworked during a Holocene high stand. A sequence of beach ridges at Smith Point indicates Holocene progradation over an earlier planation surface, and also provides support for slight Holocene emergence. © 1992, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.