This study uses magnetic measurements to evaluate the heavy metal contamination of the surface sediments on Shilaoren Beach. The values of the laboratory magnetic measurements have a positive relationship with the concentrations of Fe, Mn, Cr, Ni, As and Pb. The field magnetic parameter provides an effective and rapid method for evaluating the distribution and dispersal of heavy metal. Sediments with higher heavy metal contents generally accumulate near higher and lower tide lines on the beach, reflecting the control of waves and tides. The sewage and stormwater outlets are the primary sources of the heavy metal contamination. Variations in seasonal waves and winds affect the sediment transport and the heavy metal distribution patterns. Based on the Australian ISQG-Low sediment quality criteria, Fe, Mn and Cr generally exhibit intermediate accumulation levels, whereas Pb and Zn exhibit higher accumulation levels because of the socioeconomic status of the area surrounding the beach.