Top 10 Highlights
Australia has one of the longest coastlines in the world and unlike say, Canada (which has the longest coastline in the world) or Russia, most of Australia’s coastline is warm and has beaches. Not only does Australia most likely have the most beaches in the world, it arguably also has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world ranging from tropical stunners in the north to some iconic city beaches in the south.
10. Dromana Beach, Victoria
The beaches running around the eastern edge of Port Phillip Bay have provided summer fun for Melbournians for generations and are an indelible part of the make up of Australia’s second largest city. St Kilda Beach is hard to beat for summer people watching and events while Portsea Beach at the other end of the bay proffers a classic, upmarket seaside profile. Dromana Beach epitomises the bay beaches used by the masses, even offering brightly coloured beach boxes for those lucky locals. Being outside Melbourne’s spawling suburbs means the water is wonderfully clean. Absolutely ideal for the summer holidays.
9. Shelley Beach, Western Australia
There are a plethora of pristine beaches running along the southern coast of Western Australia; the Rainbow Coast. Running between Albany, Denmark and Nornalup, these lovely beaches feature white sand and turquoise water contrasting with granite outcrops to create picture perfect beach scenes. Shelley Beach is in the West Cape Howe National Park near Denmark and is one of the most idyllic beaches in WA. The water in this region is cold though, and can be treacherous in places, so check with the locals if you want to swim and don’t swim alone.
8. Bondi & Tamarama Beaches, NSW
These two beaches are close and very similar, occupying beautiful bays on the ocean side of Sydney’s eastern suburbs. Bondi is simply iconic and larger than Tamarama, but Tamarama is the prettier and quieter beach. These are two absolutely classic Australian beaches with plenty of sun, sand and surf to keep all those bronzed bodies occupied. As seen in the TV series Bondi Rescue.
7. Alexandria Beach, Qld
Noosa Heads is one of Australia’s premier seaside holiday locales and Noosa Beach is a big part of the attraction. But the real beach beauty is just around the corner at Alexandria Beach. Take the road down to the Noosa National Park carpark and walk through to Alexandria Bay. Here’s a beach that makes you feel like you’re a million miles away. Untouched beauty so close to the hustle and bustle of Noosa. It’s a big, wild beach with sand dunes, native grasses and plenty of soft, white sand. A couple of warnings; a) the water can be treacherous and there have been people lost here. Never swim alone and only go deeper than your ankles if you know what you’re doing and, b) clothing is optional so be prepared for nudity!
6. Cable Beach, Western Australia
Much like Four Mile Beach and Mission Beach in Queensland, Cable Beach is a grand, wide tropical beach that makes you feel like you’ve stepped back a few million years. Cable Beach offers a couple of bonus features that make it unique in Australia, watching the sun set over the Indian Ocean, and the ‘Stairway to the Moon’ phenomenon on full moons. Don’t forget to take a camel ride along the beach. A great experience.
5. Four Mile & Mission Beaches, QLD
These two beaches are joint entries because they are almost identical. Long, broad when the tide is out, flat and offering stunning mountain vistas as they disappear into tropical haze to the south. Pretty is the wrong word for these beaches. They are Majestic. Imperial. Grand. Palm fringed and completely natural, you can always find your own piece of tropical paradise here, a million miles away from the pressures of life in the city.
4. Byron Bay, New South Wales
The north coast of NSW is blessed with an idyllic climate, lush rolling hills and some of the best coastline in the country. Byron Bay is the archetypal Australian seaside holiday getaway and the beach is the central focus. Complete with north and easterly facing sections, the beaches around the town offer some great surf breaks and are perfect for all beach activities. Lay back and enjoy.
3. Myall Beach, Queensland
Cape Tribulation is the only place in the world that has two World Heritage Listed areas adjoining it (the Daintree Rainforest/Wet Tropics and the Great Barrier Reef). Myall Beach is the epicentre of these two areas. The beach curves gently featuring lovely sand, clear water, fringing coconut palms, coral just offshore, a mangrove forest at its southern end and spectacular rocky headland at its northern end. Go there outside peak season and you may well have the beach to yourself. Simply wonderful.
2. Wineglass Bay, Tasmania
Possibly one of the most photographed beaches in the world, Wineglass Bay hosts a stunning arc of pristine white sand bordered by deep turquoise water in a picture perfect semi circle. It’s not as good a swimming beach as the beaches up north simply because of the water temperature, but it’s almost perfect in every other respect. Walking the beach is mandatory. If you want the classic postcard shot you will also need to walk up the nearby hill. A classic.
1. Whitehaven Beach, Queensland
Fine, white sand that borders on talcum powder consistency; clear, blue, water that is never much less than bathtub warm, plenty of room as the beach stretches north into the distance and a beautiful vista out to nearby islands. It’s little wonder this place regularly ranks in the top beaches of the world. Access is by boat or seaplane only. There are plenty of day trippers on the beach in peak season but organise to camp there overnight and experience this stunning place after everyone has gone back to the mainland. Exceptional.