Australia is blessed with countless stunning beaches, but there has long been fierce debate over which locations offer up the whitest sand. Not only do white sand beaches look stunning, they are also usually a reflection of how pristine the local environment is.
There have been several studies conducted to help uncover Australia’s whitest beaches, with sand samples being collected from all around the country. There’s a lot that goes into making a white sand beach including an area’s geology and being distant from rivers which may otherwise introduce contaminants that leads to the staining of beach sand.
Results have shown that the following beaches are where you’ll want to head within Australia to enjoy your very own slice of white sand paradise.
When white is included in a beach’s name, it’s a pretty good sign the sand will be as white as the sunscreen on your nose. Although Whitehaven Beach may not be Australia’s whitest beach, it does still rank high on the list and is actually consistently touted as Australia’s best beach overall by many.
Located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef on Whitsunday Island, the largest of the Whitsundays, Whitehaven Beach is an eco-friendly pristine beach that is protected within a national park.
Roughly seven kilometres of white silica sand await eager travellers coming by boat, seaplane, or helicopter. Clear waters make it perfect for snorkelling or you may wish to head up to the Tongue Point Lookout over Hill Inlet where you can take in one of the most stunning natural scenes within Australia.
Hyams Beach, New South Wales
For decades, it was thought that NSW’s Hyams Beach along the shores of Jervis Bay was home to the whitest sand in Australia. Sadly, more recent studies have dethroned Hyams from the top spot but it still ranks in the top ten.
The seaside village that is home to Hyams Beach swells from just over a hundred residents to thousands during the summer months, all thanks to years of worldwide publicity and now social media still touting its famous white sand. Unbeknownst to most though is that the region is actually home to 16 gloriously white beaches known collectively as the White Sands Coast.
Thanks to an abundance of fine natural quartz, you can find white sand and turquoise coloured waters along Callala, Myola, Collingwood, Orion, and Barfleur Beach, all with far less tourists than Hyams.
Besides sunbaking on the sands of Hyams or other nearby beaches, the area is also popular for enjoying Jervis Bay sailing charters, seasonal whale watching from Point Perpendicular Lighthouse or Cape St George Lighthouse, dolphin cruises, and hiking. You may even be lucky enough to experience magical bioluminescence along the bay at night.
Lucky Bay, Western Australia
So if Hyams Beach isn’t home to Australia’s whitest sand, then where can it be found? You’ll need to head over to WA’s Cape Le Grand National Park to be able to sift your toes through the country’s top blindingly-white sand beach
The 5-kilomtre-long Lucky Bay is roughly a 45-minute drive east of Esperance, and it is here where you will find the whitest sand in Australia according to one of the latest scientific studies. Named by Matthew Flinders after he took refuge from a storm in the bay, Lucky Bay remains rather secluded despite its status when compared to other popular Aussie beaches.
You will, however, likely have to share the beach with a mob of western grey kangaroos that regularly haul out on the beach to relax themselves. Visitors can enjoy beachside camping, launch a boat from Lucky Bay, or take a hike up Frenchman Peak.
You could also follow the Le Grand Coastal Hiking Trail where you will encounter Hellfire Bay, Australia’s second whitest beach which also just so happens to be in Cape Le Grand National Park. Probably not all that surprising when you consider the same geology and natural conditions that create a beach in one area are also likely to create similar ones nearby.
Squeaky Beach, Victoria
Victoria often loses out to Queensland and New South Wales when it comes to best beach honours, but you will still find some exceptionally white pristine beaches. One such beach is Squeaky Beach in Wilsons Promontory National Park.
Roughly three hours southeast of Melbourne, Wilsons Promontory NP offers a truly wild natural escape from the city. The beach is named for the fact it’s fine white quartz sand particles squeak underneath visitors’ thongs.
The beach can be accessed via a car park along one of the national park’s main roads or from the Tidal River Campground. You can also take the coastal track to discover other nearby beaches such as Picnic Bay or Whisky Bay. Alternatively, simply enjoy walking among the many orange lichen-covered granite boulders at either end of Squeaky Beach.
If you like your white sand a bit cooler under the feet, head down to Tassie and check out the Bay of Fires Conservation Area. Located in the island’s northeast region, the Bay of Fires stretches along the coastline for roughly 50 kilometres, where not one but many white beaches can be explored.
You’ll likely need more than just a single day to appreciate the many fine beaches here which include Jeanneret, Cosy Corner, Swimcart, Gardens, and Fancy Reef Beach. Much like Victoria’s Squeaky Point Beach, the beaches within the Bay of Fires are strewn with large orange-hued boulders and there are countless crystal-clear rock pools to take a dip in.
This area makes up part of the East Coast Whale Trail, where humpback and southern right whales can regularly be spotted during the migration season. There are also remnants of ancient Aboriginal shell middens, this area having been named not for the fiery-hued boulders that are present but instead for the fires of the island’s Indigenous inhabitants that were seen along the shoreline by early European explorers.