It’s no secret that Australia is blessed with many of the world’s most beautiful beaches.
Surrounded by a coastline that’s seemingly endless, our country offers up well over 10,000 beaches to enjoy.
While there are enough incredible beaches to accommodate all us Aussies wanting to escape to the coast this Australia Day, there are a few truly exceptional beaches that seem to attract a lot of well-deserved attention. Trying to select the best beaches in Australia is a difficult task.
There are the big names like Bondi and Surfers Paradise which receive most of the international attention, Victoria’s Bells Beach which attracts pro surfers, and extremely long beaches such as WA’s Eighty Mile Beach and Fraser Island’s Seventy Five Mile Beach.
But since these already receive notoriety, we have instead selected some of Australia’s other beloved beaches, which the whole family will enjoy. The world’s foremost beach-going nation, roughly half of Australia’s population lives within 10 kilometres from the coast.
Get out and enjoy one of these special beaches this Australia day, remembering to slip, slop, and slap the sunscreen and purchase your domestic travel insurance when booking a trip.
Consistently ranked as our nation’s top beach, Whitehaven Beach is no secret but it’s rarely too crowded to detract from its pristine beauty.
This is largely due to the fact that the beach is located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef and requires a boat, helicopter, or seaplane ride from Airlie Beach or Hamilton Island to reach it.
After an exciting and scenic journey to get to Whitehaven Beach, you are left with seven kilometres of 98% pure white silica sand. Located on Whitsunday Island, you’ll enjoy crystal clear waters for snorkelling and swimming or simply the most beautiful spot for catching a tan.
Try to incorporate Hill Inlet as part of your journey. This stunning and unique cove located at the beach’s northern end will captivate you with its swirling mix of sand and sea.
For the best views, head to the Tongue Point lookout and see why Whitehaven Beach is one of the nation’s most photographed.
While Bondi may get most of the attention when it comes to Sydney’s beaches, Manly Beach is loved every bit as much by locals.
One of the first Aussie beaches to permit daylight swimming, Manly also hosted the first Surfing World Titles back in 1964. Manly Beach continues to be popular with surfers and it hosts the annual Vissla Sydney Surf Pro.
The beach runs from South Steyne to North Steyne and Queenscliff, offering calm swimming in the Fairy Bower Sea Pool at the southern end and the Queenscliff Rockpool at the northern end.
While Manly Beach attracts over two million beach goers annually, you can easily escape to Shelly Beach just south of Manly or make your way through the Wormhole at the northern end of the beach to reach the quieter Freshwater Beach.
Hike the 10-kilomtre Spit Bridge to Manly Beach track or tackle the new Bondi to Manly Walk which links all the coastal and harbour tracks between these two iconic Sydney beaches. Of course you can also reach Manly by simply taking the popular ferry that departs from Circular Quay.
A great beach for families, the Sunshine Coast’s Noosa Main Beach offers calm warm water which is patrolled by lifeguards every day of the year.
It is one of the rare Aussie beaches that face north, providing visitors with calm waves. This makes it perfect for swimmers and those wanting to take beginner surfer lessons.
The golden sand is flanked by Hastings Street which offers abundant shopping, places to eat, and accommodation. While you may not catch sight of whales on Australia Day since they migrate through the waters between July and October, you can keep an eye out for dolphins year-round.
Trade sunrise views over the Pacific for sunset views over the Indian Ocean.
You’ll find direct flights from many Aussie capital cities to Broome and its 22-kilometre Cable Beach. Take note that you may want to stay out of the water if travelling to Cable Beach for Australia Day, as box jellyfish or stinger season runs from November to April.
Thankfully there are a number of exciting adventures to have on land and sea that won’t force you to get your feet wet. Visit the world’s oldest outdoor cinema to catch the latest blockbuster, check out the Willie Creek Pearl Farm, or watch giant saltwater crocodiles being fed at Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park.
Parts of Cable Beach also allow 4WD vehicles and you’ll find scenic flights and hovercraft tours available.
If you’re looking for a Western Australia beach a bit closer to Perth, Mandalay Beach to the south of the capital is a more secluded and untouched beach. While it may take a bit of effort to reach it, Mandalay Beach doesn’t disappoint.
One of the Gold Coast’s most loved beaches is Burleigh Heads.
It offers areas for surfers and body boarders as well as swimmers. Swimming areas are patrolled by lifeguards and there are a number of beachside parks to enjoy an Australia Day picnic.
Head to The Point to enjoy barbecues and maybe watch or join a game of friendly beachside cricket. The Burleigh Heads National Park and its rainforest are home to an abundance of hiking trails and wildlife. You are likely to catch sight of brush turkeys searching the ground for food and possibly a sea eagle circling overhead.
If the sun’s too hot, catch some shade beneath one of the many giant Norfolk Island Pines along the beach.
If the beaches of mainland Australia are a bit too hot this Australia Day, head down to Tassie and check out Wineglass Bay.
Located along the island’s east coast in Freycinet National Park, it takes a decent hike to reach the beach. You are first awarded with a dramatic aerial view of the crescent-shaped beach from the lookout along the trail to the beach before descending the slopes to reach the secluded bay.
You won’t find any high-rise buildings or any buildings for that matter here. What you may see, however, are wallabies on the beach and echidnas searching for ants in the surrounding bushland. Many consider Wineglass Bay to be one of the world’s best beaches in terms of natural beauty.
Take a dip in the always cool and refreshing Tassie waters or simply enjoy a view of the red and pink granite formations known as The Hazards.