A Guide to the best Australian Beaches
Australia’s coastline stretches for over 30thousand km and counts thousand of beaches, at least 10,000, more than in any other country of the world. Australia is one of the best places for unspoilt, natural beaches which stretch for miles into endless horizons and beautiful sunsets. I am happy to introduce you to the Best Australian Beaches I have visited myself in 10 years of travelling in Australia.
These Australian Beaches are also the most diverse you can think of, from temperate to tropical and the type of beach from surfing sites of the eastern and western coast to community beaches outsides the cities of Sydney, Perth to rainforest beaches with mangroves and estuaries in the North-Eastern coast to rocky and sandy shores in the southern areas. And many many little islands.
In Australia you can find any type of beach: to swim, to surf or bodyboard, to sunbath, to fish or just to stroll along, to party, to bbq, anywhere you will
find beauty and tranquillity, the adventure, the entertainment and fun to make of your stay a very unforgettable experience and make you dream of the Australian beaches till your next visit.
Australian Beaches are somehow impressive because of their natural beauty and their environmental characteristics that make them unique to this country, by travelling across Australia you will never have the feeling you have been there already. Each Australian beach has its own distinctive features, you can see it from the pictures in the next pages.
I have selected some of the best Australian beaches photos, where I have been to and have created some mini-guides for you to browse through.
Australian beaches photos
Click on the links below to view some of my best beach pictures, they are divided into Australian state along with some facts about the beaches.
Best Beaches of Western Australia
Western Australia Beaches are very different from the eastern seaboard, less developed and less crowded. If you want to escape the crowds, have closer encounters with nature, swim among tropical sealife, experience the real Outback coastline then Western Australia is the perfect place for an extraordinary Australia beach experience.
Western Australia is an ancient, huge land with extreme contrasts in landscape and climate from temperate areas in the South to warm and dry tropical in the North.
South Western Australia Beaches
The beaches in the surrounding areas of Perth are beautiful white sandy beaches, ideal for sunbathing, strolling, surfing, playing volleyball and enjoy the great outdoors.
Cottesloe Beach is one of the most known and popular among visitors as well as locals.
Scarborough Beach and Leighton Beach close to Fremantle’s port are also pretty beaches.
On your journey to Perth, a visit to Fremantle is a must, this little suburb of Perth has heritage buildings and historical sites as well as a nice coffee strip and colourful lively markets, held on weekends.
Drive farther south along the coast through Mandura, and Rockingham, both are known for dolphin watching down to Margaret River, home to one of the most famous surfing competitions in the world: the DrugAwarePro also one of Australia’s top three tournaments on the ASP world tour calendar.
If you wish to check details about water conditions read more about Surfing Reports or if you want to learn more about Surfing in Australia.
Rottnest Island Beaches – Western Australia
If you spend a few days on the southbound of Perth, then you must visit Rottnest Island. You can catch the ferry from North Perth or from Fremantle and stay overnight. One day tour is also doable, but the island has so much to offer, lovely beaches and little bays to explore either by bike (no cars allowed there) or by bus, you will find that a day is not enough to see it all. If you wish to stay overnight there you can look up in this page Hotels in Rottnest Island.
The local tourist office offers a variety of free guided tours around the island, you can watch the Quokkas, or listen to the history of Rottnest Island and more. This is just one of the 64 amazing beaches of Rottnest Islands.
Whale watching in Western Australia
Australia’s South West is also the perfect place for watching whales on their annual migration. Both Humpback and Southern Right Whales can be sighted in the region’s coastal pristine waters between June and early December.
Western Australia Beaches – The Coral Coast
The Coral coast is also home to fine Western Australia Beaches. The Coral coast stretches from Cervantes, north of Perth, up to Exmouth for approx. 1,500km covering some of the most fascinating natural wonders of the world like the Pinnacles (30,000 years old limestone pillars standing out up to 5meters height) in the Nambung National Park, the Kalbarri National Park, with spectacular sandstone cliffs and gorges of the Murchison River.
It is also home of the Shark Bay World Heritage, with Monkey Mia where you can experience Dolphins and hand-freed them from the shore. Shell beach a 120 km wide beach made of millions of little white shells.
Shell Beach, Shark Bay
Feeding dolphins in Monkey Mia
Coral Bay in Central Western Australia
Further north in the Ningaloo Reef reef region you reach Coral Bay, a true coral reef paradise with turquoise clear water and lovely beaches. Here you can view corals very close to the beach as well as swim with sea turtles, giant manta rays, red snappers, and many more. The outer reef is not far from the shore, you can go out on a boat and enjoy great snorkelling among a variety of Australian marine life.
I am sure you will not expect to see all this in a small place. Coral Bay is a very relaxed place to hide away from crowds. If you are looking for tranquillity this is absolutely the best spot of all Western Australia beaches. Here you can read more about the Coral Coast in Western Australia. Or Find Hotels in Coral Bay
Coral Bay Beach
Turquoise Bay, Ningaloo Reef National Park
Western Australia Beaches – where the Outback meets the ocean
Some of the best Australian beaches are to be found in the Outback. Or better said, where the red rocks of the Australian Outback meet the deep blue ocean in North-Western Australia. Some of you already know that I am talking about the amazing Broome Beaches.
If you are travelling to Australia on your own, get the Australia Itinerary Book here. You can also download a free chapter of the book by subscribing to the Rocky Travel News.
Bondi Beach, Sydney
Bondi Beach is the icon of the surfing beaches, perhaps not the prettiest one but among all the most popular with locals as well as with visitors, attracting visitors from all over the world. Bondi is not only a beach, but it also represents the utmost celebrated Australian outdoor lifestyle. Here all types of water sports and leisure activities are offered from surfing, swimming, snorkelling, sun-bathing, you name it.
If you are planning to spend just a few days visiting Sydney you cannot miss out on a day out to Bondi Beach. Especially if you experience the ocean waves, Bondi offers surfing lessons for all ages and safe swimming on life-guarded beaches.
How to get to Bondi
It’s only a short drive by car or you can reach it by train or by bus from the city centre. If you enjoy walking there are a couple of beautiful scenic coastal walks, which link Bondi with its neighbouring beach resorts. I would recommend starting in Bronte heading north to Bondi beach, but you can choose which way you prefer to start your walk, from Bondi heading south or vice versa. If you start from Bronte beach, you will head north for Bondi along the sandstone cliffs from which you will enjoy a spectacular view.
Make your first stop at Tamarama beach, a nice little beach less crowded, from there you walk further Hawkesbury see the aboriginal rock carvings in Marks Park and proceed to Mackenzie’s point, a beautiful lookout point from which you will see your final destination, Bondi beach.
This coastal walk is very popular especially on weekends with lots of joggers, cyclists, rollerbladers and skaters, so it is worth a visit during the week to fully enjoy the scenery and its peacefulness. Or you can also try a longer walk from Bondi-Coogee scenic cliff walk or if you prefer starting in Coogee. From there you can walk along the coastal path up to Bronte beach, make a coffee break there and then keep walking up to Bondi beach. You can reach Coogee from the city by bus no. 372. Find out more about Bondi
Cronulla beach, Sydney
If you wish to take a day out visit the outskirts of Sydney, a good idea is to visit the Royal National Park. Take the train to Cronulla beach and from there the ferry over to Bundeena. From Bundeena you can start different beautiful walks in the National Park, among these the Bundeena-Maianbar Heritage Walk maybe the most known. From the visitor centre, a tiny little place right up the hill when you get off the ferry, you can get a useful map with details of the major walks in Bundeena and in the Royal National Park.
Cronulla is another popular Sydney beach, known for the excellent waves to suit all kind of surfer experience from beginner to expert level. Cronulla beach is also known for other sports activities like kayaking, canoeing, scuba diving to view marine life. If you wish to stay overnight a good entertainment and a rich nightlife program is provided. Check out the listings of festivals and food & wine parties for great fun!
Manly Beach, Sydney
One of the most known northern Sydney beaches is certainly Manly Beach, very popular among tourist as well as among Australians. An ideal destination for a day tour. To reach Manly you can either catch the ferry from the Quay for a really scenic trip to Manly to then return to the city by a spectacular sunset: make sure you have your camera with you to snap fantastic pictures of the Harbour Bridge and of the Sydney Opera. Or you can do the beautiful coastal walk from Spit Bridge to Manly through native bushland.
Manly is a wonderful combination of casual, laid-back environment and trendy scene, with a good offer for stylish shopping and sophisticated dining. Around the plaza concentrate a variety of places to eat and drink to suit all tastes. On weekends there is an outdoor Arts and Craft Market, close to the promenade, where visitors can find a vast choice of hand-crafted items. Learn more about Manly.
The beaches that line the north coast of Sydney, also called by many people from Sydney the “Insular Peninsula”, with beautiful villa locations which make of the northern coast of Sydney one of the most exclusive residential areas of Australia. And if you have the luck of ending up living there you may not be tempted to leave it again! Really worth a visit!
It is ideal for a day out visit, you can either catch a 190 bus from Wynyard Station in the city. The best way to visit this area is by hiring a car and stop whenever you wish for a swim, a stroll along the beach, for eating and shopping and maybe stop somewhere to stay overnight.
On your journey, you will make several stops to see pretty beaches like Dee Why, Collaroy, Narrabeen Beach, Mona Vale, Newport, Avalon Beach which offers excellent dining and shopping venues, up to the northern part with the lovely Bilgola Beach and the gorgeous Whale Beach (my favourite one!) to finally reach Palm Beach.
Among all the northern beaches Palm Beach is certainly the most known, because of many VIPs living there, and its trendy setting. But it may disappoint you, in my opinion, it is not as spectacular as you may expect though.
Hope you enjoyed this Guide about New South Wales Beaches.
A Guide to the best Queensland Beaches
In Queensland, named by Australians the “sunshine state” or simply QL there are many beautiful beaches, from the very northern tropical beaches of the Daintree Rainforest, or the elegant Port Douglas, or the more relaxed Mission beach to the southern and trendy beach of Noosa. Whether you want to practice your favourite water sport or simply relax and enjoy a beach BBQ, you have the best choice you can think of.
Queensland is home of the possibly most famous World Heritage, the Great Barrier Reef. This is the largest coral reef on earth, which stretches for over 2000 km, has more than 700 tropical islands and about 3000 single reefs.
Among them the most famous array of islands: the Whitsundays Islands, 74 palm-fringed islands of unique splendour. The Whitsundays has become a “must-do” place to visit if travelling around Queensland. They are indeed an extraordinary place to experience with a great offer of different activities, to suit all kind of visitors and tastes. The service range from 5 stars luxury like in the Haymann, Daydream Island to the more casual and relaxed of the Long Island or South Molle Island.
The gateway to the Whitsundays is Airlie Beach, very popular among the younger visitors, offering a good choice of dining and entertainment with lots of pubs, clubs and bars.
Airlie Beach boasts also with different kind of tour operators offering a wide range of 1daily trip to several days boat and sailing tours out to the coral reef. Shop around for good deals, before booking a tour. Airlie Beach is also a fantastic spot for shopping offering a variety of good stuff ranging from clothing to jewellery and aboriginal art. And visit the market, which takes place every Saturday evening, for good crafts and arts. Fraser Island is another World Heritage site in QL. Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world, its size is approx 140km long and 25-50 km wide. Its complex ecosystem: a thin layer of plants decay retaining water and making more vegetation grow.
Champagne Pools, Fraser Island
Fraser Island has a unique amazing environment covered with sandhills up to 224 m tall and dense rainforests, many little freshwater lakes, the most spectacular Lake McKenzie, the less crowded the Lake Birrabeen or Lake Wabby surrounded by eucalypt forest and a massive dune or “sand blow” how it is locally known. In all lakes you can take a lovely swim, the sea instead because of sharks and strong currents is a definite no-go. If you are looking to stay away from crowded beaches and soak yourself in an unspoilt and peaceful environment then Fraser Island is the perfect relaxation break during your travelling adventure in Australia.
If you are a water sports fan, love scuba diving, snorkelling, surfing and at the same time enjoying the excitement of party life then you cannot miss out on visiting Byron Bay Beaches and the famous Gold Coast Attractions.
Thinking about Victoria beaches the first thing which probably comes to your mind is Bells Beach as the most famous surfing spot in Australia. Bells Beach, even though is not the prettiest among the Australian surf beaches, is certainly a must for craving surfers who comes here from all over the world to enjoy great waves, as well as being a compulsory stop for all tourists while driving along the Great Ocean Road.
Bells Beach, courtesy picture by Maria Teresa Bartolini via Flickr
Bells Beach is located a few km away from Torquay, where you can hire your surfing gear, take surf or kayak lessons or do a surf coastal walk from Jan Juc to Moggs Creek. If the weather is not the right one for a good surf then take this chance to visit the Surf world Australia Surfing Museum. If you are around Eastern time then you must not miss out on the Bells Beach world-championship surfing contest.
Bells Beach, courtesy pic by stamina plus100 via Flickr
The Great Ocean Road
Along the Great Ocean Road, one of the world most spectacular Australian coastal drive, there are many lookouts for gorgeous panorama, do not miss out on taking pictures of this unique coastal scenery. The water may be rough on windy days as well as peaceful and calm like in this picture below.
Great Ocean Road, courtesy pic by Tanya Ann via Flickr
The best way to visit the Great Ocean Road is to hire a car a leave form Melbourne, a 2-3 days tour will be ideal. Do not try to see it all in one day, it stretches for over 300 km with so much to see, take your time and you will be definitely rewarded by its natural treasures.
Along the coast, you will come across several seaside resort towns such as Lorne and Apollo Bay with stunning beaches for perfect seaside relaxation. Make sure you also stop at the Otway National Park, one of Australia’s best rainforest scenery in the nearby Otway Ranges.
Great Ocean Road
Tasmania is known internationally as the “Australia’s Natural State” and in Australia is promoted as the “Island of Inspiration“. 40% of the island is protected with World Heritage Areas, national parks, rainforest and marine reserves. This is a guide to the best Tasmania Beaches.
The best time of the year to visit Tasmania is November-March. Tasmania weather is temperate during spring and summer and cold in the winter months. If you wish to do some hiking in the national parks or do the famous walk from Lake St Claire to Cradle Mountain, especially if you wish to stroll along the peaceful Tasmania beaches like the Wineglass Beach in Freycinet National park you must be there in summer. Jan-Feb is the best period for nice and warm days.
Here some pictures of beautiful Tasmania Beaches, starting with Wineglass Bay surrounded by the spectacular Freycinet NP which offers lovely bushwalking and a variety of outdoor activities. It is worth spending a couple of days there to immerse yourself in its peacefulness and relaxation.
Wineglass Bay view from the lookout
Wineglass bay, its crystal clear water
Wineglass Bay, white and fine sand