Trying to rank the best beaches in Australia can be an intimidating task. After all, with almost 60,000 kilometres of coastline facing the Indian, South Pacific, and the Timor Sea, there are countless specimens which could make ‘top ten beaches in the world’ lists in many travel media publications. Nonetheless, I will try to share just a sliver of the brilliant beaches which can be found all across Australia.
In this post, there is representation from each state except for the Australian Capital Territory (poor guys, being landlocked and all) and the Northern Territory (too much danger from crocs). Now you just need to figure out which Australian beaches you want to visit before buying a plane ticket, travel insurance and booking a hotel! Ultimately though, you can’t go wrong with any of these beaches in Australia.
Let’s jump right into it…
The 25 Best Beaches in Australia
1) Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays
Of all the Australia beaches on this list, Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays comes the closest to being the best in the country. Comprised of blinding white silica sand bisected by a lazy river, you’ll be openly questioning whether or not you are dreaming the second you set foot on it.
Its waters are crystal clear, making it an ideal place for snorkeling, but if you just want to sit there and admire its turquoise colours, we won’t judge. Quite easy to see why Whitehaven is one of the best beaches in Australia.
2) Burleigh Heads Beach, Gold Coast
While Whitehaven Beach is mind-blowing in its beauty, it is in a wild setting, which limits its access. There are no services, and the cost of getting there may be too much for some budget travelers.
If you are looking for a well-provisioned beach that is as beautiful as it is accessible, Burleigh Heads Beach should be near the top of your list when in Queensland.
Situated along the Gold Coast south of Brisbane, it is out of the centre, giving it a relaxing feel. Especially relaxing with the scent of pine trees in the air.
With excellent waves for surfing and distant views of the condo towers for which the Gold Coast is famous, it is an amazing place to spend an afternoon.
3) Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas
Looking for Australian beaches with a decidedly tropical flavour? Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas will satisfy your desire for this type of environment.
Situated at 16 degrees south latitude, the weather is always warm no matter the time of year, making the water perfect for swimming whenever you happen to visit.
A stinger net is in place to keep swimmers safe from jellyfish in season, as well, so don’t let the horror stories you hear about beaches in this region keep you from enjoying this immensely beautiful place.
4) Noosa Beach, Sunshine Coast
Many beaches in Queensland are known for their surf, but this also means they are rip tides, introducing serious concerns for traveling families.
Fortunately, Noosa Beach faces north, sheltering it from the relentless swells of the South Pacific. Found on the Sunshine Coast north of Brisbane, it is also an upmarket destination.
Those who love indulging in meals at restaurants with cutting-edge cuisine and at hotels with top-shelf service will love what they find here.
5) Seventy Five Mile Beach, Fraser Island
Ever since being featured during the publicity surrounding ‘The Best Job in the World’ contest in 2009, Fraser Island has become a sought after destination for travelers looking for Australia beaches.
Close to the mainland, but far away from the cares of modern civilization, those who come here will find relaxation not long after discovering the endless sands of Seventy Five Mile Beach.
If you are looking for a nudist beach in Australia, this may prove to be a good choice due to its seemingly infinite length.
While the surf can be a bit too wild for some swimmers, its raw beauty will keep you coming back. Highlights include a rusting shipwreck, dingo (wild dog) sightings, and excellent fishing right off the shore.
NEW SOUTH WALES
6) Wategos Beach, Byron Bay
While many beaches in Byron Bay are best suited towards surfers, Wategos Beach is sheltered enough to make it a safe place for swimmers who fear the strong rip tides present elsewhere.
It is very easy on the eyes as well, with clear water taking on multiple shades of blue and green, and a rugged headland making this a place you won’t be able to leave easily.
7) Bondi Beach, Sydney
Want to visit Australian beaches most commonly associated with surfing culture in this country? If so, spending a day at Bondi Beach in Sydney is a must. It’s surely one of the best beaches in Australia for meeting people and having fun.
While the crowds here may not appeal to some people, those craving a social scene will find a vibrant one here.
Novice surfers are well-catered for here, as there are plenty of instructors for hire. If you’d rather watch, there are plenty of al fresco cafes and bars where you can watch the experts do their things while you sip on a coffee or beer.
8) Bronte Beach, Sydney
Looking for a more intimate beach experience in the Sydney area? Make tracks for Bronte Beach, as this pocket-sized slice of heaven is beloved by locals not just for its stunning water, but also for its tidal pool, which is a great place to take the kids on days when the surf is too dangerous.
There is also a man-made salt water pool hewn from the headland rock which is not only a great spot for getting in your cardio, but also for pictures when the swells are high, as they smash against its outer wall in spectacular fashion on these days.
9) Manly Beach, Sydney
Lined with fragrant pine trees, Manly Beach is yet another amazing beach in the Sydney area which you should check out if you have the time.
While Bondi Beach gets much of the attention these days, it was here where the first world surfing championship was held in 1964.
As you might expect, the waves here still attract plenty of surfers on any given day. However, its urban location means there are plenty of cafes, bars, and restaurants available to serve any needs you might have.
10) Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay
On a quest to find the whitest beach on the face of the planet? Your search might be over after paying a visit to Hyams Beach.
Located in the south of New South Wales in Jervis Bay, the sand here has been certified to be the whitest in the world by the Guiness World Book of Records.
That isn’t its only worthwhile quality, however: located in the countryside well away from the city and suburbs of Sydney, the lack of development will allow you to find peace and relaxation which can be hard to come by on the busy sands of Bondi Beach Australia.
11) Squeaky Beach, Wilson’s Promontory National Park
The factors which make a great beach don’t revolve solely around visuals – sound can also be a draw. So it is with Squeaky Beach, a scenic spot with quartz sand. When you walk upon its surface, the grains rub against each other, creating the sound which gives this place its name.
An outstanding place for a walk, the waves here can also be suitable for surfers, but a strong rip tide and a lack of lifeguards makes going in the water here not advisable for beginners.
12) St. Kilda Beach, Melbourne
While it may not be one of the most naturally attractive Australian beaches, St. Kilda Beach has the strongest social scene in Melbourne. When the summer weather is at its peak, this city’s young and attractive come here to see and be seen.
This beach is also home to a series of photogenic cabanas – come here around sunrise, and crowd and light conditions will be perfect for shooting them.
13) Elwood Beach, Melbourne
If you are seeking a beach with a chill ambiance in the Melbourne area, make an effort to get out to Elwood Beach.
The water here is much cleaner, and with wind exposure, wind surfers will love the breezes they can catch just offshore.
14) Bells Beach, Surf Coast Shire
Heading out for a cruise along the Great Ocean Road? Take a left off the highway just past Torquay and you’ll come to Bells Beach Australia, a legendary spot for surfers in the state of Victoria.
A delightfully undeveloped (the locals are fighting to keep it that way) spot, it is common to see big barrels form even in light wind conditions. When it comes to the best beaches in Australia, this is one of the hidden gems for any surfing enthusiast.
If you an accomplished wave shredder, you will love this place. Swimmers will be confined to shore due to strong currents (the water is quite chilly anyway), but the dramatic cliffs and the entertainment out on the water will make up for this.
15) Great Ocean Road, various beaches
There are plenty more Australia beaches along the length of the Great Ocean Road which don’t have formal names. Given their beauty, however, you’ll wonder why this isn’t the case.
From the beach where you can view the 12 Apostles at the bottom of the Gibson Steps, to sea stacks and water at the Loch Ard Gorge which looks a lot like The Algarve, you’ll have plenty of fodder for your camera.
Again, the water here isn’t the warmest, and rip tides are often powerful, so stay out of the water unless you know exactly what you are doing.
16) Wineglass Bay, Freycinet National Park
Tasmania has some pretty Australia beaches, but when all the chips are on the table, none can rival the beauty of Wineglass Bay.
This place would give Hyams Beach in NSW and Whitehaven Beach a run for the title if it weren’t so difficult to access and if the water wasn’t so cold.
Don’t let either of these drawbacks hold you down. Take a guided hike starting at dawn, and when you get down to the beach, it will be close to midday.
This will make its aquamarine waters shine, and if its a particularly warm day, the chilly waters won’t seem so bad as you chase away the hot sweaty feelings from your body with a plunge into its waves.
17) Hazards Beach, Freycinet National Park
Located at the other end of the trek to Wineglass Bay, Hazards Beach is another stunner worth including in one long day of hiking in Freycinet National Park.
Longer in length than Wineglass, it is easy to find solitude on this often overlooked spot, as it is situated beyond the Wineglass Bay viewpoint and access trail.
18) Binalong Bay, Bay of Fires
Looking for a stunning Australia beach in Tassie within reach of civilization? Binalong Bay should be on your list of places to visit while you are in Tasmania.
While it isn’t backed by cliffs like Wineglass Bay is, its water is almost as vivid and the sands are almost as empty.
When you are finished hanging out on the beach, a nearby cafe gives you place where you can enjoy a celebratory coffee, beer, or full meal.
19) Glenelg Beach, Adelaide
Looking to spend a day on the water before plunging deep into the heart of Australia’s Great Red Centre?
Make for Glenelg Beach, which is home to a wide assortment of amusements which make it a busy entertainment hub during the summer months.
From the usual assortment of restaurants, bars, shops, and heritage hotels, to a scenic jetty which will make for some sick photographs, you’ll find plenty to occupy yourself here.
Be sure to sign up for a dolphin tour, which promises to take you out to local pods for an exciting swim with these intelligent creatures. It’s also a great way to do more than just surf or lay in the sun when sampling the best beaches in Australia.
20) Robe Beach, Robe
Looking for something outside the city? Head east to Robe Beach. A broad strip of sand which is firm enough to take a 4×4 onto its surface, this place is popular among surfers in the region.
On days when the surf is gentle, it is suitable for swimming, though swimming here outside the peak summer months will prove to be quite a refreshing experience!
21) Cottesloe Beach, Perth
Start off an Australia beach road trip in Western Australia by spending a fun-filled day with Perth locals at Cottesloe Beach. The gorgeous waters, sand, and Norfolk pines found here make it easy to argue that this place is among the best looking urban beaches in the world.
Good looks aside, you’ll also find plenty of stylish restaurants and cafes along the oceanside boulevard known as Marine Parade. Besides being part of the best beaches in Australia there is also a 9-hole golf course. This is great if you’d like you get in a bit of your favourite game before jumping in the delicious looking water.
22) The Basin, Rottnest Island
As good as Cottesloe looks, it is unlikely this will be a place locals will suggest first to visitors. This isn’t because they are necessarily trying to keep a secret, but because an island just offshore contains Australia beaches that are that much better.
Rottnest Island should be on your must-see list when in the Perth area. Not only is it open to the painfully cute quokka, but as mentioned above, the beaches here will blow you away.
Tight on time? Rent a mask and snorkel and head straight for The Basin. A reef that has been eroded away in places, there are places where the bottom is sandy, making them great for swimmers.
With significant parts of reef intact, though, snorkelers will find plenty of sea life swimming around, making for an entertaining afternoon of trolling around in some of the most beautiful waters in Western Australia.
23) Coral Bay Beach, Coral Bay
In the middle of nowhere, some of the nicest beaches in Australia can be found. Start by discovering Coral Bay Beach, which is situated in the town of the same name. Located more than 1,200 kilometres north of Perth, you couldn’t get further from the trappings of modern life here.
The second you slip into the water and start exploring the pristine Ningaloo Reef straight off the beach, any concerns you may have had will exit your mind as it is filled up with a kaleidoscope of tropical fish and colourful corals.
24) Turquoise Bay, Exmouth
Further up the Northwest Cape, the small city of Exmouth will be your jumping off point to explore the mind blowing colours of Turquoise Bay.
The effervescent nature of the water will stand in direct contrast to the pure white coral sand, creating a visual that will stay with you for life.
The scenery, just as in Coral Bay, is even more stunning beneath the surface of the sea, but take care to use water-resistant sunscreen – the sun is strong and there is no natural shade to be had here.
25) Cable Beach, Broome
Broome is about as far as one can get from Sydney in Australia. In fact, you are much closer to Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia than Australia’s largest city.
As a result of their location, Broome was where a communications cable first came ashore from the Southeast Asian country in 1889.
This fact gave this town’s 22 kilometre long beach its name, which stretches well into the horizon. Ride camels into the sunset, cast a line into the surf in search of a big catch, or drive a rental Land Rover to a deserted section of Cable Beach Australia where you can hang out with your mates in privacy.
So there you have it, some of the best beaches in Australia for you too choose from. As mentioned in the introduction, you can’t really go wrong with whichever Australian beaches you visit. Just be sure to pack lots of sunscreen and pace yourself as the sun is strong and unforgiving. The worst thing you can do when planing on an Australian beach holiday is get burnt to a crisp the first day!