Porcelain white sand, crystal-clear water and a dress code of swimmers and sunscreen – add in a bed and you have the makings of a perfect Aussie beach holiday. So there’s plenty of beach, but where’s the best spot to stay? We’ve made the choice easy, with our list of five brilliant beaches and the best spots to stay at each one.

Manly Beach, Sydney, NSW

Laid-back surf suburb Manly is a good fit for those who like their salt air without pretence. The iconic beach is best accessed from Sydney’s CBD by the Manly Ferry. Disembark into one of the friendly wharf bars to soak up the vibe or peruse the shops along the Corso, a pedestrianised mall which leads to the beach itself. If the weather works in your favour, swim between the flags, enjoy a surf lesson or go snorkelling at nearby Shelly Beach, accessed via a scenic seaside walkway.