Aussies are known for their laid back lifestyle and a lot of that revolves around the beach. There are beaches that are fab for families, others are great for big surf breaks; some are low on action and big on relaxation. Find the one that fits you best with this listopedia of Australia’s top ten beaches.
Hat Head Beach, NSW: Great For Families
With its blend of natural beauty, sheltered beaches and low-key living, the sleepy coastal town of Hat Head makes for the perfect family escape. The sheltered beach and estuary are great for swimming, floating on an inflatable lilo, snorkelling and stand-up paddle boarding. For those who love to 4WD, there are endless strips of beach to explore.
Marrawah Beach, Tasmania: Playground for Big Wave Surfers
The big surf and winds of Marrawah make it Tassie’s big surf, big wave paradise, attracting many Australian and International surfers. The wind and surf roll in uninterrupted, with the biggest wave to date measuring in at an epic 19.5 metres high. The beach is remote and often deserted; expect strong winds, an abundance of wildlife and windswept dunes.
Myall Beach, QLD: The Ultimate Romantic Escape
Turquoise water, fringing reef and white beaches flanked by tropical rainforest – need we say more? Myall Beach on the southern side of Cape Tribulation is where the rainforest meets the reef. The Daintree Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef are two World Heritage listed sites home to some of the richest and most diverse ecosystems in the world. Away from the bustle, this forest-fringed retreat is a great place to indulge in sunset strolls and beach picnics.
Mindil Beach, Darwin: For Sunset Music and Markets
Darwin’s vibrant Mindil Beach is home to twilight markets and show stopping sunsets. While it’s relatively safe (from crocs) to swim at Mindil Beach, many prefer not to. If you’re not up for it don’t worry, the markets feature tropical produce, Indigenous art, lively beats and some colourful Top End personalities. For the epitome of Top End experiences, purchase a BBQ croc skewer, sit on the beach and admire the vibrant hues of orange as the sun sets over the Timor Sea.
Noosa Main Beach, QLD: A Hotspot for Fashionistas
If your perfect beach getaway is about glamour, gloss and five star fun, Noosa and its Main Beach are not be missed. Hastings Street is the luxe beach-chic main strip, lined with designer boutiques and upmarket restaurants. You can buy your designer bikini and sip on your Café Noisette before heading to the surf. Main Beach is patrolled 365 days and is one of the few beaches along Australia’s coastline that faces north, making it a more sheltered beach prone to gentle waves.
Seal Rocks, NSW: A Quiet Sanctuary for the Independent Beach Goer
Keen to avoid the crowds, trendy cafes and uber cool surf shops? Head to Seal Rocks. The quaint coastal village is one of the few in Australia to have avoided major development. It’s a place where the way of life revolves around quiet ocean swims, catching mud-crabs and watching the sun go down with a fishing rod in your hand.
Byron Bay, NSW: A Foodie Haven
Byron Bay is the epi-centre for all things food, health and wellness in northern NSW. From fresh farmers markets, lush rainforest hikes and organic cafés to pristine ocean and endless golden beaches, this is the spot to experience the healthy Australian beach lifestyle. Spend the morning on the esplanade sipping coffee and people-watching, walk up to the lighthouse and cool off with a dip at Main Beach.
Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays, QLD: The Most Photographed Beach in Australia
At first glance, with its white sand, stunning turquoise water, reef surroundings and endless sunshine, you’d think Whitehaven was a studio prop put together for a magazine shoot. Whitehaven Beach looks so “perfect”, you’d be forgiven for thinking it wasn’t natural. With its myriad of coves, lagoons and inlets, Whitehaven has endless exploration options. Spend the day sailing, snorkelling, swimming or walking.
Agnes Waters, QLD: For Old Fashioned Fun
This is the beach holiday you remember from your childhood. No five star resorts, no fancy restaurants, just simple and old fashioned fun in the sun and sea. The serene town of Agnes Waters boasts the northernmost surf in QLD, and it’s usually on the gentle side, perfect for beginner surfers and boogie boarders. Sun filled days can be spent exploring the estuary, taking a walk through the neighbouring national park or heading offshore to the southern outposts of the Great Barrier Reef.
Cable Beach, Western Australia: Australia’s Best Sunset
This untouched stretch of coastline serves up white sand, calm turquoise waters, beautiful painted skies and some of Australia’s biggest tides. The orange sunsets are a photographer’s dream, and make for a dramatic backdrop for sundowner drinks. When planning a trip to Cable Beach, try to time it so you’re there at full moon to see the famous ‘stairway to the moon’, when the light from the moon spills across the ridged sand flats of Roebuck Bay.