Visiting the beach has become a staple for most Australians during summer. With over 10,000 beaches, Australians are truly spoilt for choice. From pristine white sands, turquoise, aqua and scarlet blue waters, big waves or calm waters, there really is a beach for everyone.
Australia’s coastline stretches for 50,000 kilometres and with so many spectacular beaches how do you choose which ones to put on your bucket list.
So, if you’re looking for some beach inspiration this summer here are 15 must see beaches in Australia.
Blinky Beach, Lord Howe Island, NSW
Located on the east side of Lord Howe Island, Blinky Beach is one of Australia’s unspoilt white sandy beaches. Surrounded by the Lord Howe Island native rainforest, this beach is a top spot to enjoy a swim, surf or day of fishing. Soak up the sun or wade in the clear turquoise waters which are an ideal location for a snorkel in the shallow waters. Referred to by locals as ‘Champagne Surf’ due to its sparkling breaks and coastal landscape, the uncrowded beach is great for surf goers of all levels. With such a small population, Blinky Beach is ideal for a relaxing day away from massive crowds.
Agnes Water Beach, QLD
Just one hour south of Gladstone lies the unspoilt haven of Agnes Water. One of Queensland’s most northerly surf beaches, Agnes Water is famous for its picturesque surroundings. Stretching for six kilometres, Agnes Water is great for those who love water activities including surfing, kitesurfing and stand-up paddle boarding. While visiting be on the lookout for some of Agnes Water’s locals including turtles, sea eagles, dolphins and large schools of fish.
Wategos Beach, Byron Bay, NSW
Protected by the headland, Wategos is a scenic sheltered beach on the northern side of Cape Byron. The peaceful beach is ideal for families with barbeque and picnic facilities available. It’s a popular spot for seeing bottlenose dolphins showing off their surf skills. After cooling off, you can tackle the steep steps that lead to the Cape Byron Lighthouse located at the far end of the beach.
Pebbly Beach, Murramarang National Park, NSW
Located in the Murramarang National Park, Pebbly Beach is widely known as the home of the surfing kangaroos. Getting its name for the pebbly, gravel-like sand, Pebbly Beach is a great place for swimming and fishing. Only a short walk from the beach is Pebbly Beach campground, where you can enjoy the beauty of the Murramarang National Park. Beside the beach, you can spend your days exploring the coastline and other walking tracks and the nearby headlands are great for whale watching.
Manly Beach, Sydney, NSW
Manly Beach is one of Australia’s most famous beaches. Located on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Manly has vast stretches of golden sands and curves from South Steyne to North Steyne and Queenscliff. Just south of Manly is Shelly Beach, an aquatic reserve perfect for snorkelling. After cooling off, take a stroll along the beachfront promenade or catch a ferry around Sydney Harbour.
Nudey Beach, Fitzroy Island, QLD
A spectacular white coral beach, Nudey was ranked number 1 in Brad Farmers, Australia’s 101 Best Beaches of 2018. Located on the South-West shores of Fitzroy Island, a large tropical island located 29 kilometres south of Cairns. Nestled amongst the Great Barrier Reef, Nudey is surrounded by colourful marine life and coral and is covered in tropical rainforest. Enjoy the beautiful scenery while soaking up the sun or cool off in the pristine, clear waters. A great place for children and families, spend time with the marine life with snorkelling accessible only metres from the shore.
Hyams Beach, Jervis Beach, NSW
On the southern shores of the Jervis Bay Marine Park, Hyams Beach is another beautiful beach known for its soft white sand. The gentle, calm water makes it an ideal place for swimming, fishing and snorkelling, but make sure to take the time to explore the bush and coastal walks Hyams has to offer. Known for its turquoise coloured water, it is a haven for bottlenose dolphins, fur seals, whales and penguins. Attracting hundreds of tourists each year, it can get busy so head there a little earlier to secure a prime spot.
Mooloolabah Beach, Sunshine Coast, QLD
Voted by TripAdvisor as one of Australia’s best beaches, Mooloolabah offers a central location to enjoy the sun, surf and local Sunshine Coast attractions. The north facing beach provides protection from southerly and south easterly winds offering excellent conditions almost all year round. Take a walk along the beachfront esplanade and experience the different food and shopping options on offer or enjoy a family barbeque on the grassy parklands that overlook the beach.
Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast, QLD
Another TripAdvisor favourite, Burleigh Heads is a popular spot among locals. If you’re looking to escape Surfers Paradise or Coolangatta while visiting the Gold Coast, then Burleigh is a must see. Known for having excellent surf; the two kilometre stretch of sand offers something for everyone. Visitors can also experience the beauty of the Burleigh Heads National Park. Wrapping around the headline, the National Park has a number of walking trails to try and offers terrific views of the ocean, perfect for whale watching.
Seal Rocks, NSW
The sleepy beach town is home to beautiful beaches and is famed for its lighthouse and sense of isolation. Situated south of Forster-Tuncurry, Seal Rocks is 310 kilometres from Sydney and is hidden along a dirt road that separates it from the main road. With unspoilt beaches, idyllic picnic areas and the nearby Myall National Park, Seal Rocks is a spot not to be missed. With calming water and limited waves Number 1 Beach and Boats Beach are great for relaxing in the water. Lighthouse Beach is a popular 4WD driving spot and is great for surfers and those that enjoy wading through the waves. If you’re an experienced surfer make sure to check out Treachery Beach. A little further down from Lighthouse Beach, Treach is a secluded beach best known for its big surf and dangerous rocks. This is definitely not a swimming beach but stop by the cafe to enjoy a coffee and check out the huge surf.
The Basin, Rottnest Island, WA
Just a 30 minute ferry ride from Fremantle, Western Australia, The Basin is a picturesque swimming hole great for the whole family. The natural swimming pool is a few steps from the beach and is great for a lazy dip in the water. With its clear water and array of colourful fish, The Basin is a fun and non-threatening place for kids to learn to snorkel. Cut out of a shallow platform reef, the water is only about knee to waist deep but a bit further out along the reef (not to worry the reef isn’t slippery) you can dive into deeper water.
Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, QLD
Lizard Island is located north of Cairns and is Australia’s most northernmost island resort. Named after the abundance of goannas found on the island, there are 24 beautiful white sandy beaches to explore. Lizard Island is a National Park covering 1000 hectares and is renowned for its diving. Located directly on the Great Barrier Reef, you can experience the beauty of both the inner and outer reefs. With clear blue water and schools of tropical fish and colourful coral, the island is great for exploring, snorkelling or relaxing by the water.
Wineglass Bay, Freycinet National Park, Tasmania
Wineglass Bay is hidden in the Freycinet Peninsula and has been ranked among the top ten beaches in the world. Its pristine white sand and radiant blue water, Wineglass Bay is a popular place for sailing, hiking and kayaking. Set against grey and pink granite, the walk to Wineglass Bay beach involves an uphill climb among the granite to a rocky lookout, followed by a downhill walk to the beach below. It takes approximately two hours to get to Wineglass Bay from the entrance of the Freycinet National Park but the views are definitely worth the trip.
Turquoise Bay, Exmouth, WA
Within metres of the Ningaloo Marine Park, Turquoise Bay is one of the finest snorkelling locations in Australia. With its beautiful coloured water, it’s no surprise how Turquoise Bay got its name. Discover the myriad of fish species, coral and other marine life only 50-100m offshore. However, there can be moderate to strong currents due to a break in the reef further out, so make sure to be safe when snorkelling. Besides the picturesque snorkelling, Turquoise Bay’s white sandy beach is great for a lazy day relaxing by the water.
Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays, QLD
The largest of 74 islands in the Whitsundays, Whitehaven beach is an award winning must see beach in Australia. Stretching over seven kilometres, sink you feet into the soft white sand and take in the crystal clear turquoise water. As the sand is 98% silica meaning it is extremely fine and doesn’t retain heat, Whitehaven is a wonderful place for a barefoot beachwalk year round. If looking for a picture perfect view head over to Hill Inlet, at the northern end of Whitehaven Beach. Hill Inlet is a small bay where the tide shifts the sand and water to create a fusion of colours. Described as one of the most beautiful beaches make sure to add Whitehaven Beach to your list of must see beaches in Australia.