Best beaches in Australia
Breaking down ten of Australia's most gorgeous stretches of sand.
All around the world, Australia is renowned for its beaches, and it isn’t hard to see why. With some of the longest stretches of sand-covered coastline in the world, Oz’s beaches are not only plentiful but also of an almost universally high quality.
Aussies take care of and take pride in our beaches, keeping them generally clean and pollution-free, but with so many to choose from, how can you determine which beaches are a cut above the rest?
Here’s our list based on a detailed survey of the Australian public, in reverse order:
10. Bondi Beach, Sydney
Location Bondi, Sydney NSW
We can see you rolling your eyes through the screen right now, however, bear with us. Bondi makes the list simply because no Aussie beach countdown is complete without having it on board. Less about the actual quality of the beach itself and more about the surroundings, atmosphere, history and people watching, like it or not, Sydney‘s famous stretch of sand at Bondi is a long-time fixture and also something of an icon in Aussie beach culture.
Image: Wise Monkeys Abroad
The beach is the home of the world’s first Surf Life Saving club (founded over 100 years ago) and played a key role in the development of several safety techniques and equipment that are still in use today. Bondi was also the focal point of a series of bathing suit protests in the early 1900’s, helping pave the way for the bikini to become the commonly accepted piece of beach-going attire that it is today.
These days, Bondi is almost universally crowded except in the coldest months of the year, with its relatively clean shores coupling with extremely easy access from the centre of Australia’s largest city making it a popular destination to relax and eat. The beach’s popularity has lead to a huge number of dining options such as cafes and restaurants springing up nearby as a result, meaning it’s quite possible to spend a full day lazing away in the sunshine while having a decent place to eat. It's important to note that visitors should expect to pay “tourist prices” for any and all purchases, with parking fees, in particular, bordering on the ridiculous.
Nonetheless, if you’re visiting Australia from overseas or simply an Aussie travelling to Sydney for the first time, Bondi’s cultural relevance and status make it a must-visit, if only once.Browse Sydney Experiences
9. Lizard Island, QLD
Location Near Cairns, Far North Queensland
The entire Great Barrier Reef in general offers a cavalcade of amazing spectacles, not the least of which are beaches. However, two destinations, in particular, stand out among the many choices as far as we are concerned (another of which you’ll come across later on this list). In terms of islands, you’d be hard pressed to find a higher concentration of great beaches-per-square-metre than on the stunning Lizard Island, which boasts 23 separate stunning white beaches over the relatively small area of just over 1000 hectares.
Lizard island sits on the eastern side of the Great Barrier Reef and is a picture-perfect example of an amazing island getaway. There’s only one thing standing in the way, however, as one of the most exclusive beach destinations in the country, you’ll have to have deep wallets if you want to spend time here.
Image: Erik Williamson
With only one accommodation facility on the island; the aptly-named Lizard Island Resort, you can expect to pay a starting price of around $1, 400 per night (minimum 2 nights stay) for the entry level Anchor Bay Room.
So what do you get for your money? Your own private villa and access to some of the most secluded beaches in the country with amazing diving and snorkelling spots right off shore. If you’re amongst the lucky few who are looking to travel to Lizard Island, your best bet is to fly to Cairns and then take a 1-hour hinterland flight transfer, which are held twice daily. Once you arrive, all you'll need to do is set back, relax, and brag about this incredible destination to us unlucky folk at home.Browse Cairns Experiences
8. Main Beach, Byron Bay NSW
Location Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba
Byron has come a long way in terms of development from its early days as merely a quaint hippy town. Modern cafes and bars have been popping up over the years along with increasing interest from property developers, however, one thing that has remained unchanged is the quality of its beaches.
Sporting a long, typically uncrowded stretch of coastline that is reached with a short trip from the Gold Coast and various other Northern New South Wales destinations, Main Beach has been a large contributing factor in the continued growth of Byron Bay‘s popularity.
As you’ve probably heard by now, Byron’s main selling point for tourists is that it’s the easternmost point of mainland Australia. On top of that, its location makes the majority of its beaches conducive to some great surf breaks drawing surfers from all over the globe. As an added bonus, those looking to bring their pets for some exercise can visit the dog-friendly Belongil Beach and Tallow Beach. The lovely powder-like sand of the beaches makes for a great day out for those visiting interstate or simply hopping across the border for a less-crowded alternative.