Trying to rank the best beaches in Australia can be an intimidating task. After all, with almost 60,000 kilometres of coastline, how could they not? Facing the Indian, South Pacific, and the Timor Sea, there are countless specimens to choose from. Many could make ‘top ten beaches in the world’ lists from major travel media publications. Nonetheless, I will try to share just a sliver of the tropical paradise 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). Also, we omitted the Northern Territory (too much danger from crocs). Now you just need to figure out which Australian beaches you want to visit. Once that is done, buy a plane ticket, travel insurance and book a hotel! Ultimately though, you can’t go wrong with any of these beaches in Australia.
Let’s jump right into it…
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Beaches in Queensland
- 2 Best Beaches in New South Wales
- 3 Best Beaches in Victoria
- 4 Best Beaches in Tasmania
- 5 Best Beaches in South Australia
- 6 Best Beaches in Western Australia
- 7 Summary of Best Beaches in Australia
Best Beaches in Queensland
It should be no surprise that Queensland has some incredible beaches. One could even argue some of the best beaches in Australia. The first selection below is considered to be one of the best beaches in the world.
1) Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays
Of all the Australia beaches on this list, Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays comes the closest to being the best. Comprised of blinding white silica sand bisected by a lazy river, you’re off to a solid start. You’ll be openly questioning whether or not you are dreaming the second you set foot on it. Without a doubt, Whitehaven Beach is one of the best beaches in Australia, if not the world.
Its waters are crystal clear, making it an ideal place for snorkeling. 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, its access is limited. There are no services, and the cost of getting there may be too much for some travelers.
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.
It has excellent waves for surfing and distant views of famous Gold Coast towers. Burleigh Heads Beach 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.
Situated at 16 degrees south latitude, the weather is always warm no matter the time of year. This makes the water perfect for swimming whenever you happen to visit.
A stinger net is in place to keep swimmers safe from jellyfish, just letting you know. Don’t let the horror stories you hear about beaches keep you from enjoying this immensely beautiful place.
4) Noosa Beach, Sunshine Coast
Many beaches in Queensland are known for their surf. This also means they have rip tides, introducing serious concerns for traveling families.
Fortunately, Noosa Beach faces north. This shelters it from the relentless swells of the South Pacific. Found on the Sunshine Coast north of Brisbane, it is also an upmarket destination.
Do you love indulging in meals at restaurants with cutting-edge cuisine? If so, you will love what you find here.
5) Seventy Five Mile Beach, Fraser Island
This beach was once 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.
It’s close to the mainland, but far away from the cares of modern civilization. Those who visit Fraser Island will find relaxation and peace of mine. It won’t long after discovering the endless sands of Seventy Five Mile Beach.
Looking for a nudist beach in Australia? Fraser Island may prove to be a good choice due to its seemingly infinite length.
Word of caution, the surf can be a bit too wild for some swimmers. Its raw beauty will keep you coming back regardless. Highlights include a rusting shipwreck, dingo (wild dog) sightings, and excellent fishing right off the shore.
Best Beaches in New South Wales
6) Wategos Beach, Byron Bay
Many beaches in Byron Bay are best suited towards surfers. Wategos Beach is sheltered enough to make it a safe place for swimmers. This is important as strong rip tides are present elsewhere.
Wategos Beach is very easy on the eyes as well. It has clear water taking on multiple shades of blue and green. This beach also has 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. Many head out to experience the best bars in Sydney after a day of fun in the sun.
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. Great places where you can watch the experts do their things while you sip on a coffee or beer. Bondi Beach is is part of the best beaches in Australia list for a reason.
8) Bronte Beach, Sydney
Looking for a more intimate beach experience in the Sydney area? Make tracks for Bronte Beach, as this is a pocket-sized slice of heaven. Bronte Beach is beloved by locals not just for its stunning water, but also for its tidal pool. It’s 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. A great spot for getting in your cardio and for pictures when the swells are high. Take in the scene as the waves 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. Manly Beach is worth the visit should you have the time.
Bondi Beach gets much of the attention these days as it’s the spot. Manly Beach was host to the first world surfing championship was held in 1964, it’s a classic.
As you might expect, the waves here still attract plenty of surfers on any given day. Its urban location means there are plenty of cafes, bars, and restaurants available to serve you as well.
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. Rather credible claim coming from the Guinness World Book of Records.
That isn’t its only worthwhile quality, however. Hyams Beach is 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. Something which can be hard to come by on the busy sands of Bondi Beach Australia.
Best Beaches in Victoria
11) Squeaky Beach, Wilson’s Promontory National Park
The factors which make a great beach don’t revolve solely around visuals. Sounds or lack of can also be a draw for beach goers. So is the case with Squeaky Beach, a scenic spot with quartz sand. When you walk upon its surface, the grains rub against each other. This creating the sound which gives this place its name.
Squeaky Beach is an outstanding place for a walk. The waves here can also be suitable for strong surfers. Strong rip tide and lack of lifeguards makes going in the water not advisable for beginners.
12) St. Kilda Beach, Melbourne
While St. Kilda Beach may not be one of the most naturally attractive Australian beaches. St. Kilda Beach has the strongest social scene in Melbourne. When 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 at Elwood beach is much cleaner than most other places. W=ith 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. It’s a legendary spot for surfers in the state of Victoria.
Bells Beach is 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. Regards to the best beaches in Australia, this is one of the hidden gems for any surfing enthusiast.
If you an accomplished surfer, you will love Bells Beach. Swimmers are confined to shore due to strong currents (the water is quite chilly anyway. The dramatic cliffs and the entertainment out on the water will make up for this though.
15) Great Ocean Road, various beaches
There are plenty more Australia beaches along the length of the Great Ocean Road. Many of which don’t have formal names. Given the beauty of these beaches though, you’ll wonder why this is the case.
At one beach along Great Ocean Road you can view the 12 Apostles at the bottom of the Gibson Steps. Others see sea stacks and water at the Loch Ard Gorge which looks a lot like The Algarve. Regardless of names, you’ll have plenty of fodder for your camera.
Again, the water here isn’t the warmest along Great Ocean Road. Rip tides are often powerful, so stay out of the water unless you know exactly what you are doing.
Best Beaches in Tasmania
16) Wineglass Bay, Freycinet National Park
Tasmania has some pretty Australia beaches. When all the chips are on the table, none can rival the beauty of Wineglass Bay.
Wineglass Bay would give Hyams Beach in NSW and Whitehaven Beach a run. The main issue why it doesn’t is it’s difficult to access and the water is very cold.
Don’t let either of these drawbacks hold you back from visiting Wineglass Bay. Take a guided hike starting at dawn, you’ll reach about midday. That’s how remote it it is, make it to Wineglass Bay and you’ll be glad you did.
With its aquamarine waters shinining on a particularly warm day, the chilly waters won’t seem so bad. This 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. It’s also worth including in one long day of hiking in Freycinet National Park.
Hazards bay is longer in length than Wineglass Bay. It is easy to find solitude on this often overlooked spot. It’s quite remote 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.
Binalong Bay isn’t backed by cliffs like Wineglass Bay is. That said, 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 to relax. A place where you can enjoy a celebratory coffee, beer, or full meal.
Best Beaches in South Australia
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. All which make it a busy entertainment hub during the summer months.
Glenelg Bay has all the usual assortment of restaurants, bars, shops, and heritage hotel. Situated on a scenic jetty which will make for some sick photographs. Regardless your passions, 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. Enjoy an exciting swim with these intelligent creatures. It’s also a great way to do more than just surf. That or of course 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. It’s a broad strip of sand which is firm enough to take a 4×4. Robe Beach is a popular spot 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!
Best Beaches in Western Australia
21) Cottesloe Beach, Perth
Start off an Australia beach road trip in Western Australia by spending a fun-filled day with Perth locals. No better place to start than at Cottesloe Beach. The gorgeous waters, sand, and Norfolk pines found at Cottesloe Beach make it an epic stop. 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. All situated, 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 will let 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 though. It’s 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 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 but still exquisite. There are places at The Basin where the bottom is sandy, making them great for swimmers.
With significant parts of reef intact, snorkelers will certainly find plenty of sea life swimming around. This making for an entertaining afternoon 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’re a world away.
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 at Coral Bay Beach. It is filled up with a kaleidoscope of tropical fish and colourful corals.
24) Turquoise Bay, Exmouth
Further up the Northwest Cape is the small city of Exmouth. It’s your jumping off point to explore the mind blowing colours of Turquoise Bay.
The effervescent water at Turquoise Bay will stand in direct contrast to the pure white coral sand. Thus 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. Do take care to use water-resistant sunscreen when swimming here. The sun at Coral bay in Exmouth is strong and there is no natural shade to be had there.
25) Cable Beach, Broome
Broome is about as far as one can get from Sydney in Australia. 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. A cable from the Southeast Asian country of Indonesia in 1889.
This fact gave this town’s 22 kilometre long beach its name. Cable Beach stretches well into the horizon whichever way you look. Ride camels into the sunset or cast a line into the surf in search of a big catch. That or drive a rental Land Rover to a deserted section of Cable Beach Australia. This is where you can hang out with your mates in privacy.
Summary of Best Beaches in Australia
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 because they are all great. Just be sure to pack lots of sunscreen and pace yourself. Necesary as the sun is strong and unforgiving in this part of the world. The worst thing you can do on an Australian beach holiday is get burnt to a crisp the first day!
Are we missing one of Australia’s best beaches? If so, please let us know because we’d like to add it.