The 10 Most Beautiful Beaches In Australia
Australia, the world’s largest island, has some of the best surfing beaches to be found anywhere. Here, visiting the beach is as much a social experience as an opportunity for relaxation and water sports, since the beach is integral to Australian culture. While there will always be disagreement over which of the thousands of beaches are the best, the following selection represents a variety of urban and regional surf beaches that are popular with both surfers and those looking for a fun day on the beach.
Noosa Heads, in Queensland, is one of Australia’s best family beaches. Facing north, it is more like an ocean cul-de-sac, with generally gentler surf conditions than might be found on the more open beaches. Just behind the beach is the famous Hastings Street shopping strip. High fashion boutiques, art galleries, and trendy restaurants run along its shopper-friendly pavements, shaded by lush, leafy trees.
The Gold Coast’s Burleigh Heads is famous for its pine tree backdrop and great point break surf. The famous Burleigh Barrel, a power-packed tube loved by all surfers is driven by solid swells and prevailing SE winds. Burleigh’s shopping precinct just off the beach is a quiet and eclectic collection of shops and cafes.
Byron Bay, in northern New South Wales, is considered Australia’s alternative lifestyle capital. The trendy town centre, boasting top-quality eateries and pubs, is fronted by a superb beach. The lack of high-rise development adds to the clean, laid-back appeal of this pristine location. Close to the beach strip are subtropical rainforests and national parks that you can easily visit.
On Sydney’s northern coastline, Palm Beach is noted as a residential suburb for the wealthy as much as for its surf beach. Situated on a peninsula, the beach has stunning Pacific Ocean front expanses with a variety of swells, and there are gentler waters on the west of the peninsular at Pittwater. Surrounding bushland adds to the feeling of genteel serenity.
Australia’s most famous beach, Sydney’s Bondi Beach, is where Australian beach culture originated. This stunning beach, bounded by rocky points at either end, abuts a vast promenade with a distinctively old world charm. Its wide stretch of sand is dominated by the grand old Bondi Pavilion, built in 1928. Campbell Parade, running parallel to the beach, is a people watcher’s delight.
Two hours’ drive south of Sydney is Kiama, where the beautiful Surf Beach offers a deep beachfront of pure white sand, gentle incoming waves, and an open park with cooking facilities and picnic areas. The beach is popular with families, and many visitors come to view the breath-taking Kiama Blowhole nearby.
At Portsea, in Victoria, Melbourne’s wealthy come to retire for a summer respite. Set on the western-most point of the sweeping Mornington Peninsula, Portsea boasts a fascinating, rugged ocean front beach as well as a quieter bay beach nearby. Stark rock formations, shaped by the area’s often savage winds, feature prominently around the beach landscapes. The tiny village has a feel of understated exclusivity.
Many would claim Bells Beach as Australia’s best board surfing beach. Located 100 km south west of Melbourne along the majestic Great Ocean Road, Bells is a largely untouched ocean beach with almost never-ending swells undulating across deep blue water. The beach ends abruptly with soaring cliffs of yellow and orange clay. Designated a state reserve, its unspoiled status is assured.
Margaret River, in Australia’s south west, is virtually unrivalled for the quality of its waves. The clear, open water swells and forms some of the world’s best and most consistent board and body catches. Dazzling views across the mighty river and its mouth as it spills into the Indian Ocean are plentiful. Margaret River township is a mellow precinct dotted with great cafes and art galleries.
Perth’s Cottesloe Beach is understandably that city’s pride and joy. The now ritzy suburb, just outside Perth CBD, affords unbeatable views across the ocean to gorgeous Rottnest Island. The westerly-facing beach, part of a long strip, is a fantastic place to watch the sun set on another day. The stately old surf club and restaurant provides a regal focal point.