12 Best Beaches in Australia

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Ask anyone anywhere in Australia and they will tell you that they live near some of the best beaches in the world. Australian beaches are a part of our culture and a day at the beach is a common way to spend Christmas, Australia Day or public holidays. 

How many beaches are there in Australia? Well, there are just too many to count. Everyone knows Bondi Beach, which has become a famous landmark in Austalia but here are 12 more of the best beaches in Australia to put on your list.

12 Best Beaches in Australia

Best beaches in NSW

1- Palm Beach, Sydney

palm beach is one of the best beaches in Australia
It’s easy to see why Palm Beach is one of the best beaches in Australia.

It’s not hard to justify why Palm Beach, on the northern beaches of Sydney, is one of the best beaches in Australia.

Mick Jagger, apparently, spent a whole summer here, Elle Macpherson sunbakes here, Tom Cruise too.

Palm Beach is one of the world’s most famous beaches, owed also largely in part to TV soapie Home & Away which attracts crazed British fans on pilgrimages in their thousands.

It’s the ultimate beach for families because it’s one of only two Sydney beaches that offers some protection from Australia’s famous surfing waves.


2- Main Beach, Byron Bay

couple walking on main beach in Byron Bay
Main Beach in Byron Bay is right up there as a contender for the best beach in Australia title.

The new Ibiza, Main Beach has more scantily clad European beach babes than… well, Ibiza.

In fact, most of Europe’s better looking young inhabitants are here at some point of the summer.

Visit Byron Bay over the Christmas holidays and you won’t be able to believe the amazing array of people you’ll see loitering on Main Beach.

John Cornell’s world-famous Beach Hotel is just a 30-second walk from Main Beach.

So, after a day spent in the warm water and sunbaking on the beach all that’s required is a pair of thongs and you’re well on a way to a great evening.

You know you’ll meet some interesting people here, the hardest part is getting rid of them later.

Best beaches in Tasmania

3- Wineglass Bay

best beaches in australia
A pristine curve of sand framed by national park makes this one of the best beaches in Australia.

Voted one of the Top 10 beaches in the world by American magazine Outside, Wineglass Bay provides sun-loving tourists with a whole new reason to visit the Apple Isle.

Wineglass Bay and the nearby town of Coles Bay is emerging as the new summer destination in Australia.

From Coles Bay on the eastern coast of Tasmania, you take a 45-minute walk through rugged bushland complete with kangaroos to this massive strip of untouched white sand and clear turquoise water.

It’s the ideal day spot for families as it’s generally sheltered from the prevailing winds and ocean swells, however, it’s also becoming a major backpacker hotspot and is truly one of the best beaches in Australia.

4- Bay Of Fires

best beaches in australia
Do you think Bay of Fires has the best beach in Australia?

Located in Tasmania’s north-east corner, the Bay Of Fires is just 10 kilometres from the popular tourist town of St Helens and one of the most amazing places to visit in Tasmania.

The area was once known as Kunnara Kunna meaning “easy walking place” which means you won’t waste too much time trekking to get here.

Bay Of Fires is one of Tasmania’s most popular beach getaways with red rocks and fishing lagoons and crystal clear blue water teeming with deep sea fish (there are regular deep-sea fishing competitions if you fancy yourself as a bit of a Rex Hunt).

There’s also great local events like the Great Abalone Bake-Off and the renowned Suncoast Jazz Festival held each June.

Western Australia beaches

5- Cottesloe Beach

Cottesloe Beach is one of Australia’s best city beaches and is easily one of the best beaches in Perth.

Located just 15 minutes from Perth’s CBD, Cottlesloe is perfect for families and for those who think of beaches in the same breath as night-clubs.

Perth’s young and beautiful gather here in summer, with Sunday afternoons at the nearby Cottlesloe Beach Hotel attracting upwards of 1000 people.

However, Cottesloe’s real claim to fame has to be the fact it’s where a young Heath Ledger spent his weekends surfing and practising to be a movie demi-god.

6- Cable Beach, Broome

best beaches in australia
The variety of activities makes Cable Beach one of the best beaches in Australia.

This is the beach Kylie Minogue chooses to sit on when recuperating after relationship bust-ups.

And why not?

Cable Beach, just north-west of Broome, is one of the world’s most stunning beaches, a 24-kilometre strip of white sand and blue ocean that attracts tourists by the millions each year.

Quite a few things to do in Broome involve exploring parts of Cable Beach. 

The northern end of the beach provides fantastic four wheel driving and also has a nudist section, while there’s also 400 million-year-old dinosaur prints to check out at Gantheaume Point.

Or take a camel trek at sunset, over here the sun sets into the sea, quite a sight for east coasters.

On full moon head to nearby Town Beach to see the Staircase To The Moon.

South Australian beaches

7- Vivonne Beach, Kangaroo Island

best beaches in australia
Vivonne Bay was actually named best beach in Australia by a researcher.

Vivonne Beach has just been named the best beach in Australia by university researcher Andrew Short.

Short spent 11 years exploring every part of the Australian coastline in an effort to compile the world’s first beach database.

Vivonne Beach got Short’s number one vote because of its natural beauty: it’s over two kilometres long and has pristine clear, blue water and soft white sand.

So if you’re planning on visiting South Australia, a day at Vivoone Beach is one of the top things to do on Kangaroo Island

It’s perfect for families and beach fishermen as it’s protected from the wind and also has sea mooring for holiday boats.

Sounds remarkable, but not as remarkable as the fact someone is actually getting paid to visit every beach in Australia with your tax dollars!

8- Port Willunga

best beaches in australia
Port Willunga at sunset.

Just 30 kilometres south of Adelaide, Port Willunga (a day trip from Adelaide) has long been one of Adelaide’s favourite summer holiday beaches for both families and younger beachgoers.

There’s plenty to see: for starters you can visit the wreck of the Star Of Greece at Willunga’s northern end, or there’s the remains of a long jetty destroyed by a freak storm and Port Willunga also has fresh water springs at its southern end which are part of the Dreaming story of the local Aboriginal people.

Or you could just lie in the sun all day and watch the procession of teenagers on dates, families with eskies, pretty girls in bikinis and beach cricketers who populate Port Willunga every summer.

Best beaches in Victoria

9- Bells Beach

best beaches in australia
Some say that Bell’s Beach is the best beach in Australia for surfers.

At the start of the Great Ocean Road, Bells Beach is Australia’s most famous surfing beach.

It’s also one of the world’s most famous breaks courtesy of early-90s surf movie classic Point Break.

It was Bells Beach that Patrick Swayze died surfing the biggest waves ever surfed while Keanu Reeves watched on its famous foreshore (never mind the waves actually depicted in the movie were filmed at Sunset Beach, Hawaii!).

The best time to visit is each Easter when Bells hosts the world’s wildest surfing contest. Not so good for families, unless you’re hoping for the next Kelly Slater.

10- St Kilda Beach

couple on the best beach in Victoria
St Kilda Beach is the most accessible beach in Victoria and one of the best city beaches in Australia.

You can’t visit Melbourne without seeing St Kilda Beach.

Although there may be more picturesque beaches in our over-endowed country, there’s few that have the charm and character of St Kilda.

St Kilda Beach has one of the country’s best range of cafes, restaurants and great pubs. It’s also close to Luna Park and is home to the famous St Kilda Pier.

During summer St Kilda heaves with Melbournites and visitors anxious to escape the dry heat, you can see people here do everything from volleyball to triathlons to rollerblading.

St Kilda Beach is Australia’s answer to California’s Venice Beach, without the crack cocaine!

Best beaches in Queensland

11- Whitehaven Beach, the Whitsundays

whitehaven beach
Some say Whitehaven Beach is the best beach in Australia.

Voted number seven in a list of the world’s greatest beaches, Whitehaven Beach is a Queensland island beach that is a must-see for anyone who has ever donned a pair of lycra between their legs.

Accessed only by boat or seaplane, the magic of Whitehaven is in its seclusion in the Whitsundays, although on any given day of the week in winter Whitehaven resembles a mini-Bondi with every nation of the world often playing one another in a game of beach soccer.

Whitehaven is the ultimate family beach with its crystal clear waters ensuring no mother ever fears she’ll lose sight of the kids.

The sand on Whitehaven is unlike any other beach in the world, derived from silica you’ll never complain about getting some on your towel, in fact, take my word for it, you’ll want to roll around in the stuff and take some home in your shoes.

12- Main Beach, Surfers Paradise

surfers paradise main beach
Best beaches in Australia: Surfers Paradise is right up there.

The original spot to have a Queensland holiday, Surfers Paradise could possibly be the spot you were conceived during the glory days of the 60s and 70s.

It’s certainly a cool place for a Gold Coast surfing holiday and a hub to base yourself to tick off a bucket list of things to do on the Gold Coast.  

Still a tourist mecca, Main Beach sits directly beside the urban sprawl that has become the Surfers Paradise of the 21st Century but still manages to maintain its natural grace (although avoid sitting on the beach after four as the skyscrapers cast shadows!).

Perfect for those who get bored sitting on the beach, 50 metres away are more shops, cafes and drinking establishments than you’d expect to see in Sydney (bring your credit card!).

10 Best Australian Beaches

10 Best Australian Beaches

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Craig Tansley
Craig Tansley is a freelance travel writer based in Queensland but most of the time he seems to be somewhere else. For the past 16 years, he's had no office and spent far too much time on airplanes and in hotel rooms around the world, getting to around 50 countries or so in his quest to see as much of Earth as he possibly can.