There are hundreds of beaches along the coastline, so how can we honestly tell you which ones are the best beaches to visit in Australia? Well, Tim and I are beach snobs. Beach experts, actually. We spent an entire year in Australia visiting endless beaches, so we can give you expert advice, no problem! Without further ado, and in no particular order, here is our list of best beaches to visit in Australia. With any luck, you’ll be booking a beach vacation here in no time.
Blue Haven, West Australia
Blue Haven is a piece of paradise. Found in a protected bay along Twilight Beach Road in Esperance, it is by far one of the best beaches in Australia. As you walk down the steps into the bay, you’ll be blown away by the white sand and crystal clear blue water surrounded by rocks and lush vegetation. To say Blue Haven is a scenic spot is putting it mildly. It is breathtaking. We spent a day here relaxing on the sand and dipping in the ocean and thankfully, there was only one other couple around.
Murrays Beach, New South Wales
With pristine clear water and pearly white sand, Murrays Beach in Booderee National Park is an absolute gem. Accessed via Jervis Bay road, this beach is a perfect location for snorkelling and swimming. A popular spot with families, the area also has camping facilities and hikes for exploration, not to mention tons of wallaby sightings. This was one of our first stops outside of Sydney and we were not disappointed. The weather was fantastic in late January and the crowds were quite minimal. The only minor issue was the small Blue Bottle jellyfish that rolled in on the third day and stung Tim!
Cable Beach, West Australia
Famous for its picturesque sunsets, Cable Beach definitely makes it on our list of best beaches in Australia. You should know by now that watching sunsets is one of our favourite things to do. Lots of visitors actually take camel ride tours here as a unique way to enjoy the sunset, but we preferred just chilling in the sand.
Cable Beach has much more than beautiful sunsets though; with 22 kilometres of pure white sand and turquoise water, it’s a perfect spot for a day of sunbathing and swimming. We even went for a few jogs on the beach; with its size, it’s the perfect spot for a run! The only downside is that on day 3 of our visit, big red jellies showed up in the water and on the beach, definitely putting a stop to our fun. There’s so much to explore in Broome though, we really weren’t that put off to spend a day away.
Bondi Beach, New South Wales
Known as one of Australia’s most famous beaches, Bondi Beach is a must-see for any visitor. A white sandy crest in the suburbs of Sydney, Bondi is a bustling beach, popular for both swimming and surfing. There’s some wild currents and waves here, and because it’s such a popular spot in the city, the beach is heavily patrolled by lifeguards. Make sure if you are inexperienced to stay within the yellow and red flags when swimming. If you’re just relaxing on a beach towel, watching surfers hit the waves is pretty fun too!
It’s not just the beach that makes this spot so fantastic. Once visitors are done at the beach, there are a number of laid-back cafes, trendy shops, and hipster pubs that are frequented. There’s also a scenic, clifftop coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee Beach that rewards both walkers and joggers.
Nobbys Beach, New South Wales
Located in Newcastle just an hour north of Sydney, Nobbys beach is a great spot for sunbathing, swimming and those learning to surf. Patrolled by lifeguards, make sure to swim between the yellow and red flags to practise safety. We loved hitting up this beach, most especially because we visited during an epic heatwave and the water was so refreshing.
We remember well one particular day during the heatwave when we spent most of the day here in the cool ocean. When we were ready to leave, we realized the sand had become dangerously hot. We braced ourselves and took a run for the parking lot, but with such large ground to cover we eventually felt the burn of the hot sand. It was quite an experience, and a workout!
Byron Bay, New South Wales
With some of Australia’s best beaches and surf breaks, the town of Byron Bay attracts visitors year round. What makes Byron Bay so awesome is the chill vibe; you’ll notice it as soon as you set foot here. Everyone there was in pure vacation mode. Main Beach, which is located right in front of the town, is a large beach with soft, white sand perfect for sunbathing, strolling or playing in the waves. Its size allows for plenty of space to set up your belongings and have some privacy. There are a number of cool beachfront restaurants and pubs when you get hungry or tired of the sun.
We also recommend Little Wategos beach, a more secluded area and Australia’s easternmost beach. Watching surfers here is quite fun. There are also a number of surf schools in the area if you want to try it out for yourself. Come on, you’re in Australia after all!
Besides the beach life in Byron Bay, don’t miss the iconic lighthouse, as well as several lookout points, to really get the most of the gorgeous coast and watch the surfers carve into the sunset.
Lucky Bay, West Australia
Lucky Bay is a heavenly, enclosed beach with fine, white sand and aquamarine waters to entice you. The rocks and vegetation surrounding it add to its beauty. Located in Cape Le Grand National Park in Esperance, this picturesque beach is definitely one of Australia’s best beaches. There are a number of camping facilities, walking paths and hikes in the park too. When we visited in November, it was a little chilly and completely deserted, but we can’t imagine this beach being empty on a warm summer’s day.
It’s also worth noting that unlike any other beach we saw in Australia, Lucky Bay has resident kangaroos that sunbathe on the grass. They did not seem bothered by humans either. Now you can see why we’d say this is one of Australia’s best beaches to visit!
Whitehaven Beach, Queensland
Whitehaven is an award-wining beach in Australia known for its pristine white silica sand. Located in the Whitsunday Islands, it is accessible by boat, helicopter or seaplane from Airlie Beach or Hamilton Island. The water looks like glass and the sand is so soft, walking along this beach will leave you feeling refreshed and exhilarated. Though absolutely breathtaking in sight, especially from above (don’t forget your drone!), it is advised to wear a stinger suit in the water here because of the deadly Irukandji jellyfish. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Located on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Noosa’s Main Beach is a fun, lively spot to spend a few days. While great for sunbathing and swimming, Main Beach is also popular for surfing. The gentle waves are perfect for beginners. There’s a beautiful park just behind the beach to enjoy picnics, walks or jogs. Many local shops and restaurants back onto the beach as well. Of course, don’t miss a sunset here. If you walk far enough along the beach and get to the rocks, you can watch a very impressive sunset all on your own.
It’s worth noting that north of the Sunshine Coast, there aren’t a lot of swimmable beaches in Australia. Many are doomed because of the crocodiles and Irukandji jellyfish that are present in the ocean up north. Perhaps this is what made Noosa so special for us; it was our last swimmable beach spot until we got to the West Coast!
Turquoise Bay, West Australia
Turquoise Bay is an idyllic beach found in Cape Range National Park in West Australia. Sitting on that pristine white beach with a light breeze blowing against our warm skin, we instantly felt at peace. Just around the bend there is a drift snorkel to explore the clear, aquamarine ocean water. We didn’t even need to snorkel to see fish though. When we went for dip in the shallow water, we discovered a sting ray camouflaged in the sand among many other fish. Luckily for us, it was missing its stinger! What a memorable day!
Smiths Beach, West Australia
Smiths Beach is by far one of Australia’s best beaches to visit. It is perfect for pristine sand, dramatic rocky cliffs, and turquoise water to play in. Located in Yallingup, Margaret River in West Australia, Smiths Beach is a beauty. We spent the entire day here, mostly on our own, bodyboarding and surfing the waves. We also saw dolphins swim by and humpback whales rolling in the water out in the distance. To this day, our time spent there was one of our favourites!
Coral Bay, West Australia
Coral Bay is another idyllic beach in West Australia known for it’s cool coves, soft white sand. This spot is also very popular for snorkelling and diving. It is located in the heart of Ningaloo Reef and nearby Cape Range National Park. We spent a couple of days here and could have easily spent more because the area is just so chill and picturesque. One of the best things about Coral Bay that we experienced was the drift snorkel, a current just off the beach that carries snorkelers over cabbage coral and a sample of interesting fish.
Another popular activity here? Taking tours to swim with whale sharks, though the season is typically from March till end of July. We visited in early October, so unfortunately we missed this epic experience. You can’t see everything, hey?!
Bells Beach, South Australia
Renowned for its surfing, Bells Beach is one of the best beaches to visit in Australia. While visitors may not be able to swim in these waters, watching experienced surfers here is a blast. If visiting on Easter Weekend, you’ll find pro surfers carve the waves at the Rip Curl Pro Surfing Competition. For sightseers, Bells is a popular spot since it’s located along the Great Ocean Road. The high cliffs make for a dramatic backdrop, as well as an excellent vantage point. We actually went down the stairs to the beach to get some shots of the surfers up close. The cliff walls next to the wild waves make for excellent photos.
Which do you consider the best beaches in Australia? Did we forget any? Tell us in the comments below! And if you want more Australia inspiration, check out our other post here!
Peace & love,
Tim & Marcella
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