For me, Australia is about the beaches.
In my humble, and unbiased opinion the beaches in Australia are equal to, if not the best in the world. Sure we have the outback, cosmopolitan cities and deadly animals, but it’s the beach lifestyle that sets us apart.
Hitting the beach in summer is the best time of year. And those emotions came flooding back the other day.
It’s the smell and taste of salt water. The suns rays on your back. The sand between your toes. The smell of sunscreen being applied to your face. The cool breeze that blows on a hot day. Beach side BBQ’s and picnics on the grass. Reading a book or listening to tunes. Thongs (flip flops) board shorts and a singlet. A towel over the shoulder. A morning walk or a sunset drink. Building sandcastles with the kids. Body surfing and beach cricket. Smiling faces and tanned skin.
That’s what I get excited for.
In case didn’t know, Australia’s coastline stretches almost 50,000 kilometres and is linked by over 10,000 beaches. That’s a lot of beach. And I have barely scratched the surface on how many I have seen.
So it got me thinking what beaches I would recommend if you were visiting Oz? And to be honest the list could be HUGE and it’s difficult to narrow down. And I haven’t really had many bad beach experiences in Oz.
But if I had to suggest my top 12 that I have “personally visited” here they are.
14 beaches in Australia Not To Miss.
1. Cottesloe Beach, Perth, Western Australia
Cottesloe Beach is in Perth, Western Australia, and is one of the best places to have a swim and watch the sun set. Not only a great beach, the town of Cottesloe is famous for its cafes, relaxed lifestyle, and Sunday sessions when locals throng to the beach front pubs to watch the sun go down whilst enjoying a few drinks. That’s what I’m talking about! This is one place you must visit and it’s very affordable! Look on Expedia for amazing places to stay in Perth and Cottesloe.
2. Coolangatta Beach, Gold Coast, Queensland
Coolangatta Beach has been special in our hearts for many years. It’s where I proposed marriage to Caz back in 2001. Luckily she said yes! And we love it there. The beach is awesome, and everywhere you turn people are out and about, surfing the world class breaks, skateboarding, cycling, jogging or walking the immaculately kept beach pathways and promenades, attending yoga and tai chi classes or personal fitness classes in the beach side parks, and children racing around the playgrounds. We could live there.
3. Mindil Beach, Darwin, Northern Territory
I’ve only been to Mindil Beach once, and got blown away by this incredible sunset. It was unlike any sunset I have seen before with this awesome pink tinge to it. I honestly have no idea what the beach is like generally, but if you make it to Darwin, don’t miss the Mindil Beach sunsets!
4. Wategos Beach, Byron Bay, NSW
While most people flock to the world famous Main Beach at Byron next door (which is great), consider instead the calm, clear Wategos Beach situated right under the Byron Bay Lighthouse. On a nice day this beach is stunning with crystal clear water, gentle rolling waves, and a fantastic place to swim. It’s a favourite hang-out for Australia’s rich and famous, so be on the look-out!
5. Mooloolaba Beach, Sunshine Coast, Queensland
We lived in Mooloolaba for 18 months and fell in love with this beach, and the town. As a beach town Mooloolaba is hard to beat with great swimming, cafes, restaurants, parks, BBQ areas, playgrounds, and one of the best beach-side promenade walks anywhere from Mooloolaba to the spit.
6. Yallingup Beach, Margaret River, Western Australia
Yallingup is a few hours drive south of Perth in the vicinity of the world famous Margaret River wine region. This beach also blew me away. It’s absolutely stunning with a sheltered lagoon, calm waters, and a great small town vibe. Just look at the colour of that water. Add this beach to your list when you go to WA.
7. Bronte Beach, Sydney
There are many great beaches in Sydney but probably our favourite would be Bronte in the eastern suburbs. It’s a beautiful beach with a small main street giving it a great vibe. We always stop at Bronte when we do the Bondi Beach to Coogee coastal walk and just love it as a family beach. The rock pool is awesome for the kids to swim in, the HUGE grass and BBQ area is a bonus for families, and there are no pubs nearby so no drunkeness and disorderly.
8. Cable Beach, Broome, Western Australia
Cable Beach regularly ranks as one of the best beaches in Australia in all the surveys. It’s picturesque, incredibly big and FLAT making beach cricket a sinch, and the camel rides at sunset are legendary. So go ride a camel or sip on a cocktail and watch the sunset. And the town of Broome is a very interesting place to visit.
9. Pinky Beach, Rottnest Island, Western Australia
Can you believe I literally had this beach all to myself when I visited Rottnest Island and rode around on bicycle. Just look at that water, and the temperature was perfect. Rottnest is located 18 kilometres off the coast of Perth and it’s a MUST VISIT when in WA. Pinky beach is amazing, but there are many other stunning beaches on the island too. I hope you get there.
10. Seal Rocks, New South Wales
If you are planning a Sydney to Brisbane road trip I highly suggest a stop at Seal Rocks, a quiet fishing village offering clear bays for swimming, snorkelling, boating and fishing. This beach was just perfect, and much quieter than your usual east coast beaches. Seal Rocks is also a great place to go camping.
11. Contos Beach, Cape-to-Cape track, Western Australia
I never did quite make it onto this beach, as close as I got was this photograph, but just looking at the beauty of this beach from a distance and the fact that no one was there inspires me to return. If you ever make it to the Margaret River region in WA put the Cape-to-Cape track on your list and get down onto this beach. That’s what I plan to do.
12. Bondi Beach, Sydney
I hesitated to put Bondi on this list. I really did. For years I have been telling other travellers don’t worry about going to Bondi, Sydney has so many other better beaches. And it does. But it’s one of those iconic places you should just visit at least once. Actually, the more I go there the more it is growing on me. It’s the starting point to our much loved Bondi to Coogee coastal walk, I don’t think you could get any more Australian than learning to surf at Bondi, the people watching is first class, and the views from Bondi Iceburgs as you sip on an afternoon beer are legendary.
13. Whitehaven Beach, Queensland
Whitehaven Beach was recently ranked 3rd BEST beach in the world on Trip Advisor via their Travelers’ Choice Awards, and it also shot to fame when the queen of television, Oprah Winfrey, dug her toes in to the sand on her legendary trip downunder.
Located in the Whitsunday Islands in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, Whitehaven is 7km long and provides the foreground to the beautiful Whitsunday Islands National Park.
14. Hazards Beach, Tasmania
Just across the small strip of land from Wineglass Bay sits Hazards Beach. My heart has been left on the rocky cove of Hazards Beach within the Freycinet National Park on the east coast of Tasmania. It’s pure, remote, desolate, peaceful, and breathtaking