46 of the Best Beaches in Australia To Set Foot On

Australia is home to many incredible beaches, and it’s one of the main reasons why people visit here! From excellent surfing spots to whale watching sights to tropical island life, there’s so much to see and enjoy from one of the best beaches in Australia.

Little Salmon Bay, Rottnest Island, Western Australia

In case you didn’t know, Australia’s coastline stretches for 50,000 kilometers and is linked by over 10,000 beaches. That’s a lot of beaches!

But what are the best beaches in Australia? What can you simply not miss on a trip Down Under? This guide reveals 46 of the best Australian beaches that should not be missed.

Table Of Contents
  1. Does Australia Have Nice Beaches?
  2. The Best Beaches in Western Australia
  3. Best Beaches in the Northern Territory
  4. Best Beaches in Queensland
  5. New South Wales
  6. Victoria
  7. Tasmania
  8. Best Beaches in South Australia
  9. Before You Go
  10. More Australia Travel Tips:

Does Australia Have Nice Beaches?

Australia’s landscape is some of the most diverse and beautiful in the world. Sure we have the Outback, cosmopolitan cities, and charming country towns, but it’s the beach lifestyle that sets Australia apart.

It’s the smell and taste of salt water. The sun’s 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.

After traveling around Australia for 18 months, I have lost count of the amount of Australia’s best beaches I set foot on.

Each and every one of them is special and unique in their own way, but there’s one thing they all have in common – they’re all undeniably beautiful.

The Best Beaches in Western Australia

So without further ado, here are the top beaches in Australia to make sure you visit. Whether you’re looking for somewhere pristine and relaxing, or thriving with marine life, there’s a beach for everyone on this list.

To be honest this list could be HUGE and it’s difficult to narrow down. I haven’t visited South Australia yet and still have the bottom half of Western Australia to go (they will be added later).

1. The Basin, Rottnest Island

The Basin, Rottnest Island, Western Australia

No words needed. I mean, just look at that scene! The turquoise water, the corals, and the sand that’s so white it blinds you. And no it’s not the Great Barrier Reef.

Rottnest Island is located 18 kilometers off the coast of Perth, and if you only visit one beach on “Rotto” make it THE BASIN.

Bring your snorkeling gear!

2. Cottesloe Beach, Perth

Cottesloe Beach, Perth - Western Australia

As far as city beaches go, Cottesloe Beach in Perth is one of the best.

It’s a great place to have an early morning swim, or later on grab some fish & chips and a bottle of wine and take in the sunset.

It’s a very popular spot with locals, so parking can be horrendous. But on a sunny day, it’s a top spot to be!

3. Pinky Beach, Rottnest Island

Pinky Beach, Rottnest Island, Western Australia

Another stunning beach on Rottnest Island is Pinky Beach.

Pinky beach is easily accessible from the main town on Rotto and Bathurst Lighthouse makes for a lovely place to relax.

As you can see, it’s a quiet beach with gorgeous white sand and corals near the shoreline. Be sure to pack your snorkeling gear and bring an umbrella, as there is no shade on this beach.

4. Coral Bay Beach

Coral Bay, Western Australia

Coral Bay is one of Western Australia’s favourite holiday spots and now I know why.

Grab your snorkeling gear, step off the beach and immerse yourself in the beautiful marine life that lives just meters from shore.

It’s part of the Ningaloo Reef region and is considered one of the best beaches in Australia for snokelling. I mean, of course, it is, it’s in the name!

The town is pretty laid back too, so make sure you spend a couple of days here.

5. Sandy Bay, Exmouth

Sandy Bay, Exmouth, Western Australia

This beach is pure paradise.

Made up of endless white sand, crystal clear water, and dark blue skies. The shallow waters make it an excellent beach for kids to paddle and play in.

It’s also located in Cape Range National Park, as well as within Ningaloo Marine Park, so you should bring your snorkelling gear and explore the reefs.

Like many beaches in Western Australia, Sandy Bay is picturesque but sparse of shade cover, so bring an umbrella with you to protect you from the sun.

6. Turquoise Bay, Exmouth

Turquoise Bay, Exmouth, Western Australia

Just down the road from Sandy Bay are the stunning waters of Turquoise Bay. Pack your swimming gear and snorkel as you’ll be within metres of the famous Ningaloo Reef.

Torquoise Bay is located in the Cape Range National Park and is a brilliant beach for swimming, snorkeling, or just relaxing.

Try your hand at the popular drift snorkel on the southern end of the beach, and allow the current to wash you north.

7. Cable Beach, Broome

Cable Beach, Broome - Western Australia

Cable Beach regularly ranks as one of the top 5 best beaches in Australia in top travel magazines. No arguments from me!

Long, flat, picturesque, and perfect for beach cricket and the legendary sunset camel rides. Cable Beach is the perfect place to hang out if you’re visiting nearby Broome.

Go ride a camel or sip on a cocktail in a beach bar and watch the sun go down. Bliss!

8. Town Beach, Broome

Town Beach, Broome, Western Australia

Town Beach is located in Broome and is not the best beach for swimming, but its picturesque beauty makes up for it! It’s known for being a pink sand beach with green mangroves, swaying palm trees and stunning turquoise waters.

But I simply loved sitting here one morning at the cafe whilst the kids played in the playground. You’ll find many backpackers and creative types slacklining between the trees.

It’s a great place for people-watching. I mean, look at the VIEW!! And this is the location for the famous “staircase to the moon”.

Best Beaches in the Northern Territory

The Northern Territory is often overlooked as a place for stunning beaches, but there are a few worth checking out. Here are our favourites…

9. Mindil Beach, Darwin

Mindil Beach, Darwin, Northern Territory - Australia

One of the best places in Darwin to see the sunset, as you can see from the amount of people sitting on the beach.

Not a place for swimming due to crocs, but the Mindil Beach markets are also legendary! When in town, don’t miss this spot. It’s one of the best beaches in Australia for sunsets.

10. Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Australian Indian Ocean Territories

palm trees leaning over the water of hte cocos
Photo Credit: Flickr

The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean, and so many people don’t realize they belong to Australia!

If you want to go scuba diving that’s not on the Great Barrier Reef, then this is the next best place to be.

Consisting of two atolls, surrounded by 27 coral islands, visitors will find themselves completely off the beaten path if they explore here. Of these islands, only two are inhabited, West Island and Home Island, and are home to only 600 people.

The islands were discovered in 1609 by the British sea captain, William Keeling, but it wasn’t settled until the 19th century. It became part of Australia in 1955.

Today, the islands are a blissful paradise with white sand beaches, palm trees, unspoiled natural beauty and thriving marine life. This still remains a hidden gem in Australia.

Best Beaches in Queensland

Queensland is probably the most popular state to visit for beaches. It’s home to tropical islands, the Great Barrier Reef, and pristine national parks.

Here are our favourite beaches in Queensland!

11. Cape Tribulation, Daintree National Park

family walking along the beach Cape Tribulation,

When you have two World Heritage places smack bang against each other (Daintree Rainforest and The Great Barrier Reef) you know it’s going to be something special.

Take a walk or go kayaking in paradise!

12. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Islands

swirling wihite sound and blue water of Hill Inlet - Whitehaven Beach

Whitehaven Beach is probably my favourite beach in Oz, and has been ranked 3rd BEST beach in the world on Trip Advisor.

It shot to fame when Oprah Winfrey dug her toes into the pure white silica sand on her trip down under.

The view from Hill Inlet of the swirling patterns of turquoise water and white sand is picture postcard perfect.

In fact, Whitehaven Beach is not the only reasons to visit the Whitsunday’s. There are so many stunning beaches in this island archipelago, it deserves a few days of island hopping during your trip to Australia.

13. Agnes Water Beach

man with surfboard under arm on Agnes Water Beach - Queensland, Australia

This tiny, laid-back beach town of Agnes Water is next door to the super laid-back Town of 1770.

We loved this beach which is surrounded by nature, grassy cliffs, and unspoiled beauty. The waves are gentle by the shore which is great for kids to splash around in.

Further out, the waves are good for surfing. It also has pretty sunsets at night – yep, even on the east coast!

14. Seventy Five Mile Beach, Fraser Island

4WD along 75 Mile Beach - Fraser Island, Queensland, Australia

This beach is not for swimming, but it is the best beach in Australia for adventurers. The 75 mile beach on Fraser Island is famous for being the island’s highway! Fraser Island is an incredibly cool place to visit in Australia, and is the largest sand island in the world.

We had so much fun four-wheel driving on 75 Mile Beach. If you time your visit right, you can see whales swimming just off the shore.

It’s wild and rugged, apparently a good beach for fishing. It also has some wildlife on the shores, as you’ll see wild dingos roaming around.

One of the most iconic landmarks on the beach is a shipwreck.

Watch our video below to learn more about Fraser Island and all the adventures it offers:

15. Noosa Main Beach, Sunshine Coast

Noosa Main Beach, Queensland, Australia

There’s no doubt about it, Noosa is stunning. There’s a reason thousands flock to Noosa each year to surf, swim or walk along Main Beach.

Noosa is a great, family-friendly beach and on a sunny day, it’s one of the best places to be on the Sunshine Coast.

It’s also located in the town so restaurants and cafes are just a stone’s throw away.

16. Mooloolaba Beach, Sunshine Coast

Mooloolaba Beach, Queensland, Australia

Another great beach on the Sunshine Coast is Mooloolaba Beach. We lived in Mooloolaba for 18 months and fell in love with this beach, not only because of how stunning it is but because of how lively it is.

As a beach town, Mooloolaba is hard to beat. It has great swimming, cafes, restaurants, parks, BBQ areas, playgrounds, and one of the best beach-side promenade walks anywhere.

It’s another one of the top beaches in Australia for families with small kids because the waves are small. And there are lifeguards on duty for peace of mind.

Want to know more about the Sunshine Coast? Check out our video below:

17. Burleigh Heads Beach, Gold Coast

pink Sunrise at Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

We also lived in Burleigh Heads for 18 months, and nothing beats an early morning sunrise at Burleigh Point watching the surfers ride the waves. It was one of my favourite moments when we lived on the Gold Coast.

Burleigh Heads has it all like Mooloolaba – a great beach, cafes, bars and promenade. It has a lively scene during the day and is popular among locals and tourists alike.

18. Coolangatta Beach, Gold Coast

waves rolling in at Coolangatta Beach - Queensland, Australia

Ever since Caz and I got engaged on Coolangatta Beach in 2001, it has been a special place in our hearts.

Everywhere you turn people are out and about surfing, cycling, jogging, doing yoga in the beachside parks, hanging in the cafes and children racing around the playgrounds.

It’s one of the best places to surf in Australia and the beach is very clean and well-maintained. The waves are a little strong for children to paddle in, but they will enjoy building sand castles on the beach.

This is a great beach AND town! Plus the sunset views over Surfers Paradise are beautiful!

19. Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas

people standing on a cliff with views of four mile beach
Four mile beach

Four Mile Beach is a four-mile long beach (duh!) located on the East coast of Australia, just north of Cairns.

It has soft, golden sand and crystal-clear blue water – it’s like a tropical island paradise but on the mainland.

The beach is well maintained and great for families since the waves are more gentle here.

You’ll find palm trees lining the beach and there’s always a gentle, cool breeze.

You can spend your days relaxing, swimming, or sunbathing under the palms. It’s the perfect spot to relax and enjoy being on one of Australia’s top beaches.

New South Wales

Another state with incredible beaches is New South Wales. This state is home to some of the most iconic Australian beaches, including….

20. Byron Bay

Byron Bay at sunset, NSW, Australia

Byron Bay is that legendary beach side town on the NSW North Coast that is world-famous for surfing and an alternative lifestyle.

Byron actually has 5 great beaches to choose from, but it’s Main Beach is what sees most of the tourists, who visit to walk the promenade, go swimming and enjoy a beach side BBQ.

It’s also famous for surfing, so if you’re ever looking for somewhere to learn to surf, make sure you learn at Bondi!

21. Wategos Beach

Wategos Beach, Byron Bay, NSW, Australia

Just around the corner from Byron Bay, is the beautiful Wategos Beach.

Wategos is protected by the headland making it an awesome beach for swimming AND riding a long-board with the gentle waves.

The beach itself is small with a few rocky areas, but it’s clean and often less crowded. There’s a BBQ area that visitors can use, or you can make yourself up a picnic and sit on the beach.

22. Red Rocks Beach, Coffs Coast

Red Rocks Beach - Coffs Harbour, Australia

Located on the Sydney to Brisbane road trip route, is the gorgeous hidden gem of Red Rock Beach.

One of those hidden gems tucked away. Beautiful sweeping beach with an impressive headland and red coloured rocks that lead you into to the crystal clear water.

The waves here can be quite strong on the main beach, so it’s not always the best place to swim, but near the Corindi River on Little Beach you’ll find a good, protected spot for surfing.

You can snorkel around the rocks or drift snorkel on the inflowing tide, or paddle in the bay of Little Beach.

23. Palm Beach, Sydney

golden sand of Palm Beach, Sydney, Australia

If you’re visiting Sydney, you need to make a day trip over to the northern beaches. Palm Beach is Sydney’s most northern beach and possibly our favourite beach in Sydney.

You don’t have the crowds you get at say Bondi or Manly Beach, and in the winter it’s the perfect place to spot migrating humpback whales.

Plus it’s clean and a good spot for swimming.

24. Bronte Beach, Sydney

Bronte Beach, Sydney, Australia
image via Shutterstock.com

There are many great beaches in Sydney, but another fave is Bronte Beach.

It’s a beautiful beach with a small main street with a great vibe. We always stop here when we do the legendary Bondi Beach to Coogee coastal walk.

The rock pool is awesome for the kids to see small marine life, and the HUGE grass and BBQ area is great for gatherings.

If you’re looking for beaches in Australia with a lively atmosphere, this is one of the best.

25. Bondi Beach, Sydney

sweeping view of the blue and golden sand of Bondi Beach,
Bondi Beach, Sydney’s most famous beach. Image: Shutterstock.com

I hesitate to put Bondi Beach on any list because it’s not one of my favourite beaches in Australia, but hey it’s Bondi and one of Australia’s most famous beaches – so you need to go there at least once if you’re visiting New South Wales.

I don’t think you could get any more Australian than learning to surf at Bondi.

And the views from Bondi Icebergs as you sip on an afternoon beer are spectacular.

Be warned though, as the most famous beach in Australia, it can be incredibly busy. Get there early to find a spot.

26. Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay

Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay, Australia

Hyams Beach is in the Guinness Book of Records for having the whitest sand in the world, and it’s blinding! (in a good way).

It’s fine, soft, and WHITE – just look at the picture. Located in the Jervis Bay region just 180km south of Sydney, and is makes for a great day trip from Sydney.

It’s a great family beach and doesn’t have the highrise development like many north coast beaches.

27. Green Patch Beach, Jervis Bay

Green Patch Beach, NSW, Australia

When I first set eyes on Green Patch Beach I was blown away. I felt it was just as spectacular as Hyams Beach in nearby Jervis Bay.

The water was clean and clear and the sand was soft and beautiful to walk on. Plus the waves were gentle and the water was crystal clear.

We spent two nights camping in the campground right on the beach.

28. Greenfield Beach, Jervis Bay

Greenfield Beach, Jervis Bay - NSW, Australia

Greenfield Beach is another pristine beach in the Jervis Bay region with that beautiful white powdery sand.

It’s a family-friendly beach that’s perfect for swimming with clear aqua water and small waves. Plus the shoreline slopes gradually so small children can paddle easily.

It’s a top spot for a beach side BBQ.

29. Pebbly Beach, Murramarang National Park

Pebbly Beach in Murramarang National Park - NSW, Australia

Located in Murramarang National Park on the NSW south coast, Pebbly Beach is most famous for being the place to see wild kangaroos hopping around on the sand.

There are very few beaches where you can share the beach with Australia’s most unique wildlife.

They are used to human interaction and there’s a chance you can get up close and personal. Our kids loved it.

Watch our video below of us hanging out with the kangaroos in NSW!


Heading further South, we have the state of Victoria. Victoria is home to Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road, where the scenic landscape continues…

30. Squeaky Beach, Wilsons Promontory National Park

Squeaky Beach, Wilsons Promontory National Park - Victoria, Australia

I’d never heard of Squeaky Beach before visiting, but let me tell you – it’s all pristine, mind-blowing goodness.

Located in equally mind-blowing Wilsons Promontory National Park, just north-west of Tidal River, this was a highlight of our visit to Victoria and one of the best hidden gems in the state!

The beach gets its name because the sand squeaks underfoot as you walk on it. It also has pristine white sand, unique rock formations and great surf in crystal clear waters.

31. St Kilda Beach, Melbourne

Sunset at St Kilda Beach, Melbourne, Australia

I know, compared to the other beaches on this list it’s not that great of a beach, but it’s on the tram route so it’s really easy to get to.

Because it’s close to the CBD, many people visit here. It’s good for people-watching, penguin spotting, and cooling off on those scorching summer days.

At least go for the sunsets and the AMAZING cake shops!

32. Elwood Beach, Melbourne

Elwood Beach, Melbourne, Australia

My favourite beach in Melbourne is Elwood Beach. It’s a popular bayside beach and great for families looking for a beach their kids can paddle in.

Because it’s not as accessible from the city as St Kilda (you need a car), it’s much quieter.

The water is clean and clear, and is popular for windsurfing, cycling, playing cricket, and walking.

33. Bells Beach, Great Ocean Road

Bells Beach, Great Ocean Road, Australia
Bells Beach – credit Clogwog

One of Australia’s most famous and best surfing beaches is Bells Beach on the Great Ocean Road.

This is where you’ll find the annual Rip Curl Pro Surfing Competition which is a powerful point break of folklore.

Heard of the movie Point Break? That was filmed on Bells!

If you’re not a professional surfer, don’t attempt the waves here as they are massive! But you should still visit here to see the professionals at play.

34. Gibson Steps, Great Ocean Road

Gibson Steps, Great Ocean Road, Australia

I have no idea if this beach even has a name, but when you drive the Great Ocean Road to go see The 12 Apostles, you get to it by walking down Gibson Steps. So that’s what we’re going with!

This is a great beach for getting up close and personal with mother nature. You can see the impressive rock formations from a whole new perspective, which is what makes this coastal region so famous.

Just be careful of the tides so you don’t get trapped.

35. Loch Ard Gorge, Great Ocean Road

Loch Ard Gorge, Great Ocean Road, Australia

Again, I don’t know if this beach within the Loch Ard Gorge has a name, and the water was COLD and not the safest place for swimming, but it was really gorge-ous!

It’s located in a bay and is surrounded by huge rocky cliffs. Just being in the gorge felt awe-inspiring. This was definitely a highlight of visiting the Great Ocean Road for us.

Pretty huh?


The island of Tasmania is one of the best places to visit in Australia if you’re a fan of nature. And especially if you’re a fan of beaches!

36. Hazards Beach

Hazards Beach, Tasmania, Australia

Located in Freycinet National Park (our favourite place in Tassie), we fell in love with Hazards Beach.

Base yourself in Coles Bay and combine it with the walk to Wine Glass Bay. Or, do it in style and take a seaplane from Hobart.

The sand is fine, the water is blue, and the waves are soft. You can swim here, but they are unpatrolled so swim with care.

37. Bay of Fires

ay of Fires, Tasmania, Australia

The Bay of Fires is situated on the northeast coast of Tasmania and is a region of white beaches, blue water, and these incredible rock formations made of orange-hued granite.

The bay was named in 1773 by an adventurer named Captain Tobias Furneaux, who saw the fires of Aboriginal people on the beaches.

If you’re lucky, you might even see the seals in their natural habitat. There are also camping grounds and hiking trails in the nearby national park.

This is a beach you could spend a full day exploring and not see it all.

38. Binalong Bay

Binnalong Bay, Tasmania, Australia

Situated at the southern end of the Bay of Fires is Binalong Bay, which has a small town with quaint cafes and boutique B&Bs – the Binalong Bay Cafe has great coffee. It’s also a great place to go camping.

Nearby you can go kayaking, hiking or mountain biking. If you have a fishing license, this is a great spot to go fishing, too.

If you like snorkelling, swim around one of the numerous rock pools and you’ll be amazed by the amount of marine life!

39. Wineglass Bay

Wineglass Bay, Tasmania, Australia

You must visit Freycinet National Park, the home of Wineglass Bay, it’s our favourite place in Tasmania.

Make the effort to get up at first light to do the walk and you will find yourself all alone on famous Wine Glass Bay. Imagine having this place to yourself? We did.

It’s a bit of a hike to visit Wineglass Bay but it’s totally worth it. The view is stunning and it’s certainly one of Tasmania’s most pristine beaches. The hike is mostly uphill so pack plenty of water. It only takes about an hour each way.

40. Bicheno Beach

Bicheno Beach, Tasmania, Australia

I wish we spent more time in Bicheno as there are several small beaches here where you can swim and enjoy being on the Tasmania coast.

Located on the east coast of Tasmania, is Waubs Beach. It’s located in the small town of Bicheno and was very inviting and hard to leave.

The beach is small but it has beautiful clear water and is a great spot for a swim! It’s surrounded by rocks which are a great place to snorkel around with care.

If you’re lucky, you might even see some penguins come to shore at night time.

Best Beaches in South Australia

If you’re heading to the South of Australia, you should definitely check out these stunning South Australia beaches!

41. Fishery Bay

people walking down a beach

If you’re visiting South Australia, you must drive out to Fishery Bay. We had a thrill driving out to Fisheries – a kangaroo came bounding beside us to drag race us. Boy, can they jump fast! We were driving about 40km/hr, and it managed to stay up with us for a good minute or so.

Fishery Bay would easily make our top beaches in Australia list. It’s stunning – powdery white sand that curves around in the bay, crystal clear turquoise water, rolling waves, and not a soul to be seen.

Fishery Bay is a surfing beach. As a local told us, it’s also known for its Great White Sharks out beyond in the channel. So swim carefully and close to shore.

42. Coffin Bay Peninsula

road leading to water

It might sound like a morbid town, but picturesque Coffin Bay is anything but.

The town was not named after wooden boxes built for the afterlife, but after a friend of explorer, Matthew Flinders. Coffin Bay is famous in Australia for the oysters that grow in its waters.

I’m not a devoted oyster lover; I can have one or two, and that’s enough. I could have easily sat down and eaten a dozen of the oysters from Coffin Bay. In fact, we ate a couple dozen during our time in the region.

Coffin Bay oysters are outstanding and the best I’ve ever eaten.

Coffin Bay is only 46km from Port Lincoln so you can easily visit on a day trip. We visited in the morning on the way to Elliston.

43. Western River Cove

Western River Cove is one of the best beaches on Kangaroo Island. Click to read more tips
Western River was my favorite beach on Kangaroo Island

Western River Cove was one of the most beautiful beaches on Kangaroo Island for us. It’s a little off the normal tourist trail, but well worth fitting it into your Kangaroo Island road trip itinerary.

The drive to the beach through rolling green farmlands is spectacular and so different from the rest of Kangaroo Island.

Driving back out of Western Cove the scenery turned to red clay and quite Outback looking showcasing the diversity of the island and why you want to spend some time driving around it.

44. Emu Bay

Emu Bay is one of the best beaches on Kangaroo Island. Click to read more tips
Beach driving on Emu Bay

We almost didn’t go to Emu Bay. It was the last beach on our list to see and we almost said, “Oh, it couldn’t be better than what we’ve seen.” I’m so glad we brushed that thought aside.

Turquoise water and a huge beach of hard white sand is perfect for beach driving! Way to change up the level of your road trip on Kangaroo Island.

It’s one of only two beaches on the island you can drive on – the other is Snellings Beach. It’s as hard as a road so no need to let the pressure out of your tyres. We had a little cruise up and down.

45. Vivonne Bay

Vivonne Bay on Kangaroo Island is said to be one of the best beaches in Australia
Vivonne Bay – one of the best beaches in Australia

Vivonne Bay is often said to be one of the best beaches in Australia. It is spectacular, although I was expecting a little more Wow. Although, I don’t think we visited in the best weather or time of day, which we all know changes things.

One of the best vantage points is from the westernmost point near the jetty looking back on the beach. If you have time, there is also a small sheltered beach that may be good for swimming. Do check with the locals though for the best spots.

46. Port Willunga

Port Willunga, Adelaide, South Australia

Port Willunga is just a 45 kilometre drive from Adelaide and a must-visit in the Barossa Valley.

What makes this beach unique, is the series of hidden caves. These caves were cut into the cliff walls by fishermen to help protect their boats and nets.

See the incredible Port Willunga Caves in Adelaide, South Australia
See the incredible Port Willunga Caves in Adelaide, South Australia

If you love photography, you’ll love the photos you can take down here of the cliffs and caves looking in and out. Port Willunga used to be a grain port, the only sign of that now is a few jetty pylons, which adds a beautiful foreground element.

Port Willunga in Adelaide, South Australia
Port Willunga in Adelaide, South Australia
Port Willunga in Adelaide, South Australia

Sunsets here are meant to be magnificent. We had an overcast day so did not get the full splendor of the watercolor, but it was beautiful even in its greyness.

Before You Go

So there you have it, those are 46 of the most beautiful beaches in Australia, and as you can see, there are plenty of beaches to see!

Whether you’re looking for somewhere to dive, or just somewhere with gorgeous scenery, there’s a beach in Australia for everyone.

Before you go, make sure you pack accordingly when you visit the beach. The sun can be very strong in Australia, so wear sun protection. Be sure to wear “reef safe” sun cream, so your sun scream doesn’t hurt the marine life while swimming.

Please also remember to pick up your rubbish and keep these stunning beaches looking stunning.

“Take only photographs, leave only footprints.”

More Australia Travel Tips:

Are you thinking of exploring more of Australia? Then you might find the following resources helpful!

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What do you feel is the best beach in Australia? Share in the comments below!

85 thoughts on “46 of the Best Beaches in Australia To Set Foot On”

  1. WOW WOW WOW…. that’s an awesome list. There is an amazing beach at Vivonne Bay on Kangaroo Island which I just know you guys will love. Enjoy

  2. South Melbourne is my beach of choice. Definitely not the best but it’s also accessible by public transport. Tram #1, last stop. I avoid St. Kilda during the day but will go for the sunsets at night.

    1. Didn’t make it to South Melbourne Beach Melissa. But we did enjoy a bottle of wine and takeaway pizza on St Kilda Beach as the sun went down!

  3. Love that Squeaky Beach made the list! I just actually wrote a post about how much I love Wilson’s Promontory and I love to see it getting the attention it deserves!

    1. Squeaky Beach has been one of our better finds in the last 12 months Britt. And Wilsons Prom is amazing. Just wish I had my DSLR with me that day and not taken photos on my phone.

  4. Aren’t we just blessed when it comes to beautiful beaches in Australia? Some of my favourites are Boat Harbour Beach and Carlton Park Beach (great for older kids with a long wave perfect for boogie boarding) in Tasmania. Apollo Bay in Victoria is just delightful and Smiths Beach on Phillip Island is great too. Too many to mention really. Keep enjoying them on your amazing journey.

    1. Blessed indeed Amanda. Yep Apollo Bay and Smiths Beach were two other nice beaches we’ve visited. Thanks for the tips on those Tassie beaches!

  5. Incredible list! I have been to only Bondi beach in Sydney. I missed that beach at Great Ocean Road. I think this list will help me on my next Australian trip. Thanks so much!

  6. WTF there is no South Australia what a shame……….no ones know more about South Australia which have a beautiful many differents beaches so S.A. is best to live in Australia

    1. Hi Daz,

      Did you even read the beginning of the post? I clearly mention that I haven’t visited South Australia yet! This list is only of beaches I have been to. Once I visit SA I will add my favourite SA beaches after that.

  7. What an awesome list. Thank you so much for publishing it, Craig! Looks like some of the best beaches in the world. I will keep it for when I will visit Australia 🙂 Which is up on top three on my bucket-list.

  8. Was Down in Tassie over the Xmas break, so wonderful to get back Dow there. We did the walk at wineglass Bay down do the beach and it was out of this world! Amazing (but very refreshing!) swim once down there.

    Great post! Hope you’re both well, have a super 2015

  9. Hi Craig, we did a four month trip few years ago and we saw some amazing beaches but not as many as you,awsome
    our pick of the crop was Horse Shoe bay in Bowen a must see.

  10. great list guys & whilst they are all very beautiful beaches the photographer it’s too bad either. Congrats on capturing them all so well. Can’t wait to see the next list with SA included.

  11. I live in one of the best places in aus. You have got to visit Esperance western Australia. We have some of the most pristine beaches and the whitest sand I’ve ever seen. We are very lucky to live somewhere so spectacular

      1. Great to hear. Make sure you get to lucky bay, twilight cove and the duke of Orleans. The list is endless. Hope u enjoy our beautiful town you won’t be dissapointed 🙂

  12. That is an impressive list – I still remember my tourism teacher saying ‘never sell overseas beaches to an Australian’ and I think you have proved her point. Luckily I have been to a small number from your list and will agree that Squeaky Beach one of my favourites – Also love 90 Mile beach in Vic which I don’t think you had time to visit – Wineglass Bay another favourite. Exmouth beaches look amazing hmm WA might be winning here…

  13. Wow! Some of the beaches in Western Australia look absolutely awesome. We must get over there at some stage. Don’t forget the beautiful north facing Elizabeth Beach (a lovely family beach with an adjacent rainforest walk) and Shelly Beach next door (for those who like a little less clothing) in the quaint little town of Pacific Palms in NSW. We have been to quite a few beaches in our travels but Elizabeth beach is still my favourite. Perhaps it can make it into your top 50.

  14. You have picked some great beaches however a notable exclusion are the magnetic Island beaches including balding bay and radical bay

  15. I am not really a beach bum, but you just turned me into one! Your photos are absolutely amazing! you made me so excited about visiting Australia! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  16. You’ve chosen some beautiful beaches for your list, many I’ve visited on travels. I hope you like our SA beaches. Berry Bay on the Yorke Peninsular is one of my favorites, definitely worth a visit. Port Willunga beach is beautiful local beach too. You guys take beautiful photos. Looking for info on Turkey with young kids and have been looking at so many of your other posts. Keep up the great work! Where are you on your travels now?

    1. Obviously, you did not read the post properly as we clearly stated we hadn’t yet visited South Australia which is why the beaches were missing from the list.

  17. We just spent a year in Australia on a teaching exchange, and we were able to make many of these beaches. However we have many more to visit. Thanks for your recs.

  18. Great selection of Aussie beaches. It’s good to see a couple of Gold Coast beaches made the grade! The beaches at Cape Range Exmouth are pretty hard to beat but I would also add the beaches around Esperence in South East WA. They were pretty awesome.

  19. Awesome photos and locations – but I would add Rainbow Beach AND Double Island Point, QLD – home the the famous Coloured Sands and Carlo Sandblow.

  20. Very pleased to see that Bicheno Beach was on your list. It’s one of my favourite places in the world (I know, big call) but I love Tasmania and Bicheno has it all with its wonderful little township, white sands and those extraordinary orange rocks and boulders – truly fantastic.

  21. “38 ‘best’ beaches” ???

    What a load of rubbish..

    Australia has over 11,000 beaches !

    You haven’t even listed the best beaches in NSW — so how can you claim to have “38 of the best” in the country ?

    The Hunter coast, Central Coast, and Lower North Coast ALL have superior beaches to anything found around Sydney;
    While the far South Coast of NSW has it all over anything found around Jervis Bay..

    As for the Far North Coast/Northern Rivers region — you barely touched on what is actually up there !

    Keep trying, though — maybe some day you will be lucky enough to experience some of the hidden gems around Newcastle, Port Stephens, Lake Macquarie and Gosford..

    1. And you’re so upset because? It’s all opinion isn’t it. We’ve experienced a lot of the beaches in Australia, and in our opinion, these are what we feel is the best. Don’t waste your time and energy getting upset over our opinion. By all means, share what you think is great too and add to the list, but save yourself some upset about it.

  22. Great post. I am really amazed you visited and took photos of all of them. Most of similar posts are more of a list with “borrowed” photos. Big kudos.

    PS I can’t really understand haters…they don’t even read the post and they start complaining about a missing state or a missing beach. The sense of beauty is so subjective. Just take this post and any similar one as a personal opinion….

  23. Hmmm, did you even get near Cronulla, just south of Sydney? South Cronulla, North Cronulla, Alleura, The Alley, Wanda, and Green Hills beaches to start with. Then add Voo Doo, Boat Harbour, and ALL the Kurnell beaches. Oh! did I mention, the little known and secluded Blackwoods beach? Or Shelly, Oak Park and ‘Bass and Flinders’? Perhaps I didn’t. Then there is the jewel in Cronulla’s crown, Salmon Haul Bay! Why go anywhere else? But wait there’s more. Darook Park beach, and the nudist beach around the corner. Gunnamatta Bay beach just north of that. Then a short ferry ride on the Port Hacking to Bundeena gives you Bundeena beach, Mayian Bar beach and sand spit, the little known nudist beach at Jibbon point, and most incredibly, the nicest little secluded and protected beach of all, Jibbon beach itself. You have to get out more and come see. Oh, and did I mention, Swallow Rock?

    1. Hi Garth, thanks for your suggestions. Sounds like some nice beaches in that area. With over 10,000 beaches in Australia it’s hard to see them all personally.

      1. Hi Craig, I apologise if I sounded a little condescending in my tone, but I am continually amazed at how many people I meet for hear of that travel to see Sydney beaches and MISS THE BEST ONES! People hardly know of Cronulla and it world class beaches in it’s surrounding areas. Yes I am biased, but I have travelled extensively and I can tell you my assessment of these beaches is substantially correct. Yet tourism NSW does little to promote this area well, or at all. You could easily cover a visit to all those beaches in one day and have often done so with friends and visitors. They re amazed at how close to Sydney they are and how accessible, yet so unknown. A trip to Sydney with looking some of them up is criminal! LOL. So next time you’re about here, look me up for a free tour. Don’t forget to look further afield in your travels and take David Laurie’s advice to seek out the northern beaches in NSW. Especially around the Forster/Tunncurry and south around Smith’s lake, Blue’s Beach, area. An absolutely stunning location. If you have a small boat or tinny You’ll be assaulted by the endless options of beaches in the region. See an aerial over view of that part of the country to understand the size of the problem. Cheers . G.

        1. No worries. We do have more beaches in Oz than probably any other country worth visiting. And most people only fly into Sydney for 2-3 days so tend to stick to the obvious. As mentioned in my blog post I’ve only listed beaches I’ve personally visited and there are many in each state that could be added to my list I’m sure. Cheers.

    2. Thank you for all your wonderful suggestions. We haven’t explored that way so couldn’t put any on the list. We’re keen to check them out now!

  24. I have only visited Western Australia, but the Beaches around Albany, a beautiful harbor town are stunning, Little Beach and Two Peoples Bay are spectacular.
    My favorite may have been Green Pools and Elephant Rock between Walpole and Denmark, a must see. bring the snorkel gear and sneakers to walk the beautiful rock formations.

  25. Hi there Craig, this post is just awesome.

    Now I exactly know where to go in Australia… it’s just going to take more time 🙂 to visit all those wonderful beaches, but I think I can manage it.

    Lara Sein

  26. You missed all the stunning coastline of Newcastle and the Central Coast! Some absolute beauties there. Merewether has an amazing beach, with baths for swimming in, Catherine Hill Bay has great swimming, surfing and diving, Terrigal is a great spot for families with swimming, surfing and the rock pools. If you haven’t been to any of these beaches yet, you should! The Nelson Bay Area shouldn’t be forgotten either! Stunning beaches and some great walks.

  27. My fav beaches and scenery r on kangaroo island. We spent one week there and wished we did two weeks instead. Island is very untouched, isolated, raw natural beauty. When there, also check out the koala bear night walk, rapture bird show (wild birds, they r not captured), incredible rocks at flinders park, and views at seal beach. For swimming, best beach were Stokes beach and the beach that my rental wood cabin was located on (I forget name but it is near flinders park and near the koala night walk,) which this beach also had wild kangaroos and a very secluded safe beach with no waves. We stayed on east and west coast of island and preferred the west, but suggest staying on both sides so the drive is shorter if u plan to c the whole island (half and half). Driving speed is slow cuz it is dirt road and lots of wallibies so u don’t want to hit them and no street lights. From your list, I know u would enjoy kangaroo island (very pricy but worth every penny).

  28. with baths for swimming in, Catherine Hill Bay has great swimming, surfing and diving, Terrigal is a great spot for families with swimming, surfing and the rock pools. If you haven’t been to any of these beaches yet, you should! The Nelson Bay Area shouldn’t be forgotten either! Stunning beaches and some great walks.

  29. looking at the blog love your photos we’re in Raelene computer class . The photography is brilliant from photography the lady in the photo is a young role model for the blog. You are probably nice like our tafe teacher Raelene

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