Australia’s best beaches to add to your sun-seeking hot list

Australia’s best beaches to add to your sun-seeking hot list

With sheltered coves and crumbling shipwrecks, Rottnest Island is a beach lover’s paradise. Photo / Tourism Western Australia

With over 11,000 beaches on offer, Australia is the ultimate place for a seaside break. It’s diverse too – whether you’re looking for waves, rugged dunes or remote rocky hideaways, over here, you’ll find every kind of beach under the sun. Sara Bunny takes a look at some must-see seaside retreats to add to your Aussie travel bucket list.

Flaherty’s Beach, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia

Widely regarded as one of Aussie’s best, Flaherty’s Beach boasts a large stretch of soft white sand and a mesmerizing paintbox of blues, ranging from turquoise at the shoreline to deep blue from the ocean. Located on the Yorke Peninsula, just over an hour’s drive from Adelaide, Flaherty’s is ideal for a roadie adventure, and you can take the quad right on the beach.

Expect blues of all shades and a vast stretch of pristine sand at South Australia’s Flaherty’s Beach. Photo / South Australian Tourism CommissionHyams Beach, Jervis Bay, New South Wales

Many beaches claim the best sand, but Hyams has the official stamp of approval. This spectacular spot just under three hours’ drive from Sydney holds the Guinness World Record for the whitest sand on the planet. The beach’s incredible shores are lined with tiny quartz particles, giving it not only its spectacular color, but also a powdery feel underfoot. A nearby marine reserve means the snorkelling here is top rate, and there’s also the adjacent Booderee National Park for cool walks amongst the trees.

It’s official – Hyams Beach in Jervis Bay, NSW, has the whitest sand in the world. Photo / Destination NSW.Shelly Beach, Sydney, New South Wales

Shelly Beach is a cute, golden cove loved by the locals, just around the corner from its bigger and bolder cousin, Manly Beach. Although it may not be as well known, Shelly Beach has all sun seekers covered with its safe patrolled waters, picnic areas, caravan parks, dog friendly spaces and pillowy dunes. There’s even an adjacent golf course if you fancy paddling for putting.

AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.Manly’s Shelly Beach is perfect for families. Photo / Destination NSWCable Beach, Broome, Western Australia

Whether you come for the stellar sunsets, gin-clear waters, uncrowded sands or camel rides along the shore, Cable Beach ticks all the boxes. Perched pretty on the edge of the Indian Ocean, it’s popular with everyone from water sports enthusiasts to caravan adventurers, but for a beach day with a difference, book a ride on a camel tour and see the sights from a whole new angle .

Want to watch the sunset from the back of a camel? Go to Cable Beach in Broome. Photo / Tourism Western AustraliaRottnest Island, Western Australia

As well as cute quokkas and tons of history, Wadjemup/Rottnest Island boasts beaches and secluded coves galore, as well as 13 nearby shipwrecks to explore. Here, the soft sand is perfect for picnics and sunbathing, while the rocky shorelines mean crystal clear water and plenty of marine life that’s easy to spot when snorkeling in the shallows. Top island beaches include Little Armstrong Bay, The Basin and Little Parakeet Bay, which are ideal for young children.

Who can resist the sparkling clear waters of Rottnest Island? Photo / Tourism Western AustraliaWhitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Islands, Queensland

Stunningly beautiful Whitehaven has had plenty of time in the spotlight, but you just can’t beat a classic. This gem of a place features impossibly blue water and clear white sand, often interspersed in picturesque eddies across the vast stretch of beach. Located in the beautiful Whitsunday Islands, you’ll have to hop on a boat from Queensland’s Airlie Beach or Hamilton Island to get there, but Whitehaven is always worth the trip.

Spectacular Whitehaven Beach is a Whitsunday Islands gem. Photo / Tourism and Events QueenslandNoosa Heads, Noosa, Queensland

Another Queensland hotspot, Noosa Heads should be on every beach lover’s bucket list. Stretching lazily along the coast, Noosa Main Beach is made for relaxing sand walks, sunbathing, people watching, picnicking and paddling, and it’s also ideal for beginner surfers. Start at the main beach and follow the path along the Noosa Coastal Walk, or head over to The Point to watch the local surfers in action. Away from the shore, Noosa’s boutiques and restaurants are ideal for relaxed browsing and tasty bites.

AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME Noosa Main Beach is perfect for a sandy stroll. Photo / Tourism and Events QueenslandBells Beach, Torquay, Victoria

One of the many attractions along the Great Ocean Road, Bells Beach is known for its golden sands, dramatic cliffs and epic swells. As the home of the Rip Curl Pro Surfing competition, it attracts surfers from all over the world, and only the most skilled among them can tackle the big waves that roar straight from the Southern Ocean. The steep cliffs surrounding the beach create a picturesque natural amphitheater for the on-water action, as well as a series of vantage points for awe-stricken spectators.

Bells Beach is one of the country’s most famous surfing hotspots. Photo / Visit VictoriaWineglass Bay, Freycinet National Park, Tasmania

This picture-perfect stretch of curving coastline is one of Tassie’s most photographed spots, and with views like this it’s easy to see why. The bluest-of-blue waters beckon for a dip, but if you’d rather stay dry, take in the sights on a boat tour around the bay. Either way, make sure you do the 1.3km walk through the leafy Freycinet National Park to Wineglass Bay Lookout for the best elevated views of the famous arch.

Perfectly curved Wynglas Bay is one of Tassie’s most beautiful beaches. Photo / Tourism Tasmania, Jason Charles HillMindil Beach, Darwin, Northern Territory

No trip to Darwin is complete without a visit to vibrant local favourite, Mindil Beach. There’s always something going on here, from festivals and fun runs, to the ever-popular Mindil Beach Sunset Markets. On a warm NT evening, browse the vast array of market stalls and food vendors, then find yourself a spot on the sand to enjoy your feast and watch nature’s show as the sun slips below the horizon.

There’s often a buzz down at Darwin’s Mindil Beach. Photo / Tourism NT Tourism Australia’s best beaches 2023

Tourism Australia reveals the country’s top 10 seaside spots each year. For the first time, South Australia has claimed the coveted ‘Best Australian Beach’ title, with Stokes Bay on Kangaroo Island the overall winner for 2023. The sandy stretch has been praised for its calm, family-friendly waters and crystal blue tides pool perfect for paddling and snorkeling. See the full list below.

1. Stokes Bay, Kangaroo Island, SA

2. Boomerang Beach, Mid North Coast, NSW

3. Rainbow Beach, Cooloola Coast, QLD

4. Apollo Bay, Great Ocean Road, VIC

5. Adventure Bay, Bruny Island, TAS

6. Hamelin Bay, South West, WA

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7. Little Bondi Beach, East Arnhem Land, NT

8. British Admiralty Beach, King Island, TAS

9. Flying Fish Cove, Christmas Island

10. Balmoral Beach, Sydney Harbour, NSW

Stokes Bay on Kangaroo Island, SA, has taken top honors as Aussie’s best beach for 2023. Photo / Tourism Australia

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