Top 9 Best Beaches in Australia: Local Picks!

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Top 9 Best Beaches in Australia: Local Picks!
Australia is brimming with blue water bays, silky white sands, and flourishing marine life. This means no trip down under is complete without a trip to a beach! Discover the best beaches in Australia with me.
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Home to spectacular scenery, unique native wildlife, and one of the world's oldest living nations, Australia is known as the land of plenty. The natural splendor is unparalleled, from the crashing coastline to the misty mountain tops. 

One thing that always comes to mind when people think of Australia is incredible beaches and water-based fun. And with over 37,000 miles of coastline and over 12,000 beaches, there's much to choose from! 

Growing up in Australia, I traveled around some of the country's most sought-after spots. I swam with turtles in the UNESCO-listed Great Barrier Reef, snorkeled with stingrays on Fitzroy Island, and surfed next to dolphins in Byron Bay. 

So if you want to sprinkle some sun, surf, and sand into your upcoming Aussie adventure, I've got you covered. I've collated the best beaches and water activities into one comprehensive guide. 

This is everything you need to know about visiting Australia's most beautiful beaches!

What Are the Best Beaches in Australia?

Before we take the plunge into exploring Australia's best beaches in-depth, here's a quick run-down of my top picks:

  • Whitehaven Beach, Queensland 
  • Burleigh Heads, Queensland 
  • Bells Beach, Victoria 
  • Bondi Beach, New South Wales 
  • Vivonne Bay Beach, South Australia 
  • Wineglass Bay, Tasmania 
  • Lucky Bay, Western Australia

You'll find stunning scenery and crystal-clear waters at each of these choices. Australia's beaches are something else!

7. Lucky Bay, Western Australia 

When you picture Australia, kangaroos, and beaches come to mind. Lucky Bay is a place where you can get both! In Western Australia's southwest corner, Lucky Bay is nestled in Cape Le Grand National Park

Western Australia is well-known for its white sand beaches, so if you're venturing west, set aside plenty of time to explore. Perth even has some of the best beaches, so you don't have to go far to find good quality!

Lucky Bay is a beach lover's haven with vistas of the Recherche Archipelago, striking white sands, and impossibly blue waters. Better yet, plenty of jolly kangaroos are known to frequent the area. This gem is one of the most popular beaches in Australia. Add Lucky Bay to your list if you're eager to see these iconic Aussie animals! 

Two kangaroos on the beach and two tiny babies running toward them
Photo by Richard Lin on Unsplash

6. Wineglass Bay, Tasmania 

One of Tasmania's most famous beaches, Wineglass Bay, is a must-see. Enclosed by the hilltops in Freycinet National Park, this beach boasts turquoise water, golden sand, and panoramic landscapes. 

Get your heart pumping on a hike, admire the unspoiled surroundings, and swim in the refreshingly cool waters. If you want to get immersed in nature, this is one of the top beaches in Australia. 

5. Vivonne Bay Beach, South Australia 

Nestled in South Australia's Kangaroo Island, Vivonne Bay Beach is easily one of the country's most stunning spots. Surrounded by rugged bushlands in the Vivonne Bay Conservation Park, this beach will send you into awe. 

If you're seeking seclusion, Vivonne Bay Beach is an excellent option. Watch for the playful dolphins, take a buggy tour at Little Sahara, and splash in crystal-clear waters. 

A wave crashing on the rocks at Vivonne Bay
Photo by Richard Lin on Unsplash

4. Bondi Beach, New South Wales 

If there's one thing Sydney's known for, it's Bondi Beach! Home to waterfront dining, boutique shops, and the iconic Bondi Icebergs pool, Bondi has it all. 

If you're looking for a mix of sun and sightseeing, this is one of the best beaches in Australia. Take a surf lesson in the morning, make sand castles in the afternoon, and sit back with a drink for the sunset. To combine sightseeing and Bondi Beach, jump aboard the Big Bus Sydney hop-on hop-off tour

Take a step back from the buzz of Bondi and gain a little more peace and quiet in the nearby gems. Head to Manly Beach or Coogee Beach for more space and serenity.

If you want to take it one step further on your hunt for the best beaches in Australia, take a road trip up north to Byron Bay! With surf culture, cuisine, and laid-back living etched into the town, this is one of the best day trips from Sydney. There are even some of Australia's most famous nude beaches here!

3. Bells Beach, Victoria 

Sitting on Victoria's Great Ocean Road, Bells Beach is brimming with striking scenery. Home to the state's best surf conditions, this beach is just a short 1.5-hour drive from Melbourne's city center. 

The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach occurs yearly, attracting some of the world's most skilled surfers. If you're keen to test the waters, don't miss a trip down to Bells! If you're eager to give surfing a go, Bells Beach is one of the best beaches in Australia.

Brown sand beach with blue waters and blue sky with white clouds
Photo by Chelsea Chehade on Unsplash

2. Burleigh Heads, Queensland 

Crowning the sun-soaked Gold Coast, Burleigh Heads is a local beach just over an hour south of Brisbane. Perched alongside Surfers Paradise, this beach is an oasis for sun-worshippers and surf fanatics. 

Enjoy a picnic under the shade of pine trees, taste local cuisine in an oceanfront restaurant, and soak up the sun from the soft white sands. Boasting one of the best beaches in Australia, Burleigh Heads is a top pick for tourists!

1. Whitehaven Beach, Queensland 

Whitehaven Beach is one of Australia's most famous beaches and for good reason! The fine white sands pour onto effortlessly turquoise waters, creating a cotton-candy-like whirl of contrasts. 

For pristine waters and a chance to escape to the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsunday Islands are a must-see when visiting Australia. You could opt for a half-day cruise or an ocean rafting tour, or you could choose to stay on Hamilton Island and take a 30-minute boat ride. Whitehaven Beach is the most popular beach in Australia!

A man sitting on a fence in front of the ocean
Photo by ROMAIN TERPREAU on Unsplash

Scuba Diving and Surfing in Australia 

The beaches in Australia are striking, each with a unique ensemble of flora, fauna, and vistas. The summer season offers plenty of chances for travelers to swim, snorkel, and splash in the water. But why stop there?  

From kangaroos and emus to sharks and stingrays, there's no doubt that Australia is known for its wildlife. So, is there a better way to discover the rich diversity of marine life than by scuba diving? The best part is there's something to see year-round. Here are some of the hottest spots for each season: 

  • June to August: Great Barrier Reef 
  • September to April: Western Australia 
  • May to November: Sydney 
  • March to June: Ningaloo Reef 
  • April to September: Northern Australia 

This guide on scuba diving in Australia covers everything you need to know. 

If you want to take your trip up a notch, why not try out the surf scene? Whether you wish to shred the waves in Snapper Rocks, take it easy in Noosa Heads, or learn how to surf at Kings Beach, there's something for you! 

For safety tips, when to go, and more information on the best beaches for surfing, check out this guide on surfing in Australia

Scuba diver in the ocean 
Photo by Joan Li on Unsplash

Camping on the Beach in Australia 

Why not amp up your beach experience? Australia's coastline stretches for miles with plenty of spots to camp for the night. If you're wondering if it's legal to camp at the beach, the short answer is yes—with a few caveats

Due to safety concerns in case of an emergency, local and federal laws limit beach camping to designated areas. Some camp-friendly beaches require a fee, while others are free. Here are some of the best beaches to camp on in Australia: 

  • Noah Beach, Daintree National Park, Queensland 
  • Jervis Bay, Booderee National Park, New South Wales 
  • Lucky Bay, Cape Le Grand National Park, Western Australia 
  • Tidal River, Wilsons Promontory, Victoria 
  • Johanna Beach, Great Otway National Park, Victoria 
  • Richardsons Beach, Freycinet National Park, Tasmania 

Camping in Australia offers an immersive, local experience, and you may even be able to spot some wildlife. I have fond childhood memories of waking up to the sounds of cockatoos, watching kangaroos hop across the fields, and seeing echidnas crawl across the sand. 

For more information, browse through this in-depth guide on camping in Australia

Bliss-Inducing Beaches and Beyond! 

Sunscreen? Check. Sunglasses? Check. Beach towel? Check. Now that you're ready to explore Australia's beaches, you can start to craft your ideal travel experience for you, your family, and your friends. 

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Jessica Bergin Blogs
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Jessica Bergin
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