Welcome to Destination Inspiration, our blog series that will have you itching to hit the road in order to discover some of the most beautiful, exciting places in all of Australia. Australia is famous for plenty of great things – and one of those things is our myriad of stunning beaches. In this instalment of Destination Inspiration, we take a look at just a few of the best beaches in Australia, state by state, so that no matter where you are in Oz, you’ll find a place to kick back this summer.
The Best Beaches In NSW:
Whether you prefer peace and quiet or bustling hip cafés on the waterfront, our top picks for the best beaches in NSW have got you covered.
While Bondi won’t win any awards for serenity, it’s a must-visit if you’re in Sydney, as it’s one of the city’s most accessible beaches. The crescent-shaped beach is the home of the distinct Icebergs’ swimming pool at its south end and the rocky cliffs to the north, while the very heart of the beach is enjoyed by both swimmers and surfers alike. And if you’re not up for swimming, there are plenty of cafés, bars and boutique outlets to arrive just a short stroll from the beach itself.
Located south of Newcastle, Caves Beach is a great place to take the kids thanks to its caves, located at the southern end of the beach and able to be explored at low tide. There’s also rock pools to be explored, plus picnic and barbecue facilities, so you can really spend the whole day there swimming and exploring.
Avoca Beach, located on the Central Coast, is one of the best beaches in NSW due to the sheer number of activities you can partake in. You can paddle through the surf on a kayak, try out stand-up paddle boarding, go diving, fishing, surfing and bushwalking – and when you’re done with all that, you can explore Avoca village itself. There’s often local markets, live music, plenty of spots for a picnic or barbecue, and award-winning restaurants.
Queens Beach, Point Plomer, Crescent Head:
A well-kept secret by locals, but we know this place is just too magical not to share. Surrounded by Goolwa National Park, there is a stretch of beautiful beaches called, Racecourse, Big Hill and Queens. These beaches have several great beach breaks and you will often find yourself surfing with dolphins in this area. You can navigate to these hidden beaches through the National park, parts are paved but most of it is pretty rough, we highly recommend a 4WD, however you often see vans, cars and motorbikes drive slowy through. There is beach access but it is easy to get lost, so ask for directions or you can end up in Port Macquarie!
The Best Beaches In Queensland:
The sunshine state has many great contenders for the best beaches in Queensland…
You can’t talk about the best beaches in Queensland and not mention Whitehaven Beach. It is in fact considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world, with miles of soft white sand, impossibly beautiful turquoise water, and hardly anyone else to share the beach with. You’ll need a boat to get there, or you can opt in to one of the many day trips on offer from the mainland.
At the northern end of Stradbroke Island, you’ll find Main Beach. You can take in the sights of the beach from nearby North Gorge (which is beautiful enough on its own), or hop down to the Point Lookout Surf Lifesaving Club to enjoy a few bevvies with a view. Of course, you can also dive in and snorkel in the crystal-clear waters.
Famous for its sunken shipwrecks, Tangalooma Beach on Moreton Island has plenty of spectacular scenery and things to do. With ample snorkelling opportunities (you might even catch a glimpse of turtles, dolphins or stingrays during your dive!), Tangalooma Beach is also great for families, being a calm and flat beach offering plenty of serenity.
The Best Beaches In Victoria:
Cold in winter but a scorcher in summer, here are the best beaches in Victoria to escape to when the temperature rises.
With its iconic 1900s bathing boxes lining the shore, Brighton Beach is immensely popular beach. Its gentle swell makes it great for families, and of course there’s plenty to see and do both on the off the beach: there’s beautiful walks, the Royal Pavilion, Brighton Pier, delicious food, a great art scene, and lots of shopping to be done.
Another popular holiday destination for Victorians, Portsea offers swimming, surfing, fishing, reefs, sand dunes, and a jetty to leap from in order to capture some fantastic photos. There’s also the famous London Bridge rock formation to check out, and a local café to enjoy.
Along the Great Ocean Road you’ll find Apollo Bay, a popular spot for surging, fishing and picnics. There’s local restaurants nearby as well, with fresh local seafood including crayfish, calamari, snapper and much more. You can also escape to the Otway Ranges forest, where you might run into a koala or other local wildlife.
The Best Beaches In Tasmania:
While the weather in Tassie might be a bit cooler than the rest of Australia, it still offers some stunning scenery and great weekend or summer getaways.
Picturesque Wineglass Bay is one of Tasmania’s most iconic coastal areas, with stunning turquoise hued waters and plenty of ways to see it, easily making it one of the best beaches in Tasmania. Climb Mount Amos to catch the wider view, or partake in one of the many activities within the national park including sea kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking, scuba diving, deep sea fishing, and scenic helicopter flights.
Bay Of Fires:
Named by the Europeans for the Aboriginal fires that they could see from their ships, the Bay of Fires is a stunning area that encompasses white sands, deep blue seas and headlands of granite that host iconic orange lichen. If you’re into hiking, there’s the four-day Bay of Fires Lodge Walk, where you can explore hidden coves and take to the sea on a kayak.
Bridport is a seaside town that boasts the beautiful Murpheys Beach to the north. In the summer, people flock to Bridport to enjoy not only the beach but also local wineries, golf courses and even a large lavender farm. Its iconic piers stretch out toward the watery horizon, making for stunning photographs and one of the best beaches in Tasmania.
The Best Beaches In South Australia:
South Australia has a number of hidden gems contending amongst the best beaches in South Australia.
Dolphin Beach an 800 m long, north-facing beach with a moderately steep reflecting beach face and no surf, gets typically little waves. The beach is surrounded by sloping granite platforms, with vegetated bluffs in the west and a progressively unstable but stable foredune in the east. At the western end, there are two dilapidated shacks and a tiny parking lot with vehicle access.
These five beaches are quite safe to swim at under low-wave conditions, with Browns Beach's "lagoon" providing the calmest water. Small waves typically crash up most of the steep beach faces. On several of the beaches, beware of bedrock, calcarenite reefs, and rocks. Usually too low for surfing. These are all excellent locations for both beach and rock fishing. There are five undeveloped beaches, three of which have reasonable access, and a primitive camping spot at Browns Beach.
About half an hour from Adelaide’s CBD, this hugely popular beach has plenty to take in. From the multiple restaurants surrounding Henley Square to the boutique shopping experience to the beach itself, Henley Beach is abuzz with activity and makes for a great place to enjoy a round of weekend cocktails and is easily one of the best beaches in South Australia.
Easily one of the best beaches in South Australia when it comes to food, Semaphore offers a smorgasbord of food just a short stroll from the beach. A foodies’ paradise, the bustling main road offers up everything from Thai to Indian to Italian to Himalayan eats, plus sweets abound from patisseries. Once you’ve eaten your fill, you can float about in the sea and soak up the sun.
A relaxed beachside town if ever there was one, Normanville’s beaches are surrounded by laid back yet luxurious eateries and an artistic, creative vibe. Home to many local artists, Normanville is also home to a four-star resort and 18-hole golf course, making for a unique township.
The Best Beaches In WA:
Last but not least, we come to Western Australia. They’re less crowded than anywhere else in the country, making for some of the best beaches in Australia.
Greens Pool, Esperence:
One of the premier places for swimming, diving and snorkelling in WA, Greens Pool is home to the iconic Elephant Rocks – giant boulders “bathing” in the emerald green waters of the beach. You can lay on the white sand, jump in the surf, or explore rock pools with the family at this beautiful location.
The Duke of Orleans Bay:
Known locally as “the Duke”, this stunning bay is located on a peninsula between Cape le Grand and Cape Arid national parks, meaning that there’s adventures to be had both on and off the peach. The Duke is popular among families for holidays that include fishing, water-skiing, and just relaxing in general.
One of the best beaches in WA is also one of the largest. At 22 kilometres long, Cable Beach is a short drive from Broome and is unquestionably stunning. Hop atop a camel and take in the sand dunes in a unique way, marvel at red cliff faces, and take in the pristine beauty of this great Australian beach. Famous for its uniquely hard sand, allowing hundreds of travellers access to camping on the beach. The tide does come in and out quickly so be sure to camp above the high tide mark and check the swell twice. Sunsets here are unmatched anywhere else in Australia!
Broome, James Price Point:
On the Cape Leveque Road, around 60 kilometres from Broome, you may locate this breathtaking location. It is located well south of Pender Bay, Banana Well, and other Cape Leveque camping possibilities and north of Quandong Point.
Until you leave Cape Leveque Road, the road into James Price is bituminous; after that, it is around 32 km of sand, hard, smooth rock, or gravel. The road has some excellent sections and some fairly ordinary ones.
James Price Point's camping, which is completely free and has more places for you to pull over than you can shake a stick at, is currently the main draw. You can park on the beach in a tonne of locations both north and south of James Price Point if you have a light setup.
You can set up camp in a variety of places on the hard red "rock" at the base of the cliffs if you are a little heavier. As an alternative, many people camp on top of the cliffs and descend whichever they like by foot or vehicle. The only thing we advise is that you enter the water extremely cautiously because crocodile attacks have been reported here and they are rather common. Other than that, this is not one to miss!
Looking for more holiday inspiration? Check out our top picks for the best outback experiences in Australia!