Australia beaches are world famous. Australia is home to some of the most beautiful clear waters, softest white sand, and longest stretches of untouched beaches. With over 11,000 beaches along nearly 37,000 kms of Australian coastline, the bigger question remains: Where are the best beaches in Australia?

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We would love to say that we’ve been to them all and have all the answers for you. As to how many beaches in Australia we’ve been to, well the truth is, we have barely even scratched the surface. So many of the best beaches in Australia are tucked away in small towns miles away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities.

And for many in Australia, beaches carry a certain emotional connection as well. Opinions on the matter will stay divided, but we think many would agree with the following list of the best beaches in Australia.

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, QLD

Whitehaven Beach needs no introduction. This world-renowned beach in the Whitsundays has topped the charts of not only the best of Australia beaches but also the best beaches in the entire world. Known for incredibly white cool silica sand, stunning views, and crystal clear waters, it’s a beach definitely worth visiting on your trip to Australia.

Ultimate guide for a Whitsundays tour!
Whitehaven Beach from Hill Inlet

Main Beach, Noosa, QLD

You can’t question the appeal of Noosa’s Main Beach. It’s got everything you would expect from a perfect beach. A long stretch of nice clean sand for all your sunbathing needs, pristine turquoise waters that are safe for swimmers of all skill levels, beautiful surroundings of the Noosa National Park, along with plenty of accommodation, restaurants, and shopping options nearby.

It’s no wonder that Noosa is one of the most popular Australia beaches for locals and travelers.

Read More: Exploring Noosa National Park

Noosa Main Beach, Noosa National Park
Noosa Main Beach, Noosa National Park

Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast, QLD

Burleigh Heads Beach makes the list of the best beaches in Australia thanks to its amazing surf breaks. But even for the casual beach bums, Burleigh has great appeal.

Unlike many other beaches on the Gold Coast, Burleigh has remained rather free on tourists and crowds, making it one of the favourite weekend beach spots for the locals. It’s well patrolled and great for swimming with fantastic stretches of sand that you wouldn’t expect to find in the middle of the city.

Burleigh Heads Beach, Gold Coast, QLD
Burleigh Heads Beach, Gold Coast, QLD

Coolangatta, Gold Coast, QLD

It’s not surprising that not just one, but two beaches on the Gold Coast made our list of the best beaches in Australia. After all, this was our backyard, it was where we frequently spend our weekends when we were living in Australia.

The entire Gold Coast shoreline is filled with beautiful beaches, but none of them compares to the picturesque scenery and perfect surf conditions of Coolangatta. The Surfers Paradise skyline in the distance makes the views at Coolangatta really special. And those sunsets, oh wow!  

And you know the beach is stellar when world-famous surfers come to Coolangatta every year for the annual Quiksilver Pro ASP World Surfing Tour event. You know guys like Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning, and Taj Burrow? Yeah, this is their playground. If this Australia beach is good for them, it surely is for the rest of us!

Snapper Rocks Bay, Coolangatta, Gold Coast, Queensland
Snapper Rocks Bay, Coolangatta, Gold Coast, Queensland

Byron Bay, NSW

Not only is Byron Bay one of the best Australia beaches, but it is also one of the best beaches in New South Wales. Now we definitely have a soft spot for Byron Bay.

Not only does it have great food, unique shopping, laid back atmosphere, and a great crowd, but Byron Bay Main Beach is where Max and I got engaged back in 2015!

But even without this incredibly personal connection, Byron Bay Main Beach never disappoints.

With the views of mountains in the distance, this long stretch of sandy beach is a great place for a day in the sun, an afternoon stroll, or a romantic evening. When the sun goes down, the backpackers, out of town families, and locals can often be found mingling together, gathered around a few buskers with guitars, right there on the beach.

There is a certain sense of community here, and it’s that feeling that draws many to come back to Byron Bay over and over again.

 Related Post: We’re Engaged:  The Sunset and the Ring in Byron Bay

Sunset in Byron Bay. With sights like these, how could you not fall in love with Australia
Sunset on Byron Bay’s Main Beach casts a romantic glow over one of the best beaches in NSW 

Bondi Beach, Sydney, NSW

It’s not the natural beauty of Bondi Beach that landed it a spot on our list of the best beaches in Australia. It’s not the great waves, beautiful surroundings, or the crystal clear waters. It’s the fact that Bondi Beach is truly the most famous of all of Australia beaches and is an icon of Australian beach culture.

Bondi Beach is most definitely one of the best beaches in Sydney. In 2008 it was added to the Australian National Heritage List, and rightfully so. It was here that the world’s first Surf Life Saving club opened its doors over 100 years ago, it was also here, in early 1900’s that a series of bathing suit protests paved the way to the “bikini”.

In more recent years, Bondi Beach has hosted a beach volleyball competition at 2006 Summer Olympics, has been the location for film festivals, environmental celebrations, and art exhibits. Bondi has also been a popular setting for many Australian TV Shows, including the Block, the Bondi Vet, and Bondi Rescue.

With a rating of 7 (10 being the most hazardous), the South end of the beach is reserved for surfers, while the North End gentle rating of 4 attracts many visitors throughout the year. Surrounding the beach are plenty of cafes, making it a great spot for people watching all day long.

Best Beaches in Australia: Bondi Beach, Sydney.
Bondi Beach, Sydney. Photo credit: Flickr CC russellstreet

Manly Beach, Sydney

Manly Beach is where the Sydney beach locals escape to. It’s not as crowded and touristy as Bondi, making it an attractive option to get away to for a day.

Manly is one of the more laid back Sydney beaches. It’s clean and safe and is a particularly good option for those looking for a good place to go out on their first surf. There are plenty of activities on and around the beach, ranging from scenic coastal walks to kayaking and snorkelling.

Best Beaches in Australia: Manly Beach, Northern Sydney, NSW
Manly Beach, Northern Sydney, NSW. Photo credit:

Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay, NSW

Tucked away on the shores of Jervis Bay, Hyams Bay is another beach in the running for best beaches in NSW.  Hyams Beach is a popular holiday spot on the South Coast.

The beach is surrounded by beautiful natural attractions and is popular for diving, windsurfing, snorkeling, and kayaking. But it’s the pristine white sands that landed Hyams’ Beach a mention in the Guinness World of Records, along with the crystal clear aquamarine waters, that draw many to this unspoilt piece of paradise.

Best Beaches in Australia: Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay, NSW
Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay, NSW. Photo credit: Flickr CC Julia Koefende

Cable Beach, Broome, WA

Cable Beach is the perfect example of Western Australia beaches, an iconic, perfectly flat 22.5 km long stretch of beach. Located near Broome in Western Australia, it’s an ideal spot for walking, running, playing, swimming, sunray catching, and of course, camel riding. If riding a camel isn’t your thing you can explore the beach on foot or hire a 4WD to push further.

We don’t know if its the magnificent sunsets that are common to Cable Beach, the camel beach rides, or the fact that it’s so remote and hard to get to, but something about this beach makes us want to hop on the plane and head there NOW!

Camel train on Cable Beach. Broome. Western Australia
Cable Beach and the camel train at sunset

Turquoise Bay, Exmouth, WA

Voted as the runner up on TripAdvisor’s 2014 Readers Choice Award for the Best Beaches in the South Pacific, Turquoise Bay is one of the best examples of Australia’s pristine clear waters and beautiful white sands.

The beach is known for fantastic coral and great snorkeling, particularly its famous drift snorkel. It’s another hidden gem amongst the Western Australia beaches that’s worth the trek across the country.

Channeling my inner yogi at sunset in Turquoise Bay, Cape Range National Park. Western Australia
Turquoise Bay, Cape Range National Park, as close to heaven as a beach can be!

Elwood Beach, Melbourne

Elwood is arguably one of the best beaches in Melbourne, Victoria. Elwood is a popular spot for families as it offers clean, clear water. It’s also one of the best beaches in Victoria for activities.

Try windsurfing or explore the area with cycling or walking. Elwood earns its title as one of the best beaches in Australia thanks to the community Beach Patrol who look after the beach with regular clean-ups.

Best beaches in Australia
Twilight beauty of Elwood Beach. Photo by Anna Callil via Flickr CC

Squeaky Beach, Wilsons Promontory National Park, Victoria

Possibly the oddest named beach on our list of best beaches in Australia, Squeaky Beach is located in Wilsons Promontory National Park. It is not only one of the best beaches in Victoria, but also one of the most beautiful Australian beaches.

It’s named ‘Squeaky Beach’ because of the rounded grains of quartz sand that ’squeak’ when you walk on them. Once you’ve got over the novelty of the squeaking, take a look around you and marvel at the amazing, clear blue waters and the granite boulders creating a maze to be explored.

best beaches in Australia, Squeaky Beach
Squeaky Beach, if not one of the best beaches in Victoria it’s definitely the most unique! Photo by 3B’s via Flickr CC

Cottesloe Beach, Perth

Cottesloe Beach will top many people’s list for the best beaches in Perth and in the country. It’s a popular holiday destination for locals and travelers from all over Australia and beyond.

With its pure white sand stretching for more than a kilometer, Cottesloe Beach is a popular spot for swimming, snorkelling and surfing. It’s just a 30min drive from the centre of Perth, making it the perfect day trip to escape the bustling heat of the city.

best beaches in Australia
You can’t really beat Western Australia beaches! Cottesloe Beach, Perth. Photo by fvanrenterghem via Flickr CC

Suttons Beach, Brisbane

When you first think of Brisbane, you’ll likely see skyscrapers and urban life, but there is more to Brisbane than first meets the eye. Suttons Beach, located just 35km from the centre of the city, was named one of the best beaches in Brisbane in 2015 and it’s popularity continues.

It’s one of the best beaches in Australia if you are visiting with kids in tow. There are a few, small waves which make it perfect and safe for swimming. They also have great picnic areas with barbeques for enjoying the day with family and friends.

best beaches in Australia, suttons beach
Suttons Beach is one of the best beaches for families with kids. Photo by bertknot via Flickr CC

Ned’s Beach, Lord Howe Island

Last, but certainly not least on our list of Australia beaches, is Ned’s Beach on Lord Howe Island. Most travelers have never even heard of Lord Howe Island and we’ll admit, it was only a few months ago that we discovered it for ourselves. Located about 600km east of Port Macquarie, Lord Howe Island is a true Australian paradise.

It’s listed as a World Heritage Site and is so secluded and exclusive that only 400 people are allowed on the island at once. Ned’s Beach is the highlight of the island with its pristine crystal clear waters and a deserted strand of perfectly golden sand. If that’s not enough, Ned’s Beach is also home to an amazing diversity of coral, fish, and marine life, making it a great destination for divers!

Ned's Beach, Lord Howe Island
Ned’s Beach, Lord Howe Island

Now it’s your turn! What’s your favourite beach in Australia?

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We spent many years living and traveling around Australia exploring the country in-depth!


Our FREE AUSTRALIA Travel Guide is a great resource for planning a trip to Australia!

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