Australia's best beaches

White sand and wide-open skies

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Jules Pearson

Ronnie McCluskey
HomeAway travel expert

Surfers ParadiseAustralia is one of those rare countries whose appeal is so broad, it’s difficult to express or sum up succinctly in a single sentence. People visit Las Vegas to party or gamble, New York to shop and sightsee, Paris for the culture and food; but Australia’s treasures are virtually illimitable, stretching in every direction. Modern cities, rugged outback communities and stunning strips of coastline vie for your attention - it would be difficult to see everything of note in a lifetime, let alone a holiday. For this article, we’re going to narrow our gaze and focus on Australia’s best beaches - and by extension some of the best beaches in the world.

Australians love the beach; you’re much more likely to see surfboards than paperbacks under people’s arms, though the clichéd image of the Akubra hat and the Mick Dundee humour isn’t very accurate. This giant island is ringed by incredible sand and surf, and so it simply behoves you to sample one of these golden playgrounds on your trip Down Under. Read our at-a-glance guide to some of the country’s best beaches, judged by their beauty, cleanness and marine life. If you’re planning to visit one of the beaches on the list, why not browse HomeAway Holiday Rentals for a selection of comfortable properties to suit any budget.


Top five Australian beaches


Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island

The word divine can’t be applied to many beaches, but the remote, uninhabited Whitehaven Beach is one of them. A narrow band of swirling silica sand, backed by rainforest, gives onto vivid turquoise blue waters, perfect for swimming and spotting schools of tropical fish. Yacht, ferry and boat tours regularly depart from the mainland at Airlie Beach, giving you an opportunity to explore this breath-taking 7km of coastline, scalloped along the edges with numerous lagoons, inlets and coves. Head for the northern end of the beach, where the lookout across Hill Inlet is unforgettable; as the tides shift, the sand and water coalesce to create a mesmeric mosaic of colours. 

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Ninety Mile Beach, Gippsland, Victoria Ninety Mile Beach, Gippsland, Victoria

Ninety Mile Beach is truly one of a kind. It’s difficult to argue with 90 miles of continuous golden sand, devoid of rocks and headlands, that look out on waters teeming with marine life; there are whales, dolphins and even - gulp - sharks, as well as turtles and rays. The beach separates the Gippsland Lakes from Bass Strait, and you can explore a series of lakes and lagoons beyond the sand dunes behind the beach itself. One thing’s for sure, you won’t struggle to find a patch of sand to lay down your beach towel. 

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Noosa Main Beach, Sunshine Coast, Queensland Noosa Main Beach, Sunshine Coast, Queensland

It doesn’t come much better than the impeccably maintained Noosa Main Beach. The water is crystal clear, the sand soft as talcum, and if you’re lucky you might even glimpse pods of dolphins in the near distance, or perhaps a migrating whale or two. The waves are also suitably strong, making this a perfect beach to boogie board, though there are better spots for dedicated surfers elsewhere in the state. It’s another bonus that the adjacent car-park is free - you’ll appreciate this if you’ve ever shelled out to leave the motor near Bondi, for example. If you’re peckish, there are plenty of cafes and bars nearby offering splendid views over the water.

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Bondi Beach, Sydney Bondi Beach, Sydney

Bondi Beach is definitely Marmite; you'll either love the boisterous crowds, the buzz, and the wide-open sky - or you'll hate the boisterous crowds, the noise, and the music. Love it or hate it, though, this beach definitely inspires a reaction. Absurdly overpopulated, its surf is nonetheless clean and smooth, its waters excellent for swimming and boarding; just be careful of the swells if you’re an inexperienced swimmer. Bondi is also perfect for people-watching; tourists from all over the world flock here, and the beach’s proximity to Sydney means you can switch from beach mode to city mode in a matter of minutes. Cafes, bars and eateries, meanwhile, spread out in every direction. Give it a go.

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Cottesloe, Perth, WA Cottesloe, Perth, WA

Cottesloe is often overlooked as one of Oz’s great beaches. Sure its dimensions are modest, but it is the quaint, seaside feel that makes Cottesloe such a fantastic spot. Pretty as a picture, the beach has fine white sand, smooth blue water perfect for swimming and snorkelling, and an abundance of cafes, fish and chip shops, and bars in the vicinity. Located just 15 minutes’ drive from Perth, the beach is neither isolated nor overcrowded and the grassy slopes overlooking the sand offer excellent spots for a picnic, with trees imparting necessary shade. If you visit in March, the Sculpture by the Sea art exhibition is not to be missed - the foreshore is transformed into a dazzling outdoor gallery.

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Australia Holiday Rentals

Corsoleil 2 Bdm Apt in Manly

Please send us a message via the [Contact me] button on the right to confirm availability and rates first before making a booking on travelmob! BRAND NEW magnificent two bedroom 2 bathroom apartment, beautifully furnished with ...

Bungan Beach Luxury 4 Bdrm Villa

Please send us a message via the [Contact me] button on the right to confirm availability and rates first before making a booking on travelmob! This absolutely stunning villa, part of our Signature collection, is approx. 8 minu...

Beautiful New 5 Bedroom Family Home For 10pp Situated Next To The Beach

Situate just across the road from the beach this modern holiday property displays cutting edge design and stunning finishes. With five bedrooms, three bathrooms, a separate powder room, a living dinning area and a rumpus room, why not treat yours...

Sun, Surf, Beach . Relax and enjoy your holiday at Balcony on the Beach.

Balcony on the Beach is situated across from Falcon beach, offering unbelievable 180º views of a magnificent protected beach well suited for children, the keen fisherman, kite surfing, windsurfing or board riding with one of the popular surfing br...


****PROPERTY STILL AVAILABLE OVER SCHOOL HOLIDAYS**** * Open plan kitchen/dine/lounge * 2 bedrooms both with queen size beds + Lounge/sofa double bed - can sleep another 2 * Great outdoor decking for entertaining * Close to transport. Ideal ...
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