Cute koalas and kangaroos aside, it’s our world-class surfing hotspots, spectacular coastline, and vast array of tropical beaches that put a visit to Australia on the bucket lists of many across the globe. A day at the beach has become synonymous with Aussie culture, and with literally thousands of beaches dotting our coast to explore, sometimes it’s hard to choose which slice of heaven to visit. So instead of dedicating 30 years to exploring a new one each day, we’ve picked our top 10 beaches to visit this summer.
1. Misery Beach, Albany (Western Australia)
Taking out the top spot in Tourism Australia’s inaugural Top 20 Beaches list, Misery Beach is anything but a misery to visit. Gaining its name from its proximity to a major whaling station a couple of beaches away, since its closure in 1978, Misery Beach has been less whale offal and more pure white sand and crystalline waters. The beach has been described as picture-perfect; however, there may be a few more crowds to contend with now, given its recent rise to fame.
2. The Neck, Bruny Island (Tasmania)
Just 40 kilometres from Hobart, this narrow strip of land connects the north and south of Bruny Island and offers visitors spectacular 360-degree views of the coast. Take the 279 timber steps along to the Neck Lookout, and if you’re lucky, you’ll spot native wildlife like fairy penguins and short-tailed shearwaters.
3. Depot Beach, South Coast (New South Wales)
Promising so much more than just a visit to the beach, Depot Beach, in the heart of Murramarang National Park is the perfect place to linger a little longer and truly unwind. With a towering backdrop of spotted gums, abundant local wildlife, a rainforest walk and a quaint two-street village to explore, you’re bound to fall in love with the area before even hitting the beach. But when you do, you’ll be rewarded with a sublime stretch of sugar-white sand perfect for swimming, fishing, and snorkelling.
4. Emu Bay, Kangaroo Island (South Australia)
Located on Australia’s third largest island, Emu Bay is a local favourite and is the only beach on Kangaroo Island with direct 4WD beach access. The four-kilometre stretch of silky white sand is bordered by towering dunes (which are fun to explore) and is home to the historic Emu Bay Jetty – built in 1918.
5. Alexandria Bay, Noosa Heads (Queensland)
Reputed to be one of the best beaches in the world to rid those pesky tan lines, Alexandria Bay is an unofficial ‘clothing optional’ or ‘free’ beach. Nestled between bustling Noosa Heads and Sunshine Beach, Alexandria Bay is a secluded stretch that is only accessed via walking trails through the Noosa National Park. Don’t forget the sunscreen and snacks, as its secluded location means there are no on-site amenities.
6. Loch Ard Gorge, Port Campbell (Victoria)
Cruise Great Ocean Road, head past the 12 Apostles, plot Loch Ard Gorge on your GPS, and have the camera ready. This stunning orange beach is flanked by jagged cliffs and acres of bushland. It’s a perfect spot for a dip and a history lesson. With plenty of walking paths in the surrounding area, you can learn about the disastrous history of the most famous shipwreck that took place on this stretch of the aptly named Shipwreck Coast.
7. Dundee Beach, Darwin (Northern Territory)
Named after the Crocodile Dundee movies – and yes, home to saltwater and freshwater crocodiles – Dundee beach has plenty on offer for those wanting a side of action and adventure with their day at the beach. There’s outstanding fishing, crabbing, turtles, bird watching and even the Dundee Beach Markets every Saturday throughout the dry season to keep you entertained.
8. Murrays Beach, Jervis Bay Territory (Australian Capital Territory)
That’s right; the landlocked ACT has a beach of its own! While it may be a couple of hundred kilometres from ACT, thanks to a desire for a national port, and Jervis Bay being the closest ocean to Canberra, in 1915, New South Wales handed the small peninsula to the Commonwealth. Interestingly, the car park occupies part of site which had been cleared in preparation for the construction of a nuclear power plant in the 1970s. History aside, Murrays Beach is known as the jewel in the Booderee National Park thanks to pristine waters and pearl white sand.
9. Thompsons Beach (Victoria)
It may not be coastal, but it’s still a beach! Located on the banks of the mighty Murray River, Thompsons Beach is said to be one of Australia’s largest inland beaches, and one thing is for sure, it’s a paradise for swimming, beach cricket, fishing, boating and riverside picnics under the shade of towering river red gums.
10. Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay (Australian Capital Territory)
The battle for the whitest sand in Australia is a heated one, and for a long time, Hyams Beach was dubbed the home of the whitest sand in the world (which went on to be contested by the Guinness Book of World Records). Whitest sand or not, it is pristine and very white, and you’ll need your sunglasses to look at it!
Tempted to relocate?
Exploring beautiful spots often leaves you dreaming about building a life in one of these idyllic locations. And plenty of people have done just that. If you’re looking for a sea change or simply a change in scenery, contact your local First National Real Estate office – we can help you find your very own slice of heaven.