It’s almost silly to point out that summer is ‘officially’ only a day away—the hair sticking to your neck and sweat on your forehead has probably given it away already—but, you know what? Summer is coming and when the mercury rises, the only way to cool off in this great (but stinking hot) country of ours is hitting the beach!
Australia’s beaches are renowned the world over for being, well, bloody awesome, so working out which beach does beach best has created some, let me say, ‘friction’ in the office.
Whether you’re planning the road trip of a lifetime, or merely up for a weekend toddle to the coast, we’ve ranked Australia’s best beaches to take the guess work out.
#12 Tallebudgera Beach, QLD
Though technially a creek, Tallebudgera beach is straddled by the glorious Burleigh Heads National Park and iconic Palm Beach on the Gold Coast. Golden sands, lush bushland and gorgeous warm water makes this a top pick for all of the outdoor activities.
#11 Balmoral Beach, NSW
This gorgeous haven stretches along the inner north shore of Sydney and is tucked away from much of the (slightly angry) Pacific Ocean by the cliffs of Grotto Point and Gubbuh Gubbah. The perfect spot to detox from the Sydney rat-race, pick up a coffee at the Balmoral Beach Club, kick off your thongs and sink into some of the softest golden sand on the east coast.
#10 Pennington Bay, Kangaroo Island, SA
A little off the beaten track, Pennington Bay in the American River region of Kangaroo Island is an untouched beauty of the beach world. The island itself is World Heritage-listed and is also an animal-lover’s mecca, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled! Winter or summer, Pennington is a total gem.
#9 Cable Beach, WA
What’s not to love about 22km of crisp white sand and crystal turquoise waters? Err, nothing at all! Not into sun soaking? Jump on a camel’s back—yes, this is that beach—and take in that big red sunset with your new two-humped friend.
#8 Cottesloe Beach, WA
Perthies love this beach. And, I mean, why the hell wouldn’t you? With stunning soft white sand, the Indian Ocean lapping at your feet and ice cream not more than 50 feet away, nature really has come to the table and delivered the goods at Cottesloe Beach. Jealous? A little bit, yeah…
#7 Four Mile Beach, QLD
Hit the northern tropics if you want a real dose of pristine beaches, golden sands, and more palm trees than you can count! Port Douglas is a stunning outpost in northernmost Queensland, and the infamous Four Mile beach will take your breath away. No points for guessing where its name derives from…
#6 Mindil Beach, NT
Tucked right in the heart of Darwin CBD, Mindil Beach is the epitome of tropical paradise with its palm tree-lined promenade, golden sand (the odd croc or two—no, we’re not kidding) and one of the best spots in the country to watch the sun set across the ocean. Welcome to top-end heaven!
#5 Bells Beach, VIC
From the Rip Curl Pro, to that scene in Point Break, Bells Beach is known to practically everyone the world over. Snaking the cliffs of the Great Ocean Road, surfers from around the world flock here to catch unparalleled waves, but it is also a fantastic strip of beach with breathtaking views, rugged coastline, and soft sand just begging to be picnicked on. A total bucket-list trip, if you ask us!
#4 Whitehaven, QLD
Given that this beach has been voted number one in the world automatically gets it a spot on this list. I mean, sure, the sand is some of the whitest on earth and it’s comprised of mostly silica (apparently this is good?), and the waters are impossibly clear and you can only reach it by private boat or helicopter and life feels SO good when your feet touch the velvety soft sand… It really is as gorgeous as everyone says. So go there, asap!
#3 Wategos Beach, NSW
I know, I know, how predictable; Byron bloody Bay, blab la bla, but, to anyone that has ever visited the Byron region, you’ll know that it lives up to the huge hype. In spades! Our Pick? Wategos. It’s where all the cool cats go for soft sea breezes, white sand, crisp blue waters… Need I go on?
#2 Bay of Fires, TAS
Taking its name from the incredible orange granite formations along the coastline, Bay of Fires is technically a collection of beaches reaching from Binalong Bay to Eddystone Point. With epic camping grounds, a huge national park (no biggie) and miles of empty beach ripe for exploring, this is an iconic Aussie paradise. Well played, Tasmania. Well played.
#1 Blinky Beach, Lord Howe Island NSW
If it’s good enough for adventurers, documentary settings and rare bird species, it’s good enough for us! Lord Howe is a stunning destination all on its own—there’s never more than 400 visitors at any one time! Special, much?—and the entire island is a World Heritage-listed haven, so expect Blinky Beach to take your literal breath away. Catch some of the country’s best waves, sunbathe the afternoon away on crisp white sands, or even snorkel when the tide is low. Blinky delivers, and you’d be a fool not to make pilgrimage to this stunning spot off the coast of New South Wales.