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The nicest beaches in Australia.

Australia is the paradise of water sports. The largest island in the world is home to countless beautiful beaches, some of them being among the nicest in the world. The most popular beaches of Australia lie on the eastern coast of the country and the neighboring islands, but the western side has also many very nice beaches. Here is a large sample of the best beaches in Australia.


1. Lizard Island.

Located in the Great Barrier Reef off the northern coast of Queensland, Lizard Island is home to the eponymous national park (which includes also a few neighboring islands) and the luxury Lizard Island Resort.

The island is lined with mangroves and a bit more than twenty lovely sandy beaches.

The island covers a thousand hectares and is accessible by private flights (one hour) departing from Cairns Airport. Access to the Lizard Island Resort and its facilities are for resort guests only.  Pets are not allowed on the island.

Lizard Island Beach

2. Whitsunday Island.

Click on any photo to enlarge it. 

Whitehaven Beach (Whitsunday Island)

Whitehaven Beach (Whitsunday Island)

Whitehaven Beach (Whitsunday Island)

Also located in the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsunday archipelago is home to some of the most famous beaches in the world. The archipelago includes Whitsunday Island, Hamilton Island (where most of the inhabitants of the archipelago live), Long Island (which is located only 1 km off the coast), and a few others islands.

The Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island is found among the top positions in most rankings of the nicest beaches in Australia. It is a beautiful 7 km long sandy beach. White sand contrasts with turquoise waters. Smoking and pets are not allowed on the beach.

Access to the Whitsunday Island is by boat or ferry departing from the marinas of Airlie Beach, Shute Harbor or Hamilton Island.

3. Fraser Island

Hamilton Island Beach (Whitsunday)

Fraser Island Beach

About 900 km to the south, Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world, with an area of slightly less than 200,000 ha. It is known for its still moving sand dunes, its rainforests and its many fresh water lakes.

Forty lakes were formed when plant debris kept rainwater in a natural depression of the ground. Other lakes originated when a moving dune has blocked the course of a river or when the water table emerged in a depression of the ground surface.

Fraser Island, located some 200 km north of Brisbane, has not less than 250 km of clear sandy beaches. One of the most popular is the 75 Mile Beach which forms most of the eastern coastline of the island.

Like the Great barrier reef, Fraser Island is included in the UNESCO World Heritage. It is mainly reached by ferry. The island hosts usually many campers. Only all-terrain vehicles are able to move around on the island.

4. Noosa and Sunshine Coast.

A little further to the South on the southeast coast of Queensland, Sunshine Coast extends over about 60 km between Noosa and Pelican Waters, 100 km north of Brisbane. It is the vacation destination of many Australians.

Sunshine Coast consists of a series of beautiful white sand beaches, including Sunrise Beach, Peregian Beach, Coolum Beach, Mooloolaba Spit, Golden Beach and others.

Many of these beaches are suitable for surfing: Kings Beach, Bulcock Beach, Moffat Beach, Kawana, Maroochydore Alexandra Headland, Marcoola, Noosa Heads, Coolum, Sunshine Beach and Peregian Beach. For families with young children, several beaches, such as Golden Beach, Cotton Tree, Mooloolaba Beach and Mooloolaba Spit, offer fine beachside playgrounds. For tourists with pets, Moffat Beach, Coolum, Noosa Heads, Peregian Beach, and Sunshine Beach are pet-friendly beaches and have off-leash areas.

5. Gold Coast.

Noosa Beach (Sunshine Coast)

Burleigh Heads (Gold Coast)

 Surfers ' Paradise (Gold Coast)

About seventy kilometers south of Brisbane, the coastal town of Gold Coast is the second most populous city in Queensland. It extends over about 60 km and has many beaches that attract surf enthusiasts, such as Burleigh Heads, Currumbin, Kirra, North Kirra, Kurrawa, Tallebudgera, Surfers' Paradise and others.

Thanks to an extensive infrastructure, Gold Coast is a major tourist destination in Australia: in addition to 5 million daytrip visitors, Gold Coast welcomes each year 6 million holidaymakers, including almost one million foreign tourists.

New South Wales.

6. Byron Bay.

The small resort town of Byron Bay is located to the northeast of New South Wales, about 170 km south of Brisbane. Byron Bay is an important tourist destination, renowned for its many beaches, surf spots, whale watching and scuba diving.

The beaches include among others the main beach which extends by  Clarkes Beach and then by The Pass (famous with surfers), Watego's and Little Watego's, Tallow Beach, Kings Beach, Seven Mile Beach, and many others. Dogs are allowed on Belongil Beach, Tallow Beach and Brunswick Heads.

Click on any photo to enlarge it.

Byron Bay Beach

Seven Mile Beach

7. Port Stephens

About 600 km further to the south, the large bay of Port Stephens offers more than twenty beautiful quiet beaches, including those of Little Beach, Shoal Bay and One Mile Beach.

Port Stephens is located about 200 km north of Sydney. Local tourism relies heavily on nautical activities (fishing, surfing, boating, whale and dolphin watching,...).

8. Sydney.

Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, hosts nearly half of the foreign tourists who visit Australia. Sydney has several tourist attractions including the famous Opera House, the Royal Botanical Gardens, the Sydney Tower Eye, the museums and many others.

Sydney and its suburbs are also home to numerous popular beaches that stretch from Palm Beach, about 40 km north of the Sydney Central Business District (CBD, the main business district of the city), to Cronulla, 30 km south of CBD.

Among the most popular beaches, you find those of Palm Beach, Avalon, Curl Curl, Manly to the north and Bondi, Coogee, and Cronulla (several beaches) to the south. Sydney offers surfers a variety of spots. You find surf schools on the beaches of Bondi, Manly and Maroubra.

Bondi Beach (Sydney) 

Palm Beach (Sydney)


9. Wineglass Bay.

On the eastern coast of Tasmania, Freycinet National Park is home to the famous Wineglass Bay Beach that many rank among the most beautiful beaches of the world.

Wineglass Bay is a white sand beach, which is well suited to swimming and diving. The beach has a very beautiful crescent shape.

Wineglass Bay

Access to the beach is mainly via a trek that starts from Coles Bay, rises sometimes abruptly to the beautiful Wineglass Bay Lookout, then goes down to the beach. This 8 km return trek takes about 3 hours.

 Among the many other hiking itineraries in the national park, the Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach Circuit runs also through the Wineglass Bay Lookout. It is 11 km long and lasts from 4 to 5 hours.

Western Australia

10. Cable Beach.

Only a few kilometers from the coastal town of Broome in the Kimberley region in the north of Western Australia, the famous beach of Cable Beach stretches 22 km. It is a beautiful white sand beach with high tides. Swimming is not advised from November to March because of the presence of dangerous small jellyfish.

All-terrain vehicles are allowed on the beach and allow visitors to enjoy the beach in its full length. At sunset, camel rides are proposed.

Most of Cable Beach is a nudist beach. Formerly, the beach was crossed by a telegraph cable that gave it its name.

11. Cape Range National Park and Coral Coast.

Further to the west, near the town of Exmouth, Cape Range National Park is known for spectacular gorges and many trekking opportunities, but also for nice beaches. Among themTurquoise Bay, 60 kilometers south of Exmouth, is one of the most beautiful beaches of Western Australia. It is ideal for relaxing, swimming and snorkeling. Turquoise Bay is part of the Coral Coast which stretches over 1,100 km from Exmouth Gulf to Nambung National Park (about 200km north of Perth).

Cape Range National Park is adjacent to the Ningaloo Marine Park, which is listed on the Unesco World Heritage list.

12. Sunset Coast (Perth).

In Perth, capital of Western Australia, the Sunset Coast is located north of the Swan River. It includes the Marmion Marine Park and numerous white sand beaches, including those of Cottesloe (ideal for families), City Beach, Floreat, and Scarborough (known for Australian Surf Life Saving Championships which took repeatedly place there).

Cable Beach

Turquoise Bay Beach

Cape to Cape Track

13. C
ape to Cape Track.

The Cape to Cape Track is a long hiking route to the southwest of Western Australia, about 250 km south of Perth. It passes through forests and pristine beaches near caves and vineyards. The route extends over 135 km. It has many access points so that hikers can enjoy half-day or one-day walks. Except a section which is accessible to disabled people, it is not suitable for horse riding or mountain biking.

See also our other articles in the same series:
-- The most beautiful beaches in the world.
-- The beaches of Southeast Asia.
-- The beautiful beaches of Thailand.
-- The beautiful beaches of the Indian Ocean.



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International > The Best beaches in the world
International > Guide to Willgoto

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