Ultimate Guide to Australian Beaches

The beaches in Australia are considered to be the most diverse, as they offer something unique from regular beaches that you will often find in other countries around the world. Of course, there are still the normal beaches in Australia that you can visit if you just want to enjoy swimming and sunbathing, but there are also some spectacular beaches in the country that feature coves, caves, surf spots, and hiking trails.

There are more than 100 beaches to visit in Australia, so those that are planning to go to the “Land Down Under” may have a difficult time picking which beaches they should explore. To make it much more convenient for you to choose a beach, we are here to provide you with a guide on the best beaches in Australia. So, let’s already get started with the ultimate guide to Australian beaches.

What to Bring in Australian Beaches

What’s weird about Australia is that it can be extremely hot during the summer and chilly during the winter, so the beach items that you would need to bring with you vary depending on what season you are going to visit the country. Since we are focusing on going to beaches, we should list down the essential items you and your travel companions need to bring during the spring and summer seasons.

  • Passport
  • Australia Visa (if necessary)
  • Government IDs
  • Extra Sets of Clothes (particularly lighter ones for warm weather)
  • Sunglasses
  • Swimsuits
  • Beach Hats
  • Waterproof Jacket
  • Umbrella
  • Beach Towel
  • Essential Toiletries

Even during the summer, Australia can be rainy, so it is recommended that you bring a waterproof jacket and an umbrella with you wherever you go in the country. Read our Essential Beach Packing List to know more about the important items you should bring to beaches.

The Best Beaches in Australia

There are hundreds of different beaches for you to choose from in Australia, and while it would be fun to go to all the great beaches in the Land Down Under, it would be too much for your wallet since traveling can be expensive. To help you save money, we are already recommending ten beaches that you can visit in Australia and just pick one or two that you think are suitable for you and your travel buddies. Here is the long list of some of the best beaches in Australia.

Great Barrier Reef

For those that like diving and snorkeling, the Great Barrier Reef would arguably be the best destination for them, as the tourist spot has reefs that showcase the beautiful and Mysterious Animals in the Deep Sea. However, the beaches near the Great Barrier Reef, such as Whitehaven Beach and Airlie Beach, are worth visiting if you just want to enjoy sunbathing.

Where to Stay in the Great Barrier Reef

There are dozens of resorts where you can get accommodations near the Great Barrier Reef. But there are only a few that locals and frequent tourists recommend as the best ones in the area. Here are the three of the best resorts in the Great Barrier Reef.

  • Lizard Island Resort
  • Blue Horizon Resort
  • Beach Club at Hamilton Island

If you don’t want a lot of crowds when you visit the reef on your vacation, the best months to visit the area are from June to October, particularly at the end of the summer up to the middle of fall. In addition to not having a lot of people, those months also don’t experience a lot of rain, so you won’t have to worry about rainstorms ruining your vacation at the beach.

Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach in Sydney

When you ask locals what the most popular beach is in Australia, almost all of them will give you the same answer: Bondi Beach. This famous beach is located within Sydney, the country’s capital, so there is no surprise that the beach is filled with both tourists and locals almost every day because of how accessible it is compared to other ones indicated on this list. 

Since it is located in Sydney, there are many more tourist spots that you can visit near Bondi Beach, like Darling Harbour and The Rocks. So, visiting Bondi Beach is worthwhile because you wouldn’t have to travel far to get to other attractions in the city. Check out our Top Beaches in Australia article to learn more about Bondi Beach and other famous beaches in the country.

Where to Stay Near Bondi Beach

Once again, because Bondi Beach is in Sydney, there are hundreds of resorts and lodgings in the area where you can get room to stay in. Here are three hotels that we think are the best in providing excellent customer service and clean rooms.

  • The Sebel Sydney Chatswood
  • Primus Hotel Sydney
  • Jonahs Restaurant & Accommodation at Whale Beach

The best months to go to Bondi Beach are from March to May, which are right in the middle of the summer season. Luckily, those months are when tourists don’t usually go to Sydney, as they would often visit from December to February to better enjoy the sights in the city. In addition, prices for plane tickets to Australia are also at an all-time low during these months, so it would be best to go to Sydney in one of those months if you want to save more money.

Whitsunday Islands

Heart Reef near Whitsunday Islands

Whitsunday Islands is a group of 74 tropical islands that is near the Great Barrier Reef. There are many great beaches within those islands, so you can try island-hopping by signing up on boat tours conducted in the area. The most fascinating sight in Whitsunday Islands is the Heart Reef, a small reef that looks like a heart from afar. To appreciate the beauty of Heart Reef, you would need to ride a seaplane that will soar over the reef so you can take pictures of it.

Where to Stay in Whitsunday Islands

Much like the nearby islands and areas in the Great Barrier Islands, there are dozens of different places for you to stay in the Whitsunday Islands. From cheap lodging to luxury hotels, there is a certain variety that these resorts and lodges offer when it comes to their rooms. Here are only a few of the best places to stay in the Whitsunday Islands.

  • Palm Bay Resort
  • Camp Island Lodge
  • Elysian Retreat

Visiting Whitsunday Islands from June to October is ideal if you want to avoid crowds, but keep in mind that some tours and activities that you can sign up for in the islands may be postponed or canceled due to inclement weather.

Manly Beach

Manly Beach in Sydney

Besides Bondi Beach, there is another famous beach in Sydney that is flocked by tourists during the summer, and that beach is Manly Beach, which is located within the Northern Beaches of New South Wales’ capital city. What’s great about Manly Beach is that it is perfect for surfing, as its waves are high enough for regular surfers to ride and have fun. Soon, Manly Beach may even be considered one of the Best Surfing Destinations in the World because of its growing popularity among foreigners. However, because the beach has high waves, it may not be suitable for children or anyone that is not used to rough waves.

Where to Stay in Manly Beach

Due to how close it is to Sydney, tourists that go to Manly Beach usually stay in the hotels within the city rather than the ones around the beach. However, this doesn’t mean that Manly Beach doesn’t have great hotels, as there are still some establishments in the area that provide comfort and relaxation for those that rent their rooms. These are three of the best hotels within Manly Beach.

  • Novotel Sydney Manly Pacific
  • Hotel Steyne
  • The Sebel Sydney Manly Beach

Gold Coast

aerial view of the Gold Coast

Another famous tourist destination in Australia is the Gold Coast, a coastal city located to the east of the country, particularly within the state of Queensland. The Gold Coast is arguably the most versatile location out of all areas that are mentioned on this list, as it can cater to those with a tight budget and those that can spend lavishly in luxurious hotels and resorts. In addition, the features of the beaches found in the Gold Coast also have variety, as there is a beach primarily visited for surfing (Surfers Paradise) and also a beach that is kid-friendly (Broadbeach).

Where to Stay in the Gold Coast

Because the Gold Coast is a renowned holiday destination for locals and tourists, there are a lot of resorts in the city where people can stay and relax. As we have mentioned early, the city is suitable for those with a tight budget, as there are many cheap lodges and hotel rooms around. But, for those with enough budget to stay in luxury hotels, there are also a lot of world-class resorts in the area that will provide you with clean, fancy, and hassle-free rooms. Here are three of the best resorts on the Gold Coast that you can stay in.

  • Vibe Hotel Gold Coast
  • Q1 Resort & Spa
  • Novotel Surfers Paradise

The summer season will be the busiest on the Gold Coast, so if you don’t want a lot of people during your vacation, it would be best to avoid going there during the summer. In other seasons besides the winter, the Gold Coast would still have many tourists, but not a lot compared to the summer. So, it would still be good to go there in any month before or after the summer, but do expect the beaches to still be filled with people.

Cable Beach

camel ride at Cable Beach

Although not as popular as Bondi Beach or the beaches on the Gold Coast, many of the tourists that have gone to Cable Beach have stated that it is one of the most beautiful beaches that they ever saw in their lives. Cable Beach is a long stretch of beach located in Broome, a town in the western region of Australia

As to why it is named “Cable Beach,” many of the locals stated that the beach is named after the long telegraph cable that was installed between Broome and Java in 1889. If you want a quiet and serene view to look at while you are sunbathing, Cable Beach is the perfect destination for you since it features calm waves and a relatively peaceful environment.

Where to Stay in Cable Beach

You can find many accommodations in Cable Beach, although most of the resorts in the area can be a little bit pricey if you are on a tight budget. But, going to Australia in itself is already an expensive trip, so we hope that you are ready to shell out plenty of cash if you ever go to Cable Beach. Here are the best resorts or hotels where you can stay in Cable Beach.

  • Seashells Broome
  • Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa
  • The Pearle of Cable Beach

If you don’t like to see a lot of naked bodies, it would be best to stay away from the north area of the long beach, as that area has nudist beaches where clothing is optional. Around the southern portions of the beach are locals that offer camel rides for tourists, so try that out if you want to experience what it’s like riding a camel’s back.

Byron Bay

Byron Bay beach

Byron Bay is a beachside town that is located in New South Wales, Australia. While Byron Bay doesn’t have that many permanent residents, the town is often filled with tourists from all across the world because of the sheer beauty of its beaches and the different wonderful sights that it offers. From January and May, there are a handful of events that took place within the town, including the Byron Bay Bluesfest and the Byron Bay International Fashion Festival.

Where to Stay in Byron Bay

In Byron Bay, there are so many places for you to stay that it would be quite hard to pick which one is perfect for you and your travel companions. However, by checking reviews of these hotels and resorts online, you will already have a better idea of which ones give the best services for their customers. To make it easier for you to choose, here are three of the best resorts in Byron Bay.

  • Byron Palms Guesthouse
  • Elements of Byron
  • Atlantic Byron Bay

Aside from swimming at Byron Bay’s main beach and staying in one of the best resorts, the town also has other attractions to provide for its tourists, including scuba diving at Julian Rocks and looking at the wildlife at the Cape Byron Marine Park. In addition, there is also the amazing Minyon Falls and the nearby Nightcap National Park.

Cottesloe Beach

Cottesloe Beach

Cottesloe Beach is another popular beach in Australia that features white sands and crystal clear waters that people of all ages can admire and enjoy. The popularity of Cottesloe Beach among Australians and foreign tourists is primarily attributed to its accessibility, as it is near the busy city of Perth and can be accessed via train. Moreover, the beach is also well-known because of the offshore reefs surrounding it, which makes Cottesloe Beach have calm waves that are safe to swim in by almost anybody, including children.

Where to Stay in Cottesloe Beach

Compared to other famous beaches in the Land Down Under, hotels and resorts in Cottesloe Beach are not really abundant, and this could have been caused by the fact that the beach is just near Perth, and many tourists would rather stay in the busy city rather than near the beach. However, despite having only a few hotels, Cottesloe Beach is home to some of the best establishments that offer rooms and accommodations for tourists. Here are three great hotels in Cottesloe Beach.

  • Ocean Beach Hotel
  • Cottesloe Beach Hotel
  • Cottesloe Beach Chalets

If you want to see Cottesloe Beach’s grandest events and exhibitions, like Rottnest Channel Swim and Sculpture by the Sea, you may want to visit the beach in the months of January to April. However, during those said months, it may get crowded, so be sure you have booked accommodations early so that you won’t have trouble getting rooms once you are in the area.

Lucky Bay

Lucky Bay in Australia

Lucky Bay is arguably one of the quietest beaches in Australia, as there are only a few tourists that know about the area. However, it may eventually become a popular beach as it is gaining traction on social media, so you should visit Lucky Bay before hundreds of tourists start going there. Lucky Bay is located on the southern coast of Western Australia, specifically within the Cape Le Grand National Park, and is known by many for its clean turquoise waters and tranquil waves.

Where to Stay Near Lucky Bay

While there aren’t any major hotels and resorts in Lucky Bay, you can get accommodation in the nearby town of Esperance, which is also a well-known tourist spot, especially for fishing and scuba diving. Due to having only a handful of tourists that visit the beach even during the summer, you wouldn’t be shy to try out your swimsuits made and sold by Affordable Swimsuit Brands. For those that want to find a place to stay in Esperance and near Lucky Bay, here are the best hotels to get accommodations.

  • Hospitality Esperance, SureStay Collection by Best Western
  • Comfort Inn Bay of Isles
  • Esperance Bay Holiday Park

A study in 2017 concluded that Lucky Bay has the whitest sand not only in Australia but also in the entire world. So, if you want to be completely mesmerized by how white the sand in Lucky Bay is, then you should already book for accommodations early.

Vivonne Bay

Kangaroo Island

The last beach on the list is Vivonne Bay, a beautiful bay located in South Australia and in the southern region of Kangaroo Island. According to a survey conducted by the director of Sydney University’s marine studies center, Professor Andrew Short, Vivonne Bay is considered to be the best beach in all of Australia. The survey was judged based on Vivonne Bay’s beauty, which is undeniable since the beach will already mesmerize you at first glance.

Where to Stay in Vivonne Bay

Instead of hotels, lodges and cottages are the ones that are quite popular in Vivonne Bay, and their popularity is due to the fact that they enhance the overall peacefulness of the beach. The three listed below are the best cottages or lodges in Vivonne Bay.

  • Vivonne Bay Lodge
  • Ecopia Retreat
  • Raven Cottage

Conclusion

Australia is quite a peculiar country in terms of its seasons and its weather, as you will never know when it will rain or when it will get extremely hot at the beaches. So, before you visit the beaches in Australia, make sure that you know the weather and the temperature in the location you will be visiting to anticipate when it will rain or get warm. To know more about planning a vacation to the Land Down Under, read the What to Do on Your First Trip to Australia guide on our website. 

Best Beaches in the World