Australia's Top 10 Beaches
By Viator, October 2013
Cable Beach, Broome, Western Australia
Stretching an impressive 22 kilometres along the upper western coast of Australia, the gleaming white sand and turquoise waters of Broome’s Cable Beach represent the wild freedom of the ancient country it borders. Cable Beach is famous for golden sunsets, camel rides, fossilised dinosaur footprints in red rock and a rich pearling history.
Be sure to visit in the dry season, from May to October, before the blistering heat, tropical storms and marine stingers ruin all the fun.
The Pass, Byron Bay, New South Wales
Byron Bay is worshipped as a quintessential Australian beach destination for foreign tourists, and for good reasons. The Northern New South Wales town is a vibrant hub of surf lifestyle, nature lovers and bohemian culture, and is located near some of the most idyllic beaches on the East Coast.
The Pass is one of the best loved beaches in Byron Bay, and is located between the headland and the Fisherman’s Lookout. There, beach goers can admire the Pacific Ocean and watch for humpback whales in winter. Also, a popular surf break, The Pass is the place to take a surfing lesson, join a diving boat, enjoy a coffee at the nearby café and walk to adjoining Clarke’s Beach and Main Beach, near the town centre.
Bells Beach, Torquay, Victoria
Along the southern edge of Victoria, in the famously beautiful Great Ocean Road region, near Torquay, Bells Beach offers dramatic coastal cliffs and great waves. Bells Beach is the home of the long-running and internationally-recognised Rip Curl Pro surfing competition, which is held around Easter each year.
The water temperatures can drop down to 12°C, so be sure to wear the appropriate wetsuit and boots to keep your body temperature up in the winter months.
Seal Rocks, New South Wales
The East Coast of Australia glitters with quiet, idyllic beaches, and the village of Seal Rocks has some of the best within reach. Seal Rocks and nearby Treachery Camp are much-loved camping destinations on pristine beaches.
Highlights include coastal rainforest walks through the Myall Lakes National Park, laying on the sun-warmed black rocks that meet the ocean edge and spotting the gentle and endangered grey nurse sharks known to swim in the area.
Noosa Beach, Queensland
Queensland is loved for being Australia’s sunshine state, where summers are long and hot and beaches are the place to be. Noosa, in the Sunshine Coast region above Brisbane, is a popular beach destination with a number of beaches around the cosmopolitan coastal township.
Noosa Main Beach is a calm, safe place to swim and sunbake, and the many small beach coves that border the Noosa National Park are a delight to discover on a walking adventure.
Bondi Beach, Sydney, New South Wales
A list of Australia’s top beaches would not be complete without the iconic home of surf lifesaving, Bondi Beach in Sydney.
This is a beach worth visiting for the spectacle of Australian beach culture. Highlights include the red and yellow safety flags and the lifesavers between them, the phenomena of mass sunscreen application and the enthusiastic consumption of ice cream and fish and chips.
Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay, New South Wales
Arguably better endowed with coastal beauty than neighbouring Sydney, the Illawarra region to the south is a popular escape for city dwellers who are looking for sunshine and beaches.
Hyams Beach has been recorded in The Guinness Book of Records as having the whitest sand in the world, and although unpatrolled, is enjoyed for its smooth swimming and snorkelling conditions. Another Illawarra beach worth noting is Stanwell Park, which is one of many coastal villages between Wollongong and Sydney.
Rainbow Beach, Queensland
Sparkling coloured sands in the beach dunes are one of many delights at Rainbow Beach. Located near Gympie, Rainbow Beach is the tropical gateway to Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island.
Access to Fraser Island is the main attraction, but take time to explore the crystal waters and sandy bliss of Rainbow Beach while you are there. Permits are needed to drive on some sections of the beach and can be bought from local businesses when you arrive.
Scott’s Head, New South Wales
Tucked away from traffic, but easily accessible from the Pacific Highway, Scott’s Head Beach is a family favourite. This small coastal community thrives in a relaxed beach setting, offering surf lifesaving, surfing breaks, a protected swimming cove, plus nearby barbeque and camping facilities.
Yuraygir National Park beaches, New South Wales
As the longest stretch of undeveloped coastline in New South Wales, the subtle natural beauty of Yuraygir National Park beaches is worth a mention. Located between Yamba and Coffs Harbour, the national park is known for abundant wildlife, including kangaroos, a multi-day walking trail beside the beach, coastal lakes, secluded swimming spots and iconic Australian bushland.
Highlights include the pristine cove and picnic area at Angourie Beach, the river inlet at Red Rock and the cliffs near Broome’s Head. Although just south of the national park border, the beaches of Mullaway and Arrawarra are also classic coastal villages on impressive beaches.
Tours & Tickets
Soak up the sights of Australia's most scenic drive on a Great Ocean Road day trip from Melbourne. Follow the winding coastal road from Torquay to Port ... Read more
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 12 hours (approx.)
Spend the day exploring the Great Ocean Road, and later enjoy the amazing views of one of the most famous and scenic coastal stretches in the world as the sun ... Read more
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 14 hours (approx.)
Capture the essence of Sydney on this afternoon coach tour of the city’s many famous attractions, including the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge and ... Read more
Location: Sydney, Australia
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)
See Sydney's spectacular icons, such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and World Heritage listed Opera House, from the comfort of your lunch time harbor cruise ... Read more
Location: Sydney, Australia
Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
Surf the North Coast of New South Wales and live a surfers dream of freedom, travel, good waves and good times on this 5-day adventure. Travel from Sydney to ... Read more
Location: Sydney, concludes Byron Bay or vice versa, Australia
Duration: 5 days (approx.)
See the sights of Broome, the star of Western Australia’s Kimberley region, on a comprehensive half-day tour. The tour takes you to Broome’s Chinatown and ... Read more
Location: Broome, Australia
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)