10 of the best beaches in Australia

I have to say before I visited Australia I was never much of a beach-goer.

As an Englishman, we don’t really have the weather to make use of our beaches. There’s also another reason:

The beaches in England are simply not that good. There are some good beaches in the country, but compared to the beaches in Australia, they are a long way behind in terms of quality!

What I imagined when I went on my Australian Working Holiday Visa were golden beaches and blue sea. This is what’s advertised and it’s true, no matter where you go, you can find a great beach!

Choosing the best beaches in Australia is a difficult task due to the quality and quantity of the beaches. If you’re planning on backpacking in Australia in the foreseeable future, check out this list before you head to a beach!

Best beaches in Australia

Bondi Beach

No list of the best beaches in Australia would be complete without Bondi Beach. Not only is it one of the best in Australia, it’s one of the best beaches in New South Wales too!

It’s the most famous beach in Australia and one that every backpacker should visit during their trip to Australia.

It’s a fair walk from the centre of the city, but there is public transport available to get you there quicker. I wasn’t overly impressed by the beach, I guess it didn’t live to my high expectations for it. It was quite busy when I went as well, and I prefer quieter beaches.

With that said, this is somewhere that you should still visit. It’s one of the cultural icons of Australia, and the Bondi to Bronte Ocean walk is absolutely stunning!

If you have kids, Bondi is one of the best beaches in Sydney to head to. There is a gated playground and a children’s ocean pool at the North end of the beach!


Bondi beach

Surfer’s Paradise

Along with Bondi Beach, Surfer’s Paradise is one of the beaches that most people think of when they think of Australia. Surfer’s actually refers to just a part of the beach that stretches down the Gold Coast, but it is the most popular.

If you decide to visit the Gold Coast, Surfer’s is the place to go if you’re looking for a good time! There is everything you would associate with a major city, squeezed into a few square miles!

If the action at Surfer’s is too much, then I would recommend heading down the beach in either direction. The suburb of Southport is a 20-minute walk along the beach and is less busy, while the opposite direction takes you towards Miami Beach and Burleigh Heads, which is a great place to visit in its own right!


Surfer's Paradise one of my 5 best beaches in Australia

Burleigh Heads Beach

I mentioned Burleigh Heads above, and for good reason. The area is absolutely spectacular and it’s home to some of Australia’s best beaches. Burleigh Heads is on the Gold Coast and is away from the hustle and bustle of Surfer’s Paradise.

It’s a long walk from Surfer’s to Burleigh Heads, so it’s best to take public transport, but you won’t be disappointed. The beaches here are great and with the added bonus that they are less crowded than those in the middle of the Gold Coast!

If you love a beach with a view, then visiting the beaches at Burleigh Heads is a must-do if you are travelling on the Gold Coast!


Burleigh Heads beach


Glenelg is a beach most people will be unfamiliar with, and certainly not one they would associate as one of the best beaches in Australia! It may not have the lustre of Bondi or Surfer’s, but it is great nonetheless.

Glenelg is located a few miles away from the centre of Adelaide and is easily accessible by the city’s excellent tram service! In the summer, the place is busy, but there is a lot to do. The jetty offers great spots for jumping into the ocean and there are also plenty of volleyball nets about.

The hot South Australian summer makes this the perfect place to relax and frolic in the ocean. Glenelg itself is a lively beach town with lots of shops and restaurants to explore and the nightlife is not bad either!


Glenelg beach in South australia

Bells Beach

Bells beach is probably the most famous surfing beach in Australia. It has played host to a surf competition since 1963, so it’s a mecca for surf lovers! This is one of the best places to stop on the Great Ocean Road, to soak up the views here.

If you love surfing, you have to visit Bells Beach. The surf here is legendary and among the best in Australia. If you’re a beginner then take care, as the rip is very powerful here and you can get into trouble quickly.

The scenery and the legendary nature of the beach combine to make Bells Beach one of Australia’s best beaches!


Backpacking in Victoria at Bell's Beach

Mindil Beach

There aren’t many beaches in the Northern Territory, but Mindil beach is definitely one of the best. If you’re going to visit Darwin, you absolutely have to visit here!

Mindil beach is famous for a number of reasons and one of them is the sunset. It’s an incredible sight and definitely one of the best sunsets I have seen while I’ve travelled the world. The beach is also famous for its night market, which is held in the dry season.

If you love beaches with character and culture then visiting Mindil beach is a must!


Mindil Beach sunset

St Kilda

Travelling to Melbourne, I was looking forward to checking out the beaches in the city. Despite its big size, there aren’t that many beaches in Melbourne. St Kilda is the biggest in the city and although it’s not amazing, it’s still a good beach.

The surrounding area is a haven for backpackers and there are lots of things to do in St Kilda. Checking out the nearby Luna Park and the penguin parade at night should be two you do while here!

St Kilda is a great beach if you are living in Melbourne, as it’s on the tram line and not too far from the CBD!


St Kilda beach

Squeaky Beach

You may be wondering why it is called squeaky beach? Well, it’s quite simple really. When you walk on the sand it emits a squeaking sound! Strange but amazing! This alone makes it one of the best places to visit in Australia for me!

Squeaky beach is located in Wilson’s Promontory, which is the southernmost point of mainland Australia. It is about a 3-hour drive from Melbourne and it is well worth it. It is one of the most beautiful parts of Australia that I visited.

The sand is so white it’s as if you on a tropical island and the spectacular setting makes you feel like this is the case. Although it is a bit out of the way, you will not regret a visit here, even if it’s for the novelty of hearing a squeaking noise while you walk on the beach!


View of Squeaky beach in Wilson's Promontory

Tamarama Beach

If you’ve ever watched an episode of Bondi Rescue, then you’ll be familiar with Tamarama. On the show, it’s depicted as a glamorous and relaxed beach, in contrast to the hustle and bustle of Bondi, it’s even known locally as ‘Glamarama!’

Tamarama is in the middle of the Bondi to Bronte Ocean Walk, which is an absolute must if you are in Sydney! I liked it, primarily because it was less crowded than Bondi, which helped me to relax better.

The scenery around this area is fantastic, so I could really have chosen either Bondi or Bronte, but the laidback vibe at Tamarama compelled me to include it on this list!

Hervey Bay

Hervey Bay is probably another place people would not include as one of the beaches to visit in Australia. However, I loved the place and thought the beach was absolutely beautiful and to boot, it wasn’t all that busy!

Getting to Hervey Bay is a bit of a task, it’s a long journey by bus and there isn’t much to do there, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the beach! It is very picturesque and with fewer people than other beaches, it means you can have a large section of the beach to yourself!

Hervey Bay is mainly a stop off for backpackers on their way to Airlie Beach and Cairns, but those few days spent here can be used to go to the beach and relax.

Hervey Bay is the perfect place to recharge your batteries on the beach before you head to the more party-oriented places further north!


Hervey Bay

Concluding thoughts

I’d like to emphasise again that this is very much not a definitive guide to the best beaches in Australia. It is simply a list of 5 beaches that I particularly enjoyed whilst in Australia.

That said, I would highly recommend visiting these places, as not only are the beaches fantastic, but the surrounding areas are beautiful and offer a lot to do!

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Tom is a travel addict who first left England to spend a year Down Under. Not satisfied with this, he then went to New Zealand, about as far away from home as he could get. He is now planning his next adventures in Europe and Canada while maintaining this blog.

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