Australia's Best Beaches

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Nov 28, 2015

by MAX VEENHUYZEN, Writer

Australia, your coastline needs you. Here’s a checklist for popular beaches to get to this summer. Happy lounging.

Western Australia

Cottesloe Beach

One of Perth’s favourite beaches. Watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean from the beach’s terraced lawns or from the groyne.

Scarborough Beach

Restaurants and bars galore plus a beachside amphitheatre ensure Scarborough remains one of Western Australia’s most popular beaches.

Cable Beach

Broome’s famous beach continues to dazzle and impress. Never mind the camels: hire a 4WD and find a corner of Cable Beach to call your own.

Bunker Bay

A sheltered beach on the Cape Naturaliste headland best experienced at the nearby Pullman resort. Walk the Bunker Bay Loop nature trail and visit the lighthouse.

Smiths Beach

There’s enough room for everyone at sprawling Smiths Beach, from locals getting in a quick surf before work to visitors looking for somewhere to lay down their towel.

South Australia

Glenelg Beach

The popularity of South Australia’s oldest European settlement remains steadfast. On special occasions, historic trams operate between the city and this beachside suburb.

Vivonne Bay

Seafood fancier? This handsome beach on Kangaroo Island is the home jetty for local lobster fishing crews.

New South Wales

Jervis Bay

No need to adjust your set: the sand really is that bleached. A strong Aboriginal culture and an abundance of marine life (seals and dolphins over summer) are further reasons to hit the south coast.

Bronte Beach

This Sydney beach reiterates the truism that small is beautiful. Do some laps in the ocean-fed pool before talking a leisurely stroll to Bondi.

Manly Beach

The pride of Sydney’s northern beaches, Manly crackles with energy. The local surf culture is strong, as are the couture options at The Corso.

Bondi Beach

The beach that spawned a vet and reality TV show, Bondi remains one of the world’s best-known beaches. Swimmers should head to the northern end of the beach where the current is gentler.

Byron Bay

Come for the magical shoreline, stay for the laidback, organically influenced lifestyle: Byron Bay is as much an attitude as it is a beachside community.

Yamba

You know the prawns, now get to know Yamba’s beaches. Yamba is a laidback community in northern New South Wales where the water is fine and the climate has been scientifically proven to be the one of the world’s best.

Victoria

Dendy Street Beach

Let’s face it, you’re at this Brighton beach to look at and photograph those iconic bathing boxes, and understandably so. But before you ask, no you can’t buy one – only local ratepayers are allowed to own a box.

St Kilda Beach

Whether it’s the sea and sand or shopping on Acland Street, Melbourne’s favourite beachside community is as popular with locals as it is visitors.

Bells Beach

While this famous Great Ocean Road beach is given to the pros over Easter, it’s available to weekend warriors the rest of the year.

Apollo Bay

In addition to being the model seaside village, Apollo Bay is also an ideal base for visiting the 12 Apostles.

Barwon Heads

Located where the Barwon River meets the Bass Strait, this former fishing town has been a popular destination for Victorians after a sea change.

Queensland

Burleigh Heads

“Like the Gold Coast was 20 years ago”, is how many locals describe Burleigh Heads. One morning among those white-tipped waves and it’s easy to understand the area’s appeal.

Streets Beach

Man-made beaches are something we’d like to see more of, especially if it means more CBD billabongs like this Brisbane attraction. Did someone say lunch hour swim?

Noosa Heads

The name Noosa is synonymous with relaxation and kicking back on any one of numerous pristine beaches here is pure pleasure. The area’s impressive waves and equally impressive shopping, however, could easily divert you into more strenuous activity.

Palm Cove

International glitz might have landed in Queensland’s north, but Palm Cove’s beauty still remains. And did we mention a nearby local attraction called the Great Barrier Reef?

Tasmania

Binalong Bay

Sitting pretty at the southern end of Bay of Fires, Binalong Bay is an outdoors paradise: wet a line, walk the coast or have a snorkel.

Wineglass Bay

One of the star attractions of Tasmania’s Freycinet National Park. Various walks offer commanding views of the bay’s dazzling blue waters.

Northern Territory

Wave Lagoon

Again, this is another man-made beach, but the pools at Darwin’s Waterfront are a fun (and croc-free) way to beat the Territory heat.