Top hidden treasure Australian beaches to visit
With summer in full swing, a trip to the beach is a great way to beat the heat. So load up the car and hit the road to discover some of Australia's best beaches!
Australia is home to some of the whitest sandi beaches and best surfing locations in the worldii. While a decisive definition of 'the world's top beaches' may be hard to come by, there are plenty of Aussie beaches that immediately come to mind. Fraser Island is ranked seventh on National Geographic's Top 10 Beaches list. With centuries old rainforests stretching to the shoreline and 1664 square kilometres of sand, it's easy to see how Fraser Island makes the list. Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island is one of the most photographed beaches in Australia. Stretching over seven kilometres, the bright white silica sand and crystal clear water of Whitehaven Beach came fifth in the 2014 Tripadvisor Travellers' Choice Top 25 Beachesiii. Also on Tripadvisors' Traveller's Choice list for 2014 are Western Australia's Turquoise Bay and Cable Beach in 20th and 22nd place respectivelyiii.
According to the Coastal Studies Unit at the University of Sydney, there are 10,685 beaches in Australiaiv. A few of the most well known, like Sydney's Bondi Beach, receive tens of thousands of visitors every yearv. If setting up your beach umbrella alongside throngs of other beach goers isn't your idea of the perfect day at the beach, then check out some of these lesser known locations.
New South Wales
Hyams Beach holds the record for the whitest sand in the worldi. Situated on the NSW South Coast along Jervis Bay, the area is known for whale and dolphin watching cruises, diving and snorkelling. On the Far South Coast sits Disaster Bay, a 6km long coastline known for shipwrecks dating back to the 19th centuryvi,vii. While the two beaches in Disaster Bay can be unsafe for swimming due to strong swells, the area offers excellent surfing and fishingvii.
One-hundred kilometres south-west of Darwin, you will find the idyllic fishing, camping and bird-watching spot of Bynoe Harbour. A natural boat ramp leads into shallow waters teeming with marine life. Seaside camping on the harbour's sandy beaches gives you a front row seat for the spectacular NT sunsetsviii.
Often overlooked by travellers on their way to Mission Beach, the main beach at Agnes Water is superb for swimming, fishing and surfing. The 5.5km beach area is patrolled by lifeguards at the south end and is one of the southernmost entry points to the Great Barrier Reefix. Further north along the coast is Cape Hillsborough Beach near Mackay and Dingo Beach in the Whitsundaysx. Cape Hillsborough Beach sits between two rocky headlands and the beach can extend out to 200m during low tide, leaving plenty of sandy shoreline to explore. Dingo Beach is one of the quieter Whitsunday beaches, making it an excellent mainland alternative to some of the more popular tourist hotspots on the islands.
Accessible only by foot, Little Waterloo Bay is one of the southernmost points of mainland Australia. The two beach areas of the bay are covered in white quartz sand and framed by granite boulders. Also featuring shimmering, quartz sand in Wilsons Promontory National Park is Squeaky Beach. The sand here is so fine that it squeaks underfoot as you walk along the shoreline and you can also explore the rock formations at the north end of the beach.
A popular beach with the locals, yet still remaining mostly untouched by tourists is Merricks Beach on the Mornington Peninsula. For a more secluded spot, head south to Point Leo and East Creek Beach.
An island in the middle of Bass Strait is almost as remote as it gets and as such, Flinders Island midway between Tasmania and Victoria often has deserted beaches, even in the middle of summer. Beachcombing is popular along the many quiet beaches of the island and the western coast beaches of the island are known for Paper Nautilus shellsxi. The Paper Nautilus is a sought-after prize among beachcombers, sailors and seagulls.
Considered to be a significant rival of Wineglass Bay, Riedle Bay Beach offers the same natural beauty, only without the crowdsxii. Facing eastward towards the Tasman Sea, Riedle Bay is one of the very few surfing spots on the island.
With 20,781km of coastlinexiii, including coastal islands, Western Australia has no shortage of beaches. Broome's Cable Beach is arguably one of the most well-known however there are many other picture perfect seaside areas to spend the summer. Turquoise Bay in the Cape Range National Park and Waterfall Beach on the Rainbow Coast won't disappoint. Turquoise Bay offers plenty of breathtaking snorkelling and leisurely swimming areasxiv.
Secluded Waterfall Beach in William Bay National Park features bright blue water and soft white sand and a waterfall flowing year round, but strongest in winter and spring. The stream cuts across the sand and flows into the oceanxv.
In a remote area of South Australia, between Adelaide and the Great Australian Bight sits the Eyre Peninsula and Coffin Bay National Park. Point Sir Isaac is only accessible during low tide and by four-wheel drive. The beach in this area offers ample fishing spots and campsites available right on the water's edgexvi.