Rimmed by more than 60,000 kilometers of sun-soaked coastline, Australia is famous for its spectacular beaches. Many of these gleaming beauties grace lists of the best beaches in the world, and with more than 10,000 beaches in Australia to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect stretch of coast for your favorite activity, whether it’s surfing, snorkeling, swimming, or sunbathing.
1. Whitehaven Beach, Queensland
Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsunday Islands along the Great Barrier Reef is not just one of Australia’s top stretches of coast, it often scores a place on lists of the best beaches in the world.
The seven-kilometer arc of powdery white sand here is actually silica, a silky-soft substance that creates a striking contrast with the tropical turquoise sea and emerald headlands. Best of all, the beach lies in a national park on Whitsunday Island, ensuring that it remains protected and pristine, despite the many day-trippers who land on these shores.
2. Turquoise Bay, Western Australia
One of the most ravishing beaches in Western Australia, pristine Turquoise Bay is true to its name. Luminous blue-green water laps the powdery shores of this striking bay, which sits about 60 kilometers south of Exmouth in Cape Range National Park.
Turquoise Bay is also one of the few mainland beaches where you can snorkel on colorful coral reefs right from shore. World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef, Australia’s largest fringing reef, lies steps from the sand, with more than 250 species of coral and 500 different species of fish, including stingrays, sea turtles, and whale sharks.
3. Cossies Beach, Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Imagine an idyllic South Pacific Islands beach: coconut palms bristling above a bone-white sliver of sand, and luminous aqua water lapping softly on shore. This is the delicious stretch of sand on Direction Island in the Cocos (Keeling) islands.
This remote Australian Territory of two atolls and 27 coral islands lies about a 4.5-hour flight from Perth. In 2016, with permission from the locals, beach expert and author Brad Farmer christened this sublime slice of coast “Cossies,” after Australia’s 26th Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove.
4. Wineglass Bay, Tasmania
On a clear day, it’s hard to beat the beauty of Wineglass Bay in Tasmania’s Freycinet National Park. Lay eyes on this luscious jewel from the lookout, with its curving bush-fringed shoreline, stark-white sand, and sapphire waters, and you’ll be spoilt forever.
After soaking up the views, take the 20-minute walk from the lookout to the southern end of the beach, where you can gaze up at the Hazards, the pink-tinged granite peaks punctuating one end of the bay.
5. Cable Beach, Western Australia
If you’ve ever seen a photo of people riding camels silhouetted against a fiery sunset on an Aussie Beach, you can bet it’s Cable Beach. It’s one of the most popular things to do along this 22-kilometer stretch of creamy white sand and turquoise sea.
Cable Beach skirts the coast of Broome in Western Australia. It was named for the communications cable laid between here and Java across the Indian Ocean in 1889.You can drive 4WD vehicles along the shore, and stake out your own private patch of sand, but it’s a good idea to bring shade protection if you’re planning to visit during the heat of the day.
These beaches in Australia demand a visit as they are so very beautiful.