There is, of course, the must-do tourist ritual of swimming between Bondi Beach’s iconic red and yellow flags. But it’s worth knowing there are prettier and sandier shores to explore and share on Instagram.
- Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays, QLD
Affectionately known as “The Beach”, Whitehaven Beach is Queensland’s cleanest. The turquoise waters and greenery are sure to captivate, but predictably, the white sand is the reason you go.
- Claim to fame: The powder-like sand is 98% silica. Purity you can feel between your toes.
- What to do: Try spotting turtles and fish in the shallow waters. A scenic aeroplane flight will set you back $299 per person; if that’s outside the budget, visit Tongue Point on Whitsunday Island during low tide. You can camp on the beach’s southern end. If you prefer resort comfort it might be best to stay on Hamilton Island and make Whitehaven a day trip.
- Best time to visit: October to December is the most popular time to visit but locals will recommend a visit from April to June, when the weather is warm and knowable. You can expect 24-degree days, blue skies and less rain than other months of the year.
- How to get there: Many companies from Hamilton Island offer day trips to Whitehaven Beach. A 30-minute high speed catamaran from Hamilton Island is the most convenient way to get there. Catamaran-Camira leaves from Port Airlie 8am daily and returns just before 6pm. The trip covers snorkel gear, beach activities, morning tea and afternoon tea and will run you around $195.
Share your snaps: #Whitsundays #wanderlust #lifesabeach
- Obelisk Beach, Mosman, NSW
Ever wondered what it would be like to swim at a nudist beach? Tan lines, made non-existent by the all-seeing sun? Course you have. At Obelisk Beach you can strip off, dose yourself liberally in sunscreen, and let passers-by pass by. Careful with the photography, though.
- Claim to fame: the nudity.
- What to do: sunbathe nude.
- Best time to visit: October to March.
- How to get there: It’s a short drive from the city but during the summer months, parking can be tricky. Avoid the hassle of driving through Sydney traffic and opt for public transport. Take Bus 244 from Wynyard station; 25 minutes.
Share your snaps: #nudebeach #obeliskbeach #paradise
- Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay, NSW
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Hyams Beach in Jervis Bay is home to the whitest sand in the world. In case that novelty runs out – if it ever does – you and the family will love the opportunities for kayaking, wind surfing, snorkeling and stand-up paddle boarding.
- Claim to fame: the dolphins. They’re known to leap. In close to the shore, the waters are calm and waves break infrequently. Perfect for kids.
- What to do: Do a dolphin- and whale-watching tour for the chance to sea mammals do incredible things. For guaranteed Instagram comments, film the moment a pod of dolphins jump in unison – it’s a common thing. Tours are available from Huskisson; visit Dolphin Watch Cruises to find out more.
- Best time to visit: February through March is the best time for dolphin spotting.
- How to get there: Road trip! Jervis Bay is about a three-hour drive from Sydney.
Share your snaps: #dolphins #spotted #Hyamsbeach
- Lucky Bay, WA
Australians are constantly dispelling myths about kangaroos – they live by our backdoors as pets, they have near-equestrian functionality – but at Lucky Bay, you’ll find them close enough to understand what the rest of the world sees. Lucky Bay is a 5km stretch of golden sand and sea big on that where-is-everyone kind of solitude sun-seekers crave.
- Claim to fame: Back in 1802, explorer Matthew Flinders sailed through the Recherche Archipelago and took refuge in Lucky Bay during a summer storm. That’s how it got its name.
- What to do: Go ‘glamping’ at Cape Le Grand National Park (Cape Le Grand Rd, Cape Le Grand WA 6450). The campsite is equipped with kitchens, gas barbeques, picnic tables, toilets and solar hot water showers.
- Best time to visit: October through April.
- How to get there: Take a 4WD and head 45 minutes south from the seaside town of Esperance, 8 hours southeast of Perth.
Share your snaps: #skippy #australianwildlife #kangaroo
- Wineglass Bay, Freycinet National Park, TAS
Situated in the Freycinet National Park, Wineglass Bay attracts tourists and honeymooners who occupy the pristine beach to try and comprehend how the deep blue waters there got so deeply, brilliantly blue. Picture long strips of white sand against the lush green cliffs and know this is the beach for the hideaway you and your special person need. You’ll need to walk two hours from the Coles camping ground to get there. Opt for a panorama shot to capture all you can.
- Claim to fame: the French navy-blue water.
- What to do: Stay at the Edge of the Bay Resort and admire Freycinet’s renowned granite mountains from your balcony. Adventurous couples might take a hike. To fully appreciate the pink granite rock and topography of the bay, you’ll need a scenic flight.
- Best time to visit: anytime in the summer
- How to get there: Flight to Hobart; then drive two and a half hours to Freycinet National Park.
Share your snaps: #wineglassbay #discovertasmania #beachlove
- Wategos Beach, Byron Bay, NSW
Travel as far east along the east coast as geographically possible. Eventually, you’ll hit Byron Bay, and it’ll feel like you just uncovered an age-old secret. This nook of the coast is a surfer’s paradise. For an enviable snap, climb the stairs to the lighthouse.
- Claim to fame: celebrities love Byron Bay. Models, surfers and musicians: Elle McPherson, Angus Stone and Jack Johnson.
- What to do: Take the three-hour kayak tour to experience the majestic Cape Byron Lighthouse. From May to November, you may see whales migrating north
- Best time to visit: Byron Bay runs festivals and surfing competitions year-round. Go when it’s hot.
- How to get there: Book a flight to Ballina Airport or travel to Byron Bay from Gold Coast Airport an hour’s drive north. Road trippers should take the Pacific Highway for the chance to stop at other beautiful beaches along the way.
Share your snaps: #selfie #byronbay #hangten
- Murray Mouth, Coorong, South Australia
Here’s an environmentalist’s paradise: the mighty Murray meets the Southern Ocean, with golden coastal dunes to frame the scene. It’s singularly Australian, and singularly beautiful.
- Claim to fame: The Murray Mouth is of ‘international significance’ to Birdlife International due to the organisation’s conservation efforts in the area. You can, resultantly, expect to see the Australian pelican in large numbers, as well as more than 230 migratory bird species visiting every year from China, Japan, Siberia and Alaska.
- What to do: pitch a tent and enjoy the serenity, day and night. If you’re not keen to bird-watch, pack your skis. You can also hotfoot it to the other side of the dunes and collect pipis – they’re brilliant eating.
- Best time to visit: Take advantage of the hot summer nights.
- How to get there: The Murray Mouth is 100km south of Adelaide. Take the Murray Mouth Cruise from Goolwa.
Share your snaps: #action #adventure #waterskiing