With a coastline that stretches for more than 50,000km (or 31,000 miles), Australia is home to an astonishing 10,000+ beaches! Australia is famous for its laidback, beachside lifestyle, and it’s not hard to see why, with the large majority of the Australian population living nearby to the coast. Summers spent by the beach building sandcastles, playing beach sports such as cricket, swimming, snorkelling, body boarding and surfing with loved ones are often some of the happiest memories of many Aussies!
Australia’s beaches come in all shapes, sizes and landscapes. Whether they be bay beaches like those that surround the city of Melbourne, pristine surf beaches such as those found on the Gold Coast, coconut palm-lined turquoise-water beaches found dotted along the Great Barrier Reef or rugged untouched beaches where you are often the only person in sight, Australia’s beaches are famous the world over, and for good reason!
It is not uncommon for tourists, particularly international tourists (as well as many Aussies who live down south) to do a road trip or adventure along the east coast of the country. Along the east coast of (mainland) Australia, you will find not only four of the country’s eight capital cities (from south to north: Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane), but also many of the country’s most outstanding beaches.
In this article, we shall take a look at some of Australia’s most beautiful beaches spread along the east coast, starting from Squeaky Beach in Wilsons Promontory National Park in Victoria all the way up to the tropical paradise of Nudey Beach on Fitzroy Island, Tropical Far North Queensland (recently listed as Number One in Australia’s Top 101 Beaches awards by top beach expert, Brad Farmer!).
Squeaky Beach, Wilsons Promontory National Park, Victoria
Located just a short 2-hour drive south of the city of Melbourne, you shall find the wondrous natural beauty of Squeaky Beach, one of the most acclaimed and iconic beaches located in Wilsons Promontory National Park and framed by enormous granite headlands. Squeaky Beach, located in Leonard Bay, is famous for its white squeaky sand (hence the name!), which is made up of circular grains of quartz so pure they squeak as you walk on them.
Squeaky Beach is not accessible for vehicles and access is restricted to walkers only. In saying that, Squeaky Beach is easy to access by foot, and is a simple 5-minute walk from the Squeaky Beach carpark through beautiful, natural coastal scrub which opens up onto the stunning white sand, turquoise water and large orange granite boulders that sit upon the beach. (Please note, there are no surf lifesavers at this beach).
Image Credit: australiantraveller.com
Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay, New South Wales
Home to the whitest sand found at any beach in the entire world (according to Guinness World Records) is Hyams Beach, located in the beautiful coastal town of Jervis Bay, a short 3-hour or 180km drive south of the state’s capital Sydney in New South Wales.
This stunning beach is famous for its unbelievably white sand and crystal clear turquoise water (it could be mistaken for a tropical island!) and offers one of the most outstanding snorkelling and diving locations across the entire NSW coast. Beachgoers at Hyams Beach can also be found kayaking and windsurfing. Depending on the time of year, you may also have the opportunity to spot whales off the coast as they migrate north.
When you’ve had enough of the water, there are plenty of amazing bushwalks on offer in neighbouring Booderee National Park.
Image Credit: jordanrobins.com.au
Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast, Queensland
If you are looking for a Gold Coast beach that has it all, you can’t go past the beautiful and picture-perfect Burleigh Heads. Renowned for its atmosphere, Norfolk pine-fringed Burleigh is very popular with tourists and locals alike, and is famous for its iconic barrelling surf, basalt boulders and proximity to the lush natural headland and nearby National Park.
Despite the fact Burleigh Heads beach is located alongside the bustling Gold Coast Highway, it is especially clean and unspoilt and a great alternative to some of the busier Gold Coast beaches such as Surfers Paradise. The headland to the south of Burleigh Heads beach offers protection from southerly winds and as a result, it is one of the greatest spots for swimming (look out for lifeguard patrolled sections), bodyboarding and of course surfing on all of the Gold Coast.
It has been said that Burleigh Heads is not unlike Byron Bay (a seaside town in New South Wales famous for its laidback, beachy vibe and great surf). Burleigh Heads is not only home to one of Australia’s best beaches, but also a wide array of outstanding dining options, walking tracks and amazing picnic spots – in particular, Burleigh Hill, which is a local favourite (especially at sunset).
Image Credit: solnamara.com.au
Noosa Main Beach, Noosa Heads, Sunshine Coast, Queensland
Despite being home to one of the Sunshine Coast’s most amazing beaches (Noosa Main Beach), Noosa Heads is also famous for its Hastings Street village, which is home to many magnificent food retailers, cafés, bars and restaurants as well as boutique shopping. Noosa Main Beach is one of the region’s only north-facing beaches, and is therefore a popular option for families, swimmers, and surfers alike, due to its reasonable surf conditions and the fact it is patrolled by surf lifeguards 365 days a year.
Located just near the headland of Noosa National Park, when you are done swimming at Noosa Main Beach for the day, you can hike your way through the magical Noosa National Park, where you can spot unspoilt, breathtaking smaller beaches framed by the park’s stunning vegetation along your way, as well as the chance to spot one of Australia’s cutest and most famous animals in their natural habitat – the koala!
Image Credit: visitnoosa.com.au
Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Islands, Queensland
Of the 74 islands that together make up what is referred to as the ‘Whitsundays’, Whitsunday Island is home to one of the most famous and photographed beaches in Australia and the world – the renowned Whitehaven Beach. The brilliant, pure, white quartz sand of the 7km+ long Whitehaven Beach is unique to Whitsunday Island and cannot be found on any other beach in the Whitsunday region.
Whitehaven Beach can be reached and explored in a number of ways. A variety of ferries, yachts and sail boats can get you there, and on the island you can choose to snorkel the reef and/or participate in a bushwalk for what can be described as one of the most phenomenal views in the world – the swirling white sand and aqua waters found at the entrance to Hill Inlet (for the ultimate views, book with a local tour operator that ventures to the Tongue Point lookout).
Image Credit: whitsundaysphotography.com.au
Nudey Beach, Fitzroy Island, Tropical Far North Queensland
Recently award the prized number one position in Australia’s 101 Best Beaches awards for 2018 is the idyllic, tropical paradise of Nudey Beach, located on Fitzroy Island (a short 45-minute cat ride from the Cairns marina).
Located right on the Great Barrier Reef, Fitzroy Island is the perfect location for your tropical getaway in one of the most beautiful regions not only on the east coast of Australia, but in all of the country (and if not the world!). To reach the secluded and award-winning Nudey Beach, a gentle stroll from Welcome Bay through the magical rainforest of Fitzroy Island is required. Upon reaching the beach, you will be greeted by immaculate white sand, warm aqua ocean waters as well as the beach’s backdrop of exquisite rainforest vegetation and large granite boulders.
You have the choice to laze around and enjoy a good book, or if you’re feeling like something a little more adventurous, take a snorkel, mask and fins with you and explore the Great Barrier Reef straight off the shore of Nudey Beach! Who knows, you might even spot Nemo, amongst sea turtles, an array of tropical fish and mountains of coral. With accommodation galore, we have options to suit all tastes and budgets. Whether for a day trip or a longer stay, we look forward to welcoming you to Fitzroy Island soon!