With around 50000 kilometres of spectacular coastline, complete with islands, stunning beaches, fringing reefs and long meandering drives, you’ll find millions of places to explore around our island continent.
Drive the Pacific Coast Touring Route from Sydney to Brisbane via Byron Bay and the Gold Coast. Follow the spectacular Great Ocean Road or the coastal drive to the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. Explore the 74 islands that make up Queensland’s Whitsunday Islands. Immerse yourself in the uncrowded beauty of Tasmania’s Freycinet Peninsula. Discover the wine regions and surf beaches of Margaret River in Western Australia’s south-west and the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia.
From World Heritage-listed national parks to luxury rainforest retreats and beaches where you won’t see another person; whichever way you experience our infinite coastline, you’ll soon discover why it is an integral part of the great Australian lifestyle.
Byron Bay’s laid back style appeals to everyone from backpackers to billionaires, and adventurers and alternative life-stylers alike. Hundreds of kilometres of glorious golden beaches, awesome surfing, top dive spots and wildlife galore make it heaven for nature-lovers. Byron has long been a popular escape for some of Australia’s most rich and famous, who live comfortably alongside an eclectic mix of artists, fortune tellers and hobby farmers. The Byron hinterland is a rainforest oasis of subtropical rainforests and national parks. At its centre looms Mount Warning, the remnant of an ancient volcano dating back to prehistoric times, and regarded as sacred by the local Aboriginal tribes who call it ‘Wollumbin’, meaning ‘cloud catcher’. Cape Byron, with its historic lighthouse, is the most easterly point in Australia. It’s also the first place in Australia to greet the warm rays of the sun each day.
The Whitsunday Islands is a group of 74 islands bordered by the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and the sheltered waters of the Coral Sea. Amongst the white sand and warm, aquamarine waters you can meet marine life, see rainbow-coloured coral, go game fishing, sailing or just chill out on an uninhabited island.
The jewel in the crown is famous Whitehaven Beach: seven kilometres of spectacular white sand. It is one of the most photographed beaches in Australia and a popular place for proposals and honeymooners. Charter a yacht from Abel Point Marina and sail, swim, snorkel and dive at sheltered anchorages such as Blue Pearl, Butterfly, Chance and Hook Island Bays. Soak up the resort atmosphere of Hamilton Island, bushwalk through national park on South Molle, or relax in Hayman Island’s five star luxury. Fly to Heart Reef by sea plane for one of the most romantic experiences in Australia.
This iconic holiday destination offers 70 kilometres of sun-drenched beaches, including the world famous ‘Surfers Paradise’. Body board at Burleigh Heads, paddle across the Gold Coast Seaway to South Stradbroke Island or learn to surf on North Stradbroke Island. Get into the glitz, glamour and fun of the bars and nightclubs or go shopping at the many cosmopolitan boutiques. The Gold Coast is also the gateway to some of Queensland’s best natural attractions, where you can go whale-watching and island-hopping, or venture into the lush hinterland of World Heritage-listed national parks and rainforests.
Discover top swimming and surfing beaches, historic bayside villages and million-dollar views on this picturesque peninsula just an hour south of Melbourne.
Mornington Peninsula boasts two unique bays, Port Phillip Bay and Western Port Bay, which offer hundreds of exciting sites to explore. Trek the rugged coastline past dunes, beaches, cliffs and lighthouses. Spot koalas on French Island, swim with dolphins and seals at Sorrento and stop for lunch at vineyards or olive groves overlooking the sea.
The Mornington Peninsula will also appeal to adventurous scuba divers, and is considered to be home to some of the most diverse diving in Australia. More than 60 shipwrecks can be found along the coastline, which have become artificial reefs attracting a myriad of marine life.
Along with being one of Australia’s top wine regions, Margaret River is also a natural paradise of surf beaches, tall karri forests, underground caves and spectacular scenery.
Here you can stand at the point where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet, right at the most south-westerly tip of Australia. The historic 100 year-old Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse marks the spot. The powerful waves that hammer the 75 beaches along the coastline make Margaret River one of the world’s top ten surfing breaks. Hike the Cape to Cape Track from Cape Leeuwin to Cape Naturaliste, where in spring, vibrantly-coloured wildflowers carpet the countryside.
On Tasmania’s stunning Freycinet Peninsula you’re likely to find you have a beach all to yourself. The most famous is Wineglass Bay, a perfect curve of white sand and turquoise sea set against pink and grey granite peaks, considered one of the top ten beaches in the world. Go fishing or sailing, bushwalking, sea kayaking, rock climbing, or simply soak up the sun, squeaky clean sand and spectacular coastal scenery. The Freycinet National Park is also a great place for bird watching. You may be lucky enough to see a white-bellied sea-eagle gliding overhead or Australasian gannets diving for food in the ocean.
On South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula you’ll find true Australian beach culture just an hour’s drive south of the city. There is plenty to do in this coastal playground, no matter what the season. Go for a surf lesson with the locals, dive the dramatic shipwrecks, explore the ancient rainforests or fish for freshwater trout. Watch little penguins come ashore at Granite Island. The Fleurieu Peninsula’s green hills are bounded by clifftops, beaches, coves and the winding Murray River. In winter, spot whales from the spectacular headlands, with views of the wild, thundering seas of the Southern Ocean crashing against the shoreline.