Craving an Australian beach vacation?
Learn about some of our iconic beach destinations. There's Victoria's Great Ocean Road, which links famous surf beaches, tranquil seaside towns, whale lookouts and the Twelve Apostles. In Tasmania's Freycinet National Park, you can swim, fish and kayak against a backdrop of dusky pink mountains, blue-green sea and white sand.
Australia has many spectacular coastal journeys. Sail through the Whitsundays or hike the pristine coastline of Victoria's Wilsons Promontory. Drive from Sydney to Cairns along the breathtaking Pacific Coast Touring Route. In Western Australia, the Indian Ocean Drive links white beaches, coral reefs, fishing towns and national parks. The South West Beaches and Goldfields Drive meanders through Margaret River to the beach-blessed southern coast.
For more beach vacation ideas, read about Sydney's sparkling beaches and the cliff-hugging Bondi to Bronte coastal walk. We can guide you on Australia's surf beaches to help you plan your vacation to surf Australia!
Surfing in Australia
Australia's surf beaches, where first-class waves for all surfing abilities crash, are born from the Pacific Ocean in the east, the Indian Ocean in the west and the Southern Ocean in the south . Visit iconic Bells Beach, near Torquay, the gateway to Victoria's Surf Coast on the Great Ocean Road. In New South Wales, Byron Bay, Newcastle, Sydney and its south coast offer a superior swell. Hang out in Burleigh Heads or coast along one of the world's longest waves at Snapper Rocks on Queensland's Gold Coast. In South Australia, great surf beaches dot the Fleurieu, Yorke and Eyre peninsulas as well as the Limestone Coast. In Western Australia, Perth, Margaret River and Esperance are home to an abundance of surf beaches. Brave Tasmania's Southern Ocean swells in Hobart, Bruny Island, Launceston, Devonport and Marrawah. You'll find a wave to yourself on our uncrowded and pristine coastal beaches.
Dive the Ningaloo Marine Park, which protects a 260km fringing reef off Western Australia's mid north coast. Snorkel through coral lagoons in Coral Bay, swim with the huge whale shark, and 4WD red sand dunes in Cape Range National Park. The Indian Ocean Drive from Perth links Ningaloo with Shark Bay and the dolphins of Monkey Mia.
Wineglass Bay, on Tasmania's Freycinet Peninsula, is considered one of the top ten beaches in the world. This flawless crescent of dazzling white sand and sapphire-coloured sea set against pink and grey granite peaks is one of Australia's most beautiful natural environments. It's the perfect location for fishing, sailing, bushwalking, sea kayaking, rock-climbing, or simply soaking up the spectacular coastal scenery. Wineglass Bay has become a favourite honeymoon destination for couples to escape and relax away from the rest of the world. With secluded sandy beaches, luxurious eco-lodges, and fine Tasmanian cuisine, Freycinet Peninsula is an adventure of pure indulgence.
Cottesloe Beach is one of the most popular of all Western Australia’s city beaches. It is located midway between the Perth central business district and the port of Fremantle in Perth’s western suburbs, only 15 minutes from the city centre. Cottesloe is renowned for its relaxed lifestyle and has been a popular seaside holiday destination for Perth locals for more than 100 years. Its village atmosphere and rich maritime heritage is sure to entice you to explore beyond its golden sands. It’s also the perfect place to watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean while dining on fresh seafood.
A little over an hour's drive from the city, Palm Beach is at the exclusive end of Sydney's long stretch of northern beaches. It sits at the end of a long peninsula, with surf on one side and Pittwater on the other. Many of the country's wealthy have built their holiday houses here. Fans will also recognise Palm Beach as the mythical village of ‘Summer Bay' where the hit TV series Home and Away is filmed. The two-kilometre long, golden beach curves from Barrenjoey Head at the southern head of Broken Bay, to the sandstone rocks of Little Head in the south.
Gold Coast Surfing
As well as an international party destination, the Gold Coast boasts some of Australia's best, most consistent waves and hosts many international surfing competitions. The 35 beaches are patrolled year round by professional lifeguards and have surf to suit all levels of experience. If you're a surfing novice, the Gold Coast is an ideal place to learn. Sign up with one of the many surf schools, where accredited teachers will help you to stand up on your board and catch your first wave fast.
Unwind in Australia's easternmost town - home to sweeping surf beaches, lush rainforests, great regional dining and new-age retreats. Walk the Cape Byron Track to the trademark lighthouse, kayak with dolphins, trawl the markets and indulge in a day spa. Drive the Pacific Coast Touring Route from Sydney or Brisbane, and explore the surrounding national parks on the Rainforest Way.
Sydney's Beaches Beckon
Discover some of Sydney's 70 sparkling beaches, from secluded bays to world-famous strips of sand. Sydney's beaches will be beckoning before you even land in Botany. You might see them flying in - a long, golden chain split across both sides of the harbour and fringed by green bush and sea.
With a shimmering beach, magnificent coastal walk and protected marine reserve with excellent surfing, snorkelling and scuba diving, Coogee sums up the classic Australian beach lifestyle. Coogee Beach has a sweeping stretch of golden sand, historic ocean baths and plenty of green parks for barbecues and picnics, all only 20 minutes from the busy centre of Sydney. It's an ideal beach for families, with safe swimming and lifesavers on patrol all year round. Coogee is also one of Sydney's oldest suburbs, with many historic buildings. The surrounding cliff tops offer spectacular bush walks and some of Sydney's most panoramic views.
Get back to nature while enjoying jet-set elegance. With a laidback vibe and no buildings higher than the trees, the sub-tropical paradise of Noosa is a place where you can really relax. But that doesn't mean there's nothing to do here. Noosa brings international resort glamour to its pristine beaches, national park and lush hinterland.
Diving in Australia
Completely surrounded by water and rich in islands and reefs, Australia is a diver's dream. Our waters shelter a treasure trove of marine life, with more than 4000 species of fish and the world's highest diversity of sea grass. Swim with the giant, gentle whale shark on Ningaloo Reef or with sea-lions and dolphins on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula. Learn to dive on Queensland's Great Barrier Reef - the world's largest living organism. Or snorkel in sheltered and scenic Clovelly in Sydney. Discover kelp-encrusted submarines off the Mornington Peninsula or a maze of underwater caves along Tasmania's east coast. Our temperate waters are calling, so come dive in.
10 days sailing It's hard to beat the romance of sailing through the Whitsundays - 74 idyllic, mostly uninhabited islands tucked inside the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Think clear moonlit nights, spectacular sunsets, secluded beaches and pure air. You can sail, swim, snorkel and dive at sheltered anchorages such as Blue Pearl, Butterfly and Hook Island Bays. Soak up the resort atmosphere of Hamilton Island, bushwalk through national park on South Molle and relax in Hayman Island's five star luxury. Visit Whitsunday Island and walk the pure white, silica sands of Whitehaven Beach.
Mission Beach is a relaxed beachfront town, located mid-way between Cairns and Townsville on the Queensland coast. Overlooking the cobalt waters of the Coral Sea, Mission Beach has more than 14 kilometres of magnificent golden sandy beaches. Here two World Heritage areas, the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics Rainforest form a natural environment like nowhere else on earth. Mission Beach is a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and a perfect base for visiting nearby Dunk, Bedarra and Hinchinbrook islands. At Mission Beach, you can find either extreme adventure or an indulgent tropical escape.
You can have all kinds of seaside sun in Torquay, but this picturesque holiday town is most famous for the surf beaches that surround it. Sitting south-west of Melbourne at the gateway to the Great Ocean Road, Torquay is fringed by some fantastic breaks with fairytale names.
Manly Beach is another of Australia's most popular suburban beaches along Sydney's long stretch of northern coastline. Manly Beach was named in 1788 by Captain Arthur Phillip, the first governor of New South Wales, because he was impressed by “the confidence and manly behaviour” of the area's original Aboriginal population. Take the majestic Manly ferry from Circular Quay and in half an hour you'll be at Manly Wharf. ‘Only seven miles from Sydney and a million miles from care' is a phrase often quoted by the people of Manly. When you visit this seaside town you will quickly realise why.
Ninety Mile Beach, Victoria
Ninety Mile Beach, located in the Gippsland region on Victoria's south-eastern coastline, is one of the longest uninterrupted beaches in the world. Stand on the beach and watch the beach disappear into the salty sea spray in the distance. You might find that your footprints are the only ones in the sand that day. This is one of the most natural and unspoilt beaches in the world and is ideal for activities from beach fishing and swimming to walking, whale and dolphin-spotting or just lazing in the sun. Sun, sand and lush national parks all create the perfect holiday environment.
Bondi to Bronte
Sydney in summertime is all about its coastline, and few stretches are as iconic as the sea-sculpted section from Bondi to Bronte. Learn to surf at Bondi, join the beautiful people in Tamarama and swim in Bronte's family-friendly rock pool. See all three beaches on the Bondi to Bronte walk - a short, spectacular coastal trail along epic sandstone cliffs.
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. With palm-fringed secluded white sand beaches surrounded by clear blue waters, the Whitsunday Islands are the epitome of a tropical paradise.
The superb weather of the Sunshine Coast, a little over an hour from Brisbane, is perfect for an action-packed holiday or quiet escape at any time of year. The Sunshine Coast has four sub-regions, all with their own unique attractions. Pristine beaches stretch for miles, with both safe swimming beaches and spectacular surf breaks.
Port Douglas is a short one hour drive north of Cairns along one of the most scenic coastal roads in Australia. Home to golden beaches and some of Tropical North Queensland's most exclusive resorts, the quiet former fishing village of Port Douglas is both sophisticated and relaxed and the perfect place to escape and unwind.
The coastal village of Airlie Beach is a vibrant town filled with palm-fringed beaches, waterfront parks and alfresco dining restaurants. You are sure to instantly warm to its bohemian charm and carefree and relaxed attitude. Airlie Beach is also the gateway to the Whitsundays, the 74 pristine islands in the north of Queensland's Great Barrier Reef where you can visit luxurious island resorts and sip cocktails by the pool, bask in the sun or relax in a spa. Queensland's warm, tropical climate means that winters at Airlie Beach are very mild and perfect for enjoying water activities all year round.
Hervey Bay, around 300 kilometres north of Brisbane, is an aquatic paradise and one of the best places in Australia to experience nature in the wild. The safe, sheltered waters of Hervey Bay make it ideal for year round water-sports from swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving to sailing and fishing.
You'll find all the delights of a seaside village and more in lively Glenelg, which sits in Holdfast Bay, a 25-minute tram ride from Adelaide's centre. There is a sandy white beach, charming heritage hotels and bustling shops, sidewalks cafes and summer entertainment. You can also swim with wild dolphins, go diving or snorkelling or join a fishing charter. Trace Glenelg's history in the galleries and museums, join in the fun of various festivals and meander along the coast to neighbouring beach towns.