10 of Australia's best swimming beaches

Australia is renowned for its great swells and giant harbours, which attract surfers and thrill-seekers year-round. But Australia also offers you another way to experience its iconic beach culture, by spending the day at one of many popular sheltered beaches. Dive into one of these great destinations to get a sense of why Australians love the beach so much. 10 of Australia's best swimming beaches
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10 of Australia's best swimming beaches

Australia is renowned for its great swells and giant harbours, which attract surfers and thrill-seekers year-round. But Australia also offers you another way to experience its iconic beach culture, by spending the day at one of many popular sheltered beaches.


Often protected by reefs or situated in bays, sheltered beaches are ideal for swimming and, out of the water, there are numerous activities to take part in too. You can try everything from rock fishing and reef walking to hiking and picnicking. Dive into one of these great destinations to get a sense of why Australians love the beach so much.

North Point
Moreton Island, Queensland
After exploring the mainland of Queensland, head to the shores of Moreton Island. You will be rewarded with the beautiful North Point at the northern tip of the island consisting of a mile-long stretch of rocky outcrops, ranging from 20 metres (65 feet) high at North Point to 120 metres (395 feet) high Cape Moreton. The beautiful Moreton Island National Park lets you pack bushwalking, picnicking, swimming and whale-watching all into one afternoon. 


Stokes Bay
Kangaroo Island, South Australia
Crystal clear waters attract many visitors to Stokes Bay on the north side of Kangaroo Island. The calm inlet is perfect for those who like to have a paddle, but aren’t serious sea swimmers. On the shoreline there is also plenty to see with wild kangaroos, many native bird species including an endangered subspecies of the Glossy Black Cockatoo, and little penguin colonies. 


Point King
Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
Past the beautiful homes of the Mornington Peninsula lies the natural beauty of Portsea, visible from Point King. Hikers can travel along the cliff-top walk and pause at the white trig station and stone monument that marks where Lieutenant John Murray took possession of the port in 1802. The water is often filled with a variety of boats, ferries, sea kayakers or divers exploring the reef.

Shelly Beach
Sydney, New South Wales
On the northern shores of Sydney you’ll find Shelly Beach at Manly, a protected marine reserve with waters that have a maximum depth of around 12 metres (40 feet). It’s a popular spot for scuba divers and snorkelers and also provides a great track for bushwalking that winds up the headland for a scenic view of North Head and neighbouring beaches. The Boathouse at Shelly Beach has a range of breakfast and lunch options to complete your day trip to Manly.


Seven Mile Beach
Hobart, Tasmania
Hobart's River Derwent provides for many beautiful beaches close to the city, such as Seven Mile Beach, just 20 minutes from the centre of Hobart. Considered one of the best walking beaches in Hobart, this long crescent of sand is the ideal spot to let the ocean lap your feet on a leisurely stroll. Afterward, you can bushwalk through the wilderness at the headland or have a picnic while you enjoy spectacular views across Frederick Henry Bay, a popular whale watching spot in the cooler months.


East Point Reserve
Darwin, Northern Territory
While many of the beaches in the Northern Territory aren’t recommended for swimming, in the capital city of Darwin, you'll find a beautiful manmade lake called East Point Reserve. There is also a paved nature walk along the coastal cliff top nearby and military artefacts to explore, including old gun turrets from World War II.  

 

Middleton Beach
Albany, Western Australia
There are several ideal sheltered beaches to be found in King George Sound and all of them offer the area’s well-known white sand and clear, blue waters. One of these is Middleton Beach with small waves, making it ideal for swimming, snorkelling or rock fishing. A variety of coral can also be found, as well as wild mussels and native fish species. Visitors might also be lucky enough to spot seals or dolphins, or even a whale if the season is right.


Currumbin beach
Gold Coast, Queensland
Many flock to the Gold Coast for the aptly named Surfers Paradise, but there are other hidden gems where the locals like to wet their toes, suitable for beach-going holiday makers. Currumbin beach is perfect for beach explorers, with an inlet for you to safely swim in the warmer Queensland waters, peaks to climb, and the main point of Elephant Rock for excellent fishing. Every September, over-sized artwork dots the shore for the Swell Sculpture Festival.


Henley Beach
Adelaide, South Australia
Adelaide’s Henley Beach is popular with both locals and tourists and, when you get your first glimpse of the picturesque white sand, it’s easy to see why. The gentle surf makes the beach ideal for swimming, but the long jetty is also great for a walk or a spot of fishing for salmon trout, tommy ruff and mulloway. Great wines from local wine producing regions such as the Barossa, Clare Valley and McLaren Vale can also be sampled at bars along the shore.


Coalcliff
Wollongong, New South Wales
About two hours south of Sydney is Wollongong, where Coalcliff beach keeps its visitors busy. It’s a small beach, so you'll normally have space to yourself. There's plenty on offer here including patrolled beaches, fishing (it’s a great spot for snapper and bream) and a rocky platform with a natural stone pool for swimming. The area also has an industrial touch, with a rail line once existing between the coalmines to the harbour.

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