Tallow Beach, Byron Bay, New South Wales
Chris Hemsworth's ultimate summer holiday in Australia is getting off the grid to some of our best beaches.
Taking a 4WD and exploring the coastline – surfing and fishing along the way. As Hemsworth himself says, "Australia has some of the most diverse, vibrant and pristine coastlines in the world," not to mention some of the best surf breaks. From Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast to Margaret River in Western Australia, Chris Hemsworth's ultimate holiday beaches are worth adding to your itinerary.
"I'd take a 4x4, fill it with food, fishing rods, diving gear, a tent and surfboards and take off exploring. I'm always looking for new places to experience. There's something about being off the grid and disconnected from the world and living amongst the elements that is incredibly refreshing. I prefer to not have a huge plan and just take it as it comes. The surf breaks [in Australia] are some of the best in the world, from Tallow in Byron and Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast to Bells Beach in Victoria near where I grew up, over to Margaret River in Western Australia." - Chris Hemsworth
Tallow Beach, Byron Bay
Tallow beach is just 3.2 kilometres (1.9 miles) from the heart of Byron Bay, nestled between Cape Byron State Conservation Area and Broken Head Nature Reserve. In the right conditions, it offers a great surf break and is great for swimming. You can cast a fishing line straight from the beach, or simply throw down a towel and soak up the sun.
If you head to the beach in the afternoon during spring or winter, you're likely to see a whale or two as they migrate between the Great Barrier Reef and Antarctica. Take a long walk along the straight expanse of the beach and watch as the white-bellied sea eagles scour the coast in search of food.
Experience: Stay at Tallow Beach campground in the Bouddi National Park and get the full experience that this part of Australia's coast has to offer. The campground is near Killcare on the Central Coast, and you’ll find swimming, surfing and fishing spots, along with walking tracks like the Aboriginal Heritage walk in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. It's worth noting that Tallow beach campground is a popular spot and reservations can be made within 12 months of your arrival.
Snapper Rocks, Gold Coast
The home of the Quicksilver pro surfing tour, Snapper Rocks is considered one of the Gold Coast's most popular surf beaches. It's part of the coast's southern beaches – all very popular as an alternative to busy Surfers Paradise. From the northern corner of Coolangatta beach, the headland around Greenmont, Snapper Rocks and into the Southern corner of Rainbow Bay and Duranbah, this stretch of coast offers surfers a clean wave with arguably the best barrels on the Gold Coast. Snapper Rocks is the starting point for the Super bank, a man-made surf break, allowing surfers to catch a wave all the way through to Coolangatta. Before you jump in to catch a wave, fine tune your surfing skills or have your very first lesson at the Gold Coast Learn to Surf Centre in Rainbow bay – adjacent to Snapper Rocks.
Experience: If surfing isn't your thing, there are plenty of other amazing activities to do on the southern beaches – like visit Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Here, you can cuddle a koala, feed a kangaroo or get active and test your physical ability on the Adventure Parc High Ropes Course, an exhilarating 80 challenge tree-tops ropes course.
Bells Beach, Victoria
Whether you're in the water or out of the water, Bells Beach (located near Torquay) is an impressive spot. Set to the dramatic backdrop of a sheer cliff-face, the beach is very popular amoung surfers who ride waves around the area from Southside to Steps Reef. The waves are best during autumn and winter, and if you're there around Easter, Bells Beach hosts the international professional surfing community for the Rip Curl Pro event.
The trip to Bells Beach is enough in itself – a scenic drive along the Great Ocean Road past Jan Juc – turn left into Bells Boulevard and follow the signs, and the view from the bluff is incredible... you don't even need to set foot on the beach to appreciate why it's so well-loved.
Experience: If cruising along the great ocean road in a mustang convertible sounds like a dream, then the Mustang & Co Surfcoast Tour is well worth a go. While enjoying the thrill of driving along the coastal road with the top down on a 1966 Mustang Convertible, you'll visit Bells Beach as well as Anglesea, Aireys Inlet, Lorne, and Wye River. You can look for koalas, kangaroos and enjoy fish and chips on the beach as you watch the local surfers catching the waves.
Margaret River, Western Australia
The Margaret River region is the perfect all-encompassing destination. With an abundance of beaches, all surrounded by Margaret River's famous vineyards, there is something for everyone. The north – Busselton and Dunsborough – offer amazing secluded beaches like Meelup and Eagle Bay, that are perfect for swimming. Choose from secluded sheltered coves to long shallow beaches with fine white sand. To get there, take the picturesque tourist drive or take the regional park walking track.
The west coast is well known for its surf, but also offers great designated swimming beaches. Yallingup, Rabbit Hill and Yallingup Main Break are the perfect spots for avid surfers.
Experience: After exploring the beaches Margaret River has to offer, spend a day touring the regions' other area of expertise: wine. Take a wine tour and be chauffered through the vineyards, tasting the best wine Western Australia has to offer.
TIP: If you want to take Hemsworth's advice and jump in 4WD to head off on a coastal adventure, you can also try one the many amazing coastal drive itineraries that Australia has to offer – like the legendary Pacific Coast touring route, or Melbourne to Adelaide via the Great Ocean Road.
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