Blessed with around 30,000 kilometres of postcard-perfect coastline, Australia is often at the top of the list when it comes to choosing beach holiday havens.
The world’s largest island nation has no shortage of sparkling seafront, and its coastal locales can vary dramatically from state to state.
From sleepy surfing villages, to high-voltage waterfront cities, here are five Australian beach destinations – some well-known and others less so – worth embracing year-round.
As far as beachside destinations go, they don’t get more glamorous than Queensland’s seaside mecca, Noosa. The town is heavy on natural attractions such as a sprawling national park dotted with picturesque lakes, and Main Beach, a flawless stretch of sand prone to gentle waves.
However, it’s also famous for splashy day spas and high-end restaurants with panoramic views. Hastings Street – lined with everything from low-lit wine bars to open-air cafes – is also a popular haunt for holidaymakers.
Lorne is a highlight of Victoria’s Great Ocean Road. This pretty, laidback surfing village – that’s particularly popular in summer – embodies what’s best about seaside life.
Lorne might be famous for its wide golden beach flanked by the nearby Otway Mountains, but it’s also become a magnet for the state’s arts community. The town is home to a cluster of art galleries and plays host to the Falls Music and Arts Festival each year.
Margaret River, Western Australia
A four-hour drive from Perth, Margaret River is a town loved by foodies and surf obsessives alike. Visitors can sample local wine and food at Vasse Felix and Voyager Estate, and swim in some of the most striking beaches on the West Coast.
The Township of Margaret River is a humble area, featuring a smattering of restaurants, cafes and the historic river the town is named after. However, the beaches are the main drawcard. Prevelly is a dramatic spot known for jagged cliffs and wild surf breaks, and Geographe Bay is a family-friendly clearing featuring crystal waters and quality camping spots.
Jervis Bay, New South Wales
Featuring everything from cliff-top vistas and pristine beaches, to outdoor markets and elegant eateries, Jervis Bay is the kind of seaside destination that ticks every box.
Make sure you explore Hyams Beach, a charming enclave dotted with cottages and fringed with native forests, before moving on to one of the Bay’s best bar and restaurants, The Waterhouse, for a delicious lunch.
Bruny Island, Tasmania
Located off Tasmania’s south-eastern coast, a visit to Bruny Island is a shortcut to feeling like you’re on the edge of the world. This remote landmass, which can attract southern winds and serious currents, is not a conventional seaside getaway.
However, its wild coastline and craggy ravines – popular among fur seals and fairy penguins – make it a memorable introduction to the Tasmanian wilderness. Aside from much-loved landmarks such as Cloudy Bay and Kilora beaches, the island also has an emerging food scene where you can enjoy local artisanal cheese and oysters.