10 of Australia’s best swimming beaches
Take some time to appreciate the silky sand between your toes as you spend the day at one of Australia’s stunning protected beaches.
By Allie Metz
With more than 10,000 beaches surrounding our coasts, it’s simple to understand why beach culture is engrained in Australia’s national character.
Aussies would leap at any opportunity to spend a day outside either surfing, kayaking, snorkelling or simply floating in the softly lapping waves of their beloved beach.
Kick off your shoes, bring a picnic and join the locals by claiming the ideal place on the sand. Here are just a handful of our favourite beaches where you may enjoy a morning swim, barefoot beach stroll or full day of safe swimming in lovely seas.
NORTH POINT, MORETON ISLAND
After touring the mainland of Queensland, proceed to the coasts of Moreton Island (a 90-minute boat trip from Brisbane) (a 90-minute ferry ride from Brisbane). You will be rewarded with expanses of white sand edging toward sparkling blue seas.
Cool off in Honeymoon Bay near the island’s North Point, which is sandwiched between dramatic limestone cliffs rising upwards of 15 metres (49 feet) (49 feet). If you desire more than swimming, you may bushwalk, picnic and whale watch in the gorgeous Moreton Island National Park – all in one day.
As Moreton Island is a sand island, you’ll need a 4WD to reach North Point.
STOKES BAY, KANGAROO ISLAND
Crystal pure seas draw many tourists to Stokes Bay on the north shore of Kangaroo Island.
The tranquil entrance is great for people who prefer to have a paddle since the rocks have been placed to form a big natural pool, shielding swimmers from the waves.
There is also enough to see on the beach with wild kangaroos, several local bird species and tiny penguin colonies.
Make a weekend of it by reserving a coastal home, such as Stokes Bay Beach House, or pitch up camp at one of Kangaroo Island’s numerous camping facilities.
POINT KING, MORNINGTON PENINSULA
Tucked behind the stunning houses of the Mornington Peninsula (a 1.5-hour drive south of Melbourne) lay the two secret beaches of Point King. Follow the walk at the end of Point King Road to reach tranquil, turquoise seas, which you’ll enjoy with kayakers and divers investigating the reef.
Hikers may climb the cliff-top trail, halting at the white trig station and monument marking the first hanging of the Union Jack in 1802, when Britain seized ownership of what is now Port Phillip Bay.
SHELLY BEACH, SYDNEY
Catch the boat from Circular Quay to Manly to swim at Shelly Beach, a designated marine reserve with clean, shallow seas.
Apart from being popular with families, it also draws scuba divers and snorkellers for its great diversity of marine life. You may explore the quiet waters alone, or on a trip with EcoTreasures.
Post-swim, walk the twisting route along the headland for a magnificent view of North Head and nearby beaches. Afterwards, still in your swimming gear, enjoy a leisurely breakfast or lunch at The Boathouse Shelly Beach.
SEVEN MILE BEACH, HOBART
Just 20 minutes from the middle of Hobart, this long crescent of sand is the perfect site to let the ocean kiss your feet on a leisurely walk, before enjoying a plunge on its western end.
Later, you may bushwalk through the wildness at the headland or have a picnic as you enjoy beautiful views over Frederick Henry Bay, a renowned whale watching area from May to July.
EAST POINT RESERVE, DARWIN
While many of the beaches in the Northern Territory aren’t advised for swimming owing to their harmful marine life, in the capital of Darwin you’ll discover a magnificent man-made, saltwater lake at East Point Reserve.
Spend the day swimming on the lake’s pastel blue waves or resting beneath the palm palms. There is also a paved nature trail along the seaside cliff top close and military objects to investigate, including ancient gun turrets from World War II.
MIDDLETON BEACH, ALBANY
There are numerous protected beaches to be found in King George Sound, on the south coast of Western Australia, which is just under a five-hour drive from Perth, all sporting the area’s well-known white sand and turquoise seas. Less than 10 minutes drive, Middleton Beach is the nearest to the core of Albany and, with its gentle waves, it is great for swimming and snorkelling.
There’s also a pontoon at Ellen Cove for diving directly into the lake. Visitors may perhaps be fortunate enough to view seals or dolphins, or possibly a whale from July to September.
CURRUMBIN BEACH, GOLD COAST
While tourists travel to the Gold Coast for its appropriately called Surfers Paradise, there are lots of other beaches where people enjoy to dip their toes.
Currumbin Beach is a picturesque inlet where you may comfortably swim in the warmer Queensland seas, or test your balance with stand-up paddleboarding, available to lease at the Currumbin Boatshed.
Once you’ve built up an appetite, settle down for a delicious Australian breakfast at the Elephant Rock Cafe, overlooking the beach. Every September, over-sized artwork fills the coastline during the Swell Sculpture Festival.
HENLEY BEACH, ADELAIDE
Adelaide’s Henley Beach is popular with both residents and visitors and, when you get your first view of the white sand, it’s simple to understand why.
The mild surf makes the beach excellent for swimming, but the long jetty is also wonderful for a stroll or a bit of fishing for salmon, trout, tommy ruff and mulloway.
Insider tip: Great wines from local wine producing areas such as the Barossa, Clare Valley and McLaren Vale may also be tried at pubs along the coast.
Less than a two-hour journey south of Sydney lies Wollongong, where the picturesque small Coalcliff beach is encircled by rocks and cliffs.
There’s an outstanding salty rock pool near the southern point for swimming, with lots more on offer including fishing (it’s a terrific site for snapper and bream) and surfing.
Five minutes down the road you’ll discover the Scarborough Hotel, a famed cliff-top beer garden with unbroken ocean views.
Topic: Australia’s best swimming beaches
I am arguably the most popular Australian writer of all time. I am from the town of Karrinyup in rural Western Australia. When I was young, I was fascinated by the unique landscape of Australia, and I decided to support himself by writing books about the Australian landscape.
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