Would you like your beach trip served with a side of sand, surf, whales or cafés?
The quintessential Australian Summer means a lot of things: sausages sizzling on the barbecue, ice-creams, hot concrete, dry lawns and, of course, the beach.
Australia is lucky to have some of the best beaches in the world. Whether your preferred activity is swimming, surfing, whale watching, dining in beachside cafes or taking in rugged cliff views, we’re spoiled for choice.
Family-friendly beaches provide entertainment for children happy to swish in shallow waters or toil for hours on grand sandcastles. Rock pools give families the opportunity to while away afternoons.
New South Wales boasts more than 2000 kilometres of coastline – that’s a lot of beaches. Sydney’s famous Bondi to Coogee walk is a great way to see the glamorous inner-city beachfront suburbs. Some sections feature steep steps, but the stretch between Tamarama and Bronte has a level, sealed path and there are great vantage points for views.
On the south coast of New South Wales, some of the whitest sands in the world are to be found at Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay. Whale-and-dolphin-watching cruises depart from neighbouring Huskisson and from May to November you’ll see humpbacks and southern right whales.
The World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island is 600 kilometres off Australia’s coast, east of Port Macquarie in New South Wales. In the sparkling waters surrounding the island, swimming, snorkelling, diving and kayaking are popular. Hiking, fishing and birdwatching are also drawcards. Lord Howe hosts 130 permanent and migratory bird species every year.
In Victoria, there’s also plenty of choice. St Kilda Beach is home to Melbourne’s historic amusement park, Luna Park, as well as popular beachside cafés, pubs and shops. Around the bay, Brighton’s iconic bathing boxes are worth a visit for the photo opportunity alone.
The Surf Coast of Victoria is famous for its surfing spots and is home to Bells Beach, where the Rip Curl Pro surfing competition is held every Easter. Bells Beach is a short drive from Anglesea, the town marking the beginning of the famous Great Ocean Road. Popular tourist attractions include the Split Point Lighthouse at Aireys Inlet, popular holiday towns Lorne and Apollo Bay and the Twelve Apostles.
On the other side of Port Phillip Bay, the Mornington Peninsula has safe-swimming bay beaches, boardwalks and lookouts. Wilsons Promontory, at the mainland’s southernmost point, is known for its scenic coastline. Camping is popular and there are many great bushwalks catering to all skill levels and abilities.
Images Fairfax Syndication; courtesy Destination NSW and WQuilliam/NSW & Australian Governments; courtesy Julie Jones (HaveWheelchairWillTravel.net)