6 of Australia’s Most Popular Beaches (By State)

It’s hard to imagine Australia without immediately picturing the epic landscape. From the vast rock formations of Uluru and Kata Tjuta to the wondrous Great Barrier and Ningaloo reefs, exploring the country’s diverse habitats are an essential part of any trip.

Australia’s best beaches are also a cultural staple, especially as the country’s 60,000km coastline is home to more than 10,000 sandy stretches!

If you’re planning a trip and want to explore the best coastal paths and pleasures but are unsure where to begin, we at Walk91 have got you covered with this rundown of the most popular beaches by state.

We (Mark and Nancy) at Walk91 are keen to show you the most beautiful coastlines our country has to offer. Having both travelled extensively worldwide, Australia remains our favourite place to be. Though we’ve come to realise that the journey is as important as the destination.

We’re both adventurers who love a good coastal view, which is why we created Walk91 to share Australia through our range of Great Ocean Walk tours. Our walks include stunning beaches and seaside trails, so do get in touch to take the first step on your Australian adventure today.

The Best Australian Beaches in Each State

Bondi Beach, New South Wales

Let’s start with the most populous of the six Australian states. New South Wales is home to one of the most popular beaches worldwide. You guessed it – Bondi Beach! A must-visit for any traveller heading to Sydney.

But what makes it such a beautiful destination all year round? Located 30 minutes away from Syndey’s Central Business District by public transport, step inside the ‘Bondi bubble’ for yourself. The beach even has its own website!

A wonderful outing whether you’re a walker, jogger, surfer, or cafe hopper. Visitors can pick their own adventure! So soak up the easy-going vibes of the crescent-shaped coast and white sand shoreline.

Culture vultures can peruse the ever-changing Bondi Beach Sea Wall. If food is your passion, check out the extensive restaurants and farmers’ markets. Both are held at the Bondi Beach Public School every Saturday.

12 Apostles, Victoria

Victoria is home to the famous Great Ocean Walk. At 104km in length, it tracks along some of the most beautiful beaches the south coast has to offer.

12 Apostles is a 4.5-hour drive away from Melbourne, off the shore of Port Campbell National Park. Standing stoically in the sea, these naturally-formed stacks reach up to 160ft high! Stroll along the dramatic shoreline and take in the towering limestone.

During low tide, visitors can descend Gibson Steps onto the beach for an up-close viewing of these giant rock formations. Kick off your shoes and feel the sand between your toes on one of the most picturesque beaches Victoria has to offer.

Comprised of seven stacks (the eighth collapsed in 2005), this popular tourist attraction’s name has stuck. Many visitors arrive here at the final point in their Great Ocean Walk pilgrimage, having taken in the rich Aboriginal history along the ‘Shipwreck Coast’.

Our 12 Apostles 3-Day Tour is just one of Walk91’s many self-guided walking tours that range from 3–7 days and can be tailor-made to suit any traveller’s requirements.

Surfers Paradise, Queensland

Surf’s up! Move over Big Apple, this seaside resort on the Gold Coast never sleeps. At Surfers Paradise in Queensland, you can enjoy all the sand and sea you want, without sacrificing urban amenities and attractions.

Step into foaming waves to take in the city’s breathtaking skyline. This Queensland beach is monitored by lifeguards during daytime hours and safe to stroll along at night.

Surfers Paradise is also packed full of beachside drinking establishments. Between boutique rooftop bars to brewpubs, it’ll be hard to choose where to wet your whistle! After a few drinks, put on your dancing shoes and hit the nightclubs.

If you’re an early bird, there are plenty of activities to enjoy. Souvenir-hunters can rustle up a bargain at the beachfront market stalls. Or take your pick of entertainment at HOTA, Home of the Arts.

Nearby, families have lots of choices. Explore Infinity World – a 30-minute journey into a maze-like psychedelic wonderland. There’s also Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Surfers attraction and the Timezone Surfers Paradise arcade.

The beach’s perimeter is studded with high-rises, including Skypoint. Visitors can ascend the tallest building in Australia to reach the observation deck 77 floors up. If you’re not scared of heights a 360-degree view of this 2km golden beach awaits you at the top!

Turquoise Bay, Western Australia

Turquoise Bay feels like a slice of paradise and we’re not the only ones who think so! Trip Advisor’s 2022 Travellers’ Choice Awards named it the #1 beach in the South Pacific and #3 in the world!

With coral reef gardens just metres away from the white sanded shoreline, visitors can snorkel amongst more than 500 types of fish, turtles, and squids in this tranquil setting.

The Bay is only a 90-minute ride away from the UNESCO-protected Ningaloo Coast – one of the longest near-shore reefs in the world. It’s also only one part of the awe-inspiring Cape Range National Park that visitors can enjoy.

Cape Range is also home to a diverse array of wildlife, such as kangaroos, emus, echidnas, birds and black-flanked rock wallabies. So if you’re keen to see all the land- and sea-based creatures you can think of, this is the destination for you!

Glenelg Beach, South Australia

A hip destination for families and solo travellers alike, Glenelg Beach radiates all-around cool vibes. Bordered by towering pine trees, the grassy walkways overlook white sand and rolling waves.

After a calming stroll and a coffee, check out The Bay Discovery Centre. It’s located in the 1870s Town Hall, which hosts several permanent and temporary exhibitions. A highlight is the Tiati Wangkanthi Kumangka (Truth-Telling Together) exhibit, which tells the true history of South Australia.

When you’ve ticked off the educational part of your visit, return to the actual beach or the nearby Beachouse. Great for kids, the complex offers almost every pastime imaginable. Including dodgem cars, water slides, mini golf, and more.

For kid-free adults, we recommend the Art Gallery of South Australia, just a 45-minute bus in the heart of Adelaide. Check out the current exhibitions if you need a break from the shore, though we doubt you will!

Finally, top off your day with a stroll along the jetty and grab a bite to eat in some of the best seafood restaurants Surfers Paradise has to offer.

Bay of Fires, Tasmania

One of the most unique beaches on this list and, honestly, in Australia is the Bay of Fires in Tasmania. Known for its orange lichen-cloaked boulders, white sand, and clear blue seas, the Bay’s unique colour palette alone is worth the trip.

The 50km of pristine coastline provides a sublime backdrop for self-guided hikes, rock pools, and swimming in the Tasman sea. Situated 2 hours north-east of Launceston, Tasmania’s second city, we recommend hopping in a car and taking off to explore the coastline!

Though this list covers just six spectacular beaches in Australia out of a possible 10,000, we hope you’re reaching for your thongs (or flip-flops) or hiking boots ready to take in as much of our coastline as possible.

So if you’re a super beach lover, get in touch and let us share your appetite for adventure! Walk91 offers 3-day to 7-day trips along the Great Ocean Walk so you can bask in the beautiful coastal vistas and stroll along quiet stretches of sand day after day. Both challenging and calming, you’ll never forget the amazing views from our once-in-a-lifetime hikes.

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